The Home Stretch

Lord willing we have a few days of rest in sight. Andy was discharged around dinner time on Saturday from Camp Randall. He was feeling much better that day, but his doctor wanted to watch him and make sure he didn’t spike a fever again so we had to stay all day. Thankfully he had no fever and we were finally allowed to take him home. He did require another platelet transfusion on Saturday and his lab numbers were still pretty grim, especially his ANC of zero.

Santa Baby

While we waited around on Saturday, our family got to attend a Christmas party at Randall put on by and Randall Children’s Hospital. It was an amazing party and a fabulous perk of being inpatient was that we got priority status to see Santa so we bypassed the huge line and got right to the front! Andy’s Child Life specialist told us that they invited over 500 families, plus anyone inpatient during the party was invited. The criteria for the invitation was staying 5 nights or more in the hospital during 2012 – um, check, we got that 7 times over!

With Santa at Randall Children’s Hosptial Christmas Party

Yesterday (Monday), Andy had a lab check-up and received his AT3 infusion. His labs indicated he’s recovering from the past few weeks of chemo.  All his numbers were up and he didn’t need any platelets or red cells today – yay! The numbers are still considered “low”, but he’s trending toward recovery, so that is beautiful news. His white cell count is slightly up from Saturday to .5 (that is 500 white cells in his body, while 4,500-13,000 white cells are considered normal, so he’s still pretty darn low – it’s actually flagged “critical” on the lab printout). He also now has an ANC – it’s only 30, but hey, that is better than zero.  His weight has been decreasing quite a bit in the past few weeks and he’s down about 5 lbs from what he was just a few weeks ago.  For most people that isn’t a big deal, but he now weighs only 58 lbs and was about 70 when he was diagnosed.  His doctor talked again of an appetite stimulant, but said he was okay waiting out the week to see if his appetite picks up.

Team Andy Captain (aka Daddy) & Andy with Santa

His finger is still hurting him and still looks ugly. He was sent home on some oral antibiotics which he hates. He threw up the liquid in the hospital so his doctor changed him to a pill, but it’s pretty big and a capsule to boot so he has to swallow it whole or endure me opening the capsule and stirring the powder into something soft like applesauce which he totally hates, so swallowing the “horse pill” it is.

Under the Christmas Tree

Andy got a fun surprise from the “box man” yesterday (at our home “box man” = UPS/FedEx delivery person). It was actually fun for us all because it was a packaged delivered to Team Andy from Volvo in North Carolina and none of us could figure out what it could possibly be or who the sender really was. Thanks to a few helpful brothers, Andy was able to get the package opened and found a super fabulous surprise inside…a care package directly from Mack Trucks! Someone daddy knows through work shared Andy’s story with corporate Mack Trucks and they sent him off a special package. I wish I would have recorded Andy’s reaction as he opened the package, he was so elated and in light of all the troubles of our country, it is a breath of fresh air that there are still caring and kind people in a world filled with evil and hatred.

Thank you Mack Trucks!

I’m hoping we have an uneventful week. No fevers and no problems, nothing but time to finally enjoy the anticipation of Christmas. Andy has an appointment for more AT3 on Thursday, but his doctor is letting us skip his labs today since he’s trending the same, so hopefully there are only two trips to Portland this week. Then Monday, Christmas Eve, Andy is scheduled to start Maintenance. At this point I’m doubtful that he’ll be starting. He has a long way to recover since his ANC has to be 750 and he’s only at 30, but miracles do happen. Yes I want him to get started, but part of me wants to wait until we get past Christmas. It’s in the Lord’s hands and we know that he has Andy’s best interest at heart. I will rest in the fact that His will will be done and he has the perfect time for Andy to begin the final phase of his cancer treatment.  We’re in the home stretch and I can see the light at the end of this long tunnel.  His treatment is far from over, but a taste of “normal” should be returning very soon.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” ~ Psalm 20:7

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9 Responses to The Home Stretch

  1. Sheila Speck says:

    It is great to know that big companies still can still have time to uplift a young man. So glad he is coming up in his numbers. I am praying right now that the trend continues. Praying he begins maintenance when itis a good time.God blesss you all.

  2. Aunt Lori says:

    The Mack truck story is wonderful…that was really great of them to do something that lifted Andy’s spirits so much!
    I think of you all and send best wishes and lots of hugs!

  3. Debbie Brotzge says:

    It’s such sweet news to hear that things are trending on the upward swing. I will continue praying this week for the healing of his little body. Lilia looks at his picture and I remind her that we need to pray for him. The other day when Jerry saw his picture, Lilia told him, “Little boy we pray for.”

    Love you, Missy! Merry Christmas to your precious family!!

  4. Grammie says:

    We should start calling Andy “AndyMack” What a great story and we are all looking forward to a great Christmas! Love Ya’all

  5. Grandma Jeannine says:

    Oh…that is a great story…everyone is looking good in the pictures. I have said it often ‘it’s who you know’ and it is so wonderful that peoples hearts are so BIG!!! The gifter will be remembered in my prayers for their kindness to a very precious little boy. Can’t wait to see the truck:)

  6. Carrie says:

    What wonderful pictures!!! What a blessing from the Mac Company!!! He looks like he was thrilled, I am praying you guys have an uneventful week and peaceful Christmas, sending some things your way today,, some extra calories for Andy:)) Love you guys,Carrie

  7. Joan Fifer says:

    We are so glad things are looking up. We missed you at church on Sunday so we were glad to get the latest update. What a good time to see Santa and have a party instead of more meds. Hope to see you this week.
    Bob and Joan

  8. Molly says:

    Praying for a peaceful Christmas for your family. Enjoy the wonderful holiday with ones you love most! Merry Christmas.

  9. Valarie Sadler says:

    Dear Ones:

    Thank you for sharing the great pictures of your beautiful family! The Mack Truck company has a heart!! So rare these days. They are godly people it seems. I am SO SAD I cannot see you all, especially at this time of year. I would be happier to be up there with Les gone. I feel 2013 will be a lucky year and we will all be better off. I miss you all so terribly. Hope you got my card by now. My prayers always include gratitude but I will include great thanks for Andy being home for Christmas, starting his maintenance after the new year and for everyone having FUN during the holidays.

    Love you all so much!

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