March 31st update

Well, Well… You never get too set on something. Bennett’s ANC dropped today from 570 to 304. He’s back in the critical stage of a severe chance of getting an infection. We really were hoping it would of went up since he has been feeling so well. But I did think it would be too good to be true since each time he was on the last treatment phase even without radiation, it took over a month for his ANC to get over 500. Tomorrow only has been a week since he has finished the phase so it’s very possible he will have three to four weeks of a low ANC.

His hemoglobin went up from 9.0 to 9.9 and platelets went up to from 126 to 216! Yeah!

Bennett acted like he was fine with not going to school after I told him the disappointing news. I know he was looking forward to seeing all his friends on a daily basis and getting into a routine! I told him that he will make the best out of any situation he is in and look at the positive things out of it!

Please pray that Bennett doesn’t get a fever or get sick while his ANC is so low. He will be limited on his activity and have to be extremely cautious to stay away from germs.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Posted by Cindy on March 31st, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on March 31st update

Bennett’s miracle!

We have had a few people ask us lately if Bennett is in remission now. I find that I have to tell the whole story to explain it correctly. I am at a place in his treatment that I feel at “peace” explaining his results plus I understand the numbers much better. God has blessed us in so many ways, Thanks to our heavenly father for carrying us through and keeping Bennett in remission forever!

When Bennett was diagnosed with leukemia and they did the first bone marrow test on February 21, 2007; Bennett had 95% leukemia cells (blasts) in his bone marrow crowding out all of the good cells. He was diagnosed as high risk B-precursor ALL because he was over age 10 and a male. The leukemia cells had gone into his blood and he had 5 leukemia (blasts). When diagnosed his white blood count was 4.1 in normal range. His ANC was 779. Hemoglobin was critical at 4.1. Platelets were very low at 41. In three days, the blasts in his blood grew to 23 and this was day 1 of treatment. By day 3 on February 25th, no blasts appeared in his blood to this day forward. The leukemia had not spread to his central nervous system, spinal cord or testicles!

On day 8 on March 2nd, Bennett had another bone marrow test and he had 2% blasts in his marrow. Anything less than 5 is considered in remission. During the first phase of treatment which is 30 days, Dr.’s goal is to bring the patient to remission in 30 days, Bennett did it in 8 days! His next bone marrow test was on day 29 on March 23rd and he had 0 blasts in the pre-liminary test. After studying the results further by viewing 10,000 cells, they saw .10-.99% (less than 1%) which tested him positive for minimal residual disease. This test was done because we chose Bennett to be on a clinical trial study. He received 4 extra months of intense treatment and cranial radiation because of the MRD.

On July 2nd, Bennett had another bone marrow test and it still showed 0% blasts in the marrow. We waited for the MRD results but found out later that the study would not share these results since it was a “study” and wouldn’t change Bennett’s protocol.

He will not have another bone marrow test until he completes the maintenance phase in July 2010. Dr’s expect he is still in remission because of how he is responding to treatment, his bone marrow is making new good cells and there are no blasts showing up in his blood work or spinal tests.

Through many years of treating leukemia, the Dr.’s have found that they have to continue with this long treatment period to make sure the leukemia will not come back. These abnormal cells are so small and sometimes cannot be detected by any test so it’s important that he received all of the intense phases and continue with the maintenance phase.

Please praise God for all the prayers that have been answered. This long journey has been horrible at times but when you look back God has blessed Bennett in many ways! He has been given a second chance at life and we thank God for his miracle!

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22

Posted by Cindy on March 30th, 2008 in General, Updates | 6 Comments

March 29th update

What a Great day! Bennett is doing good therefore so are we! I can’t remember the last family outing we have had together. We had an awesome time at the midget car races in DuQuoin this evening! Bennett took a friend and Hamilton took two friends. We were careful not to sit by a bunch of people. There was constant air flow with the doors open for the cars to come in/out so that made it better.   We had to wear our winter coats because it made it quite chilly.   It was such a great feeling to be all together and where the boys could enjoy being with their friends too!

We are expecting Bennett’s counts to be up since he has been feeling so well. I was worried since his hemoglobin was pretty low last Tuesday at 9.0, they start transfusing around 8.0 but it seems it probably went up since his balance and energy level has been good. His next blood test is Monday to check to see if his ANC has reached 750 to begin the maintenance treatment on Tuesday!

