Saturday, June 9, 2012


I am happy to say that we are home in Montana! All of the boxes are unpacked. Layla is slowly understanding that this is "home", and that we aren't "going home to grandma's in Utah". Annabelle has some adorable soft fuzz growing on her head. Josh is busy with work, so he's actually only been home a few days since we got here. And I'm trying to figure out what a normal day is like now. It's wonderful, awkward and crazy all at the same time! Here are some pictures from the last few weeks...

Right after we heard that Annabelle is in remission.
One relieved, happy and PROUD mama!
Ready to get her central line taken out. Good bye dressing changes. Hello normal baths and swimming!
Next up, a visit to Dr Poppe's office. We absolutely adore everyone there, but it's frustrating because there seems to always be a little bad news from him. The good news is: Annabelle is in remission and radiation therapy played a part in making that happen. The bad news is: the icky long term side effects of radiation are starting to set in. Because of the location of Annabelle's tumor, there was no way to avoid radiating the thyroid. Over the next few years, Annabelle's thyroid function will completely diminish and it will require medication for the rest of her life. Somewhat unexpectedly, it is already slowing down, so she has to start medication for that. Not a big deal, but just one other thing to deal with. Also, the radiation beams hit 5 vertebrae, instead of the 3 I was hoping for. It was best to treat a larger area for potential cancer cells floating around in there, but that means there are 5 vertebrae that will no longer grow. This is going to lead to a shortened neck as the rest of Annabelle grows, and may at some point require spinal surgery to stabilize her neck. On her final MRI, her bones were already showing damage from the radiation, so combining that with the condensed C6 vertebra, I'm afraid it's a bad combination, but only time will tell.
We were happy to say goodbye to the giant sharps container. After giving 100+ Neupogen shots to Annabelle, I hope I never have to see a sharps container in my house again!
Josh and I were lucky enough to get a much needed vacation before we came home to MT. I miss you warm Bahamian sun!
It is wonderful to be home, but sad at the same time. In a way I feel like I am betraying my cancer friends by moving home and going on with life. I feel a bit of guilt that I am able to do that, while others are still battling. Another sweet boy we know was relieved of his pain last night and went home to his Heavenly Father. While we are grateful that Annabelle is in remission, I ask that you remember that so many others are still fighting, and 1/4 of them will ultimately be called home at an early age. I urge you to be supportive of pediatric cancer research and those seeking to find less toxic treatments, and ultimately a cure.


Shannon said...

I'm so happy for you to be home! I love that Annabelle has a little fuzz on that cute head of hers. And I'm running a half marathon in two weeks. I found out last night that 100% of my registration fee goes toward cancer research. I had been annoyed that it was so expensive, but now knowing it is going to something great, I feel so happy to give!!

Anna said...

I'm so happy that you guys are home. You are such an amazing mom and a person. I always learn a lot from you. We have an appointment with Jason's doctor this Tuesday regarding the scan results. I don't know why they couldn't just schedule an appointment the next day. It's been a torture. So happy to see pics of you guys smiling!

Anonymous said...

We can't wait to see all of you! We were in a cafe in. Garden City Utah this past weekend and the wait staff have a big sign that says 25% of their tips goes to Primary Childrens so we made everyone in our party tip generously!!

Brooke said...

So so happy for you!