Bear Hunt

Bennett was blessed with the help of USSA (United Special Sportsman Alliance) to be able to go on a bear hunt in Northern Wisconsin last week. Him and Sid left Monday after school and returned Friday night with the luck of getting a bear within 2 days of hunting. Bennett stayed in a portable tree stand those 2 days straight from daylight to sun set. He found out that bear are very sensitive and have outstanding hearing.

His bear tag was donated and the gentleman that donated it said he could hunt on his land. We wasn’t for sure what he was getting into but was blessed with some spectacular northern hospitality.

Bennett wants to get the bear stuffed and put it in is room. We are having the bear made into hamburger, sausage and loin, hope it’s good!

We are so thankful for USSA, caring and giving hunters and God’s amazing Grace!

Posted by Cindy on September 19th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on Bear Hunt

September 6th update

Bennett is doing pretty good. He had some sinus and allergy problems a couple days ago. He took some over the counter medicine and started using the netti pot and he is better other than coughing. He doesn’t want to go to the Dr. unless it gets worse so we pray he continues to get better.

His ANC today was 3,927. His WBC is 7.7, this may be higher because of him being sick. His neutrophils are 51. Hemoglobin is 13.7 and platelets are 164 which are good. He goes back to St. Louis tomorrow for his follow up appointment. He was supposed to go in a couple weeks but we ask to go early. Bennett will be going on a bear hunt in Northern Wisconsin sponsored by USSA (United Special Sportsman Alliance). He will sit in a tree stand morning and night waiting for the bear, very similar to deer hunting. We pray for his safety. Sid will be going with him.

His allergy test came back from his sinuses surgery. He is allergic to mites, fungi/mold and smut corn. There was none of these allergies that were severe. We were thankful he’s not allergic to cats, dogs, or wild animals.

Bennett started his Junior year. He is still dating Allison and they are going to Homecoming together. Bennett works for her families auction in Ina. He likes it. He went early teal hunting last weekend, he didn’t get anything but enjoyed getting to hunt.

Hamilton is in 6th grade this year. He is so busy. He is playing 5th/6th baseball, he is the quarterback for the 5th/6th grade football team and he runs cross country. Tonight he had practice from after school to 8:00 p.m. tonight. He really wants to do all three and can’t choose. He is a trooper of doing his homework and going to bed. He went duck hunting early with Bennett and went dove hunting with Sid over the weekend.

We feel very fortunate and blessed that Bennett is doing so well! We’re so thankful for his remission! Thank you God, we praise you for this blessing!

Posted by Cindy on September 7th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on September 6th update

God’s Angel

Heaven is shining a little brighter tonight with a beautiful shining star. Our dearest friend, Brittani Shurtz passed away today and is now one of God’s angels, she is forever healed.  We pray for her family that God’ s grace comforts their sorrow. 

Brittani and Bennett after her 1st lung transplant in 2007

“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17

Posted by Cindy on August 20th, 2011 in General, Updates | Comments Off on God’s Angel

July 27th update

Bennett’s ANC is 2,432 from 1, 880 six weeks ago.  His WBC are 6.4 from 4.7 and neutrophils  are low at 37.5.  Dr. said that the low neutrophils are nothing to worry about it’s just going to take him time to build these back up.  Seems strange though because I know some patients on chemo that have a higher ANC than this. Bennett although always bottomed out and always had a very low ANC the entire time of his treatment.  His hemoglobin is 14.3 and platelets are 164 which both are good.

We found out that the Dr. read through his study papers and the next year of appointments will be every 2 months instead of every 3 months like other patients not on the study.  It doesn’t matter to us, I’m actually glad for him to go more often which means counts will be checked.  Definitely gives you a peace of mind until the next blood work report is good .

His main oncology Dr. is in India for a couple months so we saw the PA, we were able to reminisce with her about Bennett’s journey.  She said Dr. Shenoy (main oncology Dr.) really wants to keep an eye on him because he always kept her guessing, he always kept her on his toes with his bizarre problems. At the time during these problems, this was not fun and very stressful. Now, I look back and all these issues were related to chemo so maybe the chemo was killing/hurting his body is why we had so many problems and praying that the chemo did kill all the leukemia cells and they are afraid to ever re-surface!  We are very thankful to all the Dr.’s, nurses, family and friends that helped us along this unforgettable journey.

