Hi there all! First and foremost thanks for all of your prayers, Elijah's bone marrow is CLEAN!!!! This was great news and we are so thankful for our blessings! They also did a spinal the same day as the bone marrow ( which was the most awful day of pokes) , and his CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) had lots of WBC in it. Dr Al-Zein said that it had about eight times the number of white cells that it should so they decided to send it for culture. The culture came back with three different kinds of bacteria in it so it was necessary to do a repeat spinal. Dr. Al-Zeins thoughts were that there is a good chance that Elijah had a viral meningitis when he was in the hospital this last time. He kept spiking fevers and they kept running tests, but nothing came back positive. He finally stopped the fevers and we were able to go home on Thursday with no answers as to why he was having the fevers. Now we may have the answer, and he thinks that the reason he has WBC's in his CSF is left over from that virus. They repeated the spinal today and gave me a call this afternoon with the report that he now has a normal amount of WBC's in his CSF. Dr. Al-Zein expects that the cultures will all come back negative. We should know that tomorrow. Elijah has started on the next phase of chemo as of Friday called Delayed intensification. I think that the last time I said he had started a phase I stated it was this one, but that one was actually inter-maintaince. I'm trying really hard to keep everything straight!! This phase is basically the first two phases (induction and consolidation) put together. So yes, he will be back on the dreadful steroids that make him a different person. We are not excited for this, so we are hoping that the next month goes by fast. On the other hand, the steroids should make him want to eat us out of house and home. This is what they told us the first time and it never rang true so we will be anxious to see if happens this time. Elijah also received the first dose of the medication that is replacing the one that he was allergic to today. He did fine, other than the shot part, but luckily no allergic reactions to this one so far. It was funny to watch the anxiety of the nurses in the clinic after they administered the shot, just waiting for him to puff up. Elijah gets really blotchy skin after he has been crying and one of the nurses said, "now did he look like this before we gave him the shot??" I assured her that this is a normal response to him crying and not an allergic reaction. We should be done with the big pokes for awhile. He will receive a total of 6 shots with this medication that he will get every other day, starting today. Lots of trips to the clinic, bummer!! Elijah is doing a Zoo Camp this week every morning and seems to be loving it!! It was nice to finally get him doing something outside the home and away from me a little. He was great with me dropping him off, which is a little sad, but I'm just glad he didn't have bad separation anxiety.
Alivia, Tysa and I have gotten to spend some extra quality time together with Elijah being gone in the mornings this week and it's been fun to spend some time with just them. Alivia is good and busy as ever. Tysa is as cute as can be with her little dimples and little bit of chub that she is getting. She is starting to smile more and eating more if that's possible. She is probably close to around 9 lbs and is eating 4 oz at a time now. She is still up a couple times a night, but I can hope that that will get less and less the bigger she gets. She is still only as big as what some babies are born at. Elijah and Alivia really love her and want to be close to her all the time. I was totally expecting Alivia to be jealous when I was holding Tysa that she would want to be held. Really she just gets mad because she wants to hold Tysa, not that she wants me to hold her. She likes to squeeze extra tight when she holds her, not really getting the gentle concept. Elijah is a great big brother and helps out when he can. Tysa is now realizing when she is not being held and much prefers to be held. She lets me know it, and how do you not hold such a cutie!! She might be a little spoiled, but then I think all of my kids are a little. I am going to post some new pictures, thanks again for all the continued prayers and support. We love you all!!