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...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How hard can it be...

to put one foot in front of the other? Really hard. It has been 10 days and I just swept the floor yesterday. Today the laundry is almost  finished. Kristen's pajamas and socks came through and I neatly folded them and put them into her drawer. I could almost hear her saying, "Me...I want to do it." She always liked to put her own clothes away.
Today it was an honor for me to do it.  

I have been spending time here. I know she isn't here but it does my heart good. I know she is prancing and dancing and free of cancer for the first time in almost 2 years.
I have thought many times about this past 10 days and mostly the 2 weeks leading up to July 20th. I have looked at pictures and I now can see that she was much more sick than I thought she was. I knew she was sick but I thought she would kick this pneumonia and have at least another good month or 2. But it wasn't to be. We feel so blessed and are so very thankful that she passed peacefully,
and that she was home with her family.
That is quite a miracle itself.

These pictures were taken July 3rd. She is dangling her ropes as she always did. 

These pictures were taken 2 weeks later on July 17th. She spent the night in the PICU as we tried to control her pneumonia and get her on oxygen so that we could bring her home. She looks very sick. She had stopped eating the way she normally did a few days prior. I had been hand feeding her for the past week. I fed her oatmeal, cream of wheat, soup and jello. She would have about 5 bites and then she was finished.
I would wait a few hours and try again.

If you look really close you might just be able to see our little pumpkin. Because of her it is a little easier to take those steps into the darkness,
 putting one foot in front of the other as I try to find my way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Many Thanks

I have a few stories to tell, but not quite ready.
Just wanted to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support.
This is Kristen’s blog and it will continue. Her light will continue to shine brightly.
We will always have a project or two going that will honor Kristen. I will share those here.
This is Kristen’s story. She will continue to touch and inspire many.
Already this week Kristen and her friend Sarah are being featured here.

My heart is broken as I try to find my way without her. Kristen and I spent the last 24 years side by side. I feel we shared hearts and souls, I know we breathed the same air.
I miss her terribly.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sending prayers and love to Kristen

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kristen Ann Kirton
“Our Angel”

Kristen Ann Kirton passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on July 20, 2010 after fighting leukemia with grace and dignity. She was born on May 3, 1986 to Richard Kirton and Polly Christensen Kirton. Kristen loved life. Her favorite place in the world was home. Many days you could find her dancing and singing throughout the house. She loved to watch the Disney channel and to organizer her things. Kristen loved family vacations, camping and spending the night in a hotel. Kristen was a shining star in the lives of many. In her short 24 years she instilled upon many the gift of perspective, the lessons of fragility and taught all the true meaning of life and what was important.
 Kristen was beautiful she was meek and she represents
everything that is good in the world.

Kristen loved her family and is survived by her parents, her brothers and sisters, Katy (Charlie) Anderson, Rick (Lisa) Kirton, Kamie (James) Ashton, Kimberly (David) Larsen and Ryan Kirton; her nieces and nephews, Cody, Brooke, Ellie and Claire Anderson, Jordan and Sara Kirton; her grandparents; Darlene Christensen, Richard and Lavon Kirton; many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Preceded in death by her loving grandfather, Charles Christensen.

We would like to thank Dr. Mark Fluchel, the oncology team, the bone marrow transplant team and the ICS unit at Primary Children’s Medical Center for their kind, diligent and loving care. A special thank you to her brother Ricky, for giving her another chance at life by donating his bone marrow.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, July 23, 2010 at 11:00 am at the Draper 5th Ward Chapel, 1617 East 12700 South in Draper. A viewing will be held Thursday, July 22, 2010 from 6-8 pm at Lake Hills Memorial Mortuary, 10055 South State, in Sandy and on Friday from 10-10:45 am at the chapel in Draper.
Interment at Lake Hills Memorial Cemetery.
Although Kristen has left us for a season her light will continue to shine.
We are forever blessed for having her in our lives.
“Families are Forever”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

She's our Angel

This is Kamie, Kristen's sister. Early this morning while in the arms of my mother and my father, Kristen peacefully passed away. Our hearts are aching as we try to find our way without her. Thank You to all who have been praying for Kristen. Your kindness and support has meant so much to my mother.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh Baby!

Katy had her baby girl today! Everything went well. I really had to laugh as her son who is 6 came running into the room and said, "Dad, How did you get the baby out?" Charlie, being the funny guy that he is, was quick to reply, "I'll tell you when you're 12!"
I wasn't even sure that I would be able to go to the hospital because Kristen in not doing well. When she doesn't feel good she just wants me. My husband stopped in during work and sat with her and I was able to run to the hospital. 
We brought Kristen home from the hospital last night. She was so uncomfortable there. We decided that everything that was being done in the hospital we could do at home. We brought her home on oxygen and 3 IV antibiotics. She is becoming more and more uncomfortable. Her comfort is our number one priority. We are working to figure out what will keep her most comfortable. She really hates oxygen. It's a struggle to keep it on her. This past weekend was another reminder of what is before us. We are finding ourselves making decisions that no parent should ever have to make. One thing that I can say is that my  faith in God and in His plan has never wavered.
We continue to witness miracles every day.
Kristen continues to touch many hearts.
We are so blessed to have her in our home.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

enlarged heart (most likely caused by 2 years of chemo)
partially collapsed lung (caused by enlarged heart)
fluid in lungs
remember a couple of posts ago I said I am stronger than I thought I was...I take it back.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Prayers for our girl