We also found out that he will eventually after another year or so, he will be transferred to another clinic in the hospital and actually will continue to be treated there every year for the rest of his life.  Good news, I really like that they will stay up to date with him as he grows into an old man!

We have some bad news that our friend Jeremy that we asked for prayer for a couple months ago because he relasped with a different type of leukemia which was chemo induced, he fought a long battle and is now one of God’s angels. We give our deepest sympathy to his beloved mother, Annette.  Please keep his family in your prayers.

Our family had an amazing vacation a week ago. We decided to go to Michigan staying on Lake Huron on a beach where we fished, rode four wheelers and para-sailed.  We haven’t really ever did anything like this but as you get older, your kids get older, and you know how precious time is, we decided we better go while we could. We are so blessed and thankful!

“Sending Gods grace to all!”

Posted by Cindy on July 27th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on July 27th update

July 5th update

Bennett is doing good.  The sinus surgery was pretty rough the first few days.  It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since surgery. He still has a few headaches, stuffy and running nose. He goes back to the ENT Dr. next Tuesday and we should receive the results from the allergy testing.  They also tested the polyps that they burned from his sinus cavity so hope to hear those results too.

Bennett’s monthly St. Louis appt was today but they called last week and asked to reschedule because of the holiday yesterday being closed, they will be really busy and with his being a check up they preferred moving. His appt is now July 26th.  After this appt, his check up appts will be quarterly, so happy to be at this point in his journey!!

It was a joyous time this weekend to celebrate Bennett’s one year of being chemo free!  July 3, 2010 was his last day of any type of  chemo.  We are so blessed that he is doing so good.  We praise God for his grace!!!

Posted by Cindy on July 5th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on July 5th update

June 20th update

Bennett  had sinus surgery last Wednesday.  The ENT Dr. that he saw, the week prior took a mini cat scan and found that his sinus were blocked and he had lots of inflammation. He said Bennett needed surgery and Bennett wanted it done right away so less than a week later, he’s having surgery.  He was sick again with a sinus infection and had already spent a few days in bed. We figured it up and he has had an infection every other month and is sick for about two weeks.    He had several polyps that were burnt off too.  The Dr. did allergy testing that we will find out the results in 3 weeks when we return for his follow up appt.

We got to the Mt Vernon hospital at 8:30 and didn’t leave till 5:30.  The surgery only took about an hour, it took 3 to 4 hours for him to recovery.  It was very painful and alot of pressure in his nose and head.  He got the packing out Friday & gradually started feeling better.  He still has a cough so the Dr. continued him on augmentin.   He had about 3 days that he was miserable. .  He can’t be out in the heat, lift anything and basically take it easy for 10 days.

He got up early this morning and went fishing before it got too hot.  He was so ready to get outside. Him and Hamilton went fishing  yesterday too for a couple hours at Gpa/ma Johnston’s pond and caught about 10 bass.  

He went to the orthopedic Dr. last week too.  They cleared him from having to wear the boot anymore.  We’re thankful that his ankle turned out okay. We pray for no other breaks or fractures.  Also, that the sinus surgery will relieve him of sinus infections and that he will have a whole new beginning of “feeling good”!

God is Good and we are so thankful for his daily blessings!

Posted by Cindy on June 20th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on June 20th update

June 9th update

Bennett’s ANC is 1,880. His WBC is 4.7 and neutrophils are 40.  Hemoglobin is 14.3 and platelets were at 149.  His counts seemed a little lower but his nurse and Dr. assured us that all looked good.  It’s just going to take awhile for his white blood cells to rebound. It seems to that any cold or infection really affects them.

Bennett went to the Dr. in St. Louis on Tuesday for his check up.  She asked what he has been doing this summer and if he had a job.  He has been umpiring 4 to 6 baseball games weekly. He also started helping at his girlfriend’s family auction on Friday night working from 5:00 to midnight.  He likes it and is getting a little extra gas money.

