Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chemo # 7- Merry Christmas!

Emily completed chemo #7 today, and is feeling well. Blake, her boyfriend, went and sat through chemo with her. All her blood counts were good. She will get a shot to boost her white blood count tomorrow morning. My sister and her family are visiting from Houston, and we are enjoying spending time with them! I just have to brag a little, Emily received her grades and completed 12 hours and made a 3.75 (all A's and one B)! We are SO proud of her!
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

Half way through!

Emily completed chemo #6 last Wed. Her plan is for 12 treatments, so she is half way through! For the first time, it made her sick. Not nauseous, but just really crummy. She had a head cold when she took chemo, so they gave her a pretty strong antibiotic to make sure it didn't turn into a sinus infection. I don't know if it was because she was feeling bad to begin with or a combo of things, but she really felt bad. She had planned to go back to school after chemo on Wed., but decided to stay the night and went home on Thurs. at noon. She took 2 finals on Friday, and came home Friday afternoon. I felt bad for her having to take finals and not feeling great, but we are SO proud of her! She is done with her semester, and is waiting to see all her grades, but she knows she made all A's and B's. When she was diagnosed in Sept., we had no idea if she would be able to stay in school. For her to have done so well after missing over 3 weeks of school when in ICU, is a testament to God's unfailing grace and Emily's strong will and determination. The professors at OSU have been great, and we also thank them. We thank each and every person who has prayed for her. I truly believe those prayers have made a huge difference! Her next chemo is Dec. 23rd. Our family is looking forward to a blessed Christmas this year, and we pray you and your family are filled with Christ's love and Joy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chem #5 Complete!

Here are some pictures of Emily and Blake, and Emily and Lauren at a formal dance recently. Emily is wearing one of her cute wigs that you can straighten and curl. That is unusual for a wig! I think everyone looks great! She continues to get compliments on her cute hair from people that don't know she has cancer. That helps her to feel better about life right now!

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

God is Faithful!!

"Significant and marked improvement!" That is what the CT scan results showed today! The tumors are shrinking, and everything looked good! Thanks for the prayers! Emily completed her fourth chemo treatment today, and it went well. Every appointment they check her white blood count. Last chemo it was REALLY low. It has to be at 500 to receive chemo, and hers was at 400. They decided to go ahead and give her chemo last week, but then she received a shot to help with increasing white blood cells. Because her count was so low, we weren't sure it would bring it up to a good level for this week. Once again, God is faithful and her counts were better today than anyone expected. They were at 4800! This also makes her immune system stronger. So her mom feels better when she is at school being exposed to who knows what! The doctor was pleased with her progress, and the nurse told her she was amazingly strong for being in such a little package. God is answering our prayers, and we see his hand in our lives daily. We appreciate your continued prayers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hangin in there...

Emily DID get her H1N1 vaccine on Monday! Thank you for your prayers for that. She still has to be super careful when in public places due to a really low immune system, but I feel better. She is scheduled for her 2nd PET scan this Friday. They will look to see if the chemo is working, and if the masses are shrinking. So please pray for major decreases in the tumors. This is a routine scan to make sure we are on the right track. Then chemo #4 is scheduled for next Thurs. Hopefully we'll get the results of the PET scan at that time. Emily is working really hard at school to catch up on all she missed while in ICU, plus keep up with current class requirements. I think she is a little overwhelmed, although she won't admit it to us. Our family appreciates your prayers more than we can say. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Chemo #3...

Emily completed chemo #3. Many people have asked where and how she receives chemo. She goes to her Dr.'s office, and sits in a big room with lots of other people. It takes about 5 hours from start to finish. First they do blood work, then you see the Dr. ,then finally you get the chemo which takes about 4 hours. She receives 4 different drugs each time. They are administered through her port (the white bandage is covering it in the picture) from an IV drip. She goes prepared with her laptop, movies, homework, and lots of snacks. It is not painful in any way. She has not had any negative post chemo reactions. She does take strong anti nausea drugs for 48 hours after chemo which makes her tired, but she can still function. Thurs. after her chemo, she went back to school on BOB later that evening.
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

Sharing some pictures...

Emily is home tonight in order to receive chemo #3 tomorrow. She is doing great at school, and is almost caught up. Now that we are somewhat back to normal, we thought we would share some pictures. We have so many people from all over the country following Emily's blog that have never met her. So we will help you put a face to her name. This is our family on a cruise from last summer. When Emily was diagnosed with Hodgkins, we agreed we would face each step as a family.

