Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick trip and doing well!

Jessica came home yesterday afternoon. Nothing serious came of her bowel obstruction. The scar tissue is actually on the outside of her small intestine. I guess these things can come up after surgery. The scar tissue either tightened down on the intestine or caused it to twist somehow. This could happen again, but the hope is that the body will work through it. The Xray yesterday morning showed good improvement. She was on a clear diet for almost 2 days, but this morning enjoyed yogurt, ritz crackers and pancakes with jam. She was a very hungry little girl. I guess adults with similar problems are put on clears for about a week. But thank goodness they can't do that to children. Calories become a problem quickly. Anyway, Jessica is doing well! Her blood counts yesterday morning had come up enough for chemo this next Tuesday. So unless something strange comes up, we will probably head up Monday night. And it should be a very quick trip....yeah! We should be back home Tuesday night!! Thank you for all of your kind comments. There are so many of you struggling with your own very difficult challenges. Please know that our hearts are with you also! We never know what life will bring, but we will always be there for each other. We are in this journey called life together. And what a gift it is to have the opportunity to experience the journey of life! We love you all!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trip to the hospital

Jessica woke up last night around 11 p.m. with a lot of abdominal pain. She had been running around and playing just a couple of hours before with everyone. It was a beautiful day and night in St. George. It was quite a shock to have her in so much pain so out of the blue. Something wasn't right. We made the needed phone calls and ended up at DRMC around midnight. Aunt Julia ran up while studying for finals to be with the other kids while Cody and I ran Jessica to the hospital. After the first CT scan, the radiologist saw some questionable spots, but Jessica had not been able to hold completely still because of pain, so he asked for a 2nd scan with contrast and something to ease the pain. It looks like Jessica has a blockage in her small intestine, possibly scar tissue from surgery March 8th. They have Jessica on a couple of antibiotics until they completely rule out a couple of other possible infections. Her ANC has dropped again to .6 or 600. Her platelets are up a little from 85 to 92. They will watch her for 24 hours. If her symptoms get worse or she doesn't improve we may have to return to PCMC for surgery to remove the blockage. We are hoping that the body will be able to take care of the problem on it's own. They have placed a larger tube down into her tummy to remove the stomach contents to give her gut a rest. Even with that she is still throwing up about every 20 to 30 minutes. Her pain seems a little less to me, but she is definitely uncomfortable. There are always bumps that come along. We just hope that this bump doesn't throw Jessica too far off track.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Walk down Memory Lane!

Jessica's counts are still too low for chemo. Monday, April 25th, they drew blood again and for the 3rd time we haven't made counts. Now her platelets are okay at 85, but her ANC came down to .7 or 700. They aren't worried, it happens with these kids. And Jessica is just happy to be home. She shows no physical signs of having low counts. If she didn't have a feeding tube and wasn't missing her hair, you wouldn't even know she was battling any kind of sickness. We will now draw blood on Friday the 29th in hopes to head up on Tuesday, May 3rd for chemo.

I have been enjoying looking back at some fun pictures of Jessica and our little family. I can hardly believe that Jessica is almost 5! Where does the time go? Jessica is an Amazing little girl. It is a privilege to be her Mom! She teaches us so much everyday! She has a great deal of strength and courage. She doesn't have angry feelings or even feel afraid of cancer. She just has that gift of simple faith. She knows that everything is going to be okay! That is what is so wonderful about children. They don't let the cares of the world in that can make us as adults angry or afraid. They just take life as it comes and more often than not, they see the good in everything around them!

-> Our first house with our first 3 girls...Jessica is the baby!

Jessica- probably about 9 months

-> Alyson, Annalise, and happy baby Jessica.

Jessica on her blessing day!

Jessica, always round and healthy!

Jessica holding a starfish at Sea World.

Riding a horse on a trip to Bryce Canyon.

On a very rare, snowy day in St. George, Jessica made friends with a snowman.

Jessica was only 15 months when her little brother Caleb was born. She was a little unsure about the whole thing as you can tell. Jessica weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. when she was born and Caleb was 8 lbs. 10 oz.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No chemo this week.

