Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another MRI- Finally Good News!! :)

Rachel had her 2-month MRI last Thursday and it actually went well. We are thrilled to report that the Neurosurgeon and Oncologist felt the cancer had improved and the radiologist is convinced it's the same. All 3 of them agree that there's no new growth and that's all we care about. The hospital got a new machine and it's more detailed so that's why there is disagreement between the doctors. We're going to keep her on the same chemo that she has been taking at home- yeah! We've had to delay chemo this time because her blood cell counts are so low. She almost had to get a blood transfusion last Friday but her platelet count went up on its own. Her immune system is very weak right now so she's been stuck at home more and has only really left to go to appointments. She has not been able to play with her cousins because they have been sick. :( Her counts should be better in a week or two and then we can relax a little bit about germs. I just thank God that she's too young to care that she's stuck at home.

Rach is bald again :(

Due to an increase in her chemo, Rachel's hair fell out last weekend. Mike had to shave the rest off because it looked horrible and there was hair everywhere!! She's back to wearing hats but she doesn't seem to mind.

Playing the piano

Hanging at the Riverwalk

Penny had a conference at the Hyatt hotel on the Riverwalk so we went over to visit her. Rachel had a blast jumping on the bed and she loved the rooftop pool. She didn't love that she couldn't get in it so we didn't stay up there very long!

Rachel was a Flower Girl!

My longtime friend Jenny Petrie was married on August 9th. I was a bridesmaid and Rachel was a flower girl. I don't have very many pics of her in the wedding but hopefully I'll get some from someone else so I can post those later. Michael helped her walk down the aisle and she kept the guests entertained during the wedding because she was walking around the front of the church looking around. She did a very good job!
Rachel danced the night away at the reception. She was hilarious! She loves to dance at home but we had no idea we wouldn't be able to keep her off the dance floor. She danced so much that we had to change her dress because she made herself a little nauseous but she kept on going!

Jenny's Wedding Rehearsal

Visitor from Panama City

Our next door neighbor from PC, Chiquita, was in town so she stopped by for a visit. I had Cade and Callie with me too so she helped me chase the kids around. We had a good visit but I think the kids wore her out! Callie was very willing to pose for a picture but Rachel wasn't.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rach is going to be a big sister!

For those of you who don't already know, we are expecting our 2nd child in February. I am near the end of my first trimester, thank God, and so far the baby is doing well. It has little arms and legs and a strong heartbeat. We don't care what it is, we just want a healthy one. Rachel is not sure about being a big sister. When you ask her if she wants a sister or brother she replies, "no". This is going to be an adjustment for her!

Playing Rockband with Dad

Trip to MD Anderson in Houston

We went over to Houston about 2 weeks ago to meet with Doctors at MD Anderson. It's one of the leading cancer hospitals in the country and we wanted to know if Rachel would get anything different there. The oncologist there thought that Rachel looked great and he said that he would continue her on her current drugs as long as she does this well. It was reassuring to hear another oncologist say that she's doing great!
We also got to meet with the radiologist there and that was interesting. They agreed to do Proton radiation on Rachel when she needs it. This technology is the main reason that we went to meet with doctors there. It is a newer kind of radiation that is not widely available. It will not damage other organs around her spine. It has a beam that can be directed exactly where it needs to go so it's ideal for someone like Rach who has to have her entire spine radiated on. It is also less harsh on her system as a whole. The only down side is that it still will have the same effects that regular radiation does in the brain because her entire brain has to be radiated. They also told us that her cancer is not curable without radiation, not advice we like to hear. Also, that radiating on someone her age has huge risks even at 3. They think that they will cause some damage and there is no way to know how much. It can range from learning disabilities to mental retardation. These are things that we've heard before so we are hoping for the best because this is the only way to save her.
Overall, our trip went really well. We are not planning on transferring to Houston until she needs radiation or we decide to do a clinical trial there. The doctors were very positive about her outlook and it was actually the first time that we have felt like this is curable after meeting with so many doctors!

Hanging at Aunt Becky's

When we went up to Houston, we stayed the night with Michael's sister Becky in Galveston. We only got to stay one night but we had a great time. Rachel really enjoyed herself as you can tell in the pics. She walked around her house like crazy! Becky's friend, Stephanie, hung out with us that night and she even provided the pics- thanks Stephanie!
Going in the car to the Hibachi Grill. Rach was very entertained by Sweetie hanging from the ceiling.

Eating at the Hibachi Grill.

Aunt Becky caught the rice!