Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Plus 13

It’s just one of those days. Woke up tired, spent the day tired, bit my tongue eating breakfast, Christian threw up his breakfast, can’t seem to shake this headache, kind of a sad feeling vibe in the room. I have a tendency to want to leave our hospital room door open; I even put a chair outside in the hallway so I could sit outside the room. I think perhaps I have been here in this hospital room for too long. So long that I am scared to leave. Chris is starting to feel better and we even discussed him staying tonight, as I fear a sore throat is creeping into my world. The thought of not being here causes me some serious anxiety. I have been sucked into the oncology world and now I am afraid to leave. I have spent the better part of these past two weeks trying to nurture Christian back to health, trying to put smiles and his face, trying to wipe the tears away, trying to distract his pain.  I have invested many hours with the different medical teams keeping track of Christian’s health, oncologists, hematology, pain services, dietician, physiotherapy and transplant. In our world that right now seems so out of my control it feels good to be able to control something. If I leave I am afraid I will lose it. I know I will constantly wonder how Christian is doing? Is he crying for me? Does he need a hug? A warm blanket? A sip of ice water? Chris is absolutely capable of doing all of these things – in fact it’s not really about Christian at all. It’s about me releasing control. Sigh.

This is a preamble into preparing myself to leave the hospital. As weird as it may sound this oncology unit brings a lot of peace and comfort into our day. There is always a friendly face when you are sad, worried, scared, and unsure. Somebody who knows exactly what you are going through. Somebody else who is staring death in the face. Another mom or dad who is fighting for their everything. Somebody who has it a little better and somebody who has it a little worse. Even at one in the morning when you can’t sleep you can always wonder out to the nurses station to say hi and join in the conversation. There is always a nurse or doctor outside the door to ask your medical questions and dispel your worries.  I wonder when we finally lay down in our own bed together, will it feel a little lonely to not hear the noises of the machines, the hum of the oxygen running and the giggling of the nurses at the unit desk. I cry some tears and my heart feels heavy at the thought of losing these people from our lives who have given us so much. Who have given us validation for our feelings and hope for Christian’s future. I have never truly respected how amazing these people are who not only care about Christian’s body but about his heart, and about our hearts. Their smiles at Evelyn and Ryan when they come into the unit for a visit. Laughing at Ryan running to the unit fridge saying, “cheese, cheese” and slapping the door till we open it and get him some.  We have become a family here in the oncology ward and when we leave it will be like leaving a home that we have become so comfortable in. We will have to say goodbye to people that have touched our lives forever and nurses whose faces and names I will never forget. I am sure it all sounds very weird but my heart aches none the less. I wish their was someway I could honor them and how they fought along side us for Christian. The only thing I can think of is to ensure that we take what they have given back to us and run with it. Run to the park, the beach, the pool, to the couch on Saturday mornings in our pj’s. This blog is dedicated to the nurses of Unit one. Each and everyone of you will live in our hearts for a very long time.

Hospital visit with Nanny Lou who

As I look out our window, once again at the lights of COP, I exist in a life saving bubble. Christian has been kept alive in this bubble and I wonder what will happen when the bubble is no longer needed. Will I remember to be thankful? Will I remember all the lessons we have learned over this past year? I hope I can read back over my words and remember the feelings and emotions we experienced. I pray I can remember our feelings of despair and desperation. Will I remember how it felt the nights I prayed to God that we would keep our son?  Will we be able to continue to honor Christian’s valiant battle with a life of service and gratitude? Wow well that is a lot to digest. Maybe this is why I have a headache.

Ok random ramblings aside Christian is doing great today on day plus 13. His counts have continued to improve and in some cases they are the best they have been since he was diagnosed. He is spitting less and swallowing more. He drank half a glass of juice today and used a lot less pain medicine. The sedatives, antibiotics and narcotics are slowing coming down and his energy is slowly rising. I can see glimpses’ of his old personality returning and his desire to play slowly build. He is, for the first time in almost three weeks, interested in his star wars guys again. I feel discharge day is coming soon. We will have a tearful goodbye and take the familiar drive home. Soon we will have a much deserved celebration with pizza, dancing, balloons, music and fun…anybody in?
Thankful for the ladies who took such good care of Evan over these past three weeks

Thanks for reading and for your continued prayers.
Today I am thankful for:
1.     Pintrest
2.     Email
3.     Blogging

