NOV 11

Hello, prayer warriors.

We have been blessed beyond measure by the outpouring of love, support, gifts, and especially prayers on our behalf. Thank you so much!

This coming week brings us to a major milestone in Lydia’s treatment. The first 28 days are called the “Induction phase.” The goal of this phase is to induce remission. That 28 days ends on Tuesday. On Thursday Lydia will have another lumbar puncture and a bone marrow biopsy to determine if remission has been achieved. Please pray to this end!

Assuming that she is on track, the last of her twice daily steroid regimen will come to an end. The steroids have made her cheeks and tummy quite puffy, a fact that she is quite self conscious about. It may take as long as 3 or 4 months for the swelling to go down.

The advice we have gotten from others who have been through this is to keep her home during the entire induction phase. This is why she hasn’t been to church. If we are able to move forward, her church attendance will be a week by week decision based on her ANC numbers (her ability to fight infection) for the next six months. She will likely have to wear a mask when at church/in public.

The rest of the e-mail can be viewed as “optional.” Several people (especially those with medical training) have asked for more details, which I will provide, but the above update is perfectly fine to know what to pray for.

Treatments have been going very well. The cancer is responding rapidly to the chemo, and everything seems on track for her to have a good result from her 28th day biopsy.

She has not needed any transfusions for her in-clinic chemo sessions. Praise God!

Her port is functioning normally. There has been no infection and it’s flow is good. She will likely have it for about 3 years.

Her “absolute neutrophil count” (ANC) is a number that will have much influence over her (our) life for the next 6 months to two years. This number indicates how many infection fighting white blood cells are present in her blood. The lower her ANC, the more careful we have to be to keep her from getting sick.
Her ANC has been going up with every test since she was in the hospital last month. That is a blessing.

Sickness in the family is something that we are ill-equipped to handle at the moment. Lydia and Abigail typically share a room. Right now, Lydia is sleeping in our room. So far, the only illness in the house has been Abigail getting sick, and fortunately she was able to stay with grandparents for the duration. However, we don’t have a great way to deal with Sarah or myself getting sick, or several of us getting sick at once.

I am getting ready to start on a garage/bedroom conversion so that we can deal with these situations better.

Probably the hardest part of this chapter of our lives has been how much she has changed. As previously mentioned, the steroids have made her puffy. Her hair is now cut short, in anticipation of future changes. But those are minor. The haircut is actually even kind of cute. Lydia is just not herself.

Between feeling physically ill from the medicine, isolation from her normal life, and self consciousness about present and future changes to her body, she is just a very sad shell of the happy girl she was. It is very hard for a parent to see their child lose the joy from their life.

With prayer and God’s blessing, we hope that the news we receive next week will start her on an upward emotional trajectory. Thank you all again!

Thank you for all of your continued prayer!
The Jacquets