Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good Morning!

I'm BACK! The sun is out and I am madly in love with humanity once again. When sleep gets cut off, I'm pretty sure my endorphins and all thoughts optimistic get smothered as well. This precious gift of rest has come to me, and I finally feel like myself again. I'm still a little drowsy, but no where near the exhaustion that was the storm cloud looming over my head ala cartoons of depressed characters. The coffee in my hand is delicious (Thank you, Kristen and Jaime!) and it is actually helping. Ahhhh... little sparks of normalcy does this heart good.

Friday night was longer than the previous nights, if you can believe it. Gideon got up to go to the bathroom twenty seven times. I counted because it made me feel like I had a glimmer of control over the situation, and it made me more awake during the bathroom get-ups. If I would have let myself sleepwalk while bringing this boy to the bathroom, there's no telling where I would have set him to do his business. We don't need ruined furniture on top of everything else. He had a lot of pain in his lower abdomen, so I called his Oncologist. He was thrashing in his bed throughout the night (when he wasn't peeing), and I tried hot packs, cold packs, massage... Finally, I bundled him up like a baby and held him tight while rocking him. He drifted off to sleep when I did this, and I was so thankful. My lullaby voice was completely raspy, but Gideon didn't seem to mind. This seemed more than kidney stones.

He did not have any kind of bacterial bladder or urinary tract infection since they checked that when I went to the hospital on Friday (that same day). I was told that the amount of peeing has to do with the water retention from the steroids. Our puffy boy is gradually shrinking back to size and the water has to go somewhere! Dr. Lobel subscribed Gideon with a drug that would help alleviate the pain he was experiencing since he had a feeling it was a viral bladder infection, and not kidney stones. There's no medicine to cure this, only medicine to deal with the discomfort.

Tom took Gideon to the hospital to get more tests done yesterday (Saturday). We will know in a few days if it is in fact a viral infection, but in the meantime, Gideon already is taking the medicine for it. Our Oncologist is so very proactive. I am thankful for that! I asked him what caused this... I was starting to roundup all of the bubble bath to dispose of it -- convinced that is what caused the problem. Dr. Lobel said that Gideon contracted a normal virus that would normally only cause sniffles and coughs in healthy children, but viruses attack anything they can when a child doesn't have the immunity to fight it. This virus chose Gideon's bladder. So, I guess what I mean to say is this: PLEASE understand my neurotic behavior when it comes to even the possibility of you or your children having a cold. It may only be a "cold", but it turns into something so much worse for my baby.

Gideon and I took a monster nap yesterday, and the new medicine eased so much of Gideon's pain. We went to a picnic at the park. Gideon walked a ton, but then his legs gave out and he fell. No blood (thankfully), but the little honey didn't want to call it a night. He wanted me to carry him and run around the park while doing so. "RUN, MOMMY! RUN!" I have not worked out in awhile, and WOW! I was winded, but I kept going because of the smile on his face and the trilling giggles that spurred me on even more.

Once we got back to our car, the fireflies were out. Brody is the best firefly catcher around. So, he taught Gideon his skills and by the time we got home, the two of them were sneaking up on these little creatures and gently cupping them in their hands. They giggled together and compared bugs with joy spilling out of each moment. This was the better kind of heartburst -- the pause button moment of life, and I was so thankful!

Because of the medicine, Gideon only got up three times last night! THREE! That was an easy one to count and keep track of... I am feeling wonderful, and I know this virus will be taken care of in no time. Yes. Optimism feels so much better. Thank you for your prayers for my sleep and rest! They have worked, once again.

On a side-note, I have had many people ask about Gideon's remission and if this is normal. I ganked this quote from one of my favorite cancer sites (that sounds weird: "favorite cancer site" it's a popsicle flavor or something...): "Most patients with ALL are given induction chemotherapy. The goal of induction therapy is to bring the disease into remission. Remission is when the patient's blood counts return to normal and bone marrow samples show no sign of disease. Induction therapy achieves a remission in more than 95% of children and in about 75% to 89% of adults. Induction therapy is usually very intense and lasts about one month. After induction chemotherapy, the next step may be a transplant or consolidation chemotherapy, depending on the treatment plan."

So, 95% of children achieve remission after this Induction therapy. Gideon is one of those in that 95% category, and I am GRATEFUL and HAPPY about that. He could be one of those in the 5%, and he is not. So we will praise God for that. This is not like other cancers where the treatment happens, remission is obtained, and a cure is around the corner. We still have the full three years to go through, regardless of what the tests say. I will post what the next phase, consolidation chemotherapy, will entail soon after our meeting with Dr. Lobel.

Thank you for your questions, and please feel free to keep them coming! We will beat this cancer completely. This is not even a doubt in my mind.


  1. Amanda--You are an amazing mother with an amazing son and the ability you have in documenting this journey is nothing short of amazing, to overuse that word. When this journey is successfully completed with the grace of God, I hope you compile these heartfelt memories. I think they would bring joy, relief, and incredible hope to so many people. I would like to meet Gideon and see this little bundle of profound energy and introspection. Thank you for writing and sharing your hopes, your pain, and your family with all of us. Truly inspiring and I pray that Gideon and your family enjoy a beautiful life together. You are already blessed.
    Karen Lundin

  2. So happy you were able to rest:) It is amazing what a little sleep can do. Praying for continued healing with the possible bladder infection and the pain. Happy to hear some praise worthy results!! Thank You Jesus!!- Erika F.