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Light at the end of a tunnel

Today at clinic Peyton’s counts came back decent. Her platelet count and ANC both went up…yeah!….her hemoglobin stayed the same….and I am thrilled with that. She won’t have to go back in for any blood products this week and barring any fevers that gives us a whole week clinic-free! Whooo hoooo!

I talked to Dr. Kerr about her consistent leg pain, it is always worse at night when it really hits her because she’s slowed down. I explained my anxiety at memories of her nights just prior to diagnosis when she woke in much the same manner, screaming in pain in the dead of night. With her counts staying steady at this point, it’s a good sign that it’s not relapse related. She’s pretty certain that it is all just side effect from her Vincristine and will eventually start to subside. That’s a huge relief and just gives my heart a little peace. We will continue to give her pain medication to get through the worst of it.

We go back on Monday for the last dose of chemo for Interim Maintenance 2, then we start up one of the more miserable parts of treatment, Delayed Intensification 2. As you can guess from the #2 following DI, this will be the second time we’ve done this round. It was fairly awful the first time around and Peyton was feeling a lot better in January. This round involves 3 weeks of steroids….its like an Iron Chef audition every day…Doxirubicin, which will make the head of peach fuzz she’s been steadily growing start falling out again (but this should be the last time!) and Ara-C and Cytoxin, which are two meds that drop her counts like lead balloons and a bunch of other meds that just add confetti to the party. Throughout this phase she stays steady on treatment, they don’t hold anything due to low counts or fevers, the only reason they will hold chemo is if she gets a serious infection.

I really hate that this is coming up because, like I said before, the last time she did this round she was bouncing back a lot quicker. Her body has really taken a beating and is showing the signs and isn’t rebounding a rapidly now. I’m just constant in prayer that her little body will withstand this last cycle of chemo with all the strength that God can give her.

After that 8 week cycle is done she will start her radiation treatment at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and then we will start maintenance.

The kids’ school had a Parent Appreciation spaghetti dinner tonight. We’re talking free food, that I don’t have to cook and I don’t have to clean up….this is my kind of meal!! But beyond the food was the awesome time to spend with the other families, just talking and sharing and laughing. It was so much fun and we are so thankful to have our kids in a school were they are caring of the families that are a part of the overall school family. I talked to so many other parents that I don’t often have a chance to sit and visit with, I got to love on new babies and gave many updates on Peyton.

I also got some sad news. One of my absolute favorite people at our school, Becky McDaniels (Nathaniel’s 2cnd grade teacher, and will be moving up to be his 4th grade teacher as well) got the news today that her mother has breast cancer. Having gone through this with my own mother, I know the fear and pain she feels at what her mother is about to undergo, this is a person who has spent her life caring and nurturing you and suddenly she is the one who is going to be the one who needs to be cared for. It’s frightening and I am so thankful that she has such a strong faith in God’s ability to work a bigger plan that we have.

There was other news that some teachers are moving on to other jobs, some are deciding to stay home and a staff member is retiring. Mrs. Anne Fisher has been manning the front desk of our school for years and I know there is some fear that the day she leaves the entire school will just crumble into a pile of rocks. She knows each student by name, can tell you everyone’s schedule, she’s the go-to gal for any information that you need to know about the school. I’m pretty sure that under her clothes is a superhero costume with a huge S for Super Secretary!!

As sad as I am to see her go, I am seriously wondering if God is opening a door for me. I’ve been thinking about ways that I can go back to work and help with the kids’ tuition, something that has just been out of the realm of possibility throughout Peyton’s treatment. I also wanted a way to give something back to our school who has been so supportive and encouraging through the struggle of my stroke and her cancer. If Peyton handles maintenance well, if a lot of things play out correctly and if it is God’s will for me to be find a position in the school, then maybe this will work out. This would not only allow me to have the kids’ schedule, it would also help with tuition costs. So, let’s keep this in prayer as I go to speak with the principal and see what the future holds. It may be hard to want to hire someone who has to drop everything for an unspecified amount of time at a moment’s notice, so pray that we are shown the right thing to do.

Peyton and I took a long and lovely nap this afternoon, I think I may finally be back on my feet from the Relay. I just can’t hang like I used to. My mom made fun of the fact that I’m getting too old to stay up all night….thanks, Mom….glad to know you’re enjoying this. Much like the way she laughs when I call to complain that my kids are driving me crazy, or gets tickled at some story I’ll share about how one of the kids did something completely insane…..Mom’s prayers have been answered. When your mom says “I hope you have kids just like you someday!”…thanks, Mom.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

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