I see it has been awhile since the blog has been updated. We were informed by Ashley Schaefer, founder of Layups for Leukemia, that we needed to do so :) Elizabeth is doing fantastic. You would never know that she is going through treatment for Leukemia, but trust me, she is. Her hair is now about an inch long with beautiful curls just like she had. However her hair is much darker than before. No biggie, at least she has hair, she said. Elizabeth tried out for the Mason Volleyball team and made JV. She is extremely pleased to be a part of the team and is looking forward to working her way back into full time play and hopefully varsity next year. Tomorrow is Mason's first day back to school and we are thankful that she is able to start school and stay in for the entire year. Liz will miss every 29 days due to Vincristine chemo and Interthecal Methotrexate chemo (chemo in her spine). These two chemo's are given at Children's. Liz will receive both chemo's Tues. Aug. 31. This will be her first missed day of the year. She will remain in treatment until Feb. 17, 2011. We are in the countdown phase for her every 29 day stuff. She has seven more times for the Vincristine. Here is a reminder of the side effects for this chemo: constipation; hair loss, nausea, vomiting, severe allergic reactions (rash, hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue), cough or sore throat, fever or chills, hearing changes or loss of hearing, mouth sores, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling of your fingers or toes, pain in the bones, muscles, or jaw pain, seizures, stomach pain, trouble urinating, unusual bruising or bleeding, vision changes or loss of vision.
Interthecal Methotrexate is given every 90 days in her spine. She is put to sleep for this procedure and only has three more times for this nasty procedure and chemo. Pharmacology 101 for Interthecal Methotrexate: dizziness, drowsiness, headache, swollen tender gums, decreased appetite, reddened eyes, hair loss, blurred vision or sudden loss of vision, seizures, confusion,weakness or difficulty moving one or both sides of the body, loss of consciousness. Elizabeth takes Mecaptuprine pills daily and Methotrexate pills every seven days. Side effects of the Mercaptopurine are: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal pain, weakness, skin rash, darkening of the skin, or hair loss, mouth sores,fever, sore throat, easy bruising or bleeding, pinpoint red spots on the skin, yellowing of eyes or skin, dark urine, painful or difficult urination. Mercaptopurine causes myelosuppression, suppressing the production of white blood cells and red blood cells. It may be toxic to bone marrow. Side effects from the Methotrexate pill are: anemia, neutropenia, increased risk of bruising, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, dermatitis and diarrhea. A small percentage of patients develop hepatitis, and there is an increased risk of pulmonary fibrosis where dry cough can be an important sign.The higher doses of methotrexate often used in cancer chemotherapy can cause toxic effects to the rapidly-dividing cells of bone marrow and gastrointestinal mucosa. The resulting myelosuppression and mucositis are often prevented (termed Leucovorin "rescue"- as this is the folic acid based drug used).
Last but not least is her Pantinidime treatment. This is a breathing treatment that prevents against bacterial pneomonia. Side effects, of course there are side effects, did you think there would not be??? Her they are:stomach upset, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, cough or a change in taste, tightness in the chest, breathing difficulties, skin rash As you can read from above, she still is in a battle and the side effects of the chemo's she is still taking are horrendous but with less amounts in her body, she is better able to manage the drug. Please pray for the side effects that can happen. last time she received the Vincristine the side effects were ugly. Some months are worse than others. We continue to fight this battle and win. We have lost some very wonderful children and friends afflicted with blood cancers. We are still fighting and we will continue to fight to find a cure and possibly an easier protocol or treatment plan for those afflicted with blood cancers.
If you have not signed up to walk or donate to Team Blazin With Love for the Light The Night event, please consider doing so and be a hero to some. Please go to: http//pages.lightthenight.org/soh/ButlerCo10/LChristine
All proceeds go to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society for research to find a complete cure, the last 10 to 15%.
We have come a long way since Oct. 25, 2008. 730 days to be exact and are now down to 179!!!!!!!! I know to some that seems like a long way away but let me tell you, that is just a mere blink of an eye. We have been so blessed during those 730 days; in ways we can not explain or that one would even understand unless they too have to travel this road.
Please continue to pray for Elizabeth's well being, that she stays in remission, for minimal to no side effects from her medications, chemos, and anything else we may have to give her, for her doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for Critter, Bobby, and Ridgeway.
Please keep Jimmy in your prayers. He will undergo surgery to have his esophagus stretched on Sept. 13. Jimmy was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis three months ago. He continues to do well on the Flovent steroid. Dr. Putnum said he is allergic to proteins found in foods.