Thursday, December 16, 2010

Annual Christmas Cookies






We did some serious baking yesterday. The boys love decorating their cookies. And of course, they love eating them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa's Helpers


Funny shirts my mom got for the boys. Grant could not understand why his shirt had Trent's name on it. :)


Grant was so excited to deliver banana bread to the staff at the clinic today. They were all so sweet. They do so much and take such good care of Grant. We could never do enough to express our appreciation. Unfortunately, Dr. Heym was not there today. But, Grant wanted to leave him two loaves.
Last week, Grant's counts were really high again. So, we have to increase his chemo again. The one that we increase he takes on Monday nights. He is going from 5 pills to 6 pills. Last time we did this, he ended up in the hospital. Tonight was his first new dose. Please pray that his body can handle the increase and use it the way it needs to.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Good Steroid Week






We've made it through the week of steroids. It had it's rough moments. But, it had some really great moments too. Amazingly, Grant got his first 'silver star' at school this week. They have a behavior chart and they are supposed to stay on green. If they go "above and beyond" then they get a silver star. Grant had been wanting one so bad ever since school started. We had even brainstormed ideas at home of things he might do to get one. But, he got this one all on his own. It was the very first thing he told me when I picked him up. Then, he wanted me to tell everyone that I talked to on the phone and he was so excited to tell his dad. He got his folder out of his backpack and just sat and stared at it all the way home. It was so exciting!

We also had 2 Christmas programs this week. Trent's was Thursday and Grant's was Friday. They both did wonderful, of course! They each sang 4 or 5 songs with their classes. Trent can sing Jingle Bells like a champ. And Grant did much better on stage than I expected. Of course he is a "rule follower" and wanted to do exactly what the music director told him to. They were lots of fun and boys had a great time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We Survived

I picked Grant up from school a few minutes early to get to the clinic. From the moment I walked in to get him, his anxiety grew. We put cream on at school and headed to the clinic. Grant was quiet the whole way there. He did well with accessing his port. But, the anxiety grew even more when we had to put cream on his back. He recovered quickly though. He had taken his loopy medicine, so his exam with Dr. Heym went pretty smoothly. Then, we went straight to the procedure room. Things really escalated at that point. Dr. Heym didn't even wait for the nurses to get everything set up. He just came in and got started, trying to prevent any extra anxiety for Grant. Grant did calm down for a little while when Dr. Heym was showing him what he was doing. But, when it was time to get the poke, Grant just started screaming. There was terror in his eyes and that is one of the most awful things I have ever seen. I feel so helpless. I sat directly in front of him with our foreheads touching trying to sooth him. Again, Grant recovered fairly quickly after the procedure was over. We are going to be exploring other options for sedation for the future. Please pray that Rudy and I would have wisdom to do what is best for Grant.
Grant also got more chemo in his port and started steroids today. His counts were still way up, so his at-home oral chemo was increased again.
The evening at home had it's ups and downs. He was very emotional, which is pretty usual. He was really groggy and lethargic when we got home. He ate some dinner, and some more dinner, and some more dinner and that pepped him up. And, of course, he watched some football with his dad. But, when it was time to go to bed, he got very weepy. Bedtime was very hard. (For those that don't know, Rudy had foot surgery about 2 weeks ago. He's pretty much bedridden when he is at home.) Grant told us tonight that he needed to stay in our bed and eat breakfast there b/c his back was hurt. He is so perceptive.
Trent has been so sweet. He wants to take care of Daddy and Grant. I am tired, not so much physically, but emotional and mentally. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. We know God is still holding us in the palm of his hand.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come
before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who
made us, and we are his; we are his people,
the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his
courts with praise; give thanks to him
and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures
forever; his faithfulness continues through
all generations.
Psalm 100

