Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not what we expected...

First off, today is Gunner's birthday so Happy 4th birthday buddy! Mommy & Daddy love you so much! (I didnt want to forget that it was his birthday with all that's been going on).

The past few days have been a whirlwind. Monday afternoon Bree started getting a fever. Within an hour it went from 99.4 to 102. I called the Dr's office and they had me bring her in right away. Her fever started getting worse and they administered antibiotics (Rocephen) right away. They took blood samples and sent them to be tested for a bacterial infection.

Her fever started to go down by about 9pm that night. She wasnt feeling well and had some crazy chills. She would just cling to me while shivering. My poor baby. Several hours later the fever came down. The next day they told us that she tested positive for bacteria growing in her broviac (central iv) line. So, she's been on IV antibiotics (rocephen & vancomycin) around the clock. Since we've been down this road before, I assumed we'd be here for a few days, be given her antibiotics to do at home and be able to go home.

Well today the doc came in and told us that he wanted to remove her broviac. I'm thinking..."what? wow, already?" We were expecting that this central line would be in her for at least 3 months from now. They've told us in the past that sometimes they like to keep them in incase there are further tests to be done. But, since bacteria is growing there is a good chance that once she stops the antibiotics that the infection will come back. If it comes back this will prevent her scans from being done.

So, we are moving forward and getting the broviac out. Say good bye to bacterial infections! (We hope!) Tomorrow she will go into surgery and she'll be put to sleep and they'll do a quick one hour surgery, take it out, and they'll put in a new IV in her hand or forearm. (she will need another IV because she still needs IV antibiotics for 2 more days). So, please pray that this surgery will go well!

Ready for the good news/bad news? The good news is that when we are allowed to take her home that she will get the IV out and be IV free! Yea!!!! She's had this broviac for 6 months! Every day I've flushed this line with saline & heparin and it has been a pain, a worry and just something that stresses me out because I worry that she will pull it out. However, it has been nice in the fact that she hasn't needed to be poked anywhere because its such easy access to get blood to draw her labs, etc. However, it just seems to grow bacteria very easily and makes my baby really sick, really fast.

The bad news is that next week when she goes in for scans or tests, they will have to poke her or start a new IV in her hand or arm. I'm not liking this at all. This is something I really worry about. I'm sad that the future might be tramatizing for Bree in that she could have a lot of needles and pokes in her future. But, if all her tests come back that her cancer is in remission than the pokes might be kept to a minimum. I'd rather have her get a few pokes than have any more cancer cells in her body.

So, as of now, her MRI and bone marrow biopsy is scheduled for May 7th. Once we get the results from these tests, the docs will determine the next, radiation (if needed) or nothing at all (well, not nothing, she'll still need doctor visits and blood work). Right now she's adjusting to being back in the hospital. She's the star here. She waves to everyone and has been really happy. I know she misses her brothers and misses being home where she can crawl around at her leisure. We hope to bring her home on Saturday. This is turning into a really long hospital stay. But, we are well taken care of. The nurses and doctors are wonderful.

Please keep Bree in your prayers. She's almost done. I can feel it. I am so anxious for her to be done. Go away cancer, please go away, never return. I hope the next time I do a post, I have lots of good news. :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This year we had lots of Easter festivities. The week before Easter we went to my Aunt & Uncle Phillips lake house for a BBQ, egg hunt and lots of relaxing family time! The kids had a blast and were so tired by the end of the day! (These pictures were taken 2 weeks ago so that's why Bree still has her feeding tube in.)
The only family picture we took! Bree's sporting the 'gangsta' look and Gunner cant wait to get away to see if there are any leftover eggs hiding somewhere. Lovely. Oh well!
The boys showing me their loot!
Bree was so content with her single egg. All she wanted to do was hold it. Sweet girl.
Then, the Saturday before Easter Justin's family did a get-together with an egg hunt and lots of food! (I stayed home with Bree so this was the only picture I have (sent to me from my sis in law. Thanks Tiff!) Gunner loves cupcakes!
Then Easter morning I came down with mastitis and so I was down for 2 days with flu-like symptoms and in so much pain! I would not wish that on my worst enemy. Thanks to some antibiotics and a wonderful husband, I was back to normal after a few days. Thanks babe, love you! Here are some of my favorite pics from the day.

