All's Well Again Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 by Debbie
Michael has recovered from the Chicken Pox. He is home and doing well once again.
Room Change Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2004 by Debbie
The new room number is 754. Phone is 617-636-8242.
Michael Back at Floating Hospital Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2004 by Debbie
Michael was admited to the Floating Hospital yesterday with Chicken Pox and Strep Throat. He will probably be in the hospital for at least a few days.
Michael's Leukemia has been in remission for 22 months, which is wonderful. He was admitted to the hospital because there is a concern that he may have picked up the chicken Pox because his immune system may not be back to 100%. (He had already had the Chicken Pox vaccine.)
If his body isn't fully able to fight the Chicken Pox infection then that could cause more problems -- so they want to get him on strong antibiotics and monitor him closely.
He and Amy are in room 748. The direct number is 617-636-1740
Back Home Again! Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2002 by Debbie
Michael and Amy came home from the hospital yesterday. All is going well. Michael's tube was removed and his infection is gone. He is now a "normal boy" again with no special restrictions or medications. Now there are just blood tests every couple of months to continue to monitor for any return of the cancer.
Michael Has an Infection Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2002 by Debbie
Hi. In case you haven't heard, Amy and Michael are back in the hospital. There is no sign of the Leukemia -- but Michael got a fever and wasn't felling well.
It looks like he has some type of viral infection, and/or a bacterial infection of the line that goes to an artery in his chest and is used to take blood and administer medicines. Michael has been on antibiotics and is feeling much better, but will probably need more treatment.
Things are a little up in the air right now, but it looks like they will try to schedule an operation for tomorrow to remove the line. Then he will need about 5 days in the hospital after that. If they can't schedule the operation, then he may come home for a while on an I.V. and then go back to the hospital for the operation later on.
Right now it looks like they will still be in the hospital for Thanksgiving. Michael, however, is very happy about this. He is having a great time seeing his favorite nurses, playing with the hospital toys, etc. The hardest part for him and his brother Brian is that they have to be separated again for a while.
While its tough and emotional for everyone to be thrown back into crisis mode -- and brings back a lot of memories and fears -- we are very thankful that this current problem looks manageable and does not seem to be Leukemia related.
I'll keep you posted if I learn anything more concrete.
Michael is Doing Great Posted Wednesday, September 18, 2002 by Debbie
It has been a long time since I have updated you on Michael and the Foley family. In this case, the old adage is true: No news is good news.
Michael is doing great. His Luekemia is in full remission. He has gained back the weight he lost during treatment, his hair has grown back, and he is feeling healthy and happy. I wouldn't say that life is quite back to normal, since there are still frequent trips back to the clinic for tests and Michael still has a tube in his chest which must be kept bandaged, dry (no swimming!) and clean. The tube sometimes bothers him, but compared to the last year things seems awefully good.
Michael was so happy to return to "Debbie's House" where he attends day care. Debbie and the other kids held a welcome back party for him complete with balloons and gifts. He is thrilled to be able to go back and play and spend time with other children again.
Amy has finally been able to start back at work. The Town of Concord and her coworkers have been phenomenal in their support for her and their willingness to hold her job open for almost a year while she dealt with this crisis in our lives.
Jim's company, SeaChange, has also been great. They have been very supportive when he has needed to take time off for hospital visits or other needs.
Brian, Michael's big brother, has started first grade and is doing well. He has gotten over much of the anxiety that he was experiencing when Mommy and Michael were away at the hospital so much.
The Benefit that was held at the Maynard Rod & Gun Club last March made all the difference for the family in being able to make it through financially until Amy could return to work. Just as important as the funds raised in that event was the visible outpouring of support and love from so many friends -- and strangers -- who were willing to go out of their way to support this family.
Every day is still a little bit of challenge as Michael's Mom and Dad watch for signs of a return of the cancer. We have had a few scares. Anything from bleeding gums, to a low fever, to growing pains in the legs can look like a Leukemia symptom coming back.
