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Phase 3 Updates

Treatment Day 1
 
(7/12/2007)
Treatment Day 15
(7/26/2007)
(8/09/2007
(8/23/2007

Updates

Day 1

Well among the many trials there is good news as well. Today Gabriel began his 3rd phase of treatment. We expected a spinal tap and bone marrow biopsy, but instead, Gabriel just received his normal chemo treatment (Vincristine injected through his chest port). The spinal tap will not come until Treatment Day 29 of this phase and Day 1 of the next. His blood work came back great, and everything seems to be going very well.

His treatments for this phase began today with his regular chemo treatments with an additional medication of Dexamethasone, Methotrexate, Mercaptopurine, and Septra. When the nurses and doctors told us we would be Gabriel's primary care takers, they weren't kidding. We have spend hours reading and studying the proper administration of these medications and what they can and can't be mixed with. But the stakes are high and we are all aware of that.

Thank you for all your prayers and financial support. It is comforting to know that you are all there 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 15

Another very good day for Gabriel. Although he did not like having his blood taken today, he received some more good news. His next visit to the doctor (providing all things remain equal) will not be until August 2nd. He is responding so well and the side effects to the medications are minimal to none. (Side effects include, low blood counts, mouth sores, skin rashes, mild nausea, abnormal liver function tests and other less common side effects). His blood counts today came back almost completely normal.

People have asked me if he does well, can he stop the medications, the answer is no he can't. There are two things the doctors are trying to do, first to kill the Leukemia, and second to train the body to adapt away from producing the Leukemia cells. This takes time and is why he is on a 3 year and 3 months regiment. The goal is at the end of that period, he will be free of Leukemia and his body will have learned not to produce the Leukemia cells. This is of course the hope.

On August 9th, Gabriel will go back on Steroids, get a spinal tap and have Methotrexate injected into his spine, receive Vincristine (chemo) through his chest port, and take Methotrexate and Mercaptopurine orally. WOW! It will be a big day for his little body.

If anyone is interested, I could post the 3.4 year road map schedule of every day for 3.4 years. Just let me know. I have added an E-Mail Gabriel link above if you would like to send a little hello to Gabriel. I read to him every card and letter that he receives.

Thank you again for all your prayers and financial support. God will not let it go unrewarded.  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 29

Today was a rough day for Gabriel. Although I must say, he is doing very, very well. The doctor came in and began looking him over, checked his ears, mouth, spleen, liver, belly, testis, and reviewed his current blood counts. After a few moments I asked him how everything looked. With the blood test results in his hand, he looked up and smiled and said that Gabriel is going great. Everything looks good.

With that the nurse came in, accessed Gabriel's port, administered his chemo and then after about 40 minutes, she gave him some medication to make him sleepy. The doctor then came in, did the spinal tap, injected Methotrexate into his spine and Gabriel remained asleep for an unusual 50 minutes or so. As the sleepy medication wore off, Gabriel bounced back and although a bit tired, wanted to race me down the carpeted hallway. He is really too much. Once we got back to the car, Gabriel slept the remainder of the day and into the evening.

Overall, he handled everything extremely well and the expected side-effects of all these medications are still almost non-existent. We thank God for his mercy and all of you for your prayers and financial support.  Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

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 43

Today's treatment and blood tests on Gabriel raised a bit of caution for us. He is entering his final 14 days of Phase 3 and is gearing up for phase 4 called "Delayed Intensification". However, before they start that phase, he needs to make counts. His blood counts must be at a certain level and his immune system must reach at least 750. Today his immune system only came in at 600. At 500 he needs to go into a germ free protective environment. The doctors cut his chemo and medications for the next 2 weeks in half in an effort to allow his system to rebound a bit before phase 4 begins.

Today he was also scheduled for an  ECHO and EKG for Tuesday September 4th in preparation for phase 4. We thank you for all your prayers and ask you to keep all of us in your daily 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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