The Magic Number Is 100!

It snowed all day long and we couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate reaching our magic number. Today is day 100 post transplant. We still have to observe some isolation restrictions, but just the simple fact that we made it this long is huge. Adam had a bone marrow aspirate this last Tuesday and the results came back with 100% donor cells (ba-da-bing) and no sign of Leukemia. He is in high spirits and is very energetic. Hooray for miracles!

Okay, so...back to the snow. We figured after it reached well over 12 inches that we should probably go shovel our driveway. The boys were more than willing to suit up and come join the fun. Russell played hard in the big snow drifts, and Adam was completely content to use his new snow shovel. The boys had a blast! Mark and I didn't enjoy it so much, but I suppose shoveling piles of never ending wet stuff has a tendency to suck the fun out of it. However, even with the pulled muscles and the sore backs, we are so thankful for all of our blessings. What a remarkable day!

Wishing You A Great Thanksgiving Weekend!

It's Day 77 post transplant. Can you believe it? I have to say I am so thankful time has passed quickly. And it feels really good to be closer to the end of the 100 days then closer to the beginning of them.

Adam has been doing really well. He responded nicely to his treatment for GVHD and is currently being weaned from the steroids!! We cannot express enough jubilation about that. Adam has also had his NG Tube removed which brings mixed emotions. It is so wonderful to see our boy without the tube in his nose. It's one step closer to the end. However, it was the handiest thing for giving him his medicine. I really miss it for that one reason. Adam has managed to take his meds by mouth, but it's not without a fight. Oh, and to add a cherry on top of it all, he is potty training!!!!!! Started yesterday morning and has done GREAT. Who saw that coming?

Russell and Adam walk together on the path that encircles the main house at Monticello.

A couple of weeks ago, our family managed a little break and went down to Monticello for a day out of the house. It has been a tradition we have loved ever since Mark and I were married. We missed the last two years for obvious reasons, so it felt really nice to celebrate Adam's successful transplant by resuming our visits. Because of Adam's restrictions (going inside crowed places), we didn't tour the house, but that's okay because our favorite part of Monticello is the Vegetable Garden Terrace anyway. Mark and I could spend hours walking up and down that fantastic garden. Needless to say, the boys loved it too. They could run and play at will and it just felt so good to be outside!

Adam is playing on one of several stair cases that lead from Monticello's vegetable garden down to the orchard and vineyards. Here he is pretending to be "Darth Vader" from Star Wars.

Adam has become quite the chef. He prefers to be in the kitchen whenever we are cooking. He has actually learned to make his own "scrambled eggies". Here, you see him doing just that. The only thing he doesn't do is actually scramble them because that would be getting way to close to the stove!

As for Thanksgiving, we enjoyed the day here at home all by ourselves. I think that has to be the most peaceful holiday I've experienced. Not to say that we don't love spending the holidays with family and friends, but it was kind of nice to have the pressure to be ready at a certain time relieved. The boys enjoyed helping make the rolls and the ice cream (which I think was their favorite part), and Mark and I enjoyed making a fantastic meal and christening our dining room by eating our first meal in there since we moved in two and a half years ago.

It was a remarkable feeling sitting around the table with all of our little family together. We hope you had a wonderful day with family and friends as well. The people we love really are one of the most important blessings we've been given!

With all our love and best wishes for a happy holiday season,

The Henshaws

Be Brave & Shave

Meet Dr. Horn. This wonderful woman was Adam's admit oncologist when he was first diagnosed. She was a remarkable support to us on our journey through treatment. I honor her here with this post for the remarkable work she is doing with our children with cancer. This is a news segment which features Dr. Horn having her head shaved for the "Be Brave and Shave" campaign. We thank you, Dr. Horn, for your tireless efforts in finding a cure for cancer and for giving families like us a chance to hope.

52 Down...48 To Go

Can you believe it? We are actually half way done with our 100 days of isolation and we've almost been home for an entire month. I do have to say, however, that the last for weeks easily rivals Transplant as being the most difficult period of time during Adam's entire treatment, last year included. But, we continue day by day and it seems that we are surviving...barely.

