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!



35 comments:

Kathryn said...

Kari and Justin,
We are so glad there is a light at the end of this long tunnel! Lane and I follow the updates religiously, and the kids never miss a prayer without blessing Bree. We love you guys so much and know you guys are going to get through this. We would love to get together with you some time when you aren't too busy!

Jessica said...

Everything sounds so wonderful! My thoughts & prayers are going to be with you guys. And, that second picture of you & Bree is so sweet!

Morris Mama said...

Your pics are darling! We are praying for you that this will be it! It's good to hear that the docs are optimistic!

Travis and Marie said...

she's so darling...happy in spite of all the turmoil she is going through. You guys are amazing and seem so resiliant! Hopefully, all the cancer is gone! That's my prayer for you...

Steph said...

Oh, I'm so sorry she had such a rough time with this one! That is awful when your baby is so sick and you can't really do anything to make it better. I'm so glad there is only one round left. Hang in there!

I love your St. Patrick's Day pictures! You are both so cute!

Still praying for Bree to stay healthy and the chemo to work!

Napes said...

Kari, if anyone wants to know how the Lord is working in your personal life...the confidence on your face in these pictures says it all. Look what you have learned. Look at these pictures in comparison to the newness and fear in the beginning.
Growth is of the spirit, and I honor you for following it.

My Grace sends Bree a happy birthday. Both girls celebrate March 12th.

aren't they beautiful?
Amy

The Johnson Family said...

It makes me sad to think of her so very sick!! But I am glad that you have one more treatment down and that you are home.I bet you both were exhausted! I love the pictures of you both in green..so very cute!

Katie J. Layton said...

I have been keeping up with Bree's story. I will specifically pray for the cancer and the tumor to be completely gone. She is so adorable. My heart goes out to you and Justin as the parents. We have been praying for the both of you too.

agravette said...

God bless you all so much. I'm so sorry Baby Bree had such a rough time with the chemo. Also very glad that she was finally able to get some much needed rest. We're praying for you all!

Christina said...

I cannot read your chemo updates without tears. Your story touches me so much. I'm so sorry she was so sick. It breaks my heart reading that. Thankfully you are almost through (cross fingers). I don't know that I've ever prayed for someone I don't know. But I know what the power of prayer can do so I will continue until this is over for your family. Best of luck.

Sommer said...

Yea... great news! Love the St. Patty's Day picture.

Kathleen said...

Tears come to my eyes every time I read your updates, too, Kari, just like Christina said. Tears of hope, love, sympathy, joy. It's as if Heavenly Father is letting me feel a very, very small percentage of His love for you (not that His love is quantifiable), and yet that small amount overwhelms me. It must have been heartbreaking to see your baby not keep anything down for such a long stretch of time. I'm also sorry you were all cooped up in your room, but I feel thankful to the nurses and doctors who protected Bree from all the "sickies" in the hospital. Love, love, LOVE the photos of you and your adorable little leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day. You both look so beautiful in green, it really brings out the beauty in your eyes. But you both look gorgeous ALL the time, no matter what you're wearing! We are still praying for Bree daily and are excited for her progress. Her excitement for coming home was precious! How cute that she was thrilled to see her dog and that she showed such gratitude to be back in her own bed. I have a feeling that she WILL remember some things from this early, early period in her life, but just the happy things, the relief of feeling better and the joy of being so incredibly loved by everyone. She is SPECIAL!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for a few months now, and want you to know that I have been thinking and praying for Bree and your entire family on a daily basis. I have and 18 month old daughter myself, and cannot even begin to imagine what you all are going though; your strength and faith amaze me! I love the pictures from St. Patrick's Day, oh how cute she is!
I will continue to keep you and your precious family in my prayers!
~Sara, Kingwood TX

EmileeandJonny said...

That is so great that she only has one treatment left! We continue to pray for her daily and hope that she will be done with the cancer! By the way, those pictures are so cute of you and Bree.

brownymama said...

mwa! Kisses to my favorite baby. So sorry she was sick, but I'm also sorry you've been sick. I'm sure you are completely exhausted. It will be such a relief when this is all over! Love you!

Melissa Bosen said...

