Brock Rocks

January 10, 2013

An update and prayer requests

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 3:40 pm

We’re back at our second home – the hem/onc floor at Children’s. Brock’s had diarrhea for almost 2 weeks and we’re just not able to keep him adequately hydrated at home. They’ve run lots of tests (norovirus, c-diff, etc) and they’ve all come back negative. We did an X-ray of his belly this morning and the surgeons have ruled out any kind of obstruction. A few doctors have told me they think he has an ileus and a few others have said they think he just had a virus that has disrupted his intestines ability to absorb his formula (from his tube feedings). We’re waiting to hear from the GI doctors about whether or not they want to switch him to a formula that’s partially broken down.

Prayer Requests:
– that the doctors would have wisdom in what’s causing the symptoms and the best way to treat them.
– that Brock would be happy while he’s here at the hospital. Despite all the time he’s spent in a hospital, he doesn’t remember much of it and isn’t used to it. The older he gets, the harder this is on him.
– Reese has a double ear infection and is pretty miserable.
– I’ve had pain in my thumb/wrist for over 2 months now. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and got a steroid and a fancy new spica cast. Pray that those 2 interventions help because the next step would be surgery.
– Pray for Jaycie as she handles the stress of our family being separated and getting shuffled back and forth between parents and grandparents. (We couldn’t do this without our parents’ help.)
– Pray for Jay as he leads our family. We’re so thankful for him.

Thank you for loving us and praying for us.

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Home but back again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:37 am

Brock came home last night but we’re taking him back to the ER this morning. Still vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration. 2 weeks of it now. Appreciate your prayers.

January 8, 2013

Back in

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 8:14 am

Brock was admitted last night for dehydration. I’ll post more later.

January 5, 2013

One step closer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 3:33 pm

Brock is FINALLY over this tummy bug. It lasted almost a full week and he’s lost over 2 lbs, but thankfully, he is feeling better.

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{getting fluids for dehydration on Thursday}

We checked in to the hospital on Friday morning for his, God-willing, LAST spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration. Can you believe, in the 3.5 years he’s been in treatment, this is the first time we’ve had a scheduled hospital stay? It’s crazy, really. He should’ve had plenty, but when those times came, we were just already there for fever/illness/blood infections. Walking the halls, Jay and I were overwhelmed with memories of time spent there.

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{We’ve walked literally hundreds of laps past this little mural on the wall, pulling Brock in a wagon.}

A funny little thing we do to note just. how. long. it’s been since Brock was diagnosed is observe the changes in the hospital during that time. The enormous atrium out front? They were just starting it the first time we walked in to the hospital. iPads for kids to use during procedures? They didn’t even exist, friends. This was the view from Brock’s room on Friday. None of that was there in October 2009.

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{The new children’s play area.}

So yeah. Being in the hospital on Friday was…surreal.

We checked in, got a room, switched rooms, got a bed, got fluids, signed consent, and went downstairs to the PICU to start the procedure.

The doctor that did the sedation was the same one that cared for Brock for weeks and weeks when he was in the PICU in 2009-2010.

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{Brock had a LOT of questions for the doctor about what he was doing.}

The procedure went wonderfully, despite the fact that getting Brock to sleep took 3 times the amount of drugs it normally takes to sedate a child his size. At one point the doctor told the PA (who was doing the actual procedures) that he had given Brock enough drugs to knock HER out – and he was still moving. He’s a tough kid.

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{Recovery}

People keep asking us when we’ll get the results. I haven’t even asked the doctors, and honestly, we’re not at all concerned about it. The bone marrow aspiration tells us what his bone marrow looked like at that exact moment – it’s no indicator of what might happen in the future. To be blunt, it could’ve been clear yesterday and have leukemia cells today. We’re praying God spares Brock from ever relapsing and we’re celebrating that this last major milestone is behind us.

So what’s left?

4 days of steroids
1 dose of iv chemo
35 days of oral chemo

Then a bell ringing ceremony and party! We’ll let you know as soon as we set the date!

January 2, 2013

FINAL spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 6:03 pm

Brock is SO close to the end of treatment! His final spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy is this Friday!!!!!

He’s had a spinal tap every 12 weeks for the last 2.5 years (and several before that) to check for leukemia cells in his spinal fluid and administer chemo into his spinal fluid. He hasn’t had a bone marrow biopsy done since…I can’t remember. Sometime in the winter of 2009. The bone marrow biopsy is a lot harder on him than the spinal tap. Since he has a history of not doing well with conscious sedation, the procedures will be done in the PICU under the sedation team.

