We have much to be happy about! Listen to our new song that we just added to hear about the happiest day ever. And also we have had many happy days here lately that we will share. Saturday was especially special for our family, but I will get you up to date on things before I explain...
Last Friday was our clinic day to see if Abbey was ready to start maintenance. Her ANC needed to be at 750 to begin and it was over 2,000! We were so happy to see that her body had recovered from Delayed Intensification, that her immune system was stronger and that she was ready to continue on.
The day went as good as it possibly could. Her sedation time was scheduled for 1:00p.m. so we thought it was going to be a very long morning since she couldn't eat. Buddy and Bev who is a puppet and his owner came in our room for about an hour and did crafts and games with Abbey. She loved it and it helped make the time go faster as she got her chemo and we waited for her sedation time slot. She never asked to eat even one time so it was a huge relief that it wasn't a rough, long morning for her. She was sedated early and her procedure was done even before one o'clock. They're usually running late, so it was so nice to be done early.
While we were in clinic, after seeing her numbers, the doctors told us that the time has come for us to start getting our lives back to normal as much as possible. For us to start taking her out some since her immune system was stronger now. Although she will still be getting oral chemo, and chemo monthly at the clinic, she will not be getting hit so hard and her body should overall be stronger and less susceptible to illness. We were overjoyed to hear those words and to know that we could start venturing out some and doing more normal things as a family.
You probably know this from past posts, but our church is a very important part of our lives and we had not been to church as a family in 8 months. Jim and I would go as much as possible with Jacob (we would keep Micah home too because we didn't want him bringing any sicknesses home), but we hadn't walked through the doors of our church as a complete family in so long and it was always so hard to go, having to leave our Abbey and Micah at home. Well Saturday evening (for the Saturday service... a new thing at our church) for the first time since before Abbey got sick, we ALL went to church together.
Here we are walking in together and it felt so good to have Abbey there! She is a living testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness to us and to see how far she has come is an amazing thing. God has used this little girl in many, many ways and to be able to show our church her smile and bright eyes after all she's been through was a wonderful thing! God has been so real as we've seen His hand so intimately involved in our lives and we truly can say that our love for Him is stronger as we've gone through this. This picture just makes me smile. As we walk hand in hand with smiles on our faces, we know that He is carrying our family in His hands and for that reason alone, we can smile and find joy through this trial.
The service was amazing and at the beginning Pastor Jason talked about how far we've come and how special it is to have her back in church. We then all prayed for her together and it was very moving. We are forever thankful to our Pastor and church family for their love and support as we've gone through this. And the amazing thing is that it didn't just happen for a couple weeks or a month, but they have walked with us since day 1 and continue to be right by our side each step of the way.
She is doing wonderfully with all her oral medications at home and she has been feeling great and just enjoying being three. This morning she was calling me from her bedroom with an urgency in her voice and when I got in her room she was sitting at her vanity, looking at herself in the mirror and she said "Mommy! My hair is starting to come back!" She's a special little peanut and we are so thankful to be her parents.
So far as a family we've gotten to go to a couple of Jacob's t-ball games, out to dinner, to a parade, to our friends house for a cookout and to church. Abbey is loving getting out and you'd never know she's been cooped up in our house for 8 months. I was concerned to see how she'd handle going from just seeing our family and doctors and nurses to getting back into being with other kids and being around more people. She didn't skip a beat and seems to be handling yet another "change" with ease. She's still our shy girl who likes to bury her head in my shoulder when she feels overwhelmed, but overall I feel like she's the same little girl that she was 8 months ago and we look forward to a fun summer as a family as we get to have some normalcy back to our lives.
And a huge thank you to Keri for taking pictures on Saturday :) They will be cherished forever as we will be able to look at these special memories for years to come! I will put a link to all the pictures that she took that evening soon.....
Thanks once again for continuing to follow our journey :) Blessings to you!