Today was a Mixed Bag

Today was a mixed bag.  Lots of emotions and lots of stress.  It was a Xanax day for sure.  I've taken 4 in 2 years, but today I couldn't breathe.  The further we get from treatment and the close we get to remission, the stakes just continue to increase.

It started last night was Ella had her first swim meet of the season.  It was at St. George's School in Memphis and there are so many horrible memories associated with the last time we swam there.  We had only hours before gotten the news that Lucy was given no chance.  June 2012.  We were preparing to watch her die.  Ella has a meet.  She did not know.  Erik and my Dad went, but fought tears and wrestled to maintain their composure the whole time.  All the while knowing that in a few short hours they would tell Ella that her baby sister was dying.

So while last night was wrought with memories, it was also an exciting time to celebrate how far Lucy has come and what a great job swimming Ella did.

 As we woke up at 5:00 this morning, the fact that I had been awake since 3:30 with an uneasy feeling was not lost on me.  Sometime just wasn't settling well with my mind and I couldn't figure it out.  I had peace about the cancer; I really did.  But something else...

As I got ready this morning I threw on my three special bracelets and knew I was ready to take on the day.  The champagne Pandora is an angel that was given to me as soon as Lucy got sick.  I haven't taken it off since.  The other two were made by a sweet cancer survivor and her friend from Atlanta.

About 20 minutes into our drive we saw the most amazing rainbow ever.  It was so bright and so huge.  We both said that we were going to count that as a sign from God that His promises would remain true for our lives.  To make it even sweeter, a second rainbow appeared.  Taking pictures from inside a moving truck with an iPhone didn't quite do the spectacle justice.

Lucy was ready for sedation and I was more nervous than a cat.  I still couldn't breathe easily but had confidence that her scans would be cancer free.  The agonizing 3 hour wait to get our baby girl back was hard.  The following 2 hours waiting to meet the doctor were even harder.  Both Erik and I were sick.  I was near vomiting and even felt as if I would hyperventilate at one point.

How Lucy stayed for nearly 2 hours after sedation recovery.
When Dr. W--who remains the best oncologist in all the world--walked in the room I knew from the look on her face that there was no cancer but something else was wrong.  Immediately I knew what it was.  Lucy fell this past weekend and hit her head on the ground.  We have watched her closely and she has shown no neurological changes.  She does, however, have a brain bleed.  This will be her second in less than a year and unfortunately it is in the exact same spot as the last one.  And when I say exact, I mean EXACT.  So precise actually that the bump is right on the Burre holes that were drilled in her skull to drain the blood.  We will go Monday for a follow up CT to determine if the body will be able to reabsorb this blood or if we will have to do surgery.

     (the very bottom right corner of the first picture shows a dark grey area.  This is where the old bleed was and that is considered old blood.  That part has healed.  The same spot in the second picture is brighter and that signifies new blood.)

 So, yeah.  A mixed bag.  Obviously we were not prepared for the news we received today about the bleed and we are both filled with parent guilt. "what if" and "why didn't we."  It's a hard line that we walk everyday.  Do you put Lucy in a bubble or do you let her live the life that we all fought so hard to give her.  The life that she fought so hard to have.  Right now, I'm thinking the bubble might be a better idea.

We are overjoyed with the positive news of the cancer free scans.  In the biggest picture, that's all the matters.   Praise God for his faithfulness.

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Back Home

Well, we survived our trip to the other side of the state.  Actually, we had a fabulous time and the kiddos were in hog heaven. I, unfortunately, came back with a heavy chest and nasty cough. I'm assuming I am fighting off a sinus infection. So, not a lot of energy to post from the bed tonight. 

Tomorrow Lu is at St.Jude all day for pre-scan check ups. Thursday we report to the hospital at 7:15 for scans. Please keep in your prayers this week.  Every 3 month scan puts us closer to remission. 


Summer is Here

It may not officially be Summer until June, but at our house tonight is the first night of Summer!  Today was our last day of school and we couldn't be more excited.  Seriously.  I am thrilled.  I am so ready for some relaxing days and carefree nights.  We all are desperate for a change of pace around here.  We are gearing up for a fun Memorial Day weekend and then Lucy's 3 month scans are next week.  We would appreciate the prayers in advance.

(I'd also like to ask for prayer for one of my very best friend's daughters.  Her name is Coco and she has been having seizures.  They go for a meeting with the Neurologist tomorrow and they need all prayer warriors praying for answers and solutions.  Peace for mom and dad would also be a great thing to pray for as well.)

Scenes from our last day of school:

A celebratory lunch with Daddy resulted in some tortilla shenanigans:

When we got home the kids spent almost an hour trying to catch this skink and eventually succeeded.  Ella was most upset with me when I made them let it go:

We have prayed for this summer for almost two years.  Good Lord willing, we plan on making the most of it!
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More from the Wedding

Here are more pictures from the wedding.  I have to admit that Ella took a lot of these.  I think she has a wonderful eye behind the camera.  She is quite awesome.

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Driving home from Mississippi. Two exhausted girls. Erik and I singing at the top of our lungs. Great, great weekend.


Mother's Day

Mother's Day 2013 will always be remembered with a sad undertone.  However, before my grandfather became ill again, we had a nice day of family fun.  I am so thankful for the privilege of being a mother.  It is by far the most awesome, rewarding and challenging "job" I've ever had.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything in this world.  God has blessed me beyond measure and I am so thankful.

We had a nice family lunch, well at least with part of the family.  Some of the uncles and aunts went on to the hospital with my grandfather, but those of us that stayed back enjoyed some time around the pool.  It was a rather cool afternoon but that didn't stop my kiddos.  They insisted on getting into the water, against my wishes.  I was amazed at how well Lucy tolerated the cool air.  Last year it would be 100 degrees outside and she would complain about being cold.  I think this could mean great things for our summer!

**Totally random side note, but I wanted to brag on Ella for a minute.  My niece, Maddie, who is pictured above, celebrated her 3rd birthday last month.  Ella wanted to do something very special for her and remembered her love of all things princess and mermaid.  She decided she would paint Maddie's favorite Disney princess characters as mermaids.  She worked for over a month at this present and it was a true labor of love.  I have to admit that I was very sad to see it go, but the look on Maddie's face was priceless.

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