Thursday, April 29, 2004

Anthony and I went over to MSKCC today for a follow-up with the surgeon. He took a look at the scans from Robert Wood Johnson and felt the area around Anthony's scar. He was very happy with the progress so far and thought that all the flap over the scans earlier was nothing. He said Anthony looked very good and the scar looks very good. He also said we should make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to keep track of possible scoliosis in the future. This is because as Anthony grows, the patch that is in his chest will not expand and may cause his spine to start curving. We may have to eventually have the patch replaced when Anthony is in his teens, but Dr. LaQuaglia mentioned that it might never be necessary.

A couple of times during the visit, Dr. LaQuaglia said he was "very encouraged" by the progress. I still hold on to his original statement from right after the surgery when he said he was "very optimistic" about Anthony's chances. It is funny how you tend to think about these little off-the-cuff remarks. I still remember one of the first things Dr. Pan said to us right after Anthony's diagnosis. He said, "I don't see anything we can't fix." For the longest time, I kept that thought in my head. When I would think the worst thoughts, I would crowd them out with these matter-of-fact statements. It was the only way to keep my sanity. I only hope that the doctors know how much weight their small remarks carry.

Anyway, at the end of the visit, Anthony finally spoke up and asked if he could have a lollipop for himself and his sisters (such a nice boy). After the visit, we had lunch at McDonald's on 1st Ave at 69th street and then visited the Ronald McDonald house on 73rd street. I really love spending time with him. He is funny, smart, and one of the sweetest kids I know. It is really a joy just being with him. I love the way he talks and talks and talks when he is excited. Most of the time, it is such a pleasure being with him, Emily, and Sarah. If I could quit my job, I would do it in a heartbeat just so I could be with them all day long.

On a last note, this was the first time in almost a year that Anthony was able to use shampoo on his head. He finally has enough hair to wash with shampoo! He was very happy about this.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I forgot to write an update saying that the surgeon visit was postponed. First, they postponed it to April 22nd, then to April 29th.

Anthony is doing well. He had a lot of fun today, outside with the neighborhood kids. They ran around, played on the swings, played street hockey, rode bikes, and "chilled" (as Anthony said) in their clubhouse under a tree. His hair is starting to come back! You can see his eyebrows and eyelashes now. He is excited about it.

We're getting ready to go to Disney, too. Everyone is very excited about that. Maria has bought some clothes for the kids to wear in Florida and we've been looking at guide books to figure out what we should see first.

I'll post a picture of Anthony's head in the next couple of days, and I will do an update after the visit to the surgeon.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Today was a clinic day. Everything looks good. The counts were: hemoglobin 13!, white blood count 5400, platelets 342000!, ANC 2322. Anthony was happy to see everyone (even Dr. Pan, although Anthony never talks to him) and everyone was happy to see Anthony. Since Emily doesn't have school this week, she went, too. Of course she made two arts & crafts projects. Sarah didn't want to leave and Maria had to drag her screaming from the clinic.

Dr. Pan said Anthony still doesn't have any reflex response and that it may take 4-5 months until he recovers from the effects of the Vincristine. This means he will still walk and run funny (toe to heel) and may have constipation problems for a while. Oh well, right now, we're just thankful that he is OK.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Things have been going well here! Anthony is back to his same old self. He's been diving on the couch and has been enjoying bath time now that he can get all the way into the water. In general, he has been in such a good mood lately. I guess he is just happy to be feeling semi-normal again. Here's a glimpse into life around here:

Also, since I last wrote, we had a birthday party for Emily. She wanted to do yet another bowling party (our 3rd). They all had fun, and Anthony got the high score again.

Next on the schedule, a clinic vist on Tuesday, April 6th. Just a check-up and bloodwork. I'll be sure to report the results. After that, we have a follow-up with the surgeon on April 15th.