Day 532: Looking Forward to a Boring 2016

Day 520: Kyllan watches as Elliott and Laurel open gifts on Christmas day.

The Codys had a great Christmas. With Elliott continuing to do well in maintenance phase we were able to all sorts of little things that help make that time of year feel special, like decorating the house, driving around to look at Christmas lights, and watching our favorite Christmas specials on TV. And yes, for those wondering, the kids had lots of presents to open Christmas day. We took a break from all the hustle and bustle this Christmas and really enjoyed spending time together as a family. Photos from Christmas can be found here.

Elliott has been healthy enough to travel for a few months, so we finally worked up the nerve to give it a shot and flew to Jacksonville to visit my parents for New Year's. The trip marks the first time Elliott has been outside of the Dallas area since his diagnosis. We visited my parents last May, before he first stated developing symptoms, but an impromptu trip to Disney World limited the amount of time my parents were able to show off their grandchildren.  This trip my parents held a reception at the house so that their friends and colleagues could see the kids. So many have been praying and thinking about Elliott, yet so few had actually met him. My mom called it the Orange Party, with the color orange representing leukemia awareness. Of course Laurel enjoyed the attention too.

Day 29: Elliott falls asleep while receiving chemo at the clinic.

This past Tuesday was Elliott's oncology clinic visit. He is doing well. Elliott's physicians are still making adjustments to his medication to keep his immune cells at the appropriate levels, but these changes were to be expected. As he has grown older, and more accustomed to feeling good, Elliott has become less and less patient during chemo. He's known as one of the calmest kids in the clinic, but this week when he woke up from the anesthesia for his lumbar puncture he was the most agitated I have ever seen him. He even managed to dislodge the needle in his port. It took about an hour to calm him down. Even then, it took one of his physicians making funny faces and giving him a very loud toy truck. Five minutes later he was asleep and snoring.

Elliott is getting much better at telling us how he is feeling. Yesterday he told his mother that his back hurt and pointed to the location of Tuesday's lumbar puncture. A few hours after tacking medication that can cause nausea he told her his stomach hurt. It has really helped with us with understanding some of his behavior and enabled us to better respond, though Elliott's usual suggested solution is chocolate milk. Interestingly, a few weeks ago Laurel saw his port while Kyllan was changing his shirt and asked if it hurt when people touched it. Kyllan and I both began to respond, "no," when Elliott interrupted and told her "sometimes." We are still trying to figure out if it is causing him some discomfort, or if he is referring to when they access it with a needle at the clinic to administer medication.

Thank you everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers, especially those in Jacksonville that stopped by the orange party to see him. This year has been incredibly hectic. We are hoping that 2016 will be a boring year with no surprises.

Day 520: Elliott checks out his stocking on Christmas morning.

Day 494: Elliott hangs an ornament on the tree.

Day 494: Elliott hangs an ornament on the tree.

Day 507: Elliott is not happy about being out in the cold to take a picture for the Cody family Christmas Card.

The Cody family Christmas card. As always, they were sent out late.