Friday, December 3, 2010

So Sorry

Wow! It's been too long! It's never b/c I have a lack of things to say :), just no time to share it. I will be updating with all of the things we have been doing soon. Tonight, I just want to ask for your prayers. Grant has his regularly scheduled clinic visit on Monday and it is the one with a back poke. He knows this and has been very anxious this week. He has been counting down the days as we get closer to the dreaded Monday. He has also directed some of his anxiety and displeasure of back pokes toward Dr. Heym. (He is the one who does them.) Anyway, we've talked about why he has to get them and that Dr. Heym is taking very good care of him. We'd just appreciate your prayers as this day approaches. His appointment is at 2:30 on Monday. Please pray that he can have a great day at school that day, keeping his mind off the procedure. Please pray that the procedure will go quickly and easily. Please pray that I will be sensitive to Grant's frustrations over his situation and respond in a supportive way. We appreciate you and your prayers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back on Track





Grant went for his follow up visit to the clinic today. His ANC has finally recovered to 1180. So, he started back on all of his at-home chemo today. However, Dr. Heym did lower the one he raised before Grant got sick back down to the original amount. Grant will go back for a regularly scheduled visit next Monday.

The clinic had a little Halloween party for the kids today. So, they wore their costumes. Trent was a chicken and Grant....Dr. Heym. It was great! The minute we walked in everyone knew Grant was Dr. Heym. He thought it was really funny that we sprayed his hair black. Dr. Heym was pretty impressed at how accurate we were. He asked to take a picture with him, but Grant would not cooperate. This is just a picture of the boys at home before we went.

They both will get to go to school tomorrow and we are ALL excited about that. Grant has really missed school.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Detoxing

Things are going pretty well. Grant has been feeling good for the most part. His biggest problem is adjusting to being at home and playing by the rules. We really had a day of detoxing on Monday; Grant from the hospital (nurses), Trent from Nana. :) Yesterday, Grant was pretty sad that he did not get to go to school when we dropped off Trent. On the way to pick him up, he decided he wanted to know what his job for this week would have been. So, his teacher came to the window to give him a rundown of the week and things we could do at home. She has been so wonderful to send his schoolwork home with Trent. He misses school and all his friends. He also realized that he was missing soccer practice. Another bummer! Just hoping counts are on the rise and he can stay well.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're Home!


Grant's ANC was 140 today! Yahoo! He was actually very excited about coming home. Trent and I went and picked up Rudy and Grant at the hospital this morning. Grant and Trent held hands in the car on the way home. It was very sweet. As soon as we got home, they jumped out of the car and on to their bikes, scooters and tractors. I think Grant was pretty excited to play outside. We will be stuck at home for at least a week and probably longer until his counts really recover. He goes to the clinic next Monday (11/1) for a CBC. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Staying Again

Grant's ANC is 70. He will be in the hospital at least one more day. It still needs to come up higher. Sadly, Grant is perfectly happy here. He has discovered the Wii in the playroom and that's all he wants to do. He also gets great pleasure out of ordering his meals everyday from the menu and leaving it outside his room. I guess it doesn't take much for a 4 year old. Please pray his counts up!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Still Here

Grant's ANC is 40. So, we get to stay here. :) Dr. Heym says that he sounds/looks good and that all his other numbers have come up. Basically, that one is just lagging behind. He did not seem concerned, but we are just going to have to wait for it to come up. The risk being that if we go home and he can't fight something off, then we will be right back up here starting all over. So we wait! He said if Grant's ANC could get over 100 tomorrow, then he would get us out of here. He is not on-call this weekend, but said he would communicate with the on-call doctors. One piece of good news is that Grant's fever is staying normal. This means that we are allowed out of the hospital room and can go walk around the floor and go to the playroom. That helps a lot. We were going stir crazy in this room.
When Grant gets to go home, he will be isolated. He will not be able to do the things he was doing before he got sick (preschool, soccer) until his counts completely recover. His chemo will be held until his ANC is back over 500.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

ANC is up

Grant's ANC finally made a move in the right direction, up to 69. Dr. Heym, very optimistically, said he hopes to get him out of here by tomorrow afternoon. He has to have no more fever and his ANC has to go up again tomorrow. Grant was very disappointed when I told him this morning that his counts had come up. He wants to stay here and hopes they go back down. It's not too hard to believe. There are very few rules here. He watch tv and plays internet games all day. He gets everybody's total attention. People bring him food in his bed. What's not to like?
Thanks for praying with us!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's back!

