Monday, January 26, 2009

Endure


Today we got the news that Bree’s cancer continues to be in her bone marrow. 75% of the cancer (in the bone marrow) was “killed” by the chemo but there still is a fight to be fought. There is 25% left to get rid of. Needless to say, I was disappointed because I really thought it would be cleared out of her bone marrow, that the docs would have said that she was clean of the cancer and that we could proceed with discussing surgery to remove her tumor and be rid of this whole process… but that’s not the case. It’s a little discouraging because after the doctors saw how much the tumor in her abdomen shrunk he was very optimistic it would be gone in her bone marrow. She will have to go through 4 more rounds of chemotherapy to kill off the rest of the cancer in her bone marrow, which will also continue to shrink the tumor in her abdomen. Since she will need more chemo anyway removing the rest of the tumor by surgery won’t be necessary at this time. In the beginning they expected to do 8 rounds and possible radiation treatments. But, when we discovered the news that her tumor had shrunk more than what was expected we really believed her bone marrow could be clean of this cancer. We wished we could be on our way to recovery ahead of schedule…instead we are just on track and will continue her protocol as expected. We are happy that she is on the road to recovery at any rate. :)

I hope I don’t seem ungrateful for all that we’ve been blessed with thus far. It is a HUGE blessing that her tumor has shrunk so much and so much of the cancer has died, I do just feel disappointed and a little heart broken that my baby will have to go through 3 more months of chemotherapy. 3 more months of hospital stays, antibiotics, blood tests, weekly doctor visits, blood transfusions, etc. I feel like the last 3 months have dragged on and they feel so long…like the time passed by so slowly. I want to have the strength to endure the next 3 months. I NEED to have the strength to endure it. I NEED to be strong for her.

Anyhow, that’s the update today. We are hoping to start her 5th round of chemo on Friday. It should be another 3-day treatment, so we get to watch the Super Bowl in the hospital☺. We’ve enjoyed our time at home being together as a family. Bree’s so happy at home. I’ve enjoyed doing the mundane Mommy chores and now its time to face the music and endure the next chapter of this journey. I want to say thanks for all the comments left here. It makes our family feel so loved, the many sweet things that are said buoy me up and help keep me going….however, I’m not as great as you all think I am… ha ha.

Here we are before her tests last Thursday. Bree loves to pose for the camera!

After her procedures and still smiling!



44 comments:

Andrea said...

I know you are grateful, but you are still her Mommy and you want all this is be rid of, we can always pray for a miracle and know that it can happen

Anonymous said...

It would have been such a blessing to have the best news of no more treatment but as you said...it's wonderful that the tumor is shrinking and that cancer level is down 75%. As you always do, keep a bright outlook. When spring comes with the renewal of nature so will Bree be renewed. I will continue to pray for Bree, you, your husband and your whole family. In a few months you can put this behind you.

Trish said...

Kari, I know this isn't the outcome you were hoping for...but the good news is she is still right on track for a full recovery. Try not to let not being "ahead" of schedule discourage you. I know that's hard, because you all just want this to be over. All will be well! Bree is strong, and she is getting stronger everyday!! Each treatment is one step closer to being cancer free. We love you!!!!

Georgia Josies said...

I'm not sure how I found your blog...but know that you have a family in Georgia praying for your cute little family!!! Your courage gives so many people strength!! Hang in there!!!

LinK said...

I will continue to pray for little Bree and your family having to endure the cards that have been delt. You are strong, but also human. It's okay that it's tough. It isn't suppose to be easy. I am heartbroken for you and when I think about having to put myself in your place, I often wonder if I could be half as strong as you are. Your family is just beautiful. Your posts always put things into perspective for me. Thanks. You are in my prayers.

Steph said...

Kari, you wouldn't be human if you weren't disappointed to not have the news you were hoping for. We were all hoping Bree wouldn't have to go through any more chemo, and that you could get back to "normal" life. I know yesterday must have been a discouraging day for you.

But, you are stronger than you think you are--I promise. A year ago, did you EVER think you could handle what you have been through so far? And you're still standing! And Bree is too. I know Heavenly Father will give you the strength to get through this, and your friends and family are still behind you. I so wish you didn't have to go through this, but we'll keep praying for you all. Carter never forgets to pray for Bree in our family prayers.

I wish I could bring you dinner this weekend, but it is Annika's birthday on Saturday and we are doing a blanket-making service project all day in her memory. But hopefully I can bring it on the next round, if you want. I always love to see you!

Hang in there. We love you!

simplyshye said...

I always look forward to reading your posts . We will still keep you in our thoughts and prayers .
with lots of love - jay and shye

Ali said...

Oh congratulations! We are still praying for you and Bree ;) Keep the faith ;)

the bates motel said...

i'm sorry for the semi bummer news. that's no fun to have to "endure" this for 3 more months, but hopefully all cancer will be killed the tumor will have shrunk even more and you guys can have a wonderful summer (if az summer's are wonderful). and yes you really are that amazing!

Melissa Bosen said...

