March 31, 2013.... A Reflection

by Robyn Bryant


A Reflection....March 31, 2013

A year ago at this time was very different for our family....We returned from our Spring Break Trip on March 22nd...Christian was not feeling good at all.....She went to the Clinic on the 23rd as scheduled, her counts were not high enough for chemo but she had a headache and nausea and vomiting...the nausea, vomiting and headache worsened over the weekend.  Despite the fact that she was not able to get off the couch even to go to bed on Saturday, she made sure she was at Church Sunday Morning because she was doing a scripture reading for Youth Sunday in the Remix service....she did a great job, but the whole service I was unsettled.  She was not sitting with us...after the service we were talking with good friends and she sat down and said, “I need to get my eyes checked, I am seeing double.”  It started prior to her reading the scripture...she always persevered through a challenge.  When we left church, we called Dr. Bahkta, who was on call and he advised to watch and wait....but we had an issue.....Christian was supposed to go to Furman University the next morning to compete for a prestigious scholarship.  The next morning, she was in the Oncology Clinic, not at Furman....she had an MRI that was essentially unchanged (not normal)...her counts were good, so we she returned the next morning to start that last 4 weeks of Delayed Intensification chemotherapy.  She actually seemed to feel a little better...she had spinal tap this day as she often did for chemo...at each spinal tap the spinal fluid was checked for cancer, etc.....the chemo regimen was very long that day.....At around 2pm Dr. Eric Gratias, her primary Oncologist came in and started telling us that there were White Blood Cells in her spinal fluid...at first, I just did not get it...he was talking directly to Christian and she understood, there was a possibility, a very strong possibility that she had relapsed in her spinal fluid.  At this point in treatment,  a very bad thing.  Christian was a little tearful, but like normal she sucked it up and took it in stride....I was a different story.  That night at home, I was a basket case...one of my very good friend’s Mother died suddenly that day and I went to see her but was not a support at all....all I could think of was my child and that I cannot loose my daughter.  I talked at length to my sister on the phone that night.   Christian talked to her Daddy and was at peace...Bailey’s response was if she needs a transplant, “I know I will be a match.”  When Dr. Gratias delivered this news he was on his way out of town to a large Children’s Oncology Meeting....he would call us the next morning as soon as he had confirmation.

The next morning, Christian woke up with a high fever...any fever is bad...but this day in my mind I was thinking the absolute worse...not only a relapse in the spinal fluid, but also the bone marrow....Christian arrived in the clinic and Dr. Gratias called my cell phone with good news, no relapse....we were elated!!!!  But this day, March 28, 2012, marked the last admission for my beautiful daughter. At the time, we of course had no idea she would never leave the hospital again.

Christian was admitted once again to Room 316 at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital.   

The first few days were pretty uneventful...the fever continued and Christian felt rotten....we know the double vision was caused by the fact that the Shingles virus had moved to her Central Nervous System and that was also the cause of the fever....we all thought she would get better......Many things were happening during this time...she was making sure all her deposits were paid for her Georgia Tech admission.  She met her soon to be roommate, Amber Jackson, for the first time.  Ashley Zani arranged for the owner of Monica’s to come to Christian’s hospital room to fit her for her May Day dress.  That was a special day...I have a couple of pictures of her in the dress...she wanted to look nice and took time to put on make up and was so weak she had to sit during the fitting....looking back, it all just breaks my heart.....she endured so much....but this was just the beginning....Christian spent last Easter in Room 316....we were all together as a family and that day Christian took her last communion.  Our dear friend, Bruce Novkov and his wife, Holly and Christian’s good friend, Caroline came and we had a communion service at Christian’s bedside....I will never forget the gift....

I will continue to update this as a reflection....but there will be things that Christian endured that I will never be able to write.....

Today, March 31, 2013...I am so thankful for the Resurrection....Jesus Lives!!! I know my Christian is just fine, whole and healthy.....