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, January 2, 2010

Bring in the New Year...

The past three weeks have been filled with much happiness at the Kirton House. Being home for the holidays was the best gift! There has always been a huge celebration on New Year's Eve at my mother in laws home. It is also my birthday so we always have a nice dinner at my house with all my children before we go to Grandma Kirton's. She lives behind us so we were going take turns sitting with Kristen. Out of no where Kristen began feeling sick. She was complaining that she couldn't see, that she was dizzy, her stomach hurt and she was nauseous. Her color quickly left her little face and I thought she was going to pass out. I carried her into the bathroom and quickly back to bed. She lay there in my arms for an hour or so until the lightheadedness passed. A quick reminder that we have a sick little girl and that the next few months are going to be some of the toughest she or I have ever faced. The past few weeks I put the reality of the next few months somewhere where I didn’t have to think about them. I wanted to enjoy the holidays with Kristen and my family. However, those thoughts kept manifesting themselves to me. Christmas night a flood of emotion came pouring down as I realized nothing has really changed. We still have a very sick child. We celebrated our first Christmas without my father. This quote from
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is rather fitting:

"Strange, isn't it George?
Each man's life touches so many other lives.
When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"
Clarence the Angel

There has been many times this past year when I have felt like I have finally reached the top of one summit, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, much higher and more challenging than the one I had just climbed. I am thankful for the strength I have found that I never knew I had, for my family and friends who continue to hold me up, for the courage and resilience that Kristen continues to show. This morning as I make final preparations to pack and get ready once again to take Kristen to the hospital for another 4 to 6 weeks I admit that I am scared. I don’t want to do it! I don’t want to see her go through yet another round of chemo. More mouth sores, more rashes, more nausea & vomiting, more poison being pumped into her blood stream, more infections, more hair loss, more dizziness, and more sleepless nights. One minute I feel seriously sick to my stomach just thinking about it. The next minute I feel peace knowing that this will be a very short time. Kristen’s chances of the bone marrow transplant curing her are pretty much 50/50. So the chance is so worth it. A chance she would choose to take it she could choose for herself. So once again we will pick up our suit cases and put on our boxing gloves and return to the hospital for yet another round of chemo in preparations for the upcoming bone marrow transplant. I have recently been reminded to “hold on a little longer,” even when things look bleak, remember that the Lord loves us, He remembers us and He will sustain those who endure in faith.

"Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it."
— Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)

A tradition at Grandma Kirton's is to burn the Christmas tree on New Years. I was home with Kristen and took this picture from our window. It really doesn't do it justice as there were many fireworks.

More Fireworks for outside our window on New Years.

 Two daughters engaged over the holiday! Some fun to look forward to this year.

More good news! My olders daughter, Katy will welcome baby number 4 in July! Kristen is so excited. She thinks she is going to have a boy and she wants Katy to name him Joe, after one of her favorite
 Jonas Brothers.

Yesterday I found Kristen in the family room organizing her many cards. She seriously laid all of them out, they were on the couch, on the floor and on the entertainment center. She looked at each one of them and then carefully put them back in her basket. She is such an organizer.


Cammie Heflin said...

I'm so sorry she's not feeling well, I hope Addy's card gives her a grin! Love you Kristen!

ABandCsMom said...

I hope Kristen is feeling better. I know how scary it is when these kids of ours get sick while undergoing treatment. As Rene, over at Life With My Special K's, "Cancer Sucks"!

We'll be praying for all of you during this round. Praying Kristen gets through it with little side effects.

stephanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear Kristen wasn't feeling well.
You continue to amaze me with your beautiful posts. And those mountains... we're all here to stand behind you and support you all the way to the top!!
Congratulations to all your girls! Two engagements and a baby, not too shabby!
Sending prayers to Kristen for her next battle!
Go kick some more butt sweetie!!!

Angi said...

You will be held up on the days you feel you cannot stand on your own...by your family and friends:~)Kristen is a very lucky girl to have such a brave mommy too!!! (How do you think Kristen is managing to be so strong- she learned it from watching her mommy!!)Thinking of you as you start this next journey.

My name is Sarah said...

Congratulations to your sisters. I am thinking of you.

Mucki said...

Hi. I'm sorry Kristen isn't feeling well and want to wish her all the best and all the strength in the world (you too) to get through the next weeks/months. I think I got an email message from you but it landed in my junk mail folder and unfortunately got deleted with all the other junk mail so I would like to apologize if I haven't aknowledged/replied to it.
Congratulations to your daughters on their big milestons.
Sending Kristen, you and your whole family only good thoughts and prayers. Sushmita

Brandi said...

I am hoping your week is better than mine :) All my love Brandi

Lacey said...

I'm so glad that you were able to be home for the holidays, and forget for even a little bit what is to come. Continued prayers for you and her as you head back to the house on the hill!

Heidi said...

To the Kirton Family
I am so sorry to hear about your little Kristen again. You are such a strong family, I know you can get through yet another trial. We think about you often, and you and your family are constantly in our prayers. Best of luck with all the treatments and the bone marrow transplant, if that is what you decide to do. Please let us know if there is ever anything you need.
Hasleton family

Tina said...

I have been MIA for a while, so have just gone through all your earlier posts, so sorry to hear that kristin was not feeling well over the New Year, its heart breaking to read. But keep the hope and faith going, like you so bravely have all this time. I know there are so many challenges ahead for all of you and for sweet kristin, but like you said it will be worth it all to have kristin feeling better and healthy again. She is an amazing child and my prayers continue for her, for you and your entire family, especially during this next round of chemo. May God bless and stay very close to you at this time, hold your hand and give you strength.

Sasha said...

I haven't caught up on your blog yet. I am glad to hear that you had a good Christmas and where able to put some worries to the side and enjoy the holidays. I personally now know that that is hard to do. I love the burning of the Christmas tree. It looks so beautiful. Sending you strength and hugs for the journey ahead.

Carrie said...

I hope Kristen is feeling better by now. I'll be keeping her (and you and the rest of your family)in my prayers.

Congrats on two engagements and a new baby--it sounds like your family already has one very full year and it's only the beginning of January!