Friday, October 31, 2008

The Cutest Little Bald Baby Ever

Some of you that have had the chance to talk with me over the last 4 days have heard me fretting over the fact that every time I would touch my babies hair I would end up with a handful of it hanging from my fingers. I have worried about her loosing her hair from day one of finding out that she would be undergoing chemotherapy. I decided that whenever I think of a cancer patients I think of their bald head. Loosing your hair solidifies that you are sick. She has seemed so okay lately and I wasn't ready for her to look sick yet. Well ,four days ago I was doing some work on my computer and my daughter was sitting on the floor next to me playing when I realized that her hand was full of hair. At first I thought "ouch that had to hurt, why isn't she crying" then I started running my fingers through her hair and realized that she hadn't pulled it out, it had just come out on its own. It made me sick to my stomach to watch her pull hair out every time she touched her hair. My husband and I had talked about her loosing her hair and I decided that I was going to let her keep it as long as it still looked okay and he decided that we would shave it before it started looking gross. So we agreed that she could hang on to it for a little while. The next day when she woke up she had hair everywhere including a chunk in her crib. Throughout the day it became easier and easier to see the hair all over her and all over everything she played with. That night I kept having bad dreams about me loosing all of my hair and her loosing all of her hair and I just didn't sleep well. In fact in the middle of the night (I don't think that I was completely awake) I began praying that when we woke up she would have a large bald spot on her head and I would really have no choice but to shave it. The next morning I woke up to her choking on her own hair. Her hair was everywhere. She was in our bed and that meant that the hair was all over me and my husband, our baby and her big brother. Her dad got the vacuum out and we all got vacuumed. Her hair much to my disappointment didn't have a large bald spot, but was falling out very quickly. I still wasn't completely convinced that I was ready to shave it yet though. All day long I found big clumps of hair on the floor, in her crib, on her toys and even in her food and mouth (yuck). At about 3:00pm I called my husband and told him it was time to shave her head. I can't even imagine having an older child or an adult loosing their hair, it is amazing to she how much hair she actually had on our head. I got a little bit of hair on the top/back of her head and put it in an elastic and was going to cut it so that we could save some of her hair to see how her hair changed after chemo. When I was finishing wrapping the elastic around her hair she leaned forward and the whole clump just came out. By the time her dad came home from work her hair had started looking like an old balding man. I was so worried about actually shaving it off, but when it came down to it, I think it was harder to watch it fall out than it was to shave it. Everyone wanted to be a part of her head shaving, so my husband and I took turns shaving it and the kids watched and giggled. She looks darling even when she is bald. Once she was done we gave her a sponge bath and got her dolled up for her first bald baby photo shoot. It was late and we decided it was time for the other kids to go to bed while I vacuumed the carpet to clean up all of the hair she lost during the day. My three year old came running down the stairs and he said "Mom I want my hair cut like sisters" I said you do? Go and tell you dad, so he did, he said "Dad I want my hair all gone like sisters". We didn't shave it that night, but he still wanted it in the morning so we decided that we would shave his too. What a special show of support from our little three year old! Our other kids all think it is quite funny to run up to her and rub her bald head and then run off again. I have to agree it is fun to touch and kiss! I think that I am a lot stronger with all of these things than I give myself credit for.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dancing In The Rain

