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.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Prayer requests

Some of you have asked for specific prayer requests. I will always try to include some in posts as we learn more about specific things going on with James. But I do have some specific overall requests from James oncologist that I'd like to ask you to pray for.

The first thing she asked for prayer about was 'wisdom for the doctor and the staff!' I really appreciate that. As a believer, it is something that's very important to her.

As far as James specific prayer needs, she suggested asking folks to pray that:

1. His blood sugar would stay in line--sometimes children with cancer are processing so much waste, in terms of dead cancer cells, the body has a hard time keeping up with other functions. When this happens, sometimes blood sugar gets out of hand and the child needs insulin in addition to everything else.

2. James would have no serious bleeding-- with platelets dropping low sometimes bleeds can be a challenge. A child on chemotherapy shouldn't have things like enemas or rectal temps, which could result in serious bleeding. But bleeds can come from other places too, like the nose.

3. James would have NO infection--this is a biggie. Risk of infection during chemo is high as the same treatment that kills the chemo also reduces the body's ability to fight off infection. Additionally, the steroids compromise the immune system. The biggest risk is during the first month (essentially all of March), but will remain throughout treatment. James is at a slightly higher risk of infection because of his Down syndrome.

4. James would not have trouble with Tumor Lysis Syndrome-- This is one spot where I'd be thrilled to have someone who knows weigh in, because my knowledge is old and limited. This is my understanding and remembrance. Lysis means burst. Chemo destroys tumors by bursting them. Burst tumors become waste in the body and must somehow be eliminated--through stool and urine. Sometimes the bursting tumors overload the kidneys and dialysis becomes necessary. If I remember correctly, kidney damage can be permanent, though it doesn't usually require continued dialysis.

These are specific things that can affect James during the whole process. As I mentioned earlier, I will share many more specific requests as we move through this. So far, the Lord has been very merciful to us... and to James especially.

I am hoping to do some other posts soon... specifically regarding James chemotherapy road map (of which we only have a small part at present) and 'the numbers'... some of the key blood test results that we watch (the oncologist, of course, watches many more!) and see how James is progressing.

Love, Stephanie


Kate said...

Hey Momma!
The other thing cinnamon does besides upping brain function, is lower blood sugar. I read about it in the latest 'No Greater Joy'. They were talking about chewing cinnamon sticks and drinking cinnamon tea. There are also cinnamon pills.
Love you, Kate

Mom said...

Hi Steph - I just received a note from a friend and nurse on my prayer list I've been sending to... she said that elevated blood sugar is also a side effect of steroids. I see Kate's comment on the cinnamon. Interesting.

Vern had said you had used up your calling card minutes - were you able to get another or add to it?

Love you - hugs to H and J

Mary McCarley said...

Hey Stephanie,
I've never done this before...hope I get it right. Just wanted to let you know that our family is praying for James and all the Skelleys. I've passed your situation on to my ATI "Wisdom Searchers" internet mom's group for prayer also. Will pass it on to our church tonight too. We are in SC now. If there's any way we could help, just let us know. My heart goes out to you. (Our youngest, Patrick, is 2 and a half.)
God Bless you all with His mercy, strength, peace, grace and most especially healing!
Mary McCarley

The Skelly Family said...

Thanks Katie, we'll have to look into how much cinnamon if blood sugar becomes a concern. It isn't at the moment, but it could be.

Mom, Thanks for the correction on the steroids/sugar issue. We have one more calling card and we are using it with Katie calling for help in getting stuff sorted to pack!

Mary, You did great! We appreciate all your prayers. God has been very merciful to us through all of this and we are blessed to have LOTS of peace. Thanks for the prayers and please keep them coming. That is probably the best thing for now. Not sure if you know we are/were in the process of returning to GA as this started. We are planning at this point to delay the move.

Love, Stephanie