Wednesday, November 25, 2009
This picture was taken last week of the 4 of them :)
Today happiness is waking up to a little girl's big smile. A little girl who at age four has been through more than most people go through in their whole lives. Happiness is a fever breaking overnight and a normal morning at home where we aren't scrambling out the door to get to the hospital. It's spending the day with four precious gifts from God. It's knowing that a blood culture is negative. Happiness is knowing that we will all get to be together for Thanksgiving.
The last couple days have been a little crazy. As you know, Monday morning Abbey woke up with a fever. Jacob was in school, but we needed to figure out where Micah would go for the day and who could come with me, Abbey and Caleb to clinic. My sister and her littlest, Tommy came with us for the day while her mother in law watched the rest of the kids. My mom got Jacob from school so everyone was cared for. At clinic that day, her exam looked great. They were not finding any other symptoms, therefore had no cause for the fever. In a way, that's good that we weren't dealing with a cold or flu coming on, but at the same time it gets stressful as when there is nothing else going on it could end up being a bacterial infection in her blood. We were able to come home that evening after she got an antibiotic since her numbers were high.
Then, Tuesday morning Abbey again woke up with a fever. Even higher this time so we again were arranging for everyone to be taken care of. Her exam again checked out good and they couldn't find anything else going on with her. Just a high temp of over 103. Our nurse practitioner who has worked closely with us since day one started asking me about her flu vaccines. She asked when Abbey was given them and her H1N1 vaccine was given last Friday. When I told her this, she and our doctor began discussing the possibility of this fever being a side effect from the vaccine. They are feeling pretty confident that that is what was going on with Abbey these last couple days. We will never know for sure, but the important thing is that the fever has now come down and her blood cultures continue to be negative.
Yesterday was a day filled with lots of emotions. It never gets easy to wake up to Abbey burning up. The reality of this disease becomes so real again. The fears flood back and the realization that life is so not normal right now returns. My heart breaks for Abbey as trips to the clinic are now our social outings. The nurses and doctors are our friends and our day trips are not to friends houses for play dates, but trips to the 6th floor of a hospital. I've spent hours watching medications drip into her chest and had countless conversations with people about blood and numbers. Yet we continue to move forward. We find things to be thankful for in all situations. And today, we are just thankful and happy to be home and to be together.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
Thank you for praying us through these last couple days. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!!
Posted by Colbert Family at 11:13 AM
Monday, November 23, 2009
Please pray for us this morning. Abbey woke up with a fever and we are heading out the door to go to clinic. She doesn't seem to have any other symptoms at this point (cold or flu symptoms). Please pray that her numbers would be high so we don't need to be admitted and that she wouldn't start to get really sick with anything. Thanks and we'll keep you posted.
Posted by Colbert Family at 9:03 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Be sure to pause the music when watching the video!
So here's what we're so excited about.... :)!!!
A little background first... My sister Stacey and I both grew up taking dance classes at Center Stage Dance Studio in Northfield, Ohio. Stacey went on to become an instructor there and has been teaching there for the past 17 years. Abbey also has taken classes there. She started her first class just a few weeks before she was diagnosed and just recently has been able to start taking there again. Center Stage Dance Studio is an exceptional studio with the very best talent in Northeast Ohio. Sherry Federan is the owner of the studio and we have been very close to her and her family for years. Mitchel Federan, who is her son is undoubtably the most talented person we know. Not only is he the most amazing dancer, but his choreography is outstanding. He does choreography for several different studios all over the East Coast and he has been the recipient of numerous choreography awards, both locally and nationally. He has been on Broadway several times and has worked along side many big names including Hugh Jackman, Marilu Henner and Robert Sean Leonard (from House). He also played Petey Cortland on ABC's All My Children and had a solo performance in the Nationally televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He continues to amaze us with his accomplishments.
Versatile Dance Company is Mitchel's newest project. It is a brand new non profit organization started this year in Akron, Ohio. We have been blessed that Mitchel chose our family and the leukemia society to be the beneficiaries of his first event! VDC will be making its premier on Sunday, January 10th at the Canton Palace Theatre performing "Praying For Abbey." The show will portray Abbey and our family's journey through leukemia. Each member is very talented and the show will undoubtably be amazing! Mitchels goal with VDC is to bring his audience the top performers in all areas of dance while at the same time helping charities that are important to him and his company members. Along with his incredibly talented dancers who will be performing tap, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary numbers, he is also bringing in the very best break dancers in the country, Quest Crew! Quest Crew Won "America's Best Dance Crew" Season 3 on MTV and they continue to perform all over the country. You can check them out on "So You Think You Can Dance" in late November and come see them in person on January 10th!! Following the show you can meet them and the rest of the cast :)!! So here's the details.....