We have appreciated so much all of the love and concern we have had from so many different people. We are really being blessed with angels all around us. " Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. " Elder Jeffery R. Holland. We have had so many people help with our children, bring in food, offer up relief during the times that we need a break, and lend a shoulder to cry on. We can't say thank you enough times for the wonderful support system we have around us. We have gained much strength from reading the comments on this blog (so thank you for your love and words of wisdom). We have been given lots of quotes that have boosted us, but there is one in particular that stands out to me and I just can't stop thinking about it. "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." There have been so many times in my life where a trial has been thrown at me and I always seem to think "why me, why now, when is this going to be over!" I think I could have benefited from this quote long ago. I have a tendency to wish my life away (things will be better when, I will be happier if , etc. etc.) I think about the road we have ahead of us and realize that I can't ever fully say,"when things are back to normal, back to the way they were". Things will never be back to how they were and we now have a new normal to our life, but if I keep waiting for things to be different or things to be better, I am going to miss out on a whole lot of things happening now that I can never get back! This quote gives me a drive to find that good in now, and also look for hope in the future. This past week we truly have been dancing in the rain. It is funny how life changes when you are thrown into something like this. What used to be important is not important anymore. Our focus is our family. Enjoying our time together, creating happy and fun memories for all of our kids. It is on each other (my husband and I) there isn't time to get upset over things not important, it is about forgetting what I want right now and working together to accomplish what we want. Now that doesn't mean that I don't get a break when I need it, or that my husband doesn't get a break when he needs it, but it means that we are on the same track. We ultimately want to do what is best for each other and our kids. I guess we are taking a look at things in a more selfless way. We are enjoying the kids laughter and confusion more than before. We are finding excitement in the progress our children are making at school and in their extra curricular activities and for the younger two their developmental strides they are making. I am putting this quote at the top of my blog in the hope that I will always remember it, even during the times that I feel so consumed by the storm of our trials that we are facing. By the way this is a two for one day. We posted two blogs today (one that I started yesterday and one today), so don't miss the one below this all about Blood Count (sounds exciting I know)!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Blood Counts

We got our daughters first blood tests results back since coming home after her chemo. There are four different specific Blood counts that they track, the Red Blood Cells (Hematocrit and Hemoglobin), the White Blood Cells (Lymphocytes, Neutrophils, Eosinophils, Basophils and Monocytes), the ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) and the Platelets (clotting agent). Now the three that I most worry about are her Hematocrit (the amount of red blood cells in the blood, a lack of these can make her anemic or look pale, feel tired, dizzy, headache, racing heart or shortness of breath. Healthy Hematocrit levels are 32-42% if she gets down to 20% she will need a blood transfusion. Her hematocrit came back at 33.2% (great). Platelets are the cells in the body that make blood clots (she will have easy bruising, bleeding from the gums or nose, or tiny pink/purple freckle-like spots on her skin called petechia). Healthy platelet levels are 150,000 hers are at 94,000, so they are low, but you don't need a platelet transfusion until you hit 10,000 or lower (so she is still good). ANC (white blood cell) is the last that I worry most about. Her absolute neutrophil count shows her ability to fight infections. A healthy ANC is 3000-5000, her is at 0 that is nothing (very bad). She is extremely vulnerable to infections right now. We (her dad) gives her a Neupogen shot every night to help her body produce white blood cells. We have to be very careful to keep her in the cleanest environment possible right now, when we are around her we keep our hands very clean and don't allow anyone that it sick or has been exposed to sickness get around her until her levels go back up. We also need to be very careful with her temperature. If we notice her feeling warm at all we need to take her temperature. If her temperature is at 100.3 for longer than 1 hour or if her temperature gets to 101.3 for any amount of time we have to call the oncologist and they will have us head to the childrens hospital to be admitted and she will be given medicine and watched very closely so that she will be able to fight of the infection in her body. The oncologist told us that once a chemo patient goes home their blood counts will drop and continue dropping until they hit their low point (which will differ each time), then they will swoop back up again at which point she will be healthy enough to begin chemo again. Our little girl will continue having her blood drawn (through her broviac tube) every Monday and Thursday to track her progress. Now everyone can be experts concerning their blood counts!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Glimmer of Sunshine During the Storm

Today was a good day. We are home from the hospital. Our little girl was so excited to come home. She was squealing and smiling from ear to ear. I took her upstairs so I could change my clothes and she took me for a little walk down the hall into each of her siblings rooms looking for them. They had been with there grandparents and weren't quite at our house yet. When they came home she was more smiles and more squeals and it definitely was such a boost of positive energy to see her acting more like her normal self. All day today she has had more energy than she has had in the past four days. It seems like when we are given a trial there are times during that trial when we seem to be drowning in the storm, times we can't seem to get enough air and we are being pulled deeper and deeper. It is at those times when our Savior steps in and allows us a chance to breath, a break in the storm or a glimmer of hope, just enough to help keep us a float. We will cherish her sweet smiles we saw today.

