Tag Archives: Power of Prayer

And We’re Home (aka Going Out With a Bang!)

So, the last few days were not exactly what we had planned … but we’re home now and Emily is doing great -back to her normal, spunky self.

I’ll give a brief recap, just in case you’re lost as to what happened – perhaps because you haven’t read all the posts, have read the posts but didn’t understand them, read the posts and got completely confused with all the changing information, were taken by complete surprise because you didn’t even know she was having her port removed (sorry Gaby!), or you’re like me and you wait until you have all the information before you pay attention(!).

Thursday morning Emily and I checked in at the UC Davis Children’s Surgery Center  one last time so she could have her port removed. Now that she’s completed her treatment, and she’ll only need one lab draw a month (and possibly one IVIG transfusion a month), it’s best to take the port out to reduce the risk of an infection.

Waiting for surgery

Waiting for surgery

We passed the time visiting with all our beloved doctors and nurses while Emily colored on her sheets. We haven’t been to the surgery center since April, and we don’t expect to go back, so it was fun to see everyone and say goodbye. 

Heading to the Op Room!

Heading to the Op Room!

Dr. Abramson, the surgeon who initially placed her Broviac 2 1/2 years ago, performed the surgery to remove the port. All went well, and she was back in Recovery in just one hour.

sleeping anesthesia away

sleeping anesthesia away

As I waited for Emily to awaken, I looked around the Isolation Room and took it all in. We’ve spent many, many days here, and while I’m not sad to say goodbye, I did feel a bit nostalgic. I watched the colored lines and listened to the different beeps of her vitals being monitored, and I thought, “This is the last time she’ll be hooked up to a monitor, the last time she’ll rest in one of these beds.”  (Ha!)

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She was a bit groggy when she awoke, but she asked for potato chips, so she must not have felt too bad 😉

Her nurses gave her a special card and gift. She doesn’t look excited here, but she really loved it.

Once she had eaten and had a little drink, we said our final  tearful goodbyes and headed out. She couldn’t quite walk on her own, and my arms were full, so she got to be pushed out in one of the new carts (donated by our amazing friend, Kimberly Kaufman at Angels for Hearts).

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We headed straight to the Cancer Center for her monthly IVIG infusion. Our hope is that this was the last one. Now that she’s off treatment, it’s very likely that her body will begin to produce the missing antibodies on its own again, and she will no longer need this extra immunity boost.

All hooked up

Getting all hooked up

She’d had a peripheral line placed in her hand while she was under anesthesia, and she was very careful not to knock or jostle her hand. She just kind of held it out the whole time.

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Her transfusion took about 1 1/2 hours, and she was quiet and restful the whole time. She seemed to still be groggy from the anesthesia, so she watched a few movies and relaxed.

Just as her transfusion finished, only 5 grams of the antibodies, and the nurse was setting up her flush (saline to push the Ig all the way in and to clear the line), she started slouching down in her chair. Then all of a sudden she began shaking and crying out that she was cold. Thinking it was simply cold in the room, I sat in the chair and cuddled her in my lap. But her shaking became more and more violent -so much so that she folded herself into a fetal position and cried out that her back HURT! She kept saying, “I’m cold! I can’t do this!” And then I realized she was burning with fever. Her nurses responded instantly. They hooked her up to watch her vitals – her heart rate shot into the 170s, her blood pressure plummeted to 80/50, and her temp measured at 39.5, or 103.1 -they called in the oncologist team, and they pushed in a bolus of fluid (a fast running, large amount of saline to bring the blood pressure up).

At first everyone thought it might be an allergic reaction, but then one of her docs said, “We’ve seen this before,” and they started sepsis protocol (a typical IVIG reaction might not occur for three days). When the bolus didn’t help, they called 911. Within maybe five minutes of the initial symptoms, the paramedics were at our chair. The nurses all worked together to put in a new peripheral line so they could draw blood to culture -to grow and see if she had an infection. Then we were wheeled onto the ambulance and driven (all the way) across the street to the ER.