But Michael is a strong, stubborn kid and he seems to have everything going hia way. While the statisics still aren't really in his favor, everything has gone as well as could be hoped for so far. We have every confidence that this will be the end of the battle for him and he will be able to go on to live a normal, healthy life.
Michael's 4th birthday is coming up in October and it will be one year since he was diagnosed in November. What a difference a year makes! Rather than feeling angry that such a terrible thing had to happen to Michael, I think that most of the time the family feels incredibly blessed that we still have him with us and that so many people have been there ready to help and offer prayers and support.
Thank you for your continued love and support.
Michael's & Brian's 'Auntie'
Finishing Chemo Posted Friday, May 17, 2002 by Debbie
Michael is currently finishing with his last planned round of chemotherapy. As usual after chemo, Michael's white cell count is expected to fall for a while, which will make him susceptible to infection, but then he should start getting stronger and healthier.
Now the family enters an extended "wait and see" period. Michael will make regular trips to the clinic for tests, waiting to see if the cancer comes back. Hopefully, it will never come back and life for the Foleys will slowly return to normal. Of course it could come back in a month, a year, or two years from now. We just have to hope and pray that it does not.
If all goes well, Michael should be able to return to day care in about 3 months.
Michael Update Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2002 by Debbie
Hi. I wanted to let you know that things are going well with Michael right now. He (and Mom) have been home for a few weeks, and the new type of chemotherapy is going very well. Although the Doctors warned that Michael might be quite sick with this new round of chemo, he actually has felt pretty good and he has even put on a little weight.
A Change in Plans . . . Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002 by Amy
When we went to the clinic this morning for Michael's next round of chemo, the doctor presented us with another option that we decided to take him up on. He told us that 1) we could do this round of chemo as an outpatient (if this was preferable to us)and 2) we could wait until Monday to begin the chemo so we could do it on a Monday - Friday schedule (and bring Michael to the circus this weekend). So, as I said, we decided to take advantage of the options presented and return home to enjoy another 5 days of relative freedom.
The doctor told us that he remains optimistic that Michael will remain in remission. Once Michael completes his last round of chemo (expected to take place in early to mid-May) Dr. Wolfe expects to give him approximately 3 months of recovery and then, if all is well, he can resume normal activities such as going to daycare. Dr. Wolfe says that he would expect Michael to be "cured" if the cancer doesn't return with 2 years after ending treatments (this is a shorter period than with most cancers -- AML is so aggressive that it would typically show up by then if it is going to).
So, at this moment, we are plannning on being home for several more days with Michael's immune-system counts being high enough to enjoy a few more public activities, cautiously.
Thanks to all of you for your continued thoughts and prayers. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the warm weather!
Back for More Chemo Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2002 by Amy
Michael and I will be returning to the hospital for his next round of chemo on Wednesday morning. As previously noted, this is a 5-day series of a different chemo than he has had before. The doctor is switching chemicals now to be sure that Michael's organs (particularly his heart)aren't compromised by giving him too much of the previous chemicals. Hopefully, we will be able to come home by Monday, but we will have to see how it goes . . .
He's home + Benefit news Posted Thursday, March 28, 2002 by Jim
Michael and Amy come home on Tuesday. He is still on antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection, but his counts are high enough to be home. He will be home for a week or two before the next round of chemo. He has two rounds to go. This next one will be a five day treatment that he has not had before. We do not know how he will be affected by this one.
The benefit was a great time. There was a great turn out and a good time was had by all. Amy was able to get out of the hospital and make an appearance. There was plenty of food and drink for all. There where also some fantastic raffle prizes donated for the occation.
Thank you to all that helped put this together.
Benefit on Saturday Posted Friday, March 22, 2002 by Debbie
Hi everyone. This is just a reminder that the Benefit Event for the Foleys is this Saturday, March 23 from 5 to 12. For more information, please go to http://www.foleyinfo.com/support/Benefit.html Hope to see you there!
