11-11-09 Jordan Update

My brother Tim called tonight to give us an update on Jordan Shahbaz.  Tim was with Phil and Amy at various points throughout the day.  He lives just a few blocks from LA Children’s Hospital where Jordan is being treated, so he can come and go…

Today, Jordan was put under for a spinal tap and bone marrow extraction.   It was a long and arduous set of procedures.  These tests will help the doctors fill in the puzzle pieces about Jordan’s body and genetics so they know exactly what kind of leukemia he has and how to treat it.  Additionally, while he was under, they proceeded with his first chemotherapy treatment.  No matter what the details of his cancer are, they know he will need chemo, so they went ahead and started it.

It is very likely that Jordan will have to have chemotherapy every other day or every 3rd day for the next 1-2 years.  Along with countless blood tests and transfusions, pokes, pricks, and hospital stays.  What a tough life for a child.

Jordan is a strong kid, with wonderful demeanor.  He has such a good spirit, and is already showing that he can handle more than he should have to.  Tim reports that Jordan endured the day excellently – when Tim phoned me, Jordan was hanging out and watching cartoons.  I’m sure he will be sore tomorrow, and the side effects of the chemo will begin kicking in soon.  Among the common side effects – hair loss, weight loss, nausea, etc. – chemo in children can cause much worse things, like paralysis.  They expect Jordan to be in the hospital this time around for at least 2 weeks.

Fortunately, LA Children’s is a respected hospital, and gets great marks.  Jordan will have excellent care.  Also, the overall survival rates for leukemia have gotten much better in recent years.  The odds are in his favor.  That doesn’t change the fact that this is unbearably frightening, or what Jordan is going to have to endure, or what Phil and Amy are going to have to watch him endure.

Will probably have more info tomorrow as the doctors analyze the test results.  In the meantime, please…

Pray for Phil and Amy to feel buoyed with strength and infinite hope for this marathon journey.
Pray for Jordan that he may supernaturally suffer little or no pain from today’s test and none but the most benign side effects of the chemo.
Pray that Jordan is able to sleep and eat well so as to strengthen his little body for treatment.
Pray for the doctors to have wisdom and insight to quickly diagnose and treat Jordan’s condition.

I am so blessed and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers for the Shahbaz family.  Please know that they are aware…and will let us all know how, when, and where we can help.  As specific prayer requests come in, I’ll post them here.

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