Once there she was given antibiotics, Tylenol to bring the fever down, and two more boluses were pushed within one hour. Thankfully this all had the effect they were hoping for. Her blood pressure came back into the normal range and her fever subsided -for the most part; we had to help the fever a bit with cold cloths, but it eventually came back down. She also had a chest xray and nasal swab. They wanted to check for any possible infection.

She was really tired and fell asleep quickly. There is no cell reception in the ER, so I sent out an SOS email, and everyone scrambled to make arrangements. Jason had to stay home with Sophia, who had a little bug (not related to Emily), so my mom and Aunt Gaby came to sit with me. She was definitely being admitted, but they hadn’t decided yet if she should go to the general Peds floor or if she needed to go to ICU. Her heart rate was still really high, and they needed it to come down.

Around 11:00 pm, she had another episode of fever and chills with elevated heart rate, but this time Tylenol fixed everything quickly, and it was decided she didn’t need the extra care from ICU and could go to the general Peds floor.

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Heading upstairs

As we waited in the ER, and then as we got settled into our room on Davis 7, some of our nurses stopped by to say hi. Of course no one wanted to see us in that condition, but it was still good to see them again.

Throughout the night Emily’s heart rate continued to drop back into the normal range again, and she didn’t have any more fevers or chills. By Friday morning she was already feeling better -tired and puny, but better. Her surgeons stopped in to check on her, then the Hem/Onc team came by to share their thoughts.

That’s when we first heard about the spot on her lungs and the possibility that it might be a fungal infection. But after 24 hours (Friday evening) of negative blood cultures, and no more symptoms, the thoughts switched back to an allergic reaction.

There really is no way to definitely know what the spot on her lungs is without invasive procedures, and those bring their own set of risks, including a greater risk of cancer development. So because the cultures remained negative (by Saturday night they were negative for 48 hours), she remained afebrile for at least 24 hours, all her vital signs returned to normal, and because the symptoms started right after receiving IVIG, which is allergenic, and she had had no signs of a fungal infection prior to Thursday (like a cough), her doctors were comfortable sending her home today. When we see Dr. Ducore in a couple weeks, we’ll discuss the possibility of doing another chest xray in a few months to check on that spot.

Emily was thrilled to head home. She wore jewelry, pajamas, and gladiator sandals -on the wrong feet -and carried her baby in matching pj’s, and walked out on her own two feet.

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Thank you all for your prayers, compassionate words, and meals! Maybe now we really are done with all of this …

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We’ve (finally) Reached The End of Treatment!!!!

Hip! Hip! Hooray! (cue Lego Movie theme music) “Everything is awesome!!”

Yesterday was Emily’s Last Day of Treatment!! She received her very last dose of chemotherapy last night! We shot a little video of the moment.

We were so excited about it that we forgot to give her something very special -her Purple Heart Bead of Courage. Modeled after the honor in the armed forces, the Beads of Courage Purple Heart is awarded to children who complete their treatment, exhibiting bravery throughout. She’s been holding onto this bead for the past two weeks, anxiously waiting for this moment!

So we’re done! Two and a half years – or 863 days – of chemo. Finished.
Praise God.

2 1/2 years of Beads!

2 1/2 years of Beads!

Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10

God has blessed Emily with abundant life and boundless energy! He surely knew what He was doing when He knit her together in my womb! The doctors and nurses knew from the very first day that she is a fighter, and she has proved over and over again that cancer can’t keep her down.  She amazes everyone with her spunk and spirit. She truly is a miracle.

Last week she attended a Play Camp while I attended a conference, and at the end her class performed a couple of songs they learned. The video below is about 7 minutes long -if you don’t have the time to watch the whole thing, just know that she never stopped bouncing 😀

This week she is attending VBS (Vacation Bible School) with her siblings at the church I grew up in. Her teacher last night, who was one of my Sunday School teachers years ago, was overwhelmed with her energy and life! Tonight she had the honor of carrying the Bible during the Opening Ceremony, and she was So. Excited! She is truly blessing the people around her who have spent the past 2 1/2 years praying for her.

