Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy 2014!

It is exactly one month and five days from the beginning of 2014!  Yeah!

We have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to look forward to.  Adam is in 1st grade and Rachel started Kindergarten in September.  They are both great students.  Adam did a writing assignment (ok, 2 sentences... it is first grade after all), and the prompt was "if you could be any age, which would it be and why?"  His response, "If I could be any age, I would be zero so I could start all over."  On the surface you might think this is his asking for a fresh, healthy start.  Oh no, don't be fooled!  He would like to be younger than school-aged so he can spend his days playing with his cousins.  He is not fond of homework, but he does it.  And he got his first 4.0 this past quarter!  Not bad for an old soul but kid at heart :) Extra curricular-ly, Adam is playing basketball and just begun baseball practice this past Monday.  He enjoys sports and is an aggressive player at both.  I am just so thankful for his health and his ability to run around with kids his age.

Throwback Thursday
He did end up with a fever a week ago.  He has been admitted to get antibiotics for what I am going to call the "February Flu."  It has been like clock work, sneaking up on him.  Luckily, this year it was just a late night/early morning in the ER, and he was able to come home. There are only two other strange side effects he has had.  One is that he lost all his finger/toe nails.  Something (the doctor estimates in last June) shocked his system and killed the nail beds.  That was fun this past Nov-Dec.  The other is a rash on his face that comes and goes.  It looks like just eczema, and at his age, he hardly notices.  So, altogether, still smooth sailing.

First Day of School, 1st grade
We continue to take oral chemo and go in monthly for injections.  He has an LP in March, June, and September.  In October, we are scheduled to be done. Yes, I said it, "done."  Twenty nine months down and eight months remaining.  I will probably be getting nostalgic about the fact that it has been (almost) three years, Adam was four, and what an interesting experience it is.  Yes, "interesting" is the best adjective I can come up with, but I have eight months to improve.  Until then, thanks for listening.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We're Still Here

Time flies!  I can't believe it's been 8 months since my last post and update on Adam.  It's hard to find much to say because everything has been going smoothly as far as his health is concerned. Praise God!  It is difficult still to think that he was even sick or when we go to the clinic, that we are there for chemo treatments.  He is like any other kid - looks healthy, acts healthy.  Actually, he might even be in better shape because he is checked every month with a blood draw and physical exam.  We are in good hands.  This past appointment was the first real talks about "the end." Not the end of times!  The end of treatments.  Adam has 14 more months of chemo treatments (until Oct 2014).  After that he will go in for check ups and blood draws on a "weaning" schedule (every month for two years, then every three months, then yearly).  While he has won the battle on cancer, he is still getting treated to be independent of new blast cells forming (as in normal functioning without the chemo).  He is so close, it is exciting.

So, status update.  In June, Adam completed his first year in school and his first tee ball season.  Both were epic, of course.  Adam earned an almost perfect report card of "outstandings."  I am so proud of his hard work (and competitive nature) to do well.  In tee ball, he was  a strong player.  I am uploading a huge hit at the end of his season that he is so proud of (this is when the coaches started pitching instead of using the tee).  He had great coaches that made it a fun season, and he made some new friends too.

We are going into FIRST GRADE next week.  Rachel is starting KINDERGARTEN this year.  Can't believe I'll be a mom of school-aged kids.  I am too young for that, right?  It is, in my currently mournful state, the beginning of the end.  In other words, the beginning of my kids being independently functioning individuals.  In many ways this makes me sad, but I am also excited.  I learned a lot about Adam's character and personality when we went to school last year, and I know there is much more to witness, come alongside, and, maybe even, redirect.  I think Dr. Seuss puts it best, "Oh the places (they) will go."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12/22/12 - Another Hospital Visit

With three months past, there is a lot to report.  Here's the top three.

1) We've moved!  We found a beautiful house in Castro Valley and couldn't turn it down - literally.  A nice, level court, near a beautiful park.  As hesitant as I was at first, God wanted us to have it.  There is no doubt.  Every time I tried to turn the house down, something happened that made it obvious that I couldn't.  Mysterious, but obvious. So, here we are! And we are very thankful at that.

