Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Treatment Update

We are wrapping up the interim maintenance phase. Libby had an intense day of treatment this past Monday. I hate that I didn’t have time to update the blog, but I know you’re keeping those prayers coming because we can feel them! Libby did awesome! She had intrathecal chemo, two IV chemo infusions, IVIG, and got her flu shot. It was a long and tiring day for her, but not a tear was shed. This little girl is something else.
 She seems to feel fantastic today, but we’re a little on edge because, as you know, she apparently has recurring reactions to these IVIG treatments she gets once a month. The day after treatment is usually an okay day, but it’s tomorrow and the next day that bring surprises. Typically, she starts to deteriorate late afternoon- she’ll run a fever, vomit, and is just really lethargic. The good news is that the doctor has given us a free pass. He told us we do not have to go to the ER if we think it’s simply another reaction. (we've been to the ER both times she’s had IVIG). He assures me there is nothing they can do in the ER, it’s just a matter of waiting it out. So, please pray we can skip the crazy reaction all together this time, or at least that the reaction is short lived, and that it’s clear to us we can handle it at home.
 Next Friday will be the last treatment of this phase! We will then have a couple of weeks off as we wait for Libby’s counts to recover so we can begin the dreaded delayed intensification phase.  It looks similar to the induction phase. The steroids are back. Libby’s immune system is super compromised as these heavy-duty drugs blast her one last time. Most likely, this phase is going to start right around Thanksgiving, and will last about two months. So definitely keep those prayers coming, we’ve got crazier than usual holidays ahead! And come spring we’re looking forward to returning to our new “normal”.

Hope you are all wonderful!! Thank you, and we love you!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pile of Love

I’m excited about the months ahead. Truthfully, I’m always excited about this time of year. I love the holidays. And this year is the best one yet. Our girls are getting older, and they’re really fun. Their cousins are even older. And they’re entirely too much fun. And there’s nothing quite like the holidays with kiddos. The cooler weather.  Snuggly clothes. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Spending time with loved ones. 

You can’t see Hadley, but she’s the foundation of this pile of love. Hadley and Walker always enjoy a good love tackle. And recently, Libby has really taken to it. In fact, she’s all about it. Annie is generally pulled in against her own will, but she doesn’t complain. Much. It’s actually pretty awesome to see how much this foursome loves each other. 

It’s been a consistent prayer of mine (since before they were born) that my girls would love each other, and that they would love their cousins. I pray not only that they love each other, but that they’re friends, and they treasure their relationships. Because these relationships are so special.  I know this first hand. I’m lucky enough to have a sister who is my best friend. And more than a handful of cousins I also count as my best friends. These relationships have been, hands down, among the very greatest gifts God has given me.
And so I pray this for my girls, and for my niece and nephew. I know it’s not always going to be easy. I know not all siblings are best friends. Not all cousins are close. I pray these four continue to love and cherish each other. I pray their little eyes always light up the way they do when they see each other. I pray they will support each other, and hold on to each other through thick and thin.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

He Reminds Me


Libby had treatment this past Monday. I asked her, as we were getting in the car, if she was ready to go see the doctor. She gave me a big smile and said yesssss. She greeted the receptionist at the clinic by blowing her a ridiculous number of kisses. Just like always. We sat down, she wrapped her arms around me in a tight embrace, patted my back, and began to laugh uncontrollably. And I began to laugh uncontrollably.  The waiting room was packed, and I could feel everyone looking at us. I almost whispered in her little ear we needed to be quiet, that people probably didn’t feel well, that we were being loud and disruptive. But I didn’t. Because when I pulled back from our cuddle and looked up, everyone in the room was smiling. And because I was reminded that this was not the picture I had in my mind when I was told my daughter had leukemia, and we would have weekly clinic trips to get chemo.  This was not what I had pictured at all. God reminded me that He is so very near.

I drove home from the hospital so thankful, and a little in awe.  Amazed by how easy this very difficult journey has been for us so far. We definitely have tough days. Libby was in the ER the weekend before. She was vomiting, and she had a fever, and off we went. But even in those moments, He reminds me. We pray, and you pray, and we trust. He brings her home. And in no time, she’s tackling her sister, dancing to the music in the car, laughing with her cousin. He reminds me. How much He loves us. How present He is.  How sufficient His grace truly is. 

I’m thankful for His reminders. He must know I need them. It’s easy to get bogged down on any given day with my own thoughts. Sometimes I give into my own thoughts-about the looming appointments, the IVIG she’ll get in another week or so (the one that sends us to the ER every time), the “delayed intensification” phase that we’ll begin at the very start of the holidays- and I’ll start to feel discouraged. That’s when Libby decides to put her spoon down at lunch, stretch out her arms in her highchair mid-meal, pull me in for a big squeeze, and laugh. He reminds me. He reminds me that these pictures in my mind are just my fabrications. He’s designed the masterpiece. And it’s magnificent.