Adam has been progressing very well. His counts have recovered and he is red blood cell and platelet independent (meaning, he doesn't need transfusions). His Graft vs. Host Disease seems to be controlled nicely by the steroids and we are hopeful he won't have to be on those for very long. He has a great deal of energy and a monstrous appetite. We are so thankful that he is doing so well. We are far from being out of the woods, but are so thankful we've been able to come this far without many complications.

All in all, Adam is thriving. He continues to be monitored by his medical team on a weekly basis. Adam looks forward to our trips to the doctor's office. It's usually the only time he gets to go anywhere. Hopefully with the end of isolation, that will all change and he can finally get to explore the world like a three-year-old should!!

He's Home!

Actually, Adam has been home since Tuesday. It took all day to be discharged, but we hit the road about 5:30 PM and made it home about 7:00. On the way home, Adam had to point out things as if he hadn't seen them in years--"Mom! A tree!" and "Mom, look at the fountain" followed by "Mom, there's two buses!!" He was fascinated by the outside world and well he should be. Adam hadn't seen the outside of his four hospital walls for 37 days.

We made it home safely and immediately set about getting his medicine ready for the night and situating sleeping arrangements. I wish I could say we've settled into a routine, but we haven't. Chaos still reigns.

Friday I took him to his first follow-up visit. It was a day long trip. Blood work was done and the doctor examined him and the conclusion was reached that he has developed GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease). Though a certain diagnosis isn't really made until a skin biopsy is taken and evaluated, Adam's doctor said the GVHD has presented itself in a classic manner. She's pretty certain, even without a skin biopsy, that that's what it is. Adam is covered in a rash from the sides of his head down to the tops of his legs. He has become extremely irritable and just simply feels lousy. The treatment they've chosen for Adam's GVHD is steroids. This is perhaps the most necessary evil I have ever encountered. Adam on steroids is enough to leave me huddled and twitching in a corner. It breaks my heart to see my baby have to go through this, but I am praying this won't have to last every long. We have another follow-up visit on Tuesday, at which time his condition will be re-evaluated and hopefully (keep your fingers crossed), we will have a better idea of how long we have to keep him on the steroids.

It's been a really stressful being home. There are certainly benefits that I am enjoying, like taking a drive in the car, eating our own food, being able to walk to different rooms, etc., but, I have to admit, I really miss the nurses button!

We've Been Waiting For This Day!!!

I think we're still stunned that this day has actually arrived. Adam's ANC has now been over 500 for two days! What does that mean? A lot of things, actually. First, the bone marrow is working (I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of my little stem cells). Second, the risk of infection is slowly decreasing by the day, and third, WE GET TO GO HOME!! We are not certain which day is the big day, but the doctor's told Mark this morning that it's just a matter of coordinating home health care and then they will cut us loose. It is exciting, and I can't wait to have my family back together again, but I am a little nervous. It's somewhat reassuring to know that you have a nurse nearby at all times if something were to happen. Not having that resource at home is going to be the cause of some anxiety. However, I suppose our very frequent office visits will help alleviate some of the stress. It will also be more and more reassuring as each day passes and Adam continues to heal. We will certainly keep you updated as we know more...

This is a snapshot of Adam and Mark during our video conference
this morning. Adam is looking forward to getting "in the car and go(ing) for a ride." So are we Mr. Mighty Man!


Adam's ANC is FINALLY climbing!! Monday it broke the 100's with 110. Yesterday it skipped up to 140, and today it climbed up to 232. His appetite and energy are returning and with them come the smiles. He is also starting to ask to go outside. Good thing we are almost at 500. He won't have to wait too long.

Well...What'd You Know

...Adam has an ANC! The doctor's said they expected to see something either yesterday or today-- and they were right. I have to admit, I was a little more skeptical, but, here it is. Adam's ANC was 20 yesterday and it's 30 today. His counts are coming back! It's still early to get really excited, but as each day passes and his counts continue to go up, we expect our optimism to grow as well. Hopefully in the next few days, we will have a better idea of what to expect as far as how long we will have to be here. But until then, we take our small victories where we can get 'em!!

Happy Birthday...Mighty Man!

