Courage for Kennedy – Journal

July 12, 2005

Category: Treatment – Melenie – 5:04 pm

We were able to come home on Sunday. We had to hang around for her last antibiotic dose and a final check on her vitals. Her temperature was at 99.5 so we hung around another hour but then it was back to normal. Her ANC was only 300 and Dr. Olson thought there was only a slim chance it would come up by today. She was right this time; Kennedy’s ANC was still 300. This meant no chemo until at least Monday. She must be at 750 or it is a no go. On one hand it was a bummer because it meant nothing fighting this week, on the other she will have a chance to get her appetite back. Dr. Olson was concerned by Kennedy’s weight loss, too. She has lost 14% of her body weight. Dr. Olson had hoped that she would gain it back but she has stayed under 40 lb. for more than 6 weeks. For the next two weeks we will be trying some dietary changes to help increase her weight. After that Kennedy will be placed on a study comparing two well used and well researched appetite stimulants to find out which works best. I expressed to Dr. Olson that I want to get this under control so that we do not have to use an NG tube and supplements. Luckily, she agreed. She felt it was better to treat it now rather than later when the treatment is more invasive. So Monday we return to Day Treatment with a long day planned.

On a good note, Kennedy’s chemo pal, Amy, met us at the clinic and spent a couple of hours playing with the kids. She is so creative and brought pipe cleaners, paints and a very fun book with everything to make flower petal fairies. Kennedy really loved this. They also used face paint to paint Kennedy’s face, Austin’s leg and Amy’s foot. Kennedy really wanted to bring this activity home but I told her this was more fun for her and Amy to do together. The truth is I just didn’t want to have face paints at home all over the place 🙂 I’m so thrilled that Amy is so creative. The kids just loved her and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had. Kennedy is looking forward to playing with Amy again soon.

Last night Kennedy’s Make A Wish granters (or fairy godmothers as she called them) were here to talk to Kennedy about her wish. We were surprised at how much they do for us. They will have a party for Kennedy before she leaves. She will get to ride in a limo to the airport and be treated like a princess throughout the entire week. ALL of our expenses will be paid, including snacks and spending money. When she returns to Portland, they will meet us at the airport. Kennedy is so excited. We are trying to go the week of her birthday in October. They will also set up a lunch or dinner with Sleeping Beauty (Kennedy’s most favorite princess). As a back-up wish, she has said she would like to meet Gretchen Wilson. I believe the Disneyland trip will be the wish she has granted. Hopefully, if Gretchen Wilson returns to Portland, she will have the opportunity to have her 2nd wish granted.

Finally, for those who haven’t heard, Keith will be starting a new job on July 25. He will be going to work as a driver picking up and delivering construction equipment for Sunbelt Rentals in Portland. While he loves driving a dump truck it is mostly seasonal and it has no benefits. He looked into driving for a larger company in Portland/Salem but the cut in pay was just too much. While he will take a slight cut during the summer months at his new job, he will make up for it in the winter and will not be gone overnight because he has to drive a container truck. There are full benefits and sick/vacation pay. The insurance plan states a 12 month wait on pre-existing conditions but we may be able to get that waived with a certificate of coverage from CareOregon (OHP). It will be the best option for our family at this time and he is looking forward to being there.

Thank you for your continued prayers and we hope to see everyone at the Spaghetti Feed!!


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