Monday, November 3, 2008

Good to be home...

I think last week was the longest week of my entire life. I have never had so many emotions go through me in such a short period of time. I still remember a week ago at this very time, physically shaking from the reality that my darling little girl had cancer. It is so shocking how life can change in an instant and how truly precious our children are.

First, I want to say how deeply touched we were by all the comments left and for all the prayers and thoughts of those we know and those we don't for our little Bree. Thank you for loving and caring for our family. My heart is so full and we have truly felt the love of all of you, thank you so much. It is comforting to know there are so many people that are routing for our daughter as much as we will be during this awful trial.

With that being said...

...today we came home from the hospital!! Yea!! Bree did very well with her first round of chemotherapy. She did get nauseated, and was pretty irritable at times, but overall did great. She is a fighter! We won't see many effects until a few days from now when her blood counts will begin to drop. We have had a crash course in cellular biology. I've learned more about white blood cells, neutrophils, and hemoglobin than I ever wanted to know. We feel so blessed to have such great doctors that know exactly what they're doing and will be with us every step of the way.

Here's a few pictures of Bree's first chemo treatment:
Our nurse Robyn & Breezy! The chemo drug is hooked up to her IV line and pumped into her bloodstream over a few hours. In a nutshell, the cancer tumor eats up the chemo drug and the tumor slowly dies as her good tissues are hurt and rebuild themselves. More kari-cancer-101 lessons to come!

Our little munchikin happy and spoiled with lots of toys, the way it should be!She was so pleasant during the chemo. It wasn't until a few days after that it started to cause her some upset stomach. Now that we are home, she is feeling and resting so much better.

Sweet moments with her grandparents (G&G Cook and Papa Smith)
Here's Minnie Mouse and Tinkerbell (cousin Corinne) - BFF's always!
Here's our beautiful black and blue baby girl!Thank goodness for these black eyes...if they never would have shown up, we would have had no idea this cancer was growing inside her.

Again, we love you all and thank you for your thoughts and prayers in her behalf. Please continue to keep her in your prayers as this will be a long and tretcherous journey. I think Neal A. Maxwell said it best when he said "Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow in the tumbling we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised."



46 comments:

The Driggs said...

Welcome home! We are so happy you are home. Those pictures are just so sweet. She looks great. I am so sorry you are going through this. I am sorry she has had to have the nausea and that in a few days there will be more side effects. I am sorry for the long road ahead. But I am grateful you have already had some significant spiritual experiences and that you will have many more to come. I know the Lord is watching out for Bree and he is blessing and comforting you. We will be praying still (as are many others). We love you. We love you! WE LOVE YOU!!!!!

Chelsey said...

She is very lucky to have such an insightful and dedicated mother to take care of her. I'm so glad you're home and know that you guys will make it through this. Love you dearly.

Suzanne and Davey Maughan said...

I dont know if you remember me. I am a receptionist at Gilbert Ped's Power Ranch office. =) My sister knows Corrinne's mom from college and gave me the website to your blog. We have all been praying for you here and are so heartbroken to hear about Baby Bree's trial. I also gave the link to your website to Dr Carroll because he is concerned about her and wanted to know how things were going. I hope that's ok.
We will continue to keep you in our prayers.

The unpregnantmother said...

Glad it went ok. Will keep you in our prayers.

Gina and David said...

I'm a friend of Krista's up here in Prescott Valley. I've been thinking and praying for your family since we heard the news last week. I'm so glad you are home and I hope that Baby Bree can relax peacefully and let her body begin to heal. We will continue praying for you.

Addy said...

Glad to hear that you're home. There really is no place like home and it IS the best place for healing! Bree has such a sweet personality and Heavenly Father prepared her for her journey. Your famlily is in our prayers every day. Please let us know if there is ANYTHING we can do.

Ross said...

Kari and Justin,

I'm so sorry about your little Bree...what a doll. My heart hurts for her. She's so innocent. You both are such stalwarts and so, you've been blessed with stalwart children. You're a great example of faith to everyone. I have always looked up to you and appreciate your example. Thank God for eternal families, His Son and the Atonement. We are all so blessed. Heidi and I will be prayerful for little Bree. You have a beautiful family.

Love you guys- Ross, Heid and Kate

Tina said...

Sorry to know of your struggles... Bree is absolutely adorable and obviously a very special little girl. You're in our thoughts and prayers.
Friends from Lehi...
Steve & Tina McKinnon

Steph said...

Oh, Kari, I am so glad you are home! Home is always so much better than the hospital. Thank you so much for letting everyone know what is going on. We are so worried and it is good to know things are going well so far. We will continue to fast and pray for Bree and your family. All offers of help still stand--anything we can do, we would love to do, anytime. We love you!

JakenDebbie said...

I'm so glad you get to be home! Your Bree is such a sweetheart -- and so tough! I love the NAM quote...thanks for that. I love you, Kares!!

Kelly said...

