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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Tuesday November 27, 2001

Playing With Cookie Monster!Hi Everyone,

This is going to be the good news/bad news update. Let's start with the good news.

Alex had her follow-up CT Scan last week and the results are promising. There was still a slight thickening of the lacrimal (tear) gland, but it appears that the tumor is gone. She also her monthly blood test and her counts were the best they've been since the relapse. As for the future, she'll have another CT scan in two months, two more IT chemos and of course monthly checkups.

On the downside her "cold" is still going strong. Turns out that it's not really a cold, it's a sinus infection caused in part by the radiation. You may not know this, but you have hairs in your sinus cavities which help protect them from infection. Well all of the hairs in Alex's sinuses fell out due to the targeted radiation and led to a sinus infection that won't go away. I can sympathize as I've had a sinus infection since about 1993! In my case it's a problem with my nose that can only be fixed by breaking it and resetting it. Andrea has offered to do it for free several times! <grin>

Alex has a new/old toy that she's crazy about. The cookie monster puppet that she's playing with in the photo above. It was actually mine when I was a little kid and my Mom dug it out of the attic this year. I was four years old when I first started watching Sesame Street and it was in its first year. It's now been on the air for 32 years! Man I'm getting old!

Princess AlexandraOur first runner-up for best news of the month was that we finally found a home for Buddy! I posted his photo and story on Petshelter Network and had five people offering to provide a foster home within two days. I chose a couple in Federal Way who may keep him if he gets along well with their other Cocker. It was a small thing, but it really was a relief to get back to only having two dogs and one cat. I've given up on my dream to have the circle of life in my house (i.e. dog, cat, bird, fish & maybe a pony!).

The Alex's Coupons site is starting to receive some major traffic and is doing a good job of getting our message about Childhood Cancer out to the general public. One person even told me that they've decided to put the Make a Wish Foundation in their will, which I thought was a great gesture. Now we just need to make the decision makers in Washington aware of the problem. There's a disturbing rumor going around that the NIH (which funds Childhood Cancer Research) is in for some major budget cuts. If you'd like to help Alex and other children with Cancer write, call or email your Congressional Representatives and ask them to support pending legislation affecting Childhood Cancer including the Stem Cell Research Act of 2001. I've listed a number of others way to help out on the Alex's Coupons Take Action page. I encourage everyone to take a look at it and if you have any additional suggestions please let me know.

Now for the bad news. After considering all of the options we've decided to sell our house, as the downturn in the economy is making it too hard to keep up the payments. When we bought this house two years ago we were very anxious to get up here so Alex could be seen at Fred Hutch. Because of that we only spent two days looking before we settled on this house. Then we got a lousy mortgage rate because I was self-employed and had lost about 8 months of income during Alex's treatments & transplant. I'm sure we can do a lot better this time since interest rates are really low, my income has been steady for two years and we know the area a lot better. We've already found several homes near the water that are over $100,000 cheaper than our house! Now all we need to do is sell this house! You can view our house, including 12 virtual tours, by clicking here (it's the one at the top of the page for $465,000). It really is a beautiful house and we'll miss it, but this is the right decision financially.

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


Todd, Andrea and Alex


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