You are certainly entititled to feel broken hearted and discouraged. I'm sorry that this miracle we've been praying for did not happen. But it will in the Lord's timing. When you look back on this, the months of enduring will seem short compared to the rest of life. I am here for you if when you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent your frustration to.

LinK said...

Kari, I wanted to add that I put a post about Bree on my blog today--in case you wanted to check it out. As always, you're in my prayers.

Jason and Shay Johnson said...

Cooks, we are so sorry you didn't get better news. We will continue to pray and fast for Bree and your family. Let us all hope that with each treatment Bree gets stronger and is closer to being well. Hang in there...let us know if we can help.

Ben & Heather said...

In the words of our dear prophet, Gordon B Hinckley "Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured."

You are a wonderful mother and I know you are living this concept. Keep enduring and enjoying your sweet family.

Brooke said...

God must know what a strong little girl and family you have! Like you said, it is great that it is still progress but I am sure it is still rough. Hang in there. Feel free to vent or express yourself on here anytime. We are always here! :)

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't receive the news that you expected, but I think it's wonderful that the majority of the cancer is gone! What a blessing! She can do it - keep believing in her as you always have.

Rach said...

Anyone would be disappointed. We all in our heart of hearts hopes that our child doesn't have to go through an ordeal even when we know He knows what He is doing. Sometimes it is just hard. I will be praying for strength for you as you continue this process with Bree. Also, praying that these last 4 rounds knock that 25% plus the tumor on its tail!!!!!! What a beautiful blessing Bree is--will be thinking of and praying for her on Friday!

Kelly said...

You are doing great! I am so proud of you and justin and all the sacrifices you have made to be the best parents to your little angle during this time! Maybe she just needed a little more time to get rid of it all! Enduring is hard!! But "he" never said it would be EASY!Love you

brownymama said...

You have me crying again. I know you are grateful. You are not the least bit ungrateful. You just love your baby girl so much! I love her too and I want this cancer monster gone! I know you can endure this and when you feel like you can't take it anymore, call me. Call before you think you can't take it anymore! (: I love you Kari! Bree is doing great! She is strong- she get's it from her momma! (: I'm sorry I haven't called- my phone isn't working. It should be back on tonight. Love you!

brownymama said...

P.S. Anna was mad that I closed your site. She wants to say, "I love Baby Bree so much and her hair bow match". Whatever!

Kasey said...

she is so beautiful and I know that God has great things in store for her! Keep your head up and know that so many are lifting her, you, and the rest of your lovely family up in prayer daily!

LanaBanana said...

You have so many comments already that hopefully give you a boost! I want to echo everybody and what they've said. All I know is I'd be totally bawling and lying around in bed wondering why I can't get a break. I usually do that for a few minutes before I sort of slap myself and start counting my blessings and repenting about being ungrateful. :) You're doing the best you can and you're allowed to feel all the normal feelings that come with this. And, in the end, your attitude is always upbeat and hopeful. The Lord will keep you strong for as long as you need it. That much I know for sure! Love you guys.

Sally said...

Hi...I am just a stranger who has been touched by your story and courage. I share your faith in the restored gospel. I just wanted to let you know that I personally feel that even your disappointment shows great strength. I mean the more you hope for things the greater the disappointment. You have enough faith to move this mountain in your life. Bree is so beautiful and wow how she has touched so many lives. Hang in there! You are in our prayers.

Crys said...

When you are going through cancer, it is hard to be grateful for anything except the letters NED- No Evidence of Disease. I am sure no one doubts your gratefulness of the progress, but as you know- one tumor cell is cancer. You either have it or you don't and it super sucks. Everything is so relative too. I say if you are upset- be upset. Your daughter has a mean cancer and that sucks. I can tell you are doing what you gotta do to help her and that is what matters most. I am watching always and hoping for the best. That picture is so perfect. Sweet child- she seems so tough.

kemra said...

I know you don't know me - I'm a friend of one of your friends - but I feel like I have to keep checking on your sweet family. I'm glad that the cancer is reducing, but so sorry for the disappointment. Hang in there! My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your sweet little Bree.

Clay's gal said...

I talked to Kristin today and heard the news. If we can help you "endure" in any way , you just let us know! You are in the home stretch, just keep your eye on the prize: a beautiful, HEALTHY little girl! One of these days you will be able to look back at these difficult times and see what a strong woman both you and Bree have become together. Trials do make us stronger and give us a new appreciation for life. You have opened my eyes in so many ways: Don't sweat the small stuff! Enjoy every minute of being a mother! Health is not something to take for granted.......I could go on and on! So, thank you Kari for sharing your journey with us!

The Scotts said...

I think you are fine to be discouraged. That is exciting that there is only 25% left though. I can't even imagine the feeling of doing everything you guys are doing. You are awesome. Go grab a pillow and scream really loud in it. It sometimes helps!

Mia said...

Kari, yes you are as great as everyone says and dont think otherwise!!! You are so strong and a great mommy! We continue to pray for your family......soon she will be cancer free and healthy!!!!!