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Plus 10

Love the blaster!!!
My entries over the past few weeks have been full of heartache, pain, tears, frustration and hope. But today we have reason to rejoice and celebrate because Christian officially engrafted. I know many people read the blog and wonder how on earth we function though all of the heartache and sorrow. How do you watch your child suffer? And the answer is because we knew today would come. We knew that one day soon Christian would be delivered to a place of hope and the healing would begin. God has truly led us on a journey of self discovery that has buoyed our faith, developed our trust in God and our trust in each other as a married couple. Chris has been sick since last Tuesday, which means he is not allowed to come into the unit or stay with Christian. So I have been living at the hospital since then. 24/7 (with the exclusion of a lunch at Boston Pizza I barely remember!) I have been here trying to help Christian through one of the most painful experiences of his life. He doesn’t sleep at night, which means I don’t sleep at night. For five nights straight I have gotten a total of about 3 hours of sleep a night, total. Mostly broken 30 minute sessions of fragile sleep interrupted by Christian’s screams of pain or call for “mommy”. There is no earthly explanation for how I can walk or talk after the physical and mental toll this week as brought me. The heavenly explanation is that we can do all things though Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13) Just as Christian has been hoisted and carried by God – so have I.
The 'spitting' bucket because it is too painful to swallow
Nanny reading to me even though I am asleep!

So exhausted
Last night was another sleepless night (I think we are officially at five) and I was curled up on the bottom of Christian’s bed trying to catch a few winks in-between suctioning Christian’s mouth and pressing his pain pump. At 530 am our nurse, Nicole, gently tapped me on the shoulder to show me Christian’s counts for the morning – 1600!!!!!! I believe I actually swore in disbelief. I was so exhausted I immediately put my head back down and went to sleep.  So here we are. So close to the end of his treatment I can barely believe it. All that is left now is for Christian’s poor little mouth and throat to heal, for him to learn how to swallow and eat again. For him to be weaned of his medications.  As soon as he is completely off his pain and sedation medications we will walk out those unit 1 room doors, and I pray, never walk back in, unless it is to say hello and reintroduce our nurses to a strong, vibrant and hairy Christian.
Resting with Grammy

Trying to keep the oxygen flowing
Engraftment day will always be special, February 23, 2012, and made more memorable by some amazing visitors. Darth Vader and his Storm Trooper made their way into Christian’s room and into all of our hearts. It was so great to see the life sized characters bring a smile to so many kids at the hospital and some outsiders as well. I think one of the most excited persons was a middle aged man chasing the pair down the hallway so he could get a photo too! I can honestly say it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I am so thankful these wonderful people took time out of their weekend to make Christian’s day a little brighter. After a crazy week it was so great to have a little family reunion in the hospital cafeteria. It was fantastic to see my kids, and great friend, Kirsten, the rest of my family and part of Chris’, and of course the Star Wars boys. What a great day.
"I wonder what is really under that helmet?"

Holding up our favorite nurses

So perhaps we will live here for another two weeks and then the road to glory (that is the highway 2 back to Airdrie!) and our home that has long awaited Christian’s return. Once again I am humbled and honored by the words of encouragement we have received over the past few weeks. The comments left on the blog have inspired me to keep pushing forward and encouraged me to stay strong for Christian. I am so grateful for all the meals and snacks that made their way to our home and the hospital. I am so grateful we have family and friends who support us and a God that loves us beyond comprehension.  Thanks for your continued prayers.
Waiting for Better days

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Darth Vader and Storm Troopers who like to hang at the hospital on Saturday’s!
2.     Getting to talk to Chris tonight (with a good cough barrier!) about where we want to go on vacation
3.     Nurses who care and love Christian, who cry with our pains and rejoice with our victories. They have made these past two weeks bearable. 
Nurse Orli and Nicole - taking such good care of me

