Tuesday, December 25, 2012

[December 25, 2012]

Merry Christmas!
We hope your day has been filled with joy, peace, and love.
 
Many of you know that Kenton experienced what they're calling a relapse a couple of weeks ago with the discovery of some abnormal cells in his marrow from the aspirate on day +79.  We are no longer counting to the 100 days.
 
Over the past 2 weeks, it's been good news, bad news, okay news, great news, devastating news, all kinds of news wrapped up in every single day.
 
Thursday, Kenton had clinic.  The blasts had increased to 5% from 3% on Monday.
Friday, Kenton had some stomach issues, and they asked Luke to bring him back to clinic.
Friday they determined that Kenton was experiencing some GVHD (or graft vs. leukemia as they're calling it now).  The doctors were on the border as to whether they wanted to admit him or allow him to return to the halfway house to enjoy the holidays.
 
Ultimately, they decided to send him back to the halfway house with strict instructions to watch him carefully for dehydration because of the stomach issues along with other signs of GVHD (rash, fever).
 
McKayslin, Grammy, and I arrived at the halfway house before the boys returned from clinic.  They met us here about 30 minutes later.
We were so excited to see them - almost as excited as they were to see us!
 
That night, Kenton had some other stomach issues and his rash was getting worse.
IV fluids were ordered and given throughout the night.
 
Luke and I both were receiving the inspiration/direction that Kenton would not be at the halfway house on Christmas Day.
We asked the kids if they'd like us to call Santa and have him come early.
Originally we thought Sunday morning, but we still didn't feel right about that.
 
Our Christmas happened on Saturday morning, December 22.
We had a great day filled with blessings of love and generosity from so many friends.
We played and ate and enjoyed being together.
 
Saturday evening we also celebrated McKayslin's 9th birthday.
 
Saturday night, we'd just finished a game of Blokus when we noticed Kenton's rash had become much worse.  And then he started shivering.  We took his temp.  37.9.  38 is the threshold they give for admit.  Luke called up to PCMC to talk to Dr. Brenda.  By the time he was off the phone, Kenton's fever was 38.1.
 
We said prayers, gave hugs, and the boys headed up to PCMC.
So grateful for that inspiration to have Christmas early.
Extremely grateful for the fabulous day we had here at the halfway house together.
Very sad that our eleven whole days together started out as 28 hours together at the halfway house. . .to be continued split between PCMC and the halfway house.
Incredibly happy that Kenton's body was showing signs of GVHD.
So many mixed emotions!
 
The boys arrived, and Kenton received 2 units of platelets (his count was FOUR!).
He fevered off and on through the night and into the morning.
 
We spent Sunday at PCMC.
It was fun to have a visit from the General Primary President, her husband, and Pres. and Sister Cornelious.
 
No fevers after Sunday morning.
2 units of packed red blood given on Sunday.
Blast count was at 6%.
 
Monday morning came.
Blast count at 7%.
ANC down to 100.
But lots of signs of GVHD.
 
Monday was spent at PCMC also.
The kids were convinced that Santa was going to come last night also, so when I brought Grammy back to the halfway house, I picked up their stockings so they could hang them up in Kenton's room.
We had a really fun day playing games and giving tattoos to Jacqueline and Dave.  :)
 
This morning dawned bright and clear after a huge snowstorm yesterday.
Kenton and Luke sent pictures of Kenton's room.
Santa DID come again!
Plus, 2 tubs worth of gifts from donations.
S.P.O.I.L.E.D.
 
We girls hurried up to the hospital to open Christmas again.
So very blessed.
Santa brought each of us some of our favorite things.
One of the tubs of gifts was specifically for the parents - a good pillow and blanket, yummy lotion, great shampoo/conditioner, and treats.
The other tub was FILLED with gifts for the kids - games, craft kits, treats, movies. . .
 
We played and ate and watched movies and did crafts (including a catapult!).
It was a very fun day.
 
Our best gift?
Kenton's blast count was down to 3%.
ANC up to 200.
White count up to 900 from 800 yesterday.
 
Dr. Boyer put Kenton on a lactose free/low-fat diet to make sure that the stomach issues are from GVHD and not a virus even though the blood cultures have come back negative.
 
Tomorrow the plan is to use the new Crayola Airbrush System to design t-shirts, make some gingerbread houses, play some games, and do some more crafts.
 
