Monday, February 22, 2010

Interim Maintenance Completed

Today Colin completed the Interim Maintenance phase of his treatment plan. His clinic visit was quick with a 30 minute IV of vincristine. His ANC level rose to 1728 so Mommy and Daddy were very pleased.

Colin was excited about his visit today because he got to show off his little sister, Maddie, during her first clinic appearance. He also enjoyed playing with his clinic buddy Jayden who is close in age and shares the same diagnoses date as Colin. They quickly made the clinic corner their play area with cars, activity tables and blocks.

While this concludes interim maintenance we're quickly gearing up for the next phase, delayed intensification. This phase will last approximately eight weeks and includes some additional chemotherapy drugs that Colin has not received before. Please keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming as we have been advised to anticipate some rough patches during this intensive phase of treatment.

Friday, February 19, 2010


On Thursday Colin received his second PEG asparaginase for this phase. It's two shots administered at the same time in each thigh. Colin was in great spirits during his visit... he colored with the volunteer, watched his favorite show (Elmo) and even gave Dr Joe and Carolyn a high five. Dr. Chester, the hospital clown, tried to make a clinic appearance however as soon as Chester walked through the door Colin started whimpering so Chester turned around with a frown on his face and walked back out. Colin takes after his daddy who also doesn't care for clowns!

Next clinic visit is scheduled for Monday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Treatment Today!

Today Colin woke up at 5 am asking for milk. (yikes!) Although his appointment was not scheduled until 9:30, we arrived at clinic by 8:30 in hopes of getting a jump on the anticipated wait for his blood work to come back from the lab. Oh, did I mention that Colin could not eat or drink after bedtime last night in preparation for procedures tentatively scheduled for today's visit......blood was drawn at nine and by 10 we received the good news that Colin's counts were high enough for treatment. Yay!

Treatment consisted of vincristine and methotrexate through IV and a spinal tap. By 12:30, the spinal tap was done and Colin was able to eat and drink. He started off with 2 sippy cups of milk, 2 cheese sticks, 1 banana, 1 granola bar, 4 chicken nuggets and a cupful of goldfish. It was great to see him eating so well!

We were back home by 2:30 with Colin sound asleep.

Back to clinic on Thursday for a peg shot (chemo injection) and to schedule Colin's last clinic visit for this phase of treatment.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stomach Bug & Another Delay

Another long couple of days ... Mommy got the 24 hour stomach bug on Friday evening and anyone who knows Mommy will attest that she would rather give birth with no drugs than have the stomach bug. Masks were mandatory in the house and Mommy was under strict lock down in the bedroom. Daddy played a great Mr. Mom getting up with Maddie throughout the night and managing the demands of two children most of the weekend. Gigi relieved Daddy when she picked Maddie up on Sunday afternoon for an overnight. This was the first over night Maddie had in nearly four months so she was up most of the night. When you ask Gigi and Papa if Maddie will have a sleep over in the near future they smile and laugh. You know they were on cloud nine even with limited sleep.

While Maddie was at Gigi's and Papa's and Mommy in isolation with the stomach bug, Daddy and Colin geared up for the Superbowl festivities.

Monday was clinic day and unfortunately Colin's counts came down again. Last week his ANC was just under 400 and this week it was 296. As a point of reference, a normal ANC is over 2,500. An ANC of under 500 puts you at serious risk for infection. While we were prepared for another delay we were not prepared to hear they came down given that Colin was eating much better over the weekend and his energy level was up. Once again the Doctor's reassured us that this type of delay is normal and it can be from a number of things (fighting something off, side effect from one of the drugs or his body simply needs a break and time to recoup). So, Colin will not receive any drugs this week in preparation for his next visit on Monday. In the mean time there are no exceptions to our house rules:

*Sniffle, sniffle go away. Come back and play another day
*No shoes
*Wash/sanitize hands often
*No kisses (hugs okay!)
*No food sharing
*No sharing utensils

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Maddie Six Month Check Up

Maddison had her six month check up today. Colin was somewhat confused when he found out he was staying home and Maddie was going to the doctor. When I told him he was staying home with GiGi and Papa while I took Maddie to the doctor he responded with "Maddie booboo Dr?"

Maddie was all smiles while Dr. Frank examined her and even showed off her vocal cords by saying dada and letting out a nice scream with the three shots she received.

Maddie is keeping up with Colin ... here is how they stacked up for the six month checkup:

Maddie (6 months and 1 week):
Height: 26 5/8 inches (80%)
Weight: 18 lbs 14 oz (93%)
Head Circumference: 44cm (85%)

Colin (7 months):
Height: 26 1/2 inches (25%)
Weight: 19 lbs (50%)
Head Circumference: 45.5 cm (75%)

Colin was very concerned about Maddie's "boo boo" when we came home. He was happy to see her band aide free by bedtime!

Another Treatment Delay

Today was clinic day and unfortunately Colin's counts have dropped. His ANC needs to be 750 to receive treatment and they are under 400. The doctor's once again communicated this type of set back is normal however we are bummed because we would like the treatment to continue on schedule.

It was an emotional roller coaster preparing for the visit. Colin loves his milk and asks for it right when he gets up however in preparation for this visit Colin cannot eat or drink anything after midnight so you can imagine what a long morning it brings. Anxiety kicks in after two hours of explaining to a two year old who is screaming he cannot have milk. Upon arrival they drew Colin's blood and we sat and waited for the results while entertaining Colin in a small exam room. Mommy and Colin took a few laps around the floor to burn some energy and borrowed some crayons from the infusion room so we could color.

Next appointment is on Monday and once again it will be count dependent so in the mean time we are home bound with lots of precautions to keep Colin germ free since his immune system is VERY low.

A big shout out to our family and friends who filled our freezer again (Courtney, Liesl, Marissa, Joanne, Kathy, and Kim). Because of you all dinner has been one less thing we've had to worry about. Thank you all so much we truly appreciate it.

p.s. Maddie goes for her 6 month checkup tomorrow .. any bets on her size and weight?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Great weekend!

What a great weekend! Friday night started with a visit from Aunt Courtney and Uncle Mike. Colin had a blast playing, reading, running around the house, and staying up late.

On Saturday, Mommy had a much needed afternoon out with her sister Courtney, sister in law Liesl and cousin Marissa. Manicures and pedicures followed by lunch from Cafe Ra, then wine tasting at Gouveia Vineyards .. great conversations, laughs and company .. thank you ladies. Colin, Maddie, Daddy and Uncle Joe played all afternoon and enjoyed a warm fire since it was the coldest day of the season so far.

Saturday night ended with some quality time with Auntie ... take a look and please forgive us, we don't know how to rotate the video:

Wink wink:


I love Maddie:

Maddie's Belly Laugh:


Bouncy Bounce Maddie:

Nighty Night: