I created this blog when my sweet little girl, Kristen, was diagnosed with cancer, for the third time. After fighting for almost 3 years Kristen was called home to that same God who gave her life. I've contemplated on many occasions rather I should quit this blog or not. Each time I am inspired that I should not. One of my favorite quotes comes from Neal A. Maxwell- "Those who "plow in hope" not only understand the law of the harvest but they also understand what growing seasons are all about. True, those with genuine hope may see their proximate circumstances shaken like a kaleidoscope at times, yet with the "Eye of faith" they still see divine design." Kristen blessed lives and continues to do so. Her light continues to shine. As for me, I continue to "plow in hope" knowing well that Kristen is mine for eternity. Families can be together forever! This I know. Our family continues to live and to love and this is our story...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Life is going on without me!!!

So all the things that i thought mattered so much, like a clean house, laundry finished, errands ran, lawn mowed, dinner at 5:00, the flower beds weeded and watered... well guess what? The things that seemed to consume my every waking moment didn't really matter at all. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since my fears were confirmed. The leukemia had returned, and Kristen's pale skin, unexplained bruises, loss of appetite and loss of energy were all the symptoms I tried to ignore. September 8th we got the news that the blood tests concluded that she did indeed have leukemia. Up until 3 weeks ago my life was consumed with being the perfect wife and mom and grandma. It has been three weeks since I have watered the flowers that I love so much that surround my yard. 3 weeks since I made dinner for my family. 3 weeks since I dusted the piano, vacuumed the living room, or mowed the lawn. I left the hospital for a hour or two yesterday and just so you know...my family isn't starving, the lawn is mowed and the flowers are the prettiest they have been all summer! Yeah, I have the most amazing husband and children! And yes, i have taught them to cook, clean, do laundry and work in the yard. One of those moments in life that pays off for a mom...I walk into the house after being gone on and off for three weeks and the dishes are done, the living room dusted and even the toilets are clean! Up until three weeks ago I thought I was the only one that could keep my flowers alive! But I was wrong! Somewhere we have to let others step up to the plate and swing the bat for us. It might be a very hard thing to, but they need the opportunity to hit the ball and run the bases and feel the prize of accomplishment! Richard, Katy, Rick, Kamie, Kim & Ryan.....You make a great team! Love your most adoring cheerleader, mom

Friday, September 26, 2008

longest elevator ride of my life!!!!!

Kristen is on the 4th floor of the childrens hospital in Salt Lake City. After being here with her for many days, I got the chance to leave for a few hours today. My daughter, Kamie, came to sit with Kristen while I ran home to pack my suit case with clean clothes. I got on the elevator and 3 people followed me, an older woman (who am I kidding? she was probably my age!) and girl and a boy in their early 20's. The boy reminded me of my nephew Ty, only he was shorter and a little more stout. He was a nice looking boy, maybe an earring, somewhat spiked hair, so maybe a little rough. The guy said to the lady that was probably his mom, "I've never felt like this in my whole life!" Then the tears came. His mom replied, "I know, but that is why your family is kicking in." The guy continued to sob. Then off course me, thinking of my own plight, with my suit case full of dirty clothes, my daughter deathly ill down the hall, I began to cry. Yeah I really did, right there on the elevator, tears were rolling down my face. I was crying for myself, but also for the guy in the elevator. It was obvious that he too had a child that was here in the hospital that was suffering, i felt for a moment that we had a connection. A connection that I wish neither of us had. We each had a child laying in pain. And there was nothing we could do about it! NOTHING!!!!! It is the worst feeling in the world! He said it right when he said, "I've never felt like this in my life!! and i hope I never feel like this again! And i wish no parent ever has to feel the pain me and the stranger in the elevator feel today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finally out of ICU

Kristen has had a hard few weeks. She was admitted to the hospital on Monday, September 8th, Her central line was put in on Tuesday and on Wednesday chemo began. By Thursday night she was in ICU, Because they gave her so much fluid to help with the chemo, she started to retain it. Her lungs were filling up with fluid fast. She was sent to ICU to have chest tubes put in. She seemed uncomfortable at times but she was also on a lot of drugs for nausea and I think she was almost in a sedated state for about 4 days. After 5 days in PICU we went back to the ICS unit. The tubes stayed in for about 10 days. It was such a relief to get those tubes out. She seems to be doing a little better each day.
Reality finally hit as I leaned over to hug Kristen. She had been crying because she wanted to go home. I put the side rails on the bed down to hug her and as I pulled away my black jacket was covered with Kristen's hair. She sits in bed and tried to eat a cup of orange jello and she is soon pulling a piece of hair out of her mouth. The hair is down her back and down her chest. I keep trying to brush it away cause I think of the discomfort when I get one piece of hair down my shirt, I have to pull over when I am driving to get it out. Now she has a bald spot on the back of her head. The reality...Cancer...and now it is staring at me every day. Where once was darling brown hair with brightly colored bows, now it is strands of hair with baldness underneath. I think I will go shopping for some hats...lots of them! In every color!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

She is Our Angel

Kristen is our angel! She is our princess!! Most days I forget that she even has Down syndrome.  She is the light in the darkness. Kristen is a happy girl. She had had some medical problems in the past but I will get to those later. What brings me to create a blog....cancer, leukemia to be exact. This is not the first time or even the second, but the THIRD. Yes the third time Kristen has leukemia.