Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 29

We hit our first milestone today.  Emma has completed her 29 day "Induction" period of her treatment.  Tonight will be her last dose of her daily Predisone (3 x's a day) dose.  We are praising God that her reaction to this medication was minimal.  After reading the daunting list of common side effects including:

  • Increased appetite, weight gain and fluid retention
  • Full or round "moon" face
  • Stomach upset
  • Acne
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Less resistance to infection and longer time for healing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Weak bones, fractures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cataracts
we are so thankful that she only experienced a few of them and they were mild.  Even her doctors commented on how well she did.  She will take this drug again for the first 5 days of every 21 day cycle on a higher dose and will get a rest from it for days 6-21. 

To celebrate this achievement, she received a puffer fish glass bead (to represent the full face) for her Beads of Courage necklace, along with a cute face bead with crazy hair (to represent hair loss) along with a handful of other beads.  She's graduated to her second string already!

Grammy (Rebecca's mom) went with us to her clinic appointment and then we headed out to a girl's lunch to celebrate her milestone.

Emma and Grammy

The view from Emma's lens

Any guesses to where we were?

Photo by Emma

It was one of the stormiest days we have had here in California all winter....record breaking and tree falling wind and rain.  The storm swirling around me and blowing our car around the freeway was intimidating, powerful and destructive.....not unlike our journey.  The news we received today after hearing her counts were again "great" were to expect a drop by early next week.  Once she stops the Predisone, her body will truly be experiencing the full force of the chemo killing effects.  It will no longer have the artificial boost of immunity and blood counts.  It's a eerie feeling......knowing something bad is coming, but not knowing how destructive it will be.  We are bracing ourselves for the storm.  We will ride it out, in the comfort and protection of our faith and with the help of you, our beloved circle of support.
The storm is coming....

Dinner was provided to our weary family today from some long time friends....such a blessing.  Emma will be able to attend Enrichment Class tomorrow at school since her counts were still good........such a blessing.  Reminders of love and provision continue to fill my inbox........such a blessing.  The storm will come, the storm might be huge, the storm will pass, the sun will return......such a blessing.

God's promise of protection and care-this picture was taken on our property on Februrary 26, 2010.... One year almost exactly from Day 1 of her treatment of Lymphoma which started Februrary 23, 2011. 

Emma will endure a 2 hour PET Scan on Tuesday and a shorter CT Scan on Wednesday as well as a clinic visit and blood test.  We will find the results from both of these scans on Wednesday when we meet with her doctors, and we are praying that the cancer has not spread or become worse.  We are praying that the induction has been successful and the effects on her body are not long term.  We are praying that she stays calm during both of these "lay on the table perfectly still" scans.  We look forward to starting the "Maintenance" cycles of her treatment protocol-15 total.  The sooner we begin, the sooner this whole ordeal will be in our rear-view mirror.  We know we are in good hands, but the storm still causes our hearts to beat a little faster.

  The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1‑6



  1. I just love to see the pictures you choose to illustrate how you all are feeling. The pictures alone always tell a story. Is it unusual for my heart to beat quickly while reading? Tears, rapid heart beat and a smile-every time!

  2. Hurray for the first milestone! One down :) Praying for positive news from the PET scan, and that momentum continues to be a strong, forward one. I love hearing about the beads, too :) They really are such a creative way for her to have a visual representation of her fight.

  3. okay, I'm gonna guess Claim Jumper's!
    Congrats on your first milestone!

  4. We are praying for a great report on Tuesday and Wednesday! God has a wonderful plan for Emma!

  5. Dear Stanphill family, you don't know us (yet?) but we have a mutual friend who told us about Emma's fight and your family's story. Our son, Nathan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia 4 year ago at the age of 2 and I am reliving those hospital stays, endless doctor visits, the uncertainty and worry through your blogs and my heart goes out to all of you. We are praying for good news from the PET & CAT scans, quick recovery from the induction, high ANCs so Emma can be social and strength for the whole family.
    Nathan says "hi", he is a happy, healthy first grader now.
    Heike Henry & family (Elk Grove)

  6. We love you and we hope to see you at church. We are raising money for your walk-a-thon.

    lily petersen

  7. We are praying for your tests today and tomorrow, Emma... And for GOOD news after the tests! :0)

  8. Love you Emma! I can't wait til I get to see you in June!! God bless you honey!! *HUGS*


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