Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The best Christmas ever

Joel started eating again about a week and a half ago.
He is still not eating much but at least he is trying.
He is still fighting the nausea and the headaches.
He has been really tired and has been sleeping lots.
He did get out so see some friends.
And he went to some music practices.
He played his guitar and did a Scripture reading at Church on Christmas Eve.

This morning he went for more blood work.
Hopefully we will find out before lunchtime if he heads down to Vancouver today.
If it is all a go, then Maintenance will start tomorrow, December 29th.

 Brianna, Shane and Sienna got to be Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus at the Night in Bethlehem. 
 This past week we all did a little bit of this.
 And a little more of this.
 And a whole lot of this.  It was a great week.
I am so going to miss her when she moves to Alberta. 
 We were all so happy to be home for Christmas.
 The favorite gift this year was the table hockey.
It has been played constantly ever since it was opened. 
And I caught the prettiest smile on film. 


Girls get two years of maintenance but boys get it for 3 years because they have more places that the leukaemia cells like to hide.  So for the next three years Joel will go to Vancouver every three months for chemo in the spine - Methotrexate (He had been getting that once or twice a month).  Once a month he will go get Vincristine at the Vernon hospital (he had been getting it up to 4 times a month).  Five days a month he will be on low dose steroids (Prednisone).  Once a week he will take oral chemo (Methotrexate).  And everyday he will also take another oral chemo (Mercaptopurnine).   He will also continue taking antibiotics three days a week.
It still sounds like lots to me but compared to what he has been taking this will be much less.
So that will be the plan for the next three years.
His hair should start to grow back soon (not sure if he will ever cut it again).
He will be 21 when Maintenance is finished.
Then it will be one more year until he is considered cured.
I am looking forward to 2015!

So, here is to hoping that the last 13 months of intense chemo will have retrained his bone marrow to produce normal blood cells.  Praying that the next three years of maintenance will prevent a relapse.


  1. Love the pictures. I'm so glad you had such a good Christmas. All of us who know and love Joel are praying for the same result.
    Grandma Gail

  2. Darn, it just lost my comment! Will try to remember it....

    She had got to be just about the cutest baby ever! I'm sorry they are moving away...must be hard. My parents live FAAAAR away and I don't like it.

    Were they at the nativity in south Vernon? We were there on the Saturday, so if that's where they were we saw them and didn't realize!

    I hope and pray that it will be all good news from here on out :)