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. 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!

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Day at the Clinic

Yesterday was Kristen's clinic appointment. Her blood counts are on the rebound but her ANC in still low, so she will still have to wear a mask if she goes out. In one week we go back for what we hope is her final bone marrow test. They will check the bone marrow to make sure it is producing healthy cells and not leukemia cells. After that, we will schedule an appointment to have her central line removed. That means that any blood tests will require a poke. They tell me that they will do the CBC with a finger poke, and I think she can handle that. Since she has been having a blood test yearly to check her thyroid level, she had even been somewhat willing to get the whole 'look for the vein in her arm thing' ok. I love her central line because it totally eliminates the need for pokes at all. Once it is out, she can go swimming, so I think I need to plan an out of town trip so we can stay in a hotel, she loves that and she loves to swim with her family. We have almost been home for a week and what a week it has been! When we got home Saturday, the girls had made a sign, 'Welcome home Kristen' and hung it on the garage along with balloons. They bought her a cake and everyone was here waiting for her. Richard wanted to get her a present, so off to Costco he went and came home with a flat screen tv for her room. She loved it all. It is heavenly to finally sleep in my own bed! I have made dinner every night this week and done a pretty good job of getting the house in order and the laundry done. It feels good to have a little normalcy back in my life. Before we left the hospital, The nurses came in and sang to Kristen. You'll see a picture of them below wearing crazy hats. I had cards made for all the nurses that had a really cute pic of Kristen and I gave them all a treat...of course it was chocolate. Mrs. Cavenaughs makes the best chocolate Carmel and mints eggs ever and you can only get them at Easter, so I went to the warehouse in Salt Lake and bought them. I have to say that I love the nurses on the 4th floor in the ICS unit. (Immunocompromised Suppressed Unit) There are 24 beds on our unit. It is a special unit with filters in each room to keep germs out and double locked doors when entering the unit. Everyone has to wash their hands before entering the unit. The unit is for cancer patients, bone marrow transplant and organ transplant patients. Most patients there are there for a long time and we all get to know each other especially our nurses. The ICS nurses are the BEST! I will miss them, but hopefully when I see them again it will be at the mall and not the hospital. It has been a long road for Kristen and it is so exciting to be home. Now we play this little game we call the waiting game. Something... and no one knows what caused her bone marrow to start making leukemia cells about a year ago. Now the Chemo has stopped them and her marrow appears to be producing healthy cells. Now that the chemo has stopped, can her little body continue to make the good cells? It is scary! At the same time, I have to realize that I have to live for the future and not the past. I need to be positive and not live in fear. This is hard for me. Even though the chemo is done...there is still a lump in my throat and I really want it to go away but I guess it will take time. All I can say, is live a good life, treat everyone with kindness, be happy, and take one day at a time. I often think back a few months ago when Kristen has just gotten out of ICU, she was so very sick and things didn't look good for her. Her and I was alone in the room and she was moaning and complaining a bit. She sat up in her bed and said, "I don't want to...I don't want to" I sat on the bed next to her and asked her what she didn't want to do, and as she shook her head she said, "I don't want to die." We both were crying as I held her in my arms and told her that she wasn't going to die. I believe that very day was a turning point for her. I know that she decided right there and then that she was going to fight and she was going to win. Have I ever mentioned that Kristen usually gets things her way? From that very day, she seemed to have a different attitude. She was more manageable, more patient and more willing to let the doctors and nurses do what they needed to do. She decided that she was not going to die and she was willing to do her part. She is truly my hero and my inspiration. She is the light in the darkness. She leads me every day and teaches me. She a true warrior! Thank You so much for all your prayers!


grammygwen said...

Praying so hard for Kristen and all of her family.
God bless all of you.

Michelle said...

What a blessing she is! So sorry you are going through this again....I fear the first and yet you are fighting the third. It is refreshing andcomforting to see the strength you all have and she sweet smiles and laughs on Kristens face. May peace be given, your prayers answered and this war won once and for all!

Heidi said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! We are so happy that you can finally have Kristen home and YOU too! I'm so thrilled that she is alright, that is probably a HUGE relief. We are right here for you if you ever need anything. Good luck with the bone marrow test, I'm sure everything will be great. As always, you are in our prayers.