Thursday, April 29, 2010

Surgery #8! Not Just a "same day"...

Well-what was to be a simple same day surgery - an adenoidectomy and ear tube replacement, turned into an overnight (hopefully just one night) hospital stay.
The short of a long story: We arrived at the hospital at close to 7:00AM this morning, surgery did not begin until 11:00 but was completed by noon. The ear tube replacement was textbook but the adenoids were so enlarged, removal was much more involved than anticipated. As most of you know, Elijah's BPD is cause for concern with anesthesiology prior to every surgery - this time rightfully so. His O2 saturation remained around 85 (low) while his heart rate remained elevated (around 140) after surgery.
Due to the O2 complications we stayed in recovery well into the evening. Unfortunately, once his O2 levels stabilized at 90 (still considered low but not of great concern w/asthma) he spiked a fever - peaking at 102.
We are now in room 523 at Southern Hills Medical Center (our first and prayerfully our last encounter at this hospital) and will remain until his O2 saturation stabilizes at around 95-98 w/out the aid of oxygen and his fever remains below 99.5 for a period of more than 6 hours.
I will keep those of you in contact posted. Thank you for the well-wishes and love. Whatever the battle - Elijah's armor remains impenetrable because of you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moving On...

Family and Friends,

Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and support! Elijah is doing really well. We recently went in for his monthly ultrasound, CT scan and blood work and all except the iron levels are normal! We were cleared to move to quarterly scans!!!!! YAY!

We truly hope this New Year is bringing each of you a renewed love for the life you've been blessed with! Live it to the fullest and view each day as the greatest gift received!

Many Blessings to you and your families.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hippeee Burfdey!

Hello family and friends!

Just a quick note to share some pictures with you. Elijah is doing great! His last Ultra Sound and XRay were all clear and his health has been fairly good over the past few months.

Elijah had his first real party (outside of daycare) to celebrate his 3rd birthday!
We love you! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have a great Christmas and New year!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last Surgery...Done!!!!

Friends & Family, The time between posts is more and more lengthy. Please know that I think of you all often but this is truly a case of no news is good news!

Elijah had his last surgery (prayerfully) on September 12th. He had 2 surgeons working on 2 different areas during the surgery. The first surgery was to remove the port that was implanted for Chemotherapy treatments and blood draws. The second was the 3rd and final surgery to correct a urological problem. As of his 1 month check up both were a success! We will not be 100% certain that the later surgery was completely successful until he "pee-pee's in the potty" but that's an entirely new hurdle mama has not begun to approach just yet.
Elijah is doing really really well. Diego (and occasionally Dora) rule the world and he's rarely without his guitar in hand. We haven't figured out how he learned to "Rock-Out" as he says, kicking his leg up while strumming the new Elijah-sized guitar daddy bought him but I have a feeling lessons are in his near future.
He's still loving his little brother. However, the more mobile Jacob becomes the more intolerable big brother is becoming!

When God revealed the cancer in my baby's body, it was the size of a softball. It was attacking his liver and closing in on his gallbladder. Had it not been discovered the chance of removing it completely would have gone down to less than 25%. When he went into surgery, there were 2 cancerous masses, both able to be completely removed along with 1/2 of his liver, which by the way regenerated to 90% in less than 6 months. During chemo, he was along side children older and younger than he, some with less of a chemotherapy regimen but many with a much more vigorous and arduous journey. Elijah is cancer free, healthy, happy and beautiful. By His Mercy and Grace I'm going to be here to see him fight with and protect his little brother, get in trouble and do well in school, break hearts and get his heart broken, make me mad as hell and make me cry with joy, be a success at whatever he chooses, and be a great husband and a dedicated father. I say all of this to say Thank You for seeing him through and watch out for a tremendous future!

My heart still gets heavy at times when I think about how much you care for my precious baby boy. thank you thank you thank you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I cannot believe it has been over 2 months since I posted to Elijah's Blog. It seems odd that during a crisis or in the midst of turbulent times the need to communicate emotion is so during the calm I find myself just being still. It's a fantastic feeling.

Elijah had his scheduled CT Scan, XRay, and Ultrasound recently. It was one of the LONGEST days we've spent at Vanderbilt. Especially since the CT Scan is sedated which means Elijah cannot eat. A two year old at 10am coming out of sedation with an empty stomach is no cake walk believe me.

All results came back great with two exceptions. His iron is still critically low. So much so the doctors are considering injections! Also, the Ultrasound showed swelling in the abdominal lymph nodes. I don't remember my reaction to that news-I do remember the past 6 months flashing before me and a feeling of helplessness as I thought of Elijah possibly going through treatment again.

Thankfully, we returned for blood work a few days later and his AFP levels (tumor markers) were at 2.2 which is extremely low meaning no cancerous tumors detected. The oncologist believes he may have caught a stomach bug, which just so happened to have been going around daycare that very week. His immune system was strong enough to fight off the symptoms but the infection was lurking in his little tummy.

Elijah is doing fantastic. He's such a big help with his little brother Jacob and absolutely loves school. He sings ALL THE WAY HOME from daycare...EVERY DAY, and hopping while simultaneously saying "Hop, Hop, Hop" is still his preferred mode of movement.
Elijah has a surgery (his 7th) coming up in September (unrelated to the hepatoblastoma). I will post updates as the surgery nears.

Thank You for your continued prayers. We love you!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back at school and LOVING IT!

