Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Hospital Visit Done

Ben felt great yesterday so he went to school. We went to the hospital in the afternoon for his monthly visit. He had a blood draw and received an injection of Vincristine. Ben did fantastic as usual. No complaints and he had fun showing everyone pictures of his cats and puppy.

Ben's platelets and hemoglobin were good. His white blood count was a bit low but not in the danger levels and likely due to the cough that he has been trying to fight off. I was worried that we might have to go back in to check his levels next week - but they said that unless he gets a fever we don't have to go back in until next month.

He continues to be awesome in the pill swallowing department. He took many pills yesterday including 5 1/2 Dexamethasone, 7 1/2 Methotrexate and 1 1/2 Mercaptapurine...he just swallows them all without any trouble at all.

Unfortunately, his cough acted up last night and this morning so we decided he should stay home today just to be on the safe side. Thank goodness he doesn't have a fever so now we are just trying to have a calm day so he can get back to feeling 100% again.

On another subject, the boys got to see their Aunt Stefanie and meet their new uncle and two cousins on Wednesday night! They had a lot of fun together and are looking forward to seeing them again soon!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bump in the road

Ben has a bad cough and slight fever, so he's staying home from school today. If the fever goes up too high, he'll have to be hospitalized again. So please keep those prayers and good thoughts coming! :(

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Big News

The big news of the week is that Ben is now able to swallow pills!!!!

As some of you may know, we have struggled with the number of pills that Ben needs to take. Partly just because it is a pain due to the food restrictions that drive him a bit crazy but also because in the past he just couldn't swallow them. All pills needed to be crushed and put in pudding or juice (we have tried putting them in other things with little success). Earlier in the week he decided it was time to try again. He didn't get it down on the first try but he persisted and he got it down. Each night he has decided to try a little more and he now gets them down on the first try! The methotrexate pills are pretty easy for him because they are small. The mercaptapurine are a bit larger but he can get them down easily if we cut them in half.

He is so excited about this development! (Scott gave Ben some money as a reward for his big achievement but Ben asked him to give half to David. He is such a good big brother!)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well the boys went back to school last week. Although they were happy to see friends and teachers they were a little grumpy getting back into the swing of things. The week ended on a high note with a visit from their cousins. They had fun playing chase and just generally goofing around. They kept wanting to go jump "on those lazy teenagers" Friday morning before heading off to school - I did finally let them go in to say goodbye. David just couldn't believe anyone could sleep so late (this coming from the boy who would sleep in every day if he didn't have to get up for school! I can just imagine what he will be like as a teenager.)

Ben is feeling good but will sometimes still wake up with a cough in the morning. It is the cough that just won't go away. Thankfully no temperatures and he is feeling great otherwise so I guess we will just need to be patient.

I thought I would let everyone know about a comment that he made to me last week. We were in a waiting room reading and he came over and unbeknownst to me was reading over my shoulder. I was reading a magazine and it mentioned that some person died of pancreatic cancer. He said, "Oh my gosh Mom, he died of cancer?! Did he die a long time ago when they didn't have all the good medicine that they have today?" Although we have commented many times that one of the positive things about Ben getting this horrible disease when he is so young is that he doesn't always understand everything. Sometimes not understanding is a bad thing and sometimes it is a good thing. He has made comments in the past that "he just feels lucky to be alive" so we figured he had picked up on some of the magnitude of all this but as it turns out he really didn't know that people die from cancer.

We are all still trying to deal with our emotions and helping Ben deal with some of his anger and sadness and just a general feeling that things just aren't fair. All in all I think it is all going well and I continue to be amazed and impressed with Ben's strength and character.

(Okay, so I also need to give a puppy update. Dakota is doing well and the boys are having so much fun with her! When we brought her home 3 weeks ago she was 8 lbs - she had shots again today and is over 15 lbs. She's a growing girl!)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Good weekend

Ben's Grandmom (my mom) is here visiting this weekend, and everything is going well. Yesterday we had the ice at Staples Center after the game, so the boys got to go skating there with some good friends of ours. Here are some photos from the weekend:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Normal Again

The boys are just finishing up their two weeks of Spring Break. It has been pretty low-key around here. We have mostly just been hanging out and bonding with the puppy. Ben still has his nagging cough but it continues to get a little better everyday.

We are all very happy that Ben finished his steroids at the beginning of the week and that all the side effects have worn off. This month seemed a little worse than usual for him emotionally but he is back to his old self again.

We have a great weekend planned with Grandmom! We are very excited to see her!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Go Natalie!

On Sunday, Natalie McClurg is running a marathon in Paris for team-in-training. She's running in Ben's honor. Details here. Thanks Natalie!