Friday, March 1, 2013

Interim Maintenance 2

We made it through Delayed Intensification and on to start the next phase, Interim Maintenance 2 (seriously, who comes up with these names?).  This phase is 56 days long and involves 2 lumbar punctures with Chemo in the spine, and a total of 5 IV rounds of Chemotherapy with Vincristine and Methotrexate.  These rounds are 10 days apart, provided Austin's blood counts are high enough.  This phase is the same as Interim Maintenance 1 except that the dose of Methotrexate is much higher to begin and increases each round.  This is the drug that gave Austin such a hard time back in December so we are armed and ready to combat the nausea and vomiting.
My silly travel buddy
Austin's ANC was 1000 this week so we made the trip back to Salt Lake.  We had to mix things up a bit this time because we usually go to Grandma's house.  She was sick this week so we elected to have Kevin stay  with the other kids in St George and Austin and I made the long drive.  Austin had fun staying in a hotel and getting his own big bed.

Loving his own bed

We headed back to the Oncology Clinic and got Austin ready for his lumbar puncture.  He did so well last time with the conscious sedation, so we will do that from now on.  

Picking out a new hat from the hat tree

Getting his port accessed

Doing his favorite thing

Sleepy after his LP

Getting Chemo in the Clinic

The long ride home
So round one down, four to go.  May it come and go quickly with very few side effects and no complications.  We are so tired of this whole process.  Austin's poor body is tired of the constant assault. He hates it, he physically gets sick just thinking about going to the hospital for more treatment. The emotional stress on me is consuming.  To coordinate work for Kevin and me, school for the kids, daycare for Jaxon, and then throw in the devil wrench of cancer including trips to Salt Lake, labs drawn, doctors visits, chemo rounds, and days of misery from side effects is overwhelming.   The hardest thing a parent will ever do is watch their child suffer and be unable to do anything to stop it.  To watch the poison drip into his veins knowing that it means days of throwing up, pain and exhaustion and be helpless to stop it, is indescribable.  To go through all that and then be expected to carry on in the rest of life as if everything is fine is a joke.  Some days I stare at the laundry or dirty dishes and don't know how to begin.  Will life ever be "normal" again?  Will I ever stop being consumed with anxiety and the worry that all this will have been in vain?  I can't even go down that road, it paralyzes me. 

When I don't know how I will keep going, Austin will 
smile and I will be reminded of why we are going through all this.  My precious, sweet boy. I begged God to give him to me, to make me a Mommy.  I would have given anything to have him and I will give everything to continue to have him.  When he was born, he stared into my eyes and I was forever changed.  I knew right then that I would give my entire life for him. Nothing else matters. Of course we will jump through all the hoops we have to if it means we get a healthy boy in the end.  We will persevere and do what has to be done because we have no choice...and because he is worth it.

My Austin.  Sept 16, 2003, my life forever changed.


  1. You all are my heros!! I can not imagine what you are going through!! Keep the Faith and please let me know if there is anything I can do. Keep being brave Austin!! Your Amazing!! AMY....You are INCREDIBLE and so good for Austin!! You can do this!! :) Your all in my thoughts and prayers!


  2. You call friends who can't do anything but say they are here. Let us do dishes and laundry. We all have it. If that is what we can do to help you, I will gladly do it so you can keep going and keep our buddy going. We love you. We pray for you. We wish we could help with this "challenge" at this time. So let us do what we can. Play dates, anything!

  3. You guys are amazing!! I wish you had family closer to help. We would love to. If praying is all we can do, we will keep doing that. Along with sending our love

  4. Thanks guys! The love means a lot! It helps us survive the hard times.