Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Our family is really loving Christmas break, we are enjoying the busy times as well as the quiet moments spent with family and friends. We thank all of you who continue to pray for her healing. As we celebrate our Saviour's Birth, we wish you a wonderful, peaceful, and Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Emily completed chemo #5 on the Wed. before Thanksgiving, and then we had a great weekend! Spent Thanksgiving with family and really appreciated our time off. She felt good, just a little tired, and then had a shot to boost her white blood count on Friday. That shot makes her bones hurt, but it doesn't stop her from doing much. We continue to be amazed at how God is giving her strength and a spirit of joy through this time of battling cancer. Once again, we give all the glory to God. Please keep her in your prayers these next two weeks for mental and physical strength. She is feeling the pressure of trying to make up all the work she missed while in ICU, plus just the normal class requirements. I remember how stressful both physically and mentally the last few weeks of a semester can be, and she will have chemo #6 on Wed. Dec. 9th, and then go back to school for finals on Thurs. and Friday. I think this is asking a lot of anyone, but she is insistent she can do it! She will be half way through her chemo. Her medical plan is 12 total chemo treatments. After that time, they will decide if she needs radiation in addition to the chemo. We are praying and believing for complete healing! We want you to know how much your prayers are lifting her and our family up. God bless you as we get into this busy holiday season!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
She had low white blood counts on Thurs. That is a normal effect of chemo to an extent, but hers was very low. So she received a shot to help her body make white blood cells. Very low white blood counts mean your immune system is even more compromised. So please pray her white blood cell count will improve. She is supposed to get an H1N1 vaccine on Mon., so also pray that does happen. (the health department is not my favorite organization at the moment).
We continue to see God's faithfulness in taking care of her, and appreciate your continued prayers.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Below is a picture of her catheter bag. She received her 1st chemo in the hospital. One of her chemo drugs is bright red. It made her urine bright orange. When we told her about it, she asked us to take a picture of it. We couldn't understand why, but it was hard to refuse her anything. She then had us show it to her boyfriend Blake. She wrote," I guess I am a true poke, I pee orange!" She also showed it to all her college friends.
It is hard to look at the picture in ICU, but look at her strength! This is when she shaved her head. I was so worried that it would devastate her, but I forgot how strong she is! I have not always appreciated her strong will and attitude, but I do now!
This is a picture with one of her wigs at her brother's cross country meet. A woman who did not know she had cancer, told her she had beautiful hair! She just said,"thanks". She has 4 wigs in all. She decided since everyone knows she is bald, she might as well enjoy a variety of looks. She went to a banquet at college, and called me so excited. It took her 20 minutes to get ready including a shower! All she had to do was dress, put on make up and put on her hair! No more hairdryers, and straighteners! She is a half full kind of girl! Below is another look, and just as cute! She has made a decision to live life while battling cancer! She is not letting it stop her from pursuing her life and dreams!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Sarah was great! She cut her shoulder length hair short first, and then really short( we had a glimpse of what she will look like when it starts growing back, and she is adorable!) It helps to be 20 and beautiful to begin with! Then Sarah gave her a mohawk! We have a picture with it and Emily's huge grin! Emily is our hero! She has faced each new challenge with courage, humor and an incredible spirit! Now she is bald and beautiful. There were no tears or depression. We all feel like this is one more step to getting healthy. She wore a wig home, and I picked up 2 more wigs today thanks to Bobbie!(another friend who has helped us more than we can say!).
Emily went back to school on BOB this morning, and called me this afternoon to report her first day with a wig was successful. She says it feels weird both physically and emotionally to have no hair, but she thinks it will not be nearly as bad as she expected. Those who have already gone through similar experiences have shared pearls of wisdom (Cole, Jill, Cindy, Nancy,Barbara), and are helping us get through it. Once again, I really feel without your thoughts and prayers, Emily would not have had the strength to face this with such dignity and grace. So we thank you and God bless!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Her teachers have been very supportive and are working with her to help get her caught up. She has gained almost all her weight back,(she didn't have a lot to spare in the first place!), and has gained her strength back as well. She says she is a little tired, but not too bad. Her next milestone will be losing her hair. We were told it would be gone by now,(about 2 1/2 weeks after her first chemo). I guess because she has so much to begin with, she is keeping hers a little longer. Other people who have been through this say losing your hair is a tough reminder of the reality of cancer. Just pray she can get through this emotional hurdle with the same strength and great attitude she has faced her previous hurdles!
