it’s been months…

March 14, 2007

Five months, exactly, since I last posted about Sam. He’s on track to finish chemo by November, God willing. He’s tall. He’s in first grade. He’s smart. He just got his hair cut. We go to New York in April to see MaMu and Baba Job and family.

November 10th Sam update

November 10, 2006

Thanks, CSmith, for reminding me to update the blog. Man! It’s been over two months. The big news is that Sam got glasses this week. He has 20/400 vision, which is not good. I fretted over it. But Sam seems fine, and Kafi is not worried. We called the chemo doc, and they said there is nothing unusual, nor anything connected to the medicine. He’s still on his regimen, taking 6MP EVERY NIGHT. He’s had no unusual reactions to the medicines. He’s in First Grade! He’s on the verge of fully reading, too. He’s able to get the “sight words” – like go, the, and other words like that. He loves his sister, Micah. He’s looking forward to Christmas! So he’s a normal 6 year old boy. He wants a dog, and I’m trying to accommodate him on that.

Sam has been eating non-stop. He was taking his monthly spate of decadron, but that ended on Sunday, I think. He’s been eating like a champ, a contender. Spaghetti here, chicken there, food Food FOOD! Right now Kafi is taking him to Vacation Bible School at our church, Pasadena Church of God, where he will likely eat again. But we just let him eat, because the medicine makes him really hungry. He stayed at Aunt Shirley’s today and yesterday, not feeling too well. When he’s over there he either plays with his toys or watches TV – just relaxing stuff.

Sam took 7 medicines today

August 22, 2006

He started the day with a spinal tap at City of Hope. Via that needle they gave him Methotrexate. Then he sat in the clinic for Vincristine via drip. Then he came home, feeling very woosy. We believe with all our hearts that we need to keep the McDonald’s to a minimum. But when he’s feeling lousy, and just got pumped up with poison (let’s call “chemotherapy” what it is, just enough poison to kill the bad guys but not enough to kill the host), and he’s crying for McDonald’s “french fries and chicken nuggets and sprite and a boy toy,” aka a Happy Meal, you give it to him. This evening we gave him Decadron, Claritin for this cough he’s had, milk of magnesia to (you know) help him, 6MP (his nightly chemo), and amoxicillin for this ear infection he had last week. 7! All day long we were giving him medicine. And he didn’t complain once. This is how he looked for most of the evening:


(click the photo for larger size)

Last night Sam had a party with his friends at Chuck E. Cheese in Pasadena. All expenses were covered by the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Then we had a sleepover for his friends (boys only) at our house. Here’s the happy crew after getting back from Chuck E. Cheese (click the photo for a larger image).

Sam’s friend Shelby

August 6, 2006

Here’s a picture of Sam’s friend (he calls her cousin) Shelby:

Shelby is 8, I think. This photo was shot at the Belize Zoo in July. Shelby and her mother accompanied us on Sam’s cruise. Shelby is beautiful.

Below is another shot of Shelby showing more of her personality. It was taken in the dining room on the cruise. At left is Sam’s cousin Adia, at right is Sam’s friend Somer, and behind them is Bel-Bel (as I call her).

very close up

August 2, 2006

Here’s Sam on the cruise, getting right in your face. I’m not sure if he shot this pic or if someone else did.

He had a good day at Aunt Shirley’s house. Now he’s falling asleep next to me. Tomorrow he might go with Ms. Penny.

Kyle is visiting

August 2, 2006

Sam’s three-year-old cousin Kyle is spending the night. Kyle is Aunt Shirley’s grandson. He’s from Brooklyn, out in Cali doing the west coast thing.

Sam was extra emotional today. I think it’s the medicine. We quit giving him the decadron two days ago, but it usually takes another few days before it gets out of his system.

Sam has sonic hearing. He can hear the corn cart when it’s a block away. He’ll hear the horn – queak, queak – and immediately perk up. He loves eating two and three big ears of corn that are slathered with mayonnaise, butter, and parmesan-type cheese. Slathered.

Here’s a shot of Micah, Sam, and John John, son of John and Tina Williams. Micah is about to shove that whole piece of chicken in her life. She lives boldly. Sam is deep into his Nintendo DS. At any given moment of the day, that’s what he’s doing. John John is appropriately perplexed.

This week at clinic Sam was given vincristine, plus he’s now on decadron again (five days a month, every month, from here on out). Plus it’s really hot. All that adds up to a tired, weak-looking boy. He went to Harambee for a minute, but then wanted to come home. Kafi wouldn’t let him, but she did let him play computer in her office. Then he came home at midday. I went to get Micah from Aunt Shirley’s, and Micah went to sleep at 1230pm. And she was still asleep when I left the house. Sam fell asleep on the carpet in the den, a first for him. He’s ok, he just needs to rest a lot while the decadron and vincristine are coursing through his body.