Dear Friends and Family,
Amos is now completely finished with his radiation therapy! Praise the Lord! We are so pleased and thankful.
Thank you for your persistent prayer during the course of this treatment. As of today, Amos has been in the hospital for over ten weeks, six of which were radiation. It has been a long and arduous journey, and we are beginning to understand how it will look as we continue on. We had a great end of this week, with lots going on. I’ll begin with the medical aspects.
For starters, Amos has begun to receive “eating therapy,” which is sort of a branch of speech therapy (as I understand it). What he’s begun is a special treatment where he has some sticky electrodes placed under his chin – a “massage” as we call it – which help remind his throat muscles how to swallow. Amos actually got to taste applesauce again this week to help encourage him to work things through himself. It will still be a long while before Amos eats through his mouth, but this is a start that we are thankful for!
The few times he received this treatment this week he made strides each time, tolerating more input from the sensors and beginning to undertake swallowing in small steps, which is a good sign. He is handling his own airway better as well, which is an aspect of his trach requirements.
Amos also had a small skin growth at the bottom of his trach. This is a fairly common thing that the human body does to attempt to close the hole in the neck where a trach is placed. While it adds a layer of things that need to be dealt with, the treatment is quite manageable and painless. Pray that no further issues arise with this, and that the growth would be removed easily and not return.
The most significant medical step for Amos, of course, was his last day of radiation! Everyone across the street at St. Joseph’s Cancer Center was wonderful and very excited for Amos. We have grown to love so many of our medical team here, but we’ve especially appreciated the radiation gang. Each morning Amos rides with his “ambulance buddies” across the way, and then meet up with his faithful and caring nurse, Dee. They have been so kind to Amos, and we are so grateful for their expertise. When Amos finished on Friday, he got the special privilege of going into the “Treasure Chest” closet to pick out any toy he wanted.
After very little deliberation, he selected the toy firetruck, naturally. Even his EMT guys had gotten Amos a little CHOC bear as a special treat on his last day. How wonderful it is to see so many people caring for our brave little Amos.
Of course, we also had some fun this weekend as well. One of the best parts of Amos’ week was Grandpa Scott getting him a baseball bat and tee set so that he can really wail line drives around the room. Amos is standing very well now and, with a bit of balance assistance, he can swing his bat for quite some time and remarkable accuracy.
We were also very excited to greet Zazzy and Grandpop (my parents) on Thursday evening. It’s been great fun to have them out here, and I know they’ve loved seeing Amos and helping out with his care for this long weekend to give us and Kelli’s parents a bit of a break. They have also, of course, loved spending a bit of time with Luke at the house.
One of the reasons we’re glad for this is that it looks like Amos will be fully discharged as of this Wednesday! As long as everything remains on track, Amos will be ready (and we will have received all the right training and equipment ourselves) to head back to Dana Point for the remainder of our time in California. We are so glad for this, although conscious of the big change it entails.
- That the skin growth near Amos’ trach is successfully removed and does not return
- That Amos will continue to respond well to Eating Therapy and re-learn how to swallow quickly
- That the radiation treatment will have been fully and permanently effective
- That everything will be in place for discharge to Dana Point on Wednesday
- That Amos would be more and more aware of how many people at the hospital and at home love him and are caring for him under all circumstances, including the Lord Jesus
- That, ultimately, Amos would be and remain permanently cancer-free
Thank you, dear friends.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Gal. 6:14
Will, Kelli, Amos, and Luke