Sunday, November 16, 2008

Amazing...

It feels like such a long time since I last posted! To catch up, we came home from the hosptial on Tuesday afternoon and have been enjoying being home!! It truly is so nice to stay at home, sleep in my own bed, see my sweet hubby and kids first thing in the morning and eat normal food again! All the things I took for granted! Granted, Tuesday marked my 4th day at home in over 3 weeks. As for Breezy, she is doing well. It turned out she just had a fever due to dehydration and all her counts dropping faster than we thought. She didnt have any bacterial infections anywhere so that was a relief. We had to stay in the hospital for several days until her counts came back up, which they did on Tuesday! Yea! We also took her back in to the doctor on Friday to see if her absolute neutrophil count (ANC) had continued to climb. She was 2770...this was great news! However, her hemoglobin was too low at 7.5. (It should be between 8-12 for a cancer patient, normal people are 12-15). Come to think of it, she was kind-of pale. So, Friday Bree received her 2nd blood transfusion. (Her first one was in the hosptial after her abdominal surgery). We made a day of it, just us girls! Can you feel the sarcasm?! Yea, it wasn't fun. We spent all day at the hospital waiting for the blood to be ready and once it was, the infusion took 3 hours to actually enter into her body. The good thing was we did have a 2 hour break to leave so we did go buy a nice La-Z-boy rocking chair for her nursery since we'll be spending quite a bit of time trying to get her to sleep after the chemo treatments. So, I can't say the day was all THAT bad. :) But, I have to say, once she received the blood, she did start feeling so much better! So, thank you to the mystery person out there who gave blood for my daughter! I really realize the importance of donating! (So, there's my plug about donating blood!- Do it if you can!)

And so at present, she is doing great this week. Her personality is back now and I can tell she is feeling more like herself because she is very vocal again (babbling a lot) and has started to roll over again (she hasn't done this in 3 weeks due to her incision in her tummy and feeling nauseated). So, we are planning on enjoying her this week, keeping her healthy and preparing for her next chemo treatment on Friday. Then, we will start the cycle all over again...only this time our goal is to stay out of the hospital! (Not that I dont love the nurses and doctors, I just love them more when I don't have to see them as much!)

Here are a few pictures of our sweet girl:Her eyes may look a little shocking, but it's actually good news. The docs have a theory that the cancer is moving out of her orbital (eye) bones and this is what has caused the bleeding around her eyes. Despite it all, she is still smiling! That's our Breezy!

Here she is awaiting her blood transfusion. She got to watch movies (Baby Einstein) and play with lots of toys. It's still hard to believe she's sick when she always smiles at the camera. What can I say, she loves photo opps!:)

Lastly, I wanted to thank a dear friend of mine, Summer Driggs for putting together the nicest thing our family has ever received. We learned that Summer was putting together a care package for us a few days after we learned of Bree's cancer. She had posted our story on her digital scrapbook blog and developed a kit entitled "gratitude." She normally puts her kits out for free (yes, free - she is SOO great!) and this time gave people the opportunity to donate to our care package. Well, Thursday Summer and her sweet sister Jaime brought over bags and bags of toys, books, gifts, home decor, gift cards, movies, clothes for our boys, essentials for the hospital, diapers, and more. You name it, she brought it. It was amazing. I truly felt overwhelmed at the generosity and goodness of Summer and so many people. Summer also put together a notebook of the people who donated and their comments they left on her blog. I can hardly express how much it touched my heart by this kind act of love. For so many people to be praying for Bree, no wonder we've had so many of our prayers answered. It truly was a humbling experience and we greatly appreciate all those that gave. It increased our own testimonies of charity and service. Thank you Summer (and Cory) for being great friends!
Here we are with our girls. Summer's daughter Claire and Bree are only 9 days apart. Claire is a sweet heart and has also had several battles of her own. She recently had brain surgery to remove a lesion on her brain that were causing seizures. She is doing well now but still being followed closely by her doctors. These girls are strong and their trials right now will help them be friends for life!
Here's Breezy modeling her new bling. She received a beautiful princess necklace and was having fun doing poses with it. :) Thank you to whomever made this necklace for her!
These are just a few of the things Summer brought over from the "care package." The picture doesnt show even a fraction of what Summer brought over and I wanted to take more pictures but Bree was done posing. The variety and thoughtfulness of the gifts took our breath away but what filled our home with joy and warmth wasn’t so much the gifts but the fact that so many kind and Christlike people rallied behind us to support our little girl. Each gift, donation, and thought represents a faithful person praying for Bree. That means so much to us, especially since so many are complete strangers. We are strengthened and comforted knowing that people all over the county and even in different parts of the world are concerned for our family. One day when Bree is older it will be so fun to show her how many people knew her and prayed for her. We don’t feel like our words are enough to show how grateful we feel. They only way to show our gratitude will be to serve our fellow man as well. Out of this trial we truly have seen the goodness of God shown thru other people. We will always remember this! Love you all!



