Friday, July 31, 2009

Quick stat update

Summer had gained almost 2 pounds since Monday (31.7 lb). Her white counts were at 10.1 and her ANC was around 5000 which is definitely enough to stop shots and start back on chemo. We actually stopped the shots on Wednesday (last one). We are ALL always happy when it is that time again. Too bad she always has to start them back the day after we are done with her inpatient chemo. Her platelets were too low to start chemo, but not low enough to get any more at 53,000. Hemoglobin was acceptable at 8.5. Hopefully, those numbers will continue to get better over the weekend so we can get cycle 6 started.

We should be going in on Monday for admission with chemo starting on Tuesday which, btw, is the day my best friend will be giving birth to little Harper. I've already got my relief planned so I can be there to hold the new baby when Selena (and everyone else) is tired of her. LOL Wish me luck! I'm sure there will be no shortage of free arms.

Thank you for all of your prayers! Please pray for all the kids with cancer as there are so many who are suffering. Oh, and have a great weekend!!!

Summerisms: Age 3

It is so cute to hear some of the things that come out of Summer's mouth. I wish I could remember all the funny things that make me smile all the time, but alas I cannot. Here are a few cute things she's said at one point or another:

"Mommy, you crack me out."

"This is kind of funky."

Yesterday going into Longhorns in Dublin to eat:
"Mom, there are 3 benches. Just like I'm 3. Isn't that crazy?"

After waking from her nap on the car ride home:
"Are we going to stop and get Fudge Rounds?"

When I asked Clint where he was going to stop for Fudge Rounds:
"We already tried the gas station. They didn't have any."

This morning after eating all of her garlic chicken pasta with carrots and brocolli:
"Mom, push my belly in and it will push your hand back. That means it's full."

She's so perceptive!!! I am so thankful I have such a smart little cookie. I think she gets it from me, but I'm probably biased. LOL

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yes, we are there!

We arrived at our vacation rental last night around 9:00 p.m. We had a slight delay on the way when we hit several downpours and could hardly see the road. When we got to Savannah, some streets were flooded which slowed us down more. We stopped to eat at Dairy Queen and saw a rainbow on the way out. It was almost a double rainbow, but we could barely see the second one. It was beautiful. Wish I had my camera cord so I could download a pic. After settling into our rental, we headed to the beach even though it was dark and we could barely see. Then we came up to the room and crashed.

Summer was up at 2:30 a.m. complaining of belly pain. When I offered her a Zophran pill, she said she just thought she was hungry. So, I warmed up the left over chicken fingers from Dairy Queen and she ate them with BBQ sauce. YAY!!! When she got up in the morning, her belly was hurting again. She hasn't taken the Zantac since probably Saturday or Sunday so I'm not sure if that is why or not. I've gotta get her to take it, but she has been gagging on the yogurt with the crushed pill in it lately so I took a little break from trying.

Today she has eaten more. She had 1 1/2 hot dogs for lunch. For dinner she had some garlic bread which is what she is eating now. She only ate a bite or two of the spaghetti I made for dinner. (Yes, I cook on vacation!) Then she was "full." But, a minute later she was eating a Fudge Round.

Well, we are headed out to check out the big rocks on the beach. Did I mention there are tons of shells on the beach??? Yes, I am in heaven!!! It is so good to see my little girl smiling again too. I couldn't ask for anything more. Well, I could, but I won't. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

And away we go....

Summer's counts were up to 280 this morning. She did not need any blood or platelets, but still has to keep the shots up for two more days. I told the Dr. that I wanted to wait until next week to start cycle 6 since she is still below 30pounds (29.9 this morning). I am hopine we can fatten her up a bit this week so that she will be in better shape going into her next cycle. Her counts are not up enough to start until probably the end of the week anyways, so I don't think a few more days will hurt. Sooooooooooo, I decided to invite my sister and nephew to go a on quick beach trip while we wait on Friday to get here. That is when she goes back for counts again. We are on our way and it seems like we will never get there. The "how much longers?" are coming every 5 minutes. LOL

Summer started eating more over the weekend, but is still not eating like a starved child like she usually does when a chemo cycle is almost over. I actually had Clint go buy some hotdogs last night because that is what she likes eating right now. I believe those are the first hotdogs we have ever bought for Summer to eat. She does eat them at my mom's or other places, but they are definitely not something we keep in the fridge. I hope her appetite increases more in the next few days.

This week should be fun and relaxing I hope. In the meantime, can I get another, "Are we there yet???" :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gotta love talking dogs! ***UPDATED***

Martha is my favorite! :p That is the cartoon Summer is watching right now. What's so great about a talking dog you might say? Well, this dog teaches vocabulary words. Like today, add and subtract. It is pretty cool and overall bearable to sit through once or twice a week. For me, that is. Summer could watch it everyday. She has really been missing "The Big Comfy Couch" and I need to go online and see if I can find it. I don't really like surfing the web though. There are just TOO many things on it and it can suck you in for hours. With Summer, I just don't have hours to sit at a computer. We are talking minutes people. LOL

We are off to the clinic this morning for a finger prick and count check. Hopefully, she will not need blood or platelets and her white blood count will be above 1. It has been around 0 or 0.2 for over a week, the highest it got was .4.