Well, Grant's fever is back. It came back up just before Dr. Heym came to see him this afternoon. So they have taken another blood culture and given more tylenol. Dr. Heym was concerned with how high his fever got yesterday and the fact that it keeps coming back. The plan is to wait one more day. If his fever continues, he will have to have CT scans tomorrow to look for fungal infection, which will have to be treated with infection-specific medication. At this point, Dr. Heym said that he is not concerned that the leukemia is back b/c all of his counts are slightly improving except the ANC so it seems that his bone marrow is working. Please pray for no fever!

Yay for Sleep!


Grant had a great night last night. Of course we could not go to sleep until the last out had been made in the Rangers game. But, he slept all night with no trouble. His coughing was much less and he did not have any more codeine. They are giving him IV fluids so he only woke up to go to the bathroom. We all got more sleep, however, we are not any closer to going home. His ANC is still a big fat zero today! We are still waiting to see Dr. Heym and find out if we are just staying the course or changing the plan of action. They have already been holding all of his chemo, so he hasn't had any since Saturday night. More waiting.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Fever

Grant and I slept all afternoon so that was great. I tried to wake him up about 4:30 to go to a party in the playroom. When I sat him up, I could tell that he was extremely warm. I went to get a nurse and his temp had spiked back up to 103.6. So, no fall party. But, they were so sweet and sent crafts and pumpkins and a bag of treats and games and food to his room. He was perfectly happy! He and daddy are playing Jumpin' Monkeys and waiting for the Ranger game to start. He just got his first dose of the codeine so he will probably get a little drowsy (which is just fine). My mom says Trent is acting like he is feeling fine. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Doctor Report

Dr. Heym came in to see Grant. Of course, he looked fine and was playing computer games, so he thought I was telling stories about our nights. :) He did prescribe him some codeine for his cough. He did not want him coughing so much that he was vomiting. And that should also help clear up his blood shot eyes, which he believes was caused by the severe coughing. His fever has stayed away this time, so now we have to wait for his counts to recover. His ANC crept up yesterday, but plummeted to zero today. Now we are looking at being here at least until Thursday.
They just brought Grant's lunch, which he does not like. So, he said "I'm not hungry, I'm sleepy" and rolled over and went to sleep. Gotta go catch a nap!

What a Miserable Night!

Grant didn't sleep at all during the day yesterday, so I had high hopes for a restful night. Not so much! We didn't go to sleep until about 11:00. By midnight, he was sweating like crazy again and waking up crying. He went back to sleep and at 2 a.m. he woke up coughing and crying again. He got choked and just started vomitting. Of course he was very upset so he was crying, but he didn't have much strength so it was more like wimpering. He was not running any fever so they were trying not to give him tylenol, but at this point, they did. They also gave him Zofran for nausea. After the wonderful nurses gave him a fresh bed, he slept off and on the rest of the night, but kept coughing. And everytime he coughed, I made him sit up so he didn't get choked. At 6 a.m., I turned on some cartoons to try to distract him, b/c he was crying and didn't know why. The t.v. didn't help things b/c he couldn't open his eyes to watch it. They were almost swollen shut and poured liquid every time he tried to open them....which upset him more. So, this morning he has had more tylenol and benadryl. I will update again after the doctor sees him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Add Trent To Your Prayers

Trent was sent home from school today with a fever. Under the circumstances, we thought it was wise to go ahead and get him to the doctor. He was diagnosed with strep. So, he got a shot and should not be contagious after 24 hours. Hopefully, he will be feeling better soon too.
Grant is doing well this afternoon. He has not had fever since noon. He has been laughing and playing games and is having some pizza and salad for dinner.
Thanks for keeping up with us and keeping all of us in your prayers.

Back Up

We had an interesting night. Grant slept hard from about 8:30-11:30 when his temperature broke. Then, he kept waking up crying. He was sweating so much that he kept soaking his pillow. He was pretty wide awake about 1:30 and had 2 bowls of Fruit Loops and watched Cars. I made him go to sleep after that and he slept until about 7:00. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep at all. :( His temperature was back up again this morning. He has had some tylenol so it has come down a little. But, we need it to stay down on it's own. The doctor has seen him this morning. She said he looks good, but we will just be doing the same thing as yesterday. He will continue getting antibiotics and tylenol as needed. And eating cereal..... :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

High Temp

Grant's temperature came down this evening after he got some tylenol. He was talking a little more and eating more Cheerios. But, it has spiked again. He has already had more tylenol and it just keeps going up (103.3). Please keep praying for our little Grant. He is being such a trooper. Also, he has been having some leg pain. The nurses aren't sure what is causing that, so we don't really know how to treat it. And Rudy and I don't want to give him more medication if we don't have to. Please pray that we are all able to get some rest tonight.
UPDATE: 11:40 p.m., Grant's fever broke! Yahoo!

