Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 29, 2007

AFP = 2.7, CT - Clear

Hooray! A good check-up. If only the lead up to these check-ups were not so good at producing anxiety.

Leah and I left at 5:45 this morning and were in Iowa City by 7:30. That gave us enough time to check in at the peds. clinic and have an IV placed before her first appointment with otolaryngology. Leah has high frequency hearing loss due to chemo., and they will continue to monitor this over time. There are instances where hearing worsens over time, even years after treatment has ended. Luckily, Leah's hearing remains unchanged from last year.

By the time we were done with the hearing test and had reported to CT scan and been given the barium drink, we decided to see if Dr. Rahdi was in the clinic. So, we headed that direction and visited with him for a while. I was quite happy that Leah's blood work was back even before her CT scan, so we already had the AFP number going into the scan. Her other numbers look good, too. Her hemoglobin is 14.0, her white count is 9.3, and her platelets have risen to 204 (normal is 150-400).

Lis met us at the hospital on the way to her class so we talked for a bit with her while Dr. Rahdi looked at the scans and then we headed off for a day of shopping: Prairie Lights, Coral Ridge Mall, Olive Garden in Cedar Rapids for lunch and the consignment shop. Leah still thought we should stop to shop a while longer in Waterloo, but eventually gave in and decided we could go home.

A good check-up is the best Christmas present we could get....and now we can enjoy some of the activities that are planned for our month: Leah's Christmas concert on Monday, going to a performance of Frog and Toad at the Gallagher Bluedorn, taking part in Waverly's big downtown Christmas event (Leah and Chloe get to dress as penguins -like Happy Feet- and dance in a store window) and a variety of other Christmas related things.

We continue to be grateful for each and every day we spend as a family and pray for the other children we know who are in treatment, and the families that will be celebrating the holidays this year without their children. It is still amazing to us how many people inquire about Leah and let us know they are still praying for her. Even though she has been off treatment for eighteen months, we don't take as single day for granted, and continue to be encouraged by the fact that so many people are praying for Leah's healing here on earth. There is also not a day that goes by when I am not hit by some memory of the enormous amount of generosity and caring that people showed to us while Leah was sick. While there is no way for us to ever fully repay everyone for their generosity and concern, the many kindnesses were not unnoticed and are still so fresh in our minds.

We are happily ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas season and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

November 27, 2007

It is time for another check-up again. It doesn't seem possible that 9 weeks have elapsed since we were last in Iowa City. Life has been busy and normal. Now that Thursday is approaching the anxiety has set in. Leah looks great. Her hair is long enough to be pulled back, although she prefers it covering her eyes. She seems to have a lot of energy and a great appetite. So, the outside appearance is hopefully not hiding anything else that is going on inside her body. I know there will always be that fear - at least for a long time.

This past weekend Leah and Chloe went with me and my sister Suzanne to see High School Musical on Ice in Des Moines. We had a great time, although Leah did tell people that it was "exhausting." December is full of lots of activities, too, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

We continue to pray for Leah's complete healing here on earth, and are thankful for friends and family who keep Leah in their prayers as well. I will post on Thursday after Leah's appointment.