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10/19/2006

Jaymun and I were able to come home Sunday afternoon. I believe in my last update I posted, his ANC count was at 51. For the next couple of days, he dropped back down to 0. On Sunday, it went up to 64 and the doctor felt that his lab tests showed promise of his counts trending toward an upward swing. I don't claim to understand everything about all the components of our blood, but there are things called segs and bands and monocytes, etc. that all factor into their decison of whether someone's ANC (absolute neutrophil count) is rising. He was supposed to go back down to Children's on Tuesday for more procedures (spinal tap and bone marrow aspiration), but when we had his blood tested again that morning, his ANC count was only at 266. Ideally, the count should be over 1,000 to start chemo again. In Jaymun's case, he can get bruises that start to darken again in between rounds--which indicates the cancer cells are still present--so the doctors have to take everything in consideration (i.e. the cancer coming back vs. starting chemo too soon) when they make a decision as to how soon they administer chemotherapy again.

So instead of having his procedures done on Tuesday, the hospital called to tell us his hemoglobin was pretty low and he would have to come in on Wednesday morning to get another blood transfusion. Many people think transfusions are quick and easy fixes to solve blood problems. We left at 8:30 AM and didn't return home until 4 PM, to give you an idea of how long it takes to get a transfusion. The doctor checked Jaymun's skin and told us we'd probably be admitted again next Tuesday if his blood counts are high enough to start chemo again OR if the bruises darken up again significantly during our time at home.

This whole leukemia thing is one big waiting game. We can only pray that every round of chemo and every checkup keeps us moving forward to his recovery. In the meantime, we have some time at home to enjoy being together. I'm attacking the mountains of laundry and trying to spend precious moments with my other children. Dave is able to stop in at the office and snuggle with Jaymun at home in the evenings. It feels like one great big scramble to organize things and get ready for another long hospital stay. On the other hand, we've really learned to just appreciate being all together in one place, the way it should be.

You might not hear from us again until we're settled back into the routine of hospital life. I have my hands full for a bit just taking care of things around here. :) Please know we are humbled by your generosity to our family, whether by making meals for us or sending gas or grocery cards. It helps us to know that so many are praying for Jaymun and that we are not alone. Everytime I start to feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, someone sends a card or does something unexpected to remind me that we are remembered and loved.

We thank you and will continue to do so, over and over again. For now, be encouraged by the fact that Jaymun is able to come home for a bit and we are able to resemble something of a regular family for a few short days. His journey isn't over yet. He has a long, difficult road ahead of him and will need all the prayers you can send on his behalf. But he's home now and that's what we focus on today. Home.

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