Monthly Archives: October 2013

“what did your friends think of your new haircut?”

Two of my friends thought I  looked kinda scary, one thought I looked like a space alien, and the rest liked it.


Sam’s New Do

Well, we knew it would probably happen, but that didn’t make it any easier seeing those first few hairs drifting down from Sam’s head in the sunlight. A bit of a jarring reminder that, even though we are back home, we are not yet home free. I think I personally found it one of the hardest steps in this journey. Until now, Sam didn’t look like a cancer patient, and so it was easy to forget about from time to time. Now it is feeling quite real real.

Last night we got out the clippers, and cut Sam’s hair nice and short. We all had lots of fun as we checked out each new look as the hair was cut away. Sam was very happy with his new look, and excited to show the other kids at school. He is such a positive little guy!

Remission Party!

We are back home!!!

Yesterday at 12:30, we were informed that Sam is officially in remission. Which, I think means that he has less than 0.1% leukaemic cells in his blood. And which also meant we got to go home. Which is awesome. So awesome, in fact that we decided to throw a party. So we invited everyone who was in our house at the time, made a classic Mennonite meal that Sam loves, and then got out on the dance floor and danced the night away. Or at least we danced until bedtime. Which is 7:30 for some of us.

Though we know there is still a long road ahead, we wanted to celebrate what we have been through, and let our hearts be filled with thankfulness for the grace we have been given so far. I guess it is fitting that this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in our homeland. We have much to be thankful for.


There certainly is a lot of waiting in this journey. Waiting to see doctors, waiting for blood results, waiting to get your prescription filled, waiting for the nurse to come and stop the beeping on the I.V. Waiting for the blood from the blood bank, and the list goes on….

Right now we are waiting for the bone marrow results – the official word that Sam is in remission.  Or isn’t.  We’re waiting for the thumbs up to go home.

It’s hard to make plans when you’re waiting and it’s one more lesson in taking each day as it comes and enjoying the moment.

Sleepless Nights

Down the street from where we’re staying is an old gaol.  Sam has been curious about it since we arrived and now that Grandma and Grandpa have arrived we  went for the long-awaited tour.  It was really interesting, but although advertised as “child-friendly” it turned out to be rather graphic in parts.  So that, combined with one of the side effects of dexamethasone, led to some trouble sleeping last night.  After listening to music, reading a book, drinking milk and more music he was eventually asleep around midnight.  And then awake for a toilet run.  And then awake again by 5:30.  Fortunately Sam has discovered the world of reading and will happily sit in bed reading his Zac Power book until 6am before getting up for his first breakfast.

I think we’ll be pushing for the afternoon nap today.


Good News!

We took Sam in to the hospital for his chemo again today, and had a good chat with his doctor. The results from the bone marrow sample that had been sent to the U.S. for specialized testing had come back, and the results were encouraging. I don’t understand the biology behind it all, but I think they look at specific chromosomes in the blast cells, and that gives an indication of how well they typically will respond to treatment. Anyways, she said a bunch of big words that meant: “good news, Sam’s leukaemia is quite common, and very treatable.” That was great to hear.

So, if all goes well with Sam’s blood test next Monday, he will have chemo on Tuesday and then we will likely be able to go home, like our real home. The home we left 3 1/2 weeks ago with the groceries on the floor, expecting to stay one or two nights in the hospital. Yay! Of course we still have a week to go, and a few more boxes to check, but it is looking good so far.

After we get home, we will still be coming up here once a week for treatment, on and off at different times and intervals for the next couple of years, which still is yet to be spelled out, depending on his bone marrow results at the end of this induction treatment. So that’s where we are at, and we are very proud of our courageous little boy!

(oh, yeah, thanks to some of our awesome friends, the groceries are not still on the floor in case you were wondering:)