Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Many of you will remember that we spent last Thanksgiving in the hospital. We did have turkey dinners from Jerry's Deli across the street, but it still wasn't the greatest.

This year we were worried about a repeat since Ben was neutropenic again, but he's recovered and we're spending Thanksgiving with Nicole's family. We consider ourselves very fortunate and wish all of you the best, especially those of you we'd like to be with today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cleared for Thanksgiving

We went to the hospital this morning and found out that Ben's ANC went up to 990. This means he can start back up on his medications...but only 50% of normal amounts. The doctor also said he can go to the family Thanksgiving celebration and go back to school on Monday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Break from the Hospital

We had an appointment to go into the hospital yesterday...but they cancelled on us :)

Ben is not able to go back on his cancer medications until his ANC is up above 750. Because his numbers were low and they just need time to come up the doctors decided they don't need to see him until tomorrow morning! Ben was thrilled! We need to treat him like he is neutropenic, even though number was slightly higher than the neutropenic number on Sunday, and keep a close watch on how he is feeling and his temperature. Thankfully, he has been feeling great. David has been home from school with a cold so the three of us have just been hanging out at home. Ben doesn't like the oral antibiotics, but they are much better than needing to go to the hospital everyday. Also, the low ANC numbers mean he hasn't been able to take his Mercaptapurine or Methotrexate. The silver lining to this is that he can eat whenever he wants at night - he just loves the fact that he can grab a snack whenever he feels like it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Up Down Up Down

Yesterday's hospital visit was a bit longer than expected. First, Ben's IV line just wouldn't work and was extremely painful for him. They were not able to draw any blood through the line so had to do it the old fashioned way. Thankfully they only needed enough for a CBC so could get away with just a finger poke. Ben's ANC number fell back down into neutropenic range (481) but thankfully for the nurses in the Infusion Center they called the doctor and asked whether they could switch him to oral antibiotics since it was so close to 500 and the doctor agreed!

We just returned back home from the hospital and we have the good news that Ben's ANC went above the neutropenic range to 671 so he is able to stay on the oral antibiotics so no re-insertion of the IV! Yeah!

We go back again tomorrow and they will check his blood again and give his ear another examination. We hope that his white blood count goes up and his infection looks better so maybe we can get done with these daily visits before Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good News

We went to the Infusion Center this afternoon as planned, David came along because he stayed home from school today. He said that he didn't feel well this morning - I think it was more that he needed some attention. When we first arrived at the Cancer Center the boys were treated like superstars as usual. They had about 8 nurses huddled around them - it was very cute. Then they met Mr. T who gave them a toy that repeats about 6 different Mr. T sayings. They both liked it...but David thinks it is hysterical and keeps hitting the buttons over and over and over!

Now to the great news - Ben is not neutropenic anymore! His white blood count and ANC are still pretty low, 1.7 and 765 respectively, but going in the right direction! The doctor said his ear is still very infected so we will need to make sure we watch him closely for any temperature, chills or other signs that he is not feeling well as that may mean that bacteria has entered his bloodstream and he will need to be admitted...but hopefully that won't happen and he can just finish out the antibiotics on an outpatient basis. He will receive antibiotic infusions over the weekend but won't have his ear examined again by the doctor until Monday so that is when we will find out what is next.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Home!

Ben was very emotional today as he REALLY did not want to be admitted to the hospital...and thankfully they decided not to admit him for the time being.

His temperature keeps creeping up into the danger zone...but always quickly comes back down with the aid of Tylenol. The highest it has gone is 100.9 (he is at risk of being admitted if higher than 100.4). Ben's ear is still very painful, but both doctors who looked at it said, "Wow, no wonder you are in so much pain!" It is very red and infected and giving him a lot of grief. As Scott noted in an earlier post, the most troubling factor in this is the low white blood count (1.2) and ANC (384) so he really cannot fight off anything right now. They took additional blood in the Infusion Center for a blood culture so they can see if any other infections are attacking him.

We will be going back to the Infusion Center for at least the next few days where they will continue to do more tests and give him antibiotics. We will keep hopeful that a hospital stay will not be required. As Ben has repeatedly pointed out in the past week - he spent his last Thanksgiving in the hospital and he really does not want to do that again!

We will be sure to keep everyone posted of further developments over the next few days.

Good news

Ben and Nicole are on the way home! No IV pump either! Ben has appointments in the Infusion Center for the next four days, and they left the IV in so they won't need to stick him again. Nicole will post more details about what's going on later tonight.


Bump in the road

Ben is in the Infusion Center at Cedars with Nicole. He is neutropenic and getting IV antibiotics and pain medicine for an ear infection. We are hoping he is not going to be admitted to the hospital and that he can come home with the IV pump instead, but we'll see. I'll try to keep you posted on developments.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

He shoots, he scores!

Ben had his second goal of the hockey season yesterday! It was a pretty impressive one, too. He got the puck above the circles, drove hard into the slot and went five-hole before the goalie could react. (For those of you who don't follow hockey, that means he skated with the puck to the front of the net and shot the puck in between the goalie's legs). After he scored, he played with a lot of increased confidence. It was really cool to see!

Ben was playing against his good friend Asher's team. Ben's goal tied the game 3-3, but then Asher scored the game-winner. I got the puck, and we're going to saw it in half and get them both to sign each half to commemorate the big day.

David played his last soccer game of the season yesterday. He almost scored, hitting the goalpost with a great shot. He also made some very good plays on defense and had a lot of fun, which is the important thing. Today we have the end-of-the-year picnic and awards ceremony.

Everything is good health-wise. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Feeling Better

Well, I think Ben is finally getting over his never-ending cough. He was not feeling well last week and missed some school and had the normal fever scares that go along with that. Of course getting chemo on Thursday certainly didn't help him to feel any better. In addition to the cold and chemo he was also on his steroids from Thursday to Monday so he just was not feeling good physically or emotionally.
His appetite is still pretty big from the steroids, but the moodiness and exhaustion are going away so he was in much better spirits this morning! Yeah!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chemo and Report Cards

Ben had chemo yesterday (Vincristine) and did a great job as usual. Our usual nurse was out so we needed to wait until today to receive the results from his bloodwork...but we were told that everything is fantastic. They did not provide the actual numbers (I can get them later), but everything looks great and they are very happy with Ben's progress. Ben also started his steroids yesterday morning. I don't know if the steroids are causing his current mood or if it is from this cold he cannot seem to get rid of...but I hope it is over soon.

Ben can't seem to shake his cough and runny nose. Unfortunately, he will probably have to miss hockey practice tonight - this was Ben's call based on comments from the nurses and how tired he is today. He is hoping that if he really rests up he will be well enough to play in his game tomorrow.

We went to Parent/Teacher conferences this morning and came out all smiles, as usual. We have the two most amazing boys! We could not be more proud of them!