Favorite Hannah Picture

Favorite Hannah Picture
"Yes, the park!"

Hannah Ballerina

Hannah Ballerina

Play Time

Play Time
"Go super fast!"

Hannah's Room

Hannah's Room

Happier Hannah

Happier Hannah

Hannah sleeping 4-13-10

Hannah sleeping 4-13-10

Preschool Friend's Art

Preschool Friend's Art
Yeah! Friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's almost gone

Hannah's hair has, maybe, a couple days left. Yesterday, the hair she did have had matted into such a tangled mess overnight, that, cutting it was the only humane thing to do. It would have been painful to brush for someone without a sensitive head! Besides, huge handfuls have been coming out by the moment, so cutting it short seemed like a two problem solution. This is, of course, a mix of emotions for everyone. However, it is such affirmation that the chemo is really working. Time to pull out the hats! :-)

Grandma Patty took the big kids out to the bouncy place last night and Rian and I had a "date" with Hannah. She was finally feeling like eating again after battling painful mouth sores from the chemo. It was slightly surprising to hear her request Chinese food for dinner though! So, we ate take out Chinese and watched one of her favorite movies, Cowbells. I can't say I recommend it as I lost all objectivity after the 100th viewing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

D.I. is Rough

This has been a very difficult week for us. The chemo cocktail she is on has really worn her out. My very active little girl is now napping twice a day, slurs her words, and wants to sit with a warm blanket most of the day. Her doctors say we just push through. I know they are right. It is hard to watch.

Next week, if her ANC is above 750 she will start the second half a DI. She is almost always delayed two weeks when she starts a new chemo. If she does make it on Friday, then Saturday will start the four in a row Ara C and Cyclophosphamide appointments, followed by a back poke. These particular chemo drugs are given through IV over 4-6 hours each day. Again, long time to be stuck in a chair, but we do have the new princess DVD player! It's the small things, right?

Last weekend was a two day party. Saturday, was Aiden's third birthday and subsequent party. Sunday, was Hannah's big five year old birthday party. Over those two days, I got some of the cutest pictures. I'm sure I will fit them all in at some point. Today, I am just going to share my favorite picture from the weekend.

Grandpa Jim (or Norm), the greatest bday present ever, and Andrew.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Waiting just got easier

First, I wanted say that we got some good news at her appointment, yesterday. Hannah's counts are indeed on their way down. The chemo is doing it's thing to kick the cancer out.

Infact, she will need to go in a couple times this upcoming week for transfusions. Now, those are LONG hospital days.

Hannah and I however, just got something that is going to make that a bit easier. For her birthday, I got her a portable DVD player. Disney princess pink, of course.

Yesterday, was her first trial of this new entertainment at the hospital. I couldn't believe how much easier this made the day.

I'm sure many of you know how difficult it is to keep a young child busy during a boring outing. Well, most of our time while not getting chemo is spent in the waiting room, waiting (odd, right?) for different phases of the appointment to take place. It is an exhausting struggle to make that "fun".

Here is pretty much how yesterday went.

Discovering it works in the car.

In the waiting room.

Waiting again

Blood pressure and temp? No prob, just work around the screen.

Waiting for the Doc, still not a problem

Transfusion Room for chemo, "What else you want to do?"

I'm sure the novelty of her new device will wear off, but for now, I hope it helps her get through the next few appointments.

Friday, October 15, 2010

High Counts

Today, we are headed to Children's for more chemo. This week I am very interested to see where her blood counts come in at. Last Friday's numbers were odd.

The chemo drug, Dox, she is on right now, is known as the tumor stopper. This is because it works by stopping DNA replication. Hannah's counts, then, should the Dox be doing it's job, should be in the toilet. Last week, Hannah's ANC went from 1300 to 3549. Her Dr. said her bone marrow seems to have revved up in response to the drug. Sigh. Have I mentioned how stubborn Hannah is?

From all the signs I have seen in Hannah this week, I believe, her numbers are on the way down. Plus, I have been sweeping big clumps of hair up from the floor. As strange as it seems to be happy about, it is actually good. Hair is one of your most rapidly dividing cells. The chemo is doing it's thing when you see hair loss.

