October 29th update

Bennett is doing good.  He has caught up from being gone last week at school. He has enjoyed basketball practice everyday this week.  His legs are a little sore.   He was ready to get back practicing as he really enjoys playing basketball.  The players do a lot of drills, running and conditioning.  The coach told me  the other day that Bennett was keeping up with everything and hadn’t had to quit once.    We are so thankful that he is gaining his strength, speed, and stamina.

Bennett took his weekly methotrexate pills of a dose of 10 pills yesterday. His regular dose was 13 that he was taking weekly two months ago.  Last month he took 6 pills each week.   He is taking nightly 6mp chemo pills.  He takes 2 pills daily and 1 1/2 on Sunday’s which is a total of 13 1/2 pills.  Previously he was taking 9 1/2 pills.  He was taking 16 1/2 of the 6mp when he was taking the full dose when his counts really dropped.

We pray that the Dr.’s can get to a happy medium with the right amount of chemo he needs plus keep his ANC at a safe range.  We pray that the chemo he is taking will keep the leukemia from returning!

We went for our flu shots today.  Bennett cannot get the vaccination but his Dr. recommended everyone around him to get a flu shot. Hoping to keep it away and that he doesn’t come down with it.  I am concerned that he will get sick with all the virsus, colds and flu that comes with winter.  We pray that he stays healthy with no fevers or infections.

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

October 27th update

Bennett’s ANC today was 2,278 from 4,140 last week.  His WBC were 3.4 and 67 neutrophils.  We are assuming that last weeks was elevated because of the fever.  This weeks is higher because of being on steroids all week.  He stopped taking the steroids on Sunday.   Next week will be a more accurate count since steroids increases your WBC.  His Dr. is trying to increase his chemo dosage to get him at the normal dosage but also trying to keep his ANC in a safer range.   His hemoglobin was 11.9 from 11.7 and platelets were 112 from 108.  Normal range for hemoglobin is 12.5 to 16.1 and platelets range is 150 to 450.

Bennett thinks he gained 10 pounds on the trip. He said they ate all the time and he ate a lot of food.  He weighed on our scales at home and he weighs 140.  That can’t be right, last week, he was at 124 at Dr. office.

Bennett is good tonight.  I thought he might be exhausted but he’s not.  Even after getting back into the running and drills at basketball practice, he isn’t too tired.    His team had their first game Saturday that he missed which he really hated. Their next game is next week at the DuQuoin tournament.

Bennett got his report card today and he had all A’s and B’s.  We are so happy and proud of him.  He has really stayed on top of his homework and tries really hard.    There are a couple subjects a lot harder for him but he kept on working at it.  He really likes school and is so thankful that he can go.  It’s been different not being with his classroom buddies from younger years but he is slowly adjusting.

We pray for God’s healing of the kids with cancer that went on the New Orleans trip and all of the kids at St Louis Children’s Hospital.

“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26

Posted by Cindy on October 27th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on October 27th update

October 26th update

Welcome Home Bennett~

Bennett is home. He arrived at St. Louis airport around 11:00, we got his baggage, said goodbye to his friends, and off to the hospital to see Ryan. Bennett had several souvenirs he wanted to give Ryan. I was able to snap a picture of the boys together. I think the last picture I have them together was running around the nurses station in a red wagon! We pray for Ryan’s recovery and if you would like to leave him encouraging words, here is his website: www.caringbridge.com/visit/ryancoe

Bennett went to straight to bed when we got home.  He is pretty tired.  He did manage to do a little homework as tomorrow is back to the real world. He has to get up early in the morning too for a blood test at our local hospital.  We are praying for good counts.  We should have more pictures of the trip when we get them developed.

Thank you for all your prayers. We feel so blessed that Bennett feels good and was able and invited to New Orleans.  Thank you Sunshine kids for sponsoring the trip, to the chaperon’s Dr. J. and nurse Amy, and to Ryan for checking into it!

Posted by Cindy on October 26th, 2008 in Updates | 2 Comments

October 25th update

Another busy and fun day in New Orleans!! I never knew there was so much to do there, I’m learning a lot. Bennett went on a paddle wheel tour, it was a big boat. He sent me a pic on his phone of him holding a baby alligator. Also, a pic of the view from the paddle wheel boat.

They had lunch today at Boomtown where they went yesterday to play games. For some reason they didn’t eat there yesterday and came back today. This afternoon, they went to the AMC Palace Theater and saw Max Payne which Bennett didn’t like it.

Dinner was at Copeland’s Famous New Orleans Restaurant that is known for it’s lagniappe hospitality! I had to look up the word lagniappe which is used in Louisiana meaning a small gift given by way of good measure.  Bennett ate fried shrimp and this crab stuff that he said was really good.

