June 14, 2008

Food in My Belly

Luca's first two rounds of chemotherapy hit him hard. Although he recovered from a serious infection and a frightening trip to the ICU in early April, the damage that the treatment caused his stomach lingered. The lining of his stomach (the mucosa) is still inflamed and is blocking off the pylorus, which is the tube that lets digested food out of the stomach and into the small intestine. To work around the problem, we were only able to feed him interveniously, with something called TPN. Having calories delivered directly into your bloodstream is only sustainable for a short amount of time, so this week, with Luca's white cell count back up, it was time to fix his stomach.

On Wednesday morning Luca underwent surgery to fix his blocked pylorus. He also had a feeding tube placed directly into his small intestine so that he can "eat" while his stomach heals. We were initially alarmed at the idea of a tube coming from Luca's stomach, but as we talked with other families on the floor, we realized that it's a fairly typical solution to helping kids remain fed throughout their treatment.

Dr. LaQuaglia, who we'd met on our first night at Sloan and who's kept a close eye on Luca, performed the surgery. People travel from all over the world to have him operate, and we feel lucky that he's one of Luca's doctors.

So far it looks like the surgery was a success. Luca has been understandably grumpy and wiped out the past few days, but overall is doing well and slowly recovering. And most importantly, he's getting some food in his belly again (or at least in his small intestine).

Here are a few pictures from earlier this month.


Hi guys!!! Thinking of you and always visiting the pictures- I think I heard Luca is home and hope that is the case and all is well- Hope you are able to enjoy some of the wonders of summer - I am certain Luca will enjoy that!!!! Prayer and thoughts are with you all often!!
Kelli, JOhn, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

We hope Luca is feeling better. He is a strong little boy. We love the pictures!! He is soooo adorable! Natalie can't wait to meet you Luca!!

Shaden, Nageeb, & Natalie

We have spent quite a while looking and relooking at the beautiful pictures of Luca and letting the boys read the blog and look at the pictures. Jake wrote Luca a song he wanted to sing at the relay but there was never the right time. Jake and Michael have a "band" called the Cool Kids and write and perform songs for us. They started this together one night and Jake spent time finishing it- hope you enjoy-

Luca you're the best, we are sorry that you have to take all those tests.
We hope you feel better just like the rest.
You are always in our prayers, each one of us cares.
So visit Luca.com-
We think and pray for you every day and night!!!
John, Kelli, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

By the way- HAPPY FATHER'S DAY Greg- we hope it was wonderful and you got to spend some great time with Luca. Being a parent is a blessing and gift we are given to enjoy each and every day- I hope this one was extra special for you all!!!!!

Once again more beautiful pictures- thank you for sharing with us parts of his many different days. We are glad to hear he is feeling somewhat better- his strength continues to amaze me- he is an inspiration to all of us- and those cheeks and eyes are absolutely gorgeous. We are sending hugs and kisses and can't wait to share them in person- Continue to get better Luca-
John, Kelli, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

That is such great news!!


We just love the photos. Handsome as always Baby Luca!. Hebeeb elbi get better okay. We need you to eat and heal honey.
Love you all, xoxo from the Aitchisons

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