Hannah, otherwise, had a fairly good week. Some good days, some bad. Mackenzie and Cadence came over Monday to stay with Hannah while I attended Rosie's funeral. Hannah loves playing with Cadence, and has talked non-stop about her since.

Wednesday, was my birthday, but Hannah said it couldn't be unless I had a cake with candles. So, while ordering dinner (don't judge me, it was a long day!), I also made sure to order their only cake, cheesecake. The awesome pizza delivery girl brought candles!

I also got a couple of pictures of Hannah while she sang and played her brother's guitar. She made up some song about bananas that had me rolling with laughter. Which, after Monday, we all needed a bit of that.

Hannah singing the Banana song

"How was that?"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's Your Day, Baby Girl

Flashback to five years ago.

Cutting through the silence of a room loud with electronic noises, the doctor says "And, here is your daughter".

With those words my life changed forever.

That life in which I had resigned myself to never knowing how it felt to have a daughter, to always feel the twinge of pain as I passed the little girl section, to skip over the barbie isle on my way to Legos, to never being the mother of the bride, or having that mother/daughter bond, was gone in five little words.

Replaced by you.

You, my dear, are everything I envisioned in a daughter and so much more.

Let me share a little about my Hannah Banana.

The barbies? Oh yeah. Check, check.

She is the girlyist, girl ever to grace a pink purse and plastic shoes.

She is also, full of courage. She has the bravery of a soldier headed to battle.

She has fire and spunk. Out of all the boys in this house, she is the adrenaline junky. The girl has the need for speed!

She has the innate knowledge that she is worth it. This girl will not take crap from anyone.

Even though, she is my perfect princess, she is no damsel in distress. She exudes strength, she has power coming out of her pores.

She is smart and beautiful and even in the face of cancer, she is full of life.

Happy Birthday, Hannah. I love you, baby girl.

Hannah, rocking the outfit Uncle Bret, Aunt Amanda, Claire, Marcus, Ava, and Brady got for her bday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How about bacon, Mama?

This is what my darling child said to me at 4 AM this morning. Let me tell you, if she wasn't so stinking cute, I would not have been up this cold, dark morning to watch a horrid show called Backyardigans and fry bacon. But, she is, and I was.

I was also up several others times through the night putting a small blanket with cows pictures on it, in the dryer for a minute and then wrapping her toes, or arms. That process is what we have unearthed as a way to stop "scratchy legs" or "sprinkle toes".

Those side effects from this round of chemo seem to effect her the most, along with nausea, and appetite loss. She is also on steroids for one week to help boost her body through the chemo. The last time she was on them, we couldn't feed her enough. I had never seen anyone eat that much. This time, it is only keeping her appetite from being nonexistent. That is better than nothing! So, 4am bacon it is!

Sunday was Rian's birthday. We all had a great time playing over at his house. His oldest daughter, Maddie, came up with with a new way to bob for apples. She hung them from strings! It was amazingly hard, and yet SO much fun to watch.

I also have some cute pictures from the zoo last week. Hannah had a great time there. She met a little boy there and they were racing around together for a few minutes. Just as I was thinking, ah the zoo, how normal, Hannah, went up to his mom and said "My name is Hannah, and I have cancer." It sounds sadder than it was. She said it with a big smile, but the poor mom looked HORRIFIED! Kids, they say the darnest things, right?

It is possible, that if your not going through this, that would not have been funny. I however, in this now awkward moment, was struggling not to laugh, (I might have been killed by the other moms), and wishing Mackenzie was there. We could have laughed together with Hannah and escaped the awkward. Oh well. Here are the pics anyway. Hope you are all have a great day!

Hannah loves the sharks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Devil or Angel?

Hannah started the phase, Delayed Intensification, or DI on Friday. She got a new chemo medicine, Doxorubicin, or Dox. It is a bright red liquid and has the nickname "The Red Devil". It is powerful, and can cause heart damage. A person can only have so much in a lifetime due to this. It also makes you feel really awful. However, as far cancer killing goes, this is THE drug of choice. If this is what is needed to get the cancer out, then the Red Devil is angelic to me.

I have lots of pictures and more to post from this weekend, but, I'm running late for work! I promise to post later this evening. Sorry!

Nana Fran came for first day of DI. Hannah got ballons and a purse!