This evening they went to the “House of Shock” haunted house and horror show. This haunted house is very controversial. They first watch a stage show with a live band , walk through a above ground cemetery, through a morgue and than enter the House of Shock. It’s rated the top 10 best and top 13th scariest in the nation.

Bennett flies out of New Orleans at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and will arrive in St Louis at 11:00 a.m. We can’t wait to see him as we have missed him terribly! We pray for a safe trip home and pray for all the kids fighting this disease.

Posted by Cindy on October 25th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on October 25th update

October 24th update

Bennett started out the morning with a carriage ride through French Quarters and Jackson Square. He was able to see where Brad Pitts and Nicholas Cage lives. He saw the St Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square which is the oldest active Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. It has been rebuilt twice because of a hurricane and a fire. Below is a picture of the front and inside the church that Bennett sent to me on his phone besides him in the carriage.

Bennett sent me a picture of him on the bus after shopping at the French Market buying souvenirs for Hamilton and Ryan. They ate lunch at Red Maple Restaurant and he said it was okay. This afternoon, he went to Boomtown and played virtual reality games. He said it was an upgrade of Chuckie Cheese and they got to play as many games as they could.

They ate dinner at Acme Oyster House. It had a buffet with grilled & fried oysters and chicken strips were his favorite. They were by Bourban Street on a balcony where alot of girls and party’ers were hanging out. The oyster house gave them beads which they threw to the people. Bennett said it was pretty wild; sounds like he experienced the night life in New Orleans!

They went to a haunted house “The Mortuary”. Bennett called me afterwards and said it wasn’t that scary. He said the scariest part was walking out and a guy with a chain saw ran after him and Bo. He thought it would be frightening but sounded like it was comparable to other haunted houses around here.

Bennett said it’s pretty cool with having a police escort everywhere. They even go through red lights. He said everyone is looking at them wherever they go. He is impressed that each place is taking good care of them with all the commodities and extras. He said they don’t wait in line (assuming because they have reservations). The Sunshine Kids organization has done a great job organizing everything and it seems all of the places are providing good ole southern hospitality!

On another note, Hamilton called from school today crying that he popped his neck in P.E. Sid took him to the chiropractor and they give him a therapy treatment. He has pulled muscle or vertebra. It’s very sore/tender and Hamilton has led in bed all afternoon/night. He goes back to the chiropractor Monday morning. We pray it’s nothing serious.

Posted by Cindy on October 24th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on October 24th update

October 23rd update

Bennett went to the Mardi Gra’s World Tour this morning where there are Colorful Mardi Gras props, beautiful parade floats like a gigantic jovial jester, fiercely realistic alligators, authentic carnival costumes, several sculptures and amazing fantasy factory. He said he took lots of pictures on a disposable camera.

His phone charger broke last night so his phone isn’t charged so I haven’t been able to talk to him very much today and he wasn’t able to take any pictures to send me on his phone.

They had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe that has a large balcony that looks over the French Quarters and the Mississippi River.

Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans

Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans

Next on their schedule this afternoon was to bowl at the AMF All Star Bowling Lanes.  He said it was pretty fun. They ate dinner at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro which was in a mall. He ordered shrimp dumplings since he doesn’t like chinese food very good.
They went shopping at the mall.  Bennett said it was the biggest mall he has ever been too.    This evening they went to a place that had go carts and they played laser tag.
Bennett said he isn’t ready to come home yet that he is having a great time.
Posted by Cindy on October 23rd, 2008 in Updates | 2 Comments

New Orleans or Bust!

Bennett and the 3 other SLCH oncology patients plus the clinic nurse and clinic Dr. are getting ready to fly out from St. Louis airport.

Bennett arrived in New Orleans today around 3:00 p.m. He thought the flight was okay. It was his first time flying and he got to sit by a window. He sent me a few pictures below. I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was and sending me the pic of the cop? He said they are getting a police escort wherever they go because he thinks they are in a bad part of the neighborhood. They took a bus and he saw the city and the super dome. They were on their way to dinner at Drago’s seafood restaurant downtown on the riverfront. He said they didn’t order, that the waiters just kept on bringing out a bunch of seafood, steak, and chicken. He said they had the best oysters!

Posted by Cindy on October 22nd, 2008 in Updates | 1 Comments

October 21st update

Bennett is doing pretty good. His temperature today has been normal. We were at the hospital most of the day. He was able to be sedated and had his spinal tap with methotrexate injected into his spine. Bennett says that his lower back where he had the procedure is hurting. He took some tylenol and it didn’t help so I gave him some pain medicine.

