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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Simple Things

It's the simple things in life that count.

Daffodils brightening up a room.

Shadows of the daffodils dancing on the walls.
Seeing a hummingbird drinking nectar, in those said shadows on the wall.

Being discharged from the hospital late last evening, the same day that my dad was discharged from his hospital room.

Medicine that helps stop Jacob's nausea (yes, this round is hitting him harder and he has thrown up a couple times.)

Awaking to a green world this morning. We left brown grass and dreary surroundings last week only to return to budding trees, lush green grass, and flowers emerging from the ground. It's amazing how quick these changes come about in Spring, and a week stuck inside a hospital room proves how quickly the earth awakens with warm weather.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chemo - Day 4

Today starts Jacob's 4th day of chemo...second time around, that is. He's been doing well. No nausea or vomiting, though yesterday he was more picky about food and didn't eat as much as usual.

He's been spending time in bed - watching television, playing his Nintendo DS, playing games, or working with the tutor here at the hospital. I've been working on getting him out of his room more as well, so he went to the carnival that Child Life set up, went to story time, spent time on a craft in the playroom last night, played in the playroom with his brother and sister when they visited (and asked for Becca to come back only minutes after she left - he misses his sister the most when we are all split up during these hospital stays). It's not all medicine and sickness for the kids when they are in the hospital...there are several organizations working together to try to make parts fun for them as well.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we are able to go home tomorrow evening. We will be back here soon enough to harvest the stem cells, and a few days after that to start another round of chemo.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Within the midst of bad news, we have been savoring the simple moments.

Trips to the fish hatchery.

Stops for ice cream.

Piles of books from the library for bedtime stories.

Sunshine on our faces.

The first day of wearing shorts.

Digging in the dirt.

Hikes with daddy.

Weeks like we've had lately only confirm that it truly is the little things that count.

Jacob starts treatment on Monday. He will have all his baseline scans, a hearing test, and be in the hospital for his 5 days of chemotherapy. We will then go home and in about two weeks when his counts bottom out and just begin to rise again, we will then head back to the hospital for his stem cell harvesting.

My dad is still in ICU but should be able to be moved to a regular room tomorrow, and should be coming home on Monday or Tuesday. Tests confirm that he had a massive heart attack and that his heart function is at about 50% at the moment. Doctors expect those numbers to rise in the coming weeks but it will be a long road to recovery for him.

Count your blessings today - there is always something to be thankful for.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Prayers, Please

My dad was rushed by ambulance to the nearest large city hospital where it was found that he has had a heart attack. He had surgery to have two stents put in place. He will be in ICU for a few days and should be discharged on Monday, if all goes well (the same day that Jacob starts his second round of chemo).

My dad is doing well and in stable condition. More testing will come later to assess the damage. I can't wait to visit him and give him a huge hug.

While one could curse God or wonder why all these things are happening (and all at once!) I instead thank God that I have my little boy by my side and that my dad is alive and recovering tonight.

I ask for prayers tonight for a speedy and complete recovery for my dad, a good start to Jacob's treatment on Monday, and comfort and peace for our whole family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Pathology has been confirmed and a treatment plan has been worked out. Jacob will be admitted to the hospital on Monday, the 19th, to start treatment (again). We will be there for five days and besides the chemotherapy he will be having a hearing test and baseline scans done. About two weeks later, once his counts just begin to rise after dropping from the chemo we will be going back to the hospital for a day or two (or possibly three or four...depending on how long it takes them to get enough stem cells) to harvest his stem cells and freeze for transplant later this summer.

For now, Jacob (and all the rest of us!) are soaking up this sun and enjoying the lovely weather. His wounds from the surgery are all but healed and we are getting into the groove of flushing his port each evening. Tomorrow is our first solo dressing change, which I'm a bit nervous about, but soon enough it will be just another thing to do each week. Along with G-CSF shots, medication, blood draws, etc. It's all part of this game called cancer, a game which we would rather not partake in, but one which we intend to win.

I will continue to update on this blog. On down time, I may even write a post or two not related to cancer (this time around I intend to make cancer work around our life, not base our life around cancer).

If you are on Facebook, you can also "like" Jacob's page to get more frequent updates on all the little things as well.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Second Time Around

Jacob's chest tube is now out and he is enjoying a peaceful afternoon nap. If the x-ray later this afternoon looks good we will be going home tomorrow morning.

Once the surgeon gives his okay, the oncologist will put together the treatment plan and start chemo (I am assuming sometime next week). The oncologist has spoken to me about the treatment plan - which will involve 16 weeks of chemo (5 days on - 3 weeks off), then Jacob's stem cells will be harvested. After they have a good amount of healthy stem cells, they will freeze them and start Jacob on some pretty hard core chemotherapy. His stem cells will then be reintroduced to him. At that point, we will probably be planning on a 4 week hospital stay. I'm not sure on the time line of the whole treatment and will know more once the plans are finalized.

I've been busy these past few days learning about how to care for his dual Hickman line. It's different then a port, which is under the skin, because it is two long tubes sticking from his chest. The difference is that the dual line can handle stronger chemo, which is why a port wasn't possible. The dual line involves a lot more care - hep locking once a day, dressing changes weekly (or when it gets wet). Looks like Jacob will have to put off swimming classes for another summer. I'm beginning to remember the vast amounts of medications, shots that he needed, blood transfusions, risks of infection, other risks. I start to feel sick, overwhelmed, scared, and mad.

And then I stop. I remind myself to take it one day at a time. I tell myself we gotta do what we gotta do.

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:13: "I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

We can do this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 1

I'll get straight to the point. I don't have any fancy words on my mind or the focus to write much at all. Pathology reports confirmed that it is indeed cancer. I haven't spoken to the oncologists yet after these findings but last week it sounded like if it turned out to be cancer there would be a much stronger regimen of chemotherapy and possibly a stem-cell transplant (taken from his own stem cells). We have a long road ahead of us...but right now I'm watching my little man sleeping peacefully in his hospital bed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Jacob has surgery tomorrow morning to remove the spot on his lung. We will find out the pathology reports at that time too. Because they are cutting the lung, he will need a chest tube, which means a 2-5 day hospital stay. This is a nightmare, but I know that no matter what, God will carry us through this time.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rock the Laundry Winner

Random.org drew #11 which is:

It's not my most hated chore, but I don't love it either. It's nice when it's all done!

Please e-mail me at babys_mama1 "at" yahoo.com with your name and address, choice of formula and scent and it will be sent out to you. Must e-mail by March 10th or another name will be drawn. Thanks!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


There is an "area of concern" on Jacob's left lung. We meet with the surgeon on Tuesday and he will be having surgery on Wednesday to remove it and biopsy it. If needed, a port will be put back in place at that time. While there are other reasons that this spot may be there (infection? something benign?), given Jacob's history all our minds jump to one of the likely scenarios. Praying that it's something simple...this boy has been through enough!!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

6 Months

It's been 6 months since Jacob finished his treatments. Which means, it's time for another CT scan tomorrow. Please keep him, and us, in your prayers. I'll update tomorrow evening.


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