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he commits himself to you, leans on you, and hopes confidently in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Posted by Cindy on March 29th, 2008 in Updates | 1 Comments

March 28th update

Bennett is doing good. He has been feeling nauseated some. He has continued taking the anti-nausea med but instead of every 6 hours around the clock, he is only taking it twice a day. He said he becomes nauseated when he is trying to eat. He does kinda pick at his food and is eating small portions.

We had a Great Joy tonight as I am pulling in the driveway, I see Bennett and one of his friends playing basketball outside together! What a beautiful site! Bennett has played with Hamilton and his friends some but he kinda has a slight height advantage over them. I was always grateful when he was playing with Hamilton but I knew why he felt confident he could. Plus this is the 2nd day in a row that he has had a friend over! I don’t recall this ever in 13 months! I couldn’t help to watch and just stare at Bennett smiling/laughing and having a good time. It’s such a great blessing that we appreciate and do not take for granted.

Maybe Bennett knows the worst is over and he can let his hair down – oh yeah he doesn’t have any! LOL

Praises be to God! For a wonderful experience in our home!

Posted by Cindy on March 28th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on March 28th update

March 27th update

Bennett is doing good. He asked me earlier in the week to do something with his friends a couple of times and I had to tell him no. It is very upsetting. I feel like he is grounded for something that he didn’t do. He did have a friend over to the house today to play xbox, I was so happy that he is back socializing again! It’s so easy to start thinking/dreaming what this summer is going to be like! So different from last, we can’t wait! We are all about giddy!

May God continue to bless Bennett! May he give him the strength while he is on the maintenance phase to endure the chemo/steroids but also be physically fit to play summer baseball!

Thank you for your prayers the last 13 months! Even though Bennett’s treatments will not be as intense, he still needs constant prayers lifting him up!

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Posted by Cindy on March 27th, 2008 in Updates | 1 Comments

March 26th update

Bennett is doing pretty good. Him and Hamilton went fishing with Gpa/ma Page but didn’t catch anything. Bennett came home and took a nap. He is eating pretty good. He still has his two mouth sores but they are better. He has been taking vitamin C pills since he came home from the hospital. One of the reasons that the Dr. had indicated on Bennett discharged papers for being admitted was mucocites. (of course besides the fever, severe pain, and needing a platelet transfusion).

He still has a ways to go. He is anxious about getting out and doing things especially with his friends. It has been several months since he has felt like it or his counts have allowed him too. We are hoping by next week that his ANC will be high enough to not have to worry. And he can get back into school. Since Christmas break, he really hasn’t gone that much. I really only feel comfortable with him going into a public places with me. He does a good job in using hand sanitizer but he hates to wear a face mask. We stay away from the places that are busy and go at odd times to avoid the crowds. Once his ANC is over 1,000; he will be a free!

“And endurance develops maturity of character. And character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” Romans 5:4

Posted by Cindy on March 26th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on March 26th update

March 25th update

We had a good day. Hamilton is on spring break so he went with us to St. Louis. The boys were perfect and had a lot of fun together. Bennett’s appt went well. His ANC went from 435 to 570! We are thankful that it went up! His white blood cells went from 1.5 to 1.9! Neutrophils went from 29 to 30. He is now at a slight chance of getting an infection. His hemoglobin went down from 10.8 to 9.0. Platelets went up from 43 to 126! He received the iv push of vincristine in the clinic. His next blood test will be Monday to verify if his ANC is 750 or greater. If it is, he will start the maintenance phase on Tuesday!

We asked his nurse today and she confirmed that most leukemia patients that are on the maintenance phase are able to go to school and participate in some sports. She said that is the plan but sometimes doesn’t work out. If he receives a fever while on the maintenance phase, he will still have to be admitted to the hospital and blood cultures ran. Because he has the port catheter; they will want to be very cautious that he doesn’t get any infection in it.

We stopped at a couple sports stores today and Bennett picked out some baseball stuff. It was so Great to see the excitement in his eyes and the anxiousness in his voice. We are so looking forward to this summer and praying that Bennett #35 is back on the field!

Bennett feels pretty good and looks Great! We are praying he continues to get better and that he stays healthy for many more days, weeks, months, and years!