Today we celebrate Adam's third birthday. Looking back on the last year and a half since diagnosis, we consider ourselves blessed beyond measure to have reached this point at all. May we thank you, our friends, family and many we don't even know, for your support, faith and prayers. It is your constant care that makes our task more tolerable.

We also wish to thank our medical team who have worked, and continue to work, so hard in pursuit of Adam's cure. Everyday we feel the investment they make in Adam and words will never be able to express how thankful we are for their dedication.

And finally, we humbly acknowledge our Heavenly Father's hand in the miracles that have taken place on our behalf. He has been with us every step of the way.

What A Day...

I think the medicine induced disorientation has finally subsided. Although, I am still pretty tired. But, almost a week later, Adam and I are doing okay. Adam is struggling to eat enough, but otherwise seems to be doing well. He did have an NG tube placed so they could supplement his nutritional needs and it's proving to be more difficult then we would like. The supplement is something akin to baby formula and Adam's gut does not like it. So we keep trying.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, transplant day went very well. I was in surgery about three hours and then it took about four hours for the marrow to infuse. Now with a few days between us and transplant day, I am amazed at not only what modern medicine is capable of, but what the human body can do. We were told that just hours after the infusion, the hemopoietic stem cells had migrated into Adam's bone marrow and begun to set up shop. I am fascinated by the fact that cells that don't belong to Adam know where to go and what to do. It will be a several days before we see any signs of engraftment, but so far, things have gone very well.
From the donor's perspective, it's quite an experience. I still hurt, but it's just tenderness rather then aching. My throat is still pretty scratchy from the breathing tube, but that seems to be getting better as well. It's been a while since I've had surgery and the recovery is harder than I remember. On the bright side, they were able to extract about nine ounces of bone marrow from the back of my hips and the doctors were pretty happy with the quality and sample size of the marrow they pulled. It is encouraging to hear the contentment in their voices as they talk about the process and what it could mean for the eventual outcome.
Now that transplant is complete, we just wait for counts to recover. We pray there will be minimal complications and that Adam will have a speedy recovery. All in all, we are hanging in there. Adam is my champion and continues to amaze me with his submissive patience and cooperation even when he doesn't understand why we can't go home.

Adam the day of transplant. If you look at the bottom of the picture just above the "D" in "ADAM," you can see the bone marrow transfusing through his line which is wrapping around his leg.

This is where the tubing connects to one of the lumens of his central line. He is receiving his bone marrow transfusion.

Transplant Complete

It's over...Adam did great...and I hurt. I couldn't be more satisfied with the outcome! I was told I was in surgery for about three hours. The bone marrow harvest went well and Adam was receiving his infusion before I even came out of recovery. They gave me a room right next to Adam, so as soon as I was able, I went back to Adam's room and had the opportunity to see my bone marrow going into Adam. I am not quite sure I have been able to wrap my mind around this whole thing yet. Of course, I'm still pretty foggy from all the medication, but trust that when it wears off and I can think straight, I will get a better grip on what has just taken place. There will certainly be more on this later. Stay tuned...

Oh...This One's Been Hard

We are almost finished with the conditioning therapy required for transplant and I am amazed anyone lives through it. Adam has been a little trooper, but this chemo is, by far, the worst he's ever had. For the most part, he's been okay, but he has had way more breakthrough nausea and vomiting during this round then before. And from what Mark reports, he's feeling pretty lousy. As of this writing, Adam only has one more dose to go and then he is finished. Hopefully forever!!! That said, the doctors have been extremely pleased with how Adam has handled it thus far. We still have a few ugly things ahead of us, but I am always thankful when the chemo is done.

