Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day +414: Ready to Party!

It's day +414 for our little Max-man and there is HUGE excitement around the Meyer homestead! We have been busily preparing for the big party on Saturday and the Ollie's bash on Sunday morning. Max is so excited! He's already having a bit of trouble sleeping! When I went to tuck him in at 11 pm last night, he sat up and smiled and said, "I can't wait for this weekend!" We are ready to party...ready to celebrate! It looks like we are going to have a fabulous crowd of about 200 people! We're so happy that we can thank all of you for all your loving support and celebrate life with you!

I haven't updated since the blood/marrow drive a few weeks back. It ended up to be a success. We were able to provide 30 donations to Hoxworth, mostly from people that had either never donated before or who had not done so in a long time. Those were exactly the type of people that I hoped to attract to our drive. I also hope that they will now continue to donate so that their gift of life will continue. Thanks to everyone who donated and helped with the drive - especially Aunt Monica who organized everything once again!

Max has continued to do well since I last updated. We were down at the hospital last Thursday and Friday for some testing and his regular monthly check-up and medications. The testing on Thursday included a talk with the Endocrine team, an audiology exam and an echo cardiogram. The Endocrine team was pleased with his current growth and we agreed to just keep an eye on things over the next year or so. At this point, Max remains right along the same growth curves for height and weight that he was on prior to the transplant, which is great news. He is projected to be small, of course but, we were all very pleased to see that he has not lost any ground as a result of the transplant. His audiology exam showed some minor hearing loss in his left ear but, the doctors were pretty convinced that it may be from wax and fluid in his ears. So, we are treating that and hoping to get it cleared up so that he can be retested. We all feel confident that it is the cause of the hearing problem. We have not yet heard about his echo cardiogram but, with the way he runs around these days, I don't anticipate any issues there! We will finish up the annual testing this Friday with a pulmonary function test, some xrays to see where his bone density and bone age stand and an eye exam.

Last Friday was Max's normal monthly check-up and infusion of medications. His counts all look good and his engraftment from last month was fantastic - back up to 97.4%!! It was a bit of a rough appointment again as Max really struggled with the IV and his stomach. Although we are down to primarily once a month visits at this point, they remain difficult for Maxer. I think just being back in that hospital makes his stomach upset and fills him with anxiety. We are all aware of it and working to make him more comfortable again, as much as we can. It's just not what an 8 year old wants to be doing...even one day a month!!

Max's immune system has so far passed another test this week. Alex, Ellee and I came down with a pretty nasty cold last week and I was hopeful that Max was not going to catch it, thanks to the monthly IVIG medication. However, Sunday he began coughing and being congested and he has struggled with it this week. He seems to feel fine and has not run any fevers but, I am going to call down there today and have his cough checked out while we are there on Friday, just to be sure he isn't getting any infection in there. Now that we are getting more and more back to reality, "kid sick", as Dr. Davies calls it, will be part of the course. We just have to watch to be sure he doesn't develop any fevers that could be a sign that his system is struggling and he needs some intervention from the docs at Children's.

Because of this cold, Max hasn't been back up to school this week, unfortunately. I didn't want to risk him picking something else up while his system is already working to fight off this cold. We are planning to join his class on a field trip next week and get him up to school another time, hopefully. Several of his classmates will also be at the parties this weekend so, we are definitely getting him reintroduced. He is loving seeing everyone again and getting back to his old favorite things to do.

Since the transplant, we have teased Max that Ellee's marrow is going to make him start liking Hannah Montana or something girly like that. He always immediately denies it and laughs. So, we got a kick out of it the other day when he decided to put Ellee's sweater on (in the picture above). What a ham!

Matt and I got away a bit last weekend as we took a trip up to Cleveland last Saturday for my cousin's wedding. We enjoyed seeing all of my extended family up there and having some time to really talk to each other! It was hard to leave the kids, even though they were in great hands with Gaga (Matt's mom) but, we know we need to begin to take these steps again.

Several people have asked me lately for an update on Spud. He is doing great! He's HUGE! Much bigger than we expected. The rescue organization that we got him from had his mom too and thought that, since she was a small Australian Shepherd, he would be small more than 40 pounds. Well, they were wrong! Today, he is about 60 pounds and continuing to grow a bit. Luckily though, he is a sweetheart. The kids LOVE him and he LOVES them. Max is almost always our earliest riser so, every morning, Spud cuddles right up to him. They spend a half hour or so just sitting with each other, loving on each other. There is quite a bond there, to say the least. Spud is also excellent with Alex and Ellee. Alex loves to sit and pet him and talk to him and, of course, Spud eats that up! Ellee likes to sit ON him and pet him and, being the kid-friendly dog that he is, that doesn't bug Spud a bit. He is definitely fully engrained in the fam and much loved. He still has PLENTY of work to do on the obedience front but, I'll get to that one day! :)

Things around here remain positive and happy! We are ready to celebrate this journey that we have all been on with Max and to show him what an amazing kid he is. We know this weekend will be full of smiles, laughter, joy and love and that it will again create happy memories for Max and our entire family. We are really looking forward to seeing you all at the park and Ollie's!

One more thing...if you have a Max shirt from the walk in October, wear it! We thought it would be fun for him to see all the people walking around in them at the park!

See you soon...

Peace and love,
Kristi (and Matt, Max, Alex, Ellee and Spud)

1 comment:

  1. Kristi,
    I'm so sorry that we'll miss the party this weekend! We're leaving for vacation tomorrow. Enjoy every minute of it, and I'll be thinking of you. So nice to keep hearing good news.


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