Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're Still Here....



































Is anyone still reading?  So sorry I've been so bad at posting lately... If you're still checking in, thank you...  I have lots to update you on.



Overall Abbey has been feeling great.  Last Friday we had to go to clinic just for a numbers check to see how her body is handling all of her at-home medications.  Her blood looked great!  Her ANC was over 3,000 (which is the infection fighting part of her WBC), her platelets were within normal range and everything else looked just like they would expect it to at this point.  

Relay for Life was last weekend and it was awesome! As you see we got tons of great pictures thanks to my dear friend Melissa (thanks Melissa... you're the best! :)!!!  It was a weekend filled with laughing, memories and fun, but also a weekend of reflection and tears.  We were so proud of our Abbey the whole weekend and so touched by the many others who are walking or have walked similar roads as ours.  We had three families come up to us and tell us that their child had cancer as a child and is now older, healthy and completely normal.  There were many different stories represented over the weekend, but we all had a connection to each other.  The survivor lap was emotional and awesome (it was my favorite part of the weekend).  Each survivor got 1 balloon for each year that they've survived cancer.  Abbey of course had one and there were people with over 20 balloons!  They had us line up with the newest diagnosed at the front of the track and then people with more balloons (more years being cancer free) lined up behind with the most years surviving in the back.  They had us all turn around and look at the many people that have beat this disease for years and years to encourage those of us who are just starting our journeys.  It was very moving and emotional. Abbey was the youngest survivor there and it got me thinking that someday she will be walking around that track with 70 or more balloons! 

Our church's team was called "Walk by Grace" and overall our team raised over $7,000 toward cancer research!  We also passed out bottled water the whole weekend to anyone and everyone who was there.  Many people from our team stayed all night to be a smiling face and an encouragement to others who are fighting for the same cause.  Abbey was our "super hero" as you can see on the banner.  We also had buttons made for the whole team and our family got the special "Praying for Abbey" t-shirts made (Abbey's shirt said "Praying for Me :)".  The back of all of our shirts (both the teams and our families) had Phil. 4:13 on it... I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  How true it is!     

As I said before, she is feeling great overall, but we learned on Saturday afternoon (when Relay was over) that she is having a major sun sensitivity from her medications.  When we got home that day she had a horrible rash on her arms and face and although she was sunblocked up, her skin was very irritated by the sun.  It wasn't sunburn or red, but bumpy and rashy.  We learned quickly that this new medication that she's on may make it hard for us to enjoy the outdoors as much as we'd like.  I have tried some new sunblocks since learning of this reaction and the last one I used seemed to protect her skin the best so we are praying that this will not be something that we will have to deal with all summer and that we can figure out the best way to protect her delicate skin.  

Also, a few nights ago, Abbey woke up throwing up and feeling really yucky.  Today she is feeling much better, but it seemed that she caught a little bug while out and about.  Thankfully she had no fever to go along with it (or we would have been making a hospital visit), but we were in close contact with her nurses and she seemed to kick the bug by herself.  Although these couple things have been minor, it is so hard to see her sick with a regular "kid thing" on top of her being sick with leukemia.  Our nurse encouraged us to not isolate ourselves after these couple little things (she knows me so well), but to continue to try and live as normally as possible and expect her to get regular kids sicknesses every once in a while.  

So tomorrow we have another exciting thing going on.  Abbey will be playing Kick Ball at Progressive Field in Downtown Cleveland with some of the Cleveland Indians!  It is a promotional event to kick off a Kick Ball fund raiser for childhood cancers.  They will be taping the game and it will either be aired at the field on game days or possibly even on t.v.  We'll know more after tomorrow and I will be sure to share with you the details in case you'd like to get involved or play in a kick ball game with your families to support a super great cause.  We are ready to go in the afternoon with Abbey's Indians Cheerleading outfit and great Indians attire for the boys too :)  I'll be sure to take pictures and share them with you all...

Well, I will stop writing a book and will try to start updating more often.  Thanks for checking in on our brave little warrior.  God Bless.

14 comments:

Bethany said...

I was hoping you'd post relay for life pics!! I had friends fly into town that night from Atlanta & San Fransisco so I was sad to not make it :( It was emotional just seeing those pictures and reading your post, so I can't imagine what it would've been like to be there in person!!

Hope to see you all soon :)

Mel said...

I am so happy for all of you! Abby looks great. I was wondering if you would tell my what kind of sunscreen you found for her since Pierce is starting Maintenance today and we are planning on enjoying the sun very soon! My email is melaniebimson at gmail dot com

Thanks for sharing your tips, and congrats on Relay for Life!

Amber said...

I was just thinking about Abbey on my way to work today. I'm glad she is doing so well and your family is able to get back into routine and normalcy. It looks like Relay was an amazing experience for you. The pictures brought tears to my eyes! Especially imagining the Survivor lap and turning around to see all of those survivor 'years' symbolically displayed in the balloons.

The Pifer's said...

Girl-you know I'm still reading and praying :)

I love all the picutures-very emotional seeing them!

Love-Hugs and many many prayers-
Tiff

ELISABETH said...

The picture of Jacob and Abbey hugging brought tears to my eyes! What an amazing family you have! God bless.

The Gammons Family said...

I loved the pictures of Jacob and Abbey too. I have thought so many times through this ordeal for you how different ALL of you will be because of this road that God has caused you to walk. I pray that someday you will be able to look back on it and thank God for the grace that this struggle has been. Thanks again for sharing and allowing us to see Christ's work in your lives.

I may need to read your blog at home. Every time I read it at work I cry. Oh well.

--Andy

Bill Watson said...

Thanks for the update on Relay for Life and Abbey's fight with childhood illnesses vs leukemia. I pray that you will be able to recognize the difference between the two.

It was so great to have your Family join us at Relay for Life. I am glad is was such a positive experience for you and Abbey. God Bless You!!!!

Jackie said...

I am an AVID blog reader and check everyday for updates on precious little Abby. The pictures of Relay for Life are beautiful and brought a tear to my eye seeing her wear the Survivor sash.

I just wanted to share a little story with you. A little girl in my home town (Anna age 6) was diagnosed with Leukemia a couple of years ago. This past weekend we went to her "No Mo Chemo" party. She finished her chemo on May 4th and is healthy and happy and beautiful and living life. I can't wait to read about the day Abby is free of Chemo and of this yucky disease. Stay strong and as always you and your beautiful family are in my prayers.
Jackie

Anonymous said...

Abbey looks great...loved the pictures - thanks for the update. Praying Abbey continues to get stronger and is able to enjoy the summer.

Gail
Annapolis, MD

Odd Mom Out said...

Great update! and I LOVED LOVED LOVED seeing the new pictures. What a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and your weekend with us. Abbey looks so healthy it's hard to believe she has a terrible disease. I'll still continue to pray for your brave little girl. She is such an inspiration as is your family.

It's great to see you all together and sharing in the festivities, fresh air and sunshine! I hope that you find a sunblock that works well and doesn't irritate Abbey's skin.

Looking forward to the next post and the CLEVELAND INDIANS!!!

Becky said...

Great to hear that Abbey is doing well! The pictures are terrific. Keeping you all in prayer!

Pam, mom, honey, said...

still checking the site, still praying for your family. so glad she is able to be out doing more.

Cathy said...

Loved the pictures. Welcome back...glad things are going so well!