She looks better than she did yesterday and is actually sitting up watching the cartoon instead of laying down in the fetal position. She often sleeps in that position now.

Ok, so I don't know what I've started, but last night I tried to sleep in my bed. Let me just say that I woke up in Summer's room. She begged and pleaded for me to sleep "all night" in her bed. I didn't want to start something and never be able to sleep in my bed again so I didn't fully agree. I told her I would stay in there some. So, every time she woke up alone, I was beckoned. "Mommy, I need you." or "M-O-M-M-Y!" When I finally gave up and decided to stay in there (which was after Daddy closed our door and woke her up, I'm sure), she seemed to sleep for longer periods and only stirred instead of fully waking and sitting up in bed like before. BTW - She did complain of belly pain several times during the night. :(

She still did not want to eat or drink this morning, so I gave her a Zophran. Then I fixed her some apple juice. Well, actually I just grabbed the cup from yesterday from the fridge. It was half-full. When I set it down, Summer started complaining there wasn't enough in it. I was thinking she just tricked herself into drinking more apple juice, but went along with her desire for more juice. She just asked me if she had to drink it all, and I told her to drink it to the 3. Then she said, "I think I can drink it all." Oh me. It looks like it is going to be an interesting day. I really hope we are out of the clinic before noon. If her counts are up, there is a trip to Chuck E Cheese in our future!!!


Her counts are still at zero. Her platelets were only 11,000 so she is getting 250 ml of them right now. That is the second time this week she has gotten that much. Looks like chemo will be delayed until her counts come back up. The doctor also mentioned we might need to look into other feeding methods aka feeding tube / g tube. Boo! Let's hope she puts some weight back on this weekend. As the cycles progress, it is normal for it to take longer to come back up because the drugs have a cumulative effect. Please pray she is able to get back up to around 32 or 33 pounds. Today she was at 29.6 pounds which altogether isn't too bad. She took all her meds yesterday and today so we are back on track with them (Neupogen shot, Zyrtec, Zantac, Miralax, Zophran, probiotics). Gotta run it is almost time to deaccess the port.... :( The best of the day is still ahead. Not sure what we will do, but it won't be Chuck E Cheese.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sleepover in Summer's room

Summer and I had a sleepover in her room last night. I thought it might be easier than hopping out of the bed a million times and going into her room to calm her. It was easier since I was right there and she often went right back to sleep, but her bed is not nearly as comfortable as mine. I think I will start off in my own bed tonight. She did wake several times to pee and to complain of her belly hurting.

I am really hoping she will feel better soon. It seems like she wants too, but she doesn't so far. Of course, she has become a littlewhiny little girl lately. All she wants to do is lay on Mommy. LOL Well, it's not really funny. I am enjoying her warm and snuggly body, but when you have to carry her to the bathroom with you and let her sit on your lap while you pee, it might be a bit too much Mommy lap time. :p

She is still not eating very much. My mom has suggested I make her work for her lap time. Well, not work, but eat. I am going to try this today, if necessary, but hopefully she will just want to eat on her own. I REALLY do NOT want to end up back in the hospital before Monday. That is soon enough for me. That being said, she HAS to eat today. She has been on Zophran since Sunday pretty much around the clock. We have never given it at home before since it is not a cheap drug, like Benadryl. But, since her nausea seems to be lasting longer than before, I decided to get a prescription for home. Thankfully, it comes in a tablet form that dissolves on her tongue. I am also grateful that Summer does not hate taking it. Once I get her mouth open, lol, she doesn't complain about taking it. I heard it has a strong aftertaste, but it doesn't seem to bother her. I think it is actually easier for her to take than the grape Benadryl tablets.

I also got her Zantac in her yesterday via one spoon of lemon yogurt. And, that's all she ate of that. She told me she couldn't take it and that I needed to get a throw up bag. So, I told her if she needed to throw up she could, but she was going to try to take it. After a little coaxing, she did. She did gag, but still managed to keep it down after taking a few sips of apple juice.

The rest of her diet yesterday included about 5 bites of an ice cream sandwich, 1/2 a fudge round, a little broth, 3 sips chocolate milk, 2 ounces of water, and about 6 ounces of apple juice. Not much, but hopefully enough. I am keeping a close eye on her so she doesn't get too dehydrated.