Justin and Gunn, aren't they handsome?
Cute Breezy girl. My mom bought this dress before she was born. Unfortunately, we haven't taken her to church in 6 months so she hasn't been able to wear her cute dresses...soon enough though! She looks so sweet all dressed up!
Cute brothers.
Cute Caleb, my happy boy!
Gunn man, he's going to be a heart-breaker! (Just like his Dad!)
Our little princess. It's so nice seeing her without her tube and tape across her face!

Right now we are enjoying the "normal feeling" of life. I'm anxious when we can be completely done with this battle. I'm also so anxious to know where we are with Bree's treatment, if she'll need surgery, etc. I've been asked by several people if I feel releaved that this is all done with and to be honest, I am so grateful that the chemo is overwith, but we are far from being "done". She will still have to go in for monthly check-ups and will still continue to have her broviac (IV) inside her chest for at least 3-6 more months. She'll also have a IV drugs given to her once a month to prevent pneumonia and other bacteria from entering her system. But, if you ask me, would I rather do this then the 3 week cycle of going in and out of the hosptial, OF COURSE! I am thankful for modern medicine and the constant prayers for Bree. Thank you!! And Happy Late Easter!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Update

(I wrote this in an email earlier this morning)
I just came back from the dr's office with Bree and they gave us a lot of good news! Today is day 7 after chemo and usually she is in the "danger" zone but today her counts were very high! Her ANC was 4600 and her hemoglobin was 11.1. Yeah! Usually she is quite low at 500 to 1000 so this is spectacular! She is "on the rise" so the doctor also discontinued her neupogen shots! Yeah, no more shots in the legs! Double Yea!

They also told us that we can leave her NG tube out for a few weeks to see if she can maintain her weight on her own! Yeah again! When she's had the tube out in the past she has seemed more interested in food and wanted to drink from a sippy cup so let's hope and pray that she continues to eat!

Thanks so much for your continued prayers in her behalf. Today as I walked out of the dr's office, I really felt good about almost being done with this whole ordeal. I know there is still a way to go. Possible surgery, MRI's, more bloodwork, urine tests, more medications, etc. But, today was a good day. Lots of good news. Thanks again and love you all!!
(I will post some pictures of Easter soon!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Round 8

Yesterday Bree completed her chemotherapy. She’s finished! 6 months later, 8 rounds are done. I cant believe it. She’s been through so much. Oh, I am so glad she is done and hope and pray that she will never have to go through chemotherapy EVER again! (I forgot my camera so I took pictures with my phone. Not the best but at least you get the idea)
The only nap she got all day!

To recap, yesterday I took Bree in to the clinic for her counts at 9:30am. She was cleared to get chemo (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) and since it was just a one day treatment, they decided to do it from the POTC (Pediatric Outpatient Treatment Center). At first I had my doubts because it is very confined in there. There are about 10 beds crammed together in a very small room with a nurses station in the middle. So our space is literally about 5 ft by 5 ft. It’s tiny. There is a miniature crib for Bree and a chair for me to sit with a curtain for privacy. I was nervous about being there all day but it went better than I thought. We got there by 11am and she was able to start her saline bolus right away along with her premedications (adivan, kytril & decadron). What surprised me the most was that her chemo was there by 12pm so she was able to start that by 12:15! She had an hour & half of chemo drugs followed by a saline drip for 3 hours for post hydration. She also had urine collected so they could test to make sure her kidneys were functioning properly. (What they do is put cottonballs in her diaper, they soak up the urine and then the nurses put them in a syringe and squeeze the urine out of the cottonball…crazy huh?) So, by 4:45pm she was done. All she had left was to change her broviac dressing and we were outta there! No more chemo! Horrah! At least, we are praying that there is no more chemo for the rest of her sweet life.
Our sweet nurses Teresa & Jill! They loved to smooch on Bree!
Keeping her entertained...
As of now, her tests are scheduled for the first week of May. She will have a bone marrow biopsy and an MRI. This will tells us if the bone marrow is now clean of cancer and how much of her tumor is left. If her tumor is still there, she will most likely get an MiBG scan (intensive bone/organ scan) and the doctors will meet to discuss surgery. We are hoping and praying that the tumor no longer exists. If she can avoid another surgery that would be icing on the cake.