Out of PICU Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2002 by Jim
Last night we moved Michael out of PICU and back to a regular room on the seventh floor. He still has the bacterial infection, but the antibiotics are fighting it. He has been fever free since Saturday morning. Once his counts start to come up, they will be able to better determine what type of infection he has. They will stay in the hospital now untill his counts come up. They are in room 746.
Back in the hospital Posted Sunday, March 17, 2002 by Jim
After a short stay at home, Michael is back in the hospital. Thursday night he started getting a fever agian. Friday morning Amy brought him in and they put him back in the PICU. Today we found out he has a Bacterial infection of some kind. But he is doing very well on the antibiotics. Hopefully he will be going to a regular room today or Monday. He will stay in now until his counts come back up. This could a couple of days or up to two weeks. It all depends on how his body reacts to the medications.
New Fund and Other Information Posted Sunday, March 10, 2002 by Debbie
Hi. Here's the latest on Michael...
A fund has now been set up to benefit the Foley family and help with their extra expenses and loss of income. Checks can be sent to
Michael Foley Fund
c/o Middlesex Savings Bank
1208 Main Street
West Concord, MA 01742-2518
ANIMAL SHOW AT THE BENEFIT
The Family Fun portion of the Benefit event on March 23 will feature an animal show and raffles.
WHAT'S UP WITH MICHAEL
Michael is done with his current round of chemotherapy and probably won't start another for several weeks. Now he will be in and out of the clinic a few days a week for tests, platellets, and red blood cell transfusions as needed. His white blood cell count is currently low, so his immune system is very weak so he needs to avoid crowds and people who are ill.
FOOD DROP OFFS
I'll be at the Foley house tomorrow after 6:00 if you have any food to drop off.
They are in the hospital Posted Thursday, March 7, 2002 by Jim
Michael and Amy went back in yesterday. This is a planed round of chemo. As long as every thing goes alright, they should be home by the weekend.
Remember to contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org for benefit info.
Various Updates Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2002 by Debbie
Michael is doing as well as can be hoped. The cancer is currently still in remission, and he continues to respond well to the chemotherapy. He has been spending a few days a week in the hospital for chemotherapy, and then recovering at home.
The price of the benefit for the Foleys will be $15 for adults. There is no charge for children. Tickets will be available at the door.
One of the things that the Foleys find most helpful is prepared foods and dinners. When there is something in the house to eat then they do not have to worry about grocery shopping or cooking, and they don't have to live on pizzas and fast food. Although many people have said they they would be willing to prepare meals, there have not been very many meals dropped off. Monday evenings are usually a good time to drop off food. If you would be interested in coodinating some type of schedule for food drop offs, please let me, Amy, or Jim know.
The initial e-mail I sent out said that the benefit would be Sunday, March 23, but it is actually Saturday March 23. Also, the contact e-mail to help with the benefit should have been email@example.com.
Correction to E-mail address Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2002 by Jim
If you would like to help with the event, please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefit March 23! Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2002 by Debbie
There will be a fundraising event to benefit the Foley Family. The event is still being planned, but here are the preliminary details:
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2002
Location: Maynard Rod & Gun Club, Maynard, Massachusetts
- Family Fun Activites - 5 to 7
- Dance with DJ and Dinner Buffet - 8 to 12
Tickets: Available at the door.
Price: To be determined.
If you would like to help with the event, please contact Laura at email@example.com
They are back home Posted Thursday, February 21, 2002 by Jim
Michael and Amy came home last night. Michael still has a ear infection. But we are giving him antibiotics from home. His counts are still low, but they are coming up. Hopefully we can have visitors some time next week.
Also, check out the new picture on the web site.
Both boys are still talking about the ride in the fire truck.
Michael's Back in the Hospital Posted Monday, February 18, 2002 by Debbie
Michael was readmitted to the hospital last night because he developed a fever. Since his immune system is low, any type of virus,etc. can be very dangerous. He is now on antibiotics, and will probably be in the hopsital for at least 48 hours, or until the fever is under contol. He is in a private room, number 740, and the phone number is 617-636-8219.