I know the light is just around the corner. We just have to keep looking for it and try to do it with a smile on our face. That is not something that is easy to get Summer to do right now either. She seems very sad and miserable. I told her if she smiles, it will make her feel a little better. Still no smiles. She always was one to want instant results and if they aren't, then "it doesn't work." Please pray that God will lift both of our spirits.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mouth sores are no fun!

We are home. Summer hasn't had a temperature in over 48 hours so we were good to go even though she is still only eating chicken noodle broth and icing. She did have a couple of bites of yogurt with her allergy med mixed in this morning, but it was not a happy couple of bites. When we got home, she told me her belly was hurting so I gave her some Benadryl. She watched Barney then Veggie Tales then took a nap. We will probably stay at home the rest of the day. I am cooking dinner and we may ride the bikes later if she feels like getting out. If not, we I will be cleaning her room.

Her mouth and belly still hurt. She started swishing again last night when I realized how bad the mouth sores were hurting her. I looked in her mouth and all I can say is "YIKES!!!!" I hope they clear soon so she can eat more foods. She tried a hot dog yesterday, but couldn't eat it. She even got to where the icing hurt her mouth. To top it all off, she COULDN'T suck her thumb. Misery. It must have been hurting pretty bad because that thumb has been in her mouth all week! She got some morphine for that pain last night and then drank a lot of 3 cans worth. Yay for morphine!

She is not feeling well right now. Complaining of belly pain, but watching cartoon on the couch. I have a couple of fun crafts when she is up to it, but today will probably not be the day. We are back to the clinic tomorrow for the last chemo for cycle 5. Then we will hopefully have the rest of the week to "party like rock stars." LOL Next week we are back in for cycle 6. Unlike most, I can't wait for this summer to be over. That means we will be just about done with chemo which is where we all want to be.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just a little morphine

Last night, Summer woke up in a terrible fuss. She was crying and wouldn't stop. She said her belly hurt (all over). She said her feet hurt (???). It was hard to get her to calm down. The nurse wasn't sure if she was having an allergic reaction to the Vancomycin because her face was red and splotchy, but she was crying. So, she went to get her Benadryl and called the resident. They decided a little morphine might make her feel better (since that is the only pain medication they give through IV and she won't take anything but Tylenol orally). She was calm by the time they gave it, but it must have helped because she didn't wake up again for hours and was in much better shape when she did.

Her fevers are dwindling which is great. We are not sure if the belly pain is due to hunger or what. I know she is hungry because she tells me she is, but she just can't stomach more than chicken noodle soup broth, a few sips of sprite and cupcake icing. One of dad's sisters, Granny and a cousin and her boyfriend brought over some cupcakes yesterday morning along with a few jelly biscuits. The only thing Summer touched was the icing, but that IS something! It was nice of them to come visit and made the morning pass more quickly. My sister came in the afternoon and was going to spend the night with Summer, but Summer awoke from a nap, vomited and started crying for me. My sister called me and I came back to the hospital where I was needed. They said she looked so much better after I got there. It is amazing what a mommy's touch will do. My sister still stayed the night with us and is in the bed with Summer now. I left the room to blog so they could get a little more rest without having to hear me typing.

My mom's sister came on Friday night to give me a break. I was surprised Summer agreed to stay with her since we don't see her very often, but she did. They had a good time and when I returned Summer's long nails were a pretty pink, just like my aunts. :) My aunt brought her a little bear wearing scrubs and a mask (like Summer has to wear sometimes). Yesterday, Summer asked me where the bear's port was so I had to draw one on him with a pen. LOL

I am not sure when we will be going home. Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday, but I wish it was today. We were supposed to go to Lake Winnie with Lana's Love today, but it looks like we are going to miss it. I think that they are waiting on her to start eating again before she can go home. I SOOOOOOOOOOO hope that is today, but I know it is all in God's time, not mine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's not C diff

Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!!!!! But, we still don't know what is wrong with her. I am just so thankful it wasn't c diff (feel free to google if your curious). She is still fevering and nauseous. Her belly is hurting her "all over" she says. Usually when she complains of belly pain it is just in the middle above the belly button. Nothing has shown up on the blood cultures either. Of course, these ARE side effect of chemotherapy so it is probably nothing major, as usual. For the last 4 months her body has been infused with harsh and dangerous drugs so all of this stuff she is experiencing is just part of being treated for cancer. Oh what an ugly word that is!

I hope she is feeling better when I see her today. My mom spent the night last night so I had a break, but I couldn't stop thinking about Summer so it wasn't too much of one. It is hard to separate yourself from the disease, even for a little while, and just go on living a fun, happy life....trying to pretend everything is okay. Even if you want to, there are going to be days when you just can't have fun and be all smiles. Please pray for us to have the strength to put a smile on our face in the days ahead. Seeing sick little girls and boys just breaks my heart. What did they ever do to deserve this???

