On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Little Air Bear!

Wow, what a big day.  A big day for tears.  Seriously, I must have been holding them in for a few weeks and then of course, while I'm singing "I Believe In Christ" for the opening hymn in Sacrament Meeting I would start out into that kind of uncontrollable kind of sobbing.  In public.  How many times has that happened in my life?  Once.  Today. 

I was so very thankful to be sitting near Julie Duersch who supplies the ward with tissues whenever someone starts to cry.  Dear Julie: Thank you!  Maybe this should be your next calling - Ward Tissue Supplier.

So, there were lots of reasons for the tears since they've been building up and have been ready to burst for days now.  I just feel so sad sometimes about my little air bear and all that she has to go through.  I also feel sad for myself because it's sometimes difficult for me.  I am tired of taking care of IV tubes, a cellulitis sore that won't heal, giving her a bath so that the cellulitis can sort of heal but at the same time not wanting to give her a bath because it's such a process.  I don't enjoy having to put the aquaguard (water repellent plastic covering) on over her dressing so her line doesn't get wet and then pulling it off after her bath.  She has sensitive skin like me and her skin is so raw where we've had to pull off the tape over and over again.  These were just some of the things that make me cry. 

Then, there were the beautiful hymns we sang and the songs that the primary kids sang in the primary program today.  Everything centered on our Savior Jesus Christ.  As we have been going through this trial I have found that scriptures that refer to His Atonement jump out at me.  I weep at the thought of the pain and agony He felt.  It hurts me inside to think about it.  It is also so comforting at the same time.  It's comforting to know that He has felt the pains that Erin is going through.  I wouldn't wish these pains on anyone.  Yet, He willingly felt them for us!  He has felt the pain of cancer and He has felt the pain a mother feels as she watches her little child fight cancer.  The Atonement is beautiful!  It is an amazing wonderful gift.

Our children have enjoyed saying their primary program parts for us for family home evenings for the past few Monday nights.  We had them stand on a chair and use our vacuum handle as a microphone.  The kids took turns saying their parts over and over as they all practiced not eating the microphone - you know, like spitting into it to say their parts.  Cecily's was, "The Holy Ghost makes me feel warm inside when I read the scriptures with my family."  Caleb's was, "I will be safe if I follow the Prophet."  And, we gave a part to Erin to practice since she was a part of our family home evening this week, she said, "I am a child of God."

Erin and I are off to Primary Children's tomorrow morning.  We have to be to the Oncology Clinic by 8:30am.  I spoke with our Primary Oncologist, Dr. Katoua, today and it was so comforting that he was the doctor on-call.  The first thing he said to me was, "how is our little baby Erin doing?"  We have the best care there at Primary Children's.  We will meet with Dr. Verma (another of our favorite Oncologists) tomorrow morning to look at her cellulitis.  There will also be a Surgeon available to check it out in the case that it will need to be poked and drained.  Ugh.  I just kept wishing that it would just heal on its own.  I sort of expected a big miracle.  Miracles happen, I do believe this.  But, for some reason we have to go through this whole process.  I am learning more about myself as we go along for the ride.

The healing of Erin's cellulitis will push our last round of chemotherapy back so I'm not sure when we'll actually start that.  I know that they don't like to put it off for more than a month between chemo rounds.  I am thankful that her blood work is showing no signs of leukemia cells growing.  I am thankful that my beautiful little girl is with us.  She really is beautiful, inside and out.  She has the most amazing spirit.  I love you little air bear!


  1. Sorry to hear that the cellulitis hasn't healed. I can really relate to your experience at church today and sobbing during the opening hymn! I've learned to take kleenex to church since it's becoming a habit... Jill, you are an amazing mom and friend! This journey is not an easy one, and I keep praying to learn what is we are supposed to learn during all this. Just know that you are not alone. We are praying for Erin and your family every day and so are many others. Hope all goes well at Primary's tomorrow. We'll be at clinic on Tuesday a.m. and then Rachel will be admitted on Wednesday to begin her radiation and chemo before her bone marrow transplant on November 3rd. Sounds like we might see you there....sometime during the next month! Love you guys!


  2. i'm sorry to hear that the cellulitis has gotten bad again! we are praying for Erin and your family. i hope all goes well at primary's!

    that is so sweet how dr. katoua asked about erin. you really are in great hands at primary's!

    you guys are an amazing family. know that lots of people are praying for you - hang in there!

  3. i forgot something else i wanted to say. :)

    i was nodding my head throughout a lot of this post. i feel you. i totally feel the same way about things like bath time - i know its imperative to do, but its such a headache sometimes when you have to deal with aquaguards, etc. and i put it off. i'm glad to hear i'm not the only one who feels this way sometimes. i can definitely imagine that you guys are just plain tired! hopefully it won't be too much longer now!

  4. i thought yesterday's primary program was incredibly sweet as well, and it always touches my heart deeply at the warm welcome i get whenever i show up at hillcrest 1st with the parkers. i did notice you dabbing your eyes a bit when bishop shirk spoke at the end about erin. janiel told me c and c are with her today, that must mean you are at primary. i pray that you are already on your way home as i write this.

  5. Jill and John,
    Thank you for sharing your tender emotions and feelings with all of us! You may not know how much we have all been learning as we go through this with you. We love your family so much and pray that we can be there when you need us. I hope you know that I see a radiance about you that tells me there are angels with you too. Erin definitely has them with her and I know you have angels there to buoy you up. I hope we can somehow help as well! You are in our hearts and prayers! Thank you for sharing your tender feelings in this blog! We love you! Cecily and Jacob, You did a fabulous job on your parts in the program! I was so proud of you! You are awesome!

  6. I have totally been there! I mean- broken down in sacrament meeting (especially the primary program)! We are praying for that darn cellulitis goes away (with as little pain as possible). I am so sorry you are dealing with this set back. I am thinking of you and that sweet Erin often. You're doing such a great job and its all going to pay off soon! Hang in there. XOXOX