It's Been So Nice...Busy...But Nice

We've had 17 wonderful days at home and we hate to see it come to an end. But, I suppose there is no point prolonging the inevitable. So here we go. But before we do, we just wanted to share with you some of the fun we had during our break. We managed to pack quite a bit in our precious two weeks. Our schedule included five trips to various doctor's offices, outings to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum annex in Dulles, Frying Pan Park where the boys got to see lots of farm animals, a movie about flight in an IMAX theater (which, you guessed it, was a hit with Adam), as well as a picnic at Olde Isaac Walton Park where we hoped to see some geese, but found a big lake covered with mossy stuff instead. We also had a special visit from Grandma and Grandpa, and to top it all off, a rousing birthday party for me that really turned into a party for the boys. It was exactly what we needed.
The boys at Olde Isaac Walton Park...where there were no geese....
Adam must inspect each dead leaf...
Dad and Russell at the park.
It's a great place to be-Grandpa's lap.
Grandma Lynne always has a good story.
Just gettin' ready. The suspense is too much. Can't wait to sing the entire "Happy Birthday" song....gotta blow out the candles!!!!!!

It's Been A Good Day

It's been five days at home now. I think we could get used to this, though, we're going to try really hard not to given that we have to check into Children's National two weeks from yesterday. It is so nice to be home, but I have to admit, a little disorienting at first. Adam wandered around with uncertainty for the first couple of days. He's adjusted to being home quite nicely, but he sure did miss his friends. He kept telling me,"Let's go back to hospital, Mom." And, "Let's go talk to nurses, Mom." Russell is not so sure about this arrangement. He had really gotten used to the quiet and being able to play his games in peace and I think he's feeling a little irritated. Poor kid. Adam can be a really loud handful.
We went back today for an out-patient procedure (which went very well) and after it was over, made our way upstairs to say "hello" to everyone. Adam was still a little dazed by the sedation medicine, but he immediately recognized the nurses on staff. It was so nice to see everyone again. For obvious reasons, we hope we never have to go back as a patient, but we sure appreciate the friendships we've forged. Absolutely priceless.

There's No Place Like Home

We were surprised yesterday with the news that we get to go home today!!!!! Of course we couldn't argue. I woke up this morning to find a sweet note stuck to the back of our door. After I smiled at the sweetness of the note complete with helicopter, I started to cry. We are really going to miss our nurses and our staff that have made this stay so much better then we ever thought possible. We were geared up for staying here until it was time to transfer downtown, so having to leave today is more bitter sweet than I imagined it would be. We are so grateful to you, our nurses and staff at Inova. We can't thank you enough for your care and association!!!
Adam has been doing so well that it was decided that he could go home while his counts recovered to needed levels. We are scheduled for an out-patient bone marrow aspiration on Tuesday, and at that point, we will know more about his remission status and what will happen next. Our hope is that he will be in a clean remission and that we can check in to Children's Hospital as planned on the 31st. I have been cleared to be Adam's donor and am very excited and thankful for the unbelievable opportunity to be of service to my sweet boy.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone again for you thoughts and prayers. We have literally witnessed miracles and we credit it to the faith and prayers of each of you who have continued to pray for us. We simply can't put all the gratitude we feel into words.

It's Comin' Back, Baby!!

Just a quick post to say that Adam's ANC is on the rise. Twenty-seven yesterday, 43 today!!! It's slow, but it's progress! And we also found out that Mark came down with strep throat. Good news since that's treatable with antibiotics.
Other than that, we are sitting here trying to keep up with this little kid. He reminds me of Dash, the little boy who can run extremely fast on "The Incredibles". I am thankful he's feeling so well.

Playing With The Nurses & Bedtime Snack

It's been a crazy last couple of days. I haven't posted for a while because nothing noteworthy has been happening. We have just been hanging out and waiting for counts to recover. But within the last three days, Adam's hair has started to fall out, he had to have a lesion removed from his hand yesterday, he's had one red blood cell transfusion and two platelet transfusions, and as a nice big juicy cherry on top, Mark has contracted something evil that has made him more sick than he's been in years. Amidst all of this, we are all still ticking--some of us more than others...
I suppose on a whole, the last few days have been tolerable. Hopefully by next post, we will have some good news about count recovery. As for now, we are still at zero waiting with bated breath for any sign that they are on the comeback. Until then, I have included some pictures of some recent activities.
Adam loves to go on walks to say "hi" to the nurses at the nurse's station. Before bedtime, we usually go out to say good night to everyone. He loves to help the nurses and to play with all the fun office equipment at the desk. In the picture below, he's helping Jenn put his name labels in his chart.
After he was done helping Jenn, he had to go help Sarah and make sure everything was okay.
After everything checked out, it was back to the room for bedtime snack. Olives are a great choice! Especially since you can play with them before you eat them.