Thursday, July 16, 2009

High fevers

Summer has been running a high fever since yesterday. I think the highest it got up to was 102.9 under her arm. So, that's almost 104 if taken orally. Too bad the mouth sores (or maybe just a tired of being poked and prodded little girl) aren't allowing us to take it in her mouth. This is the highest I remember her fever ever being. So that makes me think it may be something more than just being neutropenic this time.

She finally ate something at 10:00 last night shortly after she vomited (for the first time that day). She hadn't eaten since lunch the day before so I was glad to hear her ask for something even though I was ready for bed. She drank most of the broth of the chicken noodle soup she requested and had a few sips of Sprite in between. Before that she had only drank a little water and about an ounce of apple juice all day. Good thing they have the fluids pumping into her.

Yesterday was an extremely long day for me. We were in the clinic from 8:30 a.m. until almost 3:00 p.m. waiting on a room. We initially came in for blood, but she didn't even start getting it until 4:00 yesterday afternoon. I was a little frustrated by this seeing as we were just sitting around all day waiting. She did get a dose of antibiotic (for the fever) around noon, but that was it. She needed her Neupogen shot too which I told them, but it never arrived. When we got to our room, I told the nurse and she got it for us. (btw-Ms. Linda is an awesome nurse!!!) The funny thing is the clinic was SOOOOO slow yesterday. I bet they didn't see 10 patients all day and they had 3 nurses. So, not sure what was going on, but I hope next time they are a little better at getting things done and not just waiting until we get a room to do what we came in for. Especially when we show up first thing in the morning. I mean we could've just stayed home and waited until a room was ready rather than twiddling our thumbs all day (well, not actually). :(

She got sick again around 2:30 this morning. It amazes me how good she is about puking in the appropriate place, especially since she is only 3. I guess she can feel it coming on and lets me know so I can grab the puke bag. She is usually holding Teddy when the urge hits and somehow he has managed to stay clear of all puke. Of course the first thing I do when I realize what is about to happen is remove Teddy. Lord knows we don't want him puked on cause he is a real comfort to her. That and her left thumb. Not sure what she would do without either of them.

Today is the funeral for Jayden. My mom is planning on spending the night at the hospital with Summer tonight so that will allow me to go pay my respect to his family. I know it will be hard, but I feel it is the right thing to do. If it was my kid, I'm sure I would want others to be there. So, I am not going to take the easy road and skip it. I just hope I don't get a turn at burying my child. Life would be so dark and gray then without my sunshine. Please keep Jayden's family, as well as all the kids with pediatric cancer, in your prayers. God doesn't need to hear specific names to answer prayers. He knows who they are.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's that time again!

Looks like we are going to be admitted to hospital today. When we got here, her fever was 101.2, orally. When I took it this morning at home it was 99.4, auxiliary. I had a feeling we were going to be staying after the blood, so I brought the suitcase along with us. Good thing for a mother's intuition.

She has vomited 5 times since yesterday evening. She is hungry, but can't eat. She woke up at 6:10 this morning saying she was hungry. Daddy said to try to give her peanut butter, but the thought of that must have turned her stomach because she got sick instead of eating. Mostly she has made it to the bathroom, but once the hardwood floors took one for the team. Lucky for me, Daddy cleaned it up.

Poor baby girl has mouth sores too. Hopefully, they will get whatever this is knocked out in the next day or two. Of course, it could also just be the fact that she is neutropenic making her sick. Never know.

We are in for the next few days though. Now we just need to make the best of them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Platelets today, blood tomorrow

We are at the clinic now waiting on platelets. Her white count is .2, platelets are 17,000 and hemoglobin is 7.?. So, she will need blood too. They are going to wait and give that to her tomorrow though so she doesn't get too much fluids going in. That is fine with me because it takes about 3 1/2 hours to get blood and only about 30 minutes for the platelets. Of course, that is when they get here.

So far still no fever. She is starting to get nauseous I think. Last night she had a bite of chicken noodle and gagged it right back out. Today she is hungry, but she says her belly hurts really, really bad. She keeps trying a bite of different foods, but nothing seems to be good enough to keep her eating it. One bite is usually all she will eat. Except for M&Ms. She has had that along with 1/3 of a Pop-tart today. I am thinking it is nausea and not actual pain. Her belly has been hurting less than usual, so that is good. Maybe we have a good medicine regimen going for that. She is still on Zyrtec for allergies and Zantac for belly pain. I give the latter to her in lemon yogurt every morning, along with probiotics. She is also on 1/2 a serving of Miralax a day. I have not been giving her the Doc-o-lace they put her on last week to help soften her stool. I think the Miralax is doing a good job and she can't swallow the co-lace pills anyway. The shots are still going too. Looks like we will probably be on them until next week at least. She still doesn't like them too much.

