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.
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.

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

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.
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!!!!"
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.

Did I just say normal?!


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


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!


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

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.
It's all about guns.

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

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.

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.
And a belly ache.

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.

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.
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.
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?

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.


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

Monday, August 20, 2012

[Monday, August 20, 2012] day 67

Quick rundown of Kenton's Day. . .

Wake up.
Record and e-mail the birthday song to Mom.
Have some Benedryl, Vanco, and Zosyn.
Get a fever.
Take some Tylenol.
Be seen by Dr. Afify (?).
Feel better.
Open the special lunchbox from Mom and Goose.
Get a belly ache.
Can't eat lunch because of scheduled ultrasound.
Have some Benedryl, Vanco, and Zosyn.
Meet Gracie the Therapy Dog.
Have an ultrasound.
Eat a few bites of mac and cheese.
Get another fever.
Take some Tylenol.
Skype Mom and Goose and eat a muffin.
Be silly and joke around with Tracy the tech.
Learn you might be changing rooms tonight.
Make Dad read Korean.
Have a super wiggly belly.
Laugh at Mom's suggestion that Dad sing SOFT KITTY.
Get some Kytril.
Talk with Dad about which room to choose.
Have some Benedryl, Vanco, and Zosyn.
Scout out prime real estate options.  ;)
Hear that the move will happen tomorrow.
Say prayers.
Go to bed.

Yep - without the fevers and the icky belly, it would have been a pretty good day for my sweet boy.

Little Miss spent the morning with the Greens and the afternoon having a dolly and me tea party with Morgan.

I spent the day in my classroom.
Met with a few of my new littles and their grown-ups.

It's been 14 years since I had to get my room ready without Luke.
14 years that I haven't had someone to do my laundry, do the dishes, worry about dinner, and take care of the kids during the first week of school.
14 years that I've been completely thoroughly spoiled.

Well, 13.
This year is totally different.

Goose and I missed our boys terribly today.
Birthday dinners just aren't very fun with just the two of us. :(
So grateful for the birthday wishes, visits, and gifts.

I'm learning just how much I appreciate all of the little things that Luke does for me and for our family.

Missing Kenton's excitement over the first day of school.

Sad that Little Miss and I will be doing our "back to school traditions" without the boys.

Wondering if we should just do something different, but thinking that she needs the routine to be as much the same as possible.
It's pretty much breaking my heart.

And I'm feeling pretty sorry for our little family right now.

Some days are like that.

Some days you just can't be big and brave for one minute longer.
So you whine a little.
Have a good cry.
Eat some chocolate.
Take a Valium.
And go to bed.

Because tomorrow is a new day.

Another chance to be big and brave and faithful and strong.

And that, my friends, is day 67.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

[Sunday, August 19, 2012] day 66

Today was a very good day.

Kenton had a pretty good night's sleep.
Betsy was his super quiet nurse last night!
He only woke up a couple of times needing help getting to the bathroom and once because his belly hurt (we're still thinking it's just built up gas. . .please pray that really is what it is and it clears up SOON!).

He had me order him a big pancake from the cafeteria along with a couple of fried eggs and some bacon for breakfast.
The eggs and pancake he LOVED.
The bacon?  Not so much today.

Kenton had just finished eating when Luke and McKayslin showed up at the hospital.
After we'd all eaten, we played some Yahtzee (Luke totally kicked our trash!).
Kenton had another dose of Benedryl before his dose of Vancomycin (?!) and was feeling really sleepy.

He and McKayslin snuggled in and watched The Lorax while Luke and I went over bills and living expenses, trying to figure out the next 6 months or so.

Um, yeah, that's just a barrel of fun.  Oh well.  Had to be done.  We are so grateful for the assistance we've received and the offers for assistance that continue to come our way.  

Our biggest concern right now is living arrangements for the boys when Kenton is discharged after his bone marrow transplant (not sure WHEN the transplant will happen yet, so that adds a certain level of stress).  Our friends have offered their camp trailer, but if the discharge doesn't happen until October/November/December, living in a camp trailer is a little less than ideal. 100 days of being NO MORE than one hour away from the hospital. . .

I know that's a ways down the road, but it's certainly a concern that's weighing heavily on our minds and hearts.

Okay, that was a weird tangent. . .anyway. . .

After the movie, Luke and McKayslin went over to the U cafeteria to get some lunch while Kenton's lunch was being prepared (grilled chicken alfredo).  Kenton and I snuggled in to read a couple more chapters in The Ranger's Apprentice.  I'm really LOVING reading to my kids.  Wish I wouldn't have stopped when they learned to read.  It's such a fun time - reading, talking about the book, making predictions, learning new words.  And because I'm reading different books to the kids and only a bedtimes, I get individual time with each of them.  Seriously why did I ever stop doing that?!

Wow. . .another tangent, lol.  I should probably just go to bed.

Anyway. . .
Annie and Joe came to visit (because I brought cookies).

They left and we just kind of hung out for a while.

McKayslin and I left for a bit to assemble a first day of school kit for Kenton.  Because he can't go to school, we wanted him to have something fun to do on that "first day" when we knew he'd be so sad.

