Jenster's Musings

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009 Ian Update

I thought it would be easiest for me just to copy and paste Carrie's latest note for those of you who are praying for Little Ian.

Hey Team Ian,

Things have been a few ups and downs here today, but mostly ups :)

Ian had a rough night sleeping, very restless and unsettled. This morning the access to his port had to be replaced due to a blood clot. This process was a bit uncomfortable for him. He also started getting sick this morning. The vomiting is most likely a result of the anesthesia and steroids he started taking, not yet because of the chemo. None-the-less it scares him a lot when he gets sick and it is hard for me to watch. He has been resting most of the morning and had a great visit with Mommom and Poppop.

The great news to share is that Ian is already responding well to treatments. After his first blood transfusion last night his labs are already showing improvement to the point that they are decreasing the frequency of drawing blood. Assuming Ian does not spike a fever or other negative symptoms tonight, Ian and I will be able to come HOME tomorrow!!! Of course we are nervous about taking Ian home because there will be a lot to manage in terms of his medications and symptoms, but we are willing to be quick learners!! The rest of this first phase of treatment will be outpatient. Ian will only need to be admitted again if he develops an infection or other complications.

Here is an overview of what our first phase of treatment looks like:
- Ian will be taking daily does of chemo, steriods, anti-nausea meds and another med for acid reduction
- Ian will be taking antibiotics periodically throughout the month to stave off infections
-We will come back to the clinic weekly for chemo treatments and lab work. This coming week we will come back on Monday for chemo through a shot and then again on Friday for chemo through an IV and another bone marrow biopsy.
- At the end of month Ian will get one week off treatment for testing to determine the treatment course for Phase 2.
- Likely side effects: The first phase is the most intensive for the drugs Ian is receiving. He will probably be nauseous, constipated, and may get sick at times. He will probably experience irritability, agitation and sleep difficulties. He may start losing his hair at the end of the month. Interestingly, from the steroids he is going to experience a significant weight gain. As the mom of a 42 pound 3 year old, this is mind boggling, but the doc promises me Ian will start eating more than Matt!! This weight will start to drop as the steroid is decreased in future phases of treatment.

Please continue to keep this family in your prayers. As you can see, they have an incredible attitude about all this and I know for a fact it's their faith they're living out loud.

Mused by Jenster :: 12:38 PM :: 3 People musing:

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve Pretties

**Another Praise Break**

Little Ian is doing great! Santa found him in the hospital so he didn't have to miss out on Christmas. After the presents were opened there was a surgical cancellation so he has had a successful port placement and spinal tap with NO evidence of cancer in his nervous system!

Keep those prayers coming!

**End Another Praise Break**

Every year on Christmas Eve our neighborhood sets out luminaries and lights them at 5:00. This year was exceptionally pretty because of the snow. So I give you a little view of our street last night...

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Mused by Jenster :: 3:29 PM :: 2 People musing:

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The Times, They Are A'changin...

**Praise Break**

Little Ian's test results came back with great news!! His leukemia is NOT bi-phenomyopic. He has ALL Leukemia which is the best scenario. His surgery has been moved up to this morning and treatment will begin right away. Now let's pray for successful treatment with little to no side effects. And I'll keep you all posted.

**End Praise Break**

So it's 9:30 on Christmas morning and Katie just got up. Breakfast is still cooking and the boys are watching Casino Royale. Long gone are the days of being woken by two little kids who can hardly wait to go see what Santa brought them.

It's much more relaxing this way, but it's kind of sad, too. The contagious "magic" of Christmas morning as seen through the eyes of children is missing. In fact, it hardly feels like a special morning. Except for that we're all in our Christmas jammies and the smell of a baking breakfast casserole and a roasting turkey is permeating the air. And there are stacks of presents waiting to be ripped opened.

So this year we'll eat breakfast first and THEN open presents. And the whole time I'll remember exactly why we're celebrating Christmas in the first place.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:22 AM :: 3 People musing:

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Requesting Prayers for a Christmas Miracle

I have an urgent prayer request from anybody and everybody. Our good friends, Matt and Carrie Silver, are experiencing something no parent should ever have to. Their 3-year-old son, Ian, was just diagnosed with leukemia. Yesterday they were waiting to find out if it was ALL or ALM (two different types of leukemia which require two different treatment regimens) and this morning he was to have surgery to insert a central line for chemotherapy and a routine spinal tap to see if the cancer has affected the nervous system.

In the midst of all this, however, read what Matt wrote:
We’re finding an inexpressible peace in the middle of all of this chaos. Our lives are radically different today, tomorrow, and in the future but they are in God’s care. Today feels better than yesterday because we are able to deal with more certainty. The medical staff we are dealing with are nothing short of phenomenal. These people LOVE KIDS and are LOVE Ian. Post marrow test, our little hero has not complained about any pain and ran the nurse ragged. She brought him (per his request) three popsicles and two bowls of Fruit Loops.

Yesterday Matt and Carrie asked for these prayers:

- Accurate findings to determine the type of Leukemia
- A good night’s sleep through the night.
- A successful surgery in the morning (spinal tap, chemo tube insertion)
- That he responds well to treatment and we get out of here ASAP
- Nathan (their toddler) feels the love from his family as he need’s to adjust as well

This morning's surgery was dependent on which type of cancer it is. Said surgery has been cancelled because the labs came back as positive for both ALL and ALM. They are awaiting results of further testing and are praying it is not bi-phenomyopic leukemia, which "would be much harder to treat, is less curable, has higher rates of relapse and as the doc said "is a harder up hill battle".