She is in her "infusion room" now watching Barney. It is one she hasn't seen before, if you can believe that. She has now added it to her Christmas list. Oh yeah, she's already got a list for Santa started. LOL So far we have "Fly me to the moon," "Alvin & the Chipmunks," and now Barney "Round and round we go" on it. I can only imagine how big the list will be by December. :) I am thinking there is something else I am leaving off, but I will wait for her to remind me. We have also watched "Alvin & the Chipmunks" at the clinic this morning. I am hoping the platelets get here soon so we can get out of this place and go see my aunt. She is hanging at the pool today and we might just join her. Summer won't be able to swim though because they are leaving her port accessed since she has to come back for blood tomorrow. Right now she is fine with that because, as you know, she doesn't like for it to be deaccessed.

Tonight she is going to play with her cousins while I go play Bunco. I hope she is feeling up to that visit since she is kind of on the puny side now. They usually perk her right up, so I am sure she will enjoy it even if she isn't feeling great. I am hoping she does not get a fever this cycle, but if she is I hope she gets it soon. We are supposed to go to Lake Winnie with Lana's Love on Sunday. She hasn't been since she was a baby and I think she will really enjoy it. Of course, that might be too much to ask. We have had a rather uneventful past two weeks. However it turns out though, we will deal.

I want to take a minute to thank all of my faithful commenter's. I really do appreciate all your support, kind words and virtual hugs. You guys always lift me up when I am down and just knowing you are there rooting us on is nice. I am also grateful to those of you who pray for us. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful support system. Thank you all!

Monday, July 13, 2009

400th blog post about my beautiful baby girl

This morning I was looking at my beautiful baby girl, I mean big girl, and noticed some new growth on her eyelids. Little, blonde, baby eyelashes. I wonder if they will darken up as they grow out. I also noticed that she is down to 1 long eyelash on the right eye and 2 on the left. I just love looking into her big brown eyes too. They are so deep and rich, like good chocolate. (okay, that was slightly corny) Her tan face is surrounded by straggly blonde hairs, mostly at her hair line. There are a few other hairs on her shiny, tan head. It just amazes me how shiny your head is compared to the rest of your skin. She looks so healthy right now. If it weren't for the lack of hair, you wouldn't be able to tell anything was going on with her. I am so thankful that she is doing this good.

We will probably stick close to the house for the rest of the week. Her counts are dropping now and risk for illness is going up. We do have an appt. at the clinic tomorrow for a push of Vincristine and a count check. Hopefully, it will be a quick visit. The past few weeks I have noticed it taking less time for these appts. Of course when you are there for admission, you spend the whole day in the clinic waiting for a room. Luckily, we have two more weeks before our next admission....for chemo that is. A fever would land us back in there too in which case we would probably bypass the clinic and go straight to a hospital room. I looked at my calendar the other day and it looks like we may actually finish up with chemo by the end of September. We haven't had too many delays in her treatment. Everything has gone pretty much as expected, if not better. I don't think I could ask for anything more than we have received from God. I believe He is going to let me keep my baby. That's what it is all about.....believing. Putting your faith in His hands and letting Him take control.

Oh what a journey is this thing called life!

Update: Jayden went to be with the Lord yesterday afternoon. Please keep his family in your prayers in the days and weeks ahead. I can only imagine what they are going through at this time.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A menagerie of activities

We have been on the go since we got out of the hospital. Nothing unusual there. Thursday afternoon we went to the Discovery Museum to see the Curious George exhibit. Summer enjoyed it and it was nice to be doing "normal" things with her. So nice, that we went to Playgym on Friday morning. It was the first time we had attended the 3 year old class and things were a little different. Summer was sure to notice what we did NOT do that we did in the 2 year old class: no bouncing on balls and no bubbles. I know this because yesterday I was telling someone we went to Playgym and they asked Summer what she did. Instead, she told them what they did not do in class. :) Kids are so smart!

Friday night she was supposed to go to a birthday party, but by the time it rolled around, she did not feel like going. Instead, we chilled on the couch watching Dragon Tales. Have I mentioned this is her new favorite video? Again, I miss Barney. I know, I know. Some may think I am crazy, but Barney is just good stuff - very positive and always upbeat. Plus we have at least 10 of those videos so there is some variety. After that, one of our friends had some steaks to grill, so we ended up going over there and then playing games. Katie had a game perfect for Summer called Pretty, Pretty Princess. It was fun and easy to play and best of all you got to put on jewelry. Katie ended up giving it to Summer who has thoroughly enjoyed it. She is even going to take it to her Memaw's house today. I am going to keep it in mind for any little girls I need to buy a gift for. Too bad Summer has missed all of her friends' (with one exception) birthday parties this year. I have all of their gifts, unwrapped, in my laundry room. Not sure what to do with them now unless I somehow manage to get them wrapped and give them to them next time we see them. Who knows when that will be though?

