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Projectile vomiting and other things we shouldn't do in public….

Just about the time I get comfortable with Peyton's actions and reactions regarding chemo, she pulls a new trick out of her hat. I know that when she was first diagnosed I pictured her being SICK all the time…pale, weak, wasting away to nothing, vomiting and probably LOOKING like death warmed over….but for the most part she's done remarkably well. She's been pale, she's been weak and looked rough, but she's always bounced back relatively quickly.

After her radiation treatment and her chemo, we went into the pharmacy at the hospital to pick up some meds.

"Mommy, I'm choking."

I checked the collar on her dress to make sure it wasn't snagged on her port.

"No, you're fine, you're not going to choke."

"Mommy, I'm going to choke!!"

"No, honey, you're ok, you're not choking."

Projectile vomiting commences…..

"Oh. You mean you're going to throw up."

All over the place, all over this poor man's shoes, all over herself, it was just awful. But worse, it freaked her out so bad. I can count the number of times she's thrown up from chemo on one hand, and I'm so thankful for that. You'd think after having your head strapped down to a table, getting poison injected into your body, a little vomit would be a cake walk. Not so much. She's such an accommodating vomiter though. She threw up in the pharmacy where they could call clean up duty from the hospital….then she waited until we got outside to do it again…then we got all the way back to the RMH and in our room before she decided to start again…we made it to the bathroom.

After it was all over she took a nice nap, she was exhausted and feeling crappy. I hated to wake her up, I would have let her sleep all afternoon, but she had let me know that she really wanted to go to the Brad Richard's bowling party today.."to go see Daddy!"….and I knew that if I didn't at least give her the choice of saying no, she'd be miserable to live with. Surprising the heck out of me, she bounced off the bed and got her shoes on and was ready to rock and roll in just a few minutes…and I know I brushed her teeth so hard I must have taken off a layer of enamel.

We got to the bowling alley and Peyton was ready to hit the lanes. It was such a fantastic event, lots of kids, lots of families, lots of friends and familiar faces. It was so much fun to be with all our friends, letting the kids just run and play and bowl. Brad Richards is a truly admirable person to take the initiative and do great work for all our kids, giving to us so generously and making an effort to make our lives richer somehow. The kids were running around like maniacs, eating and just letting lose with their inner crazies. We got to celebrate the birthdays of some of the kids, and have a special moment of thankfulness for some of the kids who've completed treatment.

I still don't know if I totally understand how Rachael "accidentally" wrote on Peyton's head….

Nathaniel spent the majority of his time bowling, he played hard and did really great. He did stop to eat, enjoying the pizza and soda and CAKE! Rachael spent most her time fluttering from group of friends to group of friends, she did arts and crafts and ate lots of CAKE! Peyton bowled for a little while, under the grand tutelage of our friend Cody. Peyton is in love with Cody, his mother Kay and I are tossing around the idea of trading a donkey and some beads and maybe a small dowry and just arranging the marriage now. Cody's 13, but I think she's picked a winner….he plans to be an orthodontist and she's going to need braces for a long time with the binky-addiction she has….could be a match made in heaven! This young man spent the whole time just helping Peyton bowl, do crafts, getting her food and playing with her….I've started calling him my future son-in-law. Cody's sister Dana is a remarkable young woman who is a lymphoma survivor, and this family has just supported us and lifted us up and seeing Dana beautiful and healthy always renews my hopes and dreams for Peyton.

I teased Cody that this will be the picture we put on the wedding invitations some day.

It was great to just get away from treatment for a little while and spend minutes laughing and joking with wonderful friends. Sharing the woes and worries of cancer life is easier with them than it is with our non-cancer friends. You always feel like you're the grey cloud hanging around when you talk about all that your child is going through to people who aren't part of that life….I sort of wonder when someone's finally going to say "Get over it!"….and I know that I can just vent to these folks and they understand completely, not only what we're going through, but the need to just get it out of my system.

After we left and said our sweet goodbyes to Nathaniel and Rachael and Daddy, Peyton napped on the way back to the RMH. Tomorrow is more of the same, radiation in the morning, chemo is in the afternoon, and I am hoping that Peyton will feel well enough to head to the Children's Cancer Center for playgroup in between. I'm praying that she gets through chemo without all the violent side effects tomorrow, but am preparing for the worst. I don't know if it's because of the chemo…the combination of chemo/radiation….radiation alone…a viral stomach thing….filling her full of ice cream and letting her hop up and down on the elevator….it doesn't really matter.

We are supposed to get a sinus CT later in this week to see what's going on with a chunky cough and stuffy nose she has. Her ears, throat and lungs were all clear, so they think it might be a viral bug or sinusitis. Her counts were pretty lousy this morning….platelets were at 60K, HBG was 8 and ANC was 400…these numbers mean that everything is lower than they should be, more good times!…so she'll be getting both packed red blood and platelets on Wednesday.

I'm so glad that regardless of the rather unhappy afternoon she had, she was still smiling and laughing and able to have a good time with her family and friends. These times are so special and the memories are precious. It's fun to see her wrapped up in loving these people who are just enamored with her as well.

Please pray for Peyton and her sweet wonderfully courageous friends who battle this thing called cancer. They sacrifice so much in the fight….the carefree life they should have, any sort of control over their bodies, the health that so many take for granted….and they do it without bitterness or self-pity. Peyton never has to remind me that no matter how tired I am, how worn down I feel and how much I'd like to curl into a ball and just pretend none of it's happening….she never gets that privilege…she just lays her smooth little head on my shoulder and prepares for whatever happens next, safe in the comfort that the Lord provides her.

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

PS…..I want to send out special thanks to some people who've given Peyton extra reasons to smile this week. She's so loved getting the cards and packages and I truly wish I could box up a little bit of her happiness when she opens these things and mail it to you. Thanks to Steve, Melissa, Angel Karalyn, Denise, and Amanda.

**Extra special thanks to all those wonderful people who have been dropping meals off for Pete and the kids!!! And thanks for my dear wonderful always willing to drop everything and help in some way friend Chris Toth for organizing it.

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