Sweet girl.
As for now, Bree is doing well. She was so tired yesterday. Truly wiped out. At about 4pm she started looking pale. She just wasn’t feeling well. When I got her home she gagged a few times and did throw up a little bit but we were able to get some medicine (zofran & adivan) down that helped keep everything down. The poor baby went to bed at 7:30 and slept straight through the night til 7am. (She usually wakes up several times a night after her chemotherapies). I am so glad her little body was able to rest.

As I think about these past 6 months, I think how hard this all has been. Watching my baby girl suffer, get better, then suffer again and again has been agony. It has been horrible to see her get sick and the worry that comes has definitely aged me. There have been times when I’ve felt strong and there have been times that I have wanted just to not do this anymore. I’ve just wanted to take Bree and run as far away as I could. But, I also knew that I couldn’t throw in the towel. We had to keep going. Keep fighting. That’s a phrase that we say a lot at our house. “Keep fighting.” If something is hard to do, we don’t give up. If I’ve learned anything through this experience so far, it has been to have faith and to be strong. Of course I’ve had times of doubt, sorrow and fear. Everyone does. It’s the moments after that when we pick ourselves up and ask for help from Heavenly Father. Then, have faith that He will help us. Thank you to all those that keep up with our Breezy, that pray for her and think of her. She is one loved little girl!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bring on the last one!

Wow, it's been a while! The past few weeks have been really great. Everyone in our house finally got over all the sickies and Bree has turned into a crawling machine. Once she figured out that she could get around by crawling, she constantly wants to move! Her favorite place to be is sitting by the back door so she can see the dog. She loves to be outside any chance she gets.
Bree has also been doing so much better at eating. She's really started to be interested in food. I hope it continues. Her personality has also blossomed lately. She's such a ray of sunshine. Her sweet laugh and sparkling smile just melt my heart. This little girl has me and her Daddy wrapped around her finger. (As it should be) :) She continues to get her tube feedings at night to help get some extra calories.

I haven't blogged about my cute boys lately so today I took some cute action shots of them playing together. They had so much fun jumping together and then seeing their "action" shots afterwards. This is Gunner fighting the "bad guys" and showing me his Ninja moves (He is loving Kung Fu Panda right now!) Gunner has grown up on me the past few months. He's not my baby boy anymore. It's a sad day when that reality hits a Mom. My parents always told us not to grow and now I'm telling my kids the same thing. I wish I could keep them little like this forever. All the more reason to savor every moment I guess.

Caleb is also growing up on me too fast. He is my sweet boy and my, does he love his sister! He will hug and kiss her any chance he gets! He's gone to a few Suns games with Justin this year and has loved every minute. It makes Justin so proud that Caleb loves going to the games. :) (I'll post some pictures of the Suns games in a separate post)Meanwhile, I love these next few pictures of the boys. Caleb just loves to bounce on the trampoline and he was having so much fun today. I love his face in the picture above!
Gunner happily displayed his flexibility by doing at least 100 flips for me to take pictures of.
I giggle each time I look at this picture above. Can you see Caleb in the shadows? He is floating on air!
I took Bree's NG tube out today to give her nostrils and throat a break. She has such a beautiful smile and I love to see her sweet face not covered in tape! She has been scratching her face and head because her hair is starting to grow back! Yea!

As for my Breezy girl,she's down to her last chemotherapy tomorrow. This will complete her cycle of 8. I get emotional when I think about how all of this began. And now it's almost over. At least, we are hopeful that it's almost over. After this chemo she will be re-tested in about 3-4 weeks (MRI, scans, bone marrow biopsy) to see what size her tumor is and to also make sure her bone marrow is clean of cancer. At that point we will determine if there will be surgery and what the next steps will be. We are anxious to hear the news that her body will be declared cancer free! Until then, we are grateful for so many people that continue to keep Bree in their prayers. Thank you for loving our little girl.