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.
Last night, the Senate passed the Creating Hope Act as part of the final FDA Reauthorization Act (S3187), the same piece of legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives last week. The next step is for President Obama to sign the legislation into law!
This is a historic moment for the children's cancer community as this legislation directly impacts the development of new drugs for children with cancer and other life life-threatening diseases.
We express our gratitude to Members of Congress and their staff for their vision and support for this important legislation, and to you - the members of the children's cancer community - whose multi-year advocacy efforts ensured passage of the Creating Hope Act.
I took Erin to our local lab for this CBC on Tuesday and then on Monday we had her appointment with her Pediatrician. She was dancing around the lab before the poke singing, "I'm gonna get a prize, I'm gonna get a prize."
Erin is the bravest 4 year old! I didn't have to hold her down or restrain her, she just held her arm out for the phelobotomist. She had a few tears fall from her eyes, but she never once cried out in pain. I am continually amazed at her strength at all she understands and does. She is my hero and I'm so proud of her.
Her blood work looks great!
The funniest thing about this lab draw is that I forgot to do it on Monday. I did it on Tuesday and then I forgot to get the results from the records office. Primary Children's never called with the results and by the next morning the thought finally came that I hadn't heard what Erin's CBC results were. I assumed that since I hadn't heard anything, she was still doing great in remission!
Two years ago I NEVER thought I'd be this relaxed about cancer! I am finally feeling like this isn't a part of our lives anymore and it's a great place to be!
I should also update that we are moving from our beloved valley. My husband got a new job and we'll be moving 2 hours South. This also might be why I'm not thinking about cancer because I have loads of other things on my mind.
HopeKids provides activities to families who have a child with life threatening diseases. They have given us much hope and provided smiles and enjoyment when times were really tough. Please consider donating and helping to keep these activities alive!
This month marks our 18 months of being cancer free!
Erin has her 18 month follow-up visit at the end of the month with her Pediatrician and our local lab because we got another special extension from our Oncology department at Primary Children's to do the visit here. We'll do her 21 month follow-up at Primary Children's in September.
I still get antsy thinking about her cancer coming back, especially because we've lost so many friends with AML. Our little 5 year old friend Sean passed away 3 days ago and it's just not fair how some make it and some don't. Erin's been sick, the usual, a cold or cough and she's been complaining of leg aches. Thankfully we got all the yeast infections (that kept coming back) taken care of 3 weeks ago...that was not fun at all...fingers crossed that they stay away for good! It all probably boils down to just some growing pains and her beat up immune system that catches everything, but the thoughts of cancer lurk in the back of my mind.
She's doing really good otherwise! She's does everything she can to keep up with her big brother and sister. When we go anywhere she nearly outruns them, she is quite the fast runner on her short chicken legs. When we go for walks in our neighborhood she always runs the last block to beat us all home. She is a fighter and she is determined to win everything that she does. She's been intrigued with reading and has started the reading books her siblings also did before kindergarten and it's been a blessing to see how quick her mind picks things up - I worried so much that the chemo would leave long lasting learning issues. She is still in love with princesses and wakes up nearly every morning telling me that she dreamed about Disneyworld and visiting the princesses. Her make-a-wish experience has forever changed her and I am so thankful for how that trip has created the most amazing memories that she'll never forget.
We are so grateful for every day that we spend with Erin. Sometimes I look at her and think of the blessings that kept her life going during the hardest times. She is a little miracle.
On another note: I wrote up a little blip on our Utah Moms With Cancer Fighting Cuties blog about how many moms in Utah received the news that their child had cancer. Some of us found out in the most crazy situations...like getting a phone call in the middle of a movie at the theater, getting the call while driving down the street and like me, in the checkout line at Walmart. It makes you think about what someone is talking about when you see them on their cell phone in a public place....they could be getting the bad news as you wait impatiently behind them. It makes me think about how we should always be Christ-like in every situation when dealing with someone on a cell phone.
June 1st will forever remain in my heart as a very difficult day. Two years ago today we were told that our 23 month old Erin's blood test showed abnormal cancer cells and that she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
There is a very vivid slow motion movie in my mind of the first few hours of Erin's diagnosis, I almost wish I could show that to you so you could completely understand what it's like.
We took Erin's cancer on with brave faces and bits of humor (when we could find some), but I would never wish anyone to have to go through cancer with their child. We had hearts full of faith and hope and we relied heavily on the atonement of our Savior to get us through. It is an experience I would never want to repeat. We are so grateful to have it behind us, and we rejoice every day that we get further from it.
Erin has been in remission for about 18 months, we can truly breathe easily when she hits that 5 year complete remission mark when her chance of getting AML again is pretty much nil.
We have been fundraising for our CureSearch walk comping up at the end of the summer. Very humbly we'd like to announce that right now our team is leading the entire state in fundraising! Did you just see me do a jump kick?