Hello all!
We hope you all are well and enjoying the warmer weather.
Elijah has been back at school for 2 weeks now! The first week was extremely difficult (more so for me I'm sure). Our morning ritual of waking at leisure to Daddy's voice or Sheba's bark, eating a full breakfast, then waiting in anticipation for the next Barney episode was replaced with a firm shake of the alarm clocks' scream, a bag of cheerios and sippie of milk, and a mad dash to get in position to make the 45 minute haul to school before 8am.


Elijah made certain that I knew...EVERY MORNING...that he was supposed to be glued to my hip-not away from me with a bunch of little people that were obviously not going to kiss boo-boos, laugh at his indecipherable banter, and give him free reign over every toy in eyesight.
So although the first week of school was very difficult for Elijah, his second week and start to the third has been much smoother. He awakens with no objection in the morning, he walks his brother to his class then walks mommy to his and even says bye! He's eating well, playing with his friends well, and has been "Very Polite" the teachers say. ;p

Jacob has been having a ball in school. He has the same teacher Elijah did at that age so the spoil factor has gone up exponentially! He's proving to be every bit of the flirt and charmer his brother is.

Elijah's health continues to improve. The last Xray and Blood test (just last Friday) revealed he is recovering well. We are still fighting the anemia/low iron and now have to include hearing tests to the regimen as his last test revealed hearing loss at a high frequency.
We continue to receive well wishes and inquiries and I am so very appreciative. Thank you for your continued love and prayers and I will keep you posted!

~Love Dawn

Thursday, May 7, 2009

All Clear!

My prayer this evening included a special thank you-thank you for the words God has given each of you to pray for my son. It's your prayers, your love, support, and strength, and God's grace that got us to this place.

Elijah's CT Scan was all clear! His hearing test is showing loss but only at the high frequency levels. His blood work is phenomenal-the Dr.s continue to be amazed at how stable his levels are. His energy is off of the charts, his appetite is slowly returning, his hair growing back and he's already gained a half of a pound since his last treatment! We are still struggling with his iron levels and getting him to take his meds.
He will continue bi-weekly blood tests, monthly xrays, quarterly CT Scans, and yearly kidney and hearing tests for quite some time. He has been cleared to return to civilization. HOORAY!!!!! Daycare...WATCH OUT!
I will continue posting every now and again as he has one more unrelated surgery in the next few months.
My heart swells with love and adoration for you all. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Family & Friends...

Please forgive me for not writing in over a month. Managing a 2 year old and newborn is a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. ;)

Elijah's last outpatient treatment was March 16th and was fairly uneventful. His counts were up as well as his spirits (as usual). His favorite nurse made certain she was there to give his last treatment and to meet his new little brother! A few weeks passed then it was time for his first post-op blood work and CT scan. Although his blood work looked great, he was still not released to daycare so I must continue to monitor his interactions. The CT scan was all clear and will be repeated every 3 months. His blood will need to be drawn every 2 weeks for awhile then monthly then with every CT Scan. We go back for more blood work on the 24th of March as well as a hearing test (as hearing can be affected by the chemotherapy).
Although his appetite is still down, his hair is starting to grow back, his joint pain is lessening and he's running, jumping, playing, laughing, singing, and tiring me out daily!

I will continue to update the blog although it may just be monthly.
Thank you all for your love and prayers. We are immensely Blessed by your presence in our lives.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Last Stay

Family & Friends,

This last weekend seemed to have taken a lifetime to get to. Elijah was neutropenic last week and we had to postpone his last inpatient chemotherapy. Now that its come and gone, this leg of the journey seems to have flown by. I suppose that's God's way: During the struggle question your strength-Live through it and know you can carry a much heavier load because it all rests on his shoulders.

This was by far the most difficult inpatient stay. Elijah's reaction to the anti-nausea meds were extreme but his nurses were amazing. As soon as we checked in they were showering him with love, affection, and attention, They even had a hopping (his new favorite pastime) contest down the hallways which I was thankful for because he was tired out quickly!!

We spent Friday evening and Saturday visiting and saying goodbye-the playroom, the quiet room, running the halls, etc... Not sure if he knew it was his last stay but he took advantage of every chance he had to run, run, run. (Click on the link to see pics)
Elijah has 2 more outpatient treatments and then he is done with chemo!!!
As usual, I have no words worthy enough to give you the Thanks I wish I could. Your prayers have kept him free from infection, sickness and unbearable side effects. Thank You for keeping my little boy close to your heart. I am so undeserving of your love and support and I Thank God for you always.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Elijah's Baby Days

Family and Friends...
I hope this email finds you all in great spirits and good health. It has been some time since I updated the blog but I'm sure you will forgive me since I was bringing Elijah's little brother Jacob into the world!

Elijah's 3rd inpatient treatment went well. He did get sick but as with the last treatment, it did not hit until the last day. We are seeing some of the longer term side effects of the chemotherapy take its toll on him now-sunken eyes, more joint pain, and constipation. However he continues to be in good spirits and is still the strongest little soldier I know.
2 days after I returned home from his inpatient stay, I went into labor and delivered a very healthy 8pound, 21inch long baby boy-Jacob Josiah Williams. Elijah is an exceptional big brother. He kisses him every chance he gets and loves the fact that they both have "Papies" (pacifiers).
Elijah has only one inpatient treatment and 5 weekly treatments to go! Upon completing treatment he will have a CT Scan, Kidney scan, and several blood tests then will continue monthly blood testing for 6 months before scaling back to every 3-6 months.
What a journey! We are almost to the end so please continue to pray us through. We love you all.