Yes, Kenton is still inpatient.
He will be for at least the remainder of our visit.
We're choosing to be grateful for the 28 hours we had here at the halfway house together and for Kenton's body responding to the treatments instead of being sad.
No, it's not ideal.
Yes, it is kind of crappy.
 
But, you know what?
It is what it is.
We still get to be together.
Just not like we had planned.
 
And that's okay.
 
Our Christmas has been so blessed.
We've received so many acts of kindness and love.
Our hearts have been filled to overflowing at the kindness and generosity of our family, friends, and strangers.
 
The true meaning of Christmas, Christlike love and service, have brightened our Christmas season and allowed us to focus on family time.
Thank you for loving us, for walking with us, for holding us up when we're ready to fall, and for offering up prayers on our behalf.
 
Merry Christmas, friends.
Thank you.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

[Sunday, December 16, 2012] Day 79

Let's back up just a little to Thursday, Day 76.
Clinic.
We woke up with an overwhelming sense of peace - so grateful to each of you that joined us in a fast for strength, peace, and knowledge.
 
Preliminary results from the tests on the abnormal cells indicate that the cells are either Kenton's old cells that haven't been kicked out of his marrow yet, and/or blasts (baby cells that haven't grown enough to determine what they are yet).
Steroids are finished as of day 79.
Cyclosporine (anti-rejection med) was tapered to 200 mg (? not sure if mg is the correct dosing. . .) from 400.
 
The hope is that Kenton's body will recognize the abnormal cells as what they are - abnormal cells, and remove them automatically.
This may happen through graft vs. host disease (GVHD).
GVHD in small amounts is beneficial as it shows that his body is understanding that there are cells there that don't belong.
GVHD in large amounts is scary.  GVHD can manifest in many many different ways.
 
Our prayers are that Kenton's body will be strong.
That it will recognize the abnormal cells as the "bad guys" and get rid of them...without him becoming too sick.
 
There are tests being run in Washington that may give more answers and a clearer path of treatment.  Results of those tests should be available at clinic tomorrow morning.
We're hopeful that those results will mimic the preliminary findings.
 
What all of this means, is that the magic date of January 6th - that day when we were going to move the boys back home and we'd all get to live together as a family again - may have to be postponed.
A detour.
But, to quote my super sweet friend Kristi, "Dang those detours, but they always seem to get us where we're supposed to be."
 
We'll be okay.
 
Kenton received TWO units of packed red blood at clinic on Thursday.
It was a very long day for the boys as they were there from 9:00 am until nearly 5 pm.
They said it was a super busy day at clinic.
 
McKayslin and Kenton talked Thursday morning at 7 just as they always do.
I talked to the boys at lunch time, just as we always do.
We skyped at dinner time, just as we always do.
 
Our new normal.
Grateful for technology.
 
Then Thursday evening, McKayslin and I were able to attend the Pickleville Playhouse Christmas play at USU thanks to a nomination by Hope Hansen and the generosity of Pickleville Playhouse.
We had a fantastic evening out!
The good news of the preliminary testing for Kenton combined with an incredible Christmas production that had us laughing through nearly the entire show just lifted our spirits and made for a really great night.
 
McKayslin even got to see Santa (again).
Of course, her main Christmas wish is to have her boys home.
Her secondary wish?
A room make-over.  :)
 
Friday we packed up after school and headed to SLC to see our boys.
Traffic was not exactly friendly, and it took us a long time to get there.
We eventually arrived, safely, and started our weekend.
 
Kenton opened his present from Madi.
The kids opened part of their 12 days of Christmas gifts from our Secret Friend.
We had dinner.
Watched movies.
Enjoyed the evening.
 
Saturday morning, I walked out of the bedroom to find this. . .
I {so big puffy heart} these two!
 
After breakfast and meds, Kenton and I headed off on a "mom date" to pick up the stuff so he could finish "Project Goose" - McKayslin's Christmas present from him.
He's so excited about this gift and has worked so hard to get it just right.
She's going to LOVE it!
 
We were out and about for a few hours.
Found what we needed from Michael's for Project Goose and picked up Elf on the Shelf - Buddy for Kenton and Holly for McKayslin.
Lunchtime struck and I knew I needed to feed Kenton.
We decided on Costa Vida, and thanks to Bertha (my phone voice navigator), we found Costa Vida, which happened to be right next to Sweet Tooth Fairy!  YAY!  BONUS!
We had lunch and headed back to the hotel after a quick stop for groceries.
Luke and McKayslin were just enjoying a good lazy day watching movies and hanging out in their jammies.  :)
 
Later, Kenton and I headed back to Sweet Tooth Fairy for another little treat for Goosey, then back to watch movies and play games.
 
Christa came with cute gifts for our family - and a gift that will allow each of us to choose a gift for another person in our family at this Christmas time.  A gift that came with STRICT orders that was the ONLY thing this gift is to be used for.
 
Sunday morning. . . CHURCH!
We headed up to PCMC for sacrament meeting.
We love the branch there.
Pres. and Sister Cornelious, the branch presidency, the members of the branch - they're fantastic and have been such an integral part of Kenton's treatment.
 
Then back to the hotel where Favorite and Uncle Frank met us with an incredibly generous gift from the extended Kent family.
 
We've been so incredibly blessed over the past 6 months in every possible way.
 
Just this month, we've had donations made that will allow us to proceed with life for the next couple of months without worrying about Christmas, gas money, grocery money, or how we're going to pay our bills.
THANK YOU for loving our family and providing for us, allowing us to focus on what we need to focus on at this point in time.
WE LOVE EACH OF YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!
 
After lunch, we played some games, watched some tv, and then it was time for us girls to pack up and head back home.
Always a sad moment.
But. . .FIVE SLEEPS till we get to spend ELEVEN DAYS with our boys!
 
Our drive home was really good until the top of the canyon right at the snow sheds when it was like a switch had been thrown!
We passed the top of the canyon right into slushy slick roads and snow!
McKayslin closed her eyes and said a prayer for us to be safe.
We drove about 30 miles an hour through the canyon.
Made it home safely.
She then closed her eyes and said a thank you prayer.
I just have to say that my kids are awesome.
LOVE them so much!
 
We arrived home, unpacked the van, took care of Sparky, talked to the boys, had some dinner, and McKayslin went to bed.

It's been another very good weekend.
 
Clinic tomorrow.
Praying for continued good results from the testing.
Praying for Kenton's body to be strong and work like it should.
Grateful for all of the prayers and faith on our behalf.
 
Thank you.


Monday, December 10, 2012

[Monday, December 10, 2012] Day +73

Kenton had clinic today.
Luke said he could tell something was different when Brenda walked into the room.
 
The results from Thursday's bone marrow aspirate showed 2-3% abnormal cells.
 
They'll quickly taper steroids.
 
And then taper anti-rejection meds.
 
We're praying that Kenton's body will be strong enough to fight these abnormalities.
 
That's the hope.
 
They'll keep tabs on his blood with weekly blood draws.
Make decisions and changes based on those and weekly clinic visits.
 
On Sunday we were so excited thinking that January 6th life would return to some semblance of normal when the boys finally moved home at the end of the 100 days.
 
We had such a great "normal" weekend - did a little bit of shopping, had some take-out (5 guys, yum!), went on a carriage ride at Thanksgiving Point, went to church, and just really enjoyed our time together.
 
Now things are up in the air.
Not sure if they'll get to move home.
 
Our hearts are heavy.
There are many worries associated with this new development.
 
We would appreciate your prayers for strength, wisdom, and peace.
 
As we enter the Christmas season, we are grateful for the birth of our Savior and His atoning sacrifice.
 
And we're thankful for each of you.
Many angels walk this path with us each day.
Your kindnesses, service, and love lift us.
 
May you feel of our Savior's love.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

[Saturday, October 20, 2012] Day 129_Day +23

I've been a slacker blogger.
I know.
Blake tells me that often enough.  ;)
 
Today's day 129 of Kenton's AML journey.
Day +23 since transplant.
He's showing classic signs of engraftment syndrome.
Fever.
Rash.
Vomiting.
 
Apparently these are all good signs at this stage of the BMT process.
Who knew, right?!
 
We've been extra grateful the past couple of nights for super quiet nurses.
Super Stealth Ninja Nurse.
And Little Mouse.
That's what Kenton calls the two nurses from last night and the night before.
I have to agree.
Honestly didn't have to push the call button a single time.
They caught every beep of the machines.
Timed everything out so that we heard nothing.
Such a blessing after the struggles Kenton had each night.
 
He gets to bed on time, but then wakes up shivering uncontrollably with fever.
Or last night it was the weirdest shivering that produced vomiting.
And then fever.
 
With fever, blood cultures have to be drawn.
And Kenton has to have Tylenol.
The fever has to come down before he stops shivering enough to fall asleep.
By that point it's near midnight.
 
Yes, so grateful for Super Stealth Ninja Nurse and Little Mouse.
 
Today Kenton is writing a book.
Waiting on platelets.
And anxious to see Luke and McKayslin.
 
Our afternoon will be spent playing games and watching movies.
Then McKayslin and one of the grown-ups will head to our home away from home for the night while Kenton and the other grown-up sleep here.
Tomorrow will be more of the same.
 
The home away from home story is one that needs to be blogged soon.
It's a classic reminder to listen to promptings of the spirit and act on those promptings.
Such a blessing to our family as we come to the last 77 days of this journey through diagnosis, transplant, and back into normal living.
 
So many are still asking what you can do to help our family.
I hesitate to say that we're fine, because fine is relative, and we may or may not be fine within 12 seconds of that being said.
Some days are still freakishly hard.
Unbearably sad.
Incredibly frustrating.
And downright depressing.
 
Instead of we're fine how about we're making it.
One day at a time, we're making it.
 
This morning when I was waiting for Kenton to wake up, I was reading October conference talks.  There were so many from Saturday afternoon that really resonated with me.
Luke and I missed the Saturday afternoon session (and both Sunday sessions) trying to sort out the home away from home situation.
The one that I want to share today is:
Be Anxiously Engaged by Elder M. Russell Ballard
 
We read of the service Church members provide around the world and especially the humanitarian service given in times of crisis—fires and floods and hurricanes and tornadoes. These much-needed and much-appreciated emergency responses should certainly continue as a way of bearing one another’s burdens. But what about our everyday lives? What would be the cumulative effect of millions of small, compassionate acts performed daily by us because of our heartfelt Christian love for others? Over time this would have a transformative effect upon all of our Heavenly Father’s children through the extension of His love to them through us. Our troubled world needs this love of Christ today more than ever, and it will need it even more in the years ahead.
 
These simple, daily acts of service may not seem like much in and of themselves, but when considered collectively they become just like the one-twelfth teaspoon of honey contributed by a single bee to the hive. There is power in our love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life-sustaining nectar of faith, hope, and charity.
 
How do we make this change? How do we ingrain this love of Christ into our hearts? There is one simple daily practice that can make a difference for every member of the Church, including you boys and girls, you young men and you young women, you single adults, and you fathers and mothers.
 
That simple practice is: In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children. Then go throughout the day with your heart full of faith and love, looking for someone to help. Stay focused, just like the honeybees focus on the flowers from which to gather nectar and pollen. If you do this, your spiritual sensitivities will be enlarged and you will discover opportunities to serve that you never before realized were possible.
 
President Thomas S. Monson has taught that in many instances Heavenly Father answers another person’s prayers through us—through you and me—through our kind words and deeds, through our simple acts of service and love.
 
And President Spencer W. Kimball said: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.”
 
Lately we've been blessed by many acts of service, simply offered with humble hearts.
Meals have shown up on days that I wasn't sure I could handle doing one more thing.
Gas cards have been sent in thinking of you cards. . .some signed, others blank.
Treats have been brought to school and silently handed over with a hug and a look that speaks volumes of the concern and care of the giver.
Cards, treats, books, gifts, etc. have been delivered to Kenton and Luke at the hospital.
Often by strangers that are following our story through Facebook or this blog.
Other times by dear family members and friends.
How do people know what we need at the exact moment?
Simple.
They prayed to find a way to serve.
And when that prompting was given, regardless of the convenience factor, they acted on that prompting.
Blessing our lives.
Meeting our needs.
 
Our goal has been to look for ways to serve even in the midst of our own heartache and trial.  We pray daily for opportunities to serve.
Our gratitude in being able to serve allows us to accept service offered to us in a much more humble and willing frame of mind.
 
Thank you for your continued service, love, faith, and prayers.
77 days until life returns to the new normal.
That is our biggest prayer.
 
Day 129.  Day +23.
 


Sunday, October 14, 2012

[Too long]

Day +17.  Day 123.
 
It's been over a month since I posted.
Life's been a little busy.
About 42 kinds of crazy.
A whole lot unpredictable.
And has had lots of moments to celebrate, many moments spent in prayer, and a few moments of all out frustration/anger/sadness.
 
Today marks 17 days since Kenton received his BMT (bone marrow transplant).
123 days we've been on this crazy journey.
 
He's felt remarkably well during the past 17 days other than the typical tiredness associated with low blood counts.
There were a few days when Kenton was dealing with mucositis (sp?).
(The sores in his mouth/throat/digestive tract).
The doctors told us that once the sores developed, they would stay until counts recovered.
Through no small miracle (thank you for adding your faith and prayers to ours!), Kenton's sores are completely healed and he is able to eat.
TPN (total packaged nutrition) was given for less than one week.
Again, we were told that once BMT kids start on the TPN, they stay on it until counts recover.  Yet another miracle we are so grateful to receive.
 
There have been a few days when Kenton's mucositis has caused vomiting and even one episode of gagging/choking, but those have been incredibly minimal.
 
Last night when I put Kenton to bed, I thought he felt a little warm.
He was shivering.  I was worried.
 
At midnight vitals, his temp was 39.4 (101.1).
They gave Tylenol and drew blood for cultures.
Then around 1 his oxygen levels dropped into the 80s, so they gave oxygen.
His fever was down to 38.4 (99ish).
By 2, his fever was gone, and with oxygen, his sats were in the high 90s.
He was resting comfortably, we had a highly capable and QUIET (thank heavens for that!) nurse, and I went to sleep.
 
The next thing I remember is waking up a little before 7 to see Dr. Pulsipher examining Kenton (who was still sleeping soundly).
Dr. Pulsipher explained that the fever (and most likely soon and accompanying rash) are actually signs of what they call engraftment syndrome, which means that Kenton's body is preparing to engraft.
They'll use Tylenol as needed to control the fevers and give additional antibiotics and/or antifungals if necessary.
However, what I heard was fevers are good right now.
 
And, thinking back to rounds 1 and 2, Kenton always fevered before his counts started to recover.
When Kenton woke up, he ordered breakfast (yogurt and granola), ate, took his meds, and went back to sleep.
All of his counts are down today.
Platelets are being given.
Blood is ready to transfuse after platelets.
He's frustrated.
 
I think he thought his numbers would magically jump because of what Dr. Pulsipher said.
I kind of hoped to see a little increase.
We did yesterday with Hct and Hgb.
But everything is down today.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and faith.
So many more stories to share.
Soon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

[Monday, August 27, 2012] Day 74

Clinic this morning.
The unknown had us all a little on edge.

I fixed breakfast, ate, and left for school.
Okay, so it wasn't exactly that easy.
There was a lot of hugging, kissing, crying involved.

The boys dropped McKayslin off at school.
They came home and did the dishes and finished packing the van.
Just in case. . .

They left for clinic early, hoping to get in early so they could get home early.

I didn't hear much until afternoon recess time.
Then there was a text. . .
"Can I call you?  Good news."

Soooo glad it was recess time!

I called right then and Luke relayed the results of clinic along with the tentative treatment plan.
ALL numbers are up.
ANC is 1000.
Yes, 1000.
Crazy.
Dr. Barnette is convinced that the leukemia is gone from Kenton's marrow.
The tentative treatment plan includes clinic and RTUs (bone marrow aspirate and lumbar puncture with spinal chemo) on Thursday.
Bone marrow will be sent to Washington for testing.
Once the results come back, if they are as favorable as Dr. Barnette is convinced they are, Kenton will be admitted and begin the chemo preparatory for his bone marrow transplant.

Yes.
You read that correctly.
If Kenton's bone marrow is clear of leukemia cells, he will begin the bone marrow transplant process next week.
NEXT.WEEK.

2 full rounds ahead of schedule.

Once again the faith and prayers of this amazing team of people who love Kenton have worked miracles!
Kenton knows of your love and faith.
It lifts and encourages him.
Gives him strength to fight.
THANK YOU!

If there are signs of leukemia still in Kenton's marrow, the treatment plan will be adjusted.

What does this all mean?
Well. . .Kenton could be completely finished with treatment as early as the end of December if all goes as planned with the tentative treatment plan and if his body responds favorably to the transplant.

We have to be incredibly vigilant with Kenton over the next week.
ANY illness will delay treatment.

Needless to say, we are beyond excited about this prognosis.

