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!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Adjusting to our new home

Induction chemotherapy
For most patients, the standard first phase of AML treatment is induction chemotherapy. The goal of induction chemotherapy is to bring the disease into remission. Remission is when the patient's blood counts return to normal and bone marrow samples show no sign of disease (less than 5% of cells are leukemia cells). Induction chemotherapy is very intense. It usually lasts one week, followed by three or more weeks for the patient to recover from the treatment. During chemotherapy and the following couple of weeks the patients blood cell counts will be dangerously low, antibiotics and blood product transfusions are used to help protect against complications. In rare cases where the leukemia has spread to the brain or spinal cord chemotherapy may be given in the spine as well. Once Kristen's counts have recovered we will go home for about 10 days and then return for phase 2. There will be for sure one and maybe two more phases for Kristen and at that time they hope to have her in a full remission and then go forward with the bone marrow transplant.  (This is for many that have asked about the plan for Kristen)

 Kristen tolerated the chemo very well with few side effects.  Is that any surprise considering her resilient, brave and courageous soul? Once again Kristen has amazed us! Over the next few weeks she will  be getting a lumbar puncture or two, hence the leukemia in her spinal fluid.

Kristen is in pretty good spirits.  She is adjusting to her new home.  The only time she really complains is when she doesn't feel well.  I'm on the search for some construction paper and glue so we can make a turkey for her door.  If you see a pic you'll know I was successful. Yes, we will be spending Thanksgiving here in the hospital.  It's ok as I'll have more time to reflect on the many things I am thankful for and what is truly important in life. Kristen loves the cards and letters she is receiving.  She insists on opening each one herself and smiles as I read it to her. Thank You!


Heather said...

Brave and courageous soul indeed.We continue to send our prayers and our love your way.

Kim said...

What a tough cookie! I know it must be hard to stay so positive during this difficult time. It is clear you place your trust and faith in God. We will continue to pray for Him to place His healing hands upon Kristin. Btw....I love the turkey. So cute!

Lacey said...

I'm so glad to hear she's doing better. Brave indeed!

Tina said...

Thinking of you dear Kristin, praying with all my heart. Keep getting better with each day, stay strong and brave.

Peter Olson said...

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Our daughter pointed out to me last week that this will be the first Thanksgiving since 2006 that we didn't have to spend it in the hospital. I'll have my fingers crossed of-course for the next six days.
God Bless!
Praying that Kristin stays in remission, takes the ups and downs without trouble, the BMT fixes the cancer for good, and just the right amount of GVHD (like me).
Praying for you too. Caregivers are survivors too.
Love, happy thoughts, hopes & dreams! Joy filled future!

Angi said...

So glad she is getting notes and letters to help keep that wonderful smile, she is very special indeed!!! Keeping Kristin in my prayers!

jag said...

We sure could learn a lot from Kristen. She really is a brave girl! I'm thankful that she has been able to stay upbeat even through all of this. What a girl!

My name is Sarah said...

I love the turkey. I like your attitude Kristen.

Sasha said...

She is such a brave girl. What an inspiration she is. Sending you thoughts and prayers. I see that you found construction paper. The turkey is so cute. We will keep you in our thoughts.