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!



33 comments:

Jessica said...

I was thinking exactly that...how do they take a urine sample from a baby? Thanks for explaining! :)

I don't know you, but what I've learned about you and your family on this blog (through Summer) is amazing! I just can't imagine going through everything you have been through, but you are an amazingly strong person! Simply amazing! It makes me so happy to hear you say such encouraging words about the future. I can assure you that your sweet baby will continue to be in my prayers each and every day!

Supermom said...

I am so glad you posted!!! I found your blog months ago and read about Beautiful Bree. Your family never far from my thoughts in this blogging world.

You are a strong woman and I am so proud of you. I couldn't imagine what you have been through.

I pray that Bree will have the best of EVERYTHING!! I hope she enjoys this summer and every summer after that.

You really are so blessed.

Gooches said...

YOu are so amazing. You have dealt with this so well and I think you are an awesome person.

LanaBanana said...

Wise words. Everything you said is so true...it's normal to have the sad, down times, but then we've got to pick ourselves back up and shake it off. We have to keep going and trusting that we'll get through it all with His help. Thanks for the great reminder. The first week of May is what I'm anxiously awaiting too since that's when this baby is due. So, we can have our countdown together. :) We're praying she stays healthy and strong after this round.

Jamie said...

we are praying for your sweet breezy here in texas!

the bates motel said...

my eyes are filled w/ tears. i love your honesty in your post. you have been so amazing thru it all. you are such a great example to me. i'm so thankful for your friendship. so glad that bree is done w/ these chemo treatments and hope that all will be well w/ her sweet little body. we love you guys!

Morris Mama said...

Yay! She's done! We will pray for no more chemo ever again!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences! You are such a great example!

The Scotts said...

She is just adorable! You guys are such an inspiration. Good luck with the results and we can't wait to hear them too. We'll keep praying!!

Amanda Jane said...

I can't imagine going through what you have, and not feeling weak at times, or completely discouraged and afraid. That is where faith comes in. Trust, that everything will turn out alright.
Your children see your courage, and are forever shaped for the better by seeing the power of love, hope and faith.
I continue to pray each day for you, your daughter and all your family.

brownymama said...

Hooray! We are praying for her constantly and that this will also be her very last round of chemo and that there will be no surgery needed. Cameron's primary class all prays for her too, as well as Ryan's aunt's bible study group! She is one loved little girl! Can't wait to see you this weekend, but we'll keep our distance from Breezy. I'm telling you.... next time we come down, I plan on smothering her with kisses!

The Driggs said...

I needed a good cry. Kari, I am so happy that she is through with her chemo. I hope so hard that she is through. I am so anxious for the first part of May. You are so wise and have the best outlook on the situation. And you are A REAL HUMAN BEING! I am glad that you have shared how difficult it has been, and that the most important thing to do is have faith and turn to Heavenly Father. You are an example beyond your words. And I know what you mean about aging...however you do NOT look it! I love you!

Elise said...

I check your blog religiously for updates on sweet Bree! I have a 2 year old and can't imagine the heartbreak you must feel...stay strong - lots of people are praying for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Her smile is priceless! Keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting!!!

Debbie said...

I have prayed for Bree and your family from the very beginning of your ordeal. I have prayed that Bree get through these treatments as easy as possible and to have a clean bill of health restored to her. I have prayed that her family be blessed as you all are a beautiful beacon representing God. I consider it a blessing to have been allowed to follow along on your journey. You have renewed my spirit as you continued to look to Heaven for your strength. Bless you and I will continue to pray.

Steph said...

Yea! I am so glad she is done! (And I am selfishly glad that it was only a day trip so I don't have to feel so guilty about not visiting you at the hospital). :) We'll keep praying that the tests all come back the way you want. Bree is such a strong, sweet girl. It's amazing the things such a young child can teach us about strength, endurance, and happiness in the face of difficulty.

I can so relate to the aging (although you don't look it at all)--I think I aged 10 years during Annika's 3 years. These things really take a toll on you. But you have been amazing. And looking back, you won't regret a single sacrifice you've made to take care of Bree, even though it has been exhausting and maybe given you a few wrinkles!

My boys always pray for Bree, and Brielle gets so excited when I show her her pictures on the computer.

Keep fighting! We're behind you ALL the way. Love you guys.

Annie and Clayton Evans said...

I am so happy that she is done with that last round of chemo...thank you for posting and letting us in on your sweet family!!

agravette said...

