We’ve been super busy this season (I’ve said that before!), and I haven’t posted some important events.

First Time Swimming!

Back in March, we headed down to Southern California to spend a weekend with Jason’s best friend and his wife. It was already Summer there, so we spent plenty of time in the pool. Even Emily. For the first time in nearly three years. You can imagine how excited she was! But even more excited, were her brothers and sister, who have been waiting for this moment since her Broviac was placed 2 1/2 years ago.  Pictures will share more than words can.

First we picked out the perfect swimsuit.

First we picked out the perfect swimsuit.


She had plenty of well-wishers!

She had plenty of well-wishers!




End of Treatment!!

Second, Emily only has 37 days of treatment left! She’ll take her last dose of chemo on Thursday, June 26th! I’m typing with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I think about how close that is. February 8, 2012 seems so very long ago, and we are all overjoyed to be this close to the end! We are planning a huge celebration mid-July (we’re aiming for Saturday afternoon, July 19th), and everyone is invited! It will be open-house style with appetizers, fun for the kids, and hopefully full of everyone who has supported us and traveled this journey with us. I’m working on having the Blood Center mobile bus on site so we can host a blood drive (remember how many transfusions Emily had the first year?) and a booth set up to register bone marrow donors. The only missing detail at this point is a location … that’s been more difficult to secure than I anticipated. But we’ll keep you updated and send out an invite once it’s set!

Last Lumbar Puncture!

Third, seeing as how we’re so close to the end, Emily has already celebrated one huge milestone -her last spinal tap with chemo! Tuesday, April 15th was the last time Emily had to undergo a spinal tap and receive chemotherapy into her spinal fluid. She and I were thrilled to celebrate her last LP (lumbar puncture) and brought gifts to the Children’s Surgery Center nurses who have treated and cared for her for the past 2 1/2 years. I had a difficult time deciding what to bring them. How do you ever say thank you to the people who have helped save your child’s life?  We finally decided on buckets of candies with a “Nurses Survival Kit” tag, a photo of Emily with a thank you note, and a poster we printed that says, “You’ve never really lived until you’ve done something for someone who can never repay you.” These pictures are from that day. I’m a terrible photographer, please forgive the out-of-focus/blurry shots!

Our two cheerful receptionists, who got their own bucket to keep up front :)

Our two cheerful receptionists, who got their own bucket to keep up front 🙂

In Isolation, getting ready

In Isolation, getting ready (we’re typically in that room off to the right of the photo, because of Emily’s MRSA, but today that room was already taken, so she was blocked off in one of the partitions.) Anyone who comes in has to gown up, including me.

Accessing her port

Accessing her port

Dannika, one of our favorite nurses

Dannika, one of our favorite nurses

another favorite (who am I kidding, they're all favorites!)

another favorite (who am I kidding, they’re all favorites!)

Passing the time with finger painting with Child Life Specialist, Ginger

Passing the time finger painting with Child Life Specialist, Ginger

In the OR, ready for the procedure.

In the OR, ready for the procedure.

And she's done! De-accessing her port so we can go home (or, rather, to the Infusion Room for more chemo).

And she’s done! De-accessing her port so we can go home!

Emily handles these like a champ, walking out on her own.

Emily handles these like a champ, walking out on her own.

The Nurses Survival Kit tag we put in the candy buckets

The Nurses Survival Kit tag we put in the candy buckets



 4th Birthday!

Last, another celebration was Emily’s 4th Birthday! We already shared how she spent her morning at the State Assembly, but after that, we headed to the Cancer Center for an IVIG transfusion. We love her nurses. Absolutely, positively, more-than-words-could-ever-express love them. They treat Emily as if she were their own and make this journey so much easier and more delightful for us all (the photo halfway down is of her sitting in front of a “vanity” her nurses set up for her when she had to go to the Infusion Room unexpectedly). So, of course, they went above and beyond to make her birthday special when she went in that day.

bubbles while they wait

Nurses Dena, Becca, Fancy Nancy, Doreen, and Mary

Nurses Dena, Becca, (Fancy) Nancy, Doreen, and Mary

They decked out her chair! You can’t see everything in this photo, but they gave her a princess pillow case, princess tea set, stuffed animals, princess stickers, a goody bag of snacks for the day, and even had the DVD player set up with Frozen already queued. They also taped up a special sign above her chair. IMG_20140501_143644864


She squealed with delight when she saw everything. Maybe at eight or ten years old, spending her birthday in the Infusion Room wouldn’t have been so cool, but at four, being pampered by some of her favorite people was perfect.

Last, another of our favorites 🙂 Nurse Tina. She wasn’t there for Emily’s birthday, so we had to snag these photos last week.

IMG_20140512_135436126 IMG_20140512_135447115 IMG_20140512_135430755


2 responses to “Celebrations!

  1. YAY! This is the best post EVER. I can’t stop crying. I am so thankful. So, So, thankful. There aren’t even words. The last 2 years has brought out the best in hundreds of people through meal trains, childcare, grocery deliveries, anonymous donations to cover rent when Jason lost his job right before Emily was diagnosed, the insane rally around helping the Love’s win a car, rotations of family and friends through the hospital to keep Chrissie sane, the nurses who have become family, the prayer groups, my co-workers who kept a close eye on me when Emily was first diagnosed, filling in for me when the emotions would surge and who brought me packed lunches because they knew I was on troubleshoot mode and would forget to eat. There are so many people who surrounded our family with love and support and all that be said is “thank you”. It feels so inadequate. God truly has shown Himself through everyone. Not a single one of us is the same as we were. Everyone, even if never having met Emily, but following her journey as you heard of her through a friend or because you Googled childhood ALL, has been affected by this sweet, booger of a child. I can’t wait for the last Chemo treatment and even more, for her spunky, Stitch self to return full steam. The years of chemo has run her down a bit and I ache for the day when Emily isn’t hurting. I am thankful though for every precious moment with her and once again, for all of you. We love you all!

  2. So very special, Chrissie. I continue to be amazed at how all of you have handled this incredible challenge. Bless you.

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