Andrew was diagnosed with Erythroid (M6) Acute Myeloid Leukemia on November 4th, 2010 when he was almost 5 months old. Andrew is currently in remission from his cancer, after finishing his 5 rounds of chemotherapy. He is a healthy, happy toddler.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Amazingly Well

Andrew is doing so well! I'm seriously floored at how well he's tolerated chemo this round. His ANC is 1000 as of yesterday--after 5 days of chemo! I know it takes a bit to go down, but it always seems like he zeroes out pretty fast. Other than crabbiness at night and waking more than usual, the last 24 hours have been just about normal for him.

For being a children's hospital, Primary's is not even close to childproof. However, I've found a way to barricade him in the more childproof half of the room so that the only thing I have to worry about is an outlet. He's been so chatty and peppy--he started waving "bye bye" consistently as of yesterday, and I think he correctly identified who dada is today for the first time. He's had momma down for quite some time :).

I'm almost done with the Emperor of All Maladies, which is quite the book to read while you're in the hospital. For being a doctor, and especially an oncologist, he gets really emotional in the book sometimes. Actually, a lot of the time. It does a great job of talking about the history of cancer and chemotherapy research. It's a fun read, and he's brave for revealing some of what he's really thinking when he says certain things to patients. Like that the sympathy is truly there, but the diagnosis speech is often rehearsed. It's a very well-researched book, and I'm not surprised it took him 6 years to write it.

I'm learning a little bit more about life after chemo, and I guess I'm surprised that I haven't read more than I actually have. I knew I had to deal with the possibility of heart damage with the use of anthracyclines (like daunorubicin and mitoxantrone), but I didn't realize that the possibility of damage was as high as it is. I hope and pray that these drugs that they've used for the decades will soon phase out and the FDA gets its act together and starts approving drugs that will work without such nasty side effects.

We have some friends in here who recently declined to go through with their bone marrow transplant, so they're on track with us, now. It was against the advice of the bone marrow team, and it's made me seriously re-think about just how much trust I put in my oncologists. Do I really trust the decisions they make? Do I believe them when they say it's the best way to achieve the greatest likelihood of a cure and an acceptable quality of life? Do I really think they have his best interests at heart? These are a lot of questions I had, especially at the beginning, but it really reminds me how much implicit trust I've put in them. That it's not just a nice thing to trust them a lot, but that I need to trust them completely. More importantly, though, I need to trust God completely, knowing that even if oncologists don't know everything and can sometimes mess up that he knows exactly what He's doing and what Andrew needs. I'm so glad that I've been able to feel peace about Andrew's diagnosis as well as his prognosis. Sometimes I wonder just what I've learned so far, and wonder why I'm not a better person because of it. I think, though, that it'll take years for me to process.

Anyway, I'll post some pictures soon. I've taken a lot of them--just haven't brought the camera cord :)


  1. Lizzie, I love your thoughts. I especially appreciated your insights about how we don't need to worry too much about doctor's shortcomings because the Lord knows our children and will protect them. A great reminder.

    I'm glad Andrew is still doing so well! He is just the cutest!

  2. So glad to hear that Andrew is doing so well this round! Only one more to go after this, eh? I too enjoyed your perspective on the trust we have to have in the docs and especially in the Lord. You have wisdom beyond your years! Miss you guys!