Now that the memory of ICU is fading, we are ready to share some sweet & funny stories. In a blink of an eye, we went in for an out-patient procedure, and ended up in ICU for 10 days. We were in survival mode at first, but met a lot of great people and have new appreciation for the medical community and people facing medical challenges. We met our neighbor in ICU. She was there due to complications during heart surgery. Her husband was so sweet, and asked about "that baby girl" every day. We rejoiced when our neighbor got to move "closer to the front door", that was everyone's goal in ICU. We had almost 70 visitors when in ICU. Many were pastors from churches all over the city. The nurses were amazed because we had such incredible support. They were also amazed at Emily's strength. They had to use enough sedation that they would normally use for a man twice her size. I guess she didn't want to miss a thing! Also, after a few days in ICU, she was using a white board to communicate and was on her computer while still heavily sedated. No one could believe she could do that. It did not surprise us at all!

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!

Bald is Beautiful! She often goes bald at home, because as cute as her wigs are, they bug her after a while. She also wears beanies and hats.

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

Bald and Beautiful!!!!

We had an appointment for this weekend for Emily to come home and have her head shaved. She called Tues. night and said her hair was falling out fast and furious, and didn't think she could wait. So our dear friend Sarah arranged for her to come to her house on Wed. night. Emily rode BOB (big orange bus) into town Wed. evening, and once again the whole family was there to support her! We all trouped to Sarah's house, and made an event of it.

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

Back to normal... somewhat!

Emily is back at school and said her first day went well. We took her yesterday, and helped her move in her fall clothes, and take home her summer clothes. The season had changed since she had been there last! She came home on Friday, Sept. 25 for her port, and then life happened! It's hard to believe it has been a full three weeks of craziness since she was at school last.
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

Chemo # 2 complete!

Ok, this day of chemo was a piece of cake! There's nothing like two weeks in ICU to put things into perspective! Emily sat in a big comfy recliner with a blanket (it's like the arctic in there), and used her infamous port for the first time. People told us she would love the port, and sure enough, no more stabs from needles in her tiny little veins from now on! We watched The Proposal (very funny movie), and her sweet dad brought us lunch from Camilles, and we passed the time very pleasantly. No nausea, or weird feelings or tastes, (yet anyway). We got to the Dr.'s at 8:30 am and left by 2 pm. They had to do blood work, visit with Dr., and then do another trial test of the chemo drugs. Because her first time for chemo was in ICU, they wanted to make sure no adverse affects, and there were none! Next time, in 2 weeks, it should take about 1 hour less. She has also been cleared as healthy (other than the lymphoma of course), and can resume normal schedule and activities, and that includes back to school! She is very excited, and is looking forward to going to college town tomorrow for some homecoming activities, and then back for good on Sun. There are not words to express our thanks for all of your thoughts, support and prayers during this time. We now have 2 treatments under our belt, and will continue to take one day at a time. God has been gracious and comforting in the last month. We know he will be there for us each and every day in the future! God bless and I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Roid Rage!!!

Emily is doing great, well except for a weird rash spreading over her body! The poor girl can't catch a break. We spent most of the day at the allergist office today, and were finally told she has roid rage. Not really, just a reaction like acne from the super duper steroids. So tomorrow we go to another appointment at the dermatologist. But she got weighed today, and is gaining back all the weight she lost in ICU. So that is good news. She actually feels pretty much back to normal except for just getting tired a little more easily. Once again, it's nice to be 20! She is getting out, shopping, and visiting with friends. By the way, her friends have been AWESOME through this ordeal!!! Our next big milestone is chemo #2 on Thurs. We are expecting it to go well, but keep those prayers coming!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Home sweet home!!

Emily has been home for two days now, and getting stronger each day! Last night was the first night we all slept through the night! Felt great! The first night home she was pretty uncomfortable, but thank heavens for all night pharmacies. Now she is just eating, sleeping and enjoying being home. Her next chemo is Thurs. 10-15, and she will have it outpatient. So right now the plan is for her to stay through Mon. the 19th, then head back to school. Thanks for all your support, love, and prayers!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Going home!!!