49 comments:

Travis and Marie said...

you guys are truly inspirational. I am glad you have a few days at home before you start all over again. She's so beautiful even when she's not feeling so hot. Hopefully you and Justin are holding up ok as well as your boys. You're in our prayers.

LanaBanana said...

Well, we're not done praying for you. I'm glad the care package had so much cute stuff in it!! She looked cute in her sea of gifts. Hopefully the boys aren't too jealous! :) She will be a strong little girl from all of this--she'll always know that she can conquer things. All our love going your way!!

Karen said...

You are amazing! Your strength, faith, courage, and bright outlook through this experience is refreshing and wonderful. I'm sure you have many quiet and alone moments where you don't feel that way, but I can tell by reading your posts that you are strong. Our kids learn from watching us and you kids are learning great things! Thank you for sharing. You make me want to be/do better!

{jennifer} said...

Yea for the happy triumphs this week, it must feel so great to be home with your little girlie! She is so dang cute and looks like such a big girl in that hospital bed! I love the cute pink outfit and accessories - so adorable and she is always so cute to smile for the camera!

Jessica said...

I'm glad that the gift was something you truly enjoyed! I will keep your family in my prayers this week as you begin another journey of treatments. Do your best to enjoy these next few days at home with your sweet baby girl. She is just precious!

the bates motel said...

hieee! glad you guys are home and that things are going well! bree looks so cute w/ her little necklace on! so big. we are praying for you guys and hope friday goes smoothly! thanks for your continuous positive outlook and attitude! you are amazing!

Brandon & Jillyn Larsen said...

kari you and baby are amazing! you are so strong and i cant believe she is so happy and smiley! She's beautiful! you are amazing

JakenDebbie said...

Bree's smile absolutely amazes me. She is one incredible little girl, Kari...of course, how could she not be with such great parents?!? By the way, Kares, you look awesome. And Summer is amazing for what she did for you. Funny, I totally came across her site by accident, and there you were! That was pretty cool. I love you, Kari!!

Kathryn said...

Thank you so much for the update! I have been checking daily to see how Bree and you all are doing. You sound like you are holding it together really well. All of our family is praying for Bree. In fact, if one of us forgets her in the prayer, Savannah reminds us all we have to pray for Bree! I hope this chemo knocks that nasty stuff right out of her and she is healthy and happy forever! She looks cute even with black eyes! What a sweet girl.

The Blakes said...

You deserve all the love and care that comes your way!

Megan said...

Hi Kari,
My name is Megan. I'm one of those scrapbookers that found you through Summer. You and your family have been on my heart ever since Summer posted about you. I come to your blog often to get updates on your sweet baby. I have prayed for you all at least once a day ever since I found out. I won't stop either. I believe that God is faithful and unchanging. He will guide you. Thank you for sharing your story and for updating.

Alisa Larson said...

That is amazing what Summer did - what a great friend. Joe and I stopped by the other night (T.P delivery) and you were upstairs w/Bree, but he showed us everything and it was truly AMAZING!! I could not believe it. I'm so glad you have so many people praying for Bree and lifting your spirits as well. Love ya!

The Kents said...

What an amazing daughter you have. Even in pictures her sweet, genuine good, spirit shines through! We are so happy you guys are home. We will be thinking of you and praying for you on Friday especially.
All our love,
The Kents

Grandma and Grandpa cook said...

Isn't it amazing how the Lord shows He is aware and loves you through the kindness of other people. Summer is a very special friend indeed to bring some joy and loving tenderness to your lives. Breezy is so adorable and I'm counting on the doctors theory that the black eyes are a result of the chemo working. She was so adorable today as I held her. This week she seems her normal darling self. We're grateful for a week of feeling good. She's in our hearts and prayers as all of you are.

Aimee's Family Journal said...

I think her little bruises make her look sooooo cute! She seems to be happy even though they are there! Good idea to get yourself a chair. Mommy needs the right kind of tools too! What a great girl Summer is. Cheers to old friends!

The Driggs said...