My mom and my sister and I just spent the day sanitizing our house. We went from room to room wiping down walls and using either clorox wipes or bleach and water to kill as many germs as possible. I am hoping to not have to do this again any time soon, (other than the toys and books that the kids use on a regular basis). My hope is that I can stop the germs at the door before they come into the house (even though I know it isn't completely possible, but I am willing to try anything for my baby). My handy husband installed a coat rack in the garage just before you come into the house for the kids to keep their backpacks and coats outside. Once the kids come in they know the routine (they take their clothes off, wash and sanitize their hands and then put on a new outfit. Each time they want to play with their baby sister they use the hand sanitizer first. Hopefully we can prevent as many trips to the children's hospital as possible. The nurses and doctors have let us know of the seriousness of trying to prevent infection and viruses in our little girl. If she runs a fever of 100.3 for longer than an hour we will have to call the oncologist and they will give us instructions for what to do (which will likely be a trip back to the hospital) , and if her fever gets to 101 for any amount of time we are to call and they will always admit us to the hospital for antibiotic and fluid treatments for at least 48hours. It is amazing how when you have an interest in learning something you can retain lots of information in a small amount of time. Ask us almost anything about treatment of yolksac tumors and we can probably tell you about it. My husband and I will hopefully have our nursing degrees by the time we are finished with all of this. We were able to practice giving an orange a shot as well as each other. I have to say that the shot was definitely not the most painful part of the whole ordeal, I feel like I have bruises on my arm where my husband pinched up the fatty area of skin to poke the needle in. I didn't pinch him very hard, but I forgot to draw any of the saline up into the needle and almost gave him a shot with only air in it. By the time we were finished practicing all three of us (my husband and I and the nurse) were all laughing really hard. We are happy to say that one block of treatment is down and three more are left to go before we get to check to see how the tumor is responding to the chemotherapy. We know there is still a lot to come, but like I said before we are so grateful for the small things such as our daughters squeals that help to push us along in our journey.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Read Only With Parental Supervision