Adam&Rachel said...

your daughter is so beautiful! That's great that the tumor has shrunk. hang in there on the next few rounds of Chemo. You can do it! The Savior will help you be strong. I can only imagine what hope and happiness your daughters cute smile brings to you in all of this! I know the Lord is mindful of your family!

Nuestra Familia said...

We love you Cooks!! Bree is so pretty, like her mommy and I love she poses to the camera. We will continue to pray for Breezy that she will continue to have a strong body through the next (and no more) chemos!!
Your family is a great example to me, Thank you!

Jill said...

Kari, I'm so sad that I didn't get to visit with you today. You seem to always give me strength, when I'm suppose to be giving you strength. You are a natural at that. Please call me at ANYTIME if you need to take a nap and Gunner is there. Next week my schedule will be back to normal and I pick Gunner up on Fri. at 10:30ish. I'd also love to come and help with Bree so you can rest. I'm only a phone call away. Please use me, I'm asking nicely:) Hang in there. You are stronger than you think!!! I see it, even if you don't:)

Sommer said...

Hang in there... you sweet, sweet family!

kate said...

You do not seem ungrateful at all! You just want your poor baby better. Any mom would feel the same. I was thinking about how you were saying you need strength to get through these next rounds. In the bible there are a few great chapters about Gideon and him fighting with just a few men. It is so good to read. He and his men were so tired. But the bible doesn't say God gave them rest in the midst of their battle, but that he gave them strength in the midst of their battle. I will be praying for strength for you eventhough you can't get a break during all of this. Hang in there.

Grandma and Grandpa cook said...

Just wanted you to know we are thinking about you and Bree as you enter this next round of chemo. We love you and think you and Justin are just amazing. You are totally normal in your feelings. What's most important is that you are doing just what you're doing, getting right back up and enduring with happiness and faith and hope. Like Dad always says, "It's dark, but morning's a comin." And that bright morning will be just around the corner when Bree is cancer free forever. We love you all.

April said...

Oh Kari, I'm so sorry. What a tough road the last few months. You are so good to keep us all posted. I'll continue to pray each day for little Bree and for you and Justin of course.

Jaimee said...

Kari, you are an amazing person. And not ungrateful at all! Anyone would hope that things would be moving along faster so the happy ending could come sooner! You are human, after all! We continue to pray for you, Bree, and your sweet family. We love you and think of you often. Good luck!

Ixchelle said...

I can't remember how I found your blog, but i did. You are my hero. I had cancer with 4 kids just two years ago, and boy does it stink. I am praying for you all. This is HARD stuff to deal with. I would love to have your address or email. please send it to me if you don't mind. ixchellenalin@gmail.com. Thanks for your example of love, patience, and endurance.

Kathleen said...

Kari, we didn't have the Internet for most of the week and I was so anxious to read your update. Thank you for keeping us all posted on Bree's progress. We have prayed that her body responds well to this 4th treatment this weekend. May the Lord's strength and tender mercies continue to be with you, surround you, and sustain you through these next 3 months. Elder Scott teaches us, "You were taught and prepared for the circumstances you would personally encounter in mortality...Your memory of premortal life would be kept from you to assure that it would be a valid test, but there would be guidance given to show you how to live." ("Truth Restored", Ensign, Nov. 2005). I know that through the Holy Spirit you and Justin are being led and shown how to LIVE--how to cling to the Lord and His promises, how to keep going, how to nurture Bree and her adorable brothers. May you know of everyone's deep love and admiration for you as you, Justin, and Bree continue this fight that you were taught about and prepared for before you were born.

Melody B. said...

Wow, what beautiful girls in the face of such a trial, both mama and baby.:) Glad to hear it seems to be doing it's job though, maybe a little slower than we'd like, but working nonetheless.:) Expectations are what kill us. WE expect certain things and then when they don't happen as we imagine them...the fall is so far.:( Hope this time around it licks it!:)

Alisa Larson said...

Hang in there Kari! I can only imagine how draining it is - especially for you as the mother. And poor Bree will have to suffer thru all this again - THANKFULLY she won't remember any of this happened and by next year she'll just be a healthy, happy girl! We love you and pray daily for you.

MommyRohner said...

We continue to keep Bree in our prayers. I want her to get better SO BADLY.

Brandon and Mandy Rohner

britty said...

Bree, we love you and pray for you often. keep getting better and being such a joy!

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

We are praying for your family. I'm also praying that "We will see HIM shine in 2009"

I'm not sure where my previous post went, but I was wondering if you looked into Stem cell transplant? I know people come (Peds) from all over the country to get treatment. Here is the link: http://fairviewbmt.org/Ped/index.asp

My 2 year old cousin was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 2 years ago this month. After receiving chemo and the stem cell transplant, we are happy to say he is CANCER FREE!!
I didn't know if you've heard of it or not, but I hope you are not mad or angry or hurt for me posting. That is not my intention at all! I'm just a hurting mama after reading all you've been through. Your family is truely an inspiration to some many people all over the world!!!
Blessings, Amy (student nurse in MN)

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