What?! The Hospital?

That's right. We are in the hospital. Grant spiked a fever last night about 1:30. We prayed and stalled all night, but decided we needed to bring him in this morning about 7:30. Grant has done absolutely wonderful. He has been so cooperative and compliant even though he feels terrible. They took blood and cultures and did x-rays of his chest and sinuses in the ER. His counts were very low (ANC 40) and the x-rays diagnosed sinusitus and pneumonia. The tests came back negative for flu and RSV.
He was admitted to the hospital. Dr. Heym was the on-call oncologist today, so he met us in the room to examine him. The ER doc, Dr. Heym and the nurses all say how good he looks for being this sick. He will have to be here until he is without fever for 48 hours and his counts are on the way back up, which will probably be at least Wed., since he still has fever as I write.
Dr. Heym gave us a hard time for not calling at 1:30 when he first got to 101. We gave Dr. Heym a hard time b/c I called on Friday afternoon about Grant's cough and he told us to wait it out at least through the weekend. He's a Yankee fan. What does he know?? Either way, we're here now.
Rudy and I are pretty bummed. It's been almost a year since he was last in the hospital. But, he doesn't seem to mind. When we asked him last night if he needed to go to the hospital to get some medicine, he said yes. Then he said b/c he wanted to eat the yummy food they have there. He's had 2 bowls of Cheerios. He eats Cheerios everyday at home. ?????
He has been able to rest some since we've been here. He is dozing off and on. He chose to watch football over movies or cartoons. He is his father's son! So, I guess it's just a lazy Sunday afternoon....in the hospital.
Grant is able to have visitors. But, everyone will have to wear a mask, b/c his counts are so low. We are in room 3112.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin Patch





We took our first trip to the Pumpkin Patch this year. It was a field trip with the Grant and Trent's school. We all had a great time!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Another Day at the Clinic

Grant had a great day at the clinic today. We were only there for an hour....record time! He fussed that he didn't want a poke, but when I told him he had to sit still, he did. It went very smoothly. He got his chemo in his port and then the noodle came out. The worst part of the whole process is having to take the sticky bandage off that they put over it while he is accessed. But, we just go really fast and it doesn't have to last long.
Grant has been taking a daily allergy pill for quite a while. However, this week he has developed a pretty yucky cough. Dr. Heym said that his lungs were clear and otherwise sounded fine. He started his steroids today, so we are hoping they kill 2 birds and help with the cough as well. If not, he will have to go back in for something else. Also, his ANC was back up today and with his growth, Dr. Heym decided to increase one of his chemo doses. So, the methotrexate that he takes once a week will go from 5 pills to 6. Please pray that his body can handle this change and that the steroids help his cough. Thanks for all your prayers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Light the Night 2010

Light the Night is only a week away! Be sure you click the link and go to our team page and register if you plan on walking. We are looking forward to another fun evening this year....hopefully warmer....and dryer. :) http://pages.lightthenight.org/ntx/FtWorth10/GrantsBigAdventure

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Upward Soccer





Thank you all for your prayers this week. Grant had an absolutely GREAT week! We had our moments, but I didn't seem to lose him in frustration and crying. We were able to talk about what was upsetting him and work through it. He is such an amazing kid!

We also appreciate those of you who were praying for his soccer game this morning. They won! Grant scored 2 goals! I was so worried that the steroids were going to effect his balance and stamina to the point that it would frustrate him. He also complained of leg pain yesterday and this morning, which is usually caused by the chemo he gets in his port on clinic day. But, he went out there and played so hard. Of course, Rudy and I could tell a difference, but thankfully, he did not. He just played his little heart out. And it was SO hot. I'm just so proud of him. Can you tell???

