Brock Rocks

October 31, 2009

Oct 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:14 pm

Brock had a fever most of the night.  He got everyone pretty worried when it got up to 104.8 at around 4:00 this morning.  Thankfully it’s come back down since then and he’s hovered around 100 degrees (which isn’t technically a fever).

They did a chest and abdomin x-ray in the middle of the night.  The found that he has some air in his GI tract and so they put an NG tube in this morning to suction out some of the air.  One of the good things about the NG tube is that we can give him his oral meds (the bactrim that he hates) through the tube.  Thankfully, they were able to insert the tube through his nose instead of through his mouth, so sweet little guy can still suck his thumb.

He got another blood transfusion overnight.  I can’t remember if I’d already told you guys that.

We’re still waiting for the ICU doctor to come by.  I’ll udpate when I know more.


Just talked with the ICU doctor.  His chest x-ray from this morning showed a little improvement on his right lung, but the left lung looked a little worse.  Hopefully getting the air out of his belly and the vapotherm (the air they’re blowing into his lungs) will help that.

They were concerned about his heart function because his hands and feet have been cold, his liver is slightly enlarged, and his heartrate has stayed high.  So they did an echocardiogram this morning.  We’re still waiting on the official results from the cardiologist, but the ICU doctor said that she thought everything looked fine. 

His CBC goes out to a different (less accurate) lab over the weekend so I”m not hanging all of my hopes on this, but his WBC was up slight this morning.  They said that a lot of times it will go up and down for awhile before it steadily increases.  So hopefully it’ll keep going up!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!!  We are constantly reminded that God is good and that he has good plans for our lives.  One of the truths that has made all of this easier to handle is knowing that Brock isn’t really ours in the first place – he belongs to God and we were given the privilege of caring for him.  I’m so thankful for that and obviously covet having that privilege for a very long time.

October 30, 2009

Oct 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:12 pm

Man, what a day.

They decided to move Brock to the ICU this evening because they were concerned about the way he was breathing.  He was taking shallow breaths and kind of grunting with each breath and they didn’t like to see him “working so hard” to breath.  They’ve got him on a special kind of nasal cannula that’s helping him breath a little easier.  There are some options for what we might try tomorrow if this doesn’t work, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

His belly is really distended and we’re not exactly sure why (but have a few ideas).  That could be what’s making it hard for him to breath.

They gave him platelets earlier today and he’ll get another blood transfusion tonight.

The PICC line went in with no problems.

I’m sure there’s probably more that I could update but my brain is a little too scattered to think of it.  I’ll update again in the morning.

– that the PICC line went in easily

Prayer Requests:
– that his breathing would come easier and that whatever is causing the labored breathing would resolve itself.
– that we would know what is causing his distended belly and be able to fix it
– that his WBC would go up so he can start fighting off some of these problems

Please also keep the Edelen family in your prayers also.  We first “met” this family through CaringBridge.  They have a 2yo son with leukemia and they also have a 6 week old newborn daughter.  Their son is in the room right next to us in the PICU with many of the same symptoms Brock is having.  I can’t imagine having to deal with all of this and take care of a newborn at the same time.  I’ve been praying for peace and strength for the family – especially the mother.

Oct 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 11:11 am

UGH!  I have to retract part of my good news from earlier.  Apparently I can’t read a CBC as well as I thought.

His WBC did not go down to 50 and then back up.  It actually went up to 500 and then back down to 100.

But, it’s still good news that he had 20 segs.  They’ll do another CBC tonight at 5:00.

Also, they’re having a hard time getting all of his TPN and medication through his port.  He’s supposed to be on the TPN for 20 hours/day and a lot of the other things he gets aren’t compatible to run with it so they have to stop it, give the med, restart it, etc.  Basically, there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything he needs to get.

So, they’re going to try to put in a PICC line today so that they’ll have two places to access and can run things simultaneously.  Please pray that they can get a PICC line in on the first time and that there won’t be any complications from it.

