Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy New Year

Hello family and sweet friends,

It's been about 4 months since my last post and wow, how time flies! Since that time each of our children have had birthdays (10, 7, 3), we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas, rung in the New Year, finished soccer and started basketball and are almost halfway through 4th grade and 1st grade at a new school. I think I need a nap just thinking about all of it!

Micah has really settled in at his new school. He has made several new friends, loves his teacher and really seems to enjoy learning. He also seems more and more interested in sports with each passing day.  He loves Upward basketball and he can't wait to sign up for baseball for the first time this spring. Micah seems to have an internal motor that is always running so we're glad there is an outlet for him in sports!

Slade is three. How can my baby girl be three? It's known to all that two's are terrible but I disagree. I think two is challenging and three is terrible. It's the year of choosing to disobey and testing the limits. Of course it's also full of wonder and discovery, love and snuggles! I wouldn't trade it for the world and Pete and I are up for the test. I think. We've haven't parented a diva before...

Forester: A kid's life post-cancer... 
Forester is doing well. He finished soccer better than he started and really loved playing goalie. He's also playing Upward basketball and is holding his own against some of the older and taller players and improving his skills. He still seems to end up on the ground more than most. I don't know if that's residual neuropathy in his legs, lack of strength, or just tripping over his own feet but he gets right back up and keeps going.
Another MRI was done in December with another perfect result. Thank you, Lord! A small cataract has begun to develop in his left eye. This is a side effect from radiation. He will see an Ophthalmologist in February and we hope to have a better understanding about the growth rate of this cataract and treatment. His thyroid levels are currently balanced well with the small amount of Synthroid he takes each day, and he is still on target to start daily growth hormone shots this summer.   We are starting to see more side effects from having a low growth hormone level. Obviously, in his height, but he also gets winded and tired more easily than others.  His hair is still baby fine and thin. He has less muscle tone than he used to and his metabolism is sluggish so he's carrying more fat. He is not overweight but we were encouraged to keep him as active as possible, limit snacks and make sure he's eating healthy. Sounds like a good idea for all of us! It is ironic though. His treatment  caused him to lose so much weight and the doctor's advice was to give him anything he wanted to eat at anytime. The more fattening, the better. We were calorie pushers and short order cooks! That same treatment has now caused his system to slow down and not metabolize properly so we're on the other end of the spectrum. But, I'm thankful for the needed discipline because we've allowed Forester to continue some bad eating habits that need to stop.  I need to stop catering to what he likes or says he doesn't like.  He can still be very picky about how something looks or smells and still has to take Prevacid everyday to keep his tummy from feeling bad. can still be frustrating.
School has definitely been our biggest challenge over the last four months. Forester has been blessed with an amazing teacher who wants to help in anyway possible but it quickly became obvious to us that he needed more than just a supportive teacher.  Math has become more and more difficult, multiplication just doesn't seem to be sticking, he's beginning to have more attention deficit episodes where he "spaces out" and homework is taking twice as long to complete.  We met with Forester's child psychiatrist at MUSC and she confirmed that all of these things line up perfectly with the side effects of the treatment he received and the results of her testing.  She recommended that we pursue getting an IEP (individualized education program) put in place. This would give Forester access to special education help in math, taking tests, homework, etc,.  We are currently in the process of trying to make this happen but it's been tougher than we had expected. We have another meeting with the school board on Feb.1st. at 10:30am. Will you please pray that they will approve this IEP without opposition? We want  Forester to have every resource available to him so that he can perform to potential.
Thank you for caring for our family and for praying for us. We are praying (as always!) that 2012 will be cancer free for our family and filled with opportunities to share the love of Christ. We thank God of each of you and pray His blessings on you in abundance!