About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunshine and Rainbows

It may seem a stretch to believe me when I say I'm seeing sunshine and rainbows -- after all, my kid is still hospitalized and battling aggressive cancer -- but it's true. I never really knew how intense sunlight could be or how bright a rainbow could look until I'd been through a really dark, ominous storm.

We're not completely out of the storm yet, but I can see the beginnings of light creeping over the horizon. Adam and I (and Brady, of course) met with Dr. T and Philippa at noon. He showed us Logan's past two MRIs -- after rounds one and two and the most recent one -- and pointed out the areas that the radiologist mis-interpreted. Even to my untrained eye, it was more than clear that the mass was markedly smaller. He said that it seemed like the radiologist mistook areas where the tumor had dissolved for areas with lower contrast. When I asked how much of the original mass remained, he guesstimated 15 to 20%. When I pressed for his thoughts on the scan, he said he couldn't be happier with how things are going so far, and seemed optimistic for the future. I can't even begin to tell you what a relief that is to me. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy, so it's hugely encouraging to see him so heartened by the tumor's response to the treatment.

So where do we go from here? Of course, we finish cycle 5. He's on day 3 and chugging along. He had lots of energy this morning, though at the moment he's snoozing thanks to some Benadryl and Reglan (which are given for nausea control). Earlier in the day he was be-bopping around the floor, singing and executing his patented dance moves and complaining that he was bored and wanted something to do. He has tonight's drugs, and then tomorrow is Methotrexate day. Hoping for good clearance again and a fast recovery.

Post-cycle 5, he has another MRI scheduled for February 1st to see where we are. Dr. T said that Dr. S thinks it's a long shot that this cycle will completely dissolve the tumor and that it's likely that he'll need another surgery to remove it, but we shall see. It's my personal prayer that he be able to avoid another resection, so please keep that wish in your thoughts and lift it up, if you will. Of course, God knows what's best on the road to healing, so whatever would be best for Logan's recovery is what I want most. If there is still residual tumor, Dr. S will go in sometime in early to mid-February to try to remove it. If not, he'll go straight to the transplant cycle, which involves 9 days of chemo followed by the stem cell transplant. Dr. T said he's responded well enough to the treatment that he doesn't think another stem cell collection is warranted -- in other words, he doesn't think two transplant cycles will be necessary to wipe out every vestige of the disease.

After the transplant cycle is complete, he'll begin 6 weeks of radiation: One hour per day, five days a week. They'll make a custom mask and then he'll wear it and be bolted to the table. Yeah, he'll need anaesthesia for that. Philippa balked a little, saying she thought he could do it without being drugged, but Adam and I just looked at each other and snickered: No way. He'd freak out. If the mask didn't get him first, being bolted to the table would for sure. Dr. T said they have very pointed technology when it comes to radiation these days, so damage to surrounding tissue is less likely than in times past. Because of the location of the masses, he said it's extremely likely that he'll emerge from radiation profoundly deaf in his right ear. I won't lie: I was upset to hear this part. But I have to take a metered approach and realize that a) he's done well with the drug that he's been receiving that usually costs kids their hearing; so far his has stayed normal and b) almost all of the radiation will be applied to the right side, so his left ear shouldn't be affected, or if it is, effects should be minimal. Those are things to be thankful for, even though hearing loss isn't an ideal outcome. I think down the line if he has to say 'yeah, I'm deaf in one ear but it's because I beat cancer', that's okay. I didn't really ask about developmental delays and effects; I couldn't make myself do it, and given that radiation is still several months away, it seemed premature anyway. Philippa noted that he's a smart kid so it's not like radiation would take him down too many notches, but still: It's scary.

So that's where we are for now. I'm immensely pleased with Dr. T's report and feel more at peace now than I have for months. I'm thankful to God for His provision and blessings as we've continued to muddle our way down this path. Please pray for excellent tumor response to this current cycle.

In addition, I have a few prayer requests for other members of our family. Please pray for Abby. She's becoming increasingly angry and aggressive as time passes, and we're not really sure how to handle it. The social worker assigned to us said that it's a completely normal response for siblings of cancer patients, and I'm going to see if I can get her hooked up with another kid or kids who have been in or are currently walking in her shoes. Also pray for Brady and Isaac to sleep at night. Since it's mainly me alone with them overnight these days, I could wind up being completely exhausted and that's clearly not ideal.

Thank you for your continued prayers and for following along with me as a ramble like an idiot. If there's any need I can lift up to God for YOU, please let me know. Blessings to you and your families.

10 comments:

  1. HOORAY! :) :) :)

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  2. Praise God for the good news! We will continually pray for complete healing for Logan. You are inspirational to me because in the midst of what you are going through you can offer to pray for others. Thanks for your honest and thoughtful posts.

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  3. Sherry, that is awesome news from the no-nonsense doctor. Continuing to pray and keep you in my thoughts.

    Kris

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  4. Great news! I will continue to pray that God is in control and knows the best path for Logan's treatment and recovery!

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  5. YAY!!!

    Praise God for a good report and for your sense of peace.

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  6. Yes, yes, praying for all those things and complete healing and minimal hearing loss and for some peace for Abby. She's at such a sensitive age where kids just feel so much. Please give her an extra hug just from me.

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  7. Such great news from the dr! :)

    I have been praying for Abby and Isaac (Abby especially, since I think she would understand more of what's going on), but I will pray speficially for her anger and aggressiveness, as well as for wisdom for you and Adam to know how to handle it. I'll also pray for sleep. Since Joe works third shift I know what it's like to handle all the nigttime wakings on my own, so I can only imagine how difficult it is for you.

    (((hugs)))

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  8. Oh Sherry, what a wonderful way to wrap up my day before I head off to bed! God is good, ALL the time! And it is awesome to hear the extra joyful click in your step as you do the happy dance from all of the fabulous news today. Our prayers will not cease or change, we still beg for complete healing for Logan each day. I always pray for rest for you because of course you can't take care of the family if you are ill and/or sleep deprived. Thank you for reminding me to pray for EACH one of your children as they travel this journey with you. I pray for SLEEP for the boys especially, and for Jesus to wrap Abby up in His lap and let her see the view from His vantage point on her #1 brother and best friend, Logan. I pray that her anger and aggression are removed from her wilted spirit. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us all. Goodnight!

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  9. Wow. I am amazed every time I read your entries. This one amazes me for so many reasons, but mainly that there IS that great news confirmed that the cancer/tumor has reacted well to treatment. Also just amazed how Logan (and you guys) keep trekin' on. Praying for endurance for you guys.
    My heart goes out to Abby. I imagine she has had to go through a lot, in her little mind, about 'what ifs' and what IS happening. So much for such a young lady. Special prayers going out for her.
    Praying over all the next steps in this battle, as well as rest (and actual sleep!) for all of you!!
    Love and hugs.

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  10. This is good news! I'm keeping you all in my prayers. My 5-yr-old daughter has been in remission from leukemia for over a year now, and still has a year of treatment left to go. Her older brother (he's 8) has definitely been more angry/aggressive/defiant in the last year. He sees all the special treatment his sister gets and feels left out, which is only natural. His behavior at school is fine, but at home we have some pretty rough days sometimes. I don't have any advice to offer, but I really feel for you and your family! Take care.

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