Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Card

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leo 2000-2011

Eleven years ago, we added a cat to our family, named Leo.  He and our other cat, Ollie, have been best friends ever since. Over the last few months, I've noticed something not quite right with him, and one day, I saw him have a seizure.  I then realized that he'd probably been having them for a few months.  We took him to the vet to have him evaluated to see if she agreed that he had epilepsy. Before we went, we told the kids that he may not be coming home.  They were upset (especially Katherine), but they understood and said their goodbyes.  The vet confirmed the epilepsy and said that we could try to treat it. It was a really hard decision to make, but I knew I couldn't take on the care of another sick creature. I'm barely keeping my head above water now with a stressful job and Joey's care, not to mention all the other normal things that come with being a wife and mother. I've never made the decision to put an animal down before and it was not easy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Port Access

Joey saw Dr. Rosen this week. When he had his Hickman, we went there every week to have blood drawn for labs.  Now, we do 3 weeks of labs at our primary doctor's office and only see Dr. Rosen every 4 weeks.  It has been an adjustment for me to not see him more often. Joey has been doing really well since his last surgery, so it's ok, but it was a change for me.

His checkup was great. This weekend he'll be starting a new medicine that he'll take for the rest of treatment and a little while after. It will probably be the summer of 2013 before he stops taking it. I'm hoping there are no side effects, but I think the risk of that is pretty low. 

The goal of the current treatment is to push down his white blood cells enough to keep them from spitting out bad cells but high enough that we don't cause other issues (infections, etc).  The best range for his WBC is 2.5-3.5K.  Joey's has been staying right around 3.0, so it's just perfect.  He is one of those kids whose body reacts well to the treatment.  He does have about 1 day a week that he doesn't feel well.  Last week, he had one night when he woke up vomiting and then had a low fever the next day, but then felt better by that night. He didn't feel well yesterday and rested through most of school again, but it didn't last too long. 

Here is a picture of the his port being accessed.  It's a bent needle that is pushed through the skin and into the hard plastic port.  It doesn't slide in gracefully; it has to be forced, but they are fast so it's not too bad. It looks really strange, though.  The red line is the scar from the surgery - it will remain with him forever (but may lighten) to remind him of this phase of his life.  He held on tight to his little penguin for support. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Halloween 2011

Just like every year, we took the kids to the Night of the Living Zoo. It's fun to be in zoo in the dark and they changed it up a little bit this year. The weather was great - not too cold.

 Joey was Davey Crocket this year.  We've been to the Alamo twice and he took a liking to Davey.  The second time we went was last summer and he begged for this vest to go along with the hat he already had.

At Grandma's house before the zoo.

I took the day off on Halloween so I could go to all the kids' parties.

Joey's kindergarten class party

Katherine walking in the school parade

Trick - or -treating on Halloween night.  The weather was so nice that we stayed out longer than we ever have before.  They got WAY too much candy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Joey Turns 6

Joey turned 6 on Oct 20.  It really felt like another milestone for him.  He's come so far from where he was when he turned 5. He was in so much pain and still really battling the cancer on his 5th birthday.  This year, he was able to have a ton of fun bowling with his family and friends.  Even though times are still not as easy as we'd like them to be, he's doing so well.

Here he was on his 5th birthday:

And here on his 6th:

God is good!!

Light the Night

On Oct 15th, was the Light the Night Walk, where Joey was the honored hero.  We had a team of about 90 people and we raised almost $9,500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Our goal was $5,000, so I was very impressed with what we did.  We even won the award for the most raised by a friends and family team. The weather was great and the entire night went smoothly.

Katherine Turns 9

Katherine's 9th birthday was Oct 16. We had her party on the 15th at Color Me Mine where all the kids picked a ceramic to paint.

Corn Maze

The day after Joey's port surgery, he wanted to go to the Camp Quality Reunion at the pumpkin patch.  We spent most of our time in the corn maze.