Wednesday, 12 January 2011

People Against Childhood Cancer (PAC2) is an advocacy group that does not raise money and has no agenda other than trying to unite all of the voices that are screaming out about childhood cancer. There are many different kinds of pediatric cancer and within each type there are varying groups and within each group there are countless foundations raising money and people working to advocate for their cause.

What PAC2 is trying to do is foster collaboration so that everyone can work together and be more effective. Check out their WEBSITE and join their FACEBOOK page if you'd like to help unite with one voice.

PLEASE go to PAC2 and read THIS in its entirety so you can get an idea of how powerful the rational use of facts can be and why ONE VOICE can help break down walls more effectively than trying to do so as individuals or in small groups. There is strength in numbers so I ask you to join the effort and to add your voice to PAC2.
It is VERY important to know where your money is going, so please take the time to look at the article. Here is the link one more time:

Monday, 10 January 2011

Clinic January 2011

Can I just say how HAPPY I was to write "2011". I am not a big New Year person, but the start of a new year means we are closer to 2012 and we are so close to being a year out to saying GOOD RIDDANCE to cancer. I know I am very ahead of myself but I seriously can't wait till February. Then we can count down the months.

Amelia's clinic went well. I love it when we only get Vincristine. It makes everything run so much smoother. Millie's appointment was actually last Thursday and she just finished up her round of Dexomethosone (rotten steroids) last night. Her little system does not handle them very well. She is always so emotional. I swear she feels like the world is out to get her. I love my bug and it's so hard to see her that way. It's difficult to know how to handle it as well. It's hard to watch her mope around and have nothing cheer her up.

She has been extra tired too. I'm starting to feel like I'm a little obsessive with getting blood counts, but I hate waiting a month to know what's going on with her. I know she needed a blood transfusion this go round, but there is nothing I can really do about it. The pictures I took of her are from Sunday and you can tell that she is run down. Her preschool teacher on Monday and her gymnastics coach today both told me they think she looks pale and that she was very tired the whole time. She is such a trooper though and she begs me to go to classes. We have been so careful since she had the flu and I'm not letting her play with other kids very much. She hates it so the last thing I want to do is make her miss classes as well. I never know what's right, I can just go with my gut and hope for the best.

I apologize for the tangent.

Millie putting on a smile even though she was near tears. I'm sorry, but I think she looks awful. Her little pale face and dark circles brings me near tears too.

I've decided to add a couple new shots every month of her hair growth so you can see the back as well.

Clinic Stats:

Height: 105.1 cm
Weight: 16.7 kg (about 37 pounds)
ANC: 900

Friday, 7 January 2011

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Christmas Magic

side note: I hate blogger today. I have been trying to upload videos and it's not working. Every time I edit, my spacing it changed, it won't safe my spelling corrections either. I am so sick of fixing things that I am just going to leave it as is. Hope if flows and makes sense.)

We didn't make it to any Christmas parties this year. Millie was too high risk wish her ANC being low and sickness being everywhere. We didn't want to chance a hospital stay. She did however get to go to her Christmas program!

Can I just tell you that Amelia is the dang cutest, funniest, smartest, girl around and I just want to squish her perfectly round cheeks every time I see them. I know I'm a little odd, but it's the truth! She was a star in her program. I couldn't stop smiling. I really am one proud mama.

It was during her Christmas program last year that we realized how drastically different Amelia looked from the other kids and that was the day of her 1st blood test. So it was a huge day for all of us! I was emotional to begin with and then when I walked in and saw Mrs. Patti wearing her Gold Childhood Cancer Awareness Ribbon I about lost it. We are so grateful to Patti. She kept her preschool a safe and clean environment for Millie. I always knew that if I sent Millie to school she would be loved and taken care of. I will forever be grateful for that.

Patti made scarves for all the kids. Millie LOVES hers because it's from Mrs Patti, it's all the colors, and because it's so very soft.

Help Them Grow Old, Wear GOLD

The kids all had a part in reciting, "The Night Before Christmas". They were so cute! Miss Millie had her lines memorized in one try. She's amazing. It was a fabulous Day!
Millie had been so sick and it made it very difficult to see Santa. We finally braved the crowds on December 23rd. Millie was freaking out about getting her list to Santa. Thankfully they let us cut the line and Millie wore her mask while we were there. She only took is off long enough to tell The Big Man what she wanted.

Millie showing him her list;
Snow White Barbie
Unicorn Stick Horse
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Tangled Leapster Game

We threw Austin on his lap the last second and he did GREAT. There was no crying, he just kept staring at him.

Christmas Eve was perfect. Because we knew that things were about to get crazy busy we decided to give our main present to the kids and they could give theirs to us.

Millie LOVES to watch He-man and She-ra. They come on really late so Brady records them for her to watch in the mornings and on nights when she can't sleep it's the only thing that makes her happy. She originally asked Santa for some action figures, but I didn't think we could find any so I talked her out of it. I was excited to find She-ra and Bow at a local antique store, sadly there was no He-Man, so I'll be on the look out. She was so happy! It was her favorite gift. Don't mind if I pat myself on the back for that one.

Austin was so happy to FINALLY be able to open the presents. It had been a long few weeks keeping him away.

After we opened our gifts we headed to the Flamms for Christmas Eve dinner and a gift exchange. We had a beautiful dinner and a wonderful night. Brady and I were very spoiled which was fun too. Brady's main gift was a bike trainer so he can rehab his knee and I got a Wii! There are so many people at the Flamms and it's a little crazy, just like Christmas should be, but I didn't many pictures :(

Santa came, the kids opened presents, we ate sticky buns and then headed to my parents house. It was a perfect day.

Kaylee, Brianna, Millie (Millie's aunt Shelly made the darling skirt she's wearing. she's amazing!)

