Friday, July 24, 2009

So today was a pretty rough day. Abbey's counts were not up. In fact, they were down even more from last week. I didn't expect it and had a very hard time holding back the tears as our nurse and doctor went over her numbers with me. I think I've cried more today than I have in a long time. The doctors assured me that this isn't too concerning to them. That it is just her body needing a longer break from her oral chemo and that her bone marrow is just wiped out and needs time to come back. She's been off her oral chemo for a week so that's why I thought her numbers would definitely be up, but it doesn't always work that way. She most likely still has drugs in her system that are affecting her and she also just came off her 10 day antibiotic yesterday from her sinus infection so that most likely all plays into her marrow being wiped out. This week she will really get a break from ALL medication (except for her one anti-pneumonia med and her lovenox shots) so we are praying that this week, her body will recover. In it's own time, it will.

As I sat in clinic today, I was reminded of how very much I hate this disease. I was again reminded of this war going on in her little body and the strong medication that they have to give her to get rid of every last cancer cell. I was reminded that the medicine not only kills the bad cells, but it kills the good cells too. And I was reminded of how much I love this girl and so badly want to shelter her from all that she has to go through.

The thought of telling Abbey that she isn't going to be able to go to VBS this week is making my heart so heavy. I so badly want her to be able to go and just be a normal three year old this week. Every time I think about her missing out on something that she has been looking forward to for so long, I cry. My heart just hurts for her little heart and the disappointment that she is going to feel. We are praying that she would be understanding and that we will have the words to explain it to her. We are going to really try to do special things with her this week at home each night while VBS is going on.

I talked at length today with our doctor (and nurse and nurse practitioner) about our upcoming vacation. They are encouraging us to go and get away. Although her numbers are low, she is feeling great. You'd never know her numbers are so low if you saw her playing today. They sat in our room and watched her laughing and being so silly (Buddy and Bev were in visiting) and they said that if she was laying around and feeling horrible they would tell us not to go, but after seeing her, they think it would be good for all of us to go.

They will give us all the information that we need about the hospital we should go to in case something comes up with Abbey or if she gets a fever. We have our doctors cell phone number and he assured me that he is just a phone call away if we have any questions. So all that said, we have decided to go on our vacation. We will go back
Friday for another count check and will continue to pray like crazy that her number are
higher (we will be leaving Saturday), but regardless of where they are, if she continues
to feel as good as she is now, then the trip is on.

Today as we went back and forth about our decision, we came to the conclusion that God put this opportunity in our laps to get away to a beautiful condo right on the beach for a reason. He knows that we all need it and there is nothing more that we want right now than to be able to enjoy a week away together. We trust our doctors and know they would not be telling us to go unless they felt confident that she will be fine. We of course will modify our activities while we're there and will stick to the same rules as when we're home about not being around too many people, but we might as well be in a beautiful place while her numbers are so low. We will still be able to be outside as much as we want and spending time on the beach so that alone will be wonderful. I don't think I mentioned it in the last post, but Jim's parents are coming with us too. They were supposed to be coming to our house the first week of August (which we have been looking forward to for so long) so when the vacation fell on that week we were so excited at the possibility of them coming with us. When we told them about it, they were all for it so it really all has fallen perfectly into place. We are very much looking forward to our time with them and to have the support of family with us while there in case something would come up with Abbey is very reassuring. And, Jim and I might even get a date night (or two) away while the kids soak in every second of their grandmom and grandpop.

So, although today has been a hard day we are all excited to start planning for our upcoming trip. I can't even wait to wake up to hearing the ocean outside our bedroom window and to snuggle with my kids (and my husband) while sitting on the patio at night and watching the sunset. To be able to experience God's beautiful creation together will be a breath of fresh air for all of us. I can't wait to take the kids away and to just get a break from all that we have gone through these last 10 months. And I am just so thankful that God is so good to us, that when I feel so sad about Abbey missing VBS, He gives us this gift of a week on the beach to help us get through this next little hurdle. Please continue to pray for her body to recover and for her ANC to be higher next Friday. Thank you for your love and support.

Abbey and Buddy at clinic today. The bottom one is Abbey giving Buddy a shot. It's nice when Abbey gets to be in control every once in a while and is able to be the one giving the shot instead of getting it. They are great buds :)!!


Bethany said...

