Thursday, February 28, 2008

One More Week

Anya's overnight stay at the hospital went smoothly and she is quickly progressing through the rest of this phase. In the past two weeks she has finished thirteen days of Thioguinine, six outpatient visits for Ara-C, an outpatient visit for Peg-Asparaginase shots and Vincristine, and a spinal tap. Through all it she has continued to be up and playing despite some nausea, headaches, and fatigue. We have even been able to make a trip to Owosso, MI and to a friend's house here in Oregon for a playdate!

Next Wednesday Anya will return to the clinic for Vincristine, the last chemo treatment in this phase!

(In response to requests to post comments, I believe that we have finally figured out how to allow comments on the blogs. Simply click the "comments" link at the bottom of a post for the pop up window where you can type a note to us and other blog readers. We'd love to hear from you!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back on Track

Anya went into the clinic yesterday where we discovered that her counts have fully recovered! So she will be starting her next phase of chemo this afternoon! She will be admitted to the hospital for an overnight visit for chemo infusion and a spinal tap.

We'll share more about these next four weeks of delayed intensification after we get the schedule from Anya's nurse today. Please pray that God would give us strength and energy to finish out this last month before we enter Maintenance. Also, you can praise God with us that Esther and Isaiah are both feeling MUCH better, making life a lot easier on everybody. Pray for wisdom regarding the possibility of Israel making one more solo trip to KC on account of this most recent delay in Anya's treatment. Thanks again for all the love, prayers and support- we're definitely feeling the effects!

Monday, February 4, 2008

One More Week

Israel took Anya into the clinic today, as promised. Her blood work showed that her counts had actually dropped again since last week so she is not able to start her chemo tomorrow after all. The nurse said that there was no reason for concern, that the effects of chemo are cumulative and so especially in young kids it can cause delayed responses. So we'll take Anya back in on Monday to try again.

Over the weekend we took advantage of the time because all three kids were feeling well and we thought Anya's counts were high enough to be in public. On Saturday we drove to Owosso, MI to attend church where Israel attended when he was in high school. We really enjoyed seeing old friends and Anya loved getting to play with kids again. Thank you to all of you who were there for your love and hospitality...we left "all loved up"! And we sure didn't get to visit with everyone that we would have liked to so we hope to make it there at least one more time before we leave Ohio.

On Sunday we visited the Family Center at the Toledo Museum of Art. The girls loved playing with all of the pretend play toys and painting using the miniature easels. If you live in the area and have kids, I highly suggest that you visit there sometime (!

And just one more thing...the other day the girls and I were sitting at the table. The old hymn, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" came to mind and singing with the gusto an adult free house deserves I belted out "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free, For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me" and at that moment it became real to me! God's eye is on the sparrow and He is watching over me, over us. We are not alone, God is not unaware of our circumstances or yours! And He is not merely a passive spectator; He is working on our behalf and if we acknowledge Him, He is directing our paths. If you haven't already, I encourage you to surrender yourself and your problems to the One who rules the universe, who is BIG enough to care for each and every sparrow, who numbers every hair on our heads. (see Matthew 10:29-31)

Friday, February 1, 2008

No More Chemo Yet

Well, Anya's counts weren't high enough on Wednesday to start chemo on Thursday. So her doctor has asked that we come back in on Monday, February 4th to try again. She is fairly confident that the counts will be high enough by that time to start on Tuesday.

The doctors weren't concerned that Anya's counts hadn't recovered yet since she has been traditionally late in dropping and recovering. And they were thankful for the break so that Anya's bottom will have more time to heal. She is still waking in the night with pain and discomfort from it.

If we start on Tuesday, this phase will be completed in four weeks bar any infections. After that Anya will be able to start Maintenance once her counts recover again after this final part of delayed intensification. The next few weeks will include clinic visits for intravenous chemo, oral chemo, spinal taps, and a stay or two at the hospital.

Also wanted to share one story: In keeping with Israel's side of the family's tradition of giving each other lots of nicknames, we call Anya 'bean' and Esther 'pie'. Last night we were sitting at the table eating chili (we make ours similar to goulash). Anya picked through her bowl and ate everything except the beans. She asked for more pasta and I told her that she needed to eat two beans before she could get anything else. To encourage her my dad said, "You need to eat beans because after all your mommy calls you 'beany'." Anya sat and thought for a moment and then said, "Then I would prefer to be called 'pie'." Wouldn't we all?!