_Coco Caldwell Crawford
_Sunday, 8/31/2008 8:15 AM
_8 lbs. 1 oz.
Mom went sans drugs...and Coco was slightly posterior... so the "all smiles" pic is very deceiving. Casey is gnarly.
Rogan loves sister Coco and they like to watch Elmo together... Dad is over Elmo and can't wait until she graduates to "Surf's Up" and "Finding Nemo".
Rogan made phenomenal progress during week 3 & 4... maintaining "best response possible" and "highest cure rate" bracket. Week 3 clinic day, 8/25, we were told to expect transfusions, possibly both red blood & platelets.... but her counts were stable and she didn't need either! ... so with just vitals and a blood draw, no surgery... that was the easiest clinic day to date.
The side effects from the "chemo cocktail", specifically the steroid, have manifested full force:
_raging appetite, weight gain & water retention
This is how chemo makes you feel:
...still no walking due to:
_bone pain from being overcrowded w/ Leukemic cells to going hollow
_muscle pain from the roids
_weight gain & water retention
....resulting in plenty of Elmo hours logged:
The hair lose was mounting, so we were forced to do some maintenance:
...and then was force to do even more maintenance a day later whilst side tracked by a Cafe Rio burrito [raging appetite]
CLINIC DAY_Week 4_9/2/2008
Epic news Tuesday as they drew prelim blood and saw that her counts were up from last week!... meaning she is starting to make her own cells again. In particular, her bacteria fighting white cells [ANC]...so they hope she will be out of the extreme danger zone in a couple weeks! This is best case scenario and the doctors targeted goal. We then needed the 1st month bench mark bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap. Mama went to feed Coco and Papa Roger and I were left with the daunting task. This one is gnarly and doesn't seem to get any easier...as you must carry her into the operating room [O.R.] which is bright white, well-lit w/ all sorts of equipment and docs and nurses everywhere... [plenty intimidating in itself]. I hold Rogan and the doc injects anesthesia directly into her central line in her chest and she goes limp and falls asleep within 3 seconds. I lay her down, she gets oxygen via mask, and they go to work. It was subsequently followed by 2 grown men crying and then some good meaningful father / son connection and conversation. 30 minutes later [seemingly hours] we were both in recovery with Rogan. She was on her side and came to... asked for baba and numana. Big sigh of relief. The bone marrow went to Seattle Tuesday for an extra-microscopic review.... we will know this afternoon, Friday 9/5.
...so this first month [INDUCTION] has been targeted at the cancer in her marrow....where it lives and grows [metastasize]. This second month [CONSOLIDATION] will be a new chemo-cocktail targeted at her central nervous system...in case there is any cancer in there, which we believe there is not. She starts this coming Monday, 9/8 and we are fired up. In the meantime, she gets an entire break from ALL chemo drugs!... even the steroid. Which is ideal... within 48 hours of being off the steroid we saw a drastic improvement. She slept through the night without snacking...woke up without crying, smiled often, took a bath without bawling, laughed for the 1st time in 3 weeks and even crawled for the first time in 3.5 weeks. A wild world of difference. That was a tear-JERKER. Captured below is evidence of the REAL ROGAN... off steroids and loving it.
...as I type, Rogan is on the floor, reading a book by her self [which is unprecedented]...doing her "shoulder shimmy" to the back ground beats. [insert tears of pride and joy here] She is a grandchild to Charles Mason Crawford III, that is for sure. I am missing him a lot nowadays...so thank you very, very much to the special friends and mentors in my life who are helping me fill in that giant gap.
Thanks again to all our friends and family for the over the top love and support. LOVE & RESPECT.