Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving...Still continues

Good Morning all!

I pray our family and friends had safe and undisturbed travels this Thanksgiving. Randall, Elijah and I spent the holiday with Randall's family in Alabama. Elijah had a ball dancing, singing, and playing with his little cousin Amber, aunt, uncle and "Me-ma". He is back to 100% and is doing very well. Here's a pic of Elijah having fun in the leaves in his Nana's backyard the week before Thanksgiving.

Before the holiday we had our final pre-treatment appointment with pediatric oncology. The treatment begins first with surgery to implant the Port-O-Cath this Friday morning then chemo begins that evening. The regimen will be as follows:
Day 1-admitted to hospital, IV hydration then given the worst of the 3 chemo drugs
side effects are monitored and controlled for 48 hours.
Day 3-2 other chemo drugs are given then released from hospital.
Week 2-1 outpatient visit for 1 chemo drug
Week 3-1 outpatient visit for 1 chemo drug
Week 4(Day 21)-Cycle begins again with 3 day/2 night hospital stay...
Elijah will undergo 4 cycles of treatment-meaning he will have a total of 4 hospital stays, and a visit to the hospital for 1 weekly chemo drug treatment every week from Dec. 5 through the first week of March.

Our prayers continue to be Elijah's full recovery and healing. We ask that our friends and family pray that his body withstands the effects of chemotherapy treatment. These drugs are labeled poisons-even by the oncologists due to not only the short term side effects but long term permanent effects. Some of those are:
Nerve Damage
Hearing loss
Renal failure
Secondary Cancers
Chemotherapy drugs are effective at killing cancer cells, but they also damage normal cells, which can cause side effects. Drugs used in cancer chemotherapy attack cells that are actively dividing to produce new cells. These drugs are useful because cancer cells reproduce more quickly than normal cells.
Chemotherapy also causes a drop in white and red blood cells. The side effects caused by low blood cell counts will likely be at their worst when the White Blood Count, Red Blood Count, and platelets are at their lowest levels. Because of this Elijah will have very limited contact (no contact if you haven't had a flu shot) with others during the duration of Chemotherapy. Although he will be on antibiotics to lessen the possibility of infection for the duration of therapy, a low white blood count means an inability to fight infection so even the common cold could be life threatening for him.
Thank you all for your concern about my health and the well being of Elijah's little brother due on Valentines day. We are both doing well. We are prayerful that "baby brother" will stay put for a few more months :p I'm sure he will - when I ask his big brother where his little brother is, he simply lifts my shirt and gives my belly a kiss with a big "mmmm-waaahhh" sound!
Happy (late) Thanksgiving wishes to you all. We love you dearly.