Thursday, April 27, 2006

Strange PET Scan

Adrienne had a PET scan on Tuesday and we got the results last night. There is no sign of Hodgkin's Disease in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis, thank goodness. However, there is increased uptake in the socket part of the hip. Recently, Adrienne's hip pain has gotten worse, so bad that she wasn't able to go to the last session of her dance class this week. The consensus is that the uptake is not disease-related but probably indicates more avascular necrosis. I will drive down to southern California in two weeks to pick up Adrienne (and her stuff) from school, and she will see the orthopedist the following week. We are tentatively planning on more surgery at the end of July, which will be more invasive than her last surgery.

Adrienne is in a state of flux as she finishes up this semester and prepares for her sophomore year at CMC. Following the rising seniors and juniors, she gets to pick her classes on Friday. She's been trying to figure out her study abroad plans and rethinking her second major. I think she's worn out several erasers with the many changes in class choices. With her good grades, she found that she is a candidate for Phi Beta Kappa if she takes Spanish Lit next semester, so she is definitely going to do that.

Daniel is doing fine following his colonoscopy. Good news there: no sign of colitis. In fact, there was no explanation for the problems he was having so it was probably infectious. He seems to be back to normal now.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Internship

It's hard to believe but Adrienne will finish her first year of college in about three weeks. Through her difficult high school years with relapses, transplants, and treatments, we didn't know if she'd ever get there and now she's almost finished with her freshman year. She couldn't have picked a better college that offers so many amazing opportunities and a wonderful education.

Adrienne found out that she's been awarded the Kravis-de Roulet Internship that she was hoping for. She's very happy and excited about the job itself and the $2,500 stipend she will receive next year. The money was a great surprise. She'll be sharing the job with another student who is a friend of hers, so she's looking forward to that.

Tonight, Adrienne will get to pick her dorm room for next year. CMC uses a lottery system like a lot of colleges. As a freshman, Adrienne is one of the last to pick but as of yesterday, it looked like her preferred dorm was not the most popular. CMC has senior apartments and most of the rising seniors either want to live there or in one of the quieter dorms in what they call South Quad. Other people want to live in "party central" in North Quad. Adrienne wants to live in Mid Quad near where she lived first semester.

Medically, Adrienne is fairly boring right now. This is a good thing. Daniel, however, is having some trouble of his own. It seems he might have ulcerative colitis. He will have a colonoscopy tomorrow to confirm the diagnosis. There is no cure but the symptoms are treatable.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Quick Update and Some Thoughts

Adrienne has recovered from her sinus infection and is feeling much better. She has a lot going on at school right now as she rounds the bend towards the end of the semester. I think we all remember what that was like in college. You don't think you'll ever get it all done but somehow you do. I can't believe that her first year of college will be done in mid-May.

I chat with a number of people over the Internet who have children with cancer. It's great to meet so many wonderful parents who give everything for their children, but also heartbreaking at times. Since we aren't at the clinic all the time anymore, it is easy to get out of touch with what is happening all over the country and all over the world. I'm humbled by the people's strength and courage, and what they do for their children.

I spent part of the day Saturday going through Caringbridge sites (a blog service for the families of children with cancer) and was reminded how lucky we are that Adrienne is doing so well. Everyday, children are diagnosed, relapsing, or worse, dying of cancer. Our hearts go out to every parent who is dealing with a terrible situation that no one should ever experience and to those who have lost their children. There are no words to say what we feel.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sinus Infection

Adrienne's CT showed a sinus infection but she didn't notice anything at the time. Since then, it is bothering her and she has a cough now too with some intermittent low grade fevers. Her doctor at City of Hope is out of town so she had her first visit to the health center at school to get a prescription for antibiotics. Hopefully this will pass quickly because she wasn't feeling well enough to go to her dance class yesterday and they have an informal recital on Wednesday.

Adrienne is already busy planning next year, in fact, the next two years of her college life. She would like to spend a semester abroad at either Cambridge University or the University of London the second semester of her junior year so she needs to plan her classes very carefully now to make sure she can do that and graduate on time. She's decided to take a dual major in History and Psychology with a sequence (like a minor) in Leadership Studies. Subject to availability this coming semester, it looks like she'll be taking Organizational Psychology, Psychology Statistics, a religious studies class on the holocaust, and a history class on women and politics in American history.

The dorm/housing lottery for next year is coming up soon. Adrienne knows that she wants a single room and an even smaller meal plan (just 8 meals a week) but not much more than that. It really depends on what her friends decide to do and what lottery numbers every one gets. Stay tuned.

As if she doesn't have enough going on, Adrienne is applying for the de Roulet internship at the Kravis Institute for next year. Her job will be to organize the annual Kravis-de Roulet Conference on leadership in the spring. She thought the position was only for upperclassmen but found out that sophomores are eligible, and she has been encouraged to apply. She is working hard to get her two letters of recommendation and to finish up her application.

There's a freshman at CMC who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this semester. Adrienne doesn't really know him but decided to contact him to see if he would like to talk. They're having coffee later this week. It's awful that Adrienne has gone through so much but it's wonderful that she has a unique experience to help others.