Max update - not much new

Max is doing well. Extremely well. Short of his lack of hair, and the catheter in his chest, you would never know he was just diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer 8 months ago. He's about halfway through radiation. By end of June he'll be finished. Then, another round of scans to confirm that the cancer's all gone. He'll then go on a therapy consisting of high doses of retinoic acid - vitamin A - for 8 weeks. Vitamin A in extremely high doses (much more than is recommended for healthy folks), when administered in conjunction with the stem cell transplant, has greatly bettered the outcomes for kids with this type of cancer.

Soon to come... photos with hair (maybe even close ups of eyebrows!)


6/8 -- Radiation treatment update

Max is now undergoing his radiation treatment. This is an everyday application of a low (relatively) amount of radiation extremely focused on his tumor area, which is around the junction of his neck and shoulder, on his left side. The amount of radiation he is receiving is low enough (24 grays?) that he isn't experiencing any side effects, nor is he expected to be at risk for any long term health conditions as a result of this radiation. However, nothing is certain, as we have been taught buy this ordeal.

As usual, the bright spot everyday is Max's attitude and positive personality. He cooperates so well that he is one of the few young children who do not have to anesthesized during the radiation process. Instead, he lays still, as directed, while being set-up and during the 30 second timeframe when radiation is being applied and there is no one else in the room with him, or that he can see. What a stud!

Max's blood counts are doing so well that he's pretty much out of isolation, althought we wouldn't take him on an airplane or into a crowded theater, or anything so enclosed. He will be done with his radiation a day or so before his 4th birthday (6/30), and afterwards may get his Hickman chest cathetar removed. This removal would be great as everyday-beachtime is just around the corner, and his big sister Hannah is taking surf lessons this summer, and Max is sure to want to get out into the water, which he cannot do right now with his catheter still in him.

Max this past weekend; back to the grind in Del Mar...