Alex's   Place

Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Wednesday October 24, 2001

Hi Everyone,

The Winter FairyAlex had her PIC line removed from her arm today! Finally we can give her a real bath after eight weeks! She was beginning to smell a little ripe. <grin> She also had the last of the six IT chemo treatments, a spinal tap and a blood test. Her blood counts continue to be good, so she won't have any more treatment for six weeks. In six weeks she will start another round of IT chemotherapy as a precaution. She'll have two more treatments six weeks apart and as long as she doesn't relapse we won't have to do anything after that. At this point we really don't know what will happen and neither do the doctors. There aren't too many pediatric AML patients who have relapsed three times and none have followed the same course of treatment as Alex. All we can do is hope and pray.

And some more good news! It turns out that even though our Cobra Health Insurance is expiring in January, we can extend it for six months beyond that. After that we definitely need to get health insurance through some other avenue. At least it takes one load off my mind for a few more months. Now I  just have to figure out how to pay for it! <grin>

Last Saturday Alex went to her first real Halloween party and had a great time. Last year Alex went trick or treating dressed as Snow White. Unfortunately that costume wasn't designed for 40 degree weather and she had to wear a winter coat that covered up her costume. This year Andrea decided that the costume needed to be designed for colder weather, so she sewed a Winter Fairy costume for Alex. Andrea really did a great job on the costume and as you can see from these photos Alex likes her costume a lot! I posted the rest of the Halloween party photos in our October 2001 Photo Gallery on Shutterfly. Don't forget to sign up first if you want to get 15 free prints.

Some day my prince will come!The rest of the weekend we spent inside as all three of us were sick. It was a rainy, cold Washington fall day, so we really weren't in that big of a hurry to go outside anyway. Of course Andrea used the time to bake eight (yes eight) apple pies using the apples we picked a few weeks back. Andrea's apple pie is fantastic and I really do love apple pie, but we've been eating it every day 1-2 times/day. Luckily we gave away a few of the pies to neighbors. Otherwise we'd probably be eating it three meals/day and I'd be 300 pounds!

Alex should be starting preschool next week and we're also hoping to get her back into Gymnastics class soon. She has a lot more energy than Andrea and I these days, so we need some reinforcements to tire her out! It's going to be hard for me to send her off to school and not worry, but I know it will be good for her to be around kids her own age. As long as she has platelets she should be fine!

Speaking of platelets, I have an idea for a discipline book for parents of kids with Leukemia. I'm going to call it "You've got platelets this week, so I can spank you!". A lot of you won't get the joke, but I'm sure all of the parents of kids with Leukemia will understand. Disciplining a child with Leukemia is tough because when their platelets are low, you can't spank them. Luckily Alex was pretty mellow most of the time when her platelets were low, although there was that time when she tried to strangle Andrea during her transplant! She was on high dose steroids at the time and that wasn't even the worst moment. The worst moment came when it took four of us to hold her down during a dressing change! The only thing worse than a 2 year old on steroids is a teenager on steroids!

Fly Wings, Fly!Now that Alex is getting closer to four we're starting to see what Andrea's family calls the "Spirit of Andrea" coming out in her personality. The other day I was helping her use the bathroom when she announced that "I'm going to do this myself Daddy. You go away now!". I should have been upset, but I was laughing too hard! She definitely is a very independent child which is great now, but what is she going to be like when she's a teenager! Between that and the fact that she's a boy crazy flirt, I think we're in big trouble. <grin> 

Well I've been up since early this morning, so I'm going to wrap this update up. Unless something happens I probably won't update the site again until after Halloween. Until then no news is good news!

Thanks again to all of you for three years of love, support and prayers.


Todd, Andrea and Alex

P.S. A special thank you to Sherri, Navid & Grant for priority mailing us some apple cider donuts. Ten seconds in the microwave and it was just like being home again!

How You Can Help

As you know the last month has been stressful for everyone, including us. On top of everything else that has happened my business has ground to a halt in the wake of last month's attacks.  I've already had three projects canceled or postponed and haven't been able to find new projects to replace the lost revenue. If you know of anyone looking for a web site have them check out our portfolio or call me at (425) 377-9065. It's critical that I work as much as possible right now, in case Alex relapses further.

You can also help us out by making purchases through Alex's Virtual Store. Wherever possible I linked to coupons for free shipping or $'s off, so you will save money by shopping through us. Here are a few great deals that we signed up for:

Working Assets Long Distance You get a FREE pint of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream every month for a year and 60 minutes of free long distance every month for 6 months. They also donate 1% of your bill to socially responsible non-profit groups.

15 free 4x6 prints from Shutterfly - shipping is $1.79 and the photos are spectacular. You can print out your own digital photos or print out any of the photos in our European Vacation photo gallery or Alex's October photo gallery. We receive a commission on your first order.

10 free 4x6 prints from Snapfish - shipping is $1.49. Very good quality. We receive a commission for each person that signs up. You don't even have to place an order.

2 week free trial of Netflix -  Rent DVDs online! You can rent as many DVDs as you want each month for one flat fee.


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