Pray with us that he sedates well for the procedures. Pray that his spinal fluid and bone marrow are completely clear of every last cancer cell!!!

Thank you, friends, for supporting us and loving us so well during these last 3+ years. God is so good.

January 1, 2013

Sick now and BIG day Friday.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 11:09 pm

Hi friends. Thank you for letting me pop in and out of here so sporadically and still coming back to check on my boy.

Oh it’s been a week. First Reese was sick. With lots of ralphing and diapers and ralphing and laundry and showers.

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Then I made the mistake of telling Jay how shocked I was that in the 3+ years Brock’s been on treatment and alllll the times our family has had a tummy bug, he’s never gotten sick. Amazing!

You can guess what happened next.

We’re on day 3 of Brock being sick. The worst part is he has a fundoplication which makes it virtually (but not completely) impossible for him to vomit. He’s been vomiting over his fundo, which irritated his stomach/esophagus enough to cause it to bleed. Aaaaaaand that’s how he and Jay ended up celebrating New Year’s Eve in the ER.

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They gave him some fluids and Zantac and sent him home, 6 hours later. He’s spent most of today on the couch.

Brock gets the majority of his calories through a feeding tube at night. Because he’s been so sick, he hasn’t gotten any formula since Saturday night. Pray with us that he can tolerate his feeds tonight.

Thankfully, Jay, Jaycie and I haven’t gotten sick. (Although Jaycie was pretty sad when the boys had to go to the ER on NYE.)

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Brock gets chemo tomorrow and I have more to tell you about what’s happening Friday but it’s late. Tomorrow, friends.

Please pray for our friends, The McLaughlins. Their 7 year old daughter passed away right before Christmas. Our hearts have been so heavy for them.

November 20, 2012

Thanks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 3:15 pm

Hello, friends! Thank you so much for continuing to check on us and pray for us even when I’m lazy and don’t post anything for two months!

{TWO MONTHS! Isn’t that crazy? If you were here in the beginning then you remember that I sometimes had to post twice a day.}

A recap, in no particular order:

We celebrated Brock’s diagnosiversary at the beginning of October. Three years since he was diagnosed with leukemia as a tiny little 11 month old boy! We’re so thankful for all that God has brought him through and delivered him from.

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Reese had surgery to have a skin tag on her ear removed? (Did I already tell you that? I think that was all the way back in September.) She did fine. Everything went fine. Ear looks fine.

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Brock turned FOUR at the end of October! I can’t even believe it. It was a day that Jay and I really believed we’d never see.

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Reese turned one a few weeks ago. I don’t have a baby baby anymore!

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And in between we’ve done a lot of bus stop walking, soccer gaming, clinic visiting, musical seeing, outside playing fun.

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We are blessed beyond measure. And He gets all thanks and glory.

September 13, 2012

Did you know?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 11:46 am

You’ve probably already seen it. Pink merchandise popping up in stores. And you probably know why. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is next month.

But did you know that THIS month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? I didn’t. Until my own child had cancer. There aren’t dozens of labels turned gold in the supermarket to tell me. There aren’t football players wearing gold jerseys to tell me. There aren’t gold bracelets next to the checkout counter that say “save the kids!” Instead they’re pink. And say “save your boobies!” And it’s not even their month yet.

September is for the children. For my children. For yours. For the 36 children that will be diagnosed with cancer today and for the 7 that will die. It’s for Brock and Xander and John and Mia and Molly and Asher and Charlsey and Stevy and Luke and Cash and Kaden and Morgan and Reece and Kort and Taylor and Abby and the 120 children in Oklahoma that will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

Boobies can wait til October.

Did you know that cancer is the leading killer of children by disease? It kills more children than cycstic fibrosis, diabetes, HIV, and genetic disorders. Did you know that breast cancer is the 6th cause of death by disease in women (behind heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, respiratory disease and Alzheimer’s)?

In terms of person years life lost (PYLL), the average age at diagnosis of breast cancer is 61, with a calculated 16 PYLL. In contrast, the average age that a child is diagnosed with cancer is 10. This calculates to 67 PYLL. SIXTY SEVEN YEARS OF LIFE LOST WHEN A CHILD DIES FROM CANCER.

