Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top of the Third - Update on Peter

Peter just started the third course of chemo over the weekend. The dreaded 4 day hospital stay. He was in the hospital on his birthday. Not the happiest place on earth. But it's a birthday we'll never forgot and one I'm sure he'll never remember. The nurses made his day when they all came in singing Happy Birthday and give him presents. Even the nutritional service sent up his meals on special happy b-day place mats with extra treats and a small b-day cake. What wonderful caring people doing more than their job requires. Through these small and simple acts of kindness for Peter I feel Heavenly Father's love for him. I'll always be able to tell him how much he is loved and thought of. Then the rest of the family came with more presents. He loved it! It made the day go a lot faster.

Some really good news: There's a blood test that has been a routine test since the diagnosing process with Peter's cancer. It's called the AFP[alpha-fetoprotein] It's a tumor marker test for this kind of cancer. A normal healthy person's level is 10 or under. Peter's AFP was 9,000. We've read about other cases where the levels have been much higher, in the 100,000's or even over 1,000,000's. After Peter's 1st course was completed his afp was down to 350. We just found out about his afp after the second course was finished. It is down to 28. That means the tumor is not growing. It's smaller. Very good news.
The plan is to go through 4 courses of chemo. Maybe by the end of November he'll be finished. Then the ct scan to get a look at his liver and tumor. Then we'll go from there to either more chemo, or surgery, or we're hopeful that maybe there won't be a need for surgery.
I feel a little greedy hoping for such a miracle. We've already been blessed with a huge miracle with the tumor responding to the chemo so well, which we are very grateful for. Where ever this trial leads us to, we know that good will come out of this. Life is full of challenges and obstacles. We all are subject to this. It's to help us grow and learn and gain experience. It's hard sometimes. But I know it could be a lot harder. I hear of other families cancer stories, and health problems and actually feel grateful for what we have been given. I feel like we can handle this.
Every time we have to go back to the hospital for the impatient chemotherapy I just dread it. I get nervous and worry about how I'm going to entertain this little 2 yr old boy. He has to stay in his tiny hospital room for the 4 days because the hospital is not the cleanest place to be. A lot of sickness going on there. His risk of getting sick is really high because his white count is low and his body isn't able to fight even just a normal cold. One of the hardest things is when he asks to go on walks. One night when there's nobody around on the unit the nurses let me walk him back and forth in the hall. It's not much of a walk but he enjoyed it. I had to push his iv poll and try to keep up with him. Not easy. You wouldn't believe the toys, movies, games,....I pack for the 4 days. I even borrow toys from family and friends that will be new to Peter. [How nice that I don't have to worry about the other three children. Doug, Kathy, & John all work together and cover it all. It's amazing.] But each time we go back Peter does better than I anticipated him to do. This time was amazing. He didn't have one tantrum until an hour before he were discharged. He only threw up a couple of times. He didn't yell "no" to the nurses or doctors. He was happy. It's getting easier. What a blessing!
The day Peter gets home from the hospital is a good day. Happiness. Then the next 3 or 4 days are rough from all the side effects of all the chemo. It sets in and he feels awful. He wants and needs to be held constantly. But by the fourth day he feels better and back to himself. And life gets back to normal a little. That's good for all of us.
Enjoy life. Enjoy the moment. Don't anticipate the hard times to come. Learning to be happy in the moment is sometimes a little hard to do. But I'm getting there. Thanks to Peter.


Anonymous said...

Nola, your blog is wonderful! and an inspiring extention of the spirit you and your family emanate. Thanks for letting us share in your journey even as it's happening. Our faith and prayers join with many others for Peter and all of you! Love, Jean

Anonymous said...

Hi Nola. Once again I have been inspired by your words. I love to hear the updates about Peter and how he is doing. I love to feel your spirit and strength as you bravely face this trial with the help of our Heavenly Father. You are in our thoughts and prayers daily. With love, Carmen and The Wiker Famiy.

rach said...

That is great that his AFP is dropping so much. Im so glad that his hospital trips are getting better. Its so wonderful to hear that the hospital staff made his birthday so special. I had no idea that he and Meagan shared the same birth date, what a great story. Happy Birthday Peter and Meagan!

gina lee ~ said...

many happy days Peter.. You look like a champ...

Amy Strong said...

Thanks for keeping us all updated. You must have cabin fever right along with cute Peter during that hospital stay. Are you caught up with all your Martha Stewart reading?