Kenton and Luke went into ICS to see Kenton's nurses.
Tristyn the Great and Boston were there.
Tristyn the Great gave him a hug and Boston gave him a Boston Red Sox Beanie.
Awesome.
Kenton's already on the lookout for a New York Yankees prize to give to Boston.
I so love and appreciate the way the nurses, techs, and cleaning staff there in ICS bond with the kiddos.
It can't be an easy thing when they are so sick.
But we see it all the time.
Such amazing people.  
The staff on ICS is such a critical part of treatment. . .  

The boys made it home around 5.
Met us at gymnastics.
Luke came home to sleep.
Kenton and I had a few errands to run.
He wore his mask and was super careful not to touch anything.

We went back over to gymnastics.
Mrs. Armstrong met us there with a pillow for McKayslin to match the one that she made for Kenton.  So very sweet!
Kenton and are were talking to her before McKayslin came out.
Kenton's cute friend Tori walked by.
Kenton said, "Hi, Tori!"
She turned, said, "Hi, Kenton!" and walked into the building.
Seconds later she and Lynds came screaming out of the building, "KENTON!!!!"
LOL.
They ran up to him, screeched to a halt and at the same time asked, "Can we hug him?!"
So cute!
And Kenton was worried that his friends would forget him. . .

We picked up some dinner.
Came home, woke Luke up, ate, and then it was bedtime for the kids.
McKayslin spent a few minutes playing with Sparky.
We said prayers, lots of prayers of gratitude!
And tucked the kids into bed.

We are going to enjoy every minute we can of the next week together.
Once Kenton starts the bone marrow process, because of the germs I inherit as part of my daily interaction with my first grade littles, there may be weeks that pass before we get to actually spend time together.

Thank heavens for Skype!

Of course, life may continue as normal with our weekend visits.  It all depends on Kenton's response to treatment and if my body can fight off illness as we go into fall/winter.

Normal.
Did I just say normal?!

Crazy.

Yes.  Our new normal.
We can do this.

Because of YOU, we can do this!

Thank you so much for being part of this journey.
For sharing your faith.
Your prayers.
Your strength.
We really couldn't do this alone.

You're all part of this miracle.
All part of this healing process.
I wish I had something more to say besides thank you.

And that, my friends, is Day 74.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

[Kenton's Cup] REGISTRATION DEADLINE APPROACHING!

If you ARE a soccer player, LOVE a soccer player, or have ever wanted to BE a soccer player, hop on over to the Kenton's Cup facebook page and see how you can get signed up to play in next weekend's inaugural Kenton's Cup tournament!
It's going to be LOTS of fun!
We'd love for this to be a super successful tournament!

Thanks! 

[Sunday, August 26, 2012] Day 73

Today was a pretty good day.

We all slept incredibly well last night.
LOVE having everyone home together!

We had blueberry pancakes and buttermilk syrup for breakfast.
Well, 3 of us did.  
McKayslin had plain pancakes.  
She doesn't much like blueberry pancakes.

We played the Left Right Center Multiplication Game.
AWESOME practice and the kids LOVED it!
(If you'd like your own copy, click on the image and you'll be whisked away to the Latter-Day Crafters blog where you'll find the download).
Kenton has it packed with his hospital stuff so he and Luke can play and work on their multiplication fact fluency.
LOL.  I've brainwashed my children into thinking that math games are fun!
I pretty much rock that way.  ;)

We played a game of Farkle.
Farkle.
Seriously.
Who in the crap came up with that name?!
Farkle.
I clearly have the mind of a 12 year old boy, because every time I say Farkle I crack up.
Farkle.
Awesome.

As per Kenton's request, we had Cilantro Lime Chicken with mashed potatoes for lunch.
Well, 3 of us did.
McKayslin had chips and cheese.
She doesn't much like chicken.
Poor kid.
I should really cook something she likes!!

We didn't get to go to church.
Once again we were so grateful for Mitch and CJ taking time to come and bring the sacrament to us.

Bates came and brought the quilt that Charity made for Kenton.
It's amazing!
I need to get some pictures taken.
She is so incredibly talented and so giving to make a quilt for each of my kiddos that perfectly fit their personalities!

We played more, watched movies, ate chips and fresh salsa (using our very own tomatoes from our garden!!!), caramel popcorn, and fresh homemade bread.

Margaret came with her kiddos.
Sweet Addi brought McKayslin some clothes for her Build-A-Bear animals.
Ashton and Kenton played guns.
Boys.
It's all about guns.