We finished our three rounds of chemo today. I am at home and trying to get a little sleep tonight and my husband is sleeping at the hospital with our baby. I spent the last two nights at the hospital and finally decided I needed a break from everything and a chance to get a little sleep (I think I will be more effective at the hospital and at home with my other kids if I have a few hours of sleep under my belt). Day one of Chemo. My daughter was given an anti nausea drug (Anzemet). We noticed that our little girl was very sleep during all three treatments. Following her treatments our night nurse was getting ready to give her an anti nausea buffer drug (ativan) when it all began. She threw up about every 15 minutes for 3 hours. Now in case you never thought this through (and I hadn't) the chemo drugs are basically poison. When it is removed from her system either by throwing up or urinating you cannot touch it with your bare skin..... So, her first throw up went all over her dad and the floor and her. We (meaning the nurse and I) had to get gloves on and get her clothing removed and then her dad and I gave her a bath (and no not a regular bath because, with a broviac line you cannot get the dressing that covers the tube and entry site wet) with no rinse cleansing sponges that the hospital had. Once we bathed her twice we then redressed her and the nurse cleaned the floor up (I tried to help, but he told me that I needed to let him do it because there are certain precautions that you must take to clean up chemo meds) and my husband had to change into a lovely pair of hospital sweats and a t-shirt that were brought up to our room. He also had to clean his skin twice. Once everything was cleaned up all of the laundry was taken out of the room and washed not once, but yes, twice. After three hours of our sweet little girl throwing up we were able to get some of the anti nausea medicine into her system to help out. They gave her the ativan and benadryl. We were hoping that she would get really sleepy but with our luck the benadryl did not make her sleepy, it made her very angry, and irritated and hyper. She was yelling and screaming, throwing things and hitting us. Our little one has always been a very mellow happy baby so to see this was very different than anything we were used to. I described it as: she would do the alligator death roll almost continuously with the screaming, throwing things and hitting us. It was to say at the very least, insane! While all of the chemo meds were being given she developed a fever (which the dr.'s don't think was related to the chemotherapy) Her fever gradually got higher and higher through out the night until it peaked at 103.3, when her fever finally broke she was soaked her hair and body looked like she had gotten out of the tub. Luckily we had her sleeping on a blue absorbent pad that kept the bedding dry so that we didn't have to change the sheets. Oh, I forgot to mention, but since you don't want chemo on your skin we had to wake her up every two hours and change her diaper, wiping it twice and then apply a barrier cream/diaper rash cream to her bottom. Once in the middle of the night she woke up and was wide awake screaming and hitting us again. I finally told her dad I had had enough and he offered to take her. He said that it took him an hour of bouncing and walking to get her back to sleep. Day two of chemo: We woke up early and very tired only to find that our baby was still very agitated. We tried to feed her several times to no avail. She must have lost her appetite (the cisplatin makes you have a metallic taste in your mouth) I don't know if it was still effecting her or if she just didn't feel hungry because she had a continuous IV in her. She was still very inconsolable and acted very tired from the time she woke up until 1:00pm when she finally cried herself to sleep in her dad's arms. We had both tried so hard to calm her and I was at a loss for what to do with her so I finally just fell to the ground on my knees and prayed. I prayed and cried until she finally fell asleep. There is really something wrong with putting something in your body that makes you so sick in so many different ways just to be healed. I pray that someone will find a better way to cure cancer!!!!!! After she fell asleep I fell asleep and her dad enjoyed the peace and quiet. She woke up feeling much better we even got a small smile or two out of her. Her second round of chemo the nurses began with a different anti nausea drug called Zofran. Then they followed it up with a smaller dose of benadryl and a full dose of ativan. What a huge difference that made. She was still agitated, but not to the extent that she was the night before. She even slept almost all night long (of course we still had to change her diaper and take vitals, but she would fall right back to sleep). It was such a nice break. Day 3 Chemo: We decided to cut the benadryl out completely. It seems to have done the trick with the agitation. She still had some of the irritation, but I would be irritated to if I had been stuck in the hospital for three days and was hooked up to a machine and etc, etc. etc. Over all the chemo was not to terrible today. The down falls today were that her hematicrit levels are low and they will need to do a blood transfusion and the outer portion of her broviac tube broke and they will need to use a repair kit to fix it. I will have to write another blog about how that all went. I am allowed to be really upset and say that this SUCKS. This is not right for anyone to have to go through. I got a really good cry out with my sister in-law and we just bawled and bawled together and I am feeling much better about things. I think that I can go back up tomorrow morning and be the supportive and loving mother that my baby needs me to be. (I found myself at times today where I felt very sick to my stomach and very weak and also very light headed and dizzy) I decide it was time for me to finally take a break from it all, my husband is such a wonderful husband that is willing to carry the load himself for awhile and I can't tell him what a blessing that is. I don't think you can go through something like this and not get a break you will be spent way to early in the game. I think that I will not be so descriptive in my next blogs about her treatments, but will be more informative and short. It seems to be very draining to relive it all over again in my thoughts. This is one of the most (if not the most) difficult things that I have ever had to do in my life. And, We are just getting started..................................

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Does Tomorrow Have to Come?