Then we rushed off to music class. We are so priveleged to get to do this each semester. And we are so grateful for all of our friends that make this happen.

Grant's took the last of this round of steroids last night, so we should be on our way back up. Thank you again for all of your thoughts and please continue to remember Grant in your prayers. His ANC is still pretty low, so he is at a higher risk for illness. But, we know he is in God's hands. Isn't that a wonderful thought?!

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I prais, in God I trust, I will not be afraid." Psalm 56:3-4

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little Sprouts



I had every intention of blogging about the first day of school, but now they've been 3 times. The boys started preschool this year at Little Sprouts Preschool at our church. Grant goes M, T, Th and Trent goes T, Th. It has been a wonderful experience. Grant and Trent have come home every day talking about the fun things they are doing. It's always strange to have to explain Grant's situation in a new environment, especially when he doesn't look sick. But, his teacher said that he did great his first day on steroids at school. We were praying for that. We are looking forward to a great school year!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back on the Roller Coaster

Grant had his regularly scheduled clinic visit today, which included a spinal tap this time. He did amazing! He's getting so good at this, I'm not going to have anything to report pretty soon. He got cream on with no problems. He waltzed into the clinic talking to everybody. He even laughed while he got his port accessed. I know! Crazy! But, then he realized he was going to have to get a back poke (spinal) when the nurse asked to put cream on his back. He did it, but did not want to. When he went in to have his exam with Dr. Heym, he would not talk to him. It was weird b/c he usually does and he had been chatting it up with everybody. Then, when he got loopy, we went in for his procedure. We were waiting for Dr. Heym to come in the room with us and all the nurses. So, somebody said, "Where is Dr. Heym?" And Grant chimed in with, "I don't want Dr. Heym in here!" That's why he hadn't wanted to even talk to him, b/c he knew he was going to be giving him a back poke. He's no dummy! He cried during the actual poke and it breaks my heart to see those big, sad tears dripping off his face as he leans forward onto a pillow. But, he recovers pretty quickly. He still has to lay flat on his back for 30 minutes after the procedure to help prevent headaches. That's always a funny time b/c he is loopy and very talkative. All in all, it was a successful day at the clinic....successful, not easy.
Grant was nauseous off and on for the rest of the day. After the loopy medicine wore off, he began crying....about everything. He cries at the drop of a hat. Then, he's frustrated b/c he can't control why he is crying, which makes him cry more. Then, I cry. My heart breaks for him.
Please keep us in your prayers this week as we all walk a tough road.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Light the Night 2010

We have a team again this year for the Light the Night walk to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Grant is excited and is recounting all the things he can remember about last year. It was such a highlight for him during a pretty rough time. We would love to have all of you join our team and join us for a great time in Fort Worth on Oct. 10th. The festivities begin at 5:00. If you would like to join the team or make a donation to LLS, go to http://pages.lightthenight.org/ntx/FtWorth10/GrantsBigAdventure. We are looking forward to another great time this year!

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Crying?!

Wow! You would not have even believed that it was Grant at the clinic today. I was hoping that today would be a good day after we had a very successful cream application at home. I just told him it was time to go and we need to get his cream on. He walked over with no fussing and we took his shirt off. We were laughing and being silly and he just calmly walked away. I asked him where he was going and he said he was "running away" b/c he doesn't like cream. Then he started laughing and came back. We put the cream on and then he said the sticky was going to hurt. I told him if he would stand still I could fix it where it wouldn't bother him so much. That's exactly what he did and he was off to get in the car. Usually, after the cream is on, it renders him paralyzed. He, all of a sudden, cannot do ANYTHING b/c he "has cream on". Not today. He did everything like he normally does with no cream.
He always has mixed feelings about going to the clinic. He enjoys seeing all the people, but he does not want a poke. When we got ready to access his port, not only was he not crying, he was talking and laughing. Right when she went to poke him he gasped and that was it. It was amazing! He was so excited he jumped down to run out of the room when the nurse was finished and ran smack into an exam tray. He busted his head really hard and was very embarrassed, so now begins the screaming crying. It was terrible that he had done so well and then ended up crying anyway. He has a knot on his head. Dr. Heym was glad he didn't have to do stitches.
So anyway, his check-up went well. His counts were okay, but his ANC had dropped a lot. It was 580, which is the lowest it has been since he started maintenance. It has to be over 500 to continue full chemo, so we are still on schedule. Dr. Heym said he may have been battling an infection but, hopefully, the steroids this week should give him a boost. He also got chemo in his port. He wasn't feeling very well when we got home this afternoon and was happy to take some anti-nausea medicine. But, it is so amazing that he never lets it get him down.
Thanks for all of your continued prayers!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NRH2O









