Ethan had another outpatient visit late yesterday afternoon. This was to be the visit that told us whether or not his last round of chemo was successful or not.... and the answer appears to be YES! We needed his red cells and platelets to continue to go up in number and for his white blood cells to stay low. I got a call very late in the evening yesterday telling us that Ethan would NOT need a transfusion today because his platelets had gone from 63 to 370 (that's the highest his platelet count has been since all of this mess started!) and his red cells went up from 9.6 to 9.9. The red cells really could be higher, but they are at least stable and went up as opposed to down. I believe this means that the chemo was effective and the at home medication we give him appears to have been effective as well.
This is important because they consider what happened after his 2nd round of chemo (the time before this last round) not effective. Ethan needed transfusions almost daily after we were discharged and his white cells (the bad ones) were consistently on the rise. Thus, the need to change the method of treatment last time. I am so happy that the decision to add 2 more chemo medications seemed to have worked well for Ethan. I assume that is the same pattern of treatment we will adhere to when we get readmitted tomorrow (Thursday) for his 4th round of chemotherapy. There was more vomiting and underlying pain from some of the chemo meds (jaw pain, nerve pain and constipation) but we at least know that now and can be more proactive about the pain medication.
His latest blood tests found that there are still leukemia cells growing/developing, so we do want to start the chemo tomorrow as planned, however his immune system is still quite weak. Please pray that his immune system can recover a little more overnight so that we can get readmitted tomorrow and begin this next session of chemo. The spleen and liver are both still an issue. They have decreased in size slightly, but not enough for there to no longer be a concern. This is still a needed prayer request. Please also be in prayer for this next round of heavy-duty chemo medications for our little boy... minimal side effects, no infection in his central line, and no new complications.
Ethan's ability to withstand all of this is a true testament to God's protection and His continued blessing of answered prayer. Never doubt whether or not your prayers for us matter or make a significant difference, because they certainly do. I've heard many stories of infant leukemia and the problems that occurred throughout the process of treatment and transplant, but your prayers have protected Ethan thus far, and I know they will carry him through. It's funny how much he needs you and the cutie pie doesn't even know it. But I know it and Adam knows it and one day we will take great pride in telling him how people around the world lifted him up in prayer every day and that God honored those prayers. Thank you so much for that. If I could express my deepest appreciation by giving each one of you a super tight bear hug, I certainly would!
A reminder for me today....
"The answer to prayer may be approaching, though we discern not its coming. The seed that lies under the ground in winter is taking root in order to a spring and harvest, though it appears not above ground, but seems dead and lost." - Bickersteth
"Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith, but they give us opportunities of honoring God by our steadfast confidence in Him under apparent repulses." - C.H. Spurgeon
Malachi 4:2 - But unto you who fear [revere] My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings...
p.s. - Megan from Washington State, I haven't forgotten your question about what clued me into Ethan's illness. I figured it would be easier to email you, so please drop me a note... I'd love to chat with you about it! mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org