I know this is a horrible time for Matt and Carrie, but their faith and reliance on God is so inspiring. My heart hurts for them and there's a knot in the pit of my stomach. Yet at the same time there is a peace in knowing they have put it all in God's hands.

Please pray for Matt, Carrie, Nathan, and especially Ian. A Christmas miracle would be greatly appreciated.


Mused by Jenster :: 12:17 PM :: 4 People musing:

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Perfect Year End Letter - And Not So Much

A friend of mine took my idea for the Perfect Christmas Letter and ran with it. I asked her tonight if I could post it on my blog and she gave me her permission. So I give you the Perfect Christmas Letter by Ruth S.

PERFECT: faultless, without defect, of the best, highest or completest type

I just want you to know that in spite of what you may have heard, I have the perfect life. I have a perfect home in a perfect neighborhood, with a perfect job, perfect health and perfect hobbies. I perfectly balance all of my resources so that I can be a perfect example of wholeness and good health. I attend a perfect church and have developed a perfect balance of strengths and vulnerabilities in my relationships.

My children, each one of them in creative and wonderful ways are perfect. They all live in perfect locations, have perfect jobs, have all made perfect choices this past year, and are on perfect paths towards their perfect careers, relationships and opportunities. They, too, have perfect friends, hobbies, interests and have spent every perfect moment in perfecting their purposes. Each is perfect in intellect, good humor and good looks. And oh yes, we also have the perfect pets.

I am so blessed to live in a perfect country, where we have perfect government, perfect infrastructure, perfect international relations and perfect priorities. We have the perfect climate and weather, perfect health care, perfect public services and always perfectly reported news. We are surrounded by a perfectly amazing smorgasbord of perfect entertainment and recreational opportunities. Our natural and manufactured resources perfectly match our needs, and every worker and producer is perfectly rewarded for their perfect products, accomplishments and services.

I certainly do have perfect grandchildren! Without a doubt they are a perfect combination of beauty, intelligence,love, curiosity, joy and amazement.

Although most of the above is fiction (except the perfect grandchildren) I am so thankful that because of the perfect gift God sent in Jesus we really can have perfect grace, perfect mercy, perfect sacrifice, perfect forgiveness and perfect PEACE! Our lives may be full of imperfections, but because of the amazing gift that we have been given at Christmas, God really does see us as perfectly redeemed and sanctified. May your holidays be full of appreciation and celebration of this humbling and incredible wonder.


One of the best letters I've ever read! Thanks, Ruth!

And thanks to Tara for directing me to this very funny video from the Jay Leno show. It made her think of my letter. :o)

Aloha, fungi!

Mused by Jenster :: 10:20 PM :: 5 People musing:

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Snow Time

I had to take some pictures of the first snow of the season which also means I had to post them (including the obligatory Sookie picture).


Mused by Jenster :: 5:59 PM :: 8 People musing:

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Home Improvement

I think that term is a little misleading. It suggests that the home would be improved with whatever work is being done. I'm still working on the dining room and at this moment there is no improvement. In fact, it seems to be going quickly down hill.

I finally got all the wallpaper off, but there was a lot of gummy stuff left so I tried to wash it off. That just made it stickier so I tried to sand it off. Meh. I patched the holes and then sanded again and then washed again. These were some clean walls! Once they dried there was no more gumminess so I was ready for the next step.

Priming. What a pain in the rear. I don't like priming. That stuff is oily and icky and even the "odorless" primer is odorful, just not as bad as the odery stuff. That's not really a problem, though, because I like the smell. I also like the smell of markers and glue and even diesel and cigar smoke mixed together. Now that I think about it, this strange fondness for certain chemical smells explains a lot about my brain. But I digress.

I finished priming both the top and the bottom of the dining room this afternoon. Next I was going to start painting the woodwork and there's a lot of it: crown molding; chair rail; baseboards; a fairly large window; and two doorways. I was thrilled the other day when I found the leftover trim paint in the basement. But when I opened it at 5:50 or so I discovered very old paint with crumbly bits of black rusty stuff mixed in it. That left me a little disheartened, but at least I have the color recipe. Unfortunately Sherwin Williams closes at 6:00. Looks like no more work in the dining room until I can get the trim paint tomorrow. Guess I'll just hang with three-fourths of the family instead.

It now appears that I won't be actually painting until next weekend. Then maybe I can get the rest of the dining room furniture out of the living room and make the house look a little like Christmas. And maybe then my home will be improved.


Mused by Jenster :: 6:04 PM :: 5 People musing:

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas Letters

I've been working on my annual sporadic Christmas letter. There's a fine line between sharing the banner moments and bragging. Of course some of that is due to the perceptions of the reader, but sometimes those yearly letters are blatantly pompous. In an effort to keep mine as humble as I can I thought I'd share what I've written with you, my very good and honest friends, for your opinions before I send it out.

Dear Friends and Family,

How are you? I am perfect. My children are perfect. My husband is perfect. My marriage is perfect. My dog is perfect. My bank account is perfect. My home is Better Homes and Garden perfect.

My clothes are perfect. My hair is perfect. My weather is always perfect. My singing is perfect. My temperament is perfect. My parenting is perfect. My life is perfect.

May your 2010 be half as perfect as my 2009.

With all the love in my perfect heart,

So what do you think?


Mused by Jenster :: 5:08 PM :: 15 People musing:

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