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Posts posted by Shawna

  1. I was looking through some old pictures on my hard drive today and started looking at the hundreds of pics of my budgies. It brought back so many memories. I thought about this forum and how much I learned from here. I miss having budgies sooo. I have lost track of most of them as they were given away, sold, etc. by the people who took them after Lucas got sick. I still feel guilty not knowing what life held for them after I had to give them up. But when I was told my child had cancer it was a choice that had to be made.


    Lucas is doing so fantastic. This June he celebrated his first year off-treatment and over 2 years since he was diagnosed. His July MRI shows no evidence of disease. He is my little miracle and I am so thankful. The pediatric cancer world can be very cruel and we know we are one of the lucky families.


    He is enjoying summer very much. He loves to swim and spends lots of time in the pool. We also go on lots of road trips so I can shoot photos. Since I don't have my budgies to photograph anymore I am always looking for other things. It is a great stress reliever for me.


    I can't believe Lucas will be entering grade 3 in the fall. He struggles in school - partly from missing so much time, possibly some learning disabilities (although we are still awaiting assessment for that). His teacher this year also has a son with a brain tumour so that is a blessing. She will understand some of Lucas' unique challenges.


    I'm enjoying a month off work - a renewal leave that the employee group I work in gets after long service. I'm hoping we have lots of good weather. July was very wet....


    I hope you are all well. I can't wait to peek at the photo gallery.



    This picture was taken yesterday - my little fish.


  2. Hi Everyone.... it has been far too long since I updated. I'm not sure if anyone is still here that would remember me. But I thought I should update and let you know that Lucas still is doing very well. His MRI in January showed no signs of cancer. What a blessing! We are so thankful. Here is a picture from this weekend. Look at all the hair!!!




    I hope all is well with you and your feathered friends.



  3. Update time again.... Lucas has finished his treatments. He had his final dose of chemo on June 11. Right now his counts are down and he is losing his hair again, but otherwise things are good. He is in great spirits and we are all praying that every last cancer cell is dead. He is looking forward to a fun summer. He will have an MRI in July and then again every three months for at least a year. Then the frequency of MRIs will lesson and eventually I think it will be once a year. He will probably have his g-tube and port-a-cath for awhile as it can take up to a year to recover from the treatments.


    Thank you everyone for your best wishes and prayers over the last 15 months. If you can spare an extra prayer or positive thought for us I would ask that you pray that Lucas remain cancer free. He is only seven years old and has been through so much. I ask this selfishly because he is my only child, but also because I want for him to be healthy and happy so he can be a "normal" kid.


    I hope you are all well and enjoying your feathered friends.



  4. I can't believe that it is May already. Lucas just finished his 8th of 9 cycles of chemo. He's doing great. We are so thankful. He will start his final cycle in June.


    It was over a year ago that the "nightmare" began. We've come a long way in a year. Lucas has taught us so much. We've been immersed in a world no parent ever wants to be immersed in but we have learned to cope. We have met so many people that have enriched our lives. But we've experienced pain too as we've had to say goodbye to some very special little children.


    We don't know what the future holds for Lucas because curing the cancer can have side effects - especially when the cancer is in the brain -but believe that he will tackle whatever obstacles he is faced with and continue to show the world what an amazing little boy he is. Thanks again everyone for the prayers.


    Lucas and I still miss the budgies but we see them when we can. My sister has most of them now and one of my babies from last year and two beautiful little dilute babies.


    IMG_4046.jpg Almost always smiling.

    IMG_0165.jpg Getting his port accessed for chemo.

  5. Update time again. We are feeling so blessed. Lucas had another MRI last week and it shows no signs of disease. He started Cycle 7 of chemo yesterday and we are home already. He copes so well with his chemo treatments. Only 2 more cycles to go after this one. We are so thankful for the prayers from everyone and praise God that he remains cancer free. It is hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that the nasty tumour was growing in him. I remember him having headaches at March Break Camp and its March Break this week. Thinking back to the early days after diagnosis I can't believe how far we have come. And Lucas remains my hero. He's so brave, so resilient, and so loving. According to the Head of Oncology he is the model chemo patient. Sometimes, I think when will the "bomb" drop with everything going so well, but then I try to think that Lucas' positive story will be an inspiration to another new family who have a child with cancer.


    Check out my little warrior man....


  6. Hello Budgie Friends,

    It's been awhile since I've updated. I've peeked in a few times to see what is happening but don't have much time to spend here. I still find it hard missing my budgies. It was roughly two years ago that I got Sylvester and Tweety and my obsession with them started. Tweety is still doing great at mom's.


    Lucas just completed his 5th of 9 rounds of chemo. Only 4 to go and he is doing very well. We've had some bumps along the way but he is tolerating it all and is still able to go to school some. He has some hearing and kidney damage from the cisplatin, but they reduced the chemo 50% with the last round so we are hoping that they kidneys will bounce back some. The hearing damage is permanant but it is still in the high registers and we are hoping that there won't be much more. Most kids on this treatment protocol do end up with hearing aids though. We've only had one hospital stay outside of treatment stays which was for an infection. He seems to react strongly to the chemo drug cyclophosphimide with rapid blood count drops. He gets that one next round.


