Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fever finally gone...

Hopefully. It has been over 24 hours since James' last fever. I think my last post we had been to the ER because he was running a temperature of 101.5. They sent us home because his counts were good. On Monday his temperature got to 102.3 and they wanted to see him again in the clinic. Once again they took blood and his counts came back better than the day before. Because his counts were so good and he was showing no other symptoms it looked like he had a virus. Today was our normal clinic day and also the day James starts steroids. He got a chemo and antibiotic through his port, steroids twice today, and will get 2 more chemos by mouth tonight. As always this is a very trying time so we covet your prayers.

On a happy note, today Greg and I celebrate 4 years of marriage. Thanks again for your prayers. Here are some pictures from the day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fever is back...

While we were getting ready to go celebrate with the Ryan family I took James' temperature because he felt warm. It was 101.5. We called MD Anderson and due to the fact there were busy we decided to get in the car and go down there. They took some blood and determined that his counts were good so they have sent us home. When we got home I took his temp again and it is still 101.5. Please pray that the fever breaks for good and that James would feel himself again. James will receive chemo and start steroids on Wednesday. Thanks for your continued support and prayers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We're Home

Finally....We left at 7:30 this morning and pulled up in our driveway at 10:00pm. We had a great time in TN although it was more challenging this time with James not feeling good. I am glad to say the fever broke on Wednesday night and we did not have to return to Vanderbilt. James does go to the clinic this week so the doctors will be able to evaluate him completely. I will post more pictures later but I will give you a glimpse of a proud uncle and his nieces and nephews...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fever Continues...

Well, we have officially made Vanderbilt Children's Hospital part of our summer vacation. We have called them approximately 7 times and had one visit regarding James' persistent fever (hovering around 101 for almost three days). After our last call tonight, we were told that if his fever continues through tomorrow, we will need to make another visit to have him examined once again. Joy and I believe (in our expert medical opinion) that he has a nagging virus. He has understandably been extremely whiny and having little patience with us or himself. As a result, we have been understandably whiny and having little patience with him. It's a vicious cycle you see. It is hard being away from the familiarity of home, but we are thankful that we have been here in the company of our supportive Tennessee family and friends. James has been doing so well and it comes as no surprise that the day after we give our testimony at FBC Lewisburg, James begins to be affected by a virus. We know that we can choose our attitude each day, but your prayers for James' healing, patience all around, a continued fun visit to TN, and a safe drive home are coveted. Thank you for continuing to walk alongside us, lifting us up on prayer.

On a sidenote, we had a wonderful visit today with our friends Michael, Jana, Joshua, and Andi Kelley (check out Joshua's blog in our links). Pictures are forthcoming upon our return to Texas!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Please pray

We haven't posted in a week because we have been travelling. We left in the middle of the night on Wednesday to drive to TN-not something we will do again! James and Adrianne have had a blast with their cousins. Sunday night after James had been outside he came in and threw up everywhere. All of us thought that he got too hot and he seemed to feel better after a while. Yesterday morning he was sleeping alot longer than usual and when I went to get him up he was burning up. We came downstairs and he got sick again. Long story short- we made a trip to Vanderbilt to have him evaluated and to have his counts done. Everyone was so awesome there. Our friends Jana and Michael Kelley(the family we have met since beginning this journey-Joshua Michael Kelley)were great in helping us navigate Vanderbilt. The doctor we saw was great and thought James looked good. His counts came back good and we are waiting for the blood culture. Please pray that his fever would stay down and be free from any infections.

I promise to post pictures soon!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary !?!

How surreal that a year has passed since we heard the words "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia" or ALL. I can feel that surge of hurt, disbelief, and utter helplessness when I go back to that moment. The pain that James endured is truly unfathomable (i.e., through being poked with needles, being held down for dressing changes, having a raw bottom from the unpleasant combination of chemo and steroids, all the while having brief periods of respite in his mommy and daddy's arms). As I think back to those moments, I cry and remember that love that has continuously surrounded us every step of the way - a love that can only be adequately described in God's Word (1 Cor. 13:13). While thinking back can produce much sorrow over what may have been potentially lost through James' diagnosis, we choose to press on, take hold of James' excellent prognosis, and remember this past year for how far we have come in our faith in God, our faith in our friends in family to be present and willing to open their lives, and our faith in each other as husband and wife. It is truly amazing to think all that has transpired this past year. While we are not promised a healthy tomorrow, we know unequivocally that God is always present and giving us strength when we have none.
While we have teared up reflecting on the past year, James has shown us the value of living for today and not being bogged down by the trials that we face. For instance, James began this morning with a bang. It didn't take a CSI team to figure out that he was highly irritated that he wasn't promptly gotten after awakening this morning. In his non-steroid induced Hulk moment, he shredded the book, What God Made. He also pulled off his pajamas and was likely about to break through the slats of his crib with a little Kung-fu action.We decided to go to IHOP this morning to celebrate James' excellent prognosis with a hearty breakfast. Before we left, you can see the wind-up car that we got James to celebrate his anniversary.Seriously, a neighbor brought over a Smart car for James to see and sit in. It was surprisingly roomy for a 28 pound 2-year-old. After sitting in the clown car, we ran a few errands, with most of the day being spent playing, reading, and attempting to hit the baseball. You can see in the sequence below that James intently watched for the ball, then after grazing the ball with his stubby bat, he threw his hands up to indicate home run. When I told him, "run, run, run," he promptly hurled his bat across the room and ran about ten feet before returning to home. He ended the pre-nap day with a round of golf and some light reading.
Today is a good day and we are most thankful for the friends and family that have rallied around us, been consistently available, and have gone the extra mile to help us when we had little emotional strength to press on. Thank you!
I am so proud of Joy as she will be completing the half-marathon in January with Team in Training as her sponsor. She is consistently getting up, training early in the morning, and pushing through soreness to do the best she can do. If you feel led, check out this link ( and consider donating to Team in Training, as all donations go directly to the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Rockport, TX

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. James and Adrianne loved the water. James had a great time playing in the sand and Adrianne had a great time eating it! Aunt Janice, Mike,and Frank were wonderful hosts and it was nice to get away. James finished his last dose of steroids tonight. This time went ok. We had some unhappiness from time to time but all in all he did great. We are gearing up for a Ryan family reunion in South Padre.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cycle 3

Today marks the beginning of our third cycle on Maintenance. By the time our treatment is done, I am not sure how many cycles we will do. James had a great clinic visit. It took a little bit longer to get him in for his procedure and he wasn't very happy. The two hours before his procedure he ask for milk every couple of minutes. So needless to say we were glad when it was over and he could eat.

James couldn't get the cheerios in quick enough!

His counts looked great today. His ANC had dropped from around 7000 to 2000. That is a good thing because they know the chemo is working. We started another 5 days of steroids so as always we ask for your prayers. We will be travelling in the next few days for some fun and relaxation. Please pray that he feels good and that we are free from sickness.

Here are some more pics from our visit today.