Jessica didn't make counts yesterday, so the plan is to draw blood again on Friday in hopes to travel Sunday night for Chemo Monday morning. The only area that Jessica's counts were too low was her platelets. We have never not made counts, so I actually asked what the cut offs were. Her platelets have to be above 75 and she was at 30 yesterday. It looks like she is on her way up. Everything has just moved a little more slowly this round. With that said, Jessica is her normal, happy self, just loving being home and being with all of her brothers and sisters and her dad! Still have to post lots of cute pictures. We want the treatments to happen, but it is okay to have a little more time to catch up at home before heading back up. Can't believe that Easter weekend is here. It is a beautiful time of year! I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives! Sweet is the Peace the Gospel brings. Wishing you all a very Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2 more days to go...

With two weekends home, Jessica is now 2 days away from finishing radiation! We plan to leave on Thursday after radiation and lab draws at the clinic(PCMC). We hope to be home in time to pick up big sisters Annalise and Alyson from school at 3:30. Jessica's counts have stayed low a little longer this time because of the effect from radiation, but the great thing has been that we have not needed any hospital stays besides the couple visits for a blood transfusion and some platelets. We have made an almost definite decision with the doctors to fall back to the normal Wilms chemotherapy treatment. There has never been any solid proof of anaplasia(more aggressive), so there doesn't seem to be as many reasons to keep pushing with the harder treatments. Jessica has responded extremely well to the stronger regimen, but it is certainly a roller coaster for her immune system. On the normal treatment her immune system shouldn't take as hard of hits as it has taken over the past few months. The plan now is to return this next Tuesday for chemotherapy. It would simply be a day trip! Yeah! We are all looking forward to coming home. Jacob, and Caleb have been up here with Jessica and I, so for all of us to be back together will be wonderful! We love you all and so appreciate all of the love and concern. I know that it is the strength that pulls us through!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chemotherapy and radiation

Well, I am falling behind in my updates. Jessica made it through her week of chemotherapy and 1st time radiation. After an overnight stay for chemotherapy from Monday to Tuesday, we reported to Huntsman Tuesday morning, March 28th, at 7:15. I am so proud of Jessica! They had an anesthesiologist on call worried that she would not be able to hold still. Well Jessica proved them all wrong. We did practice a little, we took a tour, watched an animation about radiation, and we just talked about how they would have to give medicine to make her go to sleep if she didn't hold completely still. Jessica shocked them all. The first appointment she had to lay still for at least 30 minutes, but every appt. after that has been around 5 to 7 minutes. Jessica is an amazing 4 year old. I have so much I want to write about and pictures I want to post, but I am going to have to spread things out a little and in small am I finally getting the idea of a little at a time and not all at once :) Jessica's Immune system has bottomed out and we are just hoping her ANC won't stay zero too long. We are hoping to avoid any hospitalizations because of a fever. Today is Wednesday, April 6th, and it is Jessica's older sister Alyson's 8th birthday. We love you so much, Alyson! We are hoping to go home this weekend, like we did last weekend, but if her counts are still low, the doctors would like us to stay close. Alyson's baptism has been scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, but we may have to reschedule if Jessica's counts are still low. Jessica has done great through radiation. The side effects of nausea and diarhea did finally show up on Monday. We are able give her a medication called zofran which helps, but it is no fun to throw up and be running to the bathroom. Today after tears from her tummy hurting, a run to the bathroom, and then throwing up, I laid Jessica down and was just holding her hand and scratching her back. She began to relax and then seemed deep in thought. Out of the blue she said, "Mom, did you hold dad's hand like this and dance together when you got married?" I told her yes and then she just started talking cute about our wedding and the pretty crown that I wore on my head. I asked her if she would like to wear my crown/veil when she got married and she thought that sounded great. :) I then said that she would make a wonderful mother someday. She thought for a minute and then said, "Mom, after I'm a mom I want to be a cowgirl." How cute is she. For not being much of a cowgirl myself, I certainly have some daughters who LOVE horses and the idea of being a cowgirl. I guess I do have a little experience with dairy cows :), but not much experience with horses. Hey, I guess that does make me a little bit of a "cow" girl. Anyway, the precious little conversations and time spent with Jessica is priceless! I am so grateful for the opportunity and blessing of being a mother! There truly is no greater calling than that of mother!