Shelley, my heart aches for you. As I prayed that Abbey's numbers would be up yesterday, I felt so positive that they would, and so excited that she and Jaden would get to see one another at VBS this week. I'm disheartened that Abbey won't get to go, but I am so glad that you have decided to go on your vacation regardless. You really need this time away together and enjoying the beautiful ocean. I hope that you and Jim definitely get a couple of date nights squeezed in there and have a ton of fun with your kids. We'll continue to pray this week that Abbey's numbers go up. Hang in there! We love you all :)

Sarah said...

I am so sad to hear about Abbey's numbers and that she has to miss VBS this week, but I am praising God that you all get to go on vacation. I am going to be praying for a time of refreshing for all of you. Enjoy it to the fullest!

Cindy Bailey said...

Shelley, once again you have shown such strength and faith while facing another hurdle with this awful disease. I'm so glad that the family has decided to go on vacation and it's nice to have Jim's parents along...just incase.:) I'm keeping your family in my prayers, especially Abbey and hope that things continue to get better and that her numbers go up.God Bless you all!:)~

Anonymous said...

Praying for Abby.

Jenny said...

I am so sorry that your news was not good, your family are just so precious and this holiday will be wonderful for you all. I know our wonderful Father will be with you all while you're away and His healing love will be upon Abbey - Our prayers will going ongoing for Abbey this week and for you all.
With much love xoxo

Amber said...

I am praying for Abbey's numbers to go up and for her to continue to feel good. And I'm praying for encouragement and strength for you. Enjoy your vacation! I hope you can make some wonderful memories there.



I am praying for all of you. I cannot imagine the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing as you face telling Abbey about VBS. I will pray for God's peace in your heart and Abbey's, and I will also pray that you can find wonderful things to do to entertain her during VBS week. You are an amazing mom. God bless you.

Shawna - Round Rock, Texas said...

I am only a follower of your blog, but my heart hurts for your family. I am so sorry for anyone who has a child going through this. We have close friends that have a son who was very sick. I know what they go through daily and all I know to do for both of you is pray. Please know that God does work miracles every day and I will continue to pray for your family ~ and especially who beautiful little girl.

Kellie Svendsen said...

Shelley, maybe Paige can come over sometime and make a little VBS at home for her. Paige is going to lead the kids in singing and we could pick up materials for her. paige would love to make Abbey a VBS at home. Call me, Love ya Kel

The Syllaba Family said...

Shelley, I am so sorry that that Abbey's numbers are not where we all wanted them to be but your strength and faith will yet again get you thru this bump in the road. Enjoy your week on the beach and the time you get to spend with your family. These are the memories that you guys will cherish forever

Beth said...

Praying that Abbey's numbers go up this week and that she continues to feel great! The fact that she is feeling good and playing etc, is a blessing!
I know that it is upsetting that she can not go to VBS this year but isn't it amazing how God has placed that vacation in your laps at this exact time??!! Hopefully this week will be filled with all the fun of preparing for a family trip and that it will overshadow the disappointment of not attending VBS!!

Anonymous said...

I am sad to hear that Abbey's numbers were still low, but I am happy to hear that you are going on vacation. Getting away from everything and enjoying a relaxing time at the beach with family will be wonderful. Not attending VBS with her friends will be disappointing, but maybe you could pick up the VBS informational packet and have VBS at your house just for Abbey. If a daily craft project is done, perhaps the director of VBS can provide you the materials needed. I realize it won't be the same as being there with all of her friends, but maybe Abbey won't feel as sad. Still praying for beautiful Abbey. Praying that her numbers improve and you all have a wonderful time.

Annapolis, MD

angela gore said...

It brings tears to my eyes to hear your disappointing news. I will pray this week for you and for Abbey that God's peace will wrap around you and shield you. I hope and pray your vacation will be so special and fulfilling!

JudyB said...

Hi Shelley,
My so sorry to hear Abbeys numbers did not come up... Please know we will continue to pray. I'm so excited to hear about your well deserved vacation... Can we schedule a movie and pizza party with Abbey this week ?

Jessica said...


I saw your entry in the Trumpeter about Abby and came to your blog. I promise to pray for Abby. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such a beautiful and honest way.

Jessica (Reno) Burkholder

Abigail said...

From one Abigail to another I'm praying for you!!!