Thursday, September 11, 2008

quick update

Mike indicated Kevin's cultures were positive for both lines of his Hickman. This means he'll be inpatient until his counts return. Kevin had the exact same thing after his second round of chemo. From what I understand in my short oncology/infection St. Jude education, this is much better then the staph infection he suffered after his third round. He's on two antibiotics and alternating lines. Kevin will be fine. Rachel and I are flying down on Friday, and it looks like I'm staying until Tuesday or Wednesday.

We had the privelage of meeting Kevin's third grade teacher on Tuesday. I feel very comfortable with her, and feel it's going to be an excellent fit. She had a great idea, which is to meet with Kevin prior to him going back to school. She'll show him around the room, and more importantly give Kevin an opportunity to get to know her. Kevin can be very shy (like me I suppose), so I think this will be helpful. It's really important that Kevin feels like he can talk to her, and approach her if something's wrong. Also, this way his first day back at school, he'll at least not feel like a complet stranger to her class. We're thrilled that a couple of Kevin's friends are in his class. That's all for now. I'm update more when I'm down there.



terri braswell said...

I am sorry to hear about the infection. At least it is not the more serious one. I am beginning to think you guys just like the Chilis Care Center so much you just can't stay away. Just kidding. Hope you and Rachel hace safe travels back to Memphis. We will miss seeing you. It is almost over so hang in there. Much love, Terri and Heather

Tae Scott-Smith said...

We are so thrilled that Kevin is very nearly at the end of his treatment and has had his No Mo' Chemo Party! Sorry that he has to battle another infection. We'll be sending lots of prayers and good vibes your way that it will be easy to treat and the hospital stay will be short. Then you guys can eat at Chili's instead of living there. :)

We just left Memphis but weren't able to track you down to say hello. Ethan's schedule was so jam-packed and he was incredibly tired when the days were through (Sean and I, too. Will stayed home because he still doesn't have much time off from work left. We've learned now that it's good to have some set aside just in case...well, who knows what for, but just in case.)

All of Ethan's scans came back clean! No matter what you do, it is very stressful the week or so leading up to the tests and you take turns going insane and charging yourself up with prayer and hope. I'm hoping it's normal, but it sure does stink. And, I ate way too much chocolate so now I have to try to counter the damage that I've done. Sigh.

I had to pass on one thought your way for when you get back home in a few weeks. Ethan's last round of chemo was administered in early May and his counts were reluctant to come up for a good month. When his ANC was checked the day he came back for his line removal on July 8, it was still only 1200. Five days ago it was 2200. 4000 is considered good and normal. So, after all this time, Ethan's still not quite back where he should be. He feels better as time goes by, but he's still vulnerable to infection and illness.

I just wanted to bring that to light because he had three months before school started to get rested and stronger before school started. It might be an option for you to keep Kevin home for a month or more until he's recovered enough to go into the school setting without danger to himself. The school program there at St. Jude can give you more information on how to set a plan into place for him once he gets home. Contact Laurie Leigh, the director of the program, or talk to Kevin's teacher to see what would be needed. They can give you a letter that details any accommodations the school would have to make for Kevin (they are required by law to make those special alterations). A 504 or IEP would see to it that his needs are being met.

Kevin is also eligible for homebound care--until he is ready to return to school full-time. The teachers from his school can come out to his house and start working with him for just a few hours a day or less to keep him up with the pace of his fellow students at school. That way, he can get the much needed sleep he needs as well as giving his body time to recover without exposing him to all the germs and such that he would face at the school.

If he gets to the point that he's almost ready to go back to school (or you want him to go back fairly soon and he's doing fine) but he's not able to handle the long days, then he can just go for partial days until he's able to withstand the whole day.

You might have all this information already or I might have butted in where I wasn't wanted and, if so, I'm terribly sorry. I have a habit of doing things without much thought some times, though not out of thoughtlessness of others.

We will be thinking of you and praying for a quick recovery.

Hugs to all,

Tae, Will, Ethan and Sean :)