Miss my cousins so much - they had to come and say hello through my room window

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Plus 7

getting ready to go to xray

I don’t think I have the words to describe the past few days in our seemingly never ending journey. Christian continues to get sicker as he tries to cope with ridiculous amounts of pain. I don’t think I can even comprehend what he is dealing with. Yesterday he was throwing up mouthfuls of blood and tissue as the lining of his throat is slowing sloughing off. He is down to bare muscle and fragile nerve endings and every swallow, cough, hiccup or movement of his vocal chords sends him into fits of panic and suffering. I thought that I had watched him suffer before nothing compares to this constant pain and he rarely sees any reprieve. Every ounce of pain medication and sedative they throw his way – he metabolizes like sugar in water. The statement “one day at a time” has never been truer than right now as I can't even fathom how he would survive another week of this agony. I guess this is the blessing of pediatrics as Christian really has a limited concept of time. So I try to tell him that this will all be over soon but that doesn’t mean much to him. For him, right now he is experiencing pain that seems to have no end. I am constantly praying that God would show us a miracle and have his stem cells graft swiftly so that there would be a quick end to this trail for Christian.
bed bath!!!!
We are cuddled in his hospital bed as he has some relief (praying its not temporary) and he sleeps with gurgling sounds that accompany each in and out of his breath. His chest is full of fluid that he can not swallow nor cough out. I am very thankful that the pain team was in his hospital room this afternoon to witness one of his nightmarish “attacks”. A plan was quickly formulated to help Christian cope and try and get some rest. Despite everything that he is going through he, once again, amazes me with his patience and fight. He has done so many adorable things today I wonder when my heart will finally explode from love. During one of his horrible attacks I tried to get him to focus on his breathing. He put his skinny arms around my neck and pulled my nose to his nose and we breathed in unison. He calmed quickly and it felt good to be able to bring him some focus and peace.
More of our awesome unit nurses
In the midst of everything happening, Christian had to have some x-rays (which he brilliantly followed orders and held still), an IV poke for blood tests, a blood transfusion, his daily anti-coagulant injection and a dressing change. Tonight when he finally settled down, his eyes puffy and red with single tears running down, his lips swollen and sore, his nose runny from being so upset, I looked at him and thought that tonight, if ever, he needs help. I instantly thought back to an email my faithful sister in law wrote me declaring that God had hoisted Christian up onto his shoulders for this crossing of the finish line. And I can see it. I can see the end in site and I have never been more thankful that when things are falling apart around me I can look up to the heaven’s and proclaim to God that I can’t do this alone. Of course Christian is being guided and held high. What an amazing photo that would be. A black and white shot of Christian holding onto God’s hands as he rides high on his wide shoulders over the finish line. Crossing over a line drawn on a sandy beach with a banner above them that reads “Finish line” with a time of 10080 hours. He is gently set on the ground after giving Jesus one amazing hug then runs into mine and Chris arms – that we would get to keep him for another season. That God would deliver him back to us – literally. Immediately we grab our bucket and shovel and head to the shore line.

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Our good friend Taiya getting discharged from the hospital after completing her Cancer treatment and walking out the doors – in remission.
2.     Surprisingly good Chinese food from the hospital cafeteria
3.     Brenda’s heart shaped cookies. YUM

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Plus 4

Mega drugs. That is where we are at today. Christian is technically on day +4 and he is feeling as they anticipated he would be – horrible. Our oncologist seems to think we may have one or two more days until the climax of his pain, and then we wait it out until he ‘grafts’ and his counts begin to return. You know that you have been at the hospital too long when you are first name basis with the ‘pain team’. This is a specialized team of doctors, nurses, etc. whose job it is to help kids manage their pain with a cornucopia of drug cocktails. We have yet to work out the perfect solution for Christian but they are constantly adjusting drugs and levels to find a place where he can rest and be semi-comfortable. So not much new to report but we are plodding along and with each new day, dreaming of the days and weeks to come.
Christian is such a little sweetie pie and continues to melt the hearts of the nurses around him. He is so brave; he holds his own arm out for blood pressures, attaches his oxygen saturation probe, helps with his dressing changes and suctions his own mouth out. Even though things are so crazy out of control for him he seems to find joy and strength in helping with the little things he can.
Preparing bag of stem cells for transplant 
Thawing out the stem cells in a roaster pan of warm water!
Chris took the kids to the pool today and I felt a twinge of sadness and despair as I looked over at Christian in so much pain and misery. I quickly thought of the day when we will, as a family, go to the pool together – all five of us. It has never happened, as Ryan was just a baby when Christian was first diagnosed. I can’t wait until we can be out and about together as a family. Not even on the beaches of Hawaii or on the rides of Disneyland – at this point I would settle for the Genesis place kiddie pool. All five of us sitting around the hot tub and thinking about how grand life is. Thanks for reading.
Valentines supper at the hospital

Today I am so thankful for:
1.     Pain service team at the ACH
2.     Heart shaped pizza from Boston Pizza
3.     The smell of good food when you are hungry

Chillin' with Ryan

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Trying to sleep off the pain

Lift up your voice in praise and thanks – we are finished with Christian’s treatment! He soldiered through his second and last stem cell transplant this morning.  He was quite sick (mostly from the preservatives that the stem cells are stored in) and it feels pretty horrible when the preservative gets excreted from his lungs(so the nurses tell us). But tonight he lays here in his bed – done. We have no more work to do but to help him heal and get strong. He is very uncomfortable and spends most of his time lying on his side with his face in a towel so he doesn’t have to swallow any spit. He is suffering from a lot of nausea, vomiting and sores in his mouth and throat. He is on a base rate of morphine and also has a pump to push when he is in too much pain. I am told the apex of his pain will come around day plus five so I pray that this day comes quickly and in between we can distract his pain and help him to have some hope that he won’t be like this forever. My prayer is that we get out of her by day +14 – a small miracle I am told.