Emily, the Bible Bearer, with Pastor Berry

Emily, the Bible Bearer, with Pastor Berry

Brother William carried the American flag next to her

Brother William carried the American flag next to her

Holding it high for the pledge!

Holding it high for the pledge!

I am just so thankful for the spirit of joy that God has blessed her with. No matter what her life holds, I know He is with her, caring for her and loving her.

Build-A-Bear for the Kids!

It's Build-A-bear Day!!

It’s Build-A-Bear Day!!

We made it happen!! Thank you all SO, SO, SO much!! When we posted two weeks ago here , asking for help to get our Build-A-Bear idea back on its feet, you came through big time! In less than 24 hours we were 2/3 of the way to our goal, and within a week we had exceeded it!

So today, Friday Feb. 7, 2014 Jason and the Children’s Miracle Network, together with the manager and workers of our local Roseville Build-A-Bear store, are in the UC Davis Children’s Hospital Playroom putting together bears with the patients! Jason is posting pictures to his Facebook page, so I’m borrowing them and posting them here as they come in (all children shown have signed a consent).

This date was picked because February is Heart Month at the hospital, and the focus is on congenital heart disease and heart health. The B-A-B staff have set up shop in the playroom, and some of the Pediatric Heart Surgeons and Med Team have joined them to sew up the hearts. So fun!

Build-A-Bear staff

Build-A-Bear staff

Joy waiting to be spread!

Joy waiting to be spread!

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Hearts ready to go through the Heart Ceremony and be sewn into each animal.

Surgeon statioon set up!

Surgeon station set up!

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Med Students helped sew the hearts in

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I think this is good practice!

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Tucking her heart in

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So many choices!

Going through the Heart Ceremony

Going through the Heart Ceremony

Making a wish and kissing their hearts

Making a wish and kissing their hearts

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Even the kids who couldn't make it to the playroom got to participate.

Even the kids who couldn’t make it to the playroom got to participate.

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News crews showed up.

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Jason and Trisha with the Build-A-Bear team

Headed upstairs to the PICU!

Headed upstairs to the PICU!

Jason said the day went better than hoped and everyone was so pleased. He also said there were more than a few tears throughout the day, mostly from the parents who were so appreciative of the gesture. He had the chance to explain how the idea came about and how the funds were raised, and many of the parents asked him to tell all of you thank you! They were so touched.

The last thing I have to share is a video (shared with permission) of one PICU family going through the Heart Ceremony for their son, Roman, who could not do it himself.

**Thank you all SO much for helping us make this happen! I think this is my absolute favorite thing we’ve been a part of since Emily’s diagnosis two years ago.**

An article featured on the UCD website: http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/welcome/features/2013-2014/02/20140214_children_bears.html

Update – Day 6 – Monday

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– Emily is doing much better today! Her blood pressures and vital signs have been good, she had chicken nuggets and catsup for lunch, then took a good nap and woke up with bubbles in her tummy – or so it seems! She had a great visit with Papa and Grandma/Larry and Rebecca before lunch and got to visit with Chrissie’s friend, Liz, after dinner. She has informed everyone about her wishes for Christmas – a pony, among other things – and told stories and laughed and giggled. It’s awesome to see Stitch again!

– Her blood cultures from yesterday are so far still negative, though they will continue to be watched, as it can take 48-72 hours for bacteria to grow. But the slow growth is good news, as it means the infection is at least lessening. The Infectious Disease doctors said it’s possible that the earlier, positive culture for Serratia was a false one, but she is definitely positive for Pseudomonas. The lab is continuing to test the earliest cultures to find exactly which antibiotic the bacteria is most sensitive -and therefore responsive -to. In the meantime, Emily will continue to receive the two broad-spectrum antibiotics that usually clear gram-negative bacteria.

