24 February 2011

The Count Down to a Year

DJP is well on his way to being a year old! One month to go... This year has flown by with all his milestones, which keep on coming.

The newest editions are that DJP can:
-stand on his own (tentatively but still on his own);
-plays well by himself and with others;
-can move cars, trucks and trains around without "throwing" them;
-can climb on various objects (like the IKEA container to get into a chair; the ottoman; on his parents to get onto the sofa);
-feeds himself apple, peaches, pears, puffs/O's, and bananas (these are his favorites);
-has tried strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and mandarin oranges (likes these);
-likes spoons-to chew on not to eat off of;
-enjoys pulling all his books off the shelf and then picking a couple to sit and 'read;'
-will sit and push a toy back and forth with Mommy and Daddy;
-loves to listen to '70s and '80s music and apparently his favorite genre is disco because he definitely 'dances' to it! He will even tap his knee (while sitting) to the beats;
-can turn on his 'seahorse' while in his crib to listen to lullabies (Thank you Counsins K & A) and also throws it out of the crib (the boy likes to throw);
-likes to cuddle with a few of his stuffed animals-a teddy bear with a rattle (Thanks, Aunt Rosalie), his 'Tub of Cubs' (Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa) and his Rays panda, Asta, which also plays lullabies (Thanks, Nina and Papa);
-has started to repeat some of the things that we say...one day I was playing with his toy camera (Thanks, Aunt Megan and Uncle Stan and Cousins G, J & L) and I started saying "Say Cheese!" What DJP repeated was something like "ay, chee!" We also think we've heard him say "nigh, nigh" for "night, night." However, these are not said on a consistent basis and could just be DJP getting the right sounds together at the right time. He has definitely become more vocal with different sounds including an ear piercing scream (Mommy's eardrums will never be the same again!) and using his hands to make all kinds of sounds.

Dry Run

Mom goes for her dry run of radiation tomorrow afternoon. This is where they walk her through exactly what will happen and to make sure that all the radiation markers are in the right place.

Mom is doing well both mentally and physically. She's been out and about-to the grocery store, to the eye doctor (for check ups after the cataract surgery which went very well), to the library and even cleaned off her own car after Monday's snow. (A neighbor plowed the driveway for her-Thank you, Mr. Gary!)

On Monday, Mom is scheduled to have both chemo and her first radiation treatment. Hopefully this will go smoothly and not be too long of a day for her. The last couple of times the doctor's office and phlebotomy lab have been super duper busy and Mom has had to wait and wait.

15 February 2011

New Plan

After a nice weekend spent playing with DJP, Mom went to see the medical oncologist yesterday. He and the team have devised a new plan for Mom's treatment. Here's how the new plan works:

Mom will go to the radiation oncology department to have her radiation markers reapplied (they had to be removed from the first time due to the gallbladder surgery). Then, on Monday the 21st, Mom will have her second chemo treatment. Hopefully the chemo will not cause any problems with the red or white blood cells this time and Mom will have a chemo treatment every Monday for about 5 weeks. On the 28th, Mom will have her first radiation treatment. She will have radiation treatments every day (except for Saturdays and Sundays) for 5 weeks.

Once these treatments are completed, the team will take another look at Mom's case and determine if she is ready for surgery or needs more chemo and radiation treatments.

Let's hope that this plan is the right one for Mom.

10 February 2011

Gone Cataracts Gone

Since Mom has had a hiatus from chemo while she waits for her white cell count to react (and hopefully improve) to the shot that she got a week and a half ago, she was able to have her cataract surgery.

She went in yesterday at 7:45am and was finished about 9:30am. Mom said that she could see better than she could before the surgery, but had a bit of the "halo effect," where objects have halos. That should disappear as her eyes heal.

Mom goes this morning for her surgery follow up and on Monday she meets again with the oncology team. More updates to follow when I know more!

01 February 2011

Low on the Whites

During Mom's visit to the medical oncologist on Monday, she learned that her white blood cell count was low. This is nothing new to Mom since both red and white cell counts have been on the low side for a few years now. However this does pose a problem. Due to the low white cell count, Mom was given a shot, Procrit, to help increase her white cell count. The doctor wants the shot to work so she will not see him again until the 14th. His main concern is that if Mom has a chemo treatment and then the next week her counts are low she cannot keep getting the shots because this will confuse the white blood cells (speeding up with the chemo and slowing down with the shot). So he said he was going to need to rethink her treatment.

The doctor is also concerned about the lymph nodes around the sternum. He think they have increased in size (from 3mm to 5mm) and wants to investigate more. There is some cause for concern with this development however Mom's cancer markers have not changed and there is no sign of spreading to the liver or the lungs (which are the first places pancreatic cancer spreads).

On a more positive note, the doctor does think Mom is strong enough to proceed with the radiation treatment. The oncology group of doctors will meet again, review Mom's case and come up with a new plan of treatment which she will find out more about that on the 14th.