I am so thankful that Baby Bree finished up her last treatment, and I hope she never has to take another one. You guys are such a wonderful family and such an inspiration to everyone. All I can pray is that your angel never has to face cancer again and that you all will live long, happy lives. God bless each of you!

Brooke said...

She sure is loved! How can you not love that face and those eyes?!!!! Yahoo for being done. We will pray for excellent test results in May!

moviedo said...

Justin+Kari+Bree+Gunner+Caleb es = "una hermosa familia". Justin, nunca voy a olvidar que gracias a tu fé yo pude cambiar mi vida totalmente. He logrado grandes avances que nunca me hubiese imaginado, de terminar una carrera universitaria a reconciliarme con mi familia hace unos años. Por eso sé que los milagros existen, porque vos un día me lo enseñaste. Ver la familia que tenés me conmueve, y Bree es la más linda de Arizona, ella es una vencedora!!!, un abrazo!!

Clay's gal said...

We sure love you guys and think about you daily! Bree is one amazing little girl with one amazing Mama!

Melissa Bosen said...

Whew! You're done! You guys are always in my thoughts and prayers. We'll be praying again for good news in May.
I miss seeing you. I saw Carrie yesterday and we talked about how we need to get the lunches going again soon.
I can only imagine what you've been through and how you've aged. But I found a few gray hairs myself the other day! I was shocked! Guess my body has been through a lot of stress the past several months and is letting me know about it! :) What's up with that?!

Travis and Marie said...

I will pray for NO MORE TUMOR! I am so glad you are done....I am so sorry this has happened and your sweet family has suffered, especially Bree...what a first year she's had! You amaze me!

Christina said...

Yeah!! What a huge milestone to finally reach! I'm so glad the last and final time went as well as it did. I also love that picture of her drawing...so cute!! Can't wait to hear the results of her tests. Thanks for sharing your example and strength with all of us.

Nuestra Familia said...

Way to go Bree, last chemo, gaining weight, drawing, crawling and smiling so big!! You are right "keep fighting". Your boys are too cute, fighting the bad guys and Caleb just bouncing on the trampoline. The weather is great, I'm so glad you are home and enjoying the outdoors. Love you mucho!

JakenDebbie said...

I have been waiting for this news!! So glad to hear that she had her last treatment!! I really feel for you as I read about all that Bree has been through and is still going through. I know it's not easy. But you are doing it!! I can't wait to hear some good news in May! We will be praying for Bree and your family.

Also...I was surprised by the way they did the urine sample, but it made a lot of sense! Katie had to have one once and they attached this ridiculous bag to her that was a pain to get off and I think it hurt her. This way sounds much, much better!

Love you, Kares!

Alisa Larson said...

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad it's over - hopefully for good! That's what we pray for every night. We love you guys so much.

Jaredonna said...

Kari and family, I don't know how I stumbled on your blog this morning. But, I'm glad I did. You and Bree are inspiring. Your strength and faith are amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and your journey. I know prayers are being said for you all over the world. Let me add mine.

Kathleen said...

How appropriate that the last round was the shortest wait for the chemo treatment to start and that you were able to leave the hospital that evening. Hopefully that will also be indicative of the way the rest of the healing process will go--totally done before you know it and back into the life you once knew without special shots or tubes or monitoring for beautiful Bree. We will also pray that her tumor will disappear altogether (if it hasn't already) and that she won't need surgery. Like so many others, I appreciate your candor in sharing the ups and downs of this journey. All in all, I think the Lord has carried your whole family up to His heights of love with daily miracles. He loves you!! So do we!! He will continue to bless you every day.

Aimee's Family Journal said...

I am o glad she doesn't have that tube in any more! I hope she is able to eat and feel happy while she recovers this time! Good luck mommy. Fingers crossed!

The Johnson Family said...

I am so glad that this last round went well. Our family too lives by the motto: Johnson's never give up. such an important lesson. I hope I never have to live it to the extreme that you have. Kari, you have dealt with this whole thing in the most graceful way...you are an amazing mom!

Lorri said...

I was so glad to hear from you.

I'm so glad that Bree is done with her last round of chemo. You guys have been through so much.

Anna said...

Yeah for the last round! Your family has hung in there and accomplished many amazing things...and has been blessed with many miracles along the way. All the best to you!

Sommer said...

Great job Bree & to the rest of the Cook clan!
Always thinking of you Kari.