Posted by Cindy on March 25th, 2008 in Updates | 4 Comments

March 24th update

Bennett felt fair on Easter Sunday. He got up to see what the Easter bunny brought but didn’t have the energy to hunt for eggs. He asked Hamilton if he would gather them up for him. We stayed home all day because of his low counts.

Bennett has been eating pretty good but smaller portions. He is still taking anti-nausea medicine every 6 hours. He said in the hospital, he was really nauseated and thought he was going to throw up; that explains why he wasn’t eating.

Him and Hamilton went to Gpa/ma J. today and spent quite a bit of time outside. I was glad Bennett felt like going instead of laying in bed all day. They have been playing basketball together and video games.

Tomorrow, Bennett will have a blood test to check counts and also an iv push of vincristine. Tomorrow will end the last treatment for the Delayed Intensification II phase!

I have a feeling that Bennett’s ANC might drop again before it stays at a good level. I could be wrong but last time Bennett was on this phase without radiation it took him a month for his ANC to stay over 500. Once his ANC reaches 750 than he will start the Maintenance phase! This will be a day to celebrate!

Once Bennett is on the maintenance phase, he will repeat this 12 week course continuously until July 2010. Yes, 2 years and 4 months away! The maintenance phase consists of steroids, chemo daily by pill and monthly appts in St Louis to administer iv push of vincristine and periodic spinal taps with chemo injected into his spine. We are under the assumption that Bennett should be able to return to school and hopefully play sports while on the maintenance phase. I know he will have his days that his tired or just doesn’t feel good but we are praying that he can be involved in more teenage activities.

“Through him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify his name.” Hebrews 13:15

Posted by Cindy on March 24th, 2008 in Updates | 2 Comments

He is Risen!

easter-cross-2.jpg

HAPPY

EASTER!

His Love

God sent His Son to take the punishment
For all the thoughtless, sinful things we do;
Jesus gave his life because He loves us;
His love is boundless, sweet, forever true.

On Easter morn He showed He is our Savior;
His resurrection proves He is our Lord.
That is why we tell you, “Happy Easter!”
He secured our heavenly reward!

By Joanna Fuchs


And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 1:4

Posted by Cindy on March 23rd, 2008 in General | 3 Comments

March 22nd update

5:30 a.m. Bennett’s ANC went from 312 to 435! Amen! His hemoglobin went up from 9.4 to 10.8! Platelets went up from 39 to 43! White blood cells went up from 1.2 to 1.5! And neutrophils went up from 26 to 29. Temperature went down to 99.2! We will have to wait until the Dr. does rounds to see if Bennett can be discharged. I was at peace with this whole stay. We knew it was going to happen eventually, we wanted his counts to drop and hopefully this means that this last hard chemo and radiation has killed all of those nasty leukemia cells! Praising God for his Glory!

His counts bottomed out and are recovering faster than ever before. I was reading the allergic re-actions to a blood transfusion last night, Bennett’s 3 out of 4 symptoms were on the list: chills, fever, back pain. And the very low anc I believe just added to this. The leg pain was probably from the vincristine chemo. He has been on a small dose pain pill of neurontin since he was admitted because he will be receiving one more dose of vincristine on Tuesday.

*9:45 a.m. We’re coming home! God has a way of blessing us. Our holidays have sure been different the past year but we have been blessed by being discharged right before Christmas and Easter. Bennett’s temp was 98.8. I started worrying that the cultures might come back with something but so far so good. They will actually keep testing them for a week to make sure no bacteria grows. We are waiting for discharge papers. This could of turned into something so much more serious so we are thanking God for another successful turnout!

*8:30 p.m. We made it home around 12:30 today. Bennett is feeling good. He didn’t even go to bed! He sat in the living room and in his bed room but didn’t take a nap. I was worried because at the hospital, he didn’t get up for 4 days. We still have to be very careful because his ANC is still very low and praying he doesn’t get anymore fevers.

Bennett noticed today when he grabbed his pillow that quite a bit of hair was on his pillow. I was wondering how long his longer hair was going to stick around! He asked me to shave it tonight. This is the third time he has lost his hair but we are hoping it is the last. He did eat some today. A few bites here and there so he has a ways to go to get his appetite back.

Thank you everyone for being a part of our trying journey. You are witnessing a blessing and miracle from God – his name is Bennett Page!

Posted by Cindy on March 22nd, 2008 in Updates | 4 Comments

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