When: Sunday, January 10th, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at The Canton Palace Theatre
To Benefit: The Leukemia Society and our family :) thanks!
Ticket Price : $40 per person
Discount: 10 or more $35 each
Tickets on sale now! Call the Canton Palace box office or purchase tickets online at www.CantonPalaceTheatre.org
For a truly unforgettable afternoon, come join us on January 10th! Please come support Versatile Dance Company in its premier performance as it presents "Praying For Abbey" and see some incredible dance while contributing to a great cause! Tickets are tax-deductable!!
Thank you Mitchel, VDC and all of you who will come out to support us :)!!!
Abbey and her cousin Gracie at their first dance class.... just weeks before Abbey was diagnosed.
Posted by Colbert Family at 9:52 PM
I am working on a post for tonight about something
that we are very excited about! God has surrounded us with so many amazing people as we've gone through this time with our Abbey and tonight we are going to share with you about a guy named Mitchel and his dance company that is doing a whole show called "Praying For Abbey." I will give you all the details later, so be checking back to see a video with details about the dance company and show. It is going to be amazing and we are so thankful and excited!
It again has been forever since I posted anything so wanted to get on really quick and put up a couple pictures from this past week. Caleb is doing great! He is so sweet and quite possibly the best baby ever. He reminds me so much of Abbey when she was a newborn. Very content and a great sleeper right from the start :). And I have been amazed at how helpful little hands can be! Abbey is like a little mommy around here and has helped in so many ways. She holds Caleb on the couch often and sits with him whenever I am busy, holding his paci in his mouth. We often hear Abbey saying things like "if he starts crying, rub his feet and legs. He likes when you do this." She gets me things when I'm feeding him and is always willing to help.
Abbey has been feeling great. We didn't have to go to clinic this past Friday which was so nice. We go back this Friday just for a numbers check and to make sure her oral chemo is the right dose. She finished up her 5 days of monthly steroids last week so we're always glad when those are done! Jake and Micah are also both doing well. Yesterday when I was picking Jacob up from school, one of the mom's of a little girl from his class came up to me and told me that her daughter is very fond of Jacob. She said that a couple nights ago her daughter drew a picture of herself and a boy. Her mom asked her what the picture was of and she said it was of her and Jacob getting married. It is now hanging in their dining room. I thought it was so cute. Jacob is really enjoying school and is growing in many ways. We're proud of him :)
Thanks for checking in! Hope you're all having a great fall and be sure to check back later to find out about the "Praying for Abbey" show :)!
Posted by Colbert Family at 11:04 AM
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Hi! We're still here.... So sorry it has taken me forever to get back on to do a post. I know you all understand, but we have so many faithful followers that I know check in often and I'm sure you're wondering how things have been lately :)
Life with our little Caleb has been great! Our transition to 4 has been pretty easy so far. He is a very content baby and as long as he has a full belly, he's happy. I have lots of help this time around as Jacob and Abbey have both really stepped into the "older kid" role and they have been a huge help.
He has been sleeping great and doing 4-6 hour stretches each night. We never had a newborn sleep so good this early on so we are very thankful for that. He is eating good, and all I can say about that is that I'm really glad to be past our first week of nursing. The first week has been hard with each of our kids, but this may have been my toughest start. I'm happy to say that we are past the toe curling, 'take your breath away' part though. Have any of you mommies been there? Always the hardest part about having a newborn for me at first, but so thankful to be past it and that we both know what we're doing now :)!
The kids each are so cute with him. Jacob loves to look at him and talks about him often to me, but doesn't want to hold him much. Abbey on the other hand holds him as much as we'll let her. I put blankets all around her on the couch and prop him up in her arms. She has sat like that for hours over this past week. She loves holding his hands and kissing his cheeks. Micah too likes holding him and lightly touching his head while he's in the swing. They have all adjusted well and I don't think any of us can imagine life without him already :)
Abbey had clinic on Friday and her numbers looked great. Her ANC was over 1400. She had her monthly chemo in her port and her spinal tap and chemo in her spine which she gets every three months. She was a champ like always and handles it all so well. She is on her 5 days of steroids right now, so as always we will be glad once Wednesday is here and she is done with them. She is feeling good though and we've had no more fevers. Everyone is healthy in our home and other than Jim going to work and Jacob going to school, we are home. Trying our best to keep everyone healthy and praying for God's continued protection over our family from sickness.
Thanks so much for all your sweet comments after Caleb was born :)! And thanks for checking in :)!
Posted by Colbert Family at 11:26 PM