We received some amazing news, the bone marrow biopsy showed no presence of cancer!
Dr. Chang called us during his weekend off to share the findings. Since Aiden does not have metastatic disease we are moving forward with a 43-week chemotherapy schedule which will later incorporate radiation and may include surgery. Chemotherapy is used to attack cancer cells which divide very quickly. Normal, healthy cells – on the other hand – grow in an orderly fashion and replace old or damaged cells. Aiden’s chemo is being administered intravenously (right into his vein) to combat the rapidly-growing, out-of-control cells.
His regimen consists of three drugs: VinCRIStine, Dactinomycin and Cyclophosphamide – also known as VAC. The VinCRIStine and Dactinomycin are quickly pushed through an IV, while the Cyclophosphamide is administered slowly over a 60 minute period. Most chemo side effects, if any, appear about 10-14 days after the drugs are administered. Children are quite resilient, though, and tend to tolerate chemotherapy quite well – usually better than adults. Aiden had his first round of chemo Saturday night and has responded well to the drugs. We pray that he continues to tolerate these drugs over the 43-week course. I am very proud of my little man.
Currently, the more pressing matter happens to be Aiden’s respiratory condition, not his cancer. Aiden is still using the ventilator to breathe. His daily chest x-rays have not shown improvement since the day following his surgery (last Wednesday). The drainage from his chest tube slowed considerably so Dr. Askew decided to have it removed. Now we are trying to understand why the right lung is not recovering. Pediatric Pulmonologist, Dr. John Osborn, is performing a bronchoscopy on Aiden Monday morning. He will use a bronchoscope to visualize Aiden’s airway and hopefully uncover why the right lung will not expand. I pray that we discover the problem and are able to remedy it without difficulty.
We will continue to be in the PICU until he can breathe on his own. The doctors and nurses here have been amazing – they now feel like extended family. “Residing” in intensive care is not easy, but Chris and I do not want to leave our munchkin’s side. We have turned the window-seat and pull-out-chair into a makeshift bedroom, which suits us just fine. Honestly, I would sleep on the cold, hard hospital floor if it kept me close to my baby. Once we are in the Hematology/Oncology wing (when Aiden is breathing-tube-free), our living situation should improve a bit and hopefully we will be able to entertain a visitor or two. The PICU policy states only 3 people in the room at a time – since Chris and I are both here that leaves only one available space! Luckily the nurses have let grandmas and grandpas visits pretty easily, which is such a blessing – Chris and I have definitely needed them close during this difficult time.
As always, please keep Aiden in your prayers. I am certain that all of the praying thus far has contributed to the small miracles we are experiencing each and every day. Thank so much for your support. I have been reading all of your emails, messages, comments and texts every day and each communication truly touches my heart. I truly feel blessed to have each and every one of you in our lives.
Be sure to check out the website that Aiden’s Uncle Steve and Aunt April created (helpbabyaiden.com) as well as the prayer circle established by Aunt Lisa (Facebook: Aiden’s Prayer Circle). I want to also take this opportunity to thank my dear friend, Kere, for sending out emails, taking calls and putting together this blog.
Please continue to pray for baby Aiden.
Leslie and Chris