Friday, November 30, 2007

14 Year Olds Don't Get to Make Some Decisions

I don't care how "mature" a 14 year olds might think they are they don't get to refuse medical treatment when there is a great chance they can continue to live. They just don't. Don't try and tell that to any of the 14/15 year olds in the car pool this morning. They are so certain in their beliefs and what is right and what is wrong. Well 4 years ago they believed in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy. It it was the parents refusing
the treatment, they would draw and quarter the family and put there pictures on the cover of People Magazine. Congress would be called back into session and new laws would be passed.

We don't let children vote, or drink or drive. We make them get their vaccinations. We drill their teeth and put helmets on them. We make them buckle their seatbelts. We make them go to school, of some sort. We make them brush their teeth and take baths. We make them wear cloths to school and we make them take ALL of their antibiotics. We make them eat, some times healthy food. We make them leave the house and interact with the world. We don't have long discussions with them about drug use and abuse, we just say NO. We tell them they are wrong and in most cases we enforce the rules. If the kids get out of control we send them to counseling. If that does not work they end up at OUTWARD BOUND. Or as the kids now say "He has gone on 'VACATION'".

As anyone that has read this blog knows, kids with leukemia die. Kids that are treated for leukemia sometimes die. Kids that start the treatment and then are not transfused die. The young man that died this week did so of suffocation. The child has a hematocrit that would not have kept a snail in hibernation in the winter alive. He had no oxygen in his system. His red blood count dropped like a rock. His leukemia was really scared of chemo therapy, his bone marrow was on the run. He might have had a really great result.

What really scares me is that now the precedent is set. Kids at 14 during the worst treatment of their lives get to be recalcitrant and just say "NO". I think the judge made the right decision for this child to let him die given his body had been robbed of oxygen for so long but what will it do for the rest of us that have kids that may need treatment.

Remember, it has only been a few years since they believed we could kiss it and make it better. We would not let a child walk into a busy street even though "he accepted what would happen."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I still need to add to the this Blog

I want to think we are done. That I have written the last of this part of the story. I think it is part of Cancer Denial. A little known or documented syndrome. It is sort of like the day we when to see Dr. Ojaman and schedule the biopsy of the growth in M-E's scull. At that time he shared part of the waiting room with the Hem\Onc clinic. I could see those really sick kids and remember saying to M-E how thankful I was that she did not have cancer.

It then took me a long time to think of Luekemia as cancer. They call it a liquid tumor. How can you win a battle against one bad cell that decided it was a good idea to go awry?? It makes finding Weapons of Mass Destruction look like a cake walk. It is such a strange way to think or in this case not think. It is just so much information. So much that keeps us from sleeping and thinking and being able to focus.

A tumor is just that, a large, ugly thing that can be attacked with lots of really great killing things. A wayward bone marrow cell. Now that is something very very scary. A cell. Something we can not see. Something we can touch but would not know we had done so. Sort of like faith and grace. We know they are there but then we can not see them, we just have to know.