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Rock bottom counts

Today Peyton and I went to the hospital gift shop and bought a balloon. Not just any balloon, but a very special balloon that would represent our prayers for a special family we are thankful has become a part of ours. We walked to the sidewalk with our balloon and with a prayer for the Duckworth family who today honored their son Jacob, his courageous battle with cancer, and grieved each day of this year that they've been without him, we let that balloon float to into the sky. I know that Peyton thought it was a terrible waste of a good balloon, but it was a special moment of our day to send that balloon into the heavens in memory of[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/jacob/] Jacob Duckworth[/url].

After radiation, Peyton and I took off for our Lil Tales play date at the [url=http://www.childrenscancercenter.org]Children's Cancer Center[/url]. Pete brought Nathaniel and Rachael and although it had been less than 24 hours that I said goodbye to them at the bowling alley, I was filled with so much happiness at seeing their smiling faces. The kids got some good play time in, made crafts for Dad and ate lots of good junk food. Pete got to come to the mom's morning coffee break and be a part of the grown up time. I think he now understands why I look forward to Tuesday morning every week, it changes from week to week depending on who can make it and who has good news, who has bad….but it's always a wonderful time to share and bond. Pete got to bond with the moms today…..not a lot of guys could handle that, but he did great!

Peyton got to spend some quality time with Cody, Dana and Miss Kay….her absolute favorite people in the world…all the way to the CCC she kept asking me if they would be there. She got to wear a beautiful new dress that Miss Kay got for her and carried around a new purse as well. Thank you, Bertoch family, for the unlimited compassion in your hearts and the love and joy you've given not just this little girl, but to all of us.

Peyton's chemo visit could have gone better, but she handled it well. Her needle came loose from her port and she didn't have to be completely de-accessed, but she did have to have it jogged around a bit to get the needle back where it needed to be. She didn't think a whole lot of that and expressed her dislike most VOCALLY! When her CBC came back, the nurse told me that they wanted to pull more blood and test it again because the numbers were so low the first time….and the second time…and then came back in and let me know that the third time was even lower so they were just going to stick with the highest counts. Ok. In just 24 quick hours her ANC went from 400 to 0….her hemoglobin went from 8 to 6…and her platelets dropped from 60K to 35K…..so she's got her pretty red bracelet that cross and types her blood and got products ordered for tomorrow. We also went back to RMH with strict orders to watch for any symptomatic problems of her being so anemic and her platelets being so low or fever because she has the immune system of a chunk of cardboard. I gave her a nice big dose of Zofran for her nausea before we headed into the clinic today and although she wrestled with a "yuck tummy", she never threw up today. She took a nice long nap and woke up refreshed and happy. Amazing!

This is what 11 months of chemo and radiation can do to you!

Today I got the files of the print project the put together to go with the DVD movie of the "Faces of Pediatric Cancer" video from Lisa Orlando of the [url=http://www.fastercure.org]Pediatric Cancer Foundation[/url]. I would love to post it for you, but it's a pdf and I can't do anything with that. It's AWESOME though!! I was just thrilled to see it and know that more than just having Peyton's picture on that flyer, I got to be a part of a project that's going to raise money towards a cure, raise awareness and represent the tens of thousands of brave kids! That movie was just a fluke, a need in my heart to put my love for these kids in some physical form and God is going to use it to do powerful work! That just goes to show and prove that when you're least looking to make a difference, God can use you in unexpected ways.

Our special prayer requests include:

*The [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/jacob/]Duckworth family[/url], [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/zacharytucker]Tucker family[/url], [url=http://www.paigewirth.org]Wirth family[/url], [url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/taylor]Arrington family[/url], Redmond family, Hanson famly, and every family who's lost a loved one, who mourn and grieve and have to find the strength and faith to get through each day.

*Daniel Carlucci and his parents Paul and Amy, he needs our prayers as he struggles to live. His little premature body is fighting hard, but we just ask the Lord to provide a miracle for this little boy.

*[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/fl/sydneysims/index.htm]Sydney Sims[/url] has had her surgery and is having difficulties with her lungs and we pray for continued strength and improvement for her. The surgeon removed a group of lymph nodes and the family is waiting on confirmation on the test results.

*[url=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sierrakessler]Sierra Kessler[/url] has been in and out of the hospital the past few weeks with numerous fevers and she just needs lots of prayers for her little body to get the strength to fight these fevers.

*[url=http://www.helphannah.org]Hannah Deal's [/url]family is gone on their second Wish trip, I just pray especially for them as they stock up on moments and memories that will have to last them a lifetime.

*Pray for Peyton tomorrow because with her counts so very low, there may be a problem with administering her next doses of radiation. We are going to meet with Dr. Cotman early in the morning to see is he feels that she is safe to continue with treatment or if he thinks we need to hold it. I don't know what that would mean for her if they do have to hold it, she may have to be here for a make-up treatment next week. We will wait and see. I'm sure it will just break her heart to not wear her mask tomorrow!

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

4 Comments on “Rock bottom counts”

  1. #1 Angela Powell
    on Jun 12th, 2007 at 9:16 pm


    Sorry we missed you at Little Tales this morning. We'll be praying for Peyton and that her counts go back up. Let me know if Peyton's up for a visit. The boys will be at Bible School from 9 to noon! I hope you're sleeping well on the Sleep Number bed at RMH! You can tell a lot about a person by their number, you know!

    Love ya lots,

  2. #2 dug
    on Jun 13th, 2007 at 10:08 am

    that picture scares me a little

  3. #3 Stephanie Walker
    on Jun 13th, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    thinking of you both and hoping Peytons counts start to rise and all is well

  4. #4 Julie
    on Jun 14th, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Dear Anissa & Peyton,

    Hello!! Just checking in with you. I'm glad to hear Peyton has been holding up well with all the radiation and chemo. Peyton- you are one very brave and courageous little girl!!!

    I pray that today went well with all the blood products and the drop in her counts. May the Lord strengthen Peyton's little body to counteract all the ill effects of the radiation and chemo. I pray the blood products work quickly and efficiently to help.

    Thanks for sharing the story about releasing a balloon for Jacob- that really touched my heart!

    I'm so thankful for the creative and powerful ways the Lord is using your efforts to raise awareness for Pediatric cancer. He can and will do much more than we can even imagine.

    Take care!!!