Saturday, March 28, 2009

Things are on the up & up

Our day at the clinic on Thursday went fine.  She didn't get chemo so I actually didn't mind being there  :)  Her ANC is still low... even lower than last week (around 300), but that was to be expected.  By Thursday she was feeling pretty lousy from the steroids.  She slept on and off all day Thursday and was pretty wiped out.  Her last dose was Thursday night and when she went to bed that night I was so happy that we made it through those two weeks of steroids and that she was done.  I think I smiled until I feel asleep that night.  

I have had many moments lately where I just can't believe how far we've come and how well she has done with all she's had to endure, and as we approach the end of the hardest part of our journey I find myself being so amazed.  Amazed that it was 6 months ago this Thursday that she was diagnosed and amazed that we are where we are today.  Overall just amazed that we're not only still functioning, but thriving in the situation that we're in.    

I can't wait for what the future holds for us though and we're so ready to get to Maintenance.  For Abbey to start to be able to leave the house again.  For her to feel good almost all the time.  For her hair to come back.  I can't wait for her immunity to be almost back to normal.  For her body to be strong again and for her to be a normal 3 year old again.  Although we still have 20 months left of treatment, it will be so much less intense.  She will get chemo once a month instead of once a week (or more).  We even asked the doctors about going on vacation this summer and they said absolutely :)  It's hard to imagine being able to take her to church at this point, let alone on vacation, but by summer they are telling us that will be there.  We are excited!

So now what?.... well, we are on a one week break now.  She is still in delayed intensification and has the second part of the phase to get through.  This Thursday we will go back and see if her ANC is ready to continue on.  Her ANC needs to be at 750 to continue and they told us last Thursday that there's a good possibility that she won't be ready.  Her body may need an extra week to recover from all it's been through these last three weeks.  If she is ready, she will get 3 doses of chemo that day.  She will get spinal chemo (that's when she needs to be sedated) :(, and two new ones that she's never gotten before.  The one can be very hard on her bladder so she will have IV fluids that day for 5 hours to flush the strong medication through her bladder so there are no complications.  It will be a long day at the hospital, but they said kids normally don't have trouble with it since they are so careful to make sure their little bodies are completely flushed all day to prevent irritation to the bladder.  The third chemo is one that she will get four days in a row through her port (they will send a nurse to our home to administer it) and then she has three days off and on four again.  Her needle will be left in for those four day stretches while she's at home, which I'm not looking forward to, but she is usually very accepting of it so we'll just have to see.  If her ANC isn't ready Thursday, we'll get a break for another week and then will see the following Thursday if she's ready.

Today she is feeling good.  I can really tell that the steroids are coming out of her system and each day is getting better.  It's so amazing how fast she bounces back and for that we are so thankful.  Toward the beginning of her treatment, the one doctor told us that if we (as adults) were going through this same treatment, we'd be flat on our backs the whole time.  Although feeling really yucky Thursday, she's already playing and keeping up with her brothers today. She is full of smiles and hugs and oh how much we love every second of it.  Kids are amazing!  

Last night after dinner we took the kids for a walk in their wagon.  It was pretty chilly, but we saw many signs of spring on our walk and are anxiously awaiting it to arrive!

And a quick update on the rest of the crew here.  Homeschooling continues to go well.  We have been taking lots of days off these last few weeks as Abbey hasn't been feeling good, but since I started Kindergarten mid year anyways, I figure every week we get done this year is a week off during the school year next year.  Jacob is reading short stories and it has been a pleasure for me to see these kids learn so much.    

Today Jacob had his first indoor soccer practice.  This is something that he has been looking forward to for a while now so we are so excited for him.  It was fun to see Jim (my husband) pick out shoes, shin guards, socks and shorts for Jacob.  And then when the stuff came in the mail, he was so excited....  I think Jacob's almost as excited as his daddy :)  Jim loves soccer so for him to see his first born actually being able to start playing is a joy to him.  They've been practicing in the basement and Jacob is a natural.  Jim said the practice went great.  Jacob loved it and did really well.  Here's a couple pictures from his practice today.

Micah continues to keep us smiling.  He is very animated in his expressions and he's a fun little guy.  He is our late walker... still crawling quickly everywhere.  He just started walking behind those push toys so he is walking around from room to room with those, but isn't brave enough to let go.  If we just hold one of his hands he walks all over, but doesn't have the confidence to do it alone.  He's so close so we know he'll be there soon.  It's fun as he gets older to watch him start to play with the "big kids."  He thinks they're so funny and just loves to be with them.  He loves balls and says "ball, ball" on and off all day.  

