Monday, April 30, 2007

Day +54: Low Batteries

One of the more sinister side effects of Keith’s radiation treatment, one that is becoming more evident each day, is the way it seems to sap his energy level. Lately he has been getting (and needing) 11 to 12 hours of sleep each night and still he is having a hard time mustering much energy to do anything that requires much physical effort. He even begged out of going to school today which is quite unusual for him. The doctors gave us a heads-up on this before treatment so we’re not worried, but it goes to show that these seemingly innocuous daily treatments really do have a huge physiological effect on his body. In fact it looks like Tuesday he will need yet another unit of platelets. His own body is producing platelets, but the radiation seems to be eating them up (non-medical terminology) along with white and red blood cells. All anticipated and expected.

So even though he is feeling a bit weary, the doctors are talking of sending him home soon after the radiation treatment is complete, possibly as soon as a week from now. If nothing rears up requiring an additional stay, he should be released to go home on Tuesday the 8th of May (Day +62). If that happens, it will be a red letter day in the Kelley household. Kirby might just explode into a giant hairball at the excitement of it all....

Meanwhile, Scott has just resumed swim practice at Park Pool. He really seemed to enjoy getting back into the pool with his buddies - so much so that I don’t think he or his teammates really noticed how hard the coaches were pushing them through their first practice.

It has been almost nine months – three quarters of a year - since Keith was first diagnosed. It was at the close of swimming season last year when our unforeseen ordeal began. It still astounds me that he was even able to swim last season, let alone swim best times right up to his final race knowing what we know now - that cancer was raging inside him. Maybe that same fire that pushed him to swim so well is what has pushed him through his treatment to this point. With Keith tracking as well as he has been lately, we are starting to sense the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel. So I can’t help but associate the beginning of this years’ swim season with our lives swinging full circle again, back to the point where Keith rejoins his big brother and friends as a healthy, normal kid again.

That would be quite a swimming achievement…


Nancy Kelley said...

What a great blog entry today - they are all great but just the thought of how far Keith has come and what he has accomplished since last year this time put tears in my eyes and a smile on my face - he's the champion of all champions. Sorry the radiation is zapping his energy but hopefully it's zapping any lingering bad stuff too. We miss you guys and John is looking forward to visiting in early July (wish we could come too). Here's to an uneventful week ahead and a VERY excited Kerby!

Monita said...

Hey Keith,

Sorry you have been feeling quite tired from the treatment. Hope you'll get your energy back soon.

It's great to know that you'll be going home in just a week! Kirby, your family and all your friends will be so excited to have you back to Orinda.

James babysat his uncle's dog (a poodle and a Portuguese water dog mix) for almost 2 weeks. James liked walking and swimmimg with the dog.

Julie Whitsitt said...

I am going to try this again. I seem to be computer simple lately.
I saw your brother and Dad at the pool yesterday. Your brother looked like he had drawn something on his arm and I tried to tease him (like writing test questions on his arm) but I think I scared him. I was a little wired from being at the pool for hour and hours and answering 10,000 questions. I was so wired, when I tried to talk to your Dad I was a complete dufus/dork/mumble words/speaking 1,000 MPH. I could not finish a sentence or get what I really wanted to convey out. I was so embarassed when I left talking to him that I came home and told my husband what a idiot I made of myself. This was one of those days when my mouth was going faster than my mind could process. Tell your Dad that next time I see him I will try and get my words out in a more cohesive manner (or least I will try).
The swim coaches are working the kids hard the first two days. Corinne won't even get in the water and Trevor has had too many sporting events and homework to even think about it. He only went to the pool for 15 minutes to see Connor McDonald and Gianni. In that short time he lost his jacket. I found it today while I was cleaning the new pile of lost and found. I think that is a record, 15 minutes and one lost article.
I watched the basketball game tonight. I lost my voice from screaming at the TV. I know the Warriors can take them when they come back to Oakland. We were watching the third game on TV and saw three people we know (one is Trevor's basketball coach). That is always fun.
We can't wait to have you back and home.
ps. Cool skull cap!!