Monday, May 18, 2009


I know many of you are wondering how Amanda is looking through this whole process. We'll update more pictures along the way. Here she is happily doing art projects with her soon to be missed hair.
Along with a new picture of her, we'd like to welcome you to the new world of medical terminology that we've had a crash course in. Our vocabulary word for the day is "NEUTROPENIC."
Being neutropenic means that Amanda's white blood count, particularly the cells that fight infection, are too low to work effectively now. Our biggest concern is bacterial infections as they are quickly the most life threatening. A viral infection can turn in to this and would also mean several days in the hospital. So in other words, we are officially in "isolation" for a few weeks as her counts are going to continue to drop during her intense chemo treatments. The doctor warned us that this year's cold and flu has extended longer than usual and that there is a particular virus going around that is proving to be very hard on leukemia patients. Our main job in life is just keeping her safe right now. As such, we've set up some guidelines that we want people to be aware of.
  • no people over to our house that have children under the age of five in their home.
  • no school age friends or adults of school aged children until school has been out at least a week or two.
  • we'd prefer no unexpected visitors. please call first so we can tell you if it's a good day or not to stop by. We will likely stay outside to talk. But don't come if you are sick or have been around sick people.
  • We're going to try and keep contacts to a norm for a while to help things settle down. This means we'd prefer family and friends she's used to seeing.
  • Erin will be in included in our "isolation" plans. Having her sick means we get it too. We appreciate the babysitting offers, but we'd prefer to not have to ship her off to relatives again from illness. She's way too ornery to readjust again!
Fortunately, Amanda should only stay neutropenic for a few weeks if all goes well. It may prove to be fairly manageable as her interest to be social has declined significantly. She spends about 90% of her time just resting. She is not asking to play or be with friends. She's even struggling with walking and car rides. It's hard to watch her decline so much, but we know it's temporary. The good part is that it's been a nice time for us as a family to reconnect and let things settle down. That means lots of board games, movies, video games, art projects, and reading. As hard as all of this is, we are really enjoying our time together as a family. We encourage all of you to do the same before it takes a major illness to remember how much you really appreciate and enjoy each other.


  1. I'm glad you are enjoying your family time! :)

  2. Just wanted you to know the Nef's (Michaelis) here in Idaho are keeping you all in our prayers and that I (Cathy) try to keep Amanda's name in the Rexburg temple each week. We love you and pray for all good things for you all.