Kari-Im so glad you guys are home! It must be so comforting for Bree to be in her own bed and have her brothers under the same roof. "Happyness" helps heal! We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers daily! Bree is so Lucky to have you and Justin as her parents! Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he gave her to you! Love you Lots, Kelly

brownymama said...

Bree is so blessed to have you as her mom- and Justin as her dad. I am so blessed to have you in my life as you teach me so much. I'm so glad you guys are home. Home where love, comfort, and beauty can surround you! And where there are lots of toys for Bree and Momma for the boys! Love you! Whatever you need, let me know!

The Gerard Family said...

So glad you are HOME!! Bree looks so happy in all these pictures which makes it even harder!! We are constantly praying for you all and for this long road ahead. It so nice when you can turn to your faith for so much comfort. STAY STRONG!!

the bates motel said...

hieee! i'm so glad you guys are finally home! and no one can bug her every 5 minutes! good luck w/ everything today! we are thinking of you guys!

The Scotts said...

She looks like such a sweet little girl. I just love her cheeks. Welcome home and we will for sure to pray for her and your family. Thanks for the update.

Melissa Bosen said...

I'm glad that you and Bree were able to go home. What a blessing....probably something that we all take for granted. So many people are being touched as they learn about your family and what Bree is going through. Thank you for being so strong, courageous and positive. You are an example to so many.
I love you!!

Melissa Bosen said...

I had not heard about your bout with the flu (your mom's comment). I'm so sorry! Please take care of yourself when you can...get some sleep, go for a run, watch a funny movie. I'm ready and waiting to help when you need me.

Dance Mama said...

What a sweet little angel Bree is...so serene and beautiful, despite all she has been through this past week. We are so glad you are all home. I can't imagine the emotions you are going through right now, but I hope you know we are hear for you and love you so much.

Spuhlers said...

I just received this news from a friend of mine in your parents ward... I'm so sorry to hear about this trial you are going through, but also am encouraged by your writing and the spirit you have! You are always so uplifting and although I know this has to be so hard, the hardest!!!, I also know you have strong faith and that you will be comforted by prayers and those around you. Please know we are thinking and praying for you and your sweet little girl. She's beautiful!!!

britty said...

Kari and Justin, we are so in awe of your family, you are true examples of faith and love. Bree is in our thoughts and prayers. she is such a sweet and beautiful blessing of a girl!

Jaimee said...

So glad you are home from the hospital. Bree looks so sweet in her hospital bed. I am so sorry you have to go thru this and so sorry she gets nauseas and irritable from the chemo--it can't be easy for any of you. You are in our prayers each day. Good luck and know that God sends His angels to attend Bree. You are loved!

Carolyn said...

I'm so touched by your faithful approach to this nightmare! You are a beautiful Mother, Kari! (Justin is great too!) I'm glad Bree is home. Our whole family is praying for Bree and you, even Sarah and Emma never forget. I believe in miracles! I appreciate the updates...thanks for sharing this piece of your life and being such a great example of strength and faith. We just love you guys!Our love, Carolyn

dustin and amy said...

Kari, you are so strong, it amazes me, thank you so much for sharing a bit of your testimony it brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad to hear that you are home. I would love to help in anyway I can. We lov you guys and will continue to keep you in our prayers daily.

Grandma and Grandpa cook said...

We are so pleased you can all be back together as a family. Little Bree looks so adorable in her hospital pictures. Thanks for sharing your feelings, it helps all of us be strengthen as we see your strength. There is so much love out there for Bree and her mommy and daddy and brothers. We are all pulling for you and can feel the hand of the Lord lifting you up even though those looking in may wonder how you are handling everything. We know the Lord has all things in His power and He is filled with love and mercy for you and Justin, the boys and especially Bree. The quote by Elder Maxwell says it all. We love our little Breezy. We love you all and continue in prayer and fasting. We Believe in Miracles!

Shawnie said...

You are amazing! Hang in there! I am SO happy you are home. That must feel fantastic. Hospital cots are just not fun for sleeping. I think about you all the time and always have a prayer in my heart for Bree and all of you. Love, Shawnie

tHe WaRnEr FaMiLy said...

So glad to hear she is home. You are all in our prayers every night. Jase is fasting again for her with the old Teachers. They are very sincere about doing this. It's very nice to see as a parent. Justin, you were a great influence on these boys, and on Jase. Thank you. You will be blessed for your service. God be with you guys tonight and through the week.
Sean

Dallin's Closet said...

Welcome home Bree!

Annie and Clayton Evans said...

Thank goodness you are home!!!! I bet Bree just loved being back with those two boys and in her own bed...You are such a beautiful family, We think about you often and pray for you even more, I hope this week is fantastic for you !!!!!

Maggie said...

Kari, I am Mary Johnson's sister. She called me so that I could put Bree's name in the Fresno Temple which is close to where we live. I just wanted to let you know that your sweet family is in our prayers. I also asked my friend Heather to put Bree's name in the Temple close to her in Utah.

Holly Schwendiman said...

So happy to see her home and praying for the best!