2) Adam received a "character" award from his teacher in October.  We were very proud of him being named, "loyal." Very fitting and a great honor for him to be recognized in front of his class.  We are also proud of Adam's very first report card.  He got all great marks.  In fact, only a few below the highest possible marks - I think in the departments of cutting and coloring in the lines.  He is a very good reader, loves Math games, and (maybe best of all) shows great behavior in the classroom.  I am just excited that he loves to learn and wants to obey his teacher - an awesome start to his school career.  And it is definitely a tribute to his fantastic school and fantastic teacher! 

3) This past Monday, Adam was sent home from school with a fever.  Thinking it was no big deal, I took him to Eden Medical Center (down the street from us) to do all the tests.  Unfortunately, five hours later, the doctor comes back with the bad news.  While I am thinking we are going home, she has arranged an ambulance to transport us to Children's Hospital.  Surprise! Not to mention, Adam has to be the only kid alive that does not think an ambulance is a "cool" thing to ride in, but at least it's 11 pm, and he is too tired to stay awake anyways.

Turns out, Adam needs a blood transfusion, as his red blood count has dropped below the normal limit.  Tuesday morning, early, this is done, but still running a fever.  Wednesday passes, Thursday.  He is not eating a lot, doesn't want to leave the bed, and, unfortunately, the only thing on TV these days is Disney teeny-bopper shows showing kids being bratty and exaggerated and disobeying their parents (who are also annoying to watch).  Just to clarify, I wouldn't call the teenagers I know "teeny-bopper," but the kids on tv... can't think of anything else to call them.  They embody what that word means to me.  Really unfortunate, because teenagers are much smarter, not so shallow, and are actually enjoyable to be around.

Anyways, rant over... Thursday night we are itching to go home.  The nurse comes to check Adam's vitals at about 7 pm, and, bang, another fever.  The feeling of dread, we're not leaving until Saturday now, hits me.  And then some logic... They are taking his temperature under his arm.  Coincidentally the same arm I have been sitting next to for the past eight hours (all day).  So, I ask her to check the other arm.  No fever. She says, "strange," apparently it shouldn't matter, and checks his mouth.  A third reading (not even close to the other two).  She leaves and wheels in another thermometer.  This time she gets three very close (very under the fever limit) readings.  So, naturally, I ask, "so, it's possible he hasn't had a fever in awhile, right?" And I proceed to ask for the doctor and am packing to go home.  She came back reporting that the doctor says no, but maybe tomorrow.  Not to call everyone out on the issue, but the doctor (the next day) actually hadn't heard anything about this little mishap, not even about the technician who came in to recalibrate the machine in the middle of the night.  Nonetheless, she helps us get out of there asap and we're on our way home Friday morning. 

The important thing is probably that nothing was seriously wrong with Adam - just some virus he picked up somewhere.  And the good news, it probably only lasted a couple days, even though we were hanging out in isolation for four.  He seems to be unscathed, so I'm happy too.  Especially since it's in plenty of time for Christmas festivities.  We're taking the kids to the Nutcracker today!  We'll see how they handle ballet.  Until then, a best-of-intentions promise to add some updates in the next few days, just to catch up.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

9/13/12 - Cancer-Free Anniversar-ee

I just want to report that Adam has been officially cancer-free for a year as of yesterday!  He went to clinic onTuesday for his monthly treatment, and he continues to do well.

Kindergarten is awesome for Adam. He loves going to school, loves his (awesome) teacher, and is learning how to make/be a friend. It has been a smooth transition for him, but a crazy one for the parents. What a whole new world now that so many other kids are involved! And all of a sudden Adam eats a lot, again. This time, not medically induced :)

I would also like to mention that Rachel had her first public performance at the Castro Valley fall festival this past Sunday. 14 Minnie Mouses from the 3-4 year old dance class performed on stage for the first time.  There were curlers involved, gel, and safety pins. It was a big success. And she happens to be the most beautiful 4 year old dancer of the group (not biased at

       

And Adam held an iguana...

Thursday, August 23, 2012