CJ has been "unhooked"! This is a good sign. The doctors are monitoring how he does off of all the fluids in the IV and if he continues to do well he can go home (possible today). His blood work came back and the levels look good. The expected changes are happening but we take comfort that it means the chemo is working in breaking down the cells.
More importantly, his spirits are lifted and I am beginning to see signs of the typical CJ. Like yesterday when I got to the hospital he was sitting in bed writing thank you letters to people he wanted to thank. That is like CJ! He was also trying to straighten up his hospital room. That is like CJ! He was asking about his siblings at home and saying how much he missed them. That is like CJ! He had his head down because of severe jaw pain and I said what's wrong and he said "I'm just praying." That is like CJ!
We are excited at the prospect of getting him home today. We are anxious to have our family together and not be separated. Yet, if I were completely honest there is an apprehension about taking him home as well. Here at the hospital they are coming in every 2 hours to take his temperature and blood pressure. They are monitoring his pain and side effects. They check his blood levels daily here and hand us a printout of all his levels. It's tempting to take comfort and place security in those numbers and read outs. Yet I take must remind myself my hope and trust rests in the Lord and His care for our family. I know we need to be diligent in his safety and exposure at home yet I must remember this burden does not rest on me. It rests on Christ. We are just instruments God is using to care for CJ. I pray he gives us all the wisdom we will need to take care of CJ and make good decisions. James 1:5 says, "if any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
So, it is our hope that we will post the next blog from the house. Our immediate prayer needs are for continued good blood counts. We are asking God to miraculously sustain CJ's white blood cells and platelets during this time. Also, CJ has to be back here on Friday for a spinal tap and more chemotherapy. He will be put to sleep for the spinal tap but hopefully we will be able to go home that same day. Please continue to pray with us for his quick recovery. We know God is able and the prayers and cries of His people reach His ears and hears and heals from heaven.
Here is a quick elementary lesson in chemotherapy to help you understand what CJ is going through:
The cancerous cells are fast growing cells that have basically gone haywire in your body and are not doing what normal cells do. No one knows why this happens.
Each drug in the Chemotherapy has its own side effects and risks that have to be monitored. The chemotherapy is a combination of really strong medicines that go into the body and attack the fast growing cells. But chemotherapy does not know the difference between the bad cells and the good cells in our body and it just attacks all fast growing cells. Your hair is a fast growing cell and that is why many chemotherapy patients lose their hair. Your saliva is a fast growing cell and that is why chemotherapy can cause pain and sores and many problems related to that. And more importantly, the blood inside our bone is also made up of fast growing cells. Your blood is made in your bones and it is made up of white cells, red cells and platelets. They will all be attacked by the chemotherapy although they are good fast growing cells. Platelets are what allow your blood to clot and when these are low you can have uncontrolled bleeding; that is why CJ can not do sports, or activities that can cause any sort of injury internally or externally. Your red blood cells carry your hemaglobins and that is what carries oxygen to your blood and throughout your body and to all your organs. This is why chemo patients are more tired and winded and fatigued and can become anemic. Platelets and red blood cells can be transfused if absolutely necessary which means they can be given to him through IV. But your white blood cells can not be transfused. These are important because these are the ones that help your body fight infection. When they are low you are at a higher risk of infections and have a harder time getting well once you are sick. This is why we need to be extremely diligent about his exposure to people and germs during this time and monitor the amount of visitors according to his blood levels.
Now that you have the basis idea of what we know at this point, please lock arms with us in prayer for CJ's protection and healing!
Amazed by His Grace,
The George Family