My biggest concern right now is the H1N1 virus. We were hoping they would have vaccines available by the time she went back to school, but that didn't happen. Her doctor was not as concerned as her mother! They have told her to wash her hands often, and wear a mask if she is near anyone who appears sick. Otherwise, she can resume life as normal. Pray that those germs will stay away from her! Speaking of prayers, Thanks again for yours! I completely believe she would not be doing as well today, if it weren't for your prayers! She is a walking miracle! God bless you all. Her next chemo is Thurs. 10-29. She'll come home for that, and then head back to school after the weekend. I'll keep you posted!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Several people have asked how to comment on the blog, and we have been told to click on comments, then go to the white box "Post a comment" and write your message, then click on the drop down "comment as " and pick "anonymous", then click on "post comment". This should allow you to leave a message, just remember to sign your name on the message so we will know who you are. Hope this helps. God bless you all for keeping us in your prayers!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
PS. The nurse just posted a note on our door explaining post-chemo requests:
If you are sick, please don't visit, please wash your hands when you enter/exit the room, no flowers or open food in her room
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Next step is more medical tests in college town on Thurs. so she doesn't have to come home. They are a pulmonary test and muga scan. I agree... what in the world is a muga? Well the pulmonary test is just where she blows into a tube to test her respiratory function, and a muga is basically a scan of her heart. Both are noninvasive. They want to be sure there are no pre-existing conditions, and then have a baseline of current functions to use as reference going through chemo. Then on Friday of this week, she will have the bone marrow biopsy test and port installed, all done at the same time. The port is the devise that is installed under her skin that all blood work and chemo goes through. It will be on the left side of her neck right above her collar bone. Everyone tells us this becomes her new best friend! No more poking needles! Once again, keep the prayers coming, we feel them every moment every day!
Emily's favorite verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11).
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tues. 9-1-09, Jim and I drove to her college for an appointment with an ENT/head and neck surgeon. Dr. C was great! He told us it had all the symptoms of lymphoma,and he recommended a lymph node biopsy, and asked to do it on Thurs. We were moving fast! It was to be an outpatient surgery, and we started the pre-tests to make it happen: blood work, and neck/chest CT scan. Blake, Emily's boyfriend, was there throughout the process and was a rock! Emily was amazing, strong and probably in shock as we all were!
I stayed in college town, and Jim headed back home. Did I forget to mention that Tues. Matt woke up with a high fever, and went to the Dr. that morning? Sure enough it was swine flu, well only flu type A, because they don't test for swine, but the Dr. reassured us it was indeed swine. Emily went to class on Wed, took a test, and kept busy. I cleaned her apartment, went to the grocery store, and cooked dinner for a bunch of hungry college kids who appreciated a home cooked meal. And we waited. The waiting is tough!
Thurs. 9-3, Jim drove back to college town, and we arrived at the out patient surgery clinic. Emily had great attitude, and people were amazed at how well she was doing. Jim's parents were there to wait with us, and people all over country were praying. That is a good feeling! To make a long story short... an out patient procedure became complicated. Emily had a negative reaction to the anesthesia during surgery and was intubated. Dr. C said it was like she was having an asthma attack. Dr. C removed 4 lymph nodes and then sent us to college town hospital. We were transferred by ambulance, and they put us in ICU. They wanted to make sure she did not have any more reactions while there was still anesthesia in her system. She started feeling better fast, and by dinner time was able to eat Wendy's. By later that night, had a whole room of visitors(Blake,Lauren, Clay, Callie, and Adam). She has a great group of friends at college! Many others had texted her to find out how she was. Went home on Friday morning, and she felt great. We took her home to my parents house while Jim and I disinfected our house from top to bottom to get rid of the piggy virus! Matt was cured by now, thank you Lord! Tamiflu is an amazing thing!
Saturday she felt well enough to go to the big game with friends!
Tues. 9-8, Jim and I drove to college town to meet with Emily and get the diagnosis from the biopsy. It was nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's lymphoma. If you have to get cancer, this is the kind of lymphoma you want. We went home that night and asked a family friend for a referral to an oncologist. He gave us Dr. P's name. We called Wed. morning and got the ball rolling for treatment. After sending all records, we had an appointment on Wed. 9-16. Apparently our prayers were being answered for things to move fast, because we were moving faster than most people in similar situations had told us to expect! We have had people praying for us all over the country, and we have felt God's presence and his hand on us time and time again. In the mean time, Emily kept busy with school and friends to keep her mind off cancer!
Wed. 9-16 We met with Dr. P, the oncologist. The oncologist's office was a little overwhelming. You were faced with the reality of cancer. There were some very ill people, and a few bald heads. But We were very impressed with the cancer group, nurse Rachel, and Dr. P herself. Everyone was incredibly kind and went out of their way to make things easier. Dr. P was very matter-of -fact and very kind! She was highly encouraging about this type of cancer and said repeatedly, "It is very treatable!" She asked Emily what her biggest fear other than that was, and Emily said going to school. The Dr. said, if that is her priority, they would work to make it happen. Dr. P said they would work treatments around Emily's school schedule. I think this was a huge load off of Emily's mind. They then set up a multitude of tests to determine what stage the cancer is in, and prepare for chemo.
Mon. 9-21 We had "chemo class". We were not sure what this would entail, but it was very helpful. They went over the reason chemo works, how it works, and then broke down many of the myths and fears involved with chemo. Emily was by far the youngest person in the room by 30 years, but once again, everyone was very kind and supportive. They talked about specific drugs each person would receive and how to deal with the side effects. It helped to take away a lot of the fear from the unknown. Tomorrow is her CT scan and pet scan. Talk to you tomorrow!