Friday, December 28, 2007

    There's a Fungus Among Us

    I do feel the need to apologize for the title, but it was too good to pass up.

    Cole does officially have a fungal infection. Further, a CT scan today showed that it was in his brain. Dr. Lowe (one of the oncologists) says that it is only "small spots" in his brain, though, so there is some sort of silver lining. Most likely the spots in his lungs, heart and brain are all fungal.

    The infectious disease doctor, Dr. Fisher, thinks it is aspergillus. That's not a good thing, from what I can gather, but it is treatable.

    The course of treatment will probably last for a very long time, as in months if not years. It's very hard to treat fungal infections and they have a tendency to come back. Cole will be getting two anti-fungal medications for the time being, but will eventually get moved down to one. We'll likely be in the hospital for a while, as well, as fungal infections are slow to respond (but they are also slow to grow).

    Despite all the bad news, it is nice to finally have a diagnosis (of sorts). It was pretty painful when no one knew what it was and folks kept waffling back and forth on what it could be, but no one would give us a definite answer. Now, we have a definite answer and we also have a definite way to move forward. We will continue to move on, and will continue to fight as best we are able. This really changes nothing.

    Cole will continue to get his chemo on time. He will also get periodic CT scans to make sure that the infection is being treated. Our number one priority right now is to fight leukemia as it is, by far, the more dangerous of the two diseases.

    Now, for some positive news.

    Cole was taken off of contact precautions today so we were able to go to the play room! He played for an hour and a half, standing for at least 30 minutes and even trying to walk on his own. At first he was rather shaky on his feet, but as he stood he got steadier. It was good to see him playing and having a good time.

    Also, when we got back from the PACU after the CT scan I was eating a piece of cheese. Cole saw it and decided he wanted it, so I gave it to him. He spent the next 5 minutes talking to and about the cheese, but not eating it. I finally asked him, "are you going to talk about it or eat it?" Cole looked at me, and with a very serious expression said, "I gonna talk about it".

    All things considered, our spirits are good, and we're settling in to whatever this new diagnosis will bring. I'm not feeling stressed about being in the hospital, and we're back to sharing the load, so I guess that's good.