Friday, March 20, 2009

7 down, 1 to go

That’s right! Bree completed her 7th round of chemo this week. Orignially she was supposed to be admitted on Friday and complete the 3 day treatment, but she was delayed because Thursay night she had a fever of 100.8 (due to a cold) so the docs wanted to wait a few days for the fever to leave and allow her to get some much needed rest at home.

So, Tuesday morning came and she was admitted (after waiting a few hours of course!) to the hospital by noon and was able to start chemo that afternoon at 3:30pm. She was put in “isolation” because she still had a runny nose and since the hospital is still in RSV mode this basically meant that she couldn’t come out of the room. If I left, I had to wear a gown, gloves & a mask. So, basically we were hermits and didn’t leave the room in 3 days!

This round she received carboplatin and etoposide. She has received both of these drugs a few times and in times past, has done well. This time was different. Tuesday night came and she started throwing up, a lot. She was given adivan, zofran and a steroid called decadron to help her body not vomit, however, nothing was helping. She threw up for 3 straight hours…11:30pm to 2:30am. I just held her on my chest and every time she started to vomit, I leaned her over the bucket, and talked to her trying to give her some comfort. She just couldn’t hold anything down. Poor baby was just so exhausted. I cried and prayed for her body to stop rejecting anything in her stomach. Finally, relief came and she was able to sleep by 3am.

The next day she just wanted to sleep, but wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on my chest. So, I held her the entire day. Fortunately, she didn’t throw up the rest of the time and the doctor on call was so nice and moved up the time her chemo was given by 4 hours, so we were able to go home earlier than we originally anticipated. I brought her home yesterday afternoon and she was so happy to be home. She squealed when she saw her dog, and was so happy just to spend sometime outside in the beautiful weather. When I took her upstairs for a nap, she practially lunged for her bed and went right to sleep! Poor little baby had a rough time, but she made it through!

During this round she also required another blood transfusion because her hemoglobin had been low (8.5) and had been that low for 2 weeks. So, since she was about to be "knocked down" again by the chemo, they thought it would be best to buoy up her body with new blood. Even though there are risks with blood transfusions, she did well and certainly feels better now! (This picture was taken Tuesday (St. Patrick's Day) before chemo started...she came in so happy)A little blood...

...and my, how her color returned!

These were my favorite pictures of this round! Happy St. Patty's day!

So, 7 rounds completed and 1 to go then she will have all the tests done again to see where the cancer is. Ah, light at the end of the tunnel! She’ll have an MRI and a bone marrow aspiration. We and the doctors are all hopeful that she is clean of the cancer in her bone marrow and that the tumor has shrunk down enough to resect (take it out without harming any vital organs) or better yet, that its shrunk down to nothing!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Bree!

My beautiful baby is 1! What a first year she's had! This little girl is remarkable. She has a onesie that says "Perfect in every way" and that totally describes my Bree. What a perfect little girl to go through all that she's had to just to stay healthy. She's happy no matter what! Happy Birthday, we love you sweet girl!!Some of my favorite things about her at this age are:
*She says uh-oh for everything
*She will sit and play with toys so easily (her current favorites are any bouncy ball and her Fisher Price purse!)
*She is so content with everything...hence her nickname Easy Breezy
*She loves her Daddy & brothers
*She is shy and will nuzzle into me when people look or talk to her
*When I pick her up if she's been crying, she settles down immediately. It's sweet to know that I can solve just about anything by cuddling with her
*She's feisty yet sweet. She is a fighter, and she's proved she doesnt back down!
*She really is happy all the time, even when sick or tired, she's still smiling!
*She's starting to crawl all over the house. The girl is on the move now!

We celebrated her birthday last Saturday with lots of family & friends! It was a beautiful, yet very windy day, but great nonetheless! I took her tube out so she could enjoy her party tube-free (plus, she's so much cuter without the tube!) As a tradition we want to start, my SIL Krista had the idea to get balloons for all the kids and have them release them into the air while making a wish for Bree. We all know what our wish for her is.. to be CANCER FREE soon! Thanks for the cute idea Krista!

It was fun to see all our wishes fly straight up to Heaven!

She had fun being outside and seeing all her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She didnt really care about her cake, but we made sure she got a big bite of frosting!Happy 1st Birthday Breezy!

