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!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
1 Year, Clinic and a Birthday
2 days ago we hit that 1 year anniversary of diagnosis. I thought often throughout the day of the events that took place 1 year earlier and I have to admit I felt a little queasy a time or two. I got up early and got Ryan off to school and then went back to lay in bed with Kristen. She was sleeping so peaceful next to me. Looking at her sweet face I could only feel gratitude that she was indeed still with us. Gratitude for her sweet spirit and the joy and peace and comfort she has brought into my life.
That night a year ago when we got the call from the doctor that Kristen did indeed have leukemia, I remember breaking out in tears. Sitting at the desk in the office with Richard looking on the phone and my head dropping to the desk it felt like I had for sure been hit by a truck, a large truck. It was 5pm and Kristen had already gone upstairs to get ready for bed. We had moved her bed in our room as she was not feeling well for some time and was afraid to sleep alone in her room. It was easier to move her bed in my room rather than find her lying on the floor next to my bed. She already had her nightgown on and was sitting on her bed enjoying Disney channel, I went upstairs and threw myself on my bed and was crying. I soon felt someone rubbing my back and comforting me. I thought it must he Rich or one of the other kids. As I looked up it was Kristen. That’s right I am supposed to be the mother, the one who comforts and I couldn’t even face Kristen and tell her of the awful plight that was now before us. Yet somehow this beautiful child was only concerned about me and trying to make me fell better. I did finally tell her. I told her that she was very sick and we needed to go to the hospital. She already knew in her sweet heart as she did the sign for a central line and said, “I don’t want that” I am sure that she knew before I knew that her leukemia had returned after 12 years. Kristen’s hematocrit was only 13 and her platelets were 12,000. so the doctor told us that we needed to get to the hospital that night.
After a few phone calls and 2 suit cases packed, one for me and one for Kristen, we were on our way for something we all feared. I really don’t know how Rich got us to the hospital as his eyes were also full of tears. I called later to check on the other kids and they had all gathered at my home along with some of their friends and Kristen’s BFF, Audrey (also her cousin) and they all just sat in the living room and shared stories and comforted each other. The next few weeks were some of the worst times I had ever experienced in my life. Initially Kristen had many set backs, we spent almost a week in ICU not knowing if we were going to lose her. After many prayers Kristen finally took a turn for the better. One day shortly after we came out of ICU she was sitting on her bed and she looked at me and said, “I don’t want to! I don’t want to!” I asked what she was talking about, I asked her what she didn’t want and she replied, “I don’t want to die!”
And from that moment, our little Princess put up a fight, and fight she did. She did many hard things, things I don’t know if I could do. She fought with grace and dignity and after 7 months of intense chemo she is home and doing well. She is truly my inspiration!
Now for the NOW! You would hardly know what Kristen has been through by looking at her today. We had clinic yesterday and her blood counts are all still low, but not alarming. Yesterday my oldest grandson, Cody, turned 6! Wow! Somebody is getting old. Here at the Kirton house we are going to celebrate and party and live in the NOW! I know that every person in my family has emerged a better person after the events of the past year.
"Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the Angel's hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty; believe me, that angel's hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence." Greville MacDonald