Yesterday, Summer wanted to go to the aquarium, so we did that. I made her wear her mask there since it was very busy in there and her counts are probably dropping. She stills seems perfectly healthy though. Still no sickness from this last round of chemo. I am just amazed at how her body has adjusted. She ended up getting a toy from the gift shop. I have always been strong before and been able to walk through it without buying anything, but yesterday she picked out a "sea slipper." It is basically plastic or rubber tube filled with blue, sparkly fluid, 3 fish and a turtle. You can put your fingers in the ends. Summer can actually put her whole hand and arm into it. It is pretty slippery and slips out of your hand if you are not careful.

Last night, we went to a birthday party for one of my friends. Summer came with us and was pretty much a Mommy's lap girl all night. ;) We were supposed to stay and watch the UFC fights, but Summer was ready to leave before the first fight was even over. LOL Daddy was happy to oblige her and we left after it ended.

This morning I noticed some swimmers in the river and I told Summer to come look. She said she wished we could go watch them, so we got dressed and hopped on the bike. It was our first time to go to a Triathlon and it was pretty neat. We parked and walked down to the river to watch the swimmers swimming to the exit from the water. Then they ran up the steps to their bicycles. We watched them take off and by the time we were headed home, there were a few people back from cycling starting their run. It was neat that we got to see that. Summer was hungry when we got there, so we found a booth selling cookies and got one for us to share. Summer wanted to bring it home to eat, but we ended up sitting where we could watch the swimmers and bikers. She only ate a few bites of it and said I could have the rest. What a sweetie! I did save half of it in case she changes her mind later. I have a feeling I will be the one to finish it though.

She is all ready to go to church so she can go spend the night with her Memaw afterwards. I think I'm going to sit around and chill the rest of the day. All this running around has me worn out. She is still going though. Oh, to have the energy of a 3 year old again.....

P.S. Eyelashes still at 1 & 3

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Finishing up the Doxy

Summer is almost through with her chemo for this week. We will get out in a few hours. I know it will be good to be home again since we haven't been there much in the past week between Florida and chemo. Next week we come back for a push of Vincristine in the clinic. Same the next week. It seems her body is adjusting to the chemo since she has not been sick at all so far this cycle and is still eating (although not as much). I weighed her this morning and she is still holding at 33.2 lb. That is great seeing as she usually goes down some before we go home. I wonder what the weekend will hold. We have two birthday parties ahead of us so I am hoping for more of the same feeling good little girl we have had all week.

Yesterday, she played and played and played. I thought she was going to take a nap around noon (and boy was I ready!), but that was just a tease. As soon as we got in the bed, she wanted to hide from Memaw who wasn't due for another two hours. :) Then we told each other silly stories, all starting with "Once upon a time." It was fun. She really wanted to go to the rooftop garden all day, but she is confined to the room while chemo is pumping so she was denied that priviledge. Around 8:00, I was ready for bed, but she was not done playing yet. She was acting silly and jumping on the bed, climbing on me, and just being a pure joy to be around. Maybe if it got dark before 9:30, we would've been able to go to sleep then. As long as it is daylight though, it is not time for bed in her mind. LOL

She is such a sweet girl. Last night when she got up to pee, she said the sweetest things like: "Mommy, I love you so much." Of course, I can't remember anything else, but she is a sweet heart. Oh yeah, when I asked her if she needed to pee she said, "Yes ma'am." Then she said, "Mommy, is that polite?" I am really hoping she keeps these manners she has learned up through her teen years. I guess as long as we are consistent in what we expect along the way, she will turn out just fine. I learned with my stepdaughter that wishy-washy parenting does nothing in terms of gaining respect from your child. A lot of kids these day are growing up without respect for anyone, let alone their parents. Sad, sad, sad.

I wanted to take a minute to ask everyone to pray for a family from our clinic that is truly battling for their son's life. Hospice was called in this week and I can only imagine what they are going through right now. Here is a link to his page: Jayden's Page. Please lift them all up in prayer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No sickness yet

Summer is up and watching Mickey Mouse clubhouse. When she woke up, she said, "Are we at home?" I said, "Yes." Then we laughed because we were still in the hospital bed. She's been pretty smiley this morning. She is trying to eat some Fruit Loops, but it doesn't look like she is eating much so far. Yesterday she ate really good until she went to sleep. I am wondering how she will manage today. Last time we were on this cycle, she threw up twice on Day 1 (yesterday) and twice on Day 2. So far we have had none of that. Yay!

She was up to 33.2 lb. on Monday when we checked into the clinic. That is so awesome because I'm pretty sure she got down to about 29 last cycle. Thank goodness for Fudge Rounds and powdered donuts! Now, if only I could keep myself away from those donuts. :)

Yesterday, she was a little puffy in the face, but nothing that seemed to really concern the Dr. Her ins and outs were about even so I'm not sure what is up with that. She still looks a little puffy today.