Tippets came and brought us some yummy fresh produce.
Grapes, apples, pears, tiny little cherry tomatoes.
YUMMINESS!!

We are so blessed.

We read a chapter from Ranger's Apprentice and a chapter from Alice in Wonderland.
Said prayers.
Put the kids to bed.

Luke and I just watched tv for a bit.
Now it's bedtime.

Tomorrow the boys are headed to SLC for Kenton's clinic appointment.
There is a small chance that they'll admit Kenton.
Very small.
But. . .this morning we packed the boys for a full week. . .just in case.
There were tears at bedtime tonight.
The kids sure love each other and being together.
We all really love being at home together.

Prayers for positive results at clinic tomorrow (and for a few more days for us together if that's the best for Kenton) would be appreciated.

Thanks for everything!

That, my friends, is day 73.
A great day indeed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[Wednesday, August 22, 2012] Day 69

WBC:    1.4     yesterday 1.3
RBC:     3.93   yesterday 4.28
HCT:     30.8    yesterday 33.7
platelets:   23    yesterday 22
ANC: 100

Slight fever last night.
Gone this morning.
Stopped Vanco.
Said Kenton could go for walks as long as he had his mask on.
Hoping to get his belly feeling better.

I was at school.  My phone beeped indicating a text.  The text said, "Check your e-mail.  It will make you smile."

I opened my e-mail to this e-mail from Luke:
This morning Kenton he told me that Cream Soda sounds good,I asked the nurses where I could get some. Tracy his nurse said I have a few minutes I will power walk over to the "U" and check, a little while later she came back and said she could not find any anywhere, went on with the day.   The Nurses were talking about it after I left and one of the other patients mom over heard the nurses talking about it and told them to check at the "U" and the nurse said they have and the patients mom said her dad was on the way up she will just have him bring it up. Tracy the nurse was the delivery person.   He would like you to please put it on his Team Kenton page and on his blog.   It totally made his day!   
Kenton later had a "shot party" with nurse Tracy, nurse "Boston" and housekeeper Sharon.  Have I mentioned lately how much we adore the staff at PCMC?!
If you'll notice, it was not just ONE cream soda, it was a 6 pack of various cream soda type drinks (2 each of vanilla, orange, and black cherry) and a single Jones Cream Soda.

Thanks, Cream Soda Fairy (and your dad!!).
Your kindness and sweet service gave my boy this smile today!
He hopes that the picture he drew for you brings you a smile as well.
Thank you for being amazing and so giving even in the midst of your own personal trial.

Kenton walked a few laps around ICS.
Still no fever.
Belly feeling LOTS better.

When we girls Skyped with the boys, we all 4 looked like we needed a good long nap.
August is TOUGH in our family (the life of a teacher, lol).
Add to that all the craziness of the summer and the strange stuff happening in Round 2 Recount Recovery, and you get one very tired family.

So glad Kenton is starting to feel better.
Prayers that he continues to have good counts, no fevers, and belly aches that disappear.

So grateful for the kindnesses shown to our entire family today.
(Kenton's Cream Soda Fairy)
(McKayslin's Green Family Adventures)
(Keep the Change comments from people purchasing Team Kenton gear)
(Parents that came to Open House that were super kind and encouraging and supportive)

We're very blessed.
THANK YOU!

And that, my friends, is day 69.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

[Tuesday, August 21, 2012] day 68

Kenton had an x-ray at a little after midnight last night to rule out any intestinal blockages.

This morning had a fever.
Again.
And a belly ache.
Again.

McKayslin and I headed to school so she could help me in my room and "meet" Mrs. Madsen.
She ended up helping Mrs. Madsen in her room and then leaving to go to lunch with Poulsens.

Kenton's day continued with all the normal meds.
And oxycodone for pain.

Counts came in as follows:
WBC:      1.3  yesterday 1.0
RBC:  4.28   yesterday 4.31
HCT:    33.7   yesterday 33.5
platelets:   22  yesterday 29
ANC: 0 still  


Dawn sent me the funniest text. . ."I'm ordering you a cheeseburger meal with no tomatoes, so unless you want something different, you'd better text me now!"
LOVE that my friends are taking care of me!!  ;)

She dropped off my lunch and took McKayslin home with her to play with the girls.

Kenton worked on finishing a project.
Impressed Carmen with his work.

Then he had a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia.
And blood tests to rule out gall bladder issues and Pancreatitis.
And a stool sample to rule out C-Diff.

