Friday, May 24, 2013

A Month into Maintenance and the End of the School Year

We have been in Maintenance for a month and so far Austin has felt amazing.  He has had more energy and felt better than he has since he was diagnosed.  His hair is growing back and he has lost the black circles around his eyes from the Chemo.  Since we haven't had to go to the doctor or hospital or get labs checked, it has been easy to pretend that all of the past 9 months was just a bad dream and that the Leukemia never existed.  The only reminder of our reality is Austin's nightly pills.  Austin takes 3 1/2 pills on Monday and Tuesday, 12 pills on Thursday's and 2 pills every other day.  I have to keep a calendar posted in our kitchen to help me remember which pills to give when.  Thankfully, Awesome Austin doesn't have a problem taking pills and he swallows them nightly without complaint.  He hasn't had any side effects from these pills even thought they are still Chemotherapy. 
Austin's Thursday Chemo
So all is hunky dory right?  Well, it certainly is the best it has been in months.  I am cautiously hopeful that this is the way it will be from now on.  I am told that relapse during maintenance is extremely rare, but being the paranoid nurse/mom that I am, it's been on my mind a lot lately.  I think I have become used to worrying and don't know how to relax completely.  Part of me feels like I have been running a marathon at full sprint for the past 9 months and though I haven't reached the finish line, I have been told to slow down and walk.  It's feels like whiplash, for lack of a better description.

Don't get me wrong!  I am very grateful that Austin feels so good!  When people ask me how he is doing, I have nothing to say other than that he is great.  That is just fine with me.  It's just a new way of thinking for me.

The last month has gone quickly as we have been very busy with the end of the school year activities.  Usually a mom is bummed about school getting out for the summer, but this Mom is thrilled.  It has been a very tough year and I need a break.  I am so proud of Austin for making it through this year and completing 3rd grade.  Back in the fall when Austin missed so much school I wasn't sure he would make it.  I was worried he would get too far behind and have to be held back a year.  I credit Austin's amazing teachers for being understanding and helping Austin catch up when he was absent.  It doesn't hurt that Austin is an excellent student and of course I think he is absolutely brilliant (but I may be a little biased).

Today Austin had his monthly checkup and CBC.  His ANC was 1200, the same as it was a month ago.  His Hematocrit was 36, the highest it's been since he was diagnosed.  No wonder he has so much energy!  He was cleared to attend Camp Hobe in June with Madison which will be a lot of fun.

So bring on Summer!  We plan on having lots of fun and thinking about Cancer as little as possible.