His Dr. thought his nose, ears, throat and lungs looked/sounded good. No signs of infection! He finished his last dose of the antibiotic tonight. The Dr. increased his chemo just a little today because it goes by body weight. He still is on the 50% less dose until we see what his counts are going to do. Today though he weighed 124 which is about 6 pounds less than last month. The Dr. wanted to go ahead and go by last month’s weight because she thinks he will gain that back soon. Bennett told her it’s because he is in shape now. He hasn’t ate as much though the last few days.

He also got an iv push of vincristine chemo and the breathing treatment to prevent pneumonia. His Dr. wants us to check counts weekly. He starts 10 steroid pills for the next 5 days. He will also take pepcid which seems to keep heartburn away.

We had a nice visit today with our friend Ryan. That boy is something, he had asked his Dad to make Bennett a snack bag so he could take on the trip. Here, Ryan can’t eat and can’t go on the trip and he wants to make sure Bennett has snacks! We’re sorry Ryan you can’t go this time; we’re looking forward to the day when you two can hang out!

Bennett feels better and is ready to fly to New Orleans. We meet at the STL airport at 11 and they fly out at 1. 3 other boys are going plus a nurse and doctor from St Louis. There are 28 other kids from the U.S. The Sunshine kids is sponsoring the trip, they are headquartered out of Texas and California. We are thankful that Bennett is able to go and pray that he stays healthy and has a safe trip!

Posted by Cindy on October 21st, 2008 in Updates | 1 Comments

October 20th update

8:00 a.m.  Bennett ended up with a 102 fever around 7:00 last night.  We packed up quickly and off to the emergency room in St. Louis.  We checked his temp periodically on the way and it dropped to 101.4.  When we got to the hospital it was normal.

They checked counts and his anc is 4,140!  He had 6.0 WBC and 69 neutrophils.  Hemoglobin was 11.7 and platelets at 108.  We are hoping that his WBC is not elevated because of having an infection.  The ER Dr. took blood cultures and are waiting for them to grow.  He was discharged since his ANC was good and we got home around 2:15 a.m.  They gave him an antibiotic ciprofloxacin and he will take it for two days.  The ER Dr. didn’t want him taking any of his chemo pills last night.

I will call the clinic later today to see what his plans are for the week.  Will he have chemo tomorrow and/or will he be going on the trip to New Orleans.  It will depend a lot on if anything shows up on the blood cultures today and how he feels.  His temp this morning is normal.  Please pray for negative blood cultures and no more fevers.

*7:00 p.m.  Bennett temp today has been normal! Amen!  His Dr. said for him to go ahead and take his same dose of 6mp chemo pill tonight.  She said that as long as he didn’t feel any worse and didn’t have a fever to come tomorrow and they would do a check up on him and would most likely give him his monthly chemo and breathing treatment.  The spinal tap will depend if he is congested.  His nose has been stuffy today.  He said he doesn’t feel horrible but he doesn’t feel great either.  His spinal tap is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. tomorrow so he can’t eat after 5:00 a.m.

The nurse said today that he needed to be fever free for 24 hours to be able to go on the New Orleans trip and of course depending if he felt like it.

We are just playing minute by minute to see what the next few days will bring.  Thank you for your prayers.

Posted by Cindy on October 20th, 2008 in Updates | 4 Comments

October 19th update

Bennett got up bright and early to go duck hunting in Shelbyville with Bob, Scott, and Mason. They left home around 3:15 a.m. Bennett had a good time! Bennett and Mason got 2 ducks and 2 coots between the two of them. Bennett said that Scott cooked some awesome bacon and egg sandwiches too. Below is a pic of Bennett and Mason holding their ducks.

Bennett came home and went to bed of course. When I got home around dinner time from taking my Dad and Mom to see my uncle in ICU in the St. Louis hospital, Bennett asked me to take his temperature. His temp was 100.7. He said his stomach bothered him this morning and that his nose feels stuffy. Yesterday afternoon he said his throat felt really dry but it wasn’t sore.

So now I am just about sick. So worried that his temperature is going to go up and he will have to be admitted to the hospital. We are hoping of course that it doesn’t turn into anything serious and maybe it’s just a cold that will go away soon. It’s disappointing that maybe he won’t feel very well to go on the New Orleans trip.

We are sorry to find out his friend Ryan won’t be going so who knows, they may both have to go another time. I will be taking his temp through out the night to make sure it doesn’t spike up too high.

Please pray that his fever doesn’t go up and that he will start feeling better. We go in the morning at our local hospital to check counts. We pray that this cold and low grade fever hasn’t dropped them. His Dr. appt is Tuesday in St. Louis and Wednesday is when he is supposed to fly out to New Orleans.

My Uncle still needs our prayers. He is breathing some now on his own but has a long ways to go.

Posted by Cindy on October 19th, 2008 in Updates | Comments Off on October 19th update

Next Page »