Carmen came back and brought Nicolini into Kenton's room to look at his projects.
He was drawing.  He drew them each a picture.
They stayed for quite a while and kept telling him excellente bebe!
So cute!

I met with LOTS of my new littles.
Getting excited and scared for the first day of school. . .

Luke e-mailed me to let me know that Kenton's blood work and x-rays came back normal.
No answers on the fevers and belly ache.
Grateful those tests came back normal.

Kenton decided to get another fever.
Sigh.

Some of us (moms in the crappy cancer club) were talking today about service.
How the phrase "let me know what I can do to help" is always the first thing people say, but is the hardest thing for us to know how to answer.

Do you remember that general conference talk?

Special Lessons by Elder Ronald A. Rasband.

Here is the part that we talked about a lot today. . .
. . . are surrounded by countless heavenly and earthly ministering angels. Some have quietly slipped in when needed and silently slipped out. Others have been at the door with food, doing the laundry, picking up the siblings, calling with encouragement, and especially praying. . . Thus another special lesson learned: If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all.
We continue to learn the important value of being aware of and interested in the lives of those around us, learning not only the importance of giving help but also the overwhelming joy that comes from helping others.

It's so hard to accept service.
Those of you that know me personally know that when you ask what you can do, I will tell you nothing.

No, not true.
I'll tell you to pray.
Don't ever stop praying.

But. . .I won't tell you how you can help me.

Not because I'm trying to be difficult.

But because I really don't know.

That was pretty much the consensus among the moms I was talking with.
We get so overwhelmed and exhausted (you know, the super mom syndrome) we don't know what we need.

It might not always be a meal.
But it might.
It might not always be for you to take McKayslin.
But it might.
It might not always be a Diet Coke and a candy bar.
But it might.
It might not always be a hug.
But it might.

Blake reminded me yesterday that if there were no one to receive service, there could be no service given.
And the blessings that come are often more for the one offering service than the one receiving it.
I know that.
And, dang him, for being right.  ;)

One of the moms (thanks, Megan!) today said, "On the one hand - it's totally embarrassing to ask for help, but if you think about all the blessings someone will receive for giving service to you, it's totally rude to deny them of that! ;) I've learned to just let people help unless I really feel like I can do it all. I know I'll be able to pay it forward, and I will."


One of my dear friends stopped by with a little gift to help us have a fun family date night this weekend.  It's amazing how people listen and act and bless us in such personal ways.


I went to go pick McKayslin up from Poulsens.
Late.
Dawn didn't even seem to mind.
The girls had played and swam and sang and played and swam and sang.
Oh, and tossed the chickens off the tramp, lol.
They wore themselves right out!
When I got there, they were swimming in the cold pool water.  
Silly girls!


We were getting ready to go and Dawn hands me a bag full of dinner (french dip, rolls, cheetos) and a plate full of lemon poppyseed cake.



Could she have provided any more perfect service than what she did today?!

I think not.
So blessed. 
Doesn't make it much easier to be on this side, but one day, we will be able to pay it forward!


We appreciate EVERY offer of help.

We just really don't know quite what to ask you to do when you offer.
So please don't think we're being ungrateful.


Our family goal during this whole ordeal is to learn lessons of service from those that serve so when it's our turn, we'll be ready with a list of ways we can serve those around us as directed by the Spirit.



Thank you for helping us with that goal by being so generous with your service.



Ummmm, tangent.

Back to the day. . .

McKayslin and I Skyped the boys, had some YUMMY dinner, read a chapter of Alice in Wonderland, said prayers, and I put her to bed.

I was talking to Luke (messaging on Facebook - that's the extent of our conversations these days) and. . .drumroll please. . .
Kenton had a fever.
Again.
What a surprise.
Or not.

He's so tired of feeling yucky.
Crazy how the chemo didn't affect him too much, but the recovery sure is kicking his butt.

How can you help?
KEEP PRAYING!

Let's get him through this stage of fevers and belly aches.

Thank you for being willing to help with everything from Goose care to puppy sitting to garden weeding to lawn mowing to e-mail sending to feeding us to washing dishes. . .

And THANK YOU for the prayers.

It's been a pretty crazy ride thus far, but it would have been even MORE crazy without your constant prayers and sweet acts of service.

THANK YOU!

And that, my friends, is day 68.
In all its randomness, lol.