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 Fri. 7 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 78°

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +309 on Billy's BMT calendar. Once again, here are what the Normal blood counts levels are:

WBC: 4.0 - 10.5
RBC: 4.20 - 5.60
Hemoglobin: 12.5 - 16.1
Platelets: 150.000 - 450.000

I hope this update finds you all well. Thank you for your patience, awaiting this update. Billy continues to do well, and there have been no visible signs to lead us to believe otherwise. The long waits between Clinic visits are still a bit bothersome. When we went 3 times per week, we were always up to date as to how Billy is doing, and were never "left in the dark". Yes, it is because Billy is doing so well, that he is only required to visit the clinic every 2 weeks, but it is "hell" waiting *wink*, and I agree, that it is just me.......and my feelings. We, like you, are so very happy for Billy and his progress, but are constantly reminded that this is still a 5-7 year process, and not quite time to "jump for Joy". I want to make one thing perfectly clear though; every time I look at Billy, every time I talk to Billy, every time I touch Billy, I jump for Joy silently as does Alicia, and it is a wonderful feeling.

Billy continues to do quite well in his studies, and his 6 week report card is upon us once again. Billy feels as though he has made "All A's" again, and we feel no reason to doubt him *wink*.

Billy's next clinic visit is still scheduled for the 10th (Monday), we hope to have an update on his blood counts then, and his surgery is still scheduled for the 21st (Friday) at ACH.

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

 Tues. 11 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 77°

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +313 on Billy's BMT calendar.
yesterday's counts are: WBC @ 4.20, RBC @ 3.67, Hemoglobin @ 12.4, platelets @ 192,000. ANC @ 2,300.
I hope this update finds you well. Please Click HERE, and be witness to yet another milestone in Billy's Journey to defeat cancer. We were informed at yesterday's clinic visit that Billy's "restrictions" have been cautiously lifted!! Billy is permitted, with discretion, to do the things he has been unable to do since Feb. of last year. Just being able to hold his cat was enough to bring tears to his eye's (and our's). Billy is now permitted to visit the Movie's if he wants, he is able to have take out pizza (tonight's dinner *wink*), he is able to be in close contact with people who are not sick, of course! I emphasize the word "cautiously" because we are still to keep in mind that Billy's immune system is still in it's infancy, and very fragile. If we are to visit a restaurant, we are to request that Billy's meal be prepared individually, and cooked well done. Since Billy is so close to his surgery date (21st Jan), we are not going to take any chances, and just sit tight for another 10 days. Billy will have plenty of chances to "regain" his childhood during his re-hab process over the next 6-9 months, or so. We are so happy for him, and Proud of him.

This just in!! Click HERE!!. We are so very Proud of him!

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

 Fri. 14 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 74°

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +316 on Billy's BMT calendar.
I hope this update finds you well. I come to you, once again, with a heavy Heart. Although the loss of any of "Our Children of Cancer" is devastating, this latest loss hits us a bit harder than most have. It is hard not to become attached to these precious Children, as they fight the fight of their lives, and at times we try to keep our distance, due to the terrible toll it takes on us as one of these Children loses their fight. I spoke of Billy's Friend Garrett often, on Billy's Page, and it is very hard on us when we have to cope with his loss. Yes, he is no longer in pain. True, that he is probably in a better place; and believe me when I tell you, that he fought to the very end of his 13 years of life. Garrett was Billy's 1st room mate, and at times, they fought their battles together. They became good Friends even though their paths took them in different directions. Garrett's cancer was osteosarcoma, and was relentless. We watched, for the past 2+ years as Garrett, and his Family fought together, never giving in. We witnessed the Hopes come, and watched them fade. We witnessed the pain, and gained strength from it. We Shared in his Life, and are grateful for it. We share in his Death, and are saddened by it. Please hold Garrett in your Hearts, and Pray for his Soul. Garrett will live forever in Alicia, Billy, and I; this I promise. Sleep Well Garrett Staples, We Love You....................

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

 Thur. 20 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 64°

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +322 on Billy's BMT calendar.
I hope this update finds you all well. Thank you all, once again, for your understanding, and respect of my feelings, as they relate to my previous update. Billy had a visit yesterday, with the surgeon who will be removing his Medi-Port (chest tap). This is the device that was placed in Billy's chest so that his meds, and chemo drugs could be administered. This is yet another milestone in Billy's Journey to a cure. The removal of this device sends "shock waves" to all those involved in Billy's care. This is the point in time that all cancer patients realize that they have truly "turned the corner" in their cancer treatments. Although the prognosis remains the same, we are all in awe of this moment, and we cherish it. This surgery will be preformed at the same time Billy's leg re-construction will be done. Billy will be admitted to ACH tomorrow morning, and his surgery in scheduled for around noon (12:00pm). Billy's surgery will take between 3 to 5 hours, depending on the reconstruction difficulties. As with the previous 2 surgeries to Billy's leg, Dr. Letson (Billy's surgeon) will be faced with the possibilities of having to remove muscle tissue along with the temporary prosthesis that is now in Billy's leg. Dr. Letson was very pleased at the fact that all of Billy's muscle's were saved in the previous surgeries, but is uncertain that the same results will come with this surgery. He assures us that, all will be done to save Billy's muscles as he performs this very delicate operation.

Alicia and I, along with our Families, ask that you hold Billy in your prayers as you've done so un-selfishly over the past 28 months, and ask that the hand's of his surgeons be guided to achieve only the very best of outcomes, and that Billy's pain will be minimal.

