Sunday, November 20, 2005

Anthony's 1 year 9 month post treatment checkup and chest X-ray were good! He is now going to move into the long-term study group. We've agreed to let him participate so that more can be learned about the long-term effects of chemo on children. Dr. Pan also confirmed the statement Dr. LaQuaglia (the surgeon) had made this past April saying that at the 3 year post-diagnosis point (that will be April 26, 2006), Anthony will be pretty much considered cured. At that point, the recurrence curve flattens out and the probability of getting cancer again at that point is about the same as is would be for someone at 5 years post diagnosis.

With each passing day, I tend to worry less, but there are times when it still bothers me and causes me to get nervous. I look at him once in a while and think "what has all that toxic medicine done to my little boy?" and "why him?". But, I am a firm believer of making the best of what life deals you and I think he is a stronger person for his ordeals. We are a stronger family for what we went through, too, and will treasure the time we have with our children and each other even more than we would have before.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Anthony at the Beach 2005

Originally uploaded by DrGuitar.
On this cold rainy day, I've decided to put up a photo of Anthony from the beach in 2005. If you want to see some more photos (and even post comments on them), go to my flickr page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Good news! All of the tests Anthony had done over a week ago were fine. Anthony and I went to the hospital over a week ago to get a CT scan, chest X-ray, and Echocardiogram. Anthony was a real trooper through all the tests. He did the echocardiogram without any problems. The technician was moving the probe all around the area where his ribs were removed and he didn't even flinch. He followed all her directions and stayed very still the whole time (about 20 minutes). Next was chest X-ray. As always, he had no problems doing everything Julia the X-ray technician said. She always remembers him and says with her eastern European accent " favorite patient is here. He is such a good little boy..."

CT scan was a long wait, as usual. This time we waited 2 1/2 hours to get into the room. First, we wait for a pediatric nurse to start the IV line. Then we wait for a radiologist to have me sign the consent for the contrast dye (in case of allergic reaction). Then we wait for the one and only CT machine to be free. Anthony was very good this whole time. He played with a toy truck that Missy brought over for him at our friend Peggy's request.

The whole time at the hospital, Anthony was in a great mood. Even though he gets poked and prodded, I think he enjoys the time spent alone with me. I know I really enjoy the time with him.

In other news, Anthony started first grade last week and seems to be enjoying it. However, if you ask him if he likes it, he will always say no. His mood says otherwise, though.

In yet other news, for those who haven't heard yet, Anthony will be getting another little sister in January. Yes, its true, we will have 3 girls and 1 boy. Anthony will be king among princesses.

Monday, June 06, 2005

OK, I've been a bit delinquent in my update posting, but everything was good at Anthony's last checkup two weeks ago. He went to the clinic for standard bloodwork, exam, and chest X-ray. The bloodwork came back with his white blood count slightly low, but at the time he had a runny nose, a slight fever, and swollen lymph nodes. The nurse practitioner assured us that kid's white counts tend to drop when they have a virus and everything was fine. All other counts were good. He still has slightly swollen lymph nodes on the back of his head, but they've been getting smaller. The chest X-ray was clear and showed no changes since the last one. We're not going back for another checkup until the end of August. Until then...

By the way, you might have noticed that Anthony's front page looks a bit different. I finally figured out why the page was not showing up in Google. I made the site with Microsoft FrontPage and it really obfuscated the HTML and stuck in most of the text as graphics. This made it hard for Google to index the site. Now, if you type in a search, Anthony's page shows up. I also linked to the main page from my bookmark page, which helped.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The visit to Dr. La Quaglia went very well yesterday. Dr. La Quaglia always says how happy he is with Anthony's progress. He now only wants to see him in one year. While we were discussing the dates, we realized that yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of Anthony's diagnosis. Dr. L said that by 3 years from diagnosis, the probability of anything coming back is basically the same as it is a 5 years (the semi-official time period after which kids are considered "cured"). I took that as him saying he would consider Anthony cured next year at this time!

Dr. L also mentioned that it is probably not a good idea for Anthony to be doing any type of Karate that involves sparring (like the one he is doing now). That means we should probably start looking for other sports for him to do. Getting involved with sports that could lead to scholarships wouldn't be a bad thing...

We brought Emily and Sarah this time, since the kids are on spring break. After the visit, we walked over to the Central Park zoo and stayed there for a while. The kids enjoyed it and didn't want to leave early (my idea, so we could avoid traffic). So, we stayed a couple of hours longer and then went over to a playground on the east side of Central Park where the kids played in the sand, climbed a giant rock, and explored the playground area. After leaving the park, we walked over to 2nd ave. and ate at a little diner on the corner of 69th st. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream and coffee. We all had a really great time. We're now going to have to go to Manhattan for non-medical reasons. Hooray!

Monday, April 25, 2005

We're going over to Memorial Sloan-Kettering tomorrow for Anthony's check-up with the surgeon. It has been 1 year and 8 months since the surgery and has been 6 months since his last surgical check-up. Dr. La Quaglia said that after this visit, we can see him once a year instead of every 6 months. I'll post an update after we get back.

We are planning to go to the Central Park zoo after the visit to the hospital if it is warm. If not, we may go to the Metropolitan Museum or Ellis Island.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

No evidence of disease! That is what the radiology report says...Hooray! Everything looked normal, and Anthony's thymus returned to normal, also. Dr. Pan said that if this CT and chest X-ray was OK, we could go for a CT every 6 months with a chest X-ray every 3. Before we know it, it will be only once a year.

The anxiety associated with these things never lessens, but the relief and joy I feel after hearing the results makes up for it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

We went for the 1 year scan and chest X-ray last Thursday (3/3/2005) and haven't heard anything yet. I'm taking the lack of any word as a good sign. Like I said in my last post, even though it has been a year since treatment ended, the anxiety doesn't go away. I think that even after the magical 5 year event free period (after 5 years, he is considered cured), I am still going to be anxious.

Anyway, here are some Anthony-isms. The other day, Maria and Emily were making marshmallow treats with faces and hats on them to bring to Emily's class. Anthony walked in, took a look at them and said: " don't see something like that every day." A little later, after they were done, he was lying on the floor and said about the marshmallows: "hey Dad, they are tres magnifique." I have no idea where he gets this stuff....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sorry it's been so long since I last updated, but there really wasn't much to report. Last week, Anthony went for his 1 year post treatment check-up with Dr. Pan and everything was fine. We go to get the CT scan and chest X-ray on Thursday. I'll post when we know the results. As usual, I'm nervous. I don't know if I will ever stop being nervous when it comes time for a scan. This constant anxiety can't be good for the gray hair count. Such is life...