Kristen was admitted to the PICU this afternoon. She has pneumonia. We were hoping to go to the floor instead of PICU, but her blood pressure is quite low so I guess she is here until that can be stabilized. Kristen is one mad little muffin. She just wants to go home.  We are thinking about bringing her home on oxygen and IV antibiotics in the next day or so. I know she would be more comfortable at home.
Thank you for all your prayers and support.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Never say Never

I have been trying to put my thoughts of the past week on paper for a few days now. It’s not easy. I have thought of many words that might describe this past week:
crazy, fun-filled, exhausting, bittersweet, miraculous, magical, surreal, beautiful and
fascinating just to name a few.
Both of the wedding ceremonies as well as the reception were amazing. Both of my daughters were stunning brides. I am so excited to get the pictures back from both of the photographers and believe me I will definitely be sharing. It was a beautiful day. Thank you so much to my family and friends who helped in so many ways. I seriously could not have done it without your help. To those of you who live close by, I have candy, lots of it, orange sixlets, gumballs, rock suckers and lemon slices, please stop in for a bag.

The most magical part of the entire day was the fact that our little angel was able to attend. Our purpose in moving the weddings up from August to July was in hopes that Kristen would be well enough to attend. Many prayers were offered and many prayers were answered. It was just a week ago tonight that I said to my family that Kristen would NEVER be able to attend the festivities on Wednesday. She was too sick. She was fading much quicker than I had expected. She could barely walk without getting dizzy. She needed to carried from her room down to the family room. Her fever was increasing. Then I noticed that her ear was draining, a lot. An ear infection? Really? Maybe this was the cause of her discomfort, her fever, her dizziness. I would have to wait a couple of days and see it the antibiotics helped, and help it did. By Tuesday evening she was getting that sparkle back in her eye. Wednesday morning she walked down the stairs. Yes, she was still weak, but she was also strong, strong enough to attend her sister’s weddings.
 And we are grateful.

Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, there are miracles.
I am so thankful for the memories of the past week. Kristen continues to guide me. Her light continues to shine and show me the way. It is a sweet feeling to smile at Kristen and see her smiling back at me.
She has already showed me that I am stronger than I thought I was.
 I can’t wait to see what she is going to teach me tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July Weekend

Kristen has never liked fireworks. She always covers her ears and her eyes. We don't feel even a bit bad that we can't go see them tonight.  She is once again cozy in her room. I wish I could say she was feeling better but I can't. She gave us a scare when she woke this morning. She has a cough and was having a hard time breathing. Her and I just stayed in bed until she felt like getting up. I carried her down the stairs to her favorite chair in the family room. I soon noticed that her ear was draining, a lot. I could have kicked myself. She has been seen by the doctor 2 times this week and not once did I have him check her ears. This might explain her dizziness and some of the discomfort she is feeling. I called and got an antibiotic added to the list. She is really cute, she stuffs a cotton ball in her ear and about every hour she pulls it out and yells for me to come look. I tried to take her picture, I told her to say cheese and she said, "I don't want to." 
 So no picture of Kristen tonight. 

This rocket here is AWESOME! You will have to go here to read about it. It will put a smile on your face. Peter is a friend who also had a bone marrow transplant. He is definitely the go to guy if you have questions about a transplant.
Thank You Peter for all your support and prayers.

The wedding is in 3 days. Things are coming along. My dinning room has turned into the wedding storage room. I have gathered just about everything we need for the decorations, the buffet and the candy counter. Oh yeah...can you say
27 pounds of chocolate covered cinnamon bears.
A sneak peek at my 2 grandsons in their tuxedos. We needed to do a bit of alterations on one of their sleeves. I can't wait to see the flower girls with their dresses on.
Please send extra prayers for Kristen, that she might be feeling well enough to participate in the weddings. 
 Thank You so much to all of you that continue to support her and pray for her. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fun filled Saturday?

Kristen needed blood and of course it's the 4th of July weekend so we ended up here in the hospital. As it turned out she also needed platelets. Kristen continues to have a fever so she is receiving another dose of antibiotics. The doctor came in to see her and was asking about her pain level. I really think that for the most part she has been comfortable. It is hard to tell the difference between pain and just not feeling good. Leukemia causes bone pain so the doc was concerned that maybe she is having pain. He ordered a huge bottle of pain medication for us to take home. I am not too thrilled as this is just another reminder of what is now before me. I try not to think about that. But it's hard not to. I am still trying to soak in every moment. Even though we have spent this entire day here in the hospital it still goes down as a fun filled Saturday.