We got to go have wonderful day at the water park today. Grant was so excited this morning, he couldn't get there fast enough. It was 104 today, so a great day to be in the water all day. The boys loved it! We all had a really great time. It's always nice to see Grant participating in things just like all the other kids.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Grant's Thoughts

We recently returned from our trip to Hot Springs, AR that we take every year with my family. It was a shortened version b/c Granny is back in the hospital and Rudy was unable to go. That said, I spent quite a bit of time in the car with the boys. Apparently, Grant had a lot of time to think. These are a couple of the things we talked about.
I was telling him that he had been to Hot Springs before, but he was only 2 and Trent was a tiny baby, so he probably didn't remember. We didn't get to go last year. He thought for a while and then asked, "Is Trent going to have to get sick with leukemia and go to the hospital when he's 3?" Of course I replied with "I hope not!" He said, "then why did I have to get sick when I was 3?" Wow, that's a great question! I don't know, but I'm sure glad God is taking care of you and getting rid of that leukemia.
At one point during our drive Grant asked me where heaven was. I said it was with God. I said that the great thing about heaven is that nobody is sad or hurt or sick, etc. Doesn't that sound great?! Very sadly he said, "so I can't go to heaven b/c I'm sick." I was so broken-hearted I didn't even know how to respond. I told him that of course he can go to heaven and when he gets there he won't be sick ever again.
Conversations like this give me a small glimpse of his perspective. It's so hard to know he is dealing with all of this at a such a young age. I am just so proud of him and pray that God uses him to do amazing things.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grant Memorizes the Bible

Grant has done a really great job memorizing his Bible verses and the New Testament books of the Bible. Here is a sample....
video

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Day at the Clinic

Today's visit to the clinic went very smoothly. We were silly this morning putting on cream so that went well. Then, Grant started to get worked up right before the nurse was going to access his port. I just reminded him that he could fuss if he didn't like it, but he still had to sit still. He calmed down and it was over. He always likes to help the nurse put his blood in the test tubes.
Dr. Heym checked him out and said he looked great. His counts were back up, but we still did not have to increase his doses. We will most likely have to next time.
Grant started his steroids this morning. Unfortunately, the weepiness has already started. And, he has already been eating more than normal. So he may eat everything we have in the next week. :)
My Granny is having a procedure tomorrow to put a filter in her veins b/c she has developed a very large blood clot in her leg. She can not have blood thinners to treat it b/c of her head injury. She is going to be in pain for several months waiting for this to resolve itself.
We covet your prayers for Grant and Granny and the whole family. We are so thankful that we have so many prayer warriors out there praying for us. God is Good!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Granny Update

Just a little update on Granny...She has been at an LTAC (long-term acute care) center for the last 2 weeks. She has been moved out of the ICU there and is doing great. They have removed her trach and she is no longer using her feeding tube. She is doing great with her physical therapy and is getting stronger everyday. They are hoping to release her to go home sometime next week. Please continue to pray for her full recovery.
Grant and Trent have been going to visit her a couple times a week. They ask me every day but it is not a very kid-friendly place. :) Grant had to wear a mask the first few times. He doesn't really need to now, but he insists that he does. When all the family was here last weekend, all the little cousins thought it was cool that Grant looked like a doctor. They wanted masks too!
Grant returns to the clinic on Monday for his routine chemo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby Polka Dot

Grant is at the end of his week of steroids. As always, his stomach is pretty distended at this point. He has always rubbed it and rested his hands on it uncomfortably, much like a pregnant woman. This time, he has been around 2 of my cousins that are expecting. So, he has started talking about the baby in his tummy. It's a sister and her name will be Polka Dot. Thankfully, the tummy will just go away after he stops taking steroids. :-)
My Granny is still in ICU. Everything looks great and she is responding well, except for her breathing. Please pray that she will strengthen and be able to breathe on her own. Her brain seems to be sharp and she started some physical therapy today. Grant and Trent went to the hospital to see Grandpa Dub. Grant wanted to see his Granny, but we decided not to do that right now. We appreciate your prayers for our WHOLE family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

God does miracles!

