Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Health Update of Sorts....

Well it's about time for an update on several things (stick with me if you're interested):

My dad: He just finished up his second treatment of Interleukin-2 for melanoma. It went well and now we wait for 3 weeks to find out if he's considered a responder to this treatment. We are praying for shrinkage of tumors of course. He's doing well, back at home and back in his routine, gaining strength every day. Immunotherapy is different from chemotherapy in that while it still makes you feel sick, it's generally only for the time you're doing the treatment and once the treatment is over which I believe is only for a week at a time, your body quickly gets back to "normal". It also doesn't work right away so that's why he has to wait to see if it's going to do the job. But right now we are thankful that my dad is happy and healthy for the most part!

Thanks so much for all your prayers for him-keep them coming!!

Bennett: Bennett lost a little weight when I took him in for his monthly RSV shot so the pediatrician wanted me to "fatten" him up ( I think it was close to a pound). I've done my best but don't want to go too far with this. I honestly think it's due to the switch from bottles to sippy cups (he wasn't always finishing his sippy and wasn't thrilled with the transition). But in less than a week, after adding healthy fats and pediasure, he's back up to where he was. I don't want to get in the habit of "fattening" Bennett up though just because he's small compared to typically developing kids. Besides everyone that sees him thinks he's chunky and well proportioned. In other words: I'm on top of the issue and I think it's under control;)

I've also added a private OT to work with his private Speech therapist-{don't ask how many therapists we see now}. She worked with Bennett Friday and I really liked her, she's young but really knows her stuff! We're hoping she can help him with his self-feeding issues along with the other people working with him on this! Plus she had great tips for me to work on with him for fine motor skills. It's going to be a long process I think but enough of that.

Me: So before the holidays I think I mentioned I had been to a new dermatologist and moles were removed. I feel like I'm always at the dermatologist these days-seriously, every 2 weeks due to mole removals, more needing to come out, then stitches, {waiting to hear the pathology results-the worst part}, then stitch removal. Long story short: 2 came back as atypical and the other 2 came back as benign but unfortunately I will have 4 ugly scars to show for it;(. However, I am very thankful and relieved they were just that and nothing more.

Anyways, I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a little "hyper" when it comes to my skin, moles, etc. So a friend of mine gave me the number to a dermatologist that specializes in early detection of melanoma (he's located at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the NJ branch) and thought it may ease my mind a bit. So I finally had my appointment (remember, I did years of damage in the tanning bed, laying out, no sun block, tons of moles, plus my family history, so to me it was necessary to do this) and I finally feel like I can breathe! He put my mind at ease, telling me that yes, I am at higher risk then others due to multiple factors but that I am doing everything I can possibly do to either prevent it or detect it at a very early stage. He also said I can choose to live in fear and feel I'm doomed or do what I can to prevent it and live my life. He was very understanding of the situation with my dad, the strong family history, thus my worrying about my own skin.

Of course the best part is that he didn't see anything that needed to be removed. And according to his PA, he knows what needs to come off. He was an awesome doctor and I'm so glad I will now be followed by a "melanoma expert". I will also be doing photo imaging on my moles which is a big reason I went there. They will take close ups of my skin all over my body and then have these to compare 6 months from now and so on down the road. This has helped save lives due to the fact that doctors have a better handle on what your moles look like and can detect early changes or new, suspicious moles (early detection is key with melanoma). I have tons of small moles/freckles on my back and there is no way I can see them all and see if they are changing for that matter. Trust me, I've tried;)

Anyways, hopefully that's the end of that for me. It's been a long 2 months or so of trying my hardest not to worry so I'm glad this has had a good outcome.

So that's what has been going on as far as health issues in our family. Harper happens to have a stomach bug right now;( but hoping it passes quickly without getting to the rest of us!

Hoping 2011 is a healthy one for all!!


  1. Glad to hear it all Adrienne! If only life had a "cruise control" button...but you manage & move along so beautifully!

  2. Sounds like it's all pretty good news and I think you've definitely got it all under control;)

  3. Thanks for the update! I'd love to chat more, I think Kaitlyn and Bennett have similar strengths and struggles right now. We are currently focusing on fine motor and speech!!!

    Your Dad is constantly in my prayers!

  4. Glad to hear your Dad is feeling better, I'll be waiting to hear if the treatment worked and of course praying that it did. So happy your moles are all OK, my husband has a lot of moles and I totally agree with the photoimaging of them, it's too hard to monitor them when there are so many and you can't really remember what they looked like before. I am with ya on the fattening up Bennett...we've sort of been told that with Emily too because she is always quite a bit higher on the chart in height than weight, but I feel she is proportionate and she eats well and I don't really want to get into the whole force feeding her because I know she likely has a slower metabolism so things will all even out. Here's to a healthy 2011!

  5. Glad to hear about you and your Dad. Bennett: just keep your eyes on him. Aubrey has always had these issues and we have had and ECI nutritionist since she was born coming every two weeks for weight checks ect. She is very into nutrition and doing things the right way and not just fattening Aubrey up. If you are interested in more ideas and what we do...let me is a lot of info, but it works for us and we monitor closely and adjust as needed. I'm with you on not just fattening them up though:)

  6. Thankful for an update and praying that this therapy works for your dad. Glad your results came back well and hoping that nobody else gets the stomach bug!

  7. Oh I'm the queen of moles. but I felt great when my doctor said that none of them looked suspicious. I've had one removed, and it was so traumatic that I haven't gone back for a couple more I want off. I'm such a boob!


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