Courage for Kennedy – Journal

October 26, 2005

Category: Family,General,Gratitude,Treatment – Melenie – 10:05 am

While I know that this is Kennedy’s website, today is a very special day. Ten years ago today, Keith and I were married in Yakima, Washington. Ten years! Since October 26, 1995, our marriage has seen many trials including Keith’s drug and alcohol addiction, having our nephew Jay come to live with us and then after six years returning him to his mother, Laura’s (Keith’s mom) disabling car accident, my postpartum depression, both Keith and I returning to school, pregnancy loss, two children, financial problems, the list just goes on and on and through it all we have persevered-we have beaten the odds. Statistically we shouldn’t even be married anymore but our love for each other and committment to making this marriage work never waivered. When we got married we had made a decision that we would work things out and stay together no matter what crossed our path and it has been worth every trial. Sometimes I wondered how all these things could have happened to us over the last 10+ years that we have been together but without all of those trials, we would not be strong enough to weather our current storm and help Kennedy fight this battle. There have been times when we certainly did not like each other very much but we were always 100% committed to seeing it through and I can’t imagine my life now without him in it. He truly is the love of my life.

Ok, now back to my update about the rest of the family! Kennedy had her weekly check-up with the oncologist yesterday and there was both good news and bad news. The good news was her counts are looking great. Her ANC was 2020 and her platelets (while low) were 75 and should be on the rise. She screamed and fought both getting her port accessed and having it deaccessed. Even with her favorite nurse, Sam, there she still fought it with all the strength she had. She gets the week off from chemo and oral meds so she is very happy about that. Her hair is also growing back in (although she never lost all of it) and it is blond and silky soft. Of course, it may not stick around too long but it is so cute! As far as the bad news…the next phase of treatment is going to suck! Please forgive me but that really is the best word to describe it. It is going to be worse than the induction phase of treatment she initially received. She is also having severe constipation problems and we are starting her on a daily medication to help with that. Just adding to her cocktail! They are also very concerned about the way she walks. She has what is called “foot drops” that is caused by the Vincristine and it causes her to have an unusual gait. It has been progressively getting worse and the concern is that after 3 weeks of steroids (which cause muscles weakness and deterioration and makes her very tired and CRANKY) and 6 weeks of Vincristine, in a month she may not be able to walk at all. They have to push the Vincristine to toxicity before they can reduce or discontinue the doses because of its importance in treating High Risk ALL. If they push it too far, she may never fully regain all of her skills so it is a careful balance. We will be talking about options next week but until then she can not use stairs without assistance and must only wear her Soft Star Shoes. Please pray for Kennedy and all of us during the next phase.

Austin is cruising right along. Soccer is almost over (only 2 more games!) and he has done very well this season. He has made significant improvements and they are working more as a team this year. His head has healed up nicely and we don’t anticipate any more stitches or staples for a long time! We have been supplementing his education at home (by his request) and are working on history (War of Independence to the Civil War), science and literature. He is such a sponge right now that he can’t get enough information. I am so excited by his desire to further his education. He is having some sort of stomach issue though. He is having a lot of pain with intermittent problems so we are going to the doctor today. It has caused him to miss school and there is concern he may have developed an ulcer from stress. Imagine that! Stress? We certainly have none of that. He is very sensitive and emotional so we are concerned about him and hope that it is nothing serious.

I took Austin to see Dr. Skau yesterday and it was determined that he has acid reflux disease. It was no surprise because he is genetically predisposed to it and has been under a lot of stress the last few months. On top of all that, he has very bad post nasal drip which is also causing an over production of acid so he is taking Singular (for asthma and allergies) and Zantac. The doctor said it should take a couple of weeks for him to be feeling better. I’m just worried because he has missed a lot of school because of stomach pain. Pray for healing for Austin.


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