Looking for other ways to support the Snow Family? Join us tonight at The Community Oven in Hampton between 5 and 10pm. Just come for Dinner or browse the AMAZING auction items we have. Every pizza sold helps the Snow Family. We hope to see you there.
An update from the Snow family..... MRI Results and Other Good News Posted 1 day ago Today has been a good day for Carter and the Snow Family. His pain and nausea are much improved and he is eating and drinking. The MRI shows that his pancreas is not inflammed and is working; the common bile duct and pancreatic duct appear to be unobstructed. The pseudo cysts have enlarged by 10 to 15%. The larger one at the tail of the pancreas on the left side (cyst #1) has some fluid with different layers of scar tissue and old blood. The smaller one at the head of the pancreas on the right side (cyst #2) is mostly fluid. The outer lining of both are mature enough to perform the draining procedure. Today we talked with Carter's oncologist, Andy and his surgeon Chris Weldon and his gastroenterologis Mike Manfredi. Mike has been in touch with his GI colleagues over at Brigham and Women's where Dr. Christopher Thompson will perform the procedure. They do these kind of procedures more often and have all the fancy tools. They'll go through the esophagus and into the stomach with a scope to place a stent where cyst #1 abutts. This allows the fluid to drain into the stomach and get excreted. They'll pull out the dead tissue and irrigate the cyst with an antibiotic containing solution. Another stent will be placed at cyst #2 for drainage as well. With their scope, they will be able to see how well the pancreatic duct is draining and may place a stent there as well. As the cysts collapse over the following days to several weeks the stents will fall out and get excreted. However they will do some form of imaging to confirm this and occasionally they have to go back in to remove them. It is typically a 3 hour procedure and is well tolerated. It has the least amount of risks and Carter should be feeling better a few days later. They are hoping to do this procedure next Tuesday the 17th but Carter's white blood cell counts need to be at a certain level. If his counts are good he will stay here at Children's until the procedure and will recover back in room 6226. Hope everyone is enjoying early summer. We certainly enjoyed our 3 1/2 weeks at home and are looking forward to putting this behind us and moving forward with less pain and nausea. Love to all, Carter, Melissa, Chris, Lindsey, and Romeo
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An update from the Snow Family....... Still Waiting Posted 4 minutes ago Unfortunately, the MRI scheduled for Saturday, May, 31st was cancelled because the contrast medication needed for an MRI was not available. However, on Wednesday, Carter will get an ultrasound of his abdomen and we remain hopeful that he will be able to start eating by the end of the week.
Patience Posted May 30, 2014 10:08am Carter has been home for 2 weeks now after 30 days at Children's. He is coming into the home stretch of pancreatic rest and will be able to start eating and drinking soon. We go to Children's tomorrow for an MRI of his abdomen to assess the status of his pancreas and the pseudo cysts. At this time there are so many variables we don't know how they're going to proceed until they look at the images. Carter received another modified round of chemo on May 14th and is due for the next one June 4th. They'll determine if they can add back some of the medicines based on how he's doing. His most challenging symptom is nausea and vomiting which may be in part from the pancreatitis but is hopefully more related to the chemo. It is so persistent yet he can't drink ginger tea so he sucks on ginger chews and smells spearmint tincture. And of course he is taking some medicine for it which definitely helps. We are enjoying being together at home. It is good to see friends and be outside when it's not raining. Our yard and flower beds look beautiful thanks to friends who worked hard planting, edging, weeding, and mulching before we came home from the hospital! There are 2 upcoming fundraisers: One Night for Three Kids on June 6th. Event details can be found on Facebook CarterStrong Fundraiser on June 23rd at the Community Oven in Hampton. Great silent auction items and 50/50 raffle. Details coming on Facebook Thanks for all your support, prayers, love and light. I apologize for the delay with this update but will post results of the MRI ASAP. Love, Carter, Melissa, Chris, Lindsey and Romeo
Tincture of Time We are now called to demonstrate our patience, resilience, and determination as we wait for Carter’s pancreas to heal and for the outer layer of the pseudocysts to thicken. In the meantime, they are keeping a watchful eye on his daily levels of pain and nausea, his vital signs, and lab work. He is on complete gastrointestinal rest, receiving his nutrition through his central port. This cautious approach of keeping him in the hospital is to assure he is here if the pseudocysts become infected or if they enlarge. The formation of this protective layer can take 6 to 8 weeks. Weekly ultrasounds and MRI’s will show how things are developing and guide the surgical team’s decision as to when they can perform a procedure to drain them. There are different ways to do this depending on what the circumstances are when the time is right. Carter received a modified chemo treatment yesterday. In 10 to 14 days his WBC counts will be low which increases his risk for infection. Once his counts return to normal which they have done quickly in the past, there will be less of a concern. And perhaps at that time, if his pain and nausea are gone and his labs are normal but they can’t drain the cysts yet, he may be able to come home until this procedure.