Grant went to the clinic yesterday for his regularly scheduled visit. This was the one that required the spinal tap. Rudy took Grant to the clinic and said everything went fairly smoothly. His ANC was way down compared to where it has been, so he may be fighting a bug on top of allergies. Rudy also said he did quite a bit of crying during the spinal, which isn't really normal. To explain my thoughts on that, I will have to back up.....
Saturday, we were spending time at my parent's house with our family (Keith, Kristina, Granny & Grandpa). We had been out there all afternoon and had a great time. That evening, we even decided to play a little whiffle ball with the set Trent got for his birthday. While we were playing, Granny (83) tripped running from 2nd to 3rd. She fell sideways and hit her head. But, she jumped back up, and when we told her to sit down while we finished, she insisted that we needed her to finish the game. Long story short from there.....the fall caused a brain hemorrhage and she wrecked driving home. Grandpa is ok. Granny is still fighting. She had a lot of blood on her brain that had to be removed by surgery yesterday. Things looked very hopeless on Saturday night. But, on Sunday, God did a miracle and she began to improve. She has been getting better and better since. Today, they took out the breathing tube, but, this evening, they are having to put it back in. We have seen lots of miracles in the last year with Grant and we know God is still at work with Granny.
All that is to say, Grant is very close to Granny and Grandpa. He saw her fall and knows she is sick. Things have not been "normal" for the last few days and that causes anxiety for Grant. Please continue to pray for our whole family.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trent Turned 2








Happy Birthday Trent! Trent turned 2 yesterday, so we drove for 14.5 hours to celebrate. :) Ha Ha! We celebrated by stopping for a mcflurry at mcdonald's on the way home.

We went to my parents' house today to celebrate with cake and ice cream and his present. He was so excited about his "tractor".

We are very proud of you Trent and love you very much. I can't believe it's been 2 years!

www.lighthousefamilyretreat.org

Retreat Families and our Leaders
Grant waiting for breakfast, his favorite part

Grant and his new friend Conner, GO BLUE!

Grant and Trent LOVED the beach

Grant and Trent on the bridge from our house to the beach

I don't even know where to start. We just returned from a week-long trip to Seagrove Beach, Fl. with an organization called Lighthouse Family Retreat. Lighthouse ministers to families that are dealing with childhood cancer by providing a carefree beach retreat for the whole family. All I can say is it was AMAZING! We had no idea what to expect before we went. But, any expectations we had were completely exceeded.

We left Sunday morning and drove 8 hours to Hattiesburg, MS. We spent the night and then drove another 4 hours to Seagrove on Monday. We were completely overwhelmed by friendly faces when we arrived. We were welcomed into a beautiful beach home that would be ours to enjoy for the next week. All of our bags were unloaded and delivered by a group of volunteers.

The next week was filled with activities for kids, parents, and whole families. We were completely taken care of by an awesome team of volunteers; some that prepared and served our meals, did our laundry, made our beds, took care of our kids, pretty much whatever you could think of, all while we enjoyed the beach and each other.

The boys completely enjoyed having all the attention they could ever want. And Rudy and I had a wonderful time at Common Grounds, a place where we met with other retreat parents that had a child with cancer. We met some amazing families and we all came away with some incredible friendships.

We left Saturday morning and drove all day to get home around midnight. The boys did a great job traveling.

We want to say THANK YOU to every single Lighthouse volunteer and staff member that made our week unforgettable. We appreciate you.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

But I don't like pokes!

