Just a brief update to let you all know what has been going on lately and what is coming up. We are about 2 weeks from Collin finishing a whole school year- which is such a huge blessing! We are also 2 weeks from Collin’s 15 month scans and tests. This time instead of having a CT Collin will be having an MRI (but one with a really complex name). This MRI is killing two birds with one stone- it is checking for tumor growth (which hopefully they continue to see nothing) and it is also checking his liver for iron. As you may remember from a past post, one of the things they monitor with kids who are post-treatment is iron overload. It is where your body’s main organs store iron that was accumulated due to the number of transfusions that the kids need to survive. The last time they did this test 6 months ago, Collin’s heart was good but his liver numbers were in a gray area- which they explained to me doesn’t mean anything concrete. So they are retesting him again to see what it looks like. Hopefully his iron levels are okay and the things we have been doing naturally are helping.
We also have a new appointment with an endocrine specialist. This is because during Collin’s last round of blood work it showed that his thyroid is working twice as hard as it should be to keep up. Our oncologist said this is “expected” for cancer kids because she said that treatment basically destroys their thyroid. So we will have these tests run again and see where they are at- they say it is likely he will need to be put on thyroid meds but I have been doing some natural things to see if we can get it under control while he still has thyroid function. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but I figured it was worth a try while his thyroid is still working.
He also has another eye appointment coming up to check on the progress of his pupils. Which I can tell just by looking at them that they haven’t progressed much if at at all. He still has one that is not dilated normally and when they looked at them last time they said that one was worse but both were still sluggish. So not entirely sure this problem will ever resolve itself. They say it’s not too much of an issue as long as it’s not affecting his vision and he isn’t getting bad headaches. We do have to be careful about light though.
His bowels are still really challenging. He has made huge strides in some areas and these strides have led to issues in other areas. So I have a feeling this will be a big topic of discussion at this appointment again. So please continue to pray that things improve in this area.
As for the last few months we’ve just spent a lot of time doing “normal” stuff. It’s been wonderful. Collin is doing really well in school which is pretty incredible since he missed so much- for which I am grateful! He has also made strides socially and now has a core group of friends he plays with at school which was another one of my worries that is now dispelled. He has earned his green belt in Tae Kwon do and the thing that I most appreciate is how much he has physically grown because of doing this. He is so much stronger than he was when he started and it’s amazing to see how far he has come. As a family we started using Young Living Essential oils and have really been loving it. Using the oils has made a huge difference for the boys sleep especially. We have noticed a significant change and are so thankful for this- it is now a rare occurrence for them to be up during the night! We are also expecting the newest member of our family at the end of July (although this mama thinks she’s making an appearance earlier than that). The boys are very anxiously awaiting her arrival and I’m sure she will be VERY loved (in fact I think I might have to schedule holding times as they all are very serious baby holders). We also just got done celebrating Cooper’s 4th birthday and in a week will get to celebrate Collin’s 7th birthday. SO much to be thankful for! Some other highlights from the past few months that you’ll see in pictures is us getting to help my mom celebrate her 60th birthday, spending Easter in Blue River with Grandpa and Grandma Anderson, Collin getting to be a super hero for one of the Make-A-Wish fundraisers, and celebrating the boys birthday with some of their family (including their beloved Cindy, her family, and Owen- Collin’s best friend from daycare).
Not much else to write for now but just wanted to write a quick update so everyone knows where we are and how things have been going, as well as let you know that we value your prayers heading into this next round of scans. We have nothing that has caused us to be concerned this round, but the fears are always there. Thankfully though we have a God who still has power to do above all that we ask or think- so trusting in that as we go into another round of tests. The hard part this time is that we have to wait a week between Collin’s scans and his appointment so I’m hoping our oncologist takes pity on me and lets us know before our appointment what the scans looked like so we don’t have to wait that long. Thank you to all who continue to think of us and pray for us. Your prayers will never cease to be valuable to us and we are so grateful for them.
* A faithful God who continues to hear and answer prayers. Who guides us and helps us even when we are hard-headed and tough-hearted. A God who supplies all of our need and has led and guide us through each step of all of this.
*Another year of birthday’s with our wonderful kids! To be able to celebrate each one is not something we take for granted.
* Things being “normal”. Spending time together, laughing, playing, and even not getting along- each thing is a blessing.
* The ability to travel and spend time with family and friends. Something we weren’t able to do too much of for a long time.
* A healthy pregnancy and baby thus far.
* The continued prayers of so many. We crave them and are so thankful for them!
* That these upcoming scans would show no signs of cancer and continued signs of the power of God.
* That the MRI, bloodwork, and appointments would go well and that Collin would have the strength to get through each one.
* For strength and peace for us as we wait for results.
* That the birth of this baby would be smooth and healthy and that God would help this mama to focus on Him and not the anxieties that could plague me ahead. (For those of you that don’t know, this pregnancy has made some anxieties very obvious that I didn’t even know existed. In fact, I would say it borders on PTSD.) Being pregnant really brings back a lot of memories of when Collin was diagnosed and each step of this process brings out fears I didn’t know I had.
* For the families of those children who are no longer with us.
* For continued healing for Browyn. That she would continue to make strides in her recovery and be able to at some point eat normally again and not have to have any use for her CVL.
* For Collin’s bowels, hearing, eyes, and thyroid (and any other things that may arise.) I say this because so far every time we have had an appointment something “new” has manifested itself as a result of treatment. I can’t complain because I will take these things over what he was being treated for, but it is still something that we would love prayer for.