Only about 25 more hours for the chemo to pump into her and we will be getting out. I can't wait. This place is just no fun. I remember trying to make it fun in the beginning and it is at times, but the days just seem so long and unexciting. Yesterday we had lots of visitors (Curious George, Misty the dog, cousins, friends, and grandparents) which was really nice. Made the day go a lot faster. Thank you to everyone who came by! It really means a lot.

Hopefully today will be like yesterday. She seems to be tolerating the chemo better every cycle so that is good. It's no fun seeing her feeling sick and puny and so far there has been none of that. Thank the Lord!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

No day to recuperate

It was straight into the hospital for us. Of course, we knew it was going to be this way last week when we left. She starts cycle 5 of chemo tomorrow so she had to be admitted today for fluids. Yesterday on the way home from Florida, she asked if she only had one more cycle of chemo. I told her there were 4 more. Boo. She also commented about how her hair hadn't grown back. I guess she thought vacation was long enough for it to grow back?? I guess she is ready for it to be back. I wonder if she notices when kids stare at her. I know I do, but it is just part of life for the time being. I noticed in one of the pictures below that the kids in the lazy river were staring. Oh well, I can't say I've never done it. You just never realize how much it goes on until you are the one being stared at and/or whispered about. This cancer thing really opens your eyes a little lot.

I can't really recall what to expect this week from the chemo, but maybe I'll do a little looking back if I have time. Things really get jumbled after a while. But, there is light. We are on the downward slope. We'll be on cycle 8 before we know it!

On the way to the Dr. this morning, Summer muttered "I hate going to the doctor." I asked her what she said and she was all "nothing." Poor girl. She is doing good all in all. Although, not as bright at times, her spirit is still shining. She will get through this and be stronger for it. We just have to manage to keep a smile on our faces during the mean time. Some days it is easier than others, but everyday contains at least a few!!! :)

A much needed vacation

We are home from a much needed vacation. It was such an awesome trip and I don't think it could've went more perfectly. Well, in a perfect world, your 3 year old would like to play on the waterslides and stuff. LOL She did love the lazy river and has turned into a fish over the past week. She was just using her swimmies until yesterday when we pulled out a Mickey Mouse ring float which she proclaims to be "beautiful." We hit the pool early, 7:30 a.m., to get in just a little more fun before we had the long trip home. She wanted Taco Bell, but it was only 9:00 a.m. when we left so they weren't open yet. We did not come across one until Montgomery. Gotta love the bleakness of the drive through Alabama. :) But, we made it there with about 3 side of the road bathroom stops behind us. The lady at the counter wasn't much for knowing how to run the cash register. I'll leave it at that. We crammed our food in and left with Summer finishing her soft taco supreme (which they forgot to leave the lettuce off of :( ) in the car. She at the whole thing!!!! We made it the rest of the way, you know the more civilized part with public restrooms and restaurants, without any potty stops (oh yeah, we did have to stop for Daddy once). We stopped at my aunts for a nice BBQ dinner and then headed home to get unpacked and ready for bed. But, not before Summer got to swim in the pool a little more. She had to show off her new skills. I wish I could say I slept like a baby, but I did not. But, it was nice to be in my bed and Summer must have enjoyed hers too because she is still in it.

Ok, to recap the fun of our trip:

Wednesday we headed down to Florida leaving around 5:00 a.m. At 5:32, Summer asked if we were there yet. :p At 5:47, my brother did (he's 21). We made it to Panama City around 1:00 p.m. after stopping only at Hardees for breakfast and once for gas. Then we checked into our awesome room on the 20th floor. Later in the trip, Summer wanted to know who lived there. :) We had lunch at the poolside grill. We went out to Sharkys for dinner. We swam, we beached it.

On Thursday, we got up and built a sand castle. Glad we got that out of the way early in the trip because it was the only one we built. We got up early every morning and tried to hit the beach before the sun did. I was always the first to rise, shortly after 6:00 a.m., waiting for Summer to get up and join me. She slept in Memaw and Nanny's room which was nice because I did not get woken up once by her. Of course, I was the early riser anyways. My poor brother was stuck on the couch so he had to listen to everyone walking around him while he slept. Good thing he was in a deep sleep in the morning. :)

