Our superhero!

Our superhero!
Our superhero!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another round

After a longer than planned wait (not complaining), we are back in the hospital for another round of chemo. Ethan's counts stayed low for a while, which is typical of him, and we had to wait an extra week to get his bone marrow tested. After a few days of anxious waiting, we found that 1% of his cells are still leukemia cells. We are getting close! The doctor did say that it is still likely that he will need to do even one more round after this one to get him completely into remission so that we can do the bone marrow transplant.

For this round, we are inpatient for 5-6 days. Then we will go home for about 3 weeks, barring a fever or illness, and then be admitted again for another 3-4 days for some more chemo. After that, we will wait for counts to come up so that we can do another bone marrow aspirate and see where we stand.

Ethan has been happy and has a lot of energy.  I am continually amazed at his patience and happy attitude. As long as we are honest with him, and tell him what is going on, he generally doesn't complain. He just does what he has to do and is a trooper about it. He is such an example to me of taking what life gives you and making the most of it. My favorite moment of the day is when we were headed out of his hospital room to pick out a toy, and he passed his nurse, and so casually (and out of the blue) said "I have a little bit of cancer" and just kept walking. It was so cute! We all got a laugh, and the nurse assured him that we were going to get that out of him!

We have been so blessed throughout this experience, and again and again I am amazed at the love and generosity that people show our family. This would definitely be a much more trying experience without those around us and our Heavenly Father and Savior lightening our load!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Home again!

We are home!  Ethan was able to come home on Tuesday, after pleading eyes towards the doctor.  His ANC (or immune counts) were at 200.  She said she usually likes them to be at 500, or at least close to it before she sends patients home, but I think she saw the disappointment in my eyes, and said we could come home after all!  She was confident he was on the rise, and he was doing well. 

It has been such a blessing to be with my family again, and to spend time with them this week.  I have missed being all together.  I have missed my soft bed, and all of the other conveniences of home.  Ethan is thriving and doing well.  If it weren't for his bald head, you wouldn't know anything was wrong.  He has been happy, and energetic.  It has truly been a blessing.

Ethan will go into clinic on Wednesday for a blood test and a bone marrow aspirate.  They will know within a couple of days whether he is in remission.  If he is in remission, he will prep for the bone marrow transplant.  If he is not, he will be admitted for another round of chemo identical to this round.  It is uncommon for the patients to go into remission in one month, so it is likely we will need to do at least one more round of chemo.  Of course, we are always hopeful that he will go into remission and shorten the process, but we are geared up to do whatever needs to be done.

In Relief Society (a women's meeting in the LDS or Mormon church, for those who don't know), we talked about having a positive attitude.  I have found many things to be grateful for throughout this experience.  I have a loving husband and children that are willing to do what needs to be done without complaint.  My husband has been such an amazing support, and strength to me.  He has taken on the household and duties with the children with amazing grace.  My kids have been awesome!  The older kids watch Blake morning and afternoon each day, and have done it willingly.  I have thought a lot about how this experience will shape them.  Merrill and my families have been so supportive, and have visited us, helped watch the kids at home, and stayed with Ethan while we do things with the other kids or go to our church meetings.  Our neighborhood and ward members have helped by bringing in meals, helping financially, watching the kids, and just being supportive in general.  We have had many offers of prayers and support from people we know from a distance, and even people we don't know at all.  And of course, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always there to listen to us, and our Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for us so that our burdens could be lightened.  We have learned much throughout this experience, and I will be forever grateful to those who have shown us the love and support that we have needed at this time.