The Brothers, Separated For A Season


Highlight: Joseph received his 3rd chemo treatment on Friday and did not have any adverse reaction.
Highlight: Results from Joseph’s latest set of blood tests indicate that he is growing new blood cells of just about every type. Everyone is pleased with his progress.

Highlight : The brothers were not able to be together today due to one who was running a fever and had a sore throat. It was very hard on the brothers at home as they had special toys to give to Joseph today and had planned other treats.

Highlight: Joseph has been very active at play.

Highlight: Joseph is being taken off of some medicines as his overall condition continues to improve.

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On Friday Joseph continued to challenge our creativity on what type of food might be interesting to him. Normally a good eater with a broad range of foods, his sudden lack of interest in many foods is clearly a result of the chemo therapy. One nurse told me that children on the drugs that he is on usually crave savory, spicy, and salty foods. So far this has proven to be true with Joseph.

Our meetings with the doctors were helpful and encouraging. They are pleased with his progress and level of general health. They have now removed another layer of medicines that were there to protect Joseph from infection in his mouth. They feel his mouth is in good condition and, while still vulnerable to infection, is not in need of 3 times a day preventive treatment.

Joseph’s blood test results indicate that his bone marrow is producing healthy blood cells of almost every type. They are far from being normal healthy levels but good progress is being made.

Later in the day there was additional discussion about the possibility of taking Joseph back home, maybe even as early as next weekend. He would still be taking seriously strong treatment but would be an outpatient most of the time. His life and ours will be much more restricted than in the past due to his risk of infection, but it would be very nice to all be at home together again.

We were told by a couple of nurses that Joseph would, at times, need the level of time and attention that an infant requires. He will also need extra protection from infection. So we are hastily rearranging our house in preparation for a possible homecoming. My home office will now take on the role of Joseph’s private room so that he can be near us at night and have the physical separation needed to provide an infection buffer.

In the middle of the work at home, one of the boys developed a fever and cough. A quick consultation with one of the doctors resulted in us cancelling the weekly get together for the brothers. ¬†Joseph and everyone in our family will need to be healthy and free of infection and Joseph’s blood test results will need to show that he has developed at least a minimal level of immune response before he can come home.

On Monday Joseph will receive another of the inter-muscular chemo shots. Last time he did not have a reaction to the drug and got over the shot itself in about a minute. However, this drug is one that can cause reactions and it seems that even if you have tolerated it well in the past you have a fresh chance at a reaction each time you receive it.

Prayer Request: That Joseph will not have a reaction to the shot on Monday.

Prayer Request : That all of us will be healthy and that Joseph’s blood test will show he is able to come home soon.¬†

Some are asking if Joseph will lose his lovely red curly hair due to the chemo treatment. Already we are seeing some hair falling out. In talking to the doctors they say that he will lose all his hair for about the first 6 months of treatment. Then it will grow back. Sometimes the color and texture will change after treatment so we don’t know exactly what it will look like when it comes back. While hair is not a major life issue, Joseph’s red curly locks are a part of his identity. So please pray that the Lord will give Joseph grace for the time without hair and to a