To our friends and family,
I know we have said this a thousand times already, but thank you for praying for us and for Amos. Each time I sit down to write a post here I am struck again by how many of you care for Amos through prayer and in many other ways, and we are so grateful. The Lord is using you to bless is in so many ways, and he is hearing and answering our requests for our little man.
The second half of this past week again went really well. It is amazing to think that we only have just over two weeks until our radiation therapy comes to an end. The “six week” schedule initially set out before us is actually thirty installments of therapy, making it run just over six weeks (through 9 September) assuming there are no delays. At this point, Amos is keeping up his strength and stamina enough, and the back of his head where the site of the incision and shunt sore are look good enough that we don’t anticipate any delays. Thank the Lord!
We had a lot of highlights since Wednesday. Amos has gained an amazing amount of core strength this week, and is now able to sit up in bed and stay upright all on his own strength. This is extremely liberating for Amos, as you can imagine, as it allows him to sit and play with toys rather than laying back, staring at the ceiling all the time. He was able to play in a lot more ways this week as a result. Here’s a little collage of some of his activities (click to enlarge):
One of the best highlights of the week was on Thursday morning when a few players from the L.A. Angels baseball team came to the floor to visit! Amos has spent a lot of time over the past few weeks throwing his Iowa Hawkeye stuffed baseball around with me or Grandpa, and even using his bat to hit a thrown ball out of the air when he’s in a therapy session (he’s always been a coordinated little man). Although Amos has not ever actually watched much baseball, having lived in England a third of his life in a home without a TV (gasp!), he really does love to play it. So he was extremely giddy to meet real, live ball players on the floor (Mike Trout, Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago and Kole Calhoun). At the time he was in the middle of a PT session, so out Amos came into the hall on foot to meet them. He got an Angels ball cap, an Angels ball, a t-shirt, shoelaces, and other gear that brought huge smiles to his face! You can see more pictures on the Angels website here.
Another fun part of Amos’ week was his sudden interest in playing “Dr Amos.” This happened in a variety of ways, the most common of which was his insistence upon listening to the heartbeat of whoever was nearest at the moment. Naturally, much of the time the patient of choice was Emma the Bulldog or one of his other friends, but Amos did not shy away from checking up on his oncology team or nurses as well! Thankfully, everyone was always in need of a check-up and so Amos had many opportunities to use his hands putting the stethoscope on, finding the bell, and setting it on your chest to listen and give a thumbs up of approval (whew!).
Amos continued his walking and bike-riding each day as well, and continued to add mileage each time. We got some pictures of the bike to share also, which are surprisingly difficult to capture, what with Amos’ ambitious pace while en route around the floor. Often his bike riding is accompanied by speech therapy, so that at each turn he finds a picture of an animal or some such thing that he has to interact with through speaking. He has such clever and kind therapists!
On Friday we finally got approval from Amos’ oncology team for him to get some outdoor playtime, which is great news since sunlight provides the Vitamin D that is so good for radiation patients. Amos got to walk the entire hall to the elevator and push the button to go down, then haul out of the hospital to the play area where there is a great deal of fun stuff. All in all, Amos was on his feet for over an hour doing any number of games and activities in the sun. He loved it! He was able to play ping-pong with the ever-exciting “ping-pong bat” (as they are called in England), and also managed to shoot some hoops, among many other things. We are very excited that he can now go outside as much as he wants to, and Kelli and I will be able to take him out ourselves. In fact, that is precisely what Amos did this Saturday, but with Gigi and Grandpa!
All in all, we had a great week. Amos continues to have unbelievable amounts of energy and drive, for which we are so thankful. His spirits remain high, and ours are also encouraged as we see the horizon of his radiation therapy approaching. We have begun speaking with our medical team here about the transition back to the UK, and his ongoing care in Cambridge, so we are amazed and excited to be considering how this will all work. From our present perspective, the most important thing is that it does look like it will work out for us to return, hopefully in the next two months or so.
In the meantime, lease pray:
- That Amos’ radiation site, surgery incision, and shunt sore would only heal further and that there would be no need to delay radiation treatment to allow them to recover
- That Amos would be able to swallow and for his gag reflex to return. This is crucial to being able to remove his trach
- That Amos’ energy, stamina, and spirits will remain high through the end of his radiation treatment (and beyond)
- That Amos would be able to pass bowel movements much easier and more frequently than he has over the past three weeks
- That our doctors would successfully coordinate with the medical folks in Cambridge and that our transition back would be sorted out and completed successfully in due time
- That Kelli and I would have endurance for the next few weeks, and that we would have an increasingly clear picture of the medium-term future for our family
- That, together, we would all continue to place all of our hope and trust in our gracious God, who has held us in his hand each moment of this ordeal, and who has a good and perfect plan for our family
- That, ultimately, Amos would receive the precise treatment necessary to permanently eliminate all traces of cancer forever
Thank you, dear friends.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
love in Christ,
Will, Kelli, Amos, and Luke
PS: Lest he be forgotten, here are some pictures of Luke in his glory as well.