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On birthdays and grateful joy

When James was celebrating his eighth birthday, he made the following comment:

International Day at James's School

I've posted some photos from James's International Day at school that they had recently - he decided to dress up as someone from Afghanistan with a real Afghan hat that my uncle sent him - the rest was pure improvisation! We're off next week to Kwazulu/Natal for a holiday with Danielle's parents and sister to celebrate her mom's 70th birthday! Really looking forward to it. There's lots of chickenpox going round at the moment so trying to work out what to do about that... and then it's into the Christmas holidays!

More details from Prof

After yesterday's good news that James's bone marrow has been given the all clear, we had an appointment with the Prof who is in charge of James's treatment where we were able to hear more fully about the bone marrow test and analysis. We appreciated that both Prof and James's pediatrician seem to understand how difficult this is for parents emotionally!

Relief - James is still clear

James the superhero

Today we heard from James's paediatrician that she got the final report on his bone marrow test - and he's totally clear! The cells that they saw on the previous test turn out under closer scrutiny to be Haematagones, apparently also known as Haemocytoblasts - basically they're immature cells, but they're not cancerous, so he's officially still 100% in remission! They're also not caused by a virus. What a relief it was to hear that news! We'll have our appointment with the Prof tomorrow where we'll be able to discover for more details, but it was nice not to have to wait till then!

Bone Marrow test yesterday

Getting ready for bone marrow test...

James had his bone marrow test yesterday. He was incredible bouncy just before hand, but got knocked out pretty quickly by the anaesthetic!

Extra Bone Marrow Test for James tomorrow

Picture of James and Charis with Granny and Granddad and the boats he made

Last week, James had a bone marrow biopsy, which he has every three months. The hospital called us last Friday to say that they had seen something funny in his bone marrow, from the biopsy and they would like to do more tests. So, on Tuesday he had tests on him for TB of the Bone Marrow, CMV virus and Glandular Fever. The tests have all come back negative and so the doctors have said that they want to do a bigger bone marrow biopsy than usual on James to see what is going on with him. It is tomorrow morning at 8am. We would love some prayer - for peace and grace and healing. We have been trying not to react too much until we know for sure what is going on.

Carrying on with chemo

After last week's liver troubles there's been a lot of emotional up and down - waiting to hear whether James could still have the Methotrexate, and pondering the consequences of stopping it (with a risk of relapse) or the potential damage to his liver of continuing it.

More liver troubles

Last week James started feeling a bit nauseous around food again, and so we asked them to test his liver condition. (This is after his liver apparently recovering from his two episodes last year). The results showed that his liver is struggling again - this time, only one of the four tests was abnormal, but it was 10 times the normal level. This was apparently a fairly clear indication of drug-related liver problems, and so we were told to not give James his weekly Methotrexate this week and then to test again. Today he was tested and the level that was high has dropped significantly, which seems to strongly indicate that his liver is not handling the Methotrexate.

First day at school

James had a fantastic first day at school today. A bit nervous (the butterflies in his tummy meant he didn't eat much breakfast), but when we went to fetch him he came running out saying "I love school!" It's the honeymoon phase but it's great to start off so well.

Settling and School

It's been a month of refocusing and recovery...

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