I LOVE those pictures of you & Bree! You hide your exhaustion well and look amazing. And Bree is just so beautiful and happy. It's because of her extra special mommy with her! I'm praying that the cancer is gone completely after this next round!

Amanda said...

The pictures with you and Bree are so beautiful. I pray that the final round goes smoothy, and she has a smoother go of it.
I am going to make an appointment to give blood at our local blood donor clinic. We forget about how vital and important such small gifts can be. God bless the donors who have given the strength and colour back yo her tiny body.

the bates motel said...

hieee! we are back. so glad that bree is doing good. love the pic of you two looking at eachother! so freakin cute. let's play this week!

Nuestra Familia said...

Thanks for those precious pictures. You girls are beautiful, I love Bree's green shirt and pretty bow.
We pray for you daily, I hope this last one is a lot better on Bree. Love you!

Brooke said...

What a cute St. Patty's day baby!! Glad she is feeling better and that you are almost done! yahoo!

JakenDebbie said...

Hooray!! We will be praying for the very best of news after that last round. We love you guys!! I sure love that last picture of you and Bree - so adorable!

Adam&Rachel said...

Oh I hope I hope it's gone! I am so glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I love the picture of you and Bree smiling at each other. Beautiful girls!
I know the Lord loves you and is giving you strength day to day. Isn't it great to know we don't have to face our trials alone. You are an example to so many!

The Scotts said...

That last picture of you two is adorable! I love her little smile. Poor little girl. You are such a good and strong mama! We are continuing to pray for her.

Fonnetta said...

Praise God! Bree is doing so well with all that she has been dealt with this cancer. She is the light at the end of your tunnel! You will continue to be in my prayers:)

Dance Mama said...

You and Bree are adorable in your green St. Patty's outfits! It is amazing that she still smiles so much despite all she has been through. What a sweetheart. We are praying that all will go well with the last round of chemo. We love you! Call me anytime you need anything!

Clay's gal said...

Hey Kari!
I have been thinking about you and your sweet family alot lately! I always ask Tim and Kristin for Bree updates. I forgot that I could come here for them as well! I have been out of the blogging world for so long and I'm ready to rejoin! Our prayers are with you!

Alisa Larson said...

I love the pic of you and Bree - so gorgeous! I'm so glad that round is over. I'm sorry I didn't make it to the hospital this time. I feel so bad that I missed a long stay. Love you and see ya Monday!!

The Driggs said...

Kari, I just realized that I never replied when I read this a week ago! I remember now that Brock had awoken with a nightmare and I went to tend him and never came back to the computer. I had wanted to say that I was amazed at how much color came back to her skin after the blood transfusion. It is so amazing how much of a role each little part of our body plays. I just love how happy she is whenever she comes home. That's the way it should be! I can't wait to see you tomorrow at our photography workshop!

Tom & Lindsey said...

Kari and Justin,
Your strength and faith are such an example to us. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. We are praying that these next test results will come back cancer free.

Melody B. said...

Everytime I see this sweet baby Bree I almost cry when I think of all she has been through and yet the smile remains on her face. Then I look at YOU Kari and see where she gets it from. YOU too are amazing! I love both of you and pray that this round will be the ONE to be IT!

Ashleigh and Zebb said...

oh so sad to see babies throwing up...but i'm glad she's feelin better and you couldn't have said it any better, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
I haven't checked up on little Bree really since Paige has been born, but now that I'm adjusting im starting to find SOME time in my day to start catchin up, but you guys are always in my prayers especially little Bree.
love you guys, let us know if there is anything I can do!!

Debbie said...

I check your blog daily. I continue to pray for Bree. I hope everything is okay.

Amanda Jane said...

I have been thinking of you and your family, and of course your beautiful baby girl.
I continue to put her in my prayers.

Erica Steverson Nichols said...

Hey Cuz! Just wanted to let you know that Bree has been in our prayers. I know from experience how it can break your heart to see your precious baby suffer so. Maybe her cousin is watching over her from the other side of the veil (along with many other family members). Tell Justin I got him last! Erica

Wendy said...

I loved all the pictures in this post. The ones of you and Bree together are heartwarming! Hang in there! The end of treatments is in sight!