Waiting for the days to get better
He lay in his hospital bed this afternoon and my heart broke into a million pieces, he looked so horribly defeated and broken. I tried to explain to him that things are going to get better – I promised he would feel good soon and we would go someplace fun. I broke into tears and he immediately put his skinny little arms around my neck to console me. Can I express anymore how much of a hero this little boy is to me? As I write he opens his mouth and whispers, “mommy – can I have a sucker?” He immediately falls back into his drug induced sleep. I feel so much better when he is sleeping as he seems calm and comfortable and I am hoping he doesn’t feel any pain, perhaps he is even dreaming of something great. When he is awake he finds some reprieve by looking on EBay to try and find Star Wars guys he doesn’t already have (an impossible feat!) and downloading movies and music from ITunes.

I am perpetually grateful for the children’s hospital and the oncology unit, the doctors who attend to Christian’s medical needs and the nurses who do it all. I am so thankful we can joke and laugh and make the best effort to enjoy our days here on unit 1. Theses people have become our family and I will truly miss them when our days are no longer all consumed by cancer. The nurses continue to amaze me (as I may have previously mentioned!!!) and I missed a few nurses the other day when I publicly acknowledged them – nurse Leslie, Lane (aka…how does this tube work?), Kathryn, Jen, Marsha and Sherry. It takes a special person to come into work everyday and care about each and every child on the unit. Thanks for reading.
He is happy to see Ryan - just doesn' t show it!!!!!

Today I am thankful for:
1. Red heart shaped suckers
2. DS game consoles
3. ITunes cards won at bingo

Monday, February 13, 2012


Well we made it through the four days of around the clock baths. I thought it was going to be horrible but true to Christian’s nature he just rode it out like it was another job he needed to get done. The first middle of the night bath our awesome nurse, Sam, described the experience as trying to put a cat in the bathtub. However after the initial shock he developed his usual acceptance and did what he had to do. I am always so flabbergasted that he copes so well. I can only imagine how I would feel if somebody woke me out of a dead sleep to jump into a tub of water. Well I guess I did breastfeed three children so maybe I do have a small inkling for the feeling of being yanked from your warm bed in the middle of the night to suite somebody else’s needs! A chore I wouldn’t trade for the world. What a gift to hold your warm baby in your arms and watch them nurse themselves into food oblivion. Anyways, I digress.

Today is a celebration day. Celebrating the completion of 56 weeks of straight chemotherapy, 13 weeks more than was originally planned. But today we experienced the monumental accomplishment of watching the last dose of chemotherapy hung onto his IV pole. Five straight days of high dose therapy. The last drips of the juxtaposed toxic and lifesaving chemical moving through his lines. The last time the blue pad and blue chemo gown get donned. So despite Christian making a quick move last night to nausea, vomiting and general malaise after five straight days of chemo, we will celebrate Christian’s accomplishment. We will his valiant fight, his courage, his persistence, his drive and most of all his love. We celebrate having the opportunity to hold him again, kiss his chubby cheeks, smell his stinky toes (and listen to his ensuing belly laugh as a result) and look forward to our lifelong affair of making the best of each God given opportunity.
Celebrating last chemo - EVER!!!!!
I am so thankful that these past few days we have been graced with the most amazing nurses on the unit. Chris and I have been so full of anxiety and fear, waiting for the unknown. The nurses on the oncology ward truly have made our lives so much easier. They are working for Christian, they are his advocates and as parents they are our knowledge and support. They love Christian with their whole heart and I feel it every time they walk into the room, every time they watch him cry, throw up, throw a hissy fit or throw his medicines across the room. Courtney, Kathy, Ellen, Christie, Stacey, Meghan, Carol, Emily, Laura, Michaela, Rene and Kelly – just to name a few!
Nurse Kathy giving last chemo
Nurse Christie saying goodbye before maternity leave
Tomorrow is our rest day, never a more appropriate time to celebrate the day of Love. This year we learned new versions of love. A deep gut wrenching, “I can’t live without you love”. We attempt to understand the love our Father has for us and develop a better understanding how important we are to Him. This year I learned about the love strangers can give and about forgiving love – love that isn’t ‘earned’ or deserved but is called upon by God to be given out regardless. Because “we all fall short of the glory of God” it is our duty as followers to love each other as we would like to be loved – imperfections and all. And it is more than obvious than ever that I have fallen short many times this past year, yet my family and friends continue to love and support us. And don’t we all yearn to experience the type of love that a baby gives. A love that holds no grudges and shows no anger? A love that is constant and pure. I am trying to learn the importance of loving myself – just as I have been created, without bounds. And I am trying to learn to love in the same way. An impossible feat I know – but I want to open my heart to the possibility and potential of each soul I meet. Because God orchestrated these meetings and to turn my back on these opportunities would also mean I would be turning my back on God.
My sweet little valentine