– Her primary Oncologist, Dr. Ducore, advised that removing her Broviac catheter may be the logical decision at this point. He said that Pseudomonas is very hard to clear completely and that even if her cultures continue to come back negative, there’s a chance that a very small amount of bacteria could “hide” in her catheters and cause another episode of infection months down the road. Since she woke up seemingly fine last Wednesday and was in septic shock within a few hours, no one wants to take that chance. Chrissie and Jason agree with Dr. Ducore. So —- she is scheduled for surgery to remove the catheter – hopefully tomorrow. They are having to fit her into the surgery schedule so that means it could be as early as 8:00 am – or later in the day – or even the next day.

– After the Broviac is removed, Emily’s doctors will wait until all of the current infection is cleared out of her system and her body has healed from the surgery and will then discuss possibly inserting a new catheter. In the meantime, she’ll have some kind of IV line in one of her arms.

– For tonight, we are still in the PICU. She has now been downgraded to be able to go to the regular Peds floor so we are waiting for a room to open up. Seems like we’re always waiting for that! In the meantime, just keep praying. Your prayers are obviously helping her and supporting Chrissie and Jason. Thank you so very very much —-

To God Be the Glory

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Standing at Elk Grove Ford on Tuesday, July 2nd, watching friends and family arrive to join in the celebration of Christina having won a car (A CAR!!!), I was overwhelmed with emotion.

The new Car

The new Car

For 30 days, the community that surrounds the Love family rallied together, leveraging social media, and traditional communication through phone and word of mouth asking for support from fellow little-league families, business partners, coworkers, anyone and everyone that had an email address and was old enough to vote. Anytime I ran into someone the first thing they would say was “I’m telling everyone I know”. People had offered to help fix Chrissie’s car, people had donated their own when she needed to get around but when it became apparent that fixing her car wasn’t going to help, those same people began to pray.

On May 13th, our sister Danielle heard an announcement on a local radio station that a contest was being held, a Super Mom Contest, and the winner would receive $25,000 towards a new or used SUV of their choice from the Elk Grove Auto Mall. She emailed Mom (Grammie) and Mom sent me (Gaby) an email from the UC Davis Emergency room explaining in her usual hurried way: “this sounds awesome, I can’t do it, at ER with Emily…see next email”. The following email contained an x-ray of Emily’s broken leg. The emails had come around 2am Tuesday, May 14th and though awake due to a rare bout of insomnia, I was anxious to go back to sleep. Naturally curious, I went on the Auto Mall website to see what was needed to nominate Chrissie. It looked simple enough, upload a photo and give a brief description of why you think “said person” is a Super Mom. The contest didn’t start until May 16th so I decided that would be my cue to go back to sleep. Laying my head down, I started to think about my schedule for the week and realized that it wouldn’t happen if I didn’t do it right then. So to my husband’s dismay, I was up until about 4am writing and then chopping down what I had written to meet the word requirement for the nomination. I didn’t know what to expect from this contest, I was half asleep but inside of me was a stirring of hope. As I finally lay back down to sleep, I prayed that God would provide. One way or another that God would provide. To which He answered “I will”.

It took 24 hours for the Auto Mall to approve the nomination before it showed on their website. Within hours, requests for people to spread the word were all over Facebook. On Thursday, May 16th, the contest launched and it was awesome to see how quickly Christina’s votes took off. Social Media was on fire as were people’s phones and email accounts. For 30 days, people diligently logged in to submit their one vote per day. People I ran into had such joy about them, in that they were able to help in some small way. As the end of the contest grew closer, excitement was high as Christina was in the lead by a long shot. Questions started coming up as to what kind of car Chrissie wanted and had she and Jason looked at safety ratings? Were they concerned about gas mileage? Could they trade in the dead Van sitting in their driveway? Did they need help inspecting vehicles? In everyone’s minds, Christina was getting a new car when the contest ended June 7th. In the last few weeks of the contest I got brave and started reading some of the other mom’s stories. I then wished I hadn’t because some of them were going through struggles just as severe as my sisters family; horrible car accidents, children in wheelchairs, taking care of ailing parents, sacrificing a car so they can pay for their children’s college expenses, drowning under medical bills as they fight cancer, etc. I sobbed as I read some of their stories. I prayed that God would provide for all of them, that if Chrissie was to lose this contest to one of them, that he would prepare our hearts as there wasn’t a single mom who didn’t deserve such a blessing. We trusted that God had a plan and it broke my heart that this contest was one of Super Mom versus Super Mom.

