"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet considerate Rowan...and precious puppy Mr. Trousers are gonna take care of each other now.

So, Rowan finally got the puppy God promised him. "Mr. Maxwell Trousers Joy Navidad" flew in from Utah Sunday afternoon and is settling in here at our house. You may know or remember that Rowan informed us about a month or so before Christmas this year that God had asked him if he wanted a puppy and that he had told God yes. We asked him, "You mean you asked God for a puppy?" to which he quickly explained again, "No, God asked ME". Knowing we couldn't tell God no, we started our search for a new bull mastiff puppy (Harley, our former mastiff died about a year ago and Rowan and Ian have wanted another one ever since). Unfortunately I couldn't find any good local breeders, and no mastiff puppies that would be ready by Christmas. I finally found a great breeder in Utah though, who had a litter due before Christmas, so we decided that would have to do. They sent us video footage so we could show Rowan and Ian the puppy on Christmas morning. Well, Rowan got very sick and started going into septic shock Christmas morning, so he wasn't quite as excited about it as we had hoped. He cried and laid down on the floor asking me to take him to the hospital, just minutes after we showed him the video. The past 2 months, while the puppy was getting old enough to travel away from his Momma, Rowan has eagerly been awaiting his puppy, Mr. Trousers. He and Ian had a paper chain going and were pulling one link off a day for nearly 2 months. Sunday was the big day, and we all finally got to meet Mr. Trousers in person. He is GORGEOUS and such a sweet thing! Here are some pictures of the newest member of our family.

Last night, just his second night here in Texas, while I was putting him in his crate to go to sleep for the night, Mr. Trousers started whining and crying. Rowan got very sad and suddenly started crying himself and said, "Mom, I thought God wanted me to have him, but you can send him back." I was shocked and asked why. Rowan tearfully said "I feel bad I stole him from his Mommy in Utah. That's why he's crying. He misses her." I explained to him that he just had to get used to sleeping in there alone and that the owners couldn't keep all the puppies anyway, so Mr. Trousers NEEDED a family and NEEDED us. I left the room for a few minutes and Rowan was laying down making little puppy noises toward the dog's crate and he looked up at me and said "I'm learning how to talk to him. He wants to know why I'm attached to so many things." I asked Rowan what he told him and he said "I told him it's ok, I just HAVE to be. I told him it keeps me healthy and alive. Now he doesn't feel bad for me and I don't feel bad for him. We're gonna take care of each other!"

God bless this kid! And thank you God for asking Rowan if he wanted a puppy:-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

My big boy, making big decisions!

Rowan started neupogen therapy this past week, in an effort to stimulate his bone marrow production and improve his immune system. One of the side effects is bone pain, and Rowan did experience some pretty bad pain in his hips after his first dose. This week, he will start recieving the neupogen 3 times a week. We are praying the pain is not too severe, but they say it typically gets worse as you continue to get it.

I wanted to share a story with you from the visit to the Children's Cancer & Blood Center Clinic to get this first dose, that shows just how mature and tough Rowan is...I'd say way beyond his years...

When we first arrived they asked if he had EMLA on, which is a numbing cream that you can apply before you need a shot or blood drawn. I told them that he had a central line so he didn't need the EMLA, but they were insistent that it had to be administered by a shot. Rowan of course heard this news and started to cry. He just almost never needs to be stuck because of his central iv line, and he hates "pokes" more than anything! He got very upset at first, and I asked them if they were sure we couldn't use the line, because it had been my understanding that it would be infused via his line. The nurse told him she would go get the EMLA and some ice and that he could decide where he wanted the shot, then she left the room. Here are a few pictures of Rowan visibly upset about needing a "poke" but trying so hard to calm down and thinking about where he would get the shot.

Here Rowan is after about 10 minutes, and after I asked the nurse to go call the doctor and just make sure he didn't want it infused through his iv line. He suddenly stopped crying, wiped his tears, looked out the window for a minute and then said "It's ok Mom, I'll do it. They can do the shot in this leg. Because I have my play to do, so I know I need this so I don't get sick. You can go get her. I'm ok now."

I was blown away, and so proud of Rowan. Now thank God, they did confirm with the doctor that Rowan was able to get the neupogen via his line, so he didn't end up needing the poke after all. But still, he had reasoned with himself and made that big, big boy decision that it was ok to get the shot and even picked where he wanted it. I hate seeing him in pain, anymore than he already has to be, but to see him accept more pain because he knew it was for his own good...that was just amazing!

Here is one last picture, of Rowan at his play practice later in the week. This is what made him come to grips with getting a shot. The reminder that staying well meant that he would get to go hang out with his big sister Zoe and all her highschool friends, and all the pretty girls who fall all over him there, while they practice for the play.

I love you Rowan, you are so strong, and you make such big decisions for a 4 year old! I'm very proud of you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Every Day's an Adventure!

Rowan's health issues mean that his days are pretty well scheduled, he spends a lot of time "attached" to things, and he doesn't get to go out very much or do many things. See, his gi system doesn't work well so he gets fed by gtube pretty much round the clock. Then his pancreas doesn't function fully so he doesn't make the enzymes needed to break food down anyway, so he gets fed by the iv line in his chest 12 hours a night too. He also sleeps with a pulse oximeter attached to his toe to monitor his heart and oxygen sats, and with nasal canula oxygen on his face. Rowan also has a severe protein allergy and is allergic to most all foods. His oral diet consists of potatoes, water and sugar candy, sometimes cucumber, but thats about it. Rowan's immune system is compromised too which means that we have to watch his white blood cell count and anc very closely (weekly labs) and when he is neutrapenic, we keep him home away from whatever germs we can avoid. He doesn't go to preschool or daycare, never plays at McDonald's, doesn't go to friends houses to play, etc. He mostly stays at home with us and his home nurse, "attached" to anywhere from 1 to 4 machines at a time. His best friends are nurses and the ones he makes at the infusion clinic. Not very adventurous you might think, but Rowan does.......

See, I started something called "Adventure Day Saturday" with Rowan recently, because he has been stuck at home for over a month straight now and he watches Zoe and Ian leave for school, karate, and other activities all the time. I felt bad about him not getting to do anything outside of our house for so long. So, after we take Zoe to her theater troupe practice on Saturday's, Rowan and I drive around until we find a place to take a walk, or go on an "adventure". As long as it is someplace new and there aren't a lot of people around, it's a perfect adventure to us. We've walked around a couple parks, down by the river in our neighborhood, etc. Well, this past Saturday we didn't get to do our "Saturday Adventure Day" and I told Rowan I was sorry we missed it. He thought for a minute and looked at me and said,
"Mom, isn't ebry day an adventure anyway? Cause we don't eben know if we'll be here tomorrow or what God will let us do the next day, right?"
God bless this kid! He's right, we should live each day like it's an adventure and like there might not be a tomorrow. Thanks for reminding me of that Rowan:-)