One Big Adventure
An opportunity to log in some of the thoughts and activities of our homeschooling family of eight. We love books and good food and aspire to a Christ-centered, multi-generational, agrarian life.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


The first phase of chemotherapy, where they do their darnedest to knock out the cancer without knocking out the patient, is called induction. I am under the impression that the length of the induction phase varies for different types of cancer. James induction phase is 29 days. Today, he graduates from that phase. I don't remember the name of the next phase, for certain. I think it is consolidation. It starts in probably seven days. In that time, we hope to have travelled to Georgia and be able to start this second phase at Emory in Atlanta.

This noon, the new fellow, Troy Lund did James' bone marrow aspiration and spinal tap, in which James got his last dose of chemo for the induction phase. The results from these samples will tell us how James really did during induction and that will be a huge factor in which level of the study James will be treated under. The initial results will be back this afternoon or tomorrow, but the final, definitive results won't be in until sometime next week. We do not have to wait for those results to travel (HOORAY!!!)

Once James starting stooling again, he got diarrhea and a rash. The rash seems to be clearing. Because of the diarrhea, James automatically went into contact precautions because of the risk that he had something called CDIF (please don't ask me what that means). It is, essentially, an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the bowels due to excessive use of antibiotics. It can cause problems if transferred to people with low immunity (like people undergoing chemo), but it isn't a problem for healthy people. Once he goes onto contact precautions, they take a stool sample and culture it. Thankfully, James' culture came back negative--it took about 28 hours. One less thing to think about.

Dr. Troy is hopeful about getting us out of here soon. So we have another strong advocate in our corner. I have a feeling things are gonna start moving fast!

Please continue to pray:
  1. for protection from infection (a 'new' risk with the spinal tap)
  2. for physical comfort for James (he is doing pretty well, so far)
  3. for things to come together with his tube feeding, especially the nighttime drip feeding.
  4. for things to come together with timing of departure, travel to Georgia. I would like to ask that the Lord would allow us some time at home, in Toomsboro, with the family, before we begin the next phase of chemo.

Love, Stephanie

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