We got a call the other night from a friend of ours. She had cancer a few years ago and regretfully I never took the chance to find out a lot about it. You hear the word cancer and it seems so scary and unknown. I think to some extent I clumped all cancers into one category and didn't think too much about the different types of cancers there are, so I didn't ask too much about it. My husband and I were both glad that she did so well with her treatments and seemed to be healthy. Like I said before I am so sorry that I never took the time to ask her much about it.... When she called she said that she had just read the blog and realized that her cancer was the same as our daughters and that she would be going through the same chemotherapy treatments. I have to admit that when my husband got off of the phone with her and told me some of the side effects our daughter would experience with the chemo drugs she would be taking I was upset and in tears. I wondered if it wouldn't have been better to just not know what we had coming. Now I have had a few days to think this over and a some documents to read (thanks to our friend) and I have decided that it is so much better to know ahead of time than to not. My reasons are: first, I have less fear about the process than before, because I am informed and don't have the fear of the unknown ahead of me. Second, I will definitely be able to be a strength for my daughter as she is experiencing her pain and discomfort. I think if I had realized what she was in for at the same time that it was happening I would have fallen apart right when she needed me the most. (It seems with all of the knew changes in our daughters health, that I am falling apart for moments and then find strength once I have gotten the tears out of my system and then I can move on to deal with it.) Third, I am so grateful to have someone close to us that I can call and ask for help in easing my daughters burden, someone that has experienced it first hand. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for your willingness to share with me your very personal experiences with going through this type of cancer and also for your knowledge of this type of cancer. I am sure that you will be a wonderful source for us to draw strength from during our little ones fight towards her cure. Now as the title of this blog says "Does tomorrow have to come?" I usually enjoy the idea of a new day coming and the possibilities that it provides. I just can't get myself to feel or find any joy in the idea of our new day tomorrow. Tomorrow we start Chemotherapy and will be inpatient for a few days at the Chilren's Hospital. It is hard to comprehend that there is anything wrong with my daughter. She seems so fine, she runs (if you call it running when they have just learned how to walk) around the house giggling and playing peek-a-boo, cuddling with her baby dolls and climbing up and down the stairs and up and down again. The thought of taking her into the hospital to make her feel so horrible just doesn't seem right. I have a knot in my stomach that just won't go away. I know that this is the only way to get rid of the cancer that plagues her insides, but like I said before it just doesn't seem right! We are so grateful for the peace and comfort we find in knowing that this process will give her a long and healthy life. My other children are enjoying a special vacation with their Grandparents and I couldn't be more happy than to know that they are receiving some special attention during this confusing time and I have had the opportunity to spend a few days alone with my baby, to enjoy her sweet little personality and prep myself for the days to come. I know that we will be able to handle this with all of the love and support we are receiving from everyone. We are so thankful for such a strong support system!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ready or Not Here We Go

The oncologist called today and let us know that the Pathology report was in: the type of Germ Cell Tumor is called a Yolk Sac Tumor. Now I don't know a whole lot about it (so I am sure my computer will get much use over the next couple of days). The oncologist answered a few questions that I had and said don't worry too much you will have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered and become an expert on Yolk Sac Tumors. Our little girls medical plan is as follows: She will go in next Thursday and will spend 3-5 days in the hospital as she begins her Chemo treatments. The oncologist listed three different types of chemo medicine that they will be using. The first is cisplatin (this is the one they will be using the most of) the oncologist informed me that some of the side effects are problems with her kidneys and also some loss of hearing. She assured me that not everyone has problems with these but that they are the side effects they are most concerned with for our daughter. The second medicine is etoposide, the side effect of this one is problems with blood pressure and the last one (I am not sure if I am spelling this one correctly the oncologist was difficult to hear when I asked her to spell this one and she did it twice and so I didn't dare ask again) bleomycin this drug can effect her lungs (they said they are not to worried about this one because they will not be using very much of this drug). Of course with all chemo medications there will be the nausea, vomiting and possible blood transfusions. After her stay in the hospital she will spend 3 weeks at home and then repeat the process 3 more times ( a total of 4 rounds of this treatment process). It feels nice to finally know the plan and what we have ahead of us for the next while. I said to my mom the other day "I am tired of get bad news every time we get answers it seems like it is more bad news." I think I keep hoping that they will call and say it is not cancer and wow what a miracle, but that doesn't seem to happen. Although now that I think about it there are some good things we have heard: she will not need any radiation (we hope), she may not need surgery (we hope), her bone scan and bone marrow draws are clear (hooray), her CT scan looks clear and it looks like we caught it early on. So, I do know that there are some things we have heard that are GOOD news! I guess whether we are ready or not we will start into her treatments next week. We still feel hopeful that things will go well for her during her treatments.

Sorry a Little Correction

So in my last blog I typed that the treatment might effect her vision, but I meant hearing so I went back and corrected it. Her vision should be fine, it is her hearing they want to track. I guess that is all part of having too much information all at the same time. Funny thing is I was typing my information up from the paper that I took notes on while the Oncologist was talking with me, and yes my notes say hearing!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Information?!?!?!