We had found activities for each "class period" and put them into gift bags, put all of the gift bags into his backpack, filled up his lunchbox with his favorite lunch treats, and gave it to him.  He can either open one bag each day or save them all for the "first day" and open one when each class would be starting.  He was pretty excited.  :)

While we were gone, Kenton had a good nap, and woke up with a fever. Not sure it really was a fever because he was snuggled deep in his blanket and pillows with a heat pack for his tummy that was hurting again.  But, whatever.  The thermometer read 38.2 (100.8).  He was given Tylenol and was being monitored closely again.

Luke and I took the stuff that needed to come home to the car while the kids worked on magic tricks (I have pics on my phone - I'll add them later).

Then it was time for us girls to head for home.  :(
For some reason, today it was really REALLY hard to leave.
All four of us just cried.  And hugged.  And cried.
Luke gave McKayslin a Father's Blessing before we left to help her be ready for the new school year.

We hugged and cried some more and then McKayslin and I headed out.
Lots of blown kisses to the boys as they waved from the window.
It was not fun.
At all.

We were at the stoplight when Luke sent a text that said simply, "37.5."
Yay!  Less than 30 minutes and the fever was coming down quickly!

McKayslin and I had an uneventful drive home.
All is well here.
We unloaded the car, got the mail, played with Sparky, and Skyped the boys.

Everyone was smiling again and the kids were being silly.
That made it so much easier to say goodnight!

We told the boys goodnight, signed off Skype, and McKayslin got ready for bed.
We read a chapter from Alice in Wonderland, said prayers, and McKayslin went to sleep.
I'm heading there now.
Tomorrow is my first contract day at school.

Summer is over.
It's been kind of a really crappy summer.

So grateful for the prayers and love sent our way daily.
It would have been a SUPER crappy summer without them!

Thank you for being there with us through every up and down - for celebrating with us, crying with us, and sacrificing for us.

Today was a great day.
And a super hard day all wrapped up into one.

That, my friends, is day 66.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

[Thursday, August 16, 2012] day 63

9 weeks.
Started out good.
Counts looking pretty typical.

McKayslin and I headed to town.
I dropped her off at gymnastics and ran a few errands.

Kenton felt well enough to work with his Sculpey Clay from Uncle Don's family.
Although now, in hindsight, looking at his eyes, I can see that he really doesn't feel so great.
Look what he made!
A cute little bubblegum pink BUG for his Goosey-girl!
So sweet!

And then. . .well, they transfused a unit of platelets.

McKayslin and I ran a few more errands.
I dropped her off with Miss Kris so she could help put Miss Kris' classroom together and I went over to school.  I worked on lots of stuff.
Sammy and Savannah came to help.
Lots done.
Except I found a whole lot of mouse crap on my counter.
And cleaned it all.
But. . .I found the hole where that dirty rotten scoundrel had been coming in.
E-mailed Blake.
Hopefully he'll get a trap set.
That was kind of not a fun task.

And Kenton's fever started.
And it went up from there.

And he had a headache.
So they started vancomycin.
Which, just like last time, gave him "red man's."
So they gave him more benedryl.
And more antibiotics.

Kenton's fever was up.
And the tylenol kicked in so the fever started to go down.

Cute Maggie and Jordan posted these pics from their honeymoon of all places! ;)

Seriously so fun!

I went to pick McKayslin up from Miss Kris' house.
We sat on the front porch and just talked.
Normal conversation.
You have no idea how much you crave normal conversation. . .

McKayslin and I came home to do dishes, make cookies for the boys, make and eat dinner, and get packed for SLC this weekend.
Except Kris came over.
And did all of the dishes for me.
She didn't even ask if she could.
Just walked right in, grabbed the dishcloth, and started washing.
That's a good friend right there.
As embarrassed as I was, I'm even more grateful.
Dishes are my least favorite chore.  :)
Thanks, Kris!!!

I packed.
And worked on making cookies.
Kenton's fever was back up again.
40.9 which translates to almost 106*F!  :(
He didn't eat soon enough and was extra worried about his high fever and all of the stuff they were pumping in him combined with all of the monitors that were attached and threw up.

When Goosey and I were able to Skype with the boys around 6:40, Kenton was finally starting to calm down a little.
His blood pressure went back to normal.
He stopped crying.
They were able to unhook the leads on the heart monitor.
He was eating some dinner.
His fever was coming down.

I haven't heard yet what is going on now.
It's so hard to be so far away.
McKayslin is just so sad and so scared.
My heart hurts.
If only we could all just be together.

Tomorrow we'll all be together.
The Goose and I are leaving in the morning.
The boys surprised us (with a little help from MG) with a morning at Leilani.
I get new hair and glitter toes.
Little Miss gets glitter toes and a manicure.
We told Kenton we'd come tonight, but he told us no.
He's still my super tender wonderful boy.
Breaks my heart that he is going through this crap right now.  :(

Yes, tomorrow we'll all be together.
And taking chocolate chip cookies as requested.
Missed having to growl at Kenton to stay out of the cookie dough tonight!

We're hoping that Kenton will feel up to family date night tomorrow night.
McKayslin wants to order pizza and rent a movie and have family date night just like we used to on Friday nights.

Prayers for a calm and peaceful night for all of us would be appreciated.
Prayers for safe travels.
And mostly, please pray that whatever it is that is going on with Kenton will be resolved quickly.  This is just not cool.

Happy 9 week anniversary. . .
And that my friends is day 63.  Almost to the hour.
Go figure.