Since coming home for Thanksgiving, our little Hazelnut has been doing well. She was very tired for the first few days, but has only been getting better! We had a wonderful time with family this past weekend and were so incredibly thankful to be home. Per her treatment plan, we were supposed to begin her next round of chemotherapy yesterday (11/28), but her counts have still not recovered completely. Her Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) should be above 500 to not be considered neutropenic, and a normal range is actually closer to 1500. When her blood was measured yesterday, her ANC was 320. Considering they had been at zero for about two weeks, we are so glad to finally see them climbing upward! However, because they are still under 500, she is still very vulnerable to infections and certainly not strong enough to be knocked down again by chemo. So the doctors and we decided to wait another week to give her time to recover. She will have her next round of chemo beginning on December 5th. This also means, her scans to determine her progress will also be pushed another week, placing them just days before Christmas. My whole heart wishes we will get a Christmas miracle and have good scan results, so please please please be praying!
While this weekend was filled with a lot of family time, we also found that it was time to shave Hazel's head. The chemotherapy has been making her hair come out in droves, and it was beginning to bother Hazel. She actually has been asking to shave it for weeks! She used to love having a bald head and putting fake tattoos all over it, so she has been looking forward to being bald again. Leave it to a beautiful child to have this perspective, right?! We could all learn so much from her! Now, all of our children (except the baby) have been wanting to support their sister in any way that they can. This head shave was no different. They all wanted to stand in solidarity with her and decided to shave (Aaron and I did as well)!!! It was a very powerful, emotionally moving and empowering experience. Here are a few photos from the evening:
|Hazel's 7 1/2 year old sister, Elizabeth|
|Hazel's 4 year old brother, Jonah|
|Hazel's 10 year old brother, Micah|
|Our family photo (minus the baby)|
|My absolute favorite photo of the night|