Saturday, March 14, 2009

Getting Some Fresh Air

Now that the weather is starting to warm up, we're trying to get outside for some physical activity. Isabella had a visit from an occupational therapist today and did very well. Afterwards, we got outside for some fresh air and fun. We got some pictures with an old camera that we dug out. The picture above is of us taking a walk and the girls helping push Nathaniel in the stroller. The videos are of Isabella playing hopscotch and baseball in our yard.

Clinic Visit Update

Isabella went into Hassenfeld for a quick checkup. They drew her blood to check the counts to make sure she was recovering as expected. Her white blood cells are back up and she is no longer neutropenic, but her platelets are low. Our oncologist suggested we stop the neupogen shots (this is what helps stimulate the bone marrow to create more white cells), which should help the creation of platelets. On Monday, we'll go back to Hassenfeld and check her blood again to make sure that her platelets are coming back up.

What this means for the schedule is that everything is pushed back another week. Instead of doing the stem cell harvest next week, we'll start on the following Monday, March 23rd for 2 or 3 days. Then, we'll start Chemo Cycle 4 on Saturday, March 28 (which also happens to be my birthday). If all goes well, we can be back home again on Monday the 30th. We're a little concerned that Cycle 4 will now be 2 weeks delayed from when it should have started, but our oncologist said that no child has ever gone through the entire protocol without any delay.

So, we'll be home for another full week. The calendar over to the left is updated.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Life at Home and Another School Visit

So Isabella has been home for a couple days now and there's nothing too interesting to report. She's been getting a lot of *ahem* therapy from the Wii and some in-home visits from a therapist.

Today, she felt well enough to pay her kindergarten class another visit. Her teachers said that she actually ran around and played tag with her classmates, so this is the first time we've heard of her running! Later in the afternoon, she did get tired and asked to be taken home, so we had to go pick her up early.

Tomorrow, we'll be taking Isabella to the Hassenfeld children's clinic in NYC to check her blood counts. We expect them to be pretty good so that we can start the stem cell harvest early next week and Chemo Cycle 4 towards the end of the week.

I also apologize for the lack of pictures and video. Our camera finally konked out on us and there's a new model from Canon that I am waiting for to be released this month.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some Scheduling Changes

Isabella's blood counts have improved to the point where they will be discharging us on Tuesday! Although the counts are improving, they're still not at the levels where they can harvest stem cells, so we'll head home for the rest of the week and the weekend. Early next week, her counts should be sufficient so that we can be readmitted to the hospital for the stem cell harvest. After that, probably late next week, we'll start Chemo Cycle 4. After this cycle, we will do another MRI to see any progress.

Isabella has also gained back most of the weight that she lost last cycle. We were worried there for a while since she lost so much weight, but she has eaten very well over the last few days. We expect her to do even better once she gets home.