We share this information with you because your positive energy and prayers help to lighten our load. Our Energy Healer and my colleague shared with me that worry has a low vibration. Be strong with us, do not worry and know in your hearts and minds that Carter will come through this, his pancreas will heal and he’ll be riding his bicycle this summer. Carter looks good. You’d never know why the docs are concerned. So please, come visit us at Children’s. It helps to break up our days and gives us something to look forward to. Until then, we’ll keep you posted. Love and Light, Carter, Lindsey, Chris, Melissa and Romeo
Slow and Steady Wins the Race Posted 3 hours ago Carter has made tremendous progress over the past week since arriving from ICU, especially over the past few days. He has gradually been needing less oxygen and physically able to do more things for himself as well as work with the physical therapist. Today he has not used oxygen at all, he completed all his exercises, climbed 9 stairs, and took a shower. His resting heart rate is still around 100 but that will continue to improve as more fluid comes off and he continues to work on conditioning. He has lost 15 pounds in fluid and still has 20 more to come off. He is starting to look like himself again. Carter is tolerating juices with added protein, crackers, and broth. He will gradually be able to eat more foods but wants to take it slowly because he's had some vomiting. His abdominal pain has improved and he needs less pain medicine. His pancreatic labs as well as plateletts and WBC counts continue to be good. What is most annoying to him now, on top of everything else, is a red itchy skin rash all over his body that happened as a reaction to one dose of an antibiotic. I "sayz" to him, things happen in threes, pancreatitis, blood clot, skin rash. We are both glad to have this week behind us. Carter will be going home sometime this weekend, we hope, as long as he continues in the current direction. His Grandpa and Nanna (Chris' parents) write to him daily. Grandpa sent an article on Jack Nicklaus who as a boy had polio. Jack said "You stand up to the ball wherever it has landed and you don't complain and you play your game." The author who knew him personally said that Jack always believed that if you do things the right way, all would work out in the end. We can't wait to be home listening to the peepers and snuggling with Romeo. Please come visit anytime. He desperately wants to see all of you and I will try to always have a batch of fresh cookies in the oven. You don't even need to call, just come! Thanks for all your kind words and support. They keep us going!!
Carter was admitted to Children's on Monday March 31st after 24 hours of abdominal pain that was worsening. Lab work indicated that he had pacreatitis which was confirmed later by ultrasound and clinical presentation. 4 to 18% of people who receive Asparginase (one of the chemo drugs used to treat ALL) get pancreatitis. Adolescents are more likely to get it than children. An angry, inflammed pancrease releases its digestive enzymes into the blood stream along with inflammatory chemicals causing the blood vessels to get leaky. Blood leaks out of the blood vessels causing a drop in blood pressure. This is exactly what happened with Carter and he was quickly sent to ICU where over the course of 24 hours he received 10 liters of fluid to stabalize his blood pressure. Because of the low blood pressure his heart rate went up to 175 beats per minute up from 75 at baseline. As his blood pressure stablized his heart rate came down to 140 beats/minute. Wednesday early evening we were transfered to the oncology floor and Carter is very slowly getting better. His lab work is improving idicating that his pancrease is quieting down. His heart rate is hanging around 100 beats/minute rising upon exertion. He has alot of fluid that needs to redistribute itself and get excreted. He is able to drink clear liquids after 72 hours of nothing by mouth. Unfortunately another side effect of the Asparginase is increased risk for blood clots. Because of Carter's left arm being more swollen than his right, they did an ultra sound which showed he has a blood clot. He is getting subcutaneous injections of medicine twice daily for 6 weeks to break up the clot. Carter will be able to go home when his labs, fluid status, and heart rate are normal, when he can drink enough fluids to meet his needs, and is strong enough to get out of bed and walk on his own. He won't be getting the Asparginase ever again. His wonderful oncologist, Dr. Andrew Place is confident that he will still be cured because of the boring nature of his cancer cells (in this case it's good to be boring) and because he had a low MRD at the end of induction. Everyone has a bump in the road on their journey to being cured. This is Carter's. He is strong and will recover and be cured. He wants all of you to imagine only this for him. He has shown such depth of emotion and intelligence over the past week despite being on morphine and sleep deprived. Carter put together a basketball team to compete in the historical Connie Bean tournament. He knew he wouldn't be able to play but he wanted to coach. He wants his players to know that he wishes more than anything to be playing. So go to practice, listen to your new coach, play your best this weekend, and most of all, while you're playing , have fun, smile big, and play as though he were on the court with you.
The Snow Family and is so grateful to everyone for your support in helping them to cover their medical expenses now and over the next 2 years of Carter’s treatment. Your kind thoughts and prayers expressed give them strength and comfort. Carter is doing well. He has met some milestones including completion of the Central Nervous System Phase and having 5 out of 10 doses of 2 chemotherapy drugs. From now until the end of September the regimen will be 1 day of infusion every 21 days at the Jimmy Fund Clinic. Beginning in October the strength of some of the medicines will decrease, some medicines will stop and Carter will begin to feel normal again. This regimen will continue until February 2016. Thank you again for all your support. The Snows are a strong family but they couldn’t battle this alone without the strength of their friends, family, and community. Please feel free to stop by their house, they love visitors and would love to see you!!