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By rev.dennis in K8 Strong the JouneySo we got up at 5am to get our butts moving for our 7:15am scheduled appointment at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. Our actual appointment isn’t until 7:45am but they tell us to arrive 30minutes early which translates to someone in the military as 6:30am arrival time as Kate and I are hanging out in the parking garage.
Our boys had to help us out this morning by getting themselves ready for school and Alex has to get himself on the bus.
So this is our 2nd Chemo treatment as part of the 4 week Induction Process before they begin the aggressive chemo treatments. We aren’t sure what that will entail but we know it is the same process they perform on kids with a higher success rate than an adult treatment.
My worry for this week is how Kate’s blood count will do being not monitored for a week. We know after last week that her count for hemoglobin and platelets and white blood cell count all decrease pretty quickly. I just don’t believe she will be able to go a full week without a blood transfusion. I suppose a question for Dr.Yang when we see him today.
By rev.dennis in K8 Strong the JouneyIt’s 3am on 2/17/2020 and we are in a room on the 9th floor in Karmanos Cancer Facility in Detroit.
This is the beginning of the Induction process which in short means the beginning of chemo treatments while keeping a close eye on Kate during the process. The doctor believes this will take less than a week this visit but the Induction process is typically a week.
There are four phases to chemotherapy treatment:
The first phase is called Remission Induction. Treatment during this phase is designed to kill the leukemic cells in the blood and the bone marrow, putting the disease into remission. The second phase is Central Nervous System Directed Therapy. This phase kills cancer cells in the central nervous system and prevents the disease from spreading to the spinal fluid. The Consolidation/Intensification phase is given after the disease is considered to be in remission. It's designed to kill remaining leukemic cells that may be inactive but could begin growing again and cause the leukemia to recur. This phase usually lasts several months. The maintenance phase is the final phase of treatment that lasts for two to three years. It's used to kill any remaining cells that could cause a recurrence. Medications are often given at lower doses. stay tuned for more updates
By rev.dennis in DiabetesThe most common types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and destroys the cells in your pancreas that make insulin. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, although it can appear at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.
Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin well. You can develop type 2 diabetes at any age, even during childhood. However, this type of diabetes occurs most often in middle-aged and older people. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes.
Gestational diabetes develops in some women when they are pregnant. Most of the time, this type of diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Sometimes diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is actually type 2 diabetes.
Cluster 1 - Severe Autoimmune Diabetes
Cluster 2 - Severe Insulin Deficient Diabetes
Cluster 3 - Severe Insulin Resistant Diabetes
Cluster 4 - Mild Obesity Related Diabetes
Cluster 5 - Mild Age Related Diabetes
By rev.dennis in K8 Strong the JouneyWhat is cancer?
To answer this question, you can start with the basic make-up of the human body. For example,
“The body is made up of cells. Normally cells are healthy, but sometimes there are unhealthy, abnormal cells that grow and aren’t supposed to be there. This is called cancer.” Once there is a basic understanding of cancer, you can go into detail on what part of the body is affected by the cancer (e.g., lung cancer).
Can I catch cancer?
Many children, even teenagers, think cancer is contagious. Because of this they may choose to distance themselves from the person with cancer. To help children understand, you can explain that cancer is not contagious like a cold or the flu. You cannot catch cancer. You cannot get it from hugging or kissing someone, or sharing their food or drink.
What is chemotherapy/radiation/surgery?
Cancer treatment can often seem like a mystery to children. You may go in for a treatment and come home feeling worse because of the side effects. This can be very confusing for kids. When you talk to your child about treatment, try to include some information on possible side effects the doctor has shared with you. This can help prepare a child for what he or she may see in the future. Here are some possible ways to explain common cancer treatments and side effects: “Chemotherapy is a medicine that attacks cancer cells. Chemotherapy is very strong and can sometimes cause the person taking it to feel sick and tired.” “Radiation therapy attacks cancer cells. It is similar to an x-ray and targets the area with cancer. I cannot feel radiation when it is happening, but it can cause me to feel tired afterwards.” “Surgery is when a doctor will surgically remove an area where cancer is located.” “Sometimes someone with cancer will have one type of treatment, and other times they will have a combination of treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.”
Why are you losing your hair?
Hair loss is one of the most obvious side effects of cancer treatment. Many children think cancer causes hair loss and they don’t understand that it is actually the medicine that causes hair to fall out. One way to explain this is by talking about how the medicine is so strong that it attacks the normal cells at the same time as it attacks the unhealthy, abnormal cancer cells. Hair is made of normal, healthy cells, so sometimes people living with cancer lose their hair. Explain that eventually the hair will grow back (this is often something that children wonder about).
Do people with cancer die? Are you going to die? What is going to happen?
These can be the hardest questions to hear your child ask, and surely the hardest questions to answer. Your answers will depend on your personal cancer experience; however, many find it can be helpful to be hopeful and honest with your responses. Chances are your child will hear that other people have died from cancer, and perhaps they even know someone who has died from cancer. One possible response may be, “People can die from cancer, but many people live. My doctors are doing everything they can to get rid of my cancer. That’s why I am at so many doctors’ appointments and have so many visits to the hospital. Right now they think that the medicine is working, but if that changes, I will let you know.” Children want to know that if there is a change, you won’t keep it from them. Try to update them when it seems appropriate. Children also worry about what will happen to them if their parent dies. They wonder about who will take care of them and their basic needs. It can be very helpful and reassuring to let your child know who would take care of them, and remind them of the people in their life who care for them.