    He still continues to get headaches which will always cause me great anxiety as that was the first sympton that alerted us to the tumour. So far they don't have an explanation for them. His two MRIs to date have been clear. He has another scheduled for March. He continues to have balance issues, particularly after he gets vincristine (another chemo). He minds the cold, is sensitive to noise, doesn't have much of an appetite so continues to need nightime tube feeds to maintain his weight.


    Thanks everyone for the prayers and positive thoughts along the way. CasperRose- thank you for sharing your fiance's story. It gives me hope to hear of long-time survivors.


    Take care everyone!

  7. Thanks Aly, all donations to children's hospitals and in particular to research are so important and appreciated by those of us with sick children!!!!!


    I don't visit the forum much these days. It is hard now that I don't have my budgies. It makes me miss them so.


    I do want to update about Lucas. He just had his second MRI post surgery yesterday and the result is clear - no tumour regrowth. We are thrilled. He is about to start his 4th of 9 rounds of chemo. His third round was the toughest with him getting sick, losing his hair again, having extremely low bloodcounts, and ending up in hospital for febrile neutropenia. He was in almost a week and had to have a blood transfusion and IV antibiotics. But our little trooper rebounded. I hope you guys and all of the feathered friends I came to care about during my days on the forum are well.

  8. It has been awhile since my last post. Life is busy now that I'm back at work. But all is going fairly well. Lucas has completed round 2 of chemo. He had to have a reduction in the dosage because his GFR test showed reduced kidney function. He is back in school and glad to be there. He is feeling well but does have headaches on a regular basis which causes me a TREMENDOUS amount of anxiety. His oncologist didn't seem worried when we were in last, but the headaches bring me back to the weeks prior to diagnosis. I'll be glad when he has his next MRI which is in November... yet I'm scared at the same time.


    I'm also sad to report that Sylvester died. He was back at mom's because he was missing the flock. She had them out all summer but there was an unexpected cool night and Sylvester and one of mom's babies were found dead the next morning. We can only attribute it to the cold. Mom waited a week to tell me because she knew how upset I would be. And I was. He was a special bird. All of the other birds are doing well. And at least we have his babies.


    I hope you are all well and one of these days I'll catch up on the posts.

  9. Well I can report that his first big chemo went off without a hitch. We were discharged roughly 24 hours after the meds were started. We could have stayed another night but he was doing so awesome that we decided to go home. He really wanted to. And it is now a couple of days later and he hasn't been sick at all. In fact, he is feeling quite silly and frisky... goofing around. He had a big giggle fest this afternoon. He makes me smile. Before we left the hospital we were praising him for how well he was doing. He said, "Mommy... am I kickin' cancer's butt?" I said, you sure are honey. Thanks everyone!!!!!!

  10. Hi Gang, It's been awhile. Lucas was admitted today to start his first "big" chemo. He so far has tolerated it well - no vomiting at all. Actually he ate quite well which amazed me. Last week we go the best news. His MRI (first since surgery) showed no tumour growth in the brain or the spine. He had been very tired for a few weeks and was quite wobbly. We were terrified the tumour was back. But our prayers were answered. Thanks everyone for your positive vibes, prayers, thoughts, best wishes. We are confident our little cancer warrior - as he likes to be known now - is going to beat the monster.

  11. A quick update - Lucas has had a good week and is very glad that his radiation treatments are over. So are Randy and I - no more driving to Halifax. His is quite tired but is still feeling really good. And his appetite is slowly coming back. He still gets formula through his tube at night, but we have cut back one box. I'm hoping that over the next week or so we can go down to one box. The weather has been great so he has been having fun in the pool. And his cousin has been visiting so he has been having fun with him.

  12. So heartwarming to hear Pheobe. Its funny that some hens just want to lay when they are with their mates despite non ideal conditions. That is why Sylvester is home with me - Jewel would be laying more if he were still there.


    Glad that the adoption lady is keeping them.

  13. I can't believe we have only one radiation treatment life. I remember when we started 30 seemed like so many. Lucas has tolerated everything very well. The radiation oncologist is very pleased with how Lucas' treatments have gone.


    We start a nice break from all treatments on Monday. We return for some meetings and a small procedure - having the g-tube replaced around the 25th of July, and then on the 30th he is admitted for his first of 9 cycles of chemo. Hopefully he will tolerate it well and we will only have to stay a couple of days.


    We don't have much planned for the month off other than spending time in the pool, visiting with family, etc. I don't want to be too far from home. We are tired from all of the trips back and forth to Halifax, so staying home sounds good to me.


    Thanks everyone again for all of the postive thoughts, prayers, etc. I believe they have helped us on this journey.

  14. My sweet Sylvester is home. Poor Jewel was not being left alone at mom's so I felt it best to separate them. If they remained in the same house they would call to each other so he is now back home with me. He has been great flying around as though he never left. He'll still get on my finger and go back to his cage when necessary. I'm trying to spend lots of time with him so he doesn't miss the flock too much.




  15. Well I haven't talked to mom in a few days so I'm not sure if she has laid any more. I definately don't want her to raise any more chicks. I don't want her to lay any more eggs either. I'll make sure that mom is giving her the calcium. What a girl.


    I think I'll bring Sylvester back with me. :P

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