Thursday, November 29, 2007


On Tuesday, Anya was admitted to the hospital for a spinal tap (intrathecal chemo), intravenous chemo, and her intravenous preventative antibiotic. She is not permitted to eat for several hours prior to her sedated spinal taps and this combined with the medication being "late" from the pharmacy made for a difficult morning with an unhappy, hungry Anya. But aren't we thankful things weren't much worse?!

Fortunately after she woke up she was allowed to eat. So after getting some pizza into her hungry tummy and after the "sleepy medicine" wore off, Anya was back to her normal cheerful self. We did have a little "scare" while she was receiving her antibiotic - her heartrate rose to 144! But the attentive ICU nurse responded by decreasing the speed of the infusion and Anya's heartrate returned to normal so she was able to return home after being watched for an hour.

Anya's next appointment isn't until this Friday, December 7th. If her counts are high enough, she will receive two more chemotherapy medications intravenously followed by a two week recovery period.

Following this recovery period, she is scheduled to go back on steroids (starting Dec 22nd). The time Anya was on steroids a couple months ago was the most difficult time thus far (other than her initial hospital stay). The dexamethasone steroid is the drug that made Anya moody, unreasonable, unhappy, discouraged, constantly hungry, and terribly demanding. We pray that God would spare her from these common side effects and give us the strength to care for her. We have seen God spare Anya from other terrible typical side effects and from multiple infections and we praise Him.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Life Goes On

Our apologies for not updating the blog for a while. We know that many people view this blog often for updates and it may concern some of you when there is not new news for a few weeks. Please know that on this blog no news is "good news" and we will always update you about significant changes and/or new prayer needs, etc.
Anya's treatment continues to progress without delay. She is not currently taking any meds at home (except an occasional dose of Miralax to counteract the bowel-slowing effects of the Vincristine) and gets the majority of her chemo through her port during clinic visits. On Friday she will get the two intermuscular shots in her legs and we ask that you remember her in prayer that day as she is consistently upset about getting those shots and usually cries pretty hard when they give them to her.
Anya's counts have been high for several weeks and we've taken advantage by getting her out and about a little bit. She's been able to attend church a few times and has again been a blessing to everyone as she dances and sings during the worship services. At a recent service she danced the whole time with a little ten year old girl that we later found out was at church for the first time in her life. At one point during the service Anya told Anna that she was "making a best friend." The doctors have been extremely pleased with Anya's response to the treatment and her low instance of side-effects. They are always impressed by her energy level, attitude, and resiliency against sickness. We praise God for all of these things and recognize them as direct answers to prayer. In fact, the only indication at this point that anything is wrong with Anya is that she does tire and get fussy easier than usual. The doctors say this is to be expected and attribute it to her low white blood cell count. We have started having her take an afternoon nap again each day and this has helped a great deal. After several months of exhaustion Anna and I are trying to take some time to relax and get breaks from the daily grind now that Anya's care is not so demanding.
Yesterday our whole family had a wonderful time at COSI, a local science center here in Toledo. A large group from the Owosso, MI Church of God came down for the day and invited us to join them. Anya and Esther had a blast (not to mention Anna and me!) playing with all the toys and learning cool science facts. The best part was seeing old friends and enjoying fellowship and time with some of our church family from Michigan.
The only prayer request I'll mention before signing off is to ask you to pray for all those who have been supporting us through prayer, correspondence, finances, etc. We have been overwhelmed with love and care from so many and we ask that you would pray for God's blessing and favor on them. May He supply all of their needs according to His riches and glory.