Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kate's New Blog

In an effort to keep family and friends up to date with Kate's progress and treatments, I have created a blog dedicated to her and her journey to a cure from leukemia. There is a link titled "Kate's Journey" on the margin and the web address is Thank you all for your kind words of support, your love and encouragement. They are most appreciated and needed. Please continue to keep her in your prayers!

Monday, April 23, 2007


Kate's bone marrow results came back this afternoon and she has been diagnosed with pre-B ALL. This is a subtype of leukemia. It is hard to believe that our sweet little girl that was running around giggling last week has luekemia this week!
Our med flight was approved by insurance and we are heading back to Atlanta tomorrow at noon. We will be transported directly to Egelston, the children's hospital in Atlanta. Kate's chemotherapy will begin on Wednesday we will take it day by day after that. Right now we are just trying to breathe...

Waiting and more waiting

Gratefully, Jason flew up on Saturday and is now with us in New Hampshire. He felt so much better once he saw his Kate and was able to hold her. I feel so much better to see him, to hug him and for us to be able to lighten the other's burden.
We were originally anticipating being discharged this morning but ran into a complication. Kate did perk up after the blood transfusions but she also developed a distended abdomen and fevers continued to spike to 104. For this reason our physicians felt that she would not be stable for commerical transport and wouldn't discharge us to go. Because Kate's white blood cell count is so low and she is exhibiting some signs of abdominal infection they were concerned about her being away from medical attention for 8 hours. So then a new plan was formed...
Here we are in the middle of the new plan. Kate is currently undergoing a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. After which she will immediately have a central IV line placed so that she won't get any more "pokes". That poor girl has already had to have 3 IV's placed and have 2 additional blood draws. Late last night her new 5 hour old IV infiltrated and swelled her little arm so much. It was heartbreaking to hear her beg me (again) not to let them give her "any more pokes". After we receive the bone marrow results this afternoon we will know what the diagnosis is and will be able to have a better idea of where to go from here.
Meanwhile, the transport team in Atlanta is fighting with our insurance company to try and approve a medical flight back to Atlanta tomorrow. We are praying that this will be approved and that we will be able to get back there quickly and safely. We are hopeful that this will happen. We are also praying that Kate's procedures will go well and that she will not experience much pain as a result.
We are touched and quite in awe at the outpouring of love and kindness that we have been shown by our families, friends, community and complete strangers. Now we can only pray that all of the prayers offered on Kate's behalf will be answered.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I am hoping that this will be a cathartic entry and that I'll be able to sleep afterward. Here I sit in Dartmouth hospital in New Hampshire at 4:30 in the morning with my dear sweet Kate. This was to be a long since overdue, "girls weekend" with my best friends Susan and Sarah but the day we arrived Kate became markedly more ill. Her pallor, fatigue and pain brought us to the ER where she was then transfered up to the pediatric clinic. They started an IV, began hydrating her and sent quite a few labs off. The CBC showed several very concerning abnormalities. Her white blood cell count was dangerously low rendering her incapable of fighting any illness and her red blood cell was so low that we were told she'd need several blood transfusions. The differential diagnosis for these gross abnormalities, we were told, was 1. Viral suppression of the bone marrow 2. Aplastic anemia (meaning the bone marrow is not producing any blood lines) 3. Leukemia (which means that cancer cell have taken up the space in the bone marrow where the developing blood cells need to be. After more bloodwork the hematologist/oncologist told us that she thought that ALL (leukemia) was most likely but we'd need a bone marrow biopsy to give a definitive diagnosis. Because we don't live here though, we need to get Kate stable enough to transport back to Atlanta so that we can be admitted to our children's hospital for the biopsy and treatment. Since our arrival Kate has had 2 transfusions, 3 rounds of antibiotics and fluids. After she received the transfusions she began perking up considerably and is not scaring me to death with her unresponsiveness.
We have been so grateful for the kindess that we have received thus far. Two church members that are residents came over and gave Kate a blessing. It was a wonderful blessing and did help to ease the pain of it all. Susan's husband, Chris, who is also a resident here was amazing in helping us navigate the system and getting us set up comfortably. Our sweet bishop called the heme/onc physician at Egleston hospital and had a transfer already arranged before we were even seen by our heme/onc specialist in Dartmouth. That took hours of negotiating and worry away. After I spoke with the specialist in Atlanta I knew what the plan would be and she worked with our specialist here to help make it happen. My best friends are meanwhile caring for Ava and checking in on me which was most desperately needed tonight. I seem to mostly be ok but have mini breakdowns when the reality and hurt suddenly wash over me.
Kate is really doing much better now. Her fevers are controlled, after a difficult attempt she has a 2nd IV in that is working and she is sleeping soundly. We just want her to get better quickly so that we can get home to Jason and Jackson. Please keep us in your prayers as we go through the next few days and try to get a definitive diagnosis.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Snuggle Bunnies

Ava has recently decided that she is too old to be left out of anything! We tried to put her to bed the other night while we read scriptures with the kids and had bedtime stories. Well, she continued to squawk from her crib until we finally gave up and brought her in to join the party. When we brought her into Kate's room with her big toothy grin she lept out of my arms, ran up to Kate's bed, climbed in and wiggled her way to the middle between Kate and Jackson. Then she pulled the covers up to her neck and giggled. Jason said it was so cute he had to grab the camera and take a few pictures. Ava definitely has us wrapped around her little finger!