I’m not picking on breast cancer. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. It’s just that funding for research for these 2 diseases is GROSSLY disproportionate.

For every $1 spent on childhood cancer research per patient, $7 is spent on breast cancer research per patient.

Our children deserve more.

This Saturday we’re participating in the CureSearch Walk in Oklahoma City. CureSearch raises funds for clinical trials research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group. This group of medical professionals treats more than 90% of children with cancer at over 180 hospitals in the United States.

Children’s Oncology Group wrote THIS treatment protocol that Brock has been on for the last 3 years.

Every little bit helps, friends. It’s only $10 to walk with us. You can even be a ‘virtual walker.’ It would mean so much to my family if you would stand behind us as we try to even the odds for the kids we know who are fighting to live a normal life. You can donate here.

Thank you for how you’ve loved on and supported us during the last 3 years. You have blessed us beyond measure.

Photo: Yep.

September 3, 2012

Biopsies, school, and PT

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 9:26 am

If I don’t post for a few weeks it’s either because there is A LOT going on and the thought of sitting down to write about it overwhelms me….or there’s nothing going on and I don’t really have anything to tell you. This time it’s the former.

Brock went to the dermatologist almost 2 weeks ago. The skin on his arms and face have been really red and dry for several months and we were also a little bit concerned about a mole on his arm. The doctor walked in and couldn’t have cared less about the redness and dryness but was VERY concerned about the mole. He said it looked like melanoma. And then he said “We don’t want to mess around with this. It’s the one type of skin cancer that can kill you.” Awesome. They did a 4mm punch biopsy and 3 stitches to close it up.

 

Brock did great. He cried when they numbed it but was fine after that.

The nurse called the next day to say that there were no cancer cells (praise the Lord!) but that there WERE atypical cells that maybe could’ve might’ve developed in to cancer. We go back tomorrow to get the stitches out and then 6 weeks later for a follow up appointment and to see if the other moles on his arm (that you can seen in the picture) need to be biopsied as well.

Brock started preschool at our church last Monday. He was so excited to go back to school and see his buddies!

 

The very next day he had a routine appointment at the hem/onc clinic for blood work. It showed that he was neutropenic – his white blood cell count was dangerously low, putting him at a high risk of getting sick. And IF he got sick, we’d be automatically admitted to the hospital. So. He hasn’t been back to school or church or anywhere out of the house (except therapy) since then. He goes back to clinic tomorrow as well, to re check his WBC count. We’re praying it’s higher and he can get back to normal life.

Lastly, his physical therapist re evaluated him this week and he has made SO much progress in the last six months. I’m so proud at how hard he works to re-learn things that other kids and parents take for granted.

 

5 months and 5 days of chemo left…..

August 17, 2012

A snippet

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vanessa @ 8:04 pm

As I type I’m listening to Jay, Brock, and Jaycie play triominoes at the dining room table and my heart is full. I’m so thankful for my family and their health and the fact that we’ve been able to spend so much time at home in the last year. With the exception of one little overnight stay for observation, I think we’ve made it almost a year without being in the hospital. I remember when we were hoping to make it a month without having to go back.

Brock and Jaycie went to the ophthalmologist this week. Jaycie’s eyes were slightly worse than last year. He said he could write her a prescription but it would only be for about -0.5 (ha!) and that we didn’t REALLY need to get her glasses right now. Unless she starts complaining of symptoms we’ll wait and recheck them in a year. Brock’s exam was…ok. When the doctor covered his left eye (the one without the blind spots) he kept complaining that he couldn’t see – something that he didn’t do six months ago. 😦 The doctor recommended having him wear a patch on his good eye for 2 hours a day so that the muscles in the bad eye will get stronger. (It won’t change how well he sees out of that eye or the fact that he has blind spots.) Brock is not. a. fan. of the eye patch. Unless I want to torture him, we’re going to have to work up to 2 hours. So far we’ve made it 15 minutes at a time before I give in. His “no my not see!” cries break my heart. 😦

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This beautiful girl started first grade today and I can hardly believe it. It’s been almost 3 years since Brock was diagnosed, which means that Reese is close to the age that Brock was when he got sick, and Brock is close to the age Jaycie was. Jaycie is such a strong, resilient, kind girl and we’re so proud of her.

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And this girl? This girl will be one soon and I can’t even talk about it. She brings such joy to our entire family.

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Praying you have a wonderful weekend full of God’s blessings.

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