Monday, November 29, 2004

Good news, the 9 month post chemo CT scans and chest X-rays are clear! The only thing of note was what they call the Thymus rebound. This is where the Thymus becomes slightly enlarged after having received chemo. They oncologists were not concerned about it.

The next set of scans is in 3 months at the 1 year post chemo mark. No matter how long after chemo, I will always be nervous when scan time comes. This is what my life has become: every three months right around scan time, I worry intensely until we get the report, then I am elated for a few days. I then go for three months thinking about it maybe once a day. As we get closer to the next scan I think about it many times a day, and the cycle repeats again.

Anyway...on a lighter note. Uncle Lulu has been back from the Army for the past week and staying with us most of that time. The kids missed him and he missed them. They've been having a good time with him. Last night Maria's parents came over and we got pizza. I opened one box and put it aside. Anthony then started to open the other box and said (with typical flair) "release the other pizza!" He took the little stand (that prevents the box from sagging) off the center of the pizza and it dripped oil on the table. he said "oh, for pizza's sake, there's grease on it!" Maybe he'll grow up to be a comedian, not a doctor as he always says.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

We went for Anthony's 9-month post treatment CT scan and Chest X-ray today. He did a great job! He was a bit anxious about getting the IV placed for the contrast dye. He cried a bit, but as usual, he didn't move while it was being done. Everyone at the hospital (Robert Wood Johnson Hospital) was as nice as ever. I paged Peggy (the child-life specialist from Hematology/Oncology) and she came down to stay with us as we waited. She was very happy to see Anthony and always knows how to distract him.

Chest X-ray was easy, as usual. We had to wait a while for CT scan while they got a pediatric nurse who could place the line. We watched 3 patients go in and out of the CT room as we waited. Once the IV was in the scan took only 5-10 minutes. Anthony lay very still during the whole thing, as he has always done.

We went up to see everyone on the floor afterwards. They were all happy to see Anthony. Of course, he wouldn't talk to anyone. He just kept looking at the new fish in the tank. After leaving the hospital, we went to Guitar Center to look at all the cool stuff. Anthony wanted to see everything. He directed me to the drum room first, then to look at electric guitars, then the acoustic guitar room, then keyboards. I took him to the guitar effects area, but he just wanted to leave at that point. I think he was hungry. We ate a Wendy's (his favorite fast food place) and went home to pick-up Emily from the bus stop. He was in a great mood the whole time.

Now, we just wait for results. I'll post as soon as I hear.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Anthony went for his quarterly check-up yesterday and everything looks good to Dr. Pan. We haven't heard the results of his bloodwork yet, but no news is good news. He is scheduled for the 9 moth post-treatment CT scan and chest X-ray on Nov. 18th.

Maria again brought-up to Dr. Pan the now higher probability of Anthony getting Leukemia due to the chemo. Dr. Pan said the likelihood of Anthony getting Leukemia is about 4-5 times higher than for an average child. The fact that the probability of getting Leukemia is extremely low to begin with makes me worry less, though. As Dr. Pan said, it is like buying 4 lottery tickets to increase your odds of winning. In the end, it is still extremely unlikely that you win.

I'll post again after the CT scan and X-ray.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

We went to see the Lion King on Sunday and it was INCREDIBLE! It is the most creative and artistic show I've ever seen. Emily and Anthony were excited and really liked it, too. Anthony, of course, spent the first half of the show with his hands on his ears again. He didn't cover his ears for the second half, though and seemed like he really enjoyed it. We can't thank the people at the New Amsterdam theater enough for the free tickets!

Broadway is really great. The performers are so accessible. After the show, most of them were standing in the back of the theater talking to people and collecting for the "Broadway Cares" charity. One of the performers asked Anthony if he had a good time and, of course, Mr. Negative shakes his hear "No". He can read people very well and always does the exact opposite of what they want, just to get a rise from them. I wanted Anthony to put money in the donation bucket that the actor who plays the older Simba was holding, but he wouldn't. Emily did it, though.

After the show, we walked around Times Square and went to Planet Hollywood. While we were walking around, Emily said "This is the most people I've ever seen in one place". After we ate, we went into the giant Toys-R-Us in Times Square. The place is just huge. They have a 4 story Ferris wheel in the center and more toys than any toy store I've been to (including FAO Schwartz on 5th Ave.).

The whole day was very nice, including the train ride there and back. Anthony stood at the train window the entire ride with his face pressed up against the glass just watching everything. I think doing stuff like going to see shows or going to special places is so much better a gift for birthdays and other events than getting more toys and junk to collect. These are memories that they (and we) will have for a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

We went into Manhattan on Saturday to see "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway. It was Anthony's birthday present from us. Anthony had a good time, for the most part.

When the play starts, there is a scene where Belle's father comes riding in on a homemade car. The car backfires, making a pretty loud noise. Now we were sitting in the second row from the stage, so it was loud. Anthony then spent the rest of the show watching with his hands over his ears. The whole time I am thinking "I wonder if the cast can see him?" Well, at one point in the show, Lumiere looks straight at Anthony and makes a "shhhh" gesture with his hand (candle) to his lips. I guess they could see him... I was great, though. That is the closest I've ever sat to a Broadway show.

After the show, Anthony wanted to eat at the restaurant where we ate the day before his surgery (I guess he doesn't have bad memories of it). So, we took a cab uptown to the upper east side (73rd and York) to eat at "Finestra" . All Anthony kept talking about before we got there was the square raviolis he had last time. He went to order, and they didn't have anymore raviolis. He had tortellini instead, which he liked. After dinner, we took another cab back to where the car was parked and went home.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day.

This coming Sunday, we see "The Lion King" on Broadway. My mother wrote to the theater and asked if they had discount tickets. She told them all about Anthony in the letter. The people from the New Amsterdam Theater called her and asked how many FREE tickets we wanted and for which date. Thank you New Amsterdam Theater! We got 4 tickets and Emily is coming, too.