Today is a very special day! April 13th marks the anniversary of, in the words Andy used on this day in 2012, at the age 7, “there is no more cancer in my bones!” This is *the* day we got the news from his oncologist that his bone marrow biopsy, after 7 days of treatment, showed “no evidence of disease”. Oh my, it brings me tears of joy still thinking about it. We are so, so, SO grateful for where Andy is today and will continue to celebrate this wonderful day and the news it brought to our family by going to Burgerville for ice cream each year. Why Burgerville? On April 13, 2012, just days after Andy’s diagnosis, a special friend organized a fundraiser to help our family and it was held there. We were so blessed by the turnout of dear friends and family offering moral and financial support to us in such a dark and uncertain time. It’s a really wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on all that God has done in our family.
In other news, we’re just chugging along embracing “normal”. Andy continues to go each month to the hospital to have a once-over and his labs checked. Each month has yielded favorable results with normal labs. We continue to be so thankful for the news at each appointment.
There was a little hitch back in December when Andy got his port out tho. The catheter part of the port had a segment that adhered itself to the vein wall. The catheter is placed in such a manner that it ends right above the heart. The placement is important as the medicine is very toxic and needs to be distributed as fast as possible to dilute so it doesn’t do damage to the body. During the surgery, the surgeon tried multiple times to pull the catheter free, but ended up having to just cut it and leave the end part of it in Andy’s body. The length of tube left behind is about 10 cm (or 3”). It was very disturbing to us at first because we didn’t find comfort in this tube being in his body that could break lose and drop into his heart. Obviously there are complications that can result from that, but the doctor assured us it would be noticeable and that if it did come loose it should be easy to remove, tho it would involve going up through his groin to lasso the tube and pull it out. Still rather disconcerting to us, but trying to continue to pull it out when the body has grown around it was going to cause much damage and wasn’t something the doctor would do. We learned this is extremely rare and happens in less than 1% of the cases. It’s typically with patients that have had the port in for a longer length of time which is the case for leukemia patients. His surgeon regularly takes ports out and said he hadn’t had one stick in over four years and in the oncology office, only one of the doctors had ever had a patient that this happened too and some had never even heard of it before. While this news was less than comforting, God already knew about all this, so I just rest in the fact that this is no surprise to him and He has this too. Andy is supposed to have an x-ray and ultrasound in June/July to make sure it’s still in the same place and then the protocol is to check on it annually after that. It hasn’t caused his any problems thus far and his body is expected to encapsulate it and it will just stay there for life.
Andy’s next appointment in on Tuesday, April 19, and we anticipate good lab results. He continues to hover around 90-95 lbs, but is definitely growing in height at a steady pace according to the growth records they have in his file! We continue to praise the Lord for his mercy and healing on our Andy.
“For nothing is impossible with God.” ~ Luke 1:37