Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Kaidan went in to the oncology clinic to have a lumbar puncture today. We were checking for relapse :( The ride to the hospital was tough. Kaidan did not want to go. She did not want to get an IV and she did not want to be put to sleep. You would think that after all she's been through it would make it easier, but it doesn't!! It makes it so much harder, because she remembers - she is older now - she knows the possibilities. She started crying that she was scared for the results. I felt so badly because my insecurities, my doubts and concerns had rubbed off on her. She was feeling scared because I let on that I was scared. I feel like my job as a mom is to keep those feelings secret, but I failed miserably as this week of pain went on and on. I guess it's a good thing I can't be fired from this job ;) We talked about both possibilities, and I told her that when we get good news she can dance around telling the world how dumb and crazy her mom is...that made her laugh.

Kaidan did awesome, as usual. She was so scared for the IV and she did do some dry heaving and almost fainted, but she is a trooper. Once it was done she was okay. She was scared to be put to sleep, but I reminded her if she falls asleep upset - she wakes up upset, and if she falls asleep calm - she wakes up calm. That did the trick and she did wonderfully. In fact, she woke up faster and more peacefully than she ever has.

It was so weird being back in that hallway of the RTU (rapid treatment unit) waiting for her to wake up. It was stressful waiting for the doctor to call me with the results. I had so many emotions going on. I wanted so badly to be wrong in my suspicions - but in the back of my mind (okay, every part of my mind) I was planning for the worst. Hoping for the best, but planning for the worst - sad, but true. I was figuring out finances, new time obligations, what we'd do with the kids so Nate could work while I was at the hospital with Kaidan, etc. It was a flood of memories that I wish I didn't have. It was so strange because at the same time I was feeling some survivor guilt. I was thinking about all the families who didn't get good news today. I was thinking about all of the kids who visit the RTU every week and their parents who wait in that hall, just like we did for so long. I was thinking that it was okay - if bad news for us took away bad news for one other family - that was okay. We've done it before and we can do it again.

But... we got good news!! The doctor called me and said her spinal fluid had no leukemia!! There were 2 white cells present, but they were normal white cells. I guess as long as you have less than 5 it's okay.

We still don't know where the pain is coming from. They gave her some morphine today because she started out with some pain and they wanted her to be more comfortable waking up. She felt so good with the help of that morphine that it made me realize that her pain is stronger than what she is letting on. We will follow-up with neurology the first part of March and I'm hoping for some answers.

We are getting mixed reports from the radiologists at PCMC and the orthopedic doctor that we see. Our doctor things Kaidan's x-rays are stable. He would like to see her if the pain sticks around, but I don't know what he'll do for her. I'm still struggling with the fact that this breakthrough pain came out of nowhere at the same time as the bad headaches. I'm afraid that if I let my guard down something bad will happen, but then I have to remind myself that cancer is not a stranger that sneaks into your house when you're not looking. Cancer makes your body it's home even if you're staring it in the face. So, I guess I'll relax a little, because that is all I can do. No amount of worry will change anything, right? I have to remember to live in the moment. That is easier said than done, but I'm trying.

I am so thankful for our good news today - it is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Please continue to keep the families who didn't get good news today in your thoughts and prayers. There is approximately 46 of them :( Did you know that? Did you know that an average of 46 kids per day are diagnosed with cancer? You should check out these amazing moms and the stories of their cancer warriors!

As a side note... For 2011 our family is going to be doing a couple of fundraisers for childhood cancer and the families affected by it. I wanted to give you some information now, because I know there are so many great causes out there and we can't possibly contribute to them all. I would just like you to consider these ones that are most important to our family, even if you can only pitch in a couple of dollars, it means the world to us :) Also, donating blood to ARUP - the sole blood provider for PCMC, and joining the bone marrow registry are awesome things that you can do to help save lives!!

So, here are the events we're planning on participating in for 2011. We don't have donation pages set up yet, but I'll keep you posted when we do. I just wanted to let you all know how you can help us this year - if you so desire :)

8/20/2011 We will be doing the Ducky Derby for the Make a Wish Foundation of Utah. We absolutely LOVE Make a Wish and this event!! This foundation has done so much for us, please help us by sponsoring a ducky when the time comes. We may do a couple of other events for Make a Wish, but I'll keep you posted. We love Make a Wish!!

7/9/2011 Salt Lake City is hosting it's 1st annual CureSearch Walk!! I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this. CureSearch dedicates over 95% of their funds directly to childhood cancer research. It is so important that more funding be directed to pediatric cancers to find a 100% cure, without harsh side effects. As soon as we get our fundraising page going, I'll let you know. We'll be looking for team members and sponsors :)

DATE?? HopeKids does an Adventure Walk that we are planning on participating in. We love HopeKids!! They have provided us with so many fun opportunities that we otherwise would not have been able to do. They do several events monthly ranging from movies to monster truck jams!! We love HopeKids, and especially their Utah directors, C.R. and Amy. They have been so kind to our family. We'd love your support when we do this event.

Thank you all! We love you!!

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