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Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 8:34 pm
by DejaVu
Some years back, Brian Simon from South Dakota posted on Ranchers. I don't know what name he posted under. His daughter, Alison, has had some tough health issues which required a kidney transplant. He asked for prayers for her here on Ranchers. There were updates on A few days ago, I received a notification from the site that Alison was back in the hospital. Tests are showing Burkitt Lymphoma. More tests are being done to determine the course of treatment. Alison is a senior in high school this year.
Without Brian and Colleen's permission, I am asking for you to take a moment and say a prayer for Alison. I don't know the family but that's not a requirement for a prayer. They could use a little help again.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:08 pm
by Big Muddy rancher
I think it was SMN Hereford.

Our prayers are with Alison, the girl with the big smile. :D

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:55 am
by George
Mine will be added!

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:32 am
by gcreekrch

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:42 am
by Faster horses
Paying for her from here! Keep us posted, please.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:08 am
by DejaVu
Notification this morning from CaringBridge:

Today's lumbar puncture (LP) went just fine. They use anesthesia that puts you to sleep but you still breathe on your own, not like in the OR when they need to use a breathing tube. I could have stayed in the room during the LP, but those who know about my fear of needles won't be surprised that I waited in the waiting room! More chemo was injected into the spinal fluid to maintain her cancer-free spinal chord.

We found each other a touch boring today after having family and friends with us over the weekend! :) Several employees who know and love Alison stopped by to see her, though! We couldn't be in a better place for Alison's physical and emotional well-being. Such a wonderful staff here at Sanford's Castle!

This evening, Alison was in virtually no pain and she fell asleep soundly about 9:30 tonight. That's the first time that's happened since we arrived here just over a week ago. What a blessing!!

Meanwhile, I read the section on treatment and side effects in a binder Dr. Wagner's nurse, Ashlee, gave us today. A fair amount of "no fun" ahead, but we try to focus on the life she'll have back again after treatment. I was hoping to get an initial plan for treatment early this week, but it turns out we will have to wait until Friday. A CT scan is planned for Friday morning to determine how the lymphoma is responding to the chemo treatment. So, we hope to have a tentative treatment schedule for the next few months by Friday afternoon sometime. In the meantime, I'm guessing I will get beaten at Mario Kart a few more times! She has a broken blood vessel in her left eye that causes her headaches and an IV in her right hand, so she hasn't been able to read, draw, or write much yet. Hoping to see those issues improve soon.

Uh oh! It's a few minutes past my bedtime! Good night, all! Thanks for the prayers!!
Love, Colleen

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:58 pm
by Soapweed
Thanks, DejaVu, for the update. Praying that all goes well for Alison, and that she has a speedy recovery.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:06 pm
by DejaVu
Latest Update:
Take that, lymphoma!!
By Colleen Simon — 1 hour ago

Guess what?! Dr. Wagner is pleased with the CT scan from this morning because it shows the cowardly lymphoma is surrendering to the chemo already!!! We are so happy to confirm our suspicion that we have been on the right track and making progress!! Praise the Lord! Alison is now off constant pain medicine - only on an as-needed basis now! Remember that EBV level of 1.6 million? It's down to 399,708 now - a big drop, but a ways to go yet to reach the "negative" status of <200. But, it's great progress!!

Dr. Sanders has been monitoring Alison's immunosuppressants that she takes to protect her kidney. She has always taken two types, but one type has been dropped for now. Myfortic can lower white blood cell counts, and with the chemo already doing that, it seems it's better to stop taking it for the time being. That beautiful kidney continues it's stellar performance!! :)

Hard hitting chemo starts this coming Monday. Alison will have 6 days of chemo, as well as 3 lumbar punctures during the week to check spinal fluid and deliver chemo directly, keeping the spine cancer-free. During one of the lumbar punctures, her doctor will also check the bone marrow in her hips to confirm progress made there. After the week of chemo, she will have 3 weeks off during which she can go home. If she gets a fever or symptoms of illness, she will have to return to Sioux Falls right away. Otherwise, we hope the blood work will be good so she can attend school. The ANC blood number indicates her level of immunity. The normal amount of ANC is 1,500. If the ANC drops below 500, she will not be able to go to school or other crowded places. The drop in ANC tends to occur the first 2-3 days following chemo, then her body will recuperate. We remain hopeful!! Alison is also glad that she will be home for her 18th birthday October 11th!! After that, she can sign her own hospital papers! ;)

The second round of chemo will be just like the first. Beyond that, I can't give exact details, yet. Alison's doctor talked a little bit about it, but I'm one of those visual learners who needs to see the plan on a calendar or list. :) I will be requesting that from her doctor's nurse next week. Dr. Wagner is optimistic that she will be able to work Alison's chemo treatment around the trip to Louisville, KY. Alison was chosen to sing soprano in the National FFA Chorus at the National Convention the end of October. I'm guessing Brian or I will need to go along - aw, shucks!! :)

I went with Alison and our dear Child Life ladies to the boutique this afternoon. Alison had fun choosing a way-cool wig for the inevitable loss of her hair. No one can say for sure when that will happen, but this way, she's prepared at any time. Ya'll are gonna' love it! :) She also picked out a cool hat. Alison is one stylish young lady!! I'll be the fashion-challenged old lady in her shadow!! ;)

My mother-in-law, Carol, sent me back here with her cherry kuchen, so we've been busy consuming that, gaining health from it's curative properties!! Nobody makes it better, let me tell ya!! I also delivered flowers and balloons to Alison from her senior classmates that they ordered from Ellen Logan! They are beautiful and Alison loves them and is inspired by them! When we were here before, Alison stayed on the Pediatric Intensive Care floor where they didn't allow flowers in her room. I was hoping that was a PICU rule only, but it turns out they have to keep them out of regular Pediatric rooms, as well. They are right outside the room, but that may be something to keep in mind for future gifting. Keep those hugs and prayers coming, too!! We rely so much on you!! Thank you!!

It shouldn't be long before I manage to get a fresh photo or two on this site. I foresee some opportunities this weekend and next week. ;)

Much love to you and prayers for your good health,

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:11 pm
by Soapweed
Glad to hear this great news. :-) Thanks for the update.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:28 pm
by mrj
So glad the treatments are doing what they are supposed to do. And isn't it great that it can be done in Sioux Falls rather than some far off place? Prayers for relief of pain and for healing and getting home asap.


Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:01 pm
by Faster horses
Praying for Alison to continue healing. Thanks for the update. I love good news.

Re: Prayers for Alison

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:00 pm
by DejaVu
Quick report!

Alison is handling the hard chemo like a champ - fists up, ready to throw punches! I can see it's beginning to take it's toll, so do keep her in your prayers for strength and endurance. She hasn't been nauseous or had other noticeable symptoms, yet, and has felt pretty good overall. I am leary of what's around the bend, you know? Not knowing exactly how she'll react is somewhat unnerving for this mom. Okay, so it seems I need prayers for strength and endurance, too! :)

LP went well yesterday - she recovered nicely and got her Health and Wellness homework done. She laughed about having Health and Wellness work to do! Kind of what we're all about!! :) We have had some sweethearts visit us bearing gifties, and more gifties have come in the mail. Thank you all so much! You may want to start using our home address, though, as I'm hopeful she'll be feeling well enough to go home in a few days! Yahoo!! :)

We have been enjoying watching the Pope on TV! What an incredible treat to have him visiting the U.S.!! We were wondering... If you receive communion from the Pope, are you good? All done? Ha! Can't imagine how joyful that would be!!

Keep the prayers and hugs coming!! Love you all!! Colleen