The Schunzel Family
Posted by Brandy Rivas
Just wanted to share an update on Griffin. Overall we've had a great summer, been able to enjoy the weather and some family visiting. We usually go into clinic once a week, labwork 1-2 times per week and a couple chemos each time we go into clinic. Griffin has done so well with everything, he really takes an interest in what the doctors and nurses are doing and tries to help whenever he can. We are always so proud of how brave he is.
We are in the process of finishing the first month of delayed intensification, which is the more intense cycle of treatment after the first month. Griffin went on steroids for the first week, started a new chemo, and then on day 4 he got another chemo through his port which he also got the first time we were in the hospital. 10-20% of patients develop an allergic reaction to it the 2nd or 3rd time. Well... Griffin had an allergic reaction instantly! He started couching and got hives and had to get an epi pen and benadryl right away. It was a bit scary.
So the alternative chemo is in the form of shots, and not just one or two shots but 6 shots on 6 different days (Fri, Mon, Wed, Fri, Mon, Wed). The shots are given in his thigh and he had to get one in each leg. So needless to say he was not a fan, what kid likes shots? Especially when he had to get one in each thigh at the same time. The nurses and Child Life Specialist were awesome and within a minute after getting the shots Griff was ready to play with all the toys they have in the clinic.
We just finished our 6th shot on Wednesday yay! We were on steroids for a week, then off a week and now we are back on until Monday morning. Griffin's appetite and mood have definitely been affected. He is not his usual playful laughing self, he wants to eat and lay low, be held and sleep more. On top of that his bloodcounts dropped significantly on Monday, which they were supposed to, so we decided to not send him to school this week. He had labwork again today and the counts are going up which is great, so hopefully sometime next week he will go, it will be great for him to be around the other kids and his teachers are so wonderful. He had such a blast at Meet and Greet (the off steroid week) and even went on the potty in his old classroom bathroom!I included a photo of him with his teachers from last year who have been so wonderful to us.
We have this next week off and then we start a couple new chemos. Volleyball season is underway and September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month) is right around the corner! KSU Volleyball is planning to hold a couple matches in honor of Childhood Cancer to raise money for research. Griffin is already working on his jump serve (not kidding) and will be excited to be at all the KSU home matches.
I hope everyone has a wonderful start to the school year and we want to thank you all for your support!
Keith, Briana and Griffin
Posted by Brandy Rivas
We apologize we have not posted an update on Go Fund Me sooner. Bri has been posting updates every week or two on her FaceBook page so you are all welcome to "friend" her there to see more photos and updates of G$.
Griffin has been handling treatment very well so far. The first month was definitely the hardest while he was on a high dose of steroids in addition to the chemo, but after that Griffin started to have a lot more energy to play and was acting like himself again.
We currently go every 10 days for chemo or as we call it "to charge his power pack" and he knows the drill. Lab work, then wait in a room to see Dr. Lew and Dr. Zerra and get stuff to charge his power pack. The doctors and nurses are always complimenting how well he behaves and handles everything. We've got a tough lil guy. We just returned from a short trip to Orlando and spent Fathers Day with some low key time at home. Griffin usually wants to play outside, go for walks around the pond, ride his scooter, play ball, play with his stickers, sing and do puzzles. He also loves to paint. Let's just say he is one busy guy!
For the next several months we will continue to go in frequently for appointments and treatment. He will have several more lumbar punctures (spinal taps) where chemo is flushed up his spine and a sample is taken to make sure there are no leukemia cells present. So far his lap work has all shown the leukemia is gone, now all the additional treatment is to make sure it stays away for good! The entire treatment process is approximately 3 years, assuming all goes well. We will definitely make a better effort to post updates on here to keep you all in the loop on Griffin's progress. We hope you all are having a wonderful summer and thanks for your continued support and prayers. They mean so much to us!