Jim and I continue to hold up pretty good.  We are amazed how normal things can seem in the midst of this very un-normalness.  We have had people tell us that they could never make it through something like this.  Trust me, I thought the same thing 6 1/2 months ago.  If someone would have told me that one of my children would have cancer, I'm pretty certain I would have had a heart attack right then and there and would have been a goner.  But you do what you have to do and you stay strong for the ones you love.  We feel confident that she is going to be completely healthy when this is all over.  That she will lead a normal, happy, healthy life and that this will all be a memory someday.  And you know what?!  every second of all this will be worth it when we get to that point.  We have a lifetime of memories to make as a family and a million more days to enjoy with our Abbey.  And we are so thankful for how God has truly carried us through each and every day of this.  No, it's not easy or something that we are happy to be going through, but there have been good things that have come of this and for that we are thankful.  Thank you my blogger friends for loving us through this.  It means so very much to us.  God has used you guys to walk this road with us and be an encouragement to us.  Thank you! 


Amy B said...

I spent a lot of time reading your blog tonight. I wanted to let you know I have such respect for what you as a mom and your family are going through. My oldest son has had major medical issues and I sometimes am in awe that we are really living it..But we are and we will ...that is life. And we are blessed to be a family. That is the message I get loud and clear from your blog.
I am looking forward to supporting you as your sweet girl continues to win her battle.

Alicia Larson said...

I am so glad Abbey is doing well! Praise God! Wow, those pictures of Jacob really bring back memories of seeing his dad on the field with that buzz cut and shorts that are way past his knees. : ) Maybe this summer we'll finally be able to meet Micah face to face. : )

We love you guys and miss you terribly!
Aunt Alicia

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that Abbey is done with the steroids. Praying that she quickly regains her strength and her body recovers. Your entire family has been through so much the last six months, and your lives were turned upside down. But your trust in the Lord has seen you through this, and He will continue to carry you all. Enjoy the weekend!

Annapolis, MD

daisy2biker said...

I am so happy for all of you how well Abbey is doing with this round of treatment. She is such a little fighter! Praise God!
Praying for you always...

dana said...

I am so happy to hear that Abbey is doing well...I was praying that Thursday went well! So, glad to hear that she is coming around and those steriods are out of her system. Thanks for keeping us updated...I so enjoy reading and keeping up on your life.

Jacob and Micah are amazing kids too...what fun they are having. Thanks for sharing with us a little piece of their life.

You are amazing are an encouragement to me and I appreciate your friendship through our journeys.

Praying for you...

Sara said...

We could never read our lives in a book chapter by chapter before they came to pass. We would grow faint and not face it. God is using you as an example to all of us that he will "keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him, because He trusts in Him." (Is. 26:3) May you have that last push you need to make it through this phase. We'll be praying. Can't wait to see all of the "hairstyles" Abby will have as her hair grows back:)

Terri said...

Love the glad Abbey is doing well...and to get to go on vacation come summer...woowhooooo!

Keeping all in my prayers!


Jenn said...

So glad to hear that Abbey is doing well. I've been following along for a while. I'm a fellow Cleveland resident and waiting for spring as well. You are very strong and I don't know how you do it. I continue to pray for Abbey and for your entire family on a daily basis.

Beth said...

Praise God that Abbey is doing SO well!! What a little fighter she is!!

I know that God has His hand in this and that Abbey gets great strength from Him. However, I bet she gets a lot of her strength from her AMAZING parents!! You guys keep doing what you are doing because your positive outlook, the love you have for each other and your family, and your faith in God is truly inspirational!!

Loved seeing the pics of the boys! Jacob looks so cool in his soccer the shirt! Don't you just love watching your husband and your son have fun with something together and the bond that is created....I know I do!

And your cute! Both of our boys were late walkers too. Why walk when you can get around MUCH quicker crawling?!?

Hope you guys have a great week! Hopefully the snow won't stick (yes it is snowing on the Eastside..yuck!) and we can see even more signs of Spring!!


Anonymous said...

What an inspiration, you have been as both of you walk the road that God has given you. Not waivering, but keeping your focus on the great physician who loves Abby more than you do.