As always, I will try my very best to get you updated as to how Billy's surgery went. So, I ask you to be patient, as tomorrow will be a long day *wink*. We have given the Hospital permission to relay any information as to Billy's condition, to anyone who would want to call the Hospital {727} 898-7451. There have always been a "select few" who have done so in the past, so feel free to do so again, if you Just can't wait for my update! Billy's Hospital stay will probably be at least 7 days if he is free of any "obstacles".

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

Fri. 21 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 71° {Room# 271A (727) 898-7451}

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +323 on Billy's BMT calendar.
today's counts are: WBC @ 4.85, RBC @ 3.61, Hemoglobin @ 12.5, platelets @ 257,000. ANC @ 2,800.
(8:45pm) I hope this update finds you well. Just a quick update for now *wink*. Billy's surgery was a success, with no complications. He is resting comfortably (sedated) in his room in "2 South West". It has been a very long, and stressful day, and Alicia and I are just exhausted. I will update you tomorrow as to what today was all about. Thank you all for your continued support, thoughts, and Prayers. We Love you............................

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

Sat. 22 Jan. 2005 sunny_storms 72° {Room# 271A (727) 898-7451}

Welcome back to Billy's Page. Today is Day +324 on Billy's BMT calendar.
today's counts are: WBC @ 11.40, RBC @ 2.97, Hemoglobin @ 10.2, platelets @ 291,000. ANC @ 8,800.
(8:00pm) I hope this update finds you well. Let me start by saying Billy is doing very well, as is Alicia and myself *wink*. Billy was admitted to ACH yesterday morning at 10am. Billy was prepared for surgery, in a process that seemed like it took forever. Billy was moved to pre-op at 2pm, at which time we met with the anesthesiology team, as well as Dr. Letson (Billy's surgeon). We were all briefed as to what was about to happen, and we had a "question and answer" session! Billy was very inquisitive, as usual. Being that this was the 3rd time Billy would have this same surgery, we knew what to expect. There was one question that Alicia and I had asked, and it turned out to be a very important change of plans. Billy was supposed to have his Medi-Port removed at the same time as his leg surgery, but when we mentioned this to Dr. Letson, he kind of "shreeked". He politely recommended, and we agreed, to leave the medi-port in place "just in case". He once again made a point to let us know that this is a very serious operation, and Billy's is in a very high risk situation. His immune system is compromised, he is a bone marrow patient, and he has an enormous piece of metal in his Body, that his body would love to destroy. Billy's port may be needed for administration of drugs, such as IV anti-biotics. His port can always be removed at one of the surgery's Billy will undergo to lengthen his leg.
ANYWAY...................... Billy was in surgery from 2:15pm yesterday, until 5:30pm, at which time Dr. Letson came to see Alicia and I and informed us that Billy was doing just fine, and that all went extremely well. Alicia and I were re-united with Billy at 7:00pm as he was brought up to his room in 2 south west.
Alicia spent the night with Billy, as she usually does, and I returned bright and early this morning, and the 3 of us spent some time together before Alicia headed home to take care of some things. Billy has an IV in both hands, and he has a catheter in his "you know what"! During the day today, there were some difficulties with one of the IV's so it was removed. There were some tense moments with the other IV a short time later, and Billy was all upset because they needed to draw some blood for tests, and couldn't. They were finally able to draw their samples, and Billy settled down......................UNTIL! Keep in mind, Billy's leg was opened up from the top of his hip, to about 4 inches below his knee.......................Yep, there's more. Now, picture this............... Billy is attached to a morphine pump, and he is very "groggy". The door open's, and in comes a large machine and a few people. Billy looks at me, as his eyes fill up with tears. A loud voice sounds off, "Are you ready for you x-rays?". What x-rays? Billy says (me too). The last thing Billy wants, or needs, is to be moved around and positioned for x-rays. Billy grabbed his morphine button, and pressed it a few times. Being that I am more familiar with how we should move Billy's leg, than the technician is, it was up to me to keep Billy at ease. We moved him in position for a total of 6 x-rays, and I am happy to say that all went well *wink*.
Dr. Letson came by this afternoon to check up on Billy, and further emphasized that Billy's surgery went extremely well, and that he should be free from the drains in his leg, and IV's tomorrow, and that he'll be able to get out of bed as well. If you remember back to last January, when Billy had his last surgery, he was up and out of bed 2 days after surgery.
Later this afternoon, we had another bit of a scare. Alicia arrived around 5:00, about the same time Billy's latest blood counts came back. We received our copy, and immediately drew attention to the fact that Billy's WBC was 3 times as high as yesterday (see above). A look of concern came over the faces of those in the area, and everyone scrambled for answers. First of all, an elevated WBC count points to INFECTION..............something we can't have happen at any point in Billy's healing process. Billy's nurse returned to Billy's room a short time later, and after conferring with Dr. Petrovic, she assured us that this is "most likely" due to the surgical procedure. She also pointed out to us that this is a "good sign", because Billy is producing WBC's on his own...and lot's of them!!!
We did take a few photo's yesterday when Billy settled into his room. If you click HERE you can peek in on Billy for a little while! Shhhhhhh, he's asleep.

Thank you all for your continued support, Thoughts, and Prayers..............

Please Pray for Billy.........................and ALL children of cancer.

Please click on "next page" to continue your Journey with Billy! See 'ya on Page #67.

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