Please continue to pray that his WBC goes up.

Thank you!

Oct 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 8:09 am

*deep breath* (good news at the end, though)

It was a rough night.  He had a fever most of the night.  It got up to 103.3 at one point.  They gave him tylenol and drew a blood culture.  Each time his fever goes up, his heartrate goes up as well so they also gave him another bolis of fluids to get his heartrate back down.

Also, his blood pressure steadily dropped over night.  They told us our cut off point for when they would get very concerned was 90/45.  It was 98/47 this morning.  We check it just a little bit later and it was back up to 102/54. 

When those 2 things happen (high fever, low bp) they’re concerned about him going into septic shock.

To give you some ideas of how serious things are:
– they had 2 ICU doctors come up and look at him last night.  They said they wanted to see what he looked like, that way if he ended up in the ICU later they would have something to compare to.
– they still won’t let him eat or drink anything because they’re afraid if he crashes he might aspirate something into his lungs.
– we have been keeping his id bracelet on his iv pole, but they made us put it back on his leg just in case “something happens.”


(well, a little more bad news and then some good)

His CBC last night showed that his WBC (white blood count) had dropped to 50 (which I didn’t even know was possible – I thought 100 was the lowest they could measure)

BUT!  This morning it had come back up to 100.  That’s the first time it’s moved up in weeks, so that’s fantastic!

Also, they measure for 2 different types of white cells (segs and bands).  He hasn’t had any of either type for quite awhile, but this morning he had 20 segs.

So those 2 things indicate that hopefully his WBC is on the way back up (which is what we need in order to fight all of these infections and get him better).

So thank you all for praying and please continue to do so!

October 29, 2009

Oct 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:15 pm

Things are very serious up here.  Brock’s heart rate and blood pressure have been pretty elevated and his oxygen level is low.  They’ve given him a bolis (sp) of fluids in the hopes that it will bring his heartrate down.

The doctors have told us that he is septic.  We are watching him very carefully overnight.  The hematologist wants him to not eat or drink anything overnight.  They’re worried that if he crashes he might aspirate something into his lungs.

We won’t have the official results of the CT scan until the morning, but our hematologist looked at it with us and said there didn’t appear to be any fungal lesions anywhere.  But, like I said earlier, sometimes they won’t show up whenever the WBC is so low, so they’re starting him on a heavy duty anti-fungal (the side effects of which can be really hard on him). 

The CT scan also showed a little bit of pneumonia on his left lung.  They’ve started him on a 3rd antibiotic.

Please pray that he stays stable overnight and starts improving soon.

Oct 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:07 pm

The doctors are thinking there might be some type of fungal colinization in Brock’s lungs, liver, or spleen so they’re doing a CT scan soon to check.  I’m forcing myself not to read anything about it on the internet, but from what I understand, this could be a very serious problem.  Another complication is that sometimes it’s hard to detect it if the WBC is still very low.

Please pray for clear answers from the CT scan and complete healing for Brock.

Oct 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 8:07 am

I (Jay) just wanted to give everyone a quick morning update.  Last night was not a great night for us.  Brock’s O2 levels continued to stay low, so we got a blood transfusion late last night.  Along w/ that comes a nurse to check vitals every hour while we are getting blood.  He spiked a pretty good fever around 7ish last night and it broke around 10pm.  So that was good, but yet he spiked another big temp around 2am this morning, and I am thinking it broke around 7am. Brother had a very restless night so I know he isn’t doing great.  One praise is that Brother was awake and watching things going on for most of the evening.  From about 5ish all the way till after our 9pm shot and meds. He also ate a jar of baby food, which is encouraging to me.  I think lowering the morphine was a great thing.  So lets just hope that when momma gets here later this morning he will be able to nurse.
Please pray that this low temp with occassional spikes stops
and that he continues to be alert and eat.  Also pray that ‘V’ and I have patience on waiting on brother to start making his white cells, I know I am having a tough time just waiting.  Thank you for all that everyone is doing, We are truly so blessed.