As June 7th approached, anxiety increased as there was a mom who was neck-n-neck with Chrissie. My phone blew up that night and all day June 7th up until 11:59pm when voting closed. I don’t think anyone following the contest went to sleep early that night. All of the text messages and phone calls I received were people telling me, “I called my cousins, they are all logging in to vote”, “I’m at a party, I’m having people vote”, “I just called everyone in my phone to ask them to vote”, “My Grandma asked me to show her how to create an email account so she can vote”. The outpouring of love, teamwork and selflessness was overwhelming and at 11:59pm when the contest ended with Chrissie in 2nd place by 400 votes, I was stunned. Jason and I had been communicating back and forth all night and my last text to him was “God has a plan. He said He would provide”.

Talking to Chrissie over the weekend, she remained positive. The rules of the contest dictated that an Audit would be taken of the votes and the official winner announced Tuesday, June 11th. The audit was to make sure people were only voting from one email account. A few people had excitedly reported to us that they had voted with every email account they had to which we asked “did you read the rules?”. We would laugh as they were trying to help but we knew that through the audit, we would lose some votes. When June 11th came, it was announced that the winner would be announced June 17th as they needed more time to audit votes. Some members of the family still felt defeated but quickly everyone’s spirit turned, knowing that God had a plan and no matter what, He would provide. A sense of peace came over us as we waited out the next week.

At work on Monday the 17th, I turned my phone backwards so it wouldn’t distract me as once again, my phone was blowing up. People were anxious to hear if we had heard anything. After a late lunch, I noticed a text from my brother-n-law stating that he couldn’t take it anymore, what time did I think they would announce the winner? I responded that it could be as late as 6pm, when their business hours end. Not even 10 minutes later, an email came through from the Auto Mall, to Christina and me, announcing Christina as the winner. I squealed, ran to my coworker’s cubicle, telling her what I had just read as I dialed my brother-n-law. I asked Jason if he was driving and he said no and I said good cause I just got an email. He put me on speakerphone so his carpool group could hear. As I finished reading it, he screamed “have to call Chrissie” and hung up on me. I then called Mom and read it to her. She was sobbing, repeating what I was saying to my Dad and then she too hung up on me to call Chrissie. Once again, Facebook lit up as everyone spread the word that Chrissie had won the contest. That they were going to get a new car! I was sitting on the floor in my coworkers cubicle with three of my coworkers huddled in with me. I was shaking. They were teary eyed as they could hear Jason and whoever was in the car with him screaming and they could hear my mom crying. Christina called then to tell me she now knew. She was home with just the girls and though she had seen the email come through, had been too scared to open it by herself. We both squealed with excitement and celebrated together over the phone.

Christina had lost the contest and then won through what manner, we don’t really know. From that first prayer on May 14th, God made it known that He would provide. Our confidence, no, MY confidence wavered, but that didn’t change His plan. God has answered a seemingly impossible prayer in providing a car for the Loves, but that’s how He works sometimes, doing the impossible!

It's official, now they have keys!!

It’s official, now they have keys!!

Standing there on July 2nd, watching as Jennifer from Elk Grove Auto Mall presented Christina and Jason with the keys to their new Ford Flex, I thought, this is the product of a community of people who gave everything they had for 30 days, to help someone else.

