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1 Treatment Down, 29 to Go
by Holly Harris
11/13/13
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July 23, 2013

What a long day! I'm learning that it's best to come into the hospital with absolutely no expectations on how your day will go. The best attitude is to be open to what is happening and take your time to breathe and process new information. I guess that's actually a good approach to life in general. Anyway, we arrived at 9am and JR just finished his first chemo treatment around 7:30pm. He is a CHAMP!!! I am so inspired by my little SuperHero. He is an amazingly happy baby and so strong. His smile lights up my world and he brings instant joy to all who meet him (especially when wearing a superhero cape).

I am very happy to report that John Ryan is his happy normal self...though it is only 30 minutes post treatment. I think I thought that the moment chemo hit his tiny system he'd be affected in some obvious way (crying, exhaustion, vomiting). But nope, he was up on his knees (yup, we are gonna have a crawler here soon!) playing with his toys, and trying to put his IV tube in his mouth...again.

After extensive discussion with his doctor, we determined the newer treatment (V-A with low-dose C) is the superior treatment for JR. Treatment is 18 weeks shorter than initial plan, and the incidence of cancer recurrence is lower. Other studies using a lower dosage of the scary "C" drug have not shown a greater incidence of infertility than is found in the general population. Awesome!! We are thrilled and so pleased that our doctors have worked so diligently to determine the very best treatment plan possible for JR. I believe that John Ryan's doctors care about him on a personal level, which I didn't expect at such a major facility as Duke University Hospital. JR's healthcare team has been awesome.

JR will have four chemo treatments that include the "C" drug, including this one. We will have to spend the night in the hospital on those treatment days so that they can flush his system for 8 hours following the treatment. So we are here for the night, and likely all day tomorrow. Before being discharged tomorrow JR will have all kinds of samples drawn and we will receive a full education on caring for an infant undergoing chemotherapy at home.

We continue to thank God for the continuous blessings He is bestowing upon us during this most difficult time. The support and love we are receiving is incredible. It so strengthens us and keeps us going through the hardest moments. Prayer is powerful in many ways. I'm finding when I "really" pray it has a true calming effect on me. Most of the time my prayers are quick shots of thanks or an outpouring of anguish, or a request. But when I stop what I'm doing and give God my full focus and attention and really stay with him awhile I am comforted and restored. Thank you for praying for John Ryan and our family.

#PrayForJohnRyan
#BeatCancer

holly.harris726@gmail.com

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