Hello? am i the cutest thing you have ever seen?
After our rest day we have two straight days of stem cell transplants (basically looks like getting a blood transfusion – the stem cells even look like whole blood). Then we wait. We wait for his body to accept his new stem cells and his counts begin to rise. Until that point he will remain neutropeonic (no immune system). He will be extremely fragile to any bug that comes his way and any fever or sickness could put his life in jeopardy and extend his healing and recovering time. So please pray for safety and speedy healing for Christian.
King for a day!
I pray each and every one of you reading this gets to experience a Valentines Day beyond a cardboard box full of chocolate. Last year Chris and I got a homemade photo frame that Christian made at the hospital shortly after he was diagnosed. Hospital staff took a picture of him and put it in his homemade frame. It is still sitting on my bathroom counter and it will always be my favorite gift and a reminder of this past year. Love amongst crap. Our circumstances can change and things come and go from our lives but the love of another person, to give and receive, is a part of human agency and nobody can take that away. Love you so much Christian, Evelyn and Ryan . Will you be mommy’s valentine?
Peek a Boo!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY and thanks for reading.
Today I am thankful for:
1.     No more chemotherapy
2.     Cupcakes
3.     Dollar store horn blowers

Saturday, February 11, 2012


First day of high dose chemo

I am sitting here in our unit room staring at a blank screen. Where do I start? What do I write about? My brain and my heart are experiencing so many different emotions I can’t focus on any particular one. I am so relieved that our treatment has finally started. I am so excited that we have only three chemotherapy sessions left in our whole treatment protocol. I am so scared for Christian – how much pain will he be in? Can I help him manage his discomforts and fears? I am thrilled to actually start thinking about what kind of trip we want to go on. I am tired, so unbelievably tired. I have a hard time leaving the hospital and when I do leave I don’t know where to go. I always seem to want to be where I am not. When I am at home I miss Christian terribly and wonder if he is sad or scared or in pain. When I am at the hospital I wonder if Ryan and Evelyn are asking about Chris and I. Are they wondering why all of a sudden the house is so quiet. I am sooooooooo thankful that Chris’ mom, Marilyn, is able to come out and be with us during this time. I wouldn’t be able to physically cope with out help, knowing that Marilyn has the patience and energy to take Evan to the mall and let her wonder Toys R Us for hours on end. I am thankful that my mom graciously accepts Ryan into her house every morning for a visit and a ram shacking of her place! I am so thankful for all of the positive and reassuring comments from friends, messages of hope and prayer. I am thankful for food that finds its way to our front door and friends that lend us their vehicles when we find ourselves with only one!
Christian and Nurse Ellen in her chemo 'getup'
So here we are: day minus 4. Each day closer to transplant day is considered a minus and transplant day is day zero. From transplant day we then count up: plus 1, plus 2 and so on. Until the day we get to go home. Many numers have been thrown around but it seems that plus 21 is the average for discharge. There are many kids on the unit who have just completed their transplant and are so doing well, getting discharged early.  Smashing theories about how long it is supposed to take kids to heal from transplant. Let’s pray Christian can join this elite group of kids whose inner strength and perseverance has led them through their cancer journey. A courageous battle ending with a theoretical piece of paper saying, “cancer remission”. How I long for the trials to end for Christian. I have peace in my heart because I know that Christian is taken care of. But I am so excited to see him grow, become friends with his brother and sister and get in trouble for being naughty! I am overjoyed with the notion of “normal life” but I am also cautious that we don’t forget the lessons we have learned. I will keep you posted as we get closer to transplant day. Please continue to hold Christian up in your prayers, prayers for strength and speedy healing. Prayers for quick bone marrow grafting and limited pain. Thanks for reading
Bath every 6 hours to wash off chemo excreted from his skin

