Archive for December, 2006

Hospital treatment

Tuesday we were scheduled to stay over at All Children’s Hospital so Adelaine could get her treatment. Usually, she gets her chemo at home and at the clinic, but she needed to be monitored more closely with this type and dose. Before checking into the hospital we stopped in at the clinic to have her blood levels checked. After determining that her body could handle the treatments, they started making all the arrangements. By that time both boys were with us, and we headed across the street to the hospital. The first thing we did, of course, was decorate her princess (hospital) bracelet with stickers!

While we were there she did get to have some fun. We packed a back pack full of things to do. We played play dough, had some sticker fun, painted, colored, put puzzles together (she’s really good at jigsaw puzzles and can do a 25 piece all by herself), and even painted our nails! It was fun having some girl time, minus all the treatments!

During the night she got fluids and chemo through her port. Then this morning it was off to the OR to have spinal injections. For the next two weeks she is going to be hit really heard with chemo. We will be giving it to her every night and she will be going to the clinic daily, until next Friday, to have injections into her port.

Already she is showing signs of how harsh the drugs are. She’s extremely pale and tired. She came home and took a four hour nap today. For the past few weeks she’s been hiked up on steroids, hardly sleeping and eating everything in sight. Now the pendulum is beginning to swing in the other direction. They say she will be very tired and have a loss of appetite. By next week the treatments will supposedly bottom out her blood levels and she will be very prone to illness and infection. She will also probably need a blood transfusion or two. (Please pray against these things.)

She’s been through so much already, and has made it this far. I pray that she will be able to handle these treatments well and surprise everyone with how good she’s doing. We are very close to the maintenance phase of her treatments, which should be much more manageable for us all.

While the girls were at the hospital, the boys had some fun themselves. Mason had his school Christmas performance, where he sang (with the group)and played the maracas. I was sad to miss it, but at least he did get to go. They said it was a lot of fun and took lots of pictures. Anyway, after that they did what they always do when its mom’s turn at the hospital. They stopped by the bakery to buy some goodies, and then camped out in the tent! (in our bedroom)

With the hospital stay behind us, now we can focus once again on the upcoming holidays. It’s great to be home with the whole family all under one roof!

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Jesus and adelaine

Jesus and adelaine

Adelaine was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Leukemia is a cancer of the marrow and blood. Bone marrow is the inner part of the bones where red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are formed. Leukemia affects the white blood cells. Acute lymphocytic leukemia (All) results from a genetic injury to the DNA of a single cell in the bone marrow that reproduces itself.

Basically, this disease causes normal white blood cells to become irregular and rapidly reproduce, these cells do not function as normal blood cells. They do not know what causes this to happen. It is not hereditary or contagious.

Leukemias are further classified by their B-cell, or T-cell status when examined under a microscope.
Early Pre-B cell 57% -65% of patients
Pre-B cell 20%-25% of patients (Adelaine’s)
B-cell 25-38% of patients
T- cell 13%-15% of patients

30 years of research has done so much for the understanding and outcome of childhood Leukemias. With Adelaine’s type, there is a cure rate of 95%- 98%! But she must under go 2 ½ years of intense chemotherapy according to the research.

This imformation was pulled from the American Cancer Society website. Learn more by clicking on … Cancer.asp

In so many ways Adelaine is ahead of the game. First of all she has God, and God doesn’t need stats! When we were originally diagnosed and at the hospital, we immediately started to pray for her, we had everyone praying for her. The elders of our church came to the hospital and laid hands on her and we all prayed for her. We cried out to God and we believe he has answered.

By day eight, before she ever left the hospital, they pulled more bone marrow and announced, “She’s in remission”! She went into what’s called “rapid remission”. Wow, isn’t God amazing! Please stop here, praise God and thank Him for us!!

What does it mean to be in rapid remission? According to the doctors, she’s off to a good start. However, much still needs to be done. Because cells cycle in the body, some can lay dormant in the body and not come out until later. The cells can’t be killed until they come out of hiding. This is why treatments are for 2 ½ years. In boys, the treatments are even longer (about 3 years).

Adelaine was tested and had no leukemia blasts in the brain or spinal cord, which is also good news. Part of her treatment involves injecting chemo directly into her spinal cord as a preventive measure. Other chemo is administered by her implanted port, by leg injections and orally.

We have great faith that Adelaine is giong to live the rest of her life cancer free and have an awesome testimony!

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Adelaine has chemotherapy injected into her port implant, she also has it injected into her spine, legs and she takes chemo orally at home.

Adelaine’s overall 2 ½ year treatment is already mapped out and changes every few weeks. She takes an array of chemotherapy which targets the leukemic cells at different angles. She usually goes into the clinic about once a week for treatments and takes chemo orally twice a day.

The plan is to kill the bad cells without killing the child, a real balancing act. Adelaine goes in regularly to have her blood levels checked. I must say that according to her blood levels, she is doing really great despite this attack. Her ANC, which is a measure of her overall immune system, needs to be at least 500. When she was first diagnosed she was at 120. Since then her levels have gone higher and higher. Now they range in the 4000’s!!

Because chemotherapy causes her to be immune compromised, Adelaine takes antibiotics three days a week. This is to help prevent her from catching something that a person with a normal immune system could fight off on their own. We have to be so careful with her as any type of illness is potentially life threatening.

Chemo also causes other negative side effects such as, hair loss, nausea, tiredness and fatigue, mouth sores and dry mouth, just to name a few. She takes medicines to help fight some of these negative effects.

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Jesus and Adelaine

Jesus and Adelaine

It proved to be a challenge just to get cold medicine down the children when they were sick. Now we were faced with getting a 2 ½ year old to take all kinds of unflavored bad tasting medications down daily for several years!

Chemo comes to us in a non chewable pill form. In the beginning, we would cut and crush the pills by hand.. Then the Mayhews introduced us to a little gadget called a pill crusher and a cutter! (Peyton Mayhew is Adelaine’s friend who was also diagnosed with ALL Leukemia in July.) When they would cut Peyton’s pill, half the pill would go flying across the kitchen floor, the same with us. Only, their dog would sniff it out and, well, let’s just say they didn’t want their dog’s hair to all fall out, so they found a better way!

Next we had to figure out how to get it down her without such a huge protest! We tried others’ suggestions, but we had to find what would work for her. We tried mixing it with peanut butter, chocolate syrup, jelly, and pudding, just to name a few. All were vetoed! Then we went back to the basic mixing it with juice and forcing it down with a syringe which really didn’t work well either.

Now we mix the powder with a little apple juice. She drinks it from a Dixie cup with a coffee stir straw! She always crinkles up her nose and expresses how yucky it is, but she does take it and without too much fuss!

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