We are planning to leave the hospital around 5 pm tonight! YEAH!!! Emily had a little bit of a sore throat on Monday evening and Tues. morning. But the Dr.s don't think there was any damage done to her throat putting the tube in or getting it out. That is good news. Her voice was pretty weak yesterday. When she put in her order for food on the hospital phone, the lady very sweetly asked,"how old are you honey, is it OK for you to order your own food?" Emily thought that was hilarious. Her voice is back to full strength, and it is a very good sound. The other great thing is she is eating a LOT! She has felt a little weak, but it is all relative. The physical therapist who walked her today was amazed, and said it sure helps to be 20, young and strong! She said most of her patients would have taken a couple of weeks to regain strength after being in ICU for so long, not a couple of days! We are headed to our house for a week, so she can get stronger, and get one more chemo treatment before heading back to school. We are in the process of talking to her school and figuring out if we can salvage the semester. Once again, I can't say it enough Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. Talk to you later

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A great day!

Emily and I are sitting in her new hospital room, no more ICU, and watching TV. She just finished a big breakfast of pancakes and is TALKING to me. No more white board. All major tubes and wires are missing from her body, she looks great! They are making sure everything is working as it should after 10 days of major sedation and no real food in ICU. She feels a little weak, but otherwise great! This is the time after chemo, about 6-7 days when she is at risk for infection, so they don't want to keep in the hospital any longer than necessary. We think we will be home soon. Our whole family wants to thank you all for your prayers, support and visits. We know we could not have done this without you! God bless!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Great news!

Today around 1:00 Emily got her tube out! YEAH!!! She had a multitude of people standing by just in case, but once again, God was with us, and it went without complications! She couldn't talk for an hour, so she continued to write on her white board. She has had cold liquids and is getting ready for ice cream! She will be transferred to the 7th floor, oncology. They will keep her for a few days to make sure her plumbing works and she gets her strength back. She is just SO happy to have that tube out! Thanks for all your prayers, and all those who visited! Emily is so strong and we are so proud of her. We'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Better each day!!!

The last 2 days have been good! Each day, Emily seems more like her usual self, except for the tube down her throat. She can write on the white board faster than anyone I've ever seen! She has had visitors, and that makes her day happy! I think she is happy to see anyone besides mom and dad! Today she sat in a chair, and looked great! The Dr.s are saying they will look down her throat with a scope on Mon. or Tues. and evaluate where we stand on taking it out. So please pray we can get it out soon. She is losing weight without real food, and we want her to gain a little weight before her next chemo treatment in 1 1/2 weeks. Overall we are very positive with her continued improvements, and appreciate your prayers and encouraging words.
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

A moment of peace...

I'm sitting in a quiet hospital room watching Project Runway with Emily. Ok, maybe not quiet, but quiet for an ICU unit. It is a day of praise! Emily completed her first treatment of chemo yesterday, and is now doing great! The dr. was just here, and said she is completely stable, except for being intubated. She is just on enough sedation to tolerate the tube, and had several visitors, and enjoyed interacting with them. She communicates through a white board, and can carry on a conversation while writing fast! She seems SO much better. There is still no evidence the tumor is shrinking, so PLEASE pray for a miracle. We are doing well as a family thanks to our dear, dear friends and family. We have pastors from churches all over town stopping in to say she is on their prayer list. We are receiving cards from all over the country thanks to all of you passing on the prayer request. Our God is an awesome God and may God Bless you all for your help in getting us through this tough time.
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

Chemo begins

Emily began her chemo today. She just finished her first dose of 4 different medicines, but it was the one they were most worried about. They did a 10 min. test drip through her IV to make sure she did not react negatively. We had a whole team standing by in case there were problems, but they were not needed! Thank you for your prayers! Then they gave her the full dose, and once again, no problems! Now she just started her 2nd medicine and everything is going well! She is sleeping through it all due to already being sedated, and then plus anti-nausea medicine that makes her sleepy. The doctors now hope the chemo will shrink the tumor pressing against her trachea, and they can take out the tube and get her off the ventilator. So please pray for quick shrinking of the tumor. She will be weak once we get her off that due to being sedated for so long, but we can handle that. God bless you all for your prayers, cards, and care packages. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One day at a time!!!

