Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh Emmalee!

I love the funny things that girl says. She sure makes us laugh!

Emmalee was awake in the middle of the night a few nights ago. I happened to be sleeping on the couch because I've had a horrible cold and couldn't stop coughing. She came out to the living room and snuggled up with me. She asked me to tell her a story. There's one she really likes. It is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as told by Iza Trapani. (Incidentally, if you've never heard of Iza Trapani, you simply must check her out.)

At any rate, I recited the story for Em. The last line talks about the spider resting in the sun. In the book, the spider is wearing sun glasses and relaxing on her web. I told Emmalee how cool it would be if spiders really wore sunglasses and relaxed like that. She got very offended and said "Mom, you know nothing about nature!"

I love you, Emmalee!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nate The Great

My friend Shelly did some cute pics of Nate. He was less enthusiastic than Emmalee but I LOVE them. The first one is my favorite. :)

Beautiful Emmalee

My amazing friend Shelly took these pictures. I am in love with them. I love how she was able to capture Emmalee's personality. I love that they are fun and unique. She is going to do some of Tyler in April and I can't wait! Thanks again, Shelly!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The End Is In Sight

It seems impossible but we are near the end of Tyler's treatment. Tyler started his next to last cycle on Friday. We started week 103 on Friday and we have just about six weeks to go. He has six weeks of meds left and then he will have a final bone marrow biopsy and spinal tap. He will also have a couple more surgeries, one for his Mic-E button and one for his undescended testicles. The end is truly close.

On March 2, it was two years since the official diagnoses of leukemia. I have been trying to think back to all that has happened in our little family in that two years. There have been multiple hospital stays, infections and surgeries for Tyler, multiple hospital stays for Brent, two broken ankles and three ankle surgeries for me, a hospital stay and surgery for Nathaniel, personal struggles for Emmalee, constant stress and fear and worry. And yet, through it all, we have stayed strong.

We have realized time and time and time again that it is not a coincidence that we, the five of us, are a family. Together we have been tested and yet we have persevered. Our children, despite overwhelming circumstances, have thrived.

Tyler has met so many milestones this past two years. He learned to walk, his language skills are getting better all the time, he started kindergarten and he has shown everyone around him what it means to be strong!

Emmalee has had a tough time. She has had to put her own desires aside many times in order to allow us to take care of her brothers. And yes, there are times that she gets frustrated and upset, but for the most part she is patient, kind and understanding. She has learned greater compassion. She also now knows that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

Nathaniel continues to amaze us every day. He has also learned to walk. He started going to school this past fall and has changed so much. He is the sweetest little boy and we are so thankful that he is part of our family!

Many people have asked us over the past two years how we do it. How we stay strong despite our crazy circumstances. And the answer is simple. We couldn't have done it without a whole lot of help. I could never name all the people who have stood beside us through these past two years. Many are people we will never know. We have always had help with childcare, meals, Christmas gifts, surprises for us and the kids, random gifts of cash and other items, gift cards, phone calls, emails, hugs and so many prayers. Our family, friends, church family, cancer support group CURE and even strangers have made it possible for us to get through this.

And how do I even begin to talk about the incredible medial care Tyler has received? His doctors, nurses, child life specialists, home care nurse, patient care techs, social do we begin to thank them for saving our child? There simply aren't words.

I think the single most important lesson I have learned over the past two years is that we can not get through life alone. Heavenly Father put us on this earth together for a reason. He has sent earthly angels to help us through our trials. What an incredible blessing!

So now as we face the end of Tyler's treatment journey, we ask that you continue to pray. Pray that this truly is the end, that the cancer does not come back and that this amazing little boy will be able to go on and live a long, happy life. Pray that Brent and I will be able to have some peace, that we will not live in constant fear and worry and that we will be able to look back on the past two years as a gift and not a burden. And pray for all the others who must still fight this monster we call cancer.

Every year more than 10,000 children are diagnosed with cancer. This means that thousands and thousands of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends are affected by this horrible disease. Cancer isn't just about the child. Every single person that child knows and loves becomes involved. Please pray for all of these children. Several of them are children we have come to know and love as they have fought right alongside Tyler. Some have lost their battle and some continue to fight. Please pray for all of them.

We love each of you so very much. Thank you will never begin to express how we feel. Together we have fought and together we have overcome.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I have a confession to make. I miss Arizona. I miss family and friends and warmth and I really miss our house. I miss going outside in January without a jacket, wearing flip flops on my feet. I miss having windows open and smelling the citrus blossoms. I miss not worrying about the next big snowstorm.

I only say this now because it is the beginning of March and the winter here seems so long to me. I love the change of seasons. I love how green it is here in the spring and summer and the beautiful jewel tones of fall. I even love the snow, for awhile.

However, when it is really cold and dreary, gray and cold, I miss Arizona. I do not feel this way from May to November. I think I would be a perfect snowbird. Yet another dream for when we magically win the lotto.