Latest Update Posted Sunday, February 10, 2002 by Debbie
Michael was in the hospital last week for his third round of chemotherapy. He came home Saturday night after a front-row viewing of Blues Clues Live at the Wang Center. This morning he and the family got a ride around town in a fire truck. He is feeling great except for a lingering cold - but is on his way to being "neutrapinic" (?), which basically means he will have no immune system again. After his immune system goes down, then they will build it up again, and then he will go back for more chemo. This time home will probably be a week or two.
Michael's Home - Looking for Help Posted Friday, January 25, 2002 by Debbie
Michael came home this evening. He finally got an Absolute Neutraphil Count (ANC) of 384. He needed 200 to go home. The family is now trying to settle in and adjust.
Michael will probably be home for about a week, before he returns to the hospital for the next round of chemo.
If there is someone out there who knows the children pretty well, and could spend some time with them this weeekend or next week, please call the Foley house.
Now is also a good time for food donations and help with errands etc. There should be someone home most of the time this week, so you can drop something by or call to let the Foleys know when you are available.
Please remember that any visitors to the house cannot have any signs of illness or live with anyone who has current symptoms. Since it is cold and flu season, this has limited the number of people available for support right now (like me).
Web Site Updates Posted Saturday, January 19, 2002 by Debbie
I made several updates to the main pages of the Foleyinfo web site today.
Michael is still in the hospital. He's feeling well, but he still has not grown any neutraphils. It will probably be at least a few more days until he can come home.
Current Status Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2002 by Debbie
Michael is still in the hospital, but his fevers have subsided, so now they are just waiting for him to grow some good neutraphils (some type of white blood cell -- or a part a white blood cell?) before he can go home.
The results of the bone marrow tests came back, and Michael's Mom, Dad, and Brother are not possible donors, so there will be no bone marrow transplant at this time.
They will now set up a chemotherapy schedule and hope that that works to keep the cancer in remission.
If the cancer should come back, then they would consider going to a donor bank for a a transplant, but hopefully this won't be necessary.
Michael is still feeling pretty good, and has had lots of energy (which is driving Mom nuts -- afterall she is locked up with him in a small room day, after day...).
This last hospitalization has been a bit harder on the family because they haven't been as sure what to expect and weren't prepared for Amy and Michael to be away from home as long this time. They are doing well, but maybe could use a little extra support from family and friends right now.
Latest Happenings Posted Saturday, January 12, 2002 by Debbie
Michael has been in the hospital for the past week. He developed the family cold/flu during his most recent round of chemotherapy, so he needed to stay in the hospital longer than expected.
He has had a fever and other symptoms -- which is dangerous since his white blood cell count is down -- but he is feeling better now and has been very energetic and playful.
They aren't yet talking about when he might go home again. He needs to have no fever and grow some neutraphils before he goes home.
Current Status Posted Sunday, January 6, 2002 by Debbie
Michael was home Wednesday through Monday this week. He is feeling very good, and is walking and causing lots of trouble and keeping his parents busy.
Monday (the 7th) he will be readmitted for another few days.
After that, we don't really know what the plan is. Depending on the results of the marrow tests, there could be a transplant soon -- or not at all.
Good News Posted Tuesday, January 1, 2002 by Debbie
Hi everyone. I have some good news for the new year. Michael currently has no signs of cancer and is considered to be in his first remission. This means that he has responded well to the chemotherapy and has a much improved chance of recovery. Michael's battle with cancer is far from over, but this is the best result we could hope for at this point.
Michael and Amy were released from the hospital on Christmas Eve, and were able to spend a very happy Christmas at home. Michael's big brother, Brian, thought that having Michael home to play for Christmas was the best possible present, but he likes his new Game Boy pretty well, too.
After Christmas, Amy, Jim, and Brian all came down with a pretty bad cold/flu - but Michael felt great and was very energetic.
On Monday, Michael was readmitted to the hospital for another round of chemotherapy. This time he should only be in the hospital for a few days, and then he will be home again for a few days.
