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Blessings in disguise

Today at Peyton’s treatment, I got the opportunity to talk to a little girl name Ellie. I am just amazed by the strength of a child to go through so much and remain so joyful and loving. Ellie is about to turn 8 years old, she’s been battling leukemia for over 4 years now due to relapses during her treatment. But with all truth and confidence in her eyes she told me, “But we’re going to get it this time.” What faith and courage that takes each and every day, she had to go through her initial treatment and then start from square one, only square one was 10 times more intense. I hope everyone says a prayer for Ellie, for every child and family out there struggling with whatever it might be. We just need to have faith that no matter how many times we have to start over in life, God’s going to hold our hand and help us “get it this time”.

We are still in our 4 day a week schedule, but with the port staying accessed we are able to do it with minimal pain. Today was not that minimal pain day, however. After they accessed her port she was playing and the access needle got knocked out of the port. When they tried to give her her meds it caused her so much pain she screamed and cried. My poor baby, they had to deaccess her and redo the whole process, but she was such a trooper and recovered fairly quickly. Once we got the needle issues fixed the rest of the treatment went fine. Her blood counts are dropping again, and the effects of this chemo round building up in her system are really taking an effect on her. She’s so tired, she’s white as a ghost and has huge circles under her eyes. She’s really lost most of the weight she’d gained from the steroids so she seems so tiny again. She tires easily, and can’t sleep well because the medication gives her flu-like body aches and she’s in discomfort.

Other than that, she’s doing great! Her moods are good, she’s happy and cheerful. She’s eating a little bit, not much but whatever we can get in her is positive. She’s been fever-free and that’s always great news.

Pete is a great husband and stayed home with the kids this weekend as I went to Orlando Saturday night to see my friend Amy. Amy took me to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios where we screamed ourselves silly from all the freaky haunted houses and creepy crawlies in the streets. It was so much fun and I just really enjoyed the time to relax and be scared crazy.

Overall, we are doing well. Nathaniel and Rachael are doing excellent at school and Rachael starts beginner gymnastics soon so she’s super excited about that. It’s going to be a lot of fun for her and I hope it boosts her spirits. I’m taking the kids with me on Wednesday to the clinic. Kyleen, who is our child life specialist (a child psychologist who works with kids and families to help them cope through this whole experience, and she’s amazing!), suggested I bring them on her transfusion day so they can see what happens at the mystery “clinic” we always take her to, but also so they can see that it’s not fun, there’s nothing exciting going on and get a real view of what their baby sister has to go through. I hope it helps make it real for them and help them understand the difficulties she has to deal with. They are such amazing kids and are handling all these curveballs life keeps throwing at us with amazing resiliancy. They are a constant blessing and I’m thankful for every day with them.

An unexpected blessing has been our friend Cassidy Savage who is 11 years old (oooh, I hope I got that right) and lives in Michigan. She emails Peyton regularly and sends her love and “Cassidy hugs”. Cassidy walked this weekend for a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser with her track team and she didn’t even know what wonderful things they have done for our family. She said she was walking for Peyton. I’m so proud of her and the wonderful young lady she is.

With Love

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