Thanks for all the prayers, they are working. Emily had her port inserted with no problems. I think the surgeon, Dr. T, was as relieved as we were. Now comes the next challenge... The doctors think the reason the trachea is not reduced in swelling and they can't get the tube out is that a mass from the Hodgkins is pressing on her trachea. We knew the mass was there, but did not know it was going to cause so many problems. We have her first chemo treatment tomorrow at 10:00. The doctors pulled us aside and explained they are concerned about her and her reaction to the chemo based on her previous reactions, and not knowing what is causing them. They once again are taking lots of precautions, and we are in the optimal situation to handle problems.. we have the best trained ICU nurses and oncology nurses and doctors to guide us through this. She is already intubated and on a ventilator, so we know she will get air, but they are still very concerned. So please pray she can tolerate the chemo with no side effects! They think we may have to rely on the chemo to shrink the mass before we can get the tube out. So they have prepared us for a couple of weeks in ICU! I am not excited about that prospect, so also pray we can get the tube out sooner! I will try to update each day, but once again PLEASE keep those prayers coming. We truly believe God is bigger than all our fears, and we believe in miracles!

Monday, September 28, 2009

New plan!

Ok, we have a new plan. Due to Emily having to be on the ventilator and tube, they are going ahead and inserting the port tomorrow morning, Tues. at 9:30. They feel it is safer not to attempt this later. So please say a prayer for us. They are taking lots of precautions, and we think it is the right thing to do, but are nervous about it. Then they will give her first chemo treatment here in the hospital under controlled conditions. They are keeping her sedated to make the intubation more bareable. They won't take out the tube until all swelling is gone. They are preparing us for several more days in ICU, so thank you everyone for the prayers, snacks, and care packages that are being delivered! It helps knowing you are thinking about us! We are holding up pretty well all things considered. The staff in the ICU is amazing and taking good care of us, but it is very tiring. Me, Jim, grandparents, and Matt are taking turns sitting with her. She likes a hand to hold! Then Jim and I are taking turns at night. You sure don't get a lot of sleep in an ICU unit in a hospital. I will send more information tomorrow after the procedure.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

ICU Again!!

We went in Friday for the outpatient procedures to have the port installed and the bone marrow biopsy. We ended up in the ICU again!!! When Emily had her reaction in college hospital during the first biopsy, the Drs. assumed she had a reaction to the anesthesia. So this time, they made sure we had very different type, and took precautions to do the procedure in hospital with people standing by. What they did not realize is she did not react to the anesthesia, but to the deadening agent they use(lydocain), so when they used it again this time, she had a huge negative reaction and went into anaphalactic shock. They had to intubate her, and rushed her to ICU. If they had not taken precautions, things would have been much worse! We have been in ICU since. She is stable, but the swelling of her trachea has not gone down, so she still has in the tube, and they are keeping her sedated. The only problem is they can't seem to keep her sedated enough!! She gets agitated because the tube is SO uncomfortable, and she can't communicate. Things have been pretty stressful, and oh yeah, they were able to do the bone marrow biopsy before she crashed, but not the port. Please keep those prayers coming. We will keep you posted.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MORE tests...

Thurs. 9-24 Emily did 2 more tests today, the pulmonary test and muga. Blake took her for the pulmonary test this morning. We found out yesterday the muga was a little more involved than we first thought so Jim drove to college town to be there this afternoon. Neither test was painful and brought us one step closer to determing the stage/treatment. Emily and Jim drove home, and Matt and Emily are going to a concert tonight. They are excited about seeing Super Chick and Barlow Girls (Christian rock bands)! Tomorrow wraps up the final test with the bone marrow biopsy and the insertion of the port. We are getting close to starting chemo. Thank you and God bless you for your continued prayers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting ready for treatments...

Tues. 9-22 Emily had her CT scan and pet scan today. Wow what a relief. It was a piece of cake according to her. They had told her the pet scan would take 45 minutes of complete stillness... it took 11 minutes. It still took some time because she had to drink the glucose and then wait 45 minutes, but that too was easy. Apparently when you are tiny like Emily, it takes much less time! She had gone prepared to use a relaxant pill and didn't need it. The CT scan was head, neck, and torso, and they shot some dye into her IV to see contrast, and that burned a little, but was very tolerable. Once again, the nurses were wonderful and kind! Thanks for all your prayers, they are certainly working!

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

How it all began!

On Saturday, 8-29-09, Emily called from school and said she found a lump in her neck. I immediately thought," mono", and told her to go to the clinic at school. Of course the clinic wasn't open on Saturday, so on Mon. morning she went in for a checkup. Dr. S told her it looked like thyroid cancer. Needless to say, she had a crying meltdown. At the time, I couldn't believe the Dr. had said the "C" word to a college kid by herself. I thought it was just revenge that he had to deal with her. However he prepared us for what was to come, and did a great job in referring us where we needed to go in a timely manner. So for that ...Thank you Dr. S!

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!