As I was interviewed a couple times that night, the common question was “how (I) felt about winning Chrissie a car?” to which I responded “I didn’t, I just wrote the truth and everyone else did the rest”. I’m just one person. My votes by themselves did not/ could not win Christina a car. All of you reading this blog, YOU helped Chrissie win a car! As a community, WE won Christina Love a car!!! To which I say, TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

Back row from left: Tom Holleman (Bapa), Genie Holleman (Grammie), Jason Love, Christina Love, Rebecca Love (Grandma), Larry Love (Papa) From row from left: Emily Love, Adam Love, Sophia Love, William Love, Ethan Love.

Back row from left: Tom Holleman (Bapa), Genie Holleman (Grammie), Jason Love, Christina Love, Rebecca Love (Grandma), Larry Love (Papa)
From row from left: Emily Love, Adam Love, Sophia Love, William Love, Ethan Love.

The Loves with Cale Wood and Rachel Wood of Elk Grove Ford who went above and beyond with the final details of securing the 2013 Ford Flex.

The Loves with Cale Wood and Rachel Wood of Elk Grove Ford who went above and beyond with the final details of securing the 2013 Ford Flex.

For further information on the contest please visit the following sites:

Elk Grove Auto Mall: http://www.elkgroveautomall.com/

To Read Chrissie’s Story: http://www.suvforsupermom.com/

Elk Grove Patch Announcement of Contest Winner: http://elkgrove.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/elk-grove-super-mom-to-get-free-suv-tuesday

Elk Grove Patch Story on Car Presentation: http://elkgrove.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/elk-grove-mom-wins-free-suv-in-super-mom-contest

Goodbye Methotrexate!

Color with me!

Emily came home from her fourth and final round of high-dose Methotrexate today. Once again, she cleared the drug from her system in record time! The round of chemotherapy we were all the most worried about has turned out to be a bit of a breather.

In the midst of this 8-week interim Maintenance phase, we found out that Emily’s spinal fluid is clear of Leukemia cells and that she’s just a couple months away from her final [lengthy] treatment phase…and that ultimate goal: her treatment finish line!

In two weeks, Emily will begin her delayed intensification Maintenance phase – a two month treatment phase that will include three spinal taps and several weeks with nearly daily chemotherapy infusions. It will be a final intense push to eradicate the cancer from her blood before she sets in for two years of Maintenance to make sure the Leukemia never comes back.

Playing with her new Beads of Courage

Thank you for all of your prayers over these past two months. We have truly seen God answer those prayers by allowing the Methotrexate to eliminate cancer cells without causing Emily undue pain. After being so worried about the Methotrexate, we are thrilled to finally have it behind us. The Lord has truly walked Emily through this phase and we have no doubt He will continue to carry her through the last two phases of her treatment.

At the head of the class!

Group Hug!

For once Emily did something better than expected! In just 48 hours, Emily cleared the first dose of Methotrexate from her body and was released from the hospital earlier this morning!

The drug Methotrexate is so toxic, that once administered by IV, it is immediately followed with a rescue drug, called Leucovorin (essentially folic acid). The Leucovorin helps rescue healthy cells by preventing the Methotrexate from bonding to them and, paired with fluids, flushes the toxic drug out of Emily’s body. The faster it is cleared from the body, the better! Our little Stitch did so well that Nurse Nicole said we could quote her in saying she’d “never seen a patient clear so quickly!”

Getting her nails done at the hospital salon!

After so many setbacks and side-effects, it was a relief this week to have something go really well for a change. There is still a long road ahead, as this is just the first of four doses of Methotrexate that Emily will receive and we are told that it will become harder and harder for her body to clear the drug each time. In addition, the side-effects of the toxic drug won’t really begin to show until sometime next week.

All tucked in to watch Lassie!

For now though, we are pleased to share that Emily got through this first hospitalization with flying colors. She was happy and upbeat in the hospital and even handled being confined in her room with remarkable fortitude! Thank you for all the prayers, encouragement, and support given to Emily and the Loves this past week!