"Loving" on Trent

Grant wrapped up his steroids on Friday. We tried a new technique this week to help lessen the extremity of Grant's mood swings. I actually think it worked. We tried to cut all sugar from his diet. That meant no apple juice slushes among many other things. He was such a great sport. I explained what we were doing at the beginning of the week and why. He got on board and, not only was he cooperative, he was proactive. One day my mom suggested a fruit bar (Nutrigrain bar) for a snack. He told her, "No, I can't have that because I have leukemia and it has 12 grams of sugar in it!" He had heard me telling Rudy that when I was talking about how hard it is to completely eliminate sugar. All in all, I would say it was successful and will try to continue doing this when he has to take steroids. He can be very emotional ranging from lots of hugs to crying at the drop of a hat. But, we did not seem to lose him in fits of anger this week. Although he was trying to understand, he will need some more education as we go through this process. We were looking for a snack for him at a concession stand and he said, "oooo, Skittles, I don't think those have sugar mom!"

Grant's clinic visit on Monday went very well. He knew a couple of days prior that it was scheduled for Monday. But, Monday morning when we were getting ready to go he asked, "Mom, do I have to get a poke at the clinic today?" When I told him yes, he said, "Oh Mom, I don't really like pokes." So I began to search for an approach to this month's poke. First, I tried reverse psychology (which usually works like a charm). I bet you can't get your poke without crying....? He said, "No, I can't b/c it hurts." Hmm, that didn't work. So we talked about the fact that it does hurt and that's okay. Sometimes things hurt but we still have to be a big boy. So, I told him that it was okay to cry when it hurt, but it was not okay for him to throw a big fit and wiggle around making it difficult for the nurse and Mommy. It worked! When it was time to get his poke, he sat perfectly still on my lap and cried. It was awful! Usually I am so mad and frustrated trying to accomplish the task that I'm not too worried about how he is feeling. This time, he was completely cooperative and just had tears running down his face. It was so much harder b/c it was heartbreaking to watch him choose to endure the pain like a big boy. I was so proud and crushed all at the same time. Then, when it was time to take his bandage off to go home, he didn't even cry. What an amazing kid!!!
He also has asked me when does he not have to go to the clinic anymore. I told him he will have to be 6. So he is counting down.

He got a great report from Dr. Heym. He always comments on how good Grant looks. His counts were all okay. His ANC is actually too high. Can that be? This month his was around 4100 and they want it between 750-1500. This is the second month in a row that it has been too high. Dr. Heym believes this may be because Grant is growing or his body is metabolizing the chemo more easily. What does this mean? Most likely, if it is still up at the next visit, Dr. Heym will increase the dosages on his medication. Bummer! But, we want to do what is best for Grant. They want his bone marrow suppressed but not bottomed out like it was in earlier treatment. We will continue to follow Dr's orders on how best to care for Grant and God will take care of the rest.

Thank you for continuing to follow our journey and especially for the prayers. We really appreciate all of the amazing acts of kindness from friends and strangers alike. God is good!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col. 3:17

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hello Everybody....So Glad To See You



That is one of the songs that we sang at music class every week. Yesterday marked the end of our 16 week music class at TCU. This was something that was provided to us and some of our cancer friends by an organization associated with Cook Children's. It was a wonderful blessing to us and we are so thankful that we got to participate. It was really great b/c the whole family got to go together and Grant and Trent loved it.
We are headed back to the clinic tomorrow for Grant's scheduled visit. He will begin steroids in the morning.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Last year, we were just heading home from the hospital from our 2 week stay. At that time, it was the best mother's day gift I could have asked for. Our family has been so blessed. I am so thankful to have Grant and Trent as my precious gifts from God.
And, I have to take this opportunity to thank my mom for the tremendous help that she has been over the last year. I am so thankful that I have had her as my mom, Grant and Trent's Nana, chauffeur, errand-runner, clinic companion, prayer warrior, and especially friend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Party's Over





We have been celebrating Grant for several days now. Yesterday, we had his kid birthday party. He was so excited he couldn't hardly stand it. It was so much fun to see Grant having such a great time. Thunderstorms were in the forecast so I had been praying for days for no rain. God answered and we had great weather for the kids to play outside on the playground and in the jump house. We had Sesame Street cupcakes...Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar, and Cookie Monster. Everyone had different colored icing smeared across their faces, except for Grant. He ate his cupcake with a fork and only 2 bites. However, when I asked him his favorite part of the party he said the cupcakes. I think he liked having everyone sing to him. Thanks to everyone that made this a special day for Grant!
Now he is wanting to know when he is going to turn 5.....