He has one more monthly Dr. check up in July and than he will start going every 3 months.  It will be hard going from monthly counts to quarterly.  We used to get his numbers daily, weekly and now monthly.  It will seem like forever to wait every 3 months.  We’re thankful for God to continue to bless Bennett with remission and we continue to pray that the leukemia stays away forever.

We ask for special prayers for Sid’s cousin’s family.  His cousin, Eric lives in Albers, IL and in his early 20’s.  He was diagnosed 2 years ago with ewing sarcoma and recently passed away.  He was so brave and faught every day. May God bless his family.

Posted by Cindy on June 20th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on June 9th update

May 9th update

Bennett’s ANC is 2,778. His WBC are 6.8 and neutropils at 41. Hemoglobin is 15.2 and platelets at 309, all in normal range. His follow up appt in St. Louis is tomorrow. 

Bennett is feeling so much better. He finally got over of having a fever, he had a fever for about 7 days. He had an upset stomach for about 9 days and by last week started feeling good.  His sinus infection has improved and hopefully gone away too.

He has been wearing his boot when he can. He can’t drive with it so he takes it off and puts it back on when he is done.  His foot isn’t soar anymore. It isn’t swollen or bruised so that’s all good signs.  He has started umpiring baseball games and it’s really difficult to wear the boot during that time.    He may have to wear it longer but we’ll see when he returns to his follow up appt in about 2 1/2 weeks.

 We are so blessed and thankful that Bennett is doing good.  We have some friends that are not doing as well and it sure breaks your heart to hear of them having a difficult time.  Please pray for all the children fighting this horrible disease or the side effects from their treatment.  God Bless.

Posted by Cindy on May 9th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on May 9th update

April 27th update

Bennett is doing a tad better.  He still has a temperature at 101.6 this evening.  He is eating a little, he is making himself eat so he take his antibiotic.  He didn’t feel like going to school but he did for one class because it’s too difficult to make up. So he made it through 2nd hour and missed 1st, 3rd, and 4th hours of school. He came home and went back to bed and that’s all he has done all evening.  It’s just going to take a little time to get over this, we just pray it doesn’t get worse.  God Bless everyone!

Posted by Cindy on April 27th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on April 27th update

April 26th update

Where to Begin?

Bennett’s first Dr. appt was as the orthopedic Dr. in Herrin regarding his ankle/foot. The ortho Dr. confirmed that he has 3 fractures in his foot in the tibia, calcaneus (heel), and near his ankle.  He also has low grade sprains in his foot and heel ligaments.  He has a lession on his distal shaft on his tibia but this Dr.,  the radiologist and St. Louis Children’s Hosp. radiologist agree that it’s not cancerous!  Amen!  There was a question at first and thought he may need a bone scane with his history of leukemia!  Praising God for the good news!  (that fear of hearing the nasty six letter word, we’ll never go away)

The ortho Dr. decided to put him a “boot” that he will have to wear 4 to 6 six weeks.  He should wear all the time except for showering and sleeping.  We have another appt in 4 weeks and he’ll decide than.  Bennett will have to do physical therapy after the boot as well.  There were several places on his foot that were swore to the Dr. touch and the Dr. knew exactly where they were at after viewing his MRI.

Next Dr. appt was to check about his fever.  It hasn’t been as high today but has been around 100.  The Dr. said his sinuses were blocked so he probably has a sinus infection.  She was concerned because his temp was so high so she did a influenza test and mono test, both came back negative!  We also did a CBC blood test. His ANC was 11,096, His WBC were abnormally high at 15.2 which means he probably has an infection.  Your WBC will increase to try to fight off the infection.  His hemoglobin was good at 15.0 and platelets good at 166.   

This makes about the 5th or 6th sinus infection he has had with one about every month.  This time, it’s only been just a few weeks away.  He was prescribed doxycycline. Dr. is going to refer him to a ENT Dr. to look more into his sinuses.  He has sinus surgery back 2 years ago and the ENT Dr. at that time didn’t go any further into it because she didn’t want to interfere with his chemo treatment plan.

He is feeling some better already compared to last night today. He had such a severe headache that he didn’t want light, food, or noise.

We pray he continues to feel better and God heals his broken bones.

“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. ” 1 John 4:11

Posted by Cindy on April 26th, 2011 in Updates | Comments Off on April 26th update

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