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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday January 26, 2012

Sitting together in the chair having blood drawn for counts! Green blankie is front and center!
My apologies. I posted to Facebook that Ella's counts went back up, and never posted to the Blog. Bad mommy!

Ella's counts shot from 188 to 600 to...............wait for it.................2600! so she is doing well and back at school. Going back to school was a bit of a transition, but she was Star Student in her class this week and was happy as a clam.  Her teacher even sent me a text to let me know she was all smiles this week.  Pretty awesome! It is like the last month never happened for her. How I wish I could let it go as easily as she seems to. That is one of the reasons I think kids handle this a bit better than adults. We know how things are "suppose to be" and we are disappointed when things are not as we expect them. I think kids have this wonderful "oh well" ability sometimes.  Ella bragged to her class that she got "spoiled" when she was in the hospital, but I have not heard her mentioned once that it sucked that she was in the hospital for Christmas. I know that is the first thing that came out of my mouth when anyone asked me.  So maybe this week I will try to be more like my daughter and adapt an "oh well" attitude!

Bear Necessities 

I got an email from our Child Life Specialist yesterday with this photo attached. Notice that 2 of those cute smiles belong to my girl?  This Year Bear Necessities is using 2 of Ella's images to help raise money and awareness for Pediatric Cancer.  The bottom left picture was taken almost exactly a year ago. Crazy how much can happen in a year. Now, she has this head full of red curls! I am so grateful.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday January 11th, 2012

Ella had clinic yesterday. Her ANC was almost 600 again! YEA!!!! So, she got the all clear to go back to school. She also got reinstated for chemo.  So after not having any chemo or drugs except antibiotics, she went back on full protocol yesterday and started school today.  She will need to go back to clinic next Tuesday to re-check her counts to make sure the chemo didn't knock her counts back down.

Today, Ella shared with her class that she has cancer. We read the book "Why Charlie Brown, Why" to the class and treated them to doughnuts. Josh and Morgan came with as her support system and to answer questions. She used a duck and a doll to show the class how the nurses administer medicine into her port and she handed out "Cancer Butt Kicker" bracelets to all of her classmates. The hardest part for Ella was when I left. She was doing so well at school and now I feel like she has taken a step backwards. The hardest part for me was saying the words out loud that she has cancer.

When I left I went to the car and cried. Just leaving her there knowing she can get sick again, knowing that she was crying, not knowing if any of the kids would treat her differently now that they know. I am hopeful that they wont. Her class is so loving with each other. They were all genuinely happy when they saw her today, it was very heartwarming.
Tools we used to explain cancer
Thank you for all your prayers and comments. We really appreciate everyone's support! It is finally going to snow here and the kids are so excited. Enjoy the beautiful snow!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday January 8th, 2011- More than a teacher

Meant to post this on Friday. Sorry for the delay!

Ella and I were so happy that it was 50 degrees outside today! Went went over to the forest preserve and gathered items to make a wreath for the front door, just like we did last year when we were stuck inside!  She is in a good mood and we had fun on our walk.  She even let me take a few pictures.

I had a great teacher in high school. His name was Mr. Thompson and he taught history. He was a great teacher in my eyes because he gave you a copy of the test the night before and said "Study this and you will do well!"  To me he was a teacher who in a sea of other teacher seemed like he wanted you to succeed.  Well, it took me till high school to have this great teacher, but Ella has hers now.
Adorable Bunny
Ella's teacher this year has a heart for kids. I know it is a total God Thing that she is Ella's teacher this year.  She has personal family experience with Leukemia and she has been following Ella's story even before she knew she was going to be Ella's teacher this year.  Above is a picture of Ella's Adorable Bunny. This bunny is currently sitting in Ella's desk at school and traveling with the class through the day. This way part of Ella is in class, even though she is not. Ella has not told anyone in her class that she has cancer, but now since she has been out for 4 weeks she wants me to help her explain to her class why she has been out.  Ella's teacher has said yes to everything we have needed or asked for Ella without hesitation. I know Ella is not her only responsibility, so I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to have a partner in her education AND her health! It is scary sending your child to Kindergarten for the entire day, but even harder when they have cancer and have spent the last year attached to your hip.  Knowing that any cough or sneeze could potentially be life threatening is very nerve racking.  Knowing that Mrs. K has Ella's back makes it so much easier.

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4th, 2012- Clinic

Morgan and Ella at clinic.
Ella had clinic today. They were checking her counts to see if she could go off of chemo hold. For the first time she brought her friend Morgan with her to clinic! It was interesting to see how different her personality was with Morgan there. 

It was nice for her to have a friend to keep her company today, because clinic took longer than it should have. All they had to do was check her counts and we were there 3.5hrs. Crazy. So not great news, her ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count)which tells us her ability to fight off infections is down to about 200. Anything under 500 is bad. So this means she is still on chemo hold, can not go to school and is on lock down until next Tuesday when she goes back to clinic. All we can do is keep her home and do our best to keep her away from any new germs or bacteria. It is worrisome, but there really isn't anything we can do but pray that her counts don't go any lower. Hopefully keeping her on chemo hold will give her body a chance to recover. Her body has been working pretty hard the past few weeks, but her mood is good and that is a good indicator to me that she is doing okay. 

 It has been kind of interesting to see her personality the past few days. She has been off of chemo for almost 2 weeks and no medication at all the past 2 days. You can see just how much the medication suppresses her personality. It will make me a little sad when she goes back on chemo, but only 10 months left! 


Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2nd, 2011

Hi everyone.
Just sending a quick hello, and an update on Ella.
Ella is doing well! She is like a completely different child compared to last week.  She still has a bit of a cough and crabbies, but otherwise she is doing really well.  We kept Josh home today from school because we felt like so much of Christmas vacation was focused on trips back and forth to the hospital. So today we spent time as a family and snuggled on the couch.

Hope everyone has an awesome 2012!