Today, I am thankful for small things...
Dr. Kirov came in earlier and said that Sarah still had 20% blasts in her peripheral blood (meaning there are some suspicious white cells hanging out in her blood). Could be nothing, just a result of the GCSF they are giving her to boost her white counts, or it could be an indication that this didn't work, and we have to try something else, with an even smaller chance of survival. The doctor started mumbling at that point in the conversation, avoiding my eyes, which tells me there is cause for concern because he loves this little girl. It scared me. My heart was immediately heavy, but he assured me he would look at the sample himself, and tell me what he saw. Apparently, this news was enough to push through my robotic armor and I have been fighting tears all morning.
Sarah, in much better spirits today, invited "all the nurses in town" and the doctors to a "popcorn party" in her room, and Dr. Kirov was the first to make a cameo, bringing with him the hopeful news that when he looked at the sample, he saw only one suspicious cell out of 20. He looked me in the eye, spoke with confidence when he said that based on what he saw, it was not enough to say for sure that the leukemia is back. We are back to waiting and seeing, but at least we can have hope again. The news is promising.
Sarah finished her popcorn, got Parmesan cheese EVERYWHERE, including all over her face and what's left of her hair, and decided she wanted to give me a big bear hug at that exact moment. I took her up on it, easily. "Promise me you'll stay with me forever," she said, as she buried her head in my chest. "I'll promise," I said, "If you promise that you'll stay with me forever." "I'll take that as a yes," she smiled, and gave me another hug, smearing Parmesan cheese all over my sweater. "You can't go til you're old and gray," I said. "I'll never be old and gray," she said, with a cheesy grin.
All I can do is bask in the promise of today, the promise of tomorrow. Try not to read too much into that statement, that she'll never be old and gray. Chalk it up to a child's innocence when being an adult seems WAY off into the future, being old seems like an impossibility. All I can do is be grateful for medical professionals who care enough to double check, who care enough to let themselves care about not only what happens to her, but how I feel about what is happening to her. I can be grateful for Sarah's little voice, for the cleverness of my bossy little girl (the other day, I told her she was not the boss of the world, and she placed her hand on her hip and said, "Who says?"). I can teach her to read and to write and pray that there will come a day when she can employ these skills in a useful way. Promise me you will be with me forever, she says. I promise, little girl. I promise.