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Unit 1 nurses who go the extra mile
2.     Understanding
3.     Pictures on our unit room wall
My sweet little pink kitty kat!!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Christian's self portrait

On a beautiful sunny day you find yourself walking down a tree lined street enjoying the fresh air and the families playing in the park. As you stroll along the walk you find yourself following a precocious little girl and her mother who is talking on her phone. The mom doesn’t notice the little girl starting to drift towards the street off the edge of the curb. You look ahead and watch a truck cruising towards you with no hope of stopping before hitting the young girl. You know you can save her but it will require a physical grab, tuck and roll while you whisk her out of harms way. As the truck slams on its brakes you grab the girl and hit the pavement while the truck tries to swerve around you. You look down at the child lying in your arms – the little girl smiles at you and says, ‘you saved me’. You feel a small pain in your back but the hurt is nothing compared to the look of gratitude on her mothers face. You saved her little girl's life. You saved her everything.
Evelyn at the park

Now imagine that little girl is in fact a little boy, he is not walking a beautiful green avenue but lying in a hospital bed trying to fight cancer. He is about to get hit by a truck, his truck is chemotherapy and without you he will die. In order for this little boy to have a chance at survival he needs a bone marrow transplant. But because less than % 30 of bone marrow donors is family related he needs somebody to say yes. He needs somebody to take the step and register to become a bone marrow donor. He needs somebody to say I don’t care if I am a little sore the next day. He needs somebody to say I might be scared of the procedure but if a small child can fight through cancer then I can fight through this. If you are his lifesaver you will have a small portion of your bone marrow removed (under sedation). The next day you will feel a little sore – perhaps as though you slipped and bruised your back. But when you realize that you just gave a little person (or a big person) a chance to live – the pain seems to fade to black.
Underducks are my favorite!!!!
We are so fortunate that Christian is able to use his own bone marrow because his cancer had not metastasized to the rest of his body. But many pediatric cancer patients are not so lucky. You have the opportunity to give someone a chance at life. Christians’ upcoming treatment will involve six consecutive days of chemotherapy. The levels of toxicity are so high that it completely wipes out his bone marrow. I won’t go into the physiology of bone marrow or its purpose for our body but lets just say it keeps us alive (creates blood products, immune system components etc.) Now most chemotherapy negatively affects the bone marrow to some extent but the amount the Christian will get will not only wipe out his bone marrow but it will not recover on its on (well it would but it would take months or years) which is why he is getting a bone marrow transplant. One day after finishing his last chemotherapy treatment he will receive his own stem cells over two consecutive days. This stem cell transplant then becomes like any other organ transplant. You must wait to see if the body is going to reject the new product or accept it. If the body is able to assimilate with the transplant, it is considered grafted. In Christian’s case we will know when his body is able to use the stem cells when his counts return from zero after the chemotherapy.

I don’t find it coincidence that when Christian was first diagnosed with cancer both Chris and I felt very strongly about bone marrow donation. We held a bone marrow drive in hopes of getting 1000 people to sign up in Christian’s honor. We didn’t quite make it to 1000. Now it the time to take up the cause again. The best bone marrow donors are young males over the age of 17. It is hard to imagine that somebody would chose to not become a donor, that somebody would chose to not save a young child’s life.  If you don’t sign up, if you don’t take the time out of your day to donate blood or swab your cheek, this is what you are doing. Reading this back I know I sound quite harsh but there is nothing more harsh and desperate than pediatric cancer. Please choose to help somebody today. Click on the link below and agree to become a bone marrow donor. All you have to do is fill out an online form, swab your cheek with a kit they send to your home and then send it back in a postage paid envelope. That is it. The next time there is a blood donor clinic in your area please go and donate. Christian will be receiving many blood and platelet transfusions in the next three weeks. Without these donations he would die. Please help us buck the stigmas surrounding bone marrow and blood donations.

Tuesday morning we will be going to the hospital in hopes that Christian will be ready for his final treatment. If his physical exam goes well then we will begin his treatment on Wednesday. Thanks for your continued support and prayers.

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Beautiful spring day in the middle of winter
2.     Muscle soreness from amazing workouts
3.     Listening to Christian tell us he wins at swordfighting because, “I got the moves”