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.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Better than the doctors thought

I love it when Dr. Keller, James' oncologist, says he's sooo impressed with how James is doing... that he is doing so much better this cycle of chemo than Dr. Keller ever thought he would do! All the glory goes to the Lord.

In November, we met Hannah Cate and her mom. Hannah Cate has Down syndrome and was diagnosed on November 1st with BOTH kinds of acute leukemia (ALL and AML). Their family also has six children and homeschools and Keleigh, Hannah Cate's mom, decided to ask folks to just pray that Hannah Cate wouldn't need to be in the hospital (they also live four hours away from Atlanta!). So, folks have been praying, and God has been saying, "yes".

Since then, we have asked local friends to ask God with us that if it would be His will, we would avoid any overnight hospital visits this year. So far, God has said yes--and we are very, very grateful!

Yesterday, we had a clinic visit and Dr. Keller was *very* pleased with James' labs. (WBC- 5.68; Hgb-11.8; Platelets-803K; ANC-3,680) Since James was doing so great ('didn't he have the flu since you were here last?!!!'), he got methotrexate last night and today at home. Dr. Keller also decided that one of his chemo drugs (mercaptopurine, or 6MP) could be increased closer to a full dose. He had previously been getting a little more than 1/2 dose.

Coming down the road: In two weeks, on Feb 21 (which just happens to be Vern's birthday), we will take James to Macon for counts and then, assuming all is well, he will get chemo at home that night and the next day. The following week, Feb 28th, he is scheduled to return to Atlanta for a spinal tap and vincristine. Vincristine is the chemo drug that has wreaked so much havoc with James' GI tract, resulting in 1) surgery to repair a gastro-colic fistula (where his old g-tube site was) and put in a new g-tube; 2) enterocolitis and an ileostomy, which we all hope will be reversed once James' treatment is complete; 3) two hospital stays due to eroded g-tube sites--one of which the g-tube fell out of the site, the erosion was so sudden and large.

While we are concerned about this upcoming chemo, we would like to ask you to join us asking the Lord for special protection for James: that the chemo would attack it's intended victim (any remaining leukemia cells that we can't detect) and would not harm the nerves (especially in his intestinal tract), that his body would continue to work well (as it has been lately) to move the food and liquid through his little system, not allowing any back up or any erosion of his g-tube site.

Our first prayer is that God would be glorified and that His will would be done. If our desire is not in line with His will, we want His will.

We are praying now...would you join us? As we get closer to the time James gets his chemo, we hope to post a 'sign up' to pray for James over a 24-hour pray push, standing in the gap for James.

One more tidbit of encouraging news: Dr. Keller said that when James' nasal swab came back positive for influenze, he really wanted to keep him in the hospital. But he looked so good, it just didn't make sense! PTL!!!

We are grateful for your support and prayers for us and for James! Thanks for being an important part of James' team!!!

Love, Stephanie

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