Emily will be home with her family for at least a week and if her counts stay high, she could go in for the second dose of Methotrexate on July 10th. Until then, join us in praying that Emily’s GI tract will be spared the nasty side-effects of this chemotherapy drug and she will stay healthy and strong in the days ahead. 

Welcome Home Emily!

After careful consideration of her health and a great deal of prayer from friends and family, Emily was discharged from the hospital late Sunday afternoon!

While the nurses helped Jason and Christina prepare for the discharge, getting medications from the pharmacy and learning how to clean and dress Emily’s Broviac line, Emily enjoyed a day of visitors with exciting time in the playroom.

Last bit of fun before going home

Emily’s appetite still has a long way to go before being considered normal, but she continued to consume more solid foods throughout Sunday and to have more regular bowel movements – two things the doctors have been watching for. Her blood counts are at the best levels we’ve seen since her admittance to the hospital eleven days ago. Those counts will continued to be monitored several times a week and transfusions given as needed. There will be a post soon about how you can support Emily and other blood and platelet receivers by donating in Emily’s name.

The doctors have said there is a high probability that Emily will have to be readmitted to the hospital more than once over the next 2 years. Leukemia weakens Emily’s immune system, making it harder for her to fight infections and also diminishes her blood’s clotting factor. Any high fevers or cuts that bleed are likely to lead to trips to the E.R. and possible return stays on the Pediatrics floor. Precautions will be taken at home to keep Emily healthy and strong and the family will need everyone’s help to prevent exposing Emily to illness that could complicate her progress toward health.

Bags are packed!

Unhooked & dressing for home

Caring for Emily at home will be a fulltime job, made more daunting by the fact that there won’t be a nurse or doctor just outside the door. The Loves have a color-coded schedule of all Emily’s appointments over the next two months (3 a week for the first month alone!) and a list of the times and amounts of each of her daily medications. These were added to the already monstrously large binder of information they have received from the doctors over the past week.

Nurse Heidi and her bow!

Emily was thrilled when the time finally came to have her last tube of fluids unhooked from her chest and to be able to put on “street” clothes once more. Her nurse, Heidi, who has been a tremendous support to Christina and Emily, even went in search of a pretty bow after it was discovered that all of Emily’s accessories had already gone home with Daddy!

Auntie Elisabeth drove Chrissie and Emily home, where Daddy, the boys and Sophia were waiting with big hugs!

Welcome home!

Thank you to everyone who has prayed, written cards, drawn pictures, visited the hospital, brought gifts, cooked meals, cleaned the house, watched the kids, met financial needs, and offered words of support and encouragement. It is hard to believe it has only been eleven days since we first received the news of Emily’s diagnosis. All of our lives have changed in that short time and will continue to change beyond anything we can imagine. Your continued support and prayers are greatly needed and appreciated as the Love family faces each new challenge ahead. God has his arms around Emily and her family and he is using each of you to show his love in this time of trial. 

God’s Hand

While it is hard to imagine that all of this is part of God’s plan for little Emily’s life, we do believe that God is using her journey to be a witness to the doctors, nurses, UCD employees, and even strangers who have heard about Emily’s illness.

We have already begun to see the amazing network God has in place to care for Emily – huge beyond our imagination!

While Emily was in surgery on Friday for her bone marrow biopsy, across town her cousin Terra was meeting a new neighbor. After some initial conversation, in which Terra shared briefly that her cousin was in the hospital, the neighbor shared that, at the request of her best friend, the neighbor has been praying for a 2-year old girl just diagnosed with Leukemia. As the two spoke, it became increasingly clear that both Terra and the neighbor were praying for the same little girl – our Emily! What a small world we live in that God would connect these two strangers over the love and prayers for one of His precious children!

Several doctors involved in Emily’s care are also friends of family members or otherwise connected to Emily. It is a blessing to know that those healing hands know how special she is to all of us and it is a comfort to the family to hear overwhelming news from the mouths of friends.