Coming Home Soon Posted Sunday, December 23, 2001 by Debbie
If all goes well, Michael will probably be coming home on Christmas Eve. He is getting stronger every day. Yesterday Brian came to visit and Michael and Brian were able to play together for the first time in 6 weeks. They had a great time!
The results of the bone marrow test done earlier this week look good, but they will need to test more marrow before they are sure. The family will go back to the hospital next week for Michael's test, and also to see whether any of Michael's immediate family (brother, mother, or father) would be a good candidate as a bone marrow donor.
If there is a good match in the family, then a bone marrow transplant may be the next step. Otherwise, Michael will return to the hospital -- maybe in a week or so -- to begin a new round of chemotherapy.
Thank you to everyone for you prayers, thoughts, and well-wishes. The Foley Family is doing great considering what they are going through -- and it has everything to do with all of the love and support they are feeling from their friends, family, and even perfect strangers.
It has been a hard year for our family, the nation, and the world -- but it always seems that it is the hardest times in our lives that show us the strength in ourselves and in our community.
Best wishes to everyone for a happy happy holiday and a new year full of hope and joy.
Feeling Better Posted Wednesday, December 19, 2001 by Debbie
Michael is feeling a lot better, and his white blood cell counts look very good. He has been able to play, and he can even go outside his room when there aren't too many people around. There is a chance that Michael (and Mom) will be home for Christmas. The Doctors did a bone marrow check today, and the preliminary results were good. The results aren't definite yet, but there is hope that Michael's cancer may be in its first remission.
Out of ICU Posted Sunday, December 16, 2001 by Amy
After more than 2 weeks, Michael finally made it out of ICU last night. We are back in room 750 and expect to stay there for the remainder of this hospitalization. Michael's immune system is rebuilding itself and things are looking good for him to go home sometime within the next 2 weeks. It will still be a while before we know the next steps - it will depend upon whether there are any cancer cells in his bone marrow. They can't test that until enough bone marrow has been grown - this may be another week?
Thanks to all of you who have been sending along your prayers and other forms of support. It has meant a great deal to us during this time, and will continue to be meaningful during the long road we still have ahead of us. We appreciate each and every one of you more than you may know!
Medical Update Posted Monday, December 10, 2001 by Debbie
Michael is doing a little bit better. He has now grown some white blood cells, but the blood cells do not have neutrophils, which are important to the function of the cells. Michael's infections seems to have responded to antibiotics. Two cultures have come back negative for an infection and his fevers are slowing down and are not so high.
Here's what is expected to happen next: Once Michael has grown some healthy white blood cells, the doctors will test his bone marrow. Based on the test, there are three possible next steps
1.) there will not yet be enough bone marrow to make make any conclusions, and they will wait and try again later on
2.) the bone marrow will show the unhealthy cells or "blasts," and chemotherapy will resume, or
3.) no unhealthy cells will be found, and the cancer will be considered to be in its first remission. At that point, the Doctors will consider the possibility of a bone marrow transplant, which will replace Michael's bone marrow with the healthy marrow of a donor.
Food Update Posted Sunday, December 9, 2001 by Debbie
Preparing Dinners - There isn't much time for the Foleys to cook. Prepared dinners will be greatly appreciated. Please avoid onion and garlic in large quantitites, peppers, and very spicy food. Also, small casseroles and single servings are best, since there is only one adult and one child at home. Michael's Aunt, Debbie Kenny, is planning to be at the Foley house one evening a week to receive food donations. This week she will be there Monday, December 10, from 5:45 to 7:30. If you have questions or need the address/directions, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Update Posted Sunday, December 9, 2001 by Debbie
Michael is currently in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) fighting an infection which has made him feel sick and weak. He has completed two rounds of chemotherapy, and is currently working to grow back some white blood cells before chemo starts up again. Fortunately, he does seem to be responding to the chemotherapy, and he has not had any unusually serious problems or complications. Amy, Jim, and Brian are tired and anxious, but overall are doing well.