After lunch, I was flipping through a little tourist book and found the perfect expedition for us: Jet Ski trip to Shell Island. It was a two hour trip in which the first part was guided and then we had the rest of the time to do as we pleased. Summer was not too excited to get on the jet ski, but we just did it and did not fall for the whining that started as we walked towards it. It wasn't too bad at first because we were just sitting there in the water waiting for everyone to get ready. Then the guide got in front and laid into his accelerator and we were to follow, in a single file line. We were two behind him. It was okay until we started hitting some waves and jumping. Poor Summer was in between Clint and I holding on for dear life. Probably crying. I was trying to maintain my cool and not yell at Clint because it wasn't his fault we were traveling at the speed of light. The guide had already gotten onto him for going to slow and having his nose in the air. So, Summer starts babbling things like: "This is not fun!" "I'm not having a good time!" "I'm ready to go home." "I'm done with this." "I want to get off this thing." "I'm finished." "Mommy, I don't like this." Oh yeah, great fun!!! Go Mommy for picking such a fun excursion. Well, everyone else was having a pretty good time, but not really enjoying the speeding so much either (except my brother, I'm sure). We saw a few dolphins on the way to the island. Then when we got there and thought we were home free, he passes it up and keeps going fast through even bigger waves. Water in face, mouth, eyes. Poor Summer. She did have on sunglasses which I am glad I made her wear and a hat which shielded her somewhat, but there were times when she could not see because of the fire in her eyes. I know it was there because it was in mine. When we finally arrived at the real dolphin spot it was pretty good because we were mostly going slow or sitting. She started to enjoy it a little at this point. We saw a LOT of dolphins too. It was great. Then the guide took us to the beach where Summer was happy to get off the jet ski. Of course, she didn't want to be on the island though. She wanted to be home. :) We found a few shells before she planted herself in Nanny's lap. My brother and I took off on the jet skis which was really fun. It was actually fun to go fast by myself! I guess the guide wasn't really thinking about the 3 year old two jet skis when he was hitting the gas. He was just enjoying the ride! It wasn't too hard to get Summer back on the jet ski for the trip home. We left in plenty of time so we wouldn't have to go fast. This trip was much more enjoyable for Summer. Overall, I think she liked it, but definitely not the fast part. It was definitely something I would recommend to friends with a little bit older kids.

A faithful cartoon watcher....even at the beach!!!!

The rest of the trip was spent in between the pool and beach. Summer loved the lazy river the best for sure. She did enjoy listening to music on the beach too, with a special request for Mommy's Jazzercise music. :) She also loved the arcade. They had a mini bowling alley and a air hockey table that she loved. We played horse shoes in the sand and flew the kite my aunt got her for her birthday. She watched her Dragon Tales video 100 times (slight exaggeration). All in all, it was the perfect vacation. Relaxing and fun! I just wish it would've lasted longer....but then who in their right mind doesn't?

Happy as a lark with her DVD player and powdered donuts on the way home!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Long time no blog

We have been busy since we got out of the hospital last week. Saturday was filled with swimming at my aunts and my moms. Summer actually wore her floaties and swam by herself. It was amazing to see her so independent. She is just kicking for the time being, but will be using her arms too before too long. It is so exciting to watch her grow and try new things. Needless to say, I didn't leave my mom's with Summer. She wanted to stay and spend the night. :)

On Sunday, we met up at church. Then we (Clint, Summer & myself) went to eat at a little bistro in St. Elmo. It was a pretty neat place that Clint said reminded him of Italy. Summer decided to sing "Because He Lives" while we waiting for our food. She wasn't singing quietly either. LOL She wanted me to join in, but I didn't want to ruin any one's lunch or should I say brunch. She sang it two times and then found something else to entertain her. She really loves that song though. I wonder if I could get her to sing it at church one day. Maybe we could do a duet. Not sure I would sound that great, but together we might be able to pull it off. I guess she just needs to learn the verses now.

After that we went to my best friend's baby shower. It was nice, but Summer was definitely a Mommy's girl while we were there. I think she was ready for a nap since she fell asleep just as we pulled into the driveway. It always seems to happen that way. But, she ended up perking up a little before we left there only to rush home and meet up with Daddy. Then we headed to her first baseball game. Lana's Love Foundation had reserved some sky boxes for us which was nice since it was pretty hot outside. They provided food and drinks which were awesome. They also got some balls for the kids (and adults) to try to throw into a basket at the end of the game. She said that was her favorite part. Plus, she got a mini baseball cap which she proudly sported on the way home. It wasn't really meant to be worn, but don't tell her that. :p It was an awesome experience to go to the game. I am so grateful for the Websters. They are great people. I'm sure we wouldn't have gone this year without their invitation. They did this and so much more to help out current cancer patients. It is amazing how giving some people are....and to total strangers.

Monday we had clinic and her counts were all up. So, we got the go ahead for the beach. She goes back in Monday for cycle 5 of chemo. It is so amazing to be on the downside of the chemo hill. The other day Summer asked if her eyelashes were going to come back. She only has 2 & 3 now. I told her that after we were through with all the chemo all her hair would come back so don't worry about it. That seemed to end that line of questioning.

She is doing so great! I feel really awesome about everything right now. Negative scans, halfway through treatment and a trip to the beach. What more could we ask for? I am so thankful for everything God has given me. Even when things look bad, I know good is lurking right around the corner. He is so good!!!