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...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It was rather unsuspected, but we were actually home for Christmas! This past round of Chemotherapy was tough. Kristen had 12 times the amount of chemo she has in round 1 or 2. Things begin to intensify in round 3 then I heard 4 and 5 would be worse. Shortly after her counts hit 0, Kristen developed a fever, a high fever! It was not good for Kristen. The nurse took the blood cultures and then the doctors came in to figure out what anti-biotics she wasn't allergic to. So within a half hour Kristen was being treated with high doses of anit-biotics. Her nose started turning red the night before and no seemed to care. But the next morning when Dr. Afifi came in she was concerned. She took me out in the hall and said we had to act fast. She was concerned that the red nose was due to a fungal infection that spreads fast and could cause major tissue damage. The blood cultures also came back positive, which meant that Kristen had a bacterial infection in her blood stream. None of this was good news as her counts were still 0. The main concern when her blood counts are low is just this, a bacterial infection which is called sepsis, and now we were facing what the doctors fear. Kids with low counts and sepsis can go into sepsis shock and this can be fatal in a short time. This is why we stay in the hospital waiting for her counts to come up. If we were home, we might not make it to the hospital in time and usually when the kids come in with sepsis they are in such poor shape that they go straight to ICU. ( By the way, I hate that place!) A bacterial infection can take the kids in a matter of hours. The doctors wanted a biopsy of her nose. They said it would be a short procedure and possibly done without sedation. I said there was no way Kristen would hold still, so they decided to do a bed side sedation. They said I could even stay in her room with her. They began the procedure and as soon as she seemed to be out, I stepped out as it was difficult for me to watch. This was susposed to be a 15 minute procedure. I was in the hall watching the monitor and 15 minutes turned into 30 then 40. I noticed the alarm on the monitor kept going off saying that her saturations were falling. Normally she is at 100 or 98 % which means she is breathing fine and does not need oxygen. I noticed it kept falling to 80 the 70 and soon 66. I was nervous and peeked in her window. I think I almost threw up. Kristen was coughing and they were suctioning blood out of her throat. I could not beleive that this simple procedure was now something so major. I knew that any minute the doors would fly open and we would be heading to ICU. I pulled myself together and went into the corner of the room. She was still half asleep but was oviouosly in pain. ( Kristen is upstairs receiving iv antibiotics and I have to go change them so I will finish this later.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Back to the Hospital!

Some thanksgiving fun...

I forgot to take pictures of Thanksgiving dinner, so later that night I had my 4 children that still live at home pose for a picture. They all thought they would have some fun with it.

Back to the hospital...
So we went home for 2 weeks! We were able to spend Thanksgiving at home. We have been back in the hospital for 9 days. We finished round 3 of intense chemo and now we are waiting for counts to drop and then to come back up. We could be here for at least another couple of weeks, so yes, that means that we might be spending Christmas here in the good ol hospital :( We are hoping that we can go home, but we never know. Kristen received 12 times the chemo that she received in the past 2 rounds, so I am not sure how her body is going to re-act to it. I was able to leave for a couple of hours today while Kamie and Kim sat with Kristen. When I walked in the room after being gone for about 3 hours, the music was blasting and Kamie, Kim and Kristen were dancing to YMCA! It was hilarious! Kristen was doing the dance in her bed and it was the cutest thing I've seen for a while. Then the next song came on and they all started dancing to the macarana. We were all laughing and it was probably really good medicine for Kristen. Kristen has a darling pink Christmas tree that her cousins Kylie, Haylie and Jaylie brought to her. It is the talk of our pod, as all the nurses bring everyone in to see it. They also brought her a bag of about 20 presents so she could open a present each day! Thank You! It helps both Kristen and I to know people care about her. I've got the worst story to tell! The other night the boy right across the hall flat lined and there was a CODE BLUE to his room. I seriously feel like I could throw up thinking about it. I have to run to the parent laundry room and get Kristen's pajamas out of the dryer, so I'll get to the code blue story soon!