Monday, December 19, 2011

The Best Christmas Present Ever!

Today was the day! PET/CT results were in. We hoped and prayed in one direction and asked others to do the same, but rejoiced in God's will and His grace regardless.
I am overjoyed to announce that the scans were clean. There are no currently visible signs of cancer!
We are not completely free of all things cancer related though. We will have a follow up in one month and new scans in three months. In the meantime we will be keeping a close watch on him.
Hodgkins Disease treatment protocols recommend 4-6 rounds of chemo. We have done 4. We had the option to do 2 more rounds but decided not to for the time being. So continued prayers are still requested and necessary.
For today we are singing, dancing, and praising God for His faithfullness to us.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Turn me in for blog neglect- I deserve it.

It's time for an update. It's been time for an update for a while actually. My blogs do not whine the way my two year old does, nor do they bicker and fight the way my junior high boys do. They are very easy to keep moving to the bottom of the "to-do list".
However, I have had a couple of phone calls and an email which warrant the update.
First off, one call and email were inquiring about art classes. Unfortunately I am still not offering any really. I am doing a very small class for some homeschool teenagers in the middle of the day on Mondays. That has not been regular though because Ryan's chemo schedule got moved around from Fridays to Mondays.
The phone call which I did not return, but meant to, (so sorry) was an inquiry about a link I have on my blogroll near the end of the page about The Art Rats. It is a really cool project, which is why I included it in one of my top twenty posts. When I contacted the author to let them know they were in the top twenty, I never heard back from them though. I can only guess at the process they used to do the project. Which I agree with the caller on, about them having used a grid method. I believe they also ran photos through a photo editor. made them black and white, increased contrast levels and "posterized" before going to the grid with them.
I have also had many emails full of support and concern for my son Ryan who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma back in August. To give them an update, Ryan is doing really well. we've had a lot of ups and downs with his treatment. The chemo itself has not caused a lot of side effects as we had been prepared for. It was the infusion methods that caused him so much grief! Initially Ryan had a PICC line placed in his left arm. A PICC line is sort of a semi-permanent IV that is implanted inside the arm with an external access to draw blood from and insert medications. We lost the first PICC line about a month after it was first placed. We believe he was allergic to the adhesive in the dressing bandages. It pretty much turned his arm to hamburger. It looked horrible and it was so itchy for him. It also ended up throwing out a blood clot which landed Ry back in the hospital for an extra week. During that week they placed a second PICC line in his right arm this time. His skin started reacting even before we left the hospital. We tried every different type of adhesive and cleaning preparation. It got to the point where it was oozing so bad, the dressing had to be changed everyday. It should only have needed to be changed once a week. So we lost the second PICC line too. Ryan's last four infusions were done by peripheral IV. These have been anything but fun. Ryan is exteremly needle phobic and tends toward anxiety issues. On top of that the stuff they were running through his veins was extremely caustic. One infusion couldn't be finished because his veins just couldn't handle anything more in his overly irritated veins. The next infusion took two days and a double dose of sedative to finish. On top of that he had a nasty cold- which he still has the remnants of.
This brings us to this week and the big reason I am updating. We are at the point where we will be doing new tests to see how effective the treatments have been! A CT/PET scan is scheduled for Thursday. We should have results at our next Monday apointment on December 19th. The best case scenario(the one we are praying for and ask you to as well) is that the cancer will be gone and no further treatment will be indicated. If this is not the case then we will be looking at 2 more rounds of chemo(4 individual infusions), then new scans at that point. If it stll isn't budging, we will have to consider radiation and possibly stem cell transplants. Based on how much the cancer had been reduced on the last scans, we are hopeful these last 2 rounds did the trick. I promise(cross my heart), I will update the blog when we have new results. Hopefully those results will also mean a return blog nurture as opposed to neglect. If for some reason it doesn't though, bear in mind I do have a two year running around the house, or should I say climbing...