Friday, November 22, 2013

ANC and Stem Cells

Okay, so you are probably wondering a couple things...what is an ANC and why is he getting daily shots and going up to the hospital for blood work everyday.

What is an ANC?

"The absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is a lab test measuring the number of neutrophils present in a blood sample, measured per microliter. This test provides important information about a patient's immune status, as neutrophils play a key role in the human immune system.

If the absolute neutrophil count is above 1,500, it is within normal range. Counts below 1,000 indicate mild neutropenia. The patient is at risk for infection, but the risk is relatively low as long as the patient exercises commonsense precautions. Counts of 500 or less are in the danger zone. The patient's immune system is highly compromised and the patient will not be able to fight off infection. For the patient's safety, contact with other people should be limited to individuals known to be healthy."

Beckham is getting daily shots and blood drawn because they want to start harvesting his stem cells this week. They need to collect quite a bit so they really need to get his white cells up high. The bone marrow team is closely watching him and once he gets to the levels they want he will be admitted for surgery to get a separate pic line put in for the cell harvest and then we will be at the hospital for a few days while they collect.

Location:Medical Dr N,Salt Lake City,United States

This week

Well there is some good news!!! A couple nights ago he sprang to life. He was asking for food, laughing and wanting to get up and move around.

In this picture he was saying he was a dinosaur and he was coming to get me.

Look at that smile!!!! I'm so happy that it's back. It was hard seeing him so out of it and just miserable for the last week.

Since Sunday, Beckham has had his blood drawn daily to check his blood counts. He has been really low. This is normal though. After chemo they expect his ANC to drop down to 0. Early this week it was around 300 and the last couple days he has been at zero. It has definitely been stressful in our home since Navy and I have been sick and have had fevers. Luckily we are feeling better and Beckham hasn't gotten sick yet. He does have a cough and a low temp, but nothing they are worried about yet. I am hoping he stays well enough and he doesn't get sick and have to be admitted.

This morning I bundled him up in the stroller. It's pretty cold at 730 in the morning!!! The wind was crazy too.

Hanging out at the clinic. Finding Nemo was on and he was totally fixated.

Counts came back and it ended up he needed a platelet transfusion. This will make number 2 for the week in platelets and he has had a red blood transfusion as well. Chemo does a number on your body!!!!! His ANC is at 0.13 today...up from 0.03 from yesterday. Beckham has been getting daily shots of Neupogen. This helps his white count rise faster then it would on his own. It is rough giving him shots. He flinches now when we touch his legs. He always tells us, "no pokes!" My heart about broke after I gave him his shot and he burst into tears and kept saying, "you hurt me mommy, you hurt me." It causes him joint pain too. They say it is like having severe growing pains. Anyway, I'll go more into that in a little bit.

Wreck It Ralph is on and he is kicking back eating snacks and cuddling up to his blankies! The transfusion is almost done and we will be done until tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Round 3

Round 3 of chemo was a freaking beast. They prepped us pretty well. We were told multiple times that round 3 on his treatment plan is very rough on kids. The first couple days of treatment I thought maybe we were the lucky ones and we broke the norm. About day three of this round is when it all started. His appetite was zero and he would throw up from time to time. He still had some energy to move around and play. That didn't drop until when we got home.

During a round of chemo. Beckham is funny and likes his bed put up on both sides. He is like a little taco. Brian told me that he tried to put up just one side of the bed and make a big slide. It's crazy how high the beds can raise up. Haha. He definitely makes the nurses and doctors nervous with how active he is.

Playing Star Wars Operation.

Sorry if this picture is a little much. It's really sad for me to see this picture. He wants these pink buckets by his side all the time now.

Leaving the hospital! You can tell he is just exhausted. He is so over it and I do not blame him one bit.

Before we left we got a visit from Miss Bella and my friend Tiffany. It's so cute watching these two play. He ran up to her and they gave each other a little hug. His energy definitely perked up seeing her. They snacked on some Lucky Charms and Beckham was picking out the marshmallows and giving them to Bella. I think he may have a crush. :)

A family friend sent this cape to Beckham. I have to admit I was a little confused when I saw the "R" on the back. After reading the card that went along with the cape it stated that the "R" stands for RECNAC. It is cancer spelled backwards. They explained that in their home, when their mother had cancer, they found it less scary and almost funny to use the work "RECNAC" instead. Beckham had wearing the cape around the house.

My sweet little boy. This picture breaks my heart. He looks like he is sleeping, but he is just laying there on the couch. Besides that first day home...he has been laying around. We have to carry him from
his bed to the couch. He doesn't want to move and you have to help him sit up. He has medicine to help with the nausea and pain but he has a hard time keeping anything in. We give him IV fluids at night to help him stay hydrated. I have been doing a lot of research on oils and such...I am hoping they are helping him some!!!!

The two pictures above are Beckham back up at clinic. Last Friday Beckham was still not eating and just seemed miserable. So, I had Brian take him up to Children's to have them look him over. They just sent us home more medicine to increase his appetite. I was a little frustrated with this since he has a really hard time taking meds right now. He has started to nibble a little more though and I'm really hoping that picks up so he does not have to get a feeding tube.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Before his hearing test!

One of his heroes! The one any only Spider-Man!!!

Waiting for his MRI

Sedated and ready to start!

Admitted and waiting for chemo to start up.

So, here we are ready to start round 3 of chemo. We are close to the two month mark of diagnosis. It's crazy to me how what is "normal" has changed so much since then. This week Beckham has had a hearing test, a MRI, MIBG scan and a bone marrow biopsy and aspirate. I am amazed that he is not going crazy. It has been a busy last few days.
So, you are probably wondering how his tests went! His hearing test was amazing. They told us he test above average. This made me so happy since the chemo he gets can damage his hearing. His scans went good as well. The amount of cancer in his body is less. This makes me very happy, but I am still one concerned mother.
I had many questions for his doctors this morning. Maybe I am weird, but I like to know what I am up against. I don't care if it is not what I want to hear. I want to know so I can mentally prepare myself.
Beckham has quite the road ahead of him. Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive cancer and the treatment he is getting is pretty intense. The odds are not totally in Beckham's favor and this terrifies me. If Beckham beats this monster, he is pretty much guaranteed to have some significant health issues. Ugh...more on that later.

Beckham is strong though! He is definitively a fighter!

Location:N Mario Capecchi Dr,Salt Lake City,United States

Bloggers Give Back

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Today we were able to meet with KSL news to talk about the Bloggers Give Back Event going on this weekend. If you would like more info please look up and watch this clip. :)


Halloween was a ton of fun for Beckham this year. I initially thought we were not going to be able to take him out since his counts were so low. Blood tests said he was severely neutropenic. I asked for ideas of what I could do for my little boy and I have to say that I was so overwhelmed with all of the ideas. Thank you all for the help. I am very grateful for such good family and friends.

Beckham had a blood test Halloween day and surprisingly his counts jumped up to normal levels! Here he is with two of his cousins. Love these little super heroes.

Mr. Ironman trick or treating.

Beckham was so concerned with my "yips!" Haha. "What happened? You bleeding?"

Navy and Beckham playing at the family Halloween party.