Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Week 2 of Chemo

Today was the first day of Dakota’s second round of chemo. One of the medicines that he needs has been on backorder for a very long time but somehow the hospital found the medicine that he needs and gave it to him today. The only hospital that had this medicine was in Houston so I’m very happy that the medicine was found. We will have a long day tomorrow at the hospital as we will have to be there early for a test to check his lungs. The new medicine can cause damage to the lungs so they want to make sure that his lungs are healthy. We will need to stay there until about 1:00 or 2:00 for his 22 hour medicine from his fanny pack to finish.

I just have to give our family doctor props for being so great. I started seeing her about three years ago and David just started seeing her a few months ago. Dakota had been going to Shawnee, which is where we used to go as it is closer to home.  He made a few trips to see them but went undiagnosed.  We decided to send him to our doctor in the city. She is the one that sent him for his CAT scan and found out that we were most likely dealing with cancer. She called Dakota and told him the results because he is 20 and that’s what they do. She knew we would be worried so she called us at 8:30 at night and talked to us for about a ½ hour or 45 minutes. She has always called me about 5:00 or 6:00 at night to give me results from tests that I have had and will spend at least a ½ hour with you at each office visit. She puts in some long hours and really worries and cares about her patients.  I love her! I have never met a more dedicated doctor. I had to see her this week and of course she knew that I was Dakota’s mom and the first thing that she said is “I’m so sorry that you are having to go through this.” She then spends about 15 minutes talking about Dakota and taking notes on his chart. She finished talking about Dakota and went to my chart and started crying and had to take a moment to compose herself. She said “I’m just so sorry that you have to go through this.” My doctor cried for us…I was amazed. We aren’t long-time patients and she has only seen Dakota one time. She has been there for us the entire time and will call and ask us what’s going on with his treatment, and she gets frustrated when she sends him to the doctor and they don‘t give her the results. This is an example of someone following their calling and I am so glad that she did. What a blessing she has been in our lives. We could still be struggling to find out what was wrong with him if she hadn’t taken that extra step.  Everyone else had said that his blood work was good so it couldn’t be cancer. We are taking his cancer treatments at St. Anthony’s and the doctor and his nurses are great as well. They are all so kind and answer all of our questions even when they are swamped like today. My niece Amanda is a nurse and I have even more admiration for the work that she does and all of the other nurses and doctors. It certainly takes a special person to serve the sick.

Many of you ask what Dakota’s symptoms were and I’m sure it’s so you can go home and check your loved ones; that’s what I would do. He had a gland on his neck that would swell and go back down. We didn’t think much about it since that seems to happen to many people. We thought he was just fighting some kind of cold or allergies. His lymph node swelled up to golf ball size and he went to the doctor. He was given antibiotics and was told if he still had problems to come back. The next week he had a rash all over his body and he went back to the doctor and they gave him a shot and more antibiotics. He would run a fever sometimes and feel bad and then feel good again. He had lost 20 lbs but we attributed it to his new job that required him to work 12-14 hours a day. Most of the time we would tell Dakota to get more rest and quit running around all the time. His health went downhill after his lymph node swelled to golf ball size. I never knew that all of these things are all indications of Hodgkin’s. Weight loss, itchy rash, swollen glands, and the last sign was pain in his back. I have heard of other people that have had rashes and were later diagnosed with cancer. I never would have imagined that a rash could be a symptom. I don’t say this to scare people with a rash but to be proactive with your health.  If we had been more proactive we might have had a diagnosis much earlier. 

                               Starbucks heals all ills. Notice the venti drink beside him.
                                  Dakota loves my camera, can't you tell by his expression?  lol
Once again, another happy expression.  I don't think he was happy to know that he will be sick again. There are good days and bad days.  This was his not so good day.
                      Food always makes him a little happier so mom was happy to feed him 

He just finished off 1/2 of a  Digornio pizza after this feast.  He's still a skinny little thing but glad he's eating.

Dakota's friend Erin came by tonight.  We all love her.  I love watching them together.  They have been together since they were babies.  I will have to track down their baby pictures with Dakota holding Erin sweetly.  They even took some of their senior pictures together. Notice that he looks a little happier. 

                               Erin and Nachole had these wristbands made.  Love, love, love!
                                      This didn't turn out very well but it says 2 Corinthians 4:16

Will try to post again tomorrow.  Found a scripture that I liked today:

Proverbs 3:5-8 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.”

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