Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Been Busy Kickin Cancers Butt!

Wow, has it really been almost 10 months since I updated?? Goodness.

I am happy to report that the long absence has been because all has been going well, and we've been filling our time with other things...

Here's an overview of what we've been doing the last 10 months or so...

Lets see...

My minions!
Halloween! This was the best picture we could get with Mr T man...isn't he a handsome cowboy? Carly was a butterfly, Alyssa was a vampire, and you were a beautiful witch! What a bunch of cuties I have.

Unfortunately, within days of Halloween you got sick with a fever. So off we went to clinic for the usual CBC, blood cultures, IV fluids, and IV antibiotics. Much to our surprise your ANC was only around 300, and we were admitted. Luckily, after much persistence on my part, we were able to bring you home on IV antibiotics after only 2 nights in the hospital. The plan was to continue the IV antibiotic every 8 hours around the clock until your counts came back up. I thought it'd only be a couple days...it ended up being 3 1/2 weeks!! It was so hard on you to be cooped up, missing preschool, tumbling, and friends. We endured, however, but didn't take many pictures during this time because mom was sleep deprived and you were not a willing subject. So this is about all we have of that time frame...

Poor Weemers!

Whenever your counts were low like this Home Health would come out weekly for blood draws to check your CBC. Well, during this time your Hct and Hgb levels were very low, but just barely hovering above transfusion levels, so we decided to see if they would come up on their own. Finally, after about 3 weeks, I insisted on a transfusion. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was tired of watching you suffer with headaches and fatigue. YAY for blood! You were a whole new kid after that and seemed back to your old self. Within minutes your cheeks got rosy and you had a smile on your face and energy in your body! It was only a few days later that your ANC finally rose enough to quit taking the IV antibiotic at home and things were looking up!! I am SO GRATEFUL to the many people who take the time to donate blood...it has saved your life many times. THANK YOU DONORS!

Energy in a bag.
That little tube of blood was a welcome sight! And this
proved to be your last transfusion ever!

This is what happens when your blood levels are up!

Temple Square at Christmas time is the best!
Christmas Eve PJ's! Notice your pj's have a
"One Tough Chick" on them...

Our favorite PA...Robert! January Clinic visit.

In January we said good bye to our favorite PA, Robert. He was so great with you and we were so sad to see him go. He had a way of making you smile and cheering you up when you were stressed or sad. He would visit you on his own time when you were inpatient, and go out of his way to help us out. He was always handing out "gold" coins and made everyone feel special. We will be forever grateful to Dr's like him who made your time at the hospital so much easier. We miss you Robert!!

February Clinic...look how long your hair is getting!

You made these super cute Valentines for the staff in Clinic.
The cape says "U R Super". :)

At this same chemo visit we got the wonderful honor of hearing one of our dear cancer buddies, Millie, ring the bell. It was so exciting and you even shared one of your Valentines with her. You and Millie had the same treatment day (Thursday) and we always looked forward to running into her at clinic and saying hi. I think it was comforting for you to see a familiar face each month. Sadly, just 3 days later Millie's family got the terrible news that Millie had relapsed! We were heart broken, and her family was devastated. This news really rocked our little cancer world. Millie had a 96% cure rate (same as you), and her cancer still found its way back. I cried at the unfairness of it all, and you were crushed too! I think it was the first time you realized that cancer can come back, and that it really stinks. All of a sudden we were worried about everything again, and wondered if your treatment would be enough. All the while cute Millie was admitted to the hospital for intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment in preparation for a Bone Marrow Transplant. This news really affected you. You worried about your little cancer friend and still ask about her often. We read her blog often to check up on her and she is ALWAYS in our prayers.

This experience really made me realize that I am not in control. There is only so much I can do to help you. It made me realize that cancer stinks and that were not "safe" even with a 96% cure rate. Were not safe until we reach 100%. I decided to do the only thing I could do. Pray. I pray everyday that I will have the strength to deal with whatever lay ahead, and I give thanks for where we are and where we've come from. I'm so grateful for the gospel that helps get me through the tough times. Its comforting to know I can receive peace in my trials, and I have. I am grateful for the Priesthood power on earth. The many blessings that have brought you (and me) comfort and peace. We really are so blessed!!

In an effort to help relieve the helpless feelings I was having I decided to DO something. I organized a HUGE yard sale for CureSearch and raised over $2,300! I couldn't believe all the donations we got. We had clothes, furniture, electronics, exercise equipment, lawn mowers, and other yard care stuff, housewares and a ridiculous amount of toys! The yard sale spread over several yards and was enormous!! It was so neat to raise money and feel like I was fighting back against childhood cancer by helping fund research! We even had a few vendors who held booths at the yard sale. We sold donated baked yumminess, and you even had your own table where you sold home made "Cancer Sucks" suckers! In fact, the day was such a huge success that I had no time to take pictures! I cant believe that after all that work I didn't get a single picture of the day! Oh well, in the end, it was so much fun and I think we are going to make it an annual event!

Spring had sprung and we had some exciting things happening...

First day of preschool! (had to add this so I could
compare with the one below!)

Preschool graduates!! I cant believe how much you've grown!

Mrs Vicki was heaven sent, and you earned that diploma!
We also took a trip to see the "giant heads" as you called
them, but to most people its known as Mt Rushmore. You guys
were so excited for this trip, and when it was over your favorite
part was the pools and splash pad where we stayed!! :)
After our trip we were on the countdown to your LAST CHEMO EVER day. July 19th was quickly coming and we couldn't wait to see you "ring the bell" and celebrate the awesomeness of that accomplishment! Luckily we had the 4th of July before that to look forward to, and  to break up the suspense of it all. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the 4th at our house! The park behind our house is full of activities and fun the whole day, and we even get to watch the fireworks from our own backyard! We love it, and usually have a bunch of family come enjoy the day with us!

Walking to the parade with your BFF's. Notice you took
a bag...wanted to make sure you could get all the candy
you catch from the parade floats home.
"Really mom? Do you have to keep taking pictures??" Our
good friends let us congregate in their front yard every year
since their house is on the parade route. Lucky us!!
Proud to be an American!
We set up a little kiddie pool for the little cousins to play
in while we BBQ'd and apparently T couldn't wait to cool off!
Who knew a little pool could be so entertaining!
West Point has THE BEST fireworks!
Dads are the best place to lay while watching fireworks...

Fast forward 1 year!

I cant believe I started this post over a year ago, and never posted it!! SO many wonderful things have happened! We'll catch up in the next few posts!

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