We're Gettin' Tired

It is day 45 in the hospital and the only way I can describe how we feel is by using the phrase "hitting the wall." I have never had the pleasure of running a marathon, but I am convinced this is what mile 20 must feel like. I woke up this morning and actually had to take a minute to figure out where I was.
On the bright side, Adam is doing well. He is going STIR CRAZY, but you can hardly blame the little two-year old. He hasn't been outside to play for a month and a half. We are very fortunate, however, to have such wonderful nurses and staff who very patiently help entertain him (not to mention giving me and Mark a little reprieve, even if it is only for a few minutes--thank you, ladies!) So, we are just waiting now for his counts to recover. I have heard a little noise from the doctors and it sounds like they are not *planning* on doing a third round. This is the next best thing to my being Adam's donor. However, things can change so we remain cautiously optimistic.

Glad That's Over

Adam just finished his second round of chemo yesterday. This was, hands down, the most difficult one. It was only four days, but it knocked him flat. Two out of the three chemo medicines were ones he had not received before. He also received medicines to manage the side effects, and for the most part, they worked...thank goodness. He was doing much better today and hopefully will continue to feel better now that he's finished. It's back to waiting for his counts to drop to zero and then recover. We still don't know if he will have to undergo a third round before we are transfered downtown. If my understanding is correct, they are waiting to see if this round has put him into a solid remission. We won't know that until they do the bone marrow aspiration after his counts come back up.
On a very significant bright side, we have received confirmation that my HLA typing has come back as a perfect 6 for 6 match for Adam. (This is very interesting since I asked for Mark and myself to be tested just so we could know for sure that we weren't matches.) I still have to get a physical evaluation to see if I am healthy enough to undergo a bone marrow harvest (which would require anesthesia), but if I pass, I will be able to be Adam's bone marrow donor!!!!!
The more I understand about bone marrow transplantation, the more significant my being a match becomes. It is extremely rare for a parent to be a perfect match. I was told by Adam's doctor that they have only seen this when the mother and father were somehow related. Mark and I have a common ancestor on the Mayflower, but that's about it. Our transplant doctor told us that the only way I could be a perfect match for Adam is if Mark and I have some of the same genes. In doing further research, I found that the chances of us having the same genes are something like one in a million. We were also told that the chances of us having a child with an HLA match to one of us is one in one hundred thousand.
It astounds me to sit back and look at this. My faith in God, which has been incredibly strengthened over the course of this experience, allows me to see His hand in all that has happened to us. I thank Him with all my heart, for his active presence in our lives, and for the uninterrupted support that has come from Him.

Life At The Hospital...In Pictures

Adam and Miss Holly. She's our fantastic Child Life Specialist. She makes our life so much easier.

Riding the Big Wheel in the Atrium.

Mark is showing Adam a really cool Spider Man sticker.

Painting in the Playroom.

Watching a movie.

Looking at the helicopter that just landed on the helipad. Very exciting.

"Tubie" is getting flushed with some Heprin so Adam can be free from his IV for a few minutes.

Watching for more helicopters.

Ummmm. Dinner. Apple juice and a bowl of rice.

Playing "Doctor" in the playroom.

Getting some medicine in "Tubie" from one of the many wonderful nurses we have.

Taking a picture of the helicopter.

Bad News & Good News

I'll start with the bad news first. We are not going home for a break and are pretty disappointed. There are good things about going home and there are good things about staying. I am desperately trying to keep focused on the good things about staying. First, the sooner we get started on round two, the sooner we will finish. Second, I don't have to wake up in the middle of the night to hook Adam up to his meds. It really was a bummer, though, especially because of the fact that he really is in remission. That's the good news. They did another bone marrow aspiration this morning to determine his remission status now that his counts have recovered (the first bone marrow aspiration was done before his counts were good). It came back that he is in remission (<5% blasts). This is also good news as it means there is a much greater chance we won't have to do a third round before we are transfered downtown. That cuts a whole month off of treatment. Tomorrow morning, we will start with a intrathecal (in the spinal cord) dose of chemo and then sometime in the afternoon, we will officially start with round two. *deep breath*

