Friday, January 16, 2009

Monday we will head back to the clinic for Abbey's second treatment in interim maintenance.  She seems to be handling the chemo that she got last Friday pretty well and we've only noticed a couple side effects.  As long as her neutraphils are above 750, they will increase her methotrexate and she will get another dose of vincristine.  

The last few days she has been complaining of some leg pain.  Bone pain and joint pain are normal side effects.  She told me this morning that her medicine is making her legs  hurt. It is so sad how she can connect the medicine to making her feel yucky and having pain and it is so hard for a three year old to understand that she has to get sick to feel better.  In the past, there have been times when I feel sick about giving her medication when I know it is just going to make her feel horrible.  Next phase she will be back on the steroids and those of you who have been following our story know that those we're the worst part of her treatment so far.  She had more side effects then I can remember when she was on those and my heart breaks for the time that we have to give her them again.  

For now, we will focus on getting through this phase and enjoying her good days where she is playful and happy.  The other night when she was brushing her teeth, her mouth was bleeding, but I haven't seen any sores.  We are praying that she doesn't get the sores this early in the phase because as the phase goes on she will get more and more of the medication and the side effects will get worse.  Since her numbers had such a hard time recovering from the last phase, I am concerned that her body is extra sensitive to some of the chemos.  We will see Monday when they look at her blood how her body is handling what she got last week and if her bone marrow is able to recover from being knocked down.  

On an exciting note, we have decided to start homeschooling Jacob.  He was in preschool this year, but we decided a couple weeks ago to take him out and start doing a kindergarten curriculum with him for the rest of this year.  We then will decide if we will send him to kindergarten next year, or if I will continue to homeschool.  It was something that's always been in the back of our minds, but since Abbey was diagnosed so many things have changed and God is using this situation to change our hearts and minds about many things.  There were many reasons why this decision just 'made sense' and since we've finalized our decision on it, we have such a peace.  Isn't that the best feeling ever when you have a hard decision to make and when you finally decide on something, you know it was the right choice because God gives you that peace in your heart?!  I started the reading with both him and Abbey a week ago and it has been great.  Since we are always home and rarely leave the house (unless we're at the hospital) it is giving us some structure to our days and has been good for all of us.  I am going to continue to let Abbey do as much as she wants for now... we know it can't hurt and at this point she is very eager to learn and do whatever Jacob is doing :)  I am still in the process of getting all the other subjects organized and figuring it all out and we will start the rest next week.  Do any of you homeschool?  I'd love to hear some of your personal experiences with it.  My sister-in-law Alicia homeschools her kids.  They have 5 kids, and she is currently homeschooling the oldest three.  She was very helpful to me in picking the curriculum (thanks Alicia!) and she has been very happy with the program that she uses so we feel good about what we've picked.  She is a great mom and they have great kids so we are excited to see what the future holds in 'Colbert Elementary School'.  

Thank you guys for following our story and for continuing to pray for our Abbey and family.  We are so thankful to know that people are praying all over the country.  I love looking at the site meter on our page and to see so many states represented that are a part of this with us.  Thank you also for praying for all these others that we know that are fighting cancer.  God is using each one and we know each situation is a perfect part of His plan.    


S and K said...

Just wanted to let you know that we will be praying for your Abbey too. It has been such a privilege to stand alongside both of your families for both of your little girls.

As a side note, I am a homeschooling mom too! I love it. I homeschool one in Pre K and one in Preschool/1st grade (he was born in Africa and had his 1st schooling experience this year... I love that about homeschooling... you meet your child's need where he/she is at)

May the Lord bless you!

Heather said...

My name is Heather and our little Zoey was also diagnosed in October but with AML.Her journey has been a test of her strength and our faith,since birth but we all have emerged stronger and more determined.Your Abbey is darling and we too will pray for her, as our list since Zoey's newest diagnosis, has grown as well.Peace and strength to you all.

The Gammons Family said...

I know that Amanda would love to talk to you about the curriculum choices that she has made for Ben and Caleb. Homeschooling has been a really good thing for our family. Blessings on you all as you continue to "live life" in the midst of this struggle.


April said...

Hi, Shelley -

We're homeschooling too. Education is one of those decisions where there will always be advantages and disadvantages to whatever you decide, but for us the decision was just like for you. Once we made it and got going, God just gave us so much peace. We're really loving it. Last year and a bit of this year we did "Five in a Row", which has been a lot of fun. You read a storybook each day for a week and then do various activities that touch on all of the stories. We've loved it. Please let me know if you have any questions at all. Ruby is a kindergartner too, and we started last year when she was 4 1/2, so we've got a year under our belts. For phonics, we do "Explode the Code" which I like because you practice spelling & writing at the same time you're practicing reading.

Eleanor said...

In 1988 my 7 month old daughter was diagnosed with ALL. She is now a 21 year old college junior leading a charmed life. I can tell you that the intensity of this time in your lives will fade and not constantly cosume you or dictate your life.Through the years you will be able to share God's love and goodness shown to you and tell about all His miracles and help someone in need. You are in my prayers.

BethanyM said...

Shelley and Jim:

Homeschooling Jacob makes so much sense at this time. How wonderful to have clarity and certainty from God about this decision! Abbey will certainly benefit from the curriculum also, and I can imagine that it will be very affirming for Jacob to get dedicated, focused time with Mommy for this purpose.

How interesting to read this after talking to you about the decision we made this week for Connor too. God gave us peace and certainty about it also after wondering for a while if this was what was best for our family.

I was uplifted by our conversation last evening and have been thanking God and praying for all of you.

lil mama said...

Hi there - I found your blog through another blog that I found from another blog, etc. My heart hurts for you as a mom. Your faith is beyond measure and will not only see you through this but also heal your sweet Abbey. I will pray for you and your family. You are amazing.

Renee' Kemp said...

I also found your blog through another blog. We will be praying for Abbey and ask that you remember a friend of ours also in your prayers who was just diagnosed a week ago with ALL

Terri said...


I found your blog on the Riggs family blog(Praying for Abby)...Just wanted to let you know I'll be praying for your Abbey as well...such a precious little have a beautiful family!

I am going to put your badge on my blog as well and hopefully my readers for join me in praying for Abbey!

Hugs from Kentucky

kelly said...

As a parent myself..I can't imagine what you go through in a day.. I can only express my feelings to you.. My heart goes out to you and all parents that have to go through something so horrible..My thoughts and more so my prayers go out to your Abbey and to all children that are affected by any disease..Keep on keeping the faith... hope you and yours can all find peace one day.

Aggie said...

We are a homeschooling family too and we are loving every minute of it for so many reasons. The curriculum that we are using is a Christian curriculum by Heart of Dakota called Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory and I really love it. I homeschool all 3 of my children (ages 6, 5 -on tuesday, and 3 1/2). They are learning so much, but one of the very best parts is that we gat to spend so many precious moments together. Feel free to email me anytime about homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. Keeping you in our prayers!

Take care,