Vanessa will probably have a good update after we hear from the DR today.

October 28, 2009

Oct 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:05 pm

– WBC is still at 100 (the lowest it can be…normal is 6,000+…we need 500)

– bottom looks a little better

– he’s either not make or leaking albumin (a protein in the body) and we’re trying to figure out which one and why.  his albumin levels were very low and so they gave him some through his port today.

– he got platelets again today.  he’ll probably get another blood transfusion tomorrow or friday.

– we’re cutting his morphine dosage in half.  hopefully he’ll be more awake and alert.

– i (vanessa) get to take jaycie to church tonight and to gymnastics/tap tomorrow.  yay!

October 27, 2009

Oct 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:04 pm

I must’ve sounded really sad in my last update because I got lots of encouraging emails after I posted it.  THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to write to try to lift my spirits!

Brock’s white blood count (WBC) is still non-existent.  They can’t start his next phase of chemotherapy until it gets up to 500.  That should also help his bottom start to clear up.  They’re doing another CBC tomorrow morning to recheck it.

We’ve been at the hospital exactly 3 weeks and there’s really not a clear end in sight as to when he’ll be able to go home.  A lot of that also depends on getting his WBC back up.  We haven’t talked about it specifically but I’m also assuming he’ll need to be off the TPN and able to get enough nutrition by mouth, as well as finish of his heavy duty antibiotics and remain fever-free.

Brock has been on prednisone since his first day of treatment and they’re starting to gradually take him off of it.  The positive part of that is that it might help his bottom heal.  The negative part of taking him off is that his appetite might start to decrease.

He literally slept all day today and we’re trying to assess whether it was from exhaustion from the chemo drugs or if it’s because of the new morphine drip.  He’s on the tiniest dose possible for the morphine drip so we don’t think it was from that…but we just want to make sure.

Jaycie had expressed to me that she was wanting some time with Mommy and Daddy together (instead of always switching back and forth on who had her while the other was at the hospital).  Thankfully we were able to work that out tonight and Jay and I took her out to eat dinner.  She was in a great mood and had a good time and I really think it helped her.  We’re planning on doing the same thing again on Halloween night so that we can both take her trick-or-treating.

– that we both got to spend some quality time with Jaycie
– that we have such wonderful friends and family who pray for us, come spend the day with us when we’re lonely, bring us meals, and go clean our house for us so that we don’t have to

Prayer Requests:
– please continue praying for wisdom about managing Brock’s pain
– PLEASE PRAY FOR HIS WBC TO GO UP!  every part of his treatment is on hold until that happens
– pray that his appetite will continue to increase despite being taken off the steroid

Thank you all so much for everything you do for us.  We are so blessed to have such amazing family and friends.  We love you!

October 26, 2009

Oct 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:03 pm

– Brock was supposed to get more chemo this Thursday but we’re having to wait until his bottom clears up (which is frustrating).  Thank you to everyone who has suggested ways to clear it up, but it really is too severe for any of that.  We’re fighting yeast, bacteria, and broken down skin with a combination of anti-fungals, antibiotics, and barrier creams.

– They’ve put him on a morphine drip to help control his pain.  It’s a much smaller amount than a regular dose would be.  That should be more effective than trying to guess when he’s really in pain.

– They did a few tests to see if we could take him off the TPN but his protein levels were still too low (which isn’t surprising given he’s only eaten grilled cheese sandwiches, toast, and pancakes all week).

– He spiked a fever again so they put him back on a broad-spectrum, heavy-duty antibiotic. 

– He’s gotten a few mouth sores so they put him on an oral anti-fungal as well.

– Jaycie had a really hard time when I had to leave her for school today.  Lots of clinging and tears (by both of us).

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