Millie gave her aunts a Gold Ribbon Magnet for their cars and a key chain to go with it

Millie and I showing off the peals Brady gave us.

My favorite gift was a marble roller that my daddy made. There is nothing better then home made gifts and this one is particularly special to me. I remember playing with one when a was a little girl at my Great Grandma Phoebe's house. It's always the 1st thing the kids go to at my parents. They all love it and now we have our own! I know it is something that will be passed down from generation to generation. Thank you dad. Love you!
We had the most amazing Christmas. I am so grateful to have been able to keep Millie out of the hospital and to have shared the holiday with our whole family. It truly bring into perspective what this season it really about. We also were on the receiving end of some Christmas surprises. One of those being a GIANT box full of the cutest clothes from The Matilda Jane Clothing Company. The Utah trunk keeper, Ashlee, wrote in about our family and because of her sweet note we were one of the many who got a wonderful gift from them. I have always loved their clothing but now I hold them dear to my heart. Not just because of what they did for Millie, but because I know they sent out around 250 other packages just like ours to other kids in need. They are amazing! Thank you so much Ashlee for referring us for their Spread The Love program and thank you Matilda Jane. We can't wait to see the new Spring Line!

We also had a secret Santa. I have never had a secret Santa before and it was truly magical. We never did find out who it was, but it was something the whole family looked forward to every night. Millie had been quarantined a couple days during that time and it really gave her something to look forward to. Thank you to whoever you are. I can not tell you how much it meant to us. Everything you did was so sweet and thoughtful. P.S., we made smores in our fireplace just the other night! YUM!

Thank you everyone for your generosity.
I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, 3 January 2011

What's been going on with Millie

December 16 Millie woke up with a high fever. Fevers with cancer are never good. You automatically have to go to the hospital. I was grateful that this time it was during the day and we avoided the ER. They told me when we were still home to go ahead and give her Tylenol and to bring her in. When we got to clinic her temp was still 102.7. We never could get it lower then 101.

They checked all her vitals and gave her an antibiotic push. Her blood counts had dropped quite a bit since the last time she was in, but they decided to keep her on her chemo for now.

Once we got home and finally got to bed Millie took her normal Thursday night dose of chemo. She can pop all those babies at once, a trait I never thought she'd have. She also likes to take her meds without water, but I refuse to let her. I could just see her choking on them or something. It's a strange thing to watch your child take so many pills at one time and know that she is putting poison into her own body.

Day 2, Friday December 17, Also known as D DAY. I had posted a prewritten blog early in the morning about Millie's D Day on the 17th, but we didn't get to celebrate the way be were hoping.

Instead Millie's fever came back and we were once again at the hospital. YUCK! It was a very long day of tests and decision making. Dr. Lemon suggested a few different options for Millie. 1st they gave her Tylenol to get her temperature down, 2nd he started her on another dose of antibiotic, that took about a half hour to push. 3rd, they took her off all chemo.

After waiting for the drugs to kick in they retested her temp and it was still way up and her Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) once again dropped. It was now 500. NOT GOOD! If it continued to drop and Millie's fever hung around we would definitely be in the hospital for Christmas.

Now what, well Dr Lemon suggested we give Millie a shot that would up her white blood cell count and help her fight off whatever was going on in her little body. This was a really hard decision for me to make because I have heard mixed things from the other cancer moms about the shot. Some feel that it artificially ups the counts and then they tend to drop even lower once it wears off.

Dr. Lemon also wanted to swab her nose to see if we could figure out what was causing her fevers. Again, I have heard mixed reviews about doing this. In the end we decided we would do everything possible to keep Millie out of the hospital for Christmas and go with what Dr. Lemon was recommending since he was pretty insistent about it.

I was very grateful that two of our Cancer Fighting Cuties moms where there and were able to help me with my decision. Sometimes it's hard to know what's best to do, especially when these little ones are going through so much already. I never want to make Amelia get an extra something done if it isn't absolutely necessary.

Our Cancer Cutie Friends

Chelsea and Cami (Millie and Cami had on the same cute outfit from Matilda Jane, we love them)

Since Millie was sick she wasn't able to see her friends, but I was so grateful for their support. Love you guys.

Chase and Dani ( They live in St. George and have to make a 5 hour drive every time they come get chemo, YUCK.)

Millie trying her very best to hold still while her nose got swabbed. She is so good at doing what the nurses and doctors say. I am so proud of my brave baby girl.

Her daddy got there just in time for her shot. She sat on his lap and wrapped her little legs around him. I was so glad he was there to support her. She was begging for her daddy.

She had a few tears, but was happy playing again in no time. Love her!

I have to admit that I was feeling a little sorry for myself that the day wasn't going the way it was suppose to. We were all disappointment we weren't able to take Millie out to celebrate her year diagnosis but we got an AWESOME surprise that made the day!

C.R. from The HopeKids Foundation found out about Millie being in the hospital and he made arrangements for us to get FREE take out from THE OLIVE GARDEN. Our day had been saved. We are so thankful for HopeKids and everything they do for our family. We are also grateful to the downtown Olive Garden for making Miss Millie's day special. She would seriously eat there every day and she couldn't have been happier. She even made our house look like a restaurant and we drank out of "fancy" glasses. She did cheers throughout our whole dinner. It was so sweet! Cheers to HopeKids, Cheers to kids with cancer, Cheers to Olive Garden, Cheers to herself, and Cheers to C.R.

On a side note: Millie's test came back and she had the flu, which is annoying since she got the flu shot. They put her on Tami Flu and her fever did not come back, Phew. Her counts were retested and they were still low so they continued to keep her off chemo for the next week. She ended up being off for 10 days. They finally upped her to a 1/2 dose last Monday and she will get checked again Thursday when she goes in for her monthly chemo.