Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blood counts dip

Yesterday was lab day and for the first time in a really long time Em's ANC was under 1000, it was 900. She is mildly neutropenic but they are going to keep her on %100 dosage this week. I am worried that all the exposure to germs at school is paying its toll and I hope she can regain her counts and stay on %100 dosage. She hasn't made it through a 3 month cycle at %100 and she is so close I'd like to see that happen.

Emily is really enjoying school and yesterday started a gymnastics class.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Third grade here she comes

Today Emily had her labs. I wasn't certain how her levels were going to be, since just yesterday she spent the entire morning throwing up. She either had a virus, food poisoning, or maybe side effects of chemo, we aren't sure but she woke up sick and was better by 2pm. Apparently whatever it was had little effect on her ANC, because it was at 2800 today when we got get results from today's draw. That means she remains on %100 dosage and continues to march to the end of treatment and being cured from her disease.

Today was also the LAST day of summer vacation. I personally am sad to see her go back to school, the vacation seemed much too short. At 4pm today the classes were posted and Emily got the teacher she really wanted and was happy about it. On the sad side her best buddies, many kids she has been with since first grade are not in her class. I think it will be a good experience for her and I am highly confident she will make new friends and keep her old ones close too.

I am often asked, "Chris, how is Emily doing academically in school?" I always and correctly say she is doing well and even though she has missed a lot of school, so far she has kept up. To back that claim I have her STAR test results, and Emily tested at "Advanced Level" in both Language Arts and Math. I also want to point out that she had to take these tests the day after returning from a hospitalization for pneumonia and was really sick. This goes to show just how smart of a person Emily is, she has missed a good part of both first and second grades and has been through so much that most can't even relate to, and she still manages to score high in school. I am just totally amazed and want to brag about her.

I can't believe this cancer treatment has spanned 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd grade. Talk about a marathon. Tracy and I want to thank everyone for your support so far, we are almost there, just 6 months to go.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Emily's counts were perfect.

We got Emily's lab results this morning since the lab draw was so late yesterday, her results were "perfect" as they have been for weeks now !

WBC 7.1
Hgb 13.3
Plt 389K
ANC 6000

Her ANC is higher this week you might notice, that's to be expected as this week is Prednisone week, and that's what it does.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monthly IV Chemo, exam, and quarterly chest x-ray

Today was a big day at the clinic, Emily was in for her monthly treatments. We started her Prednisone this week and she is just finishing up day 2 of 5. This month she had a chest x-ray along with her physical exam. She looked great and her xray was clear. Dr. Link also noted her blood counts have been looking really good.

After her exam, it was time for her IV Vinchristine and blood draw. This was probably the roughest IV we have had in treatment, it just didn't go Emily's way. They had to poke her 4 times to get a vein and they never really got a good draw at all. In the end they were able to give her the medication. Both Emily's hands were used and she will probably have some bruises.

Besides treatment Emily is still enjoying her summer. Swimming as much as she can, riding her bike anytime she can get me to take her for a ride. She is so tan and healthy looking and gets compliments on her "hair cut". She starts third grade one week from today, I can't believe how quickly the summer has passed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back home

Our vacation ended last night, we flew from Denver back to San Francisco and then drove back down to San Jose. The second half of the trip was not quite as fun as the first half because Tracy got really sick with a bad head cold that put her in bed for 2 days. We all made the best of it and still managed to have a really fun trip.

After Breckenridge we went to Boulder CO. In Boulder we met up with some really good friends, a couple who I had gone to college with. They used to live in Colorado and were also back in town for a visit before they move to Germany later this month. They have a son 6 months younger than Emily and a daughter a year younger than Haley, so we had a good pack of kids to explore the town. We had ice cream up on "the Hill" and then walked to Pearl Street where the kids played and we eventually had dinner.

Towards the end of that day Tracy started to feel sick, and by the next morning she was officially down for the count. We had been invited to a all afternoon get together in Littleton. I left Tracy with some cold medication and she got some rest in the hotel, and I headed down to the Denver area with the kids. We had the best time. Our friends, the Rasmussen's, were there and a lot of their friends from the Denver area, and everyone had kids, most of whom were 8 or younger, and most of them girls. Tracy was able to sleep all day, and the girls and I had fun into the early evening. We got back to Boulder around 9pm and went to bed. The next day we slept in late. We moved from Boulder down to Denver for a change of scene. Tracy was still really sick and wanted to be in bed. We checked into a really nice hotel with really comfortable beds and Tracy got some more rest. I spent the afternoon shopping with the kids and kept them as entertained as I could in Denver. Tracy started to feel better that evening, with one last day on the trip.

Tracy and I wanted to do something really fun for the kids. We researched and found a place called "Water World" which boasts to be one of the nations largest water parks, it was 64 acres. So on the last day of the trip, which was a nice hot summer day we headed out with the kids to Water World. It was a really fun day and Emily has been talking about it ever since, so it was worth it. Tracy stayed with Haley and did mellow water fun, and Emily was up for pushing her limits on some CRAZY water slides, and I had a blast going with her. At the end of the day we changed from our swim wear into clothes for the plane and headed to DIA to fly home. We grabbed a bite to eat and all sat together on the plane and flew back home.

Today, our first day back I was worried about Emily's lab tests. We had played so hard, and she had been sharing a hotel room with Tracy who was really sick, 2 plane trips with potentially sick people etc. We had been in the altitude and she was just plain worn out. Well, I think a week in Colorado must be good for you, because her ANC today was up to 1600, 600 higher than the day before we left.