Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Snow Days for Chemo

What is up with it being colder here in Arkansas than in Northern Wisconsin? HUH? This was to be our Little Rock week, but the huge storm that moved in had other plans. Poor Little Rock got dumped with snow Sunday and definitely changed our travel plans for our 5am departure Monday morning. Thankfully, our great nurse at ACH and our great nurse at the local Oncology clinic worked together to ensure Brayden could stay on track with getting his monthly chemo administered here instead. It made things a little crazy with not being sure when we were to leave and worried we needed to make it home before our snow was to hit. Thankfully, it all worked out.

We were really thankful the monthly chemo med was available at the local clinic. Brayden's counts came back really well and all signs were good. He received his chemo dosages and we were so glad this wouldn't mess up our Little Rock schedule either.

I think no matter how much school you miss, at 10, any snow day is still a cause for celebration. The day after chemo can sometimes hit him hard. Thankfully with his school closed he was able to sleep in and get some rest.

This is his steroid week, so it's back to 24 pills per day. He's still a rockstar with knocking them all back. We were a little nervous his chemo dosage might be increased. His counts have been good - but a little too good. In an effort to ensure they keep his new cells in control and keep the leukemia at bay, they are aggressive with increasing his chemo when his system gets too comfortable with the dosage, or, in Brayden's case, he grows and it needs to be adjusted. Thankfully this time, things are staying the same and we'll continue to see how he progresses. We were surprised at how high his counts were 3 weeks ago and then quickly glad when in the following days he started fighting a cold or some sort of upper respiratory thing. We were nervous about his cough moving into his chest and his nurses did a great job of ensuring his lungs were okay. Christmas night was a little scary. I sat up with him expecting any moment he'd spike a temp and we'd have to rush to the ER. Thankfully, his higher counts maybe helped him fight it off and he made it through without a trip to the hospital. The next week we definitely saw the impact to his counts as they had dropped to their lowest point in weeks. Thank goodness!!

It's tough not to be nervous when they're too high and too concerned when they're too low. I'm not sure if there will come a time when our breath doesn't catch right as his blood results are being handed to us.

The New Year brought similar thinking to our small family. It's amazing how 2012 being the year Brayden finishes treatment seemed to loom so far in the distance when he was diagnosed early 2009. Now, as 2011 was ushered in, it was surreal to hear Bryan and Brayden both say separately how it helped 2012 seem not so far away anymore. It's never far from our thinking. And here I thought I was the only one who seemed to keep considering what 2011 meant to us in terms of Brayden kicking chemo for good.

The past few months have been difficult in hearing of so many at ACH losing their battle with pediatric cancer. I can't wrap my brain around that. Brayden and I were half listening to the news the other night when he heard about a memorial service for a local teenage girl who lost her battle with leukemia. The look on his face was so painful. We've tried to protect him from the realities of cancer. It's one of the things we were so grateful for in the beginning...childhood innocence and ignorance about cancer is a blessing. Kids like Brayden don't have a preconceived idea in their minds of what the fight is like. We're praying for those newly diagnosed in their fight and those who have relapsed who have touched our lives since his diagnosis and pray Brayden continues to be shielded and protected from that possibility.

All in all, we have so much to be thankful for. Brayden continues to march on through his treatment so strong. Our family marveled at how healthy he looks in comparing our Christmas card this year to just one year ago. Thank you all for the impact you've had on our lives. Thank you for continuing to pray. We're reminded of you each day when we walk to Brayden's room and see his prayer map on the wall. You mean so much to us!!!

In the meantime, it's back to studying for school and trying to stay warm as my fingers are going numb as I type!! BRRRR!!! We're ready for spring....and counting down even more the 20 months until Brayden's LAST CHEMO CELEBRATION!!!!!!!!!!

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