I think I have lost my address book! This is a plea for addresses, phone numbers, and important dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc). Please drop me an e mail with your info!

Poison and pirates

6-mercaptopurine is the oral chemotherapeutic agent Mollie is taking now, and pretty much every day for the next 2.5 years. This link says we should handle it with gloves and keep it away from food prep areas. It is hard to give your child a drug that you're not even supposed to touch with your bare skin! Let us just hope that it works and does not cause any liver damage. Her appetite seems low, maybe this is normal, or maybe an effect of the drugs? I am trying to make sure she eats at least a little protein at each meal, even if it's just a glass of milk.

In other news, Mollie's personality is back to normal. She's been into pirates the last few days. And she's quite the chatterbox. She likes to talk about ponies, pirates, princesses, and Tahoe. And a million other things. In fact, it's hard to get her to be quiet for more than a few minutes!


Doing well...

So far, Mollie is doing great during this round of chemo. She was actually running yesterday at the park. We went to fly kites and she was running back to the car because she heard a thunder clap, but it was still running!! I haven't seen her run since before she was diagnosed.

Her energy level is really high right now, and it is so nice to see her smiling and in a good mood all day long!

The effects of chemotherapy are cumulative and the side effects can be a bit delayed. So, we do expect side effects during this consolidation phase, but I'm enjoying the good part while it lasts. We still haven't been out of the house much because we are trying to limit her exposure to germs because her ANC was borderline and the 6-MP is likely to push her counts down further. And the temperature has been in the triple digits!!



I was cruising the web and found this surprisingly good article on ALL. It appears to be very accurate and gives relevant information on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and outlook.

Here is the url: http://healthguide.howstuffworks.com/acute-lymphocytic-leukemia-in-depth.htm


Consolidation, Day 1

Last night we had a little show-down over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but that's old news. Today went off without a hitch!

Mollie's ANC was just above the cut-off so she got her IV chemo and intrathecal (spinal tap) chemo as well. She also starts a new oral drug tonight, 6-MP. We are going to have to monitor her reaction carefully as it causes quite a bit of toxicity in some patients.

A coloring book from Syl, Keith, and William and turtle tatoos from Kels and family made the waiting easier. And the promise of another present afterward helped too (she's been eyeing the one with the little pink pegasus ring from the Johnsons). She took a nap in the clinic (and was even asleep while they were giving her chemo through her port) and then another nap in the OR recovery bed.

The best bit of news from today is that Mollie's cytogenetic report said that she has "no clonal chromosome abnormality." That means her leukemia is standard risk; she doesn't have any chromosomal rearrangements (like the Philadelphia chromosome) that would put her into a higher risk category. I still need to look at the report more closely and figure out what everything means.

Another piece of good news this week is that my friend bsa (nea's mom) found out that her abdominal mass was a GIST and was successfully removed. And she may not even need chemo for it!!

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers! They are working!


Quick update

Pictures coming soon...

We had a great weekend at the barrier islands in South Carolina's lowcountry. The weather was great and Mollie had a nice time swimming in the pool and playing with grandma. She wasn't too fond of the beach because it was breezy and she's scared of the wind; we're working on getting her over that. It was a great break for all of us and, except for some difficulty bending down and getting up, Mollie was her normal self.

Tomorrow she is scheduled to begin consolidation (attempt #3). Please keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well. She should not be sick and we hope her WBCs have recovered and that her ANC is above 750. If that's the case, she will get IV chemo and then she'll go to the OR for a spinal tap and intrathecal chemo administration. Not fun, but necessary.

While we were gone, we received parcels from: Uncle Sam, Husqvarna (Charlotte), the Medranos, Theresa and Roy, and Genevieve.