Kari, it was so uplifting for me to be in your presence. One of the greatest things about seeing you last week was that you were still smiling, that you were still joking, and that Bree was so happy. Oh, and the slobbery kisses from Caleb was a major plus! I am so glad to hear that Bree is doing AND feeling so well. Just the fact that she is able to roll over and act more like herself must be such a breath of fresh air for you. We will continue to pray for you. You are an amazing mother with an amazing family. Love you.

Summer

Angie said...

You guys are amazing! Ride this rollercoaster as fast as you can, but remember to keep your arms and legs in at all times (and try to keep Funk from screaming like a girl)!
Our prayers are with you always! - Wardo

The Daws said...

I find myself saying prayers for Bree and your sweet family many times throughout the day. Her bright sparkly personality radiates inspite of the adversity she battles. We will keep praying...

Wendy

Steph said...

I am so glad she is doing so well! We've been so worried. She is such a beautiful, strong girl. We will keep praying for you all everyday. We love you!

Kelly said...

So Happy you are home! We love you guys so much, and have you in our daily prayers and thoughts! Bree is an Angel!! A very strong one! She is so dang cute with all her smiley photos! I just want to hold her and give her a big HUG! So please do that for me! Love, Kelly

Tayva said...

Hi Kari! You don't know me, but I am in the same ward as Ann and Harvey! I just love them so much and care so deeply for them - they are such, good, nice, caring people. As I read your blog, I am amazed at your strength and faith! My heart breaks for your family and the trial that you are facing, but reading about your strong testimony and seeing all the love and support you have makes me feel peace for you as well! I just wanted to let you know that there are many of us out in Gold Canyon who are praying for Bree and for your family as well! Bree is a little doll!

Julie said...

Kari and Justin...
What amazing people you are...Thank you for reminding me about hope and faith and the importance of it in our lives...your spirit and strength are inspiring to me and my family...We continue to pray for you and your beautiful Bree...She is just the cutest little thing I have seen and I love her spirit and joy filled face...It is amazing what she is teaching us through her smile!!! We love you!! We are hoping for more good news to come!!

Alisa Larson said...

PS I love the new family pics! Justin showed me the book of proofs and they are gorgeous! However, I can't get over how much Justin looks like Scott in these pics! Everytime I see it I do a double take. Good thing the kissing pic isn't up!:-)

Jason and Shay Johnson said...

I love the smiles that Bree gives...she is an amazing baby. We will be praying for you and her on Friday...best of luck. I had Gunner most of nursery on Sunday, mostly cause I was reading to the kids and he was loving every second of it. Anyways he informed me that he loved to read with his best friend...I said who's that?? He looked at me like I was so stupid and said Caleb! I thought it was so sweet. You must tell me your secret. Let us know if you need anything. Can I watch your boys while Justin and Jason go Home teaching??

Dance Mama said...

There is a reason why so many people love you and are praying for your family right now....you are such wonderful, compassionate, loving people and you have touched others' lives in ways you will never know...I know you have touched ours, and that we are grateful for your friendship.

The Burnhams said...

Kari,
I am so glad you updated us! I have been dying to know what's going on. Ever since I read your blog a few weeks ago and saw what was going on, you and Bree have been in my prayers and thoughts everyday. I fasted for her a few Sundays ago. Being a mother myself now, I admire your faith and courage to get through this...you are truly an inspiration! I sure love you and will keep praying:)
Love, Karlie Burnham

Kindra said...

Wow, your story is so amazing. You and your little girl are such fighters! I am touched by your faith and pray that little Bree gets over this ordeal.

The Scotts said...

She is such a doll!! When Summer was telling me all that she was doing I knew she had to have that necklace!! My girls each have one and I told Summer that ever baby needs a princess bling! We love you guys and are continuing to pray for you. Abby even prays for baby Bree everyday now and will ask who is that baby again. She loves to see her pictures and hear about her updates. We love you guys!

Kari ~ Relocated Dixie Girl said...

I came by your blog by way of Summer's. You & yours are in my thoughts & prayers. I hope Bree is able to overcome this & lead a long, healthy & happy life.

Karis said...

I can't believe all the great things you receieved from so many people! That is really awesome that so many prayers and thoughts are going your way! You guys deserve it. You have and will continue to touch many lives. It was fun getting together yesterday. I can't think of any other way to celebrate my bday!!

Nuestra Familia said...

HI Kari, it's so wonderful to see baby Bree. I'm always thinking and praying for her. A good friend from high school just went through surgery and chemo will be next week. Bree and my friend both have a great attitude and wonderful smiles. I love to see Bree smile in the pictures. My friend's name is Bri. We pray for both constantly.
You and Summer are amazing, all the fun toys are just so great. So thoughtful, she was asking me about Caleb and what he might like. I'm sure your boys and Breezy keep entertained. We love you guys!

