James had his Bone Marrow Biopsy (which happens routinely every 3 months) and Lumbar Puncture (and monthly intravenous chemo!) last week. The operation went smoothly, although he felt a lot more queasy than usual and ended up throwing up all over the car. David had to go straight off to conduct an interview after dropping us at home ... so it made it interesting for him with the state of the car!!!!) We got the results on Tuesday, telling us that he is still clear from leukemia! The Prof (his doctor in charge of his treatment) explained to us that we are exactly where you should be ... but you've got a long road left to walk! These were honest, but sobering words for us and reminded us of the continued need for prayer in many dimensions! We thank God that He is our strong foundation, never shifting or 'wobbled' by events or difficult happenings!
This test marks 9 months of James's maintenance Chemotherapy which is a scheme that lasts for three years. The point is to try and avoid a relapse of the leukemia by giving a long period of chemo that will hopefully eliminate any lingering cancerous cells (the white blood cells permeate every organ in the body and if a few are left around they can start multiplying again). At the end of the three years they stop the chemotherapy to see if this has been successful. It takes a while to assess the results with children as they have young developing white blood cells that are more difficult to distinguish from the cancerous cells. It's great knowing that they use experts from different institutions to confirm what they are seeing.
Life is less intense than in the intense phase of chemotherapy! James hasn't had to go into hospital for infections if he gets a temperature as he used to, but we still have to watch them closely and he gets put straight onto antibiotics if he has one (he just spiked a temperature tonight so we gave him Panado and are in touch with the doctor...) ... we're still aware of the seriousness of the situation but not in as in-your-face manner as before.