So we had the opportunity to meet with our Home Health Care Nurse. She seems to be very knowledgeable. I was surprised when she brought in a box full of medical items all for our little girl. I couldn't believe everything that she pulled out of it (it reminded me of Mary Poppins bag) she just kept bringing more and more out of it and I couldn't believe that all of it fit inside that box. So we are headed for an extreme lifestyle change. I am not one to stay at home very many days of the week. As our little one begins her treatments we will be spending all of our time at home with her (either her dad or I will have to be here)or at the hospital. We enjoy a clean house, but were told that there is more that we must do to protect or baby from being introduced to other types of germs that could put her life at risk. I am about to look online and see if I can purchase any of the hospital's moisturizing hand sanitizer (it must be better than regular store bought brand). I was told to keep some at every sink in my house as well as in every car and in her diaper bag. My other children must come in and wash their hands then sanitize and change their clothing after coming home from school and church. We are to post a sign outside our house similar to the ones you see at the hospital or on the nursery doors at church warning people that have been coughing, sneezing, had a cold, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat or been exposed to any communicable diseases within the past month to please call us instead of knocking on our door. The Nurse also explained that all those that will come in contact with her must have had a flu shot as well. Does this all seem like too much? Well I guess that I must ask myself to what extremes will I go to prevent any other types of harm to come to my daughter that might further risk her life. I was also prepped on proper care of her Broviak line and emergency care of it also. I will be making emergency kits to put in her diaper bag, the car, upstairs in our house and also on the main floor. Basically anywhere she is there must be an emergency kit handy. The nurse kept insisting that you can never be too prepared or too cautious. (has your mouth dropped open yet?) We have her cell phone number and the oncologist number handy at all times (yes that means in the cell phone and also memorized) She also made sure that we knew when we would need to forgo calling either of those and call 911 directly. (have I scared you yet?) and the list goes on and on but I won't spend anymore time on that. I also recieved a call from the oncologist so let me update you on what we know. Our little girl has a Germ Cell Tumor (now they are running further testing to determine what type of Germ Cell Tumor it is). She will be going up to the hospital to have her hearing tested so that the oncologists can have a base line of her hearing because they said that the type of treatments they will be using on her tumor could effect her hearing. The dr. thought that maybe she had a form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma or the Germ cell my husband and I asked which of the two would be worse to have and she had simply stated both of them have things that are better and worse than the other. With that said today when the oncologist called she said that the good news is that this type of cancer may not need radiation treatment, but that the bad news is that she will have to undergo a more severe chemotherapy treatment and it will be very harsh on her little body. So we start our chemotherapy treatments one week from today and will most likely spend 5 days at the hospital. I am not sure what to expect when we come home, but am very nervous and distraught at the thought of having to watch my little angel go through these types of treatments. More than anything I wish that I could do it for her myself. No parents want their children to suffer. I hope and pray that her burden will be lifted even a little and that she might be spared some of the pain and discomfort that is coming her way. Please keep our little one in your thoughts and prayers......Please!