Dawny P said...

Kari you are a true inspiration. I do jnot know where you get your strength from but I am so in awe of you. You don't appear to have a single ounce of bitterness - nobody could blame you if you had. You have 3 beautiful children I have to say, and Bree is so cute. I bet you are very proud of them all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and I hope that Bree's next chemo goes well.

I followed yor story on Summer's blog - she is another inspirational person who I admire so much. I have said before, she is beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside. I can imagine she is a truly wonderful friend to you.

With much love, Dawny xxx

tifraouette said...

She is so cute, she is very strong... I think about you et I wish you so much love.
I admire her, Big kiss for your baby !

April said...

I'm so touched by all of this. I just cry everytime I read your blog. My little Marcus is 9 months old this week, so it's hard for me to even imagine. You guys are so great! I'm so glad to hear that things are on the upswing right now. I think about and pray for you guys a lot!
Much love to all of you,
April

April said...

I'm so touched by all of this. I just cry everytime I read your blog. My little Marcus is 9 months old this week, so it's hard for me to even imagine. You guys are so great! I'm so glad to hear that things are on the upswing right now. I think about and pray for you guys a lot!
Much love to all of you,
April

Carolyn said...

I'm so glad you got a glimpse of all of the love and support out there for you! I will be especialy praying on Friday and be hoping for many more great weeks to come! What a sweetheart!

Lois Michael said...

Thank you for sharing your touching stories, little Breezy is a doll & your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Lynn said...

I found Summer's blog today and then found your blog. I am so touched by your words of faith and your positive outlook. I'm praying for Bree today as she gets another round of Chemo and will continue to pray for her and your entire family. God Bless You!

Greg and Tammy said...

Thanks for the update! You are amazing examples of strength and resilience. That precious angel of yours has brought so many people together and has created a beautiful mountain of faith. May the Lord continue to bless you guys!

Rachel said...

I am in tears reading your story and seeing those pictures of your beautiful, beautiful baby girl. I am amazed by the strength your posts show.

Praise God that the cancer may be moving from her eye area! I will be adding your family and your sweet Bree to my prayer list.

~~Rachel Lacy

Jessica said...

I also am one the scrapbookers that happened upon Summer's blog. Your story has touched my heart and I want you to know that Baby Bree and your family are in my prayers daily.
I have a small request, I have been asked to give a talk on Sunday and your selfessness has really impressed me. I was wondering if I might be able to share your story with my ward. My topic is giving thanks and you are the perfect example of selfless gratitude. You can comment on my blog or you can email me at jessicas734@gmail.com. Thanks again for your wonderful example!

Amy Lemmermann said...

Bree is so sweet! I am so impressed with how you guys are finding all the good in such a trying situation. Bree is in our prayers.

Anna said...

You are constantly on my thoughts and prayers.

Kym said...

We continue to pray for Breezy and your family. The other day our 3 year old was saying prayers and added Baby Bree on her own. You are so loved!

Amanda said...

It was GREAT to see those pictures of the gift basket :) when I read your story I kept checking for an update waiting for your reaction! I know how silly to hear from someone miles away and never met! Our family is praying for yours and our thoughts are with you!

Nola said...

My heart goes out to you and your darling family. I know what you're going thru. My little 2 yr old boy was diagnosed with hepatoblastma {liver cancer} in August. We've just finished our 4th round of chemo. My sister n law and you have a mutual friend and she forwarded me a link to your story. Heart breaking. But I know that all the prayers, fasting, & priesthood blessings will lift your sorrow and burden and give you strength to endure this difficult trial. It's amazing how we can be blessed with peace thru the hardest times in ourlives. And what wonderful family & friends who give so much love & encouragement to you. The lessons we learn thru cancer...We will keep you in our prayers and I'll be checking back often. What a cutie Bree is!

Maggie said...

I'm Mary Johnson's sister and I've been checking your blog to see how Bree is doing. I just wanted you to know that there are people in California praying for your sweet family.:-) Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I am a digital scrapbooker. I found Summertime designs through searching for great packages to make pages. I came across your story, and I have been checking in, to see how your baby girl is. My heart aches for you all... I cry with every post for you and your family, the stress and the hardships you all are facing. I learned today that we are our childrens lighthouse. A latern in the darkness to guide them and direct them. Your strength and courage is a latern for your children. I pray for your daughter, your boys, your heart and your soul to all be well, and bright
Your in my prayers.

Stephanie M Larsen said...

She is so precious, so smiley I love her and I don't even know her! What a little angel.