Sunday, August 5, 2007

Day 24 of 1095

We are thankful that James was discharged from the hospital late yesterday. Upon discharge, James was in great spirits and was showing off his basic baby sign skills to the MDA staff. We had to remind them that James is not a toy and was not put there for their amusement. Kidding! It's nice for James to get such attention, as we know many trained professional keep him on the forefront of their mind. After arriving home late yesterday, we thought James would be excited. Unfortunately, the side effects from the chemo started to rear their ugly head around the time James arrived home. He was restless all day, frequently crying and difficult to console. James was also having difficulty walking. Numbness and joint pain are potential side effects of the Vincristine that he receives intravenously one time per week. Also, after being put to bed, James awoke at 12:00, 2:00, and 5:00 am. Each time, he required a diaper change (his diaper rash is worsening since his most recent chemo) and had to be rocked to sleep. The rocking to sleep took anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. We all need sleep!

On a high note, James' blood levels are continuing to creep back into the normal range, making all these side effects bearable for the time being. James will be going in at the end of this week for a BMA. We (and the doctors) fully anticipate remission. Being in remission is key to moving to the next phase of treatment (Consolidation). Despite this whirlwind of events and emotions, Joy and I are keeping good spirits and supporting one another through taking time to talk and process through this new phase of our lives. We SO much miss going to church and look forward to the day when James' blood count allows us to return. Here are our most recent prayer requests:

  1. Praise! We are nearing the end of induction (1st phase of chemotherapy of the 3 year process). James will go off of the steroid that is causing him to look like the Pillsbury Doh Boy.
  2. Praise! James' blood levels continue to rebound. Among them, the Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) has raised from 0 to 840 since the process started. Normal ANC is around 1500. Neutrophils kill the bacteria that enter his body. All this says is that his bone marrow is starting to do what it was intended to do.
  3. James has begun to experience more side effects, many of which are difficult to ascertain because he cannot tell us when something is hurting. You will see below that we clipped James' hair because it was falling out in bunches. Pray that we will identify how to help him best and the side effects will dissipate.
  4. James will likely have a bone marrow aspiration (BMA) at the end of the week. Pray for REMISSION!


Amy Blanton said...

You do not know me, but I have been following the story of your sweet baby since day one. I am a co-worker of John Ildebrando and was among the first to start worrying and praying for James. Please remember, He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." I am praying for you daily during this journey of ups and downs.

Anonymous said...

Joy & Greg - such a precious sight to see James eating and smiling!!! If we could all be like little children and just trust and be content. Hang in there and may God continue to give you strenght and courage and He holds you in His BIG hands!
Love you all and will continue to lift you in prayers and thoughts.
Kathy Davis

Reagan Mann said...

Greg and Joy,
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers daily. Baby James is so adorable. We love the sweet pictures. We will continue to pray for you all. Love, Terry and Reagan Mann

Anonymous said...

That precious boy!!
God is sooo goood and he will continue to hold baby james as well as you both through this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
We Love You!!

The Novak's