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Phase 2 Updates

Treatment Day 1
 
(6/14/2007)
Treatment Day 8
 
(6/21/2007)
Treatment Day 9
 
(6/22/2007)
Treatment Day 13
 
(6/26/2007)
Treatment Day 15
 
(6/28/2007)
Treatment Day 22
(7/5/2007)

Updates

Day 1

Today Gabriel began the 2nd phase of treatment for Leukemia called "Consolidation". This phase will cover a period of  28 days. Overall he did very well. He seems to be getting more comfortable with the routine of his treatment. He received his chemo and underwent his first of 3 spinal taps. All went very well with no adverse effects.

Over the past 5-7 days, Gabriel has been emerging from his drugged like dopy state. For the past 5 weeks he has slept almost all the time except to eat. He rarely spoke with only an occasional whine of almost undecipherable sounds trying to tell us he needed to go to the bathroom or what it was he wanted to eat.

But now, as he begins this new phase after having almost a 2 week break from the treatments, he is talking, laughing, joking with us, playing with his brothers and going for evening walks with us. Right now he likes to ride his little tricycle as Carol and I walk behind him. He gets very upset if either one of us tries to help by pushing him. I feel this exercise is very important for him since he has gotten very weak in his legs from not being able to walk much for the past month or so, and  because of the chemo he is receiving. One of the side effects of the chemo is a reversible nerve problem which effects the way he walks. We have noticed he is very unstable while walking and needs help to get over the slightest step. But he is getting stronger everyday and continues to improve regularly.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. We have a long road ahead and we thank God we have you to walk that road with us. God bless you.

Good night...
-Tom
"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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Day 8

Today was Gabriel's 8th day of treatment of  his Consolidation Phase. He received chemo, had a blood test and a spinal tap where the doctors injected a chemo drug called methotrexate. I think the hardest part of the treatment day is removing the tape that is placed on his little chest to hold the needle that they use to access his port that was placed under the skin on the right side of his chest. Gabriel does not like removing that tape.

Following treatment, Gabriel fell asleep and slept until late in the afternoon. By dinner time, Gabriel was returning to his old self, playing with his brother Joshua and his monster trucks. Treatment days knock him out for about 6-8 hours but he recovers quickly especially when all our children are here at the house when he wakes up.

 God bless you.

Good night...
-Tom
"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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Day 9

Today at 3pm, Gabriel began to run a slight fever. By this evening he was at 101.6. After speaking with Gabriel's cancer doctor, she did a direct admission and we are back in All Children's Hospital. Not sure how long we will be here but it will probably be at least 3 or 4 days. It all depends on the blood cultures and urinalysis results.

Good night...
-Tom

"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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Day 13

Well, four days after admittance into the hospital and we still don't know what has caused Gabriel's fever. All cultures have come back negative. He hasn't had any sign of fever since 8pm Monday evening so the doctors are going to send us home today. Gabriel is anxious to get home as well. This morning he said to Carol, "Mom, my head is cool, and you know what that means, I get to get out of here!? He was so cute. It is amazing what he is able to pick up and process.

Good night...
-Tom
"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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Day 15

Today Gabriel had another blood test and spinal tap. Doctors again injected the drug methotrexate into his spine. His blood count was pretty good but his hemoglobin levels were a bit low. That means Gabriel's next treatment may include a blood transfusion. He slept most of the day but, what is becoming "normal", he was returning to his old self by dinner time.

Gabriel has lost almost all his hair and is starting to ask questions which are hard to explain. Questions like, "What is this thing in my chest?" and "Why does the doctor keep hurting me with that tape?" and "Why do I have to keep taking medicine?" His evening medicine time is starting to become "Question and Answer time with Dad". I do my best to satisfy his curiosity and he usually ends my explanations with a simple "OH".

He is being a real trooper though and tries to cooperate with Carol and I, the doctors and nurses the best he can. It is a real emotional roller coaster ride for us all but our love for each other and our faith in God is holding us together. Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Good night...
-Tom
"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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Day 22

Today Doctors expected to have to give Gabriel
a blood transfusion. However after doing a blood test, they discovered Gabriel's blood levels came up on their own during the week. Thank God, he is now able to take a weeks rest from all the chemo and treatments until next week. However, next week July 12th begins Day 1 of his Standard Interim Maintenance phase. It will begin with a spinal tap, chemo, and a return to steroids.  Please keep Gabriel in your prayers.

Good night...
-Tom
"Whenever my enemy provokes me to combat, I try to behave like a soldier."
St. Therese, the Little Flower

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