One Down...One To Go

We are technically done with round one. Adam's counts have come up nicely and he has been fever-free for about five days now. He is eating very well and he's very anxious to get out of the room. We are just waiting to hear what comes next. The results from his bone marrow aspiration came back and showed that Adam is not yet in remission, but he is close. He has 7% blasts (cancer cells) in his marrow and the doctors want to see 5% or under. We have been keeping our fingers crossed that we will get a break at home for a few days, but they are still trying to decide what the best course of action will be. Hopefully that will include a break at home, but we'll see. On the bright side, Adam is feeling much better and doing well and that's the most important thing.
We had the opportunity to go to Children's National Medical Center where Adam will receive his transplant. It was an interesting experience. We met with Adam's doctor and talked for a long time about the procedure and what to expect. We then met with the nurse coordinator and went on a tour of the unit. We were able to see a patient room on the transplant unit. All in all, it seems very nice. It was interesting to me to note that I actually felt "homesick" for Inova Fairfax Hospital where we have received all of our treatment so far. I am sure we will get to know the nurses and the doctors downtown, too, but I sure will miss everyone here.
It sounds like the transplant will go much like a regular round of chemotherapy. We will receive eight or nine days of chemotherapy that will irreversibly wipe out Adam's ability to fight infection, then one day "off", then the day after that he will receive the bone marrow transplant through his central line just as if they are giving him his usual blood transfusion. Then we wait for counts from the new marrow to recover and hope that we don't have many complications, i.e. Graft vs. Host Disease. We were told this process generally takes about six to eight weeks.

It Was Bound To Happen...I Suppose...

Adam was having a really good run there for a while, but now has come down with the dreaded infection. Two days ago, he developed a fever and results from several different blood cultures have come back positive for Strep and Staph infections. This, unfortunately, is terribly common in neutropenic kids. He is receiving intensive antibiotic treatments to keep everything under control until his counts can recover and take care of the rest of those darn bugs. So far, there is no indication that his counts are on their way back. Today marks day nine at zero. During Round Five of last year, we spent 12 days at zero. So, we most likely have a few more days before we see some action in his counts. All in all, Adam seems to be in good spirits.

He's Wearing A Mask!!!!!!!

The night staff thought I was a *little* weird, but I couldn't help it I was too excited. Anyone who was around last year knows how hard it was on us that Adam would not wear his mask. Lo and behold, one night last week, he told me he wanted to try wearing one. He actually let me put it on and when I let go, he didn't take it off. It may sound really silly when I say I can't remember the last time I felt so liberated. Of course we immediately had to call dad on the computer to show him the cute mask covered face. Mark was just as thrilled as I was. This means no more endless walking in circles around the unit in the plastic covered stroller. This means Adam gets to go with Momma to the Nutrition Center to get food. It also means that he can go outside to the pediatric atrium and play to his hearts content. I simply cannot express what a mile stone this is. Hooray for our mask wearing Adam!!!!!
It's funny to see the contrast between Adam and Russell. Adam desperately wants to get out of the room, and rightly so. It's no fun to be cooped up with nothing to do. Russell on the other hand, cannot wait to go to the hospital. Every room on the floor has a Nintendo Wii and Russell can't get enough. As far as he's concerned, it's Disney World. In the picture below, Russell is concentrating very hard on his game of Wii Golf. Before he started golfing, he was beating me and Mark at Wii Bowling by a good 50+ points. This kid's computer gaming skill set is simply impressive!
On a whole, it's been a good week so far. Adam's counts are still at zero, so we continue to wait until they recover. When they do, he will have another bone marrow aspiration to see if he is in remission. At that point, we will know more about what the next round of chemotherapy has in store.
We are so grateful for all the support we have been receiving. Prayers, thoughts, notes, calls, cards, emails; they are all so encouraging. The Lord has blessed us so much and we are well aware of His blessings that come through you. Please do not underestimate the power of your prayers. We are strengthened on a daily basis because of them. Thank you!

