Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Update

Good Morning!

Summer is in full swing and we hope that everyone has made plans to enjoy a little bit of rest and relaxation at some point in the near future. We are doing just that in the North Georgia Mountains and the community of Big Canoe. So far we have been boat riding on the lake, fishing, swimming, sliding down a big rock slide and hiking to see waterfalls and pick blackberries. We have also seen lots of wildlife during our stay including deer, turkey, and lots of fish and turtles. Although we have done a lot already this week, we have had a chance to relax and enjoy each others' company. It is so nice to get away from our daily routine for a little while even if the details of life are not that far away.

We had to deal with one of these "little details" yesterday as we drove back to Atlanta with Elena to have her counts checked at CHOA. Her platelets were at 52,000 last week when she developed a 2 1/2 hour nose bleed and received a platelet transfusion. The visit yesterday was to recheck all of her counts to see if they were where they need to be to continue with the maintenance phase of her treatment. The good news is that her platelets were up above 75,000 to 94,000. The bad news is that her ANC has dropped below 750 to 600. Elena has not received chemo since June 3rd and we found out yesterday that she will be delayed at least another week when she is scheduled to have her counts checked again. Please pray for Elena's body to recover and for her to remain strong and healthy as her immune system is compromised and her risk of infection has increased.

Please also pray for our family as we struggle with the effects of this dreadful disease. We thought that things would be closer to normal as Elena entered the maintenance phase, but are constantly being reminded of the fact that we are not in control. Pray for patience, wisdom and guidance as we learn to wait on the Lord and to listen to what we hear. Pray specifically for right decisions regarding future vacation plans and Elena's continuing treatment. We are constantly amazed by the blessings we receive when we take the time to seek God first and follow His plan for our lives. We are thankful for His steadfast love and for the support we receive from the body of christ that He has placed in our lives.

Thank you for taking the time to check in on us and for keeping us in your prayers!

In Him,
The Tates

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer Fun

Good Morning and Happy Summer!

School is out for the summer and it has been busy around the Tate house! Elena and Olivia both finished the school year with all A's and B's and are enjoying this nice break from all of their hard work. We are so proud of them for overcoming their individual trials and for stretching the bounds of their limitations to achieve this success. While this has been a very challenging year for all of us, it has also brought many rewards. Praise God!

Elena has finished her first month of maintenance and went for her second monthly visit this past Thursday. She made a comment on the way that she had forgotten what it was like at the clinic and was asking what they were going to do since it had been so long since her last visit. Another big praise for such a small pleasure! Being this was Elena's first time back to the clinic since she started maintenance, it was also the first check of her blood counts to see how the doses of her chemo were effecting her body. Everything looked good except for her platelets, which were a little low. The doctors have stopped all chemo pills for this week and we will check counts next Thursday to see if they recover. At this point, Dr. Lew will decide whether or not to adjust Elena's dose of chemo. We were told that they usually start patients back at 100% after the first drop and adjust down after the second. Apparently one of the chemo pills that Elena takes every day has the same effect as one that she received during Delayed Intensification and they want to make sure that it doesn't adversely effect her liver. We definitely don't want a repeat of that episode. Please pray for Elena's platelets to rebound and for all of her other levels to remain strong. Pray for her body to continue to heal and for her to find that peace that comes from God alone!

We hope that you all take some time to get out and enjoy yourselves this summer with family and friends and we also hope to be able to share some of these times with you!

In Him,
The Tates

"The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy yours needs..." Isaiah 58:11