Love,
Holly

DIY REDS! said...

hey cook family. the johnson family let us know what has been happening and you are in our prayers. we love you and bree is just adorable (this is the first time we have seen her). caleb and gunner are just to big now.
love
the redmonds

Jason and Shay Johnson said...

We are so glad that you are home! There is just something peaceful to have your whole family in their own beds everynight. We are praying that you have a good week and can celebrate some more little victories. We would love to help out some how...if there is anything please let me know. And welcome home Breezy!

The Hulsey Family said...

I found your site through a friend, Summer Driggs. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been there! My 2 yr old got diagnosed with cancer and we were treated at Phoenix Children's Hospital as well. They nurses there are GREAT! You have been in our thoughts and prayers! I know the emotions you are having and how scary this does feel! The Lord will get you through this! If you are interested about a health food juice we gave our little guy during chemo, email me at hulseys(at)msn(dot).com It really helped his body recover a lot faster and not allow his WBCs to drop so low. (in fact we were never delayed a treatment due to low blood counts). It also helped him not be nauseated for so long, plus its just a good immune system builder. Anyhow, email me if you want more info. Hang in there!!

Nash said...

Your family will be in our prayers.
Your strength is very inspiring.
Shanda

Heather said...

Hi Kari and family. My name is Heather I live in Utah. I want you to know that Bree and your family are now on the prayer rolls at the Bountiful, SLC, and Jordan River Temples. I learned of your sweet amgel from Mary Johnson's sister Maggie. You are all in our prayers.

Suzanne and Davey Maughan said...

I have never seen a blog post containing 35 comments! I guess it shows how much Bree is loved. I am so glad to hear that she came home from the hospital.
I cannot imagine the hurt and fear you are going through. My trials seem insignificant compared to many, including baby Bree's. One of my favorite scriptures is 1st Corinthians 10:13.
I know Christ is by her side, helping her through this chemotherapy and letting her know it will all be ok. He knows her pain, as well as yours.
I find it comforting knowing that our Savior suffered for us and knows the pains we deal with.
As Im sure has happened already, I will put her name on the temple prayer list and keep her in my own prayers.
Seeing Gunner yesterday and Caleb today made my heart hurt for them to be trying to grasp what is going on with their baby sister at such a young age...though, seeing Caleb always brings a smile to my face. My daughter is named after my best friend growing up who had "up syndrome". =)
I hope you know we think about you at Gilbert Pediatrics and even in my own personal family life. I tell my husband about Bree's updates and we are rooting for you.
If there is anything at all that we can do to help, let us know. Just write me on my blog.
Sorry this is so long and jumps all over but I just want you to know you are supported by so many people.

Jenny said...

Kari, I don't know if you'll read this through all the 36 messages! Steve and I are praying for your family and hope that you'll come through this quickly. Thank you for updating what's going on, I've been thinking of you all week wondering how you are doing. Hang in there. As you can see you have many that love you! :)

Nuestra Familia said...

We are so thankful to know such a wonderful family as yours. Bree is so strong and beautiful. She will win this fight, she is so lucky to have such great parents and family. We LOVE you and continue to pray for Bree and the rest of the family. Ale
Call for anything at anytime

Whitney said...

Kari and Justin,
This is Whitney (Justin's cousin). I just wanted you guys to know that your beautiful family has been and will continue to be in our family's prayers. We love you guys and your darling Bree. I am so impressed by your strength and faith.

Team Howell said...

Just want to say my love and prayers are with you at this time. Love your cuz,
April

Staci said...

Justin & Kari~ We are so sorry to hear about Bree's diagnosis. Our thoughts and prayers are with little Bree & your entire family. I wish I could do more to help. We can't imagine what you must be going through. Hang in there.
Love, Troy & Staci Brinkerhoff

Amy Lemmermann said...

Bless your heart, those pictures of Bree in the hospital brought tears to my eyes. I just wnt you to know we have been praying for little Bree. I also want you to know that I know miracles DO happen. We will keep praying.

Traeger Tribe said...

I'm so glad to hear you guys are home! Know that you'll be in our prayers throughout this trial!

Aimee's Family Journal said...

I am so happy that you have the chance to be home, and feel normal! Isn't it amazing when you think the world really is going to end and you can't deal with anything more, that somehow, a week later, things can be better! I can't imagine the emotions you have felt. You have been on my mind so much! I hope that you are able to rest, and I hope that Bree continues to get healthy! What great news. She is a little champion.

Anonymous said...

We have been praying for Bree and your family. Paul and I know what it is like to go through cancer. Paul had cancer our first year of marriage. Phippilians 4:13 helped my daily " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I know keeping positive and praying helped me through our ordeal. Bree is so beautiful and her personality just shines through on her face! We are glad you are home.

Paul and Karen Neal

Heather Deyhimi said...

Your family is so amazing!!! Welcome home...all your friends at vista del oro are glad to see your family is home. Thank you so much for keeping us updated. Not a day goes by that your family isn't in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if you need anything (remember I'm only a few doors down).