Day 14

I have been with Adam two days now and I am in utter awe at the amounts of food this kid is eating. And he's not even on steroids (which can make you really hungry). It's very impressive. Today is the first day Adam has been unhooked from his IV tube which allowed me to give him his first shower since coming to the hospital. He screamed so loud and so long, I had no less than three nurses come in and ask if I needed any help. But, we were successful and now we have a clean boy. After the shower, we went to the oncology playroom where he immediately attached himself to a large yellow toy dump truck. Needless to say, the collection of earth moving vehicles in our room continues to grow. So, all in all, he is doing very well.

A Room With A View

Adam has been feeling MUCH better. His appetite has returned with a vengeance and he is also constantly asking to "go for a walk." We bought a weather cover for his stroller which allows him to leave the room (he still won't wear a mask), so we are able to go to the Oncology Playroom where he can get out of the stroller, a.k.a. the bubble, and play like we were in his own room. It's a nice break and a much needed change of scenery for the both of us.
It is clear that he is doing much better then a week ago. That's why it's a bummer our five day break ends tomorrow afternoon. That's when Adam will start the last four doses of chemo for this round. The break was nice while it lasted.
This is a view last night from our hospital window of the sun setting in a mist of humidity. It was a photo opportunity I just couldn't pass up!

Off To A Rocky Start

It's day five in the hospital and I think we've finally given up hope that this is all a bad dream. Adam continues to bleed from his central line incision. His blood is having a hard time clotting. He is feeling really lousy right now, so he's not moving much. When he is given meds that make him feel a little better, he will move more and then the site bleeds more. They are working on helping his blood clot more efficiently by giving clotting factors through plasma transfusions. He is receiving his second plasma transfusion today. We hope this helps things. After the transfusion, he will get one more dose of chemo and then we get a five day break at which point, he will receive a set of four more doses. After that is all done, we will have finished this round. 

All About Adam

Adam was 18 months old when he was first diagnosed on March 28, 2008 with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. He started the first of five rounds of chemotherapy the next day. After almost six long, grueling months, Adam was sent home from the hospital with a clean bill of health. He continued to be monitored once a month for six months, and then once every two months for the next six months. Unfortunately, he did not make it to the end of the second six month period. After nine months in remission and without any indication anything was wrong, he developed a fever with no other symptoms. He was taken to the doctor the next day to get his blood checked, and the results came back with a white blood cell count of 57,000. His Leukemia came back. He was admitted to the hospital that night and had a bone marrow aspiration and spinal tap the next day to confirm relapse. On Thursday, his central line was placed and by early Friday morning began his first of two rounds of chemotherapy to put him back in remission and to prepare his body for a bone marrow transplant. 

Update: Adam successfully completed his transplant in September 2009. At 12 months post transplant, he continues to do very well. We are thrilled with the outcome and are hopeful he maintains a steady path to a complete recovery. 

Adam has ALWAYS been a high energy kid. He loves people and makes it his mission to say "hi" to everyone. He especially loves to say hello to our neighbors when we go out side or when we are getting ready to take his older brother to school. He is fascinated by everything, first and foremost, helicopters. He developed a love for aviation while he was at the hospital last year. He was able to watch the helicopters take off and land and it delighted him to no end. He also LOVES his older brother, Russell. In his eyes, Russell can do no wrong. Adam cannot wait to go to school just like his brother. He has also turned into quite the turtle activist. Whenever there is a turtle in the road, if it is safe, Mom or Dad must get out and put the turtle in the grass. He has always been fascinated with babies, and gets very concerned when one cries. It makes him extremely happy to know that the "baby's Momma is taking care of him." He loves to go get a "cream cone" with Russell after school and especially loves to go play at the park when the weather permits. 

Adam's Favorite Things

Anything Helicopters
Dump Trucks/Bulldozers/Cranes
Tractors/Farm Equipment
Fire Truck/Ambulance/Police Cars
Animals: Cows, Horses, Cats, especially Dogs and "Goose Geese", and Baby Turtles
Movies: Toy Story, Cars
Ice Cream Cones
Cameras (Thanks to Momma's Hobby)
"Red Blanket"
Mint flavored Tic Tacs
Taking a Bath
Bubbles/Bubble Lawn Mower