Today (Friday) I took Bree to the doctor's office to check her counts and get admitted to the hospital for chemo. But, they decided to postpone it until Tuesday because she's been sick. Her nose is so runny and she's had a low grade fever. The good news is her ANC is at 4000. However, her hemoglobin is low so she might require a blood transfusion upon checking into the hospital. But, she does get a few days off to get rested and then we'll be able to do round 7 of chemo next week. After this next round, only 1 more! The end is in sight!

Lastly, my sweet friend Summer designed this beautiful card for Bree's one year announcement. Gorgeous right? She is amazingly talented! A few weeks ago Bree pulled her tube out in the morning, (which she does almost every couple of days) so I got really ambitious and tried to do a photoshoot with her, complete with tutu and her beautiful necklace. :) I had no idea what I was doing with my new camera, but it was really fun and the pictures turned out cute. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I think I spoke too soon!

My last post was on Sunday and when Monday hit, it seemed that everyone got a little worse. Caleb's fever shot up to 103.5 and Gunner started coughing uncontrollably. Great, right? Well, I took Bree to her doctor that day and come to find out, she's neutropenic! What?! Her ANC (absolute neutrophil count) was 60. It should be at least above 500 to be out of the extreme danger zone. The docs say that since she had been fighting off a cold last week combined with the chemo she received last weekend, her little body just used every last one of her "fighter" cells to stay healthy. So, they said that she'd have to have 3 more days of neupogen shots(these stimulate her body to make more "fighter" cells). Bummer! Fortunately, since she didnt have a fever, I was able to take her home instead of checking into the hospital! Horrah! But, we also were coming home to some major sicknesses, coughs and fevers. Well, that night Justin took the boys to urgent care to check for ear infections and to just rule out any major problems. Instead he was told that Caleb tested positive for strep throat and that Gunner was showing signs for it also. Of course! So, they sent them home with antibiotics. Monday night was not a fun one. We were up a lot due to Gunner's cough, also checking the boys for fevers and just worried frantic that Bree would catch what they have and send her to the hospital. The next day (Tuesday) Caleb is feeling much better (thank goodness) but Gunner keeps on coughing and coughing (literally non-stop) so I decide to call the doctor and get him seen again. We left with a diagnosis of mild asthma and 3 prescriptions for Gunner to be on breathing treatments around the clock and steroids (in the breathing machine) to calm his inflamation. He's one of those kids that the second he gets a cough, we know it's going to turn into something bad so from now on, any little cough and it's straight to the nebulizer for him!
Today (Wednesday) everyone is doing much better. Bree has somehow managed to stay healthy! This, in itself, is totally a miracle. Caleb is so much happier and feels so much better. Gunner is on the mend and Bree is still fever free! I'll take her in tomorrow to check her counts again to make sure she's on the rise. Until then, lysol wipes and soap & water are my best friends!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sick Central what our house feels like! This past week has been all about sickness! I am SO done with colds/flus/fevers/coughs! This week has been one that we will be excited to put behind us. I have to say, I dont think I would wish this flu/cold on my worst enemy! It is so yucky and it makes you feel down right, well, "poopy" as Gunner would say! By the way, I dont know how but Gunner managed to not get sick somehow. Well, at least he's healthy for now. Time will tell if he can fight off the bad germs!

However, on a positive note, Bree stayed healthy enough to stay out of the hospital!!! Yea!!! She has been fever free since Friday and we are so glad! She's been coughing still but I think she is on the mend. We go in to the clinic tomorrow to check her counts and make sure she's doing okay with her ear infection.

Here are a few pictures from her last round of chemotherapy and a few pictures of the boys:
This girl was a monkey last week in the hospital. She is getting more and more mobile these days and it is hard to keep her entertained in her 'prison cell' as I like to call her bed.
Dont you just LOVE the double chin in this picture? Oh, how I love to kiss this girl's chubby cheeks, even if they are covered in tape!
I dont know why I included this picture, it's mostly so we can show her someday that she DID go through chemotherapy. I love her smile in the background.
Lately, we have been conducting an experiment with Caleb's hair and seeing how long it can grow. I think he is going for the Elvis look here, complete with heavy side burns. But gotta love that million dollar smile!
This last picture was today after Justin & Gunner got home from church. I thought they looked so handsome in their ties!
Last, I wanted to say thank you to those that have told me you were praying and fasting for our Breezy this week, especially. I firmly believe Heavenly Father has heard those heart-felt prayers and has granted us yet, another, miracle by keeping her out of the hospital. Her cold could have turned into something really bad and I'm certain that she was protected due to so many people all over asking our Father in Heaven to strengthen her body. We are humbled, grateful and look forward to this next week being so much better!