Monday, April 16, 2007

My Challenge

"Go confidently in the direction or your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

Although I have everything that I want in life, a wonderful family, fulfilling and challenging career and fantastic group of friends I have recently felt some emptiness and couldn't quite explain why. I think that it is because inside I still believe that I am a fit 16 year old gymnast. Externally, however, I am a 32 year old mother of 3 who still has 10 pounds of pregnancy weight about her middle. Don't get me wrong, I love the part where I am a mother of 3. It is the getting older and more out of shape part that is not in sync with living the life that I imagine for myself.
So a few weeks ago I started toying with the idea of doing a triathalon. First step for me was to read a book about triathalons and see what they had to say. One night of reading and I was on board. I think that this was the kind of positive and exciting goal that I needed to help me feel motivated and break my routine. There is no reason that I can't become that fit, energetic woman who I imagine myself to be.
Just wanted you to know that I am so looking forward to this physical and mental challenge I have given myself. On May 5th I'll be competing with Jason in both of our first triathalons. I don't know if I am more excited for the event or the process in getting there. Thus far it has been just what I needed. Did I mention that I am pumped!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

How to Post a Comment Tutorial

Although I do not expect comments in response to any of my blogs, it is fun to hear your responses. That being said, my friend posted a blog on her site in response to several inquiries regarding how to leave a comment about a blog. I too have had those questions and thought it might be a good idea to let you know how to post a comment on blogger.
1. You can leave a comment on each post. At the end of each post there is a number (0,1,2,3 etc) in front of the word 'comment' at the bottom of the text.
2. Scroll over the word 'comment' and it will highlight.
3. Then click the on the word 'comment'.
4. In the box labeled 'Leave Your Comment', type your message.
5. Below that box are three choices Google/Blogger, Anonymous and Other. If you do not have a blogger account click on 'Other'.
6. When you click on 'Other' a box titled 'name' will pop up below. Type your name in this box.
7. Below the name box is a box titled 'Your Web Page'. If you have one, type it here. Otherwise, leave it blank.
8. Finally, click on the box titled "Publish Your Comment".

That's it! Your comment should pop up just after publishing. When you click on the word comment afterward you can see comments that other people left as well.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Break

What a great week we have had! Jackson and Kate had spring break and we took the opportunity to spend the week hanging around town and doing those fun things that we don't get to do when school is in session. On Monday we went to the zoo with the Andersons and loved every minute of it. Tuesday Jason stayed home, Kate went to play at a friend Olivia's house and Jackson and Jason made a model airplane. Wednesday Jackson went with his good bud, Caleb, to the Fernbank museum and Kate and I got to exercise and hang out together. Thursday we tried to go to Six Flags for free admission sponsored by a radio station. Were we surprised when en route, at 6 am, we heard on the radio that they had already reached their capacity of 15K people! A disappointed crew of Caleb, Jackson, Kate, Carter and I turned around and headed to Dunkin Donuts. We made a new plan and instead went to Monkey Joe's and spent hours jumping on inflatable toys and running around. Friday we spent time riding bikes and playing outdoors. Saturday was a fun filled day of dying easter eggs and hunting for eggs at the Stowell's egg hunt. Phew, makes me tired thinking about all of that fun...boy do we need a vacation from all of the fun! :) We have loved spending so much time together as a family and are anxiously anticipating summer!

Easter Sunday

Jackson gave a wonderful talk today on the Easter story and specifically on how Jesus came into the world to do the will of Heavenly Father. He did a great job and it was neat to watch the primary listening so quietly to him. I taught Sharing Time and also spoke about how Jesus Christ came into the world to do the will of the Father. We memorized D&C 19:24 "I am Jesus Christ. I came by the will of the Father and I do his will". We talked about how it was Jesus's mission to do the will of the Father and it is our mission to follow Heavenly Father's commandments. I felt teary nearly all day as I have been thinking about the Savior and His sacrifice for us. How truly blessed we are to know what we know, that He is our redeemer and that we can live again!
When we came home we found that the easter bunny had hidden the baskets and our eggs in the back yard. The kids had a great time finding them and we tried to get some cute pictures but Ava wasn't having the photo shoot. This was the best that we could do...

Easter Weekend 5K

The PA program at Emory sponsors an Easter weekend 5K every year to support the Good Samaritan clinic in Atlanta. We took advantage of this opportunity to get some exercise and support a good cause. As you will notice from our attire this was an unseasonably cold weekend though! At 19 degrees we were shivering in our thin fleece jackets!
Jackson has been more interested in running since he saw me run the half marathon and has wanted to run a race. They had a kids 1 mile fun run before the 5K so Jackson jumped at the chance to run in his "own race". We were a little nervous for him and tried to talk to him about pacing himself. He told us that he didn't need to though because he could run fast. Turns out that he can run fast and that Jason, who was running along side Jackson, had to keep asking Jackson if he was tired and needed to slow down. (hee-hee) Jackson finished 3rd with a time of 7 min 15 sec and was pretty proud of himself.
I ran the 5K with our friends Nate and Allison Anderson and Jason was stuck with babysitting duty during this race. Next race he'll be a runner too though. We had a great time and are looking forward to another opportunity to run.