Our Unfamiliar Path

In life we plan out what path we will take any given day, week, or month. We decide our futures. But, sometimes our life is thrusted down a path we never planned on taking, a very unfamiliar path. We had a plan. We knew where we were headed, until two weeks ago when our plan was changed. Our sweet one year old baby girl has been diagnosed with cancer. Instead of planning our next family vacation, date night, shopping trip or even story time with the kids, we are lost in a rush of doctor's visits, tests, hospital stays and numerous nights up on the computer searching for medical answers and sobbing in between it all.Now most of you want to know how this all happened. Well, two weeks ago our little girl was running around playing and having fun with her siblings and a few of her cousins when she needed a diaper change. To our surprise when we took off her diaper there was blood in her diaper and her bottom had blood dripping from it. We rushed her to the doctors and she was examined. Our Dr. was confused by what he saw and knew that he needed to get a second opinion from the local children's hospital. He sent us home for the night and had us come back in the following day. After bringing her in to the Dr. again he said that he thought maybe it was a hormone reaction from being weened from breast milk, but that he wanted to be sure and set up an appointment for us to have a pelvic ultrasound at the children's hospital. The appointment was set up for the following week. When we took her up the Dr. reading the ultra sound informed us that she had a mass in her uterus and that he would need her to come back the following day for a MRI to get a better look. He said that he thought it was either a tumor or a cluster of blood vessels. The MRI confirmed our fears that there was indeed a tumor in her uterus. The testing continued on over the next few days including a bone scan, CT scan and Eco of her heart. We also met with a team of oncologists there at the hospital. Following our meeting our daughter was scheduled for a biopsy the next day. Contingent upon the surgeons findings concerning the tumor they would also put a Broviak tube in place for future cancer treatments and blood draws and do double bone marrow draws. Today we took her in for surgery. We were lucky that the surgeon was able to get her biopsy without an incision through her stomach (hooray!). They took the bone marrow from the front of her pelvis on both sides and her Broviak tube was also put in place . She seems to have done well. The Oncologist ordered 3 more tests to be done with her blood work as well today. They were able to use her tube for that so that she did not need to be poked with a needle again. She does seem to be in a bit of pain from the bone marrow draw since she refuses to do anything but keep her legs very straight and very still.We have had many people ask us how we are doing with all of this and to be completely honest with you we are very overwhelmed. I don't think we have even had much time to completely register all of the information that has come at us so quickly. We both have times where we have felt upset and other times when we have felt alright, luckily we have fallen apart at different times and we have been able to rely on each other for comfort during those times. We both decided that we would like to keep a journal with our thoughts on and a sister in-law of ours suggested typing it on a blog so this will be our journal of the process for our family to treat our daughters cancer. Now before we started this blog we did write down a few of our thoughts that we have had over the last week. As we listen to LDS General Conference this past Saturday and Sunday we turned to each other and commented that most of the talks that were given had a reoccurring theme: Life has challenges but don't despair, our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ will always be here for us to help us through. We have been surprised to find that we both feel so at peace as we have found out about her cancerous tumor. We have had a few blessings and many many prayers of neighbors, friends and loved ones and we couldn't be more grateful. It is amazing the love that has come to our family during this time, our Heavenly Father has sent us many angels in the form of those people who have been willing to drop by or call and send their love as well as offer their help in anyway that they can. We can't help but feel our Saviors love with us at this time. I found a quote that we have found comfort in "When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes." Thomas S. Monson. Now we don't know why our little girl has to go through cancer at this time in her life, but we do know that our Father in Heaven does have a hand in all things, and that there is a purpose for all things that we go through in this life.Now in no particular order I am going to make a list of the thoughts I have written down in my note book as they have come to me. I am concerned for my other children and how this process will effect them: I must still be there for my other children physically, emotionally and spiritually. I can't become so consumed by negative thoughts and discouragement that I cannot function and still provide strength and help to my other children. I must be willing to share my feelings with my husband and those who are willing and want to listen. I must be available to my husband for whatever his needs maybe so that we will stay close and strengthen each other during this difficult time. I will focus on the things happening now and not be consumed by the might happens of the future. I will find out what is the next step and accomplish it and then move to the next (baby steps). I want to be strong around our other children to make it less scary and confusing for them. I will be available to talk with them, to answer questions, give my time and lots of extra loves to them (they need reassurance that things will be okay and that they are important too). I am strong and our daughter is too. We will get through this, I CAN DO THIS! Just as a side note when I found out that my daughter might have something wrong with her, before the tumor was ever discovered I was very upset and kept praying saying she has to be just fine, because I am not that type of mother. I can't make it if my children are sick, I can't do it. Our daughter and both my husband and I have had some priesthood blessings and I know that because of these blessings and the comfort given to me by the Holy Ghost that I have a new strength with me one that I didn't think I was capable of having. I am so grateful to be a part of the LDS church and have a knowledge of the gospel. I would be so lost during this difficult time without my faith in my Heavenly Father and in His Son Jesus Christ. They want us to draw strength from them during our trials and I am finding much comfort and strength at this time. They stand ready to help me, being just as close to me as I will let them be. I am sure before this is all through my knees we will have callouses and I will know my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ very well.