Saturday, December 5, 2009

hello out there . .

The Wingards are out and about in the world
Concrete dinosaurs are so fun, and so anc-friendly. Every town needs one.

Am I scared or cold?

Driving through Hartwood Acres Celebration of Lights. It was a HUGE hit with the kids. We'll definitely be back.

Hello again, faithful friends. Thanks for following the blog, and for continuing to keep us in your prayers. I apologize for not posting for such a long time. After taking a few breaks from the blog, I decided it was good for me to have some time away from the processing that's necessary to update here, and to write about our life. When life is busy with the activities of caring for two young children, I am often able to keep cancer out of my mind. Blogging requires an acknowledgment of the situation that is good, but can be difficult to do over and over. I don't ever go very long without thinking about Maren's leukemia and the accompanying "what-ifs" (maybe 4-5 hours, longer if I'm sleeping), but recently I have felt better about keeping that thought process to a minimum. I will continue to post, and I think it may take some time to get back to posting regularly, but I do want to do it. I love that so many people care enough to stay updated, and watch my little girl get stronger every day. And I owe you a huge thanks for all the prayers during Maren's Delayed Intensification. We actually did make it through with zero ER visits. Yay. Maren is now about 1/2 of the way through Interim Maintenance II, and about 4 weeks away from starting Long Term Mainentance. Complete isolation is no longer necessary, although we are still being extremely cautious. I'll post some pictures of a few recent activities and outings below. Um, or as google blogger may have it, above. love you all - emily

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Love, Turtle Boy and Miss Fairy PrincessPosted by Picasa

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're still here, I promise

Sorry for not posting! I didn't realize it had been 5 days until a friend texted me yesterday. We are at home. Maren looks awesome. According to her labs she is likely past rock bottom - still neutropenic, and low enough hemoglobin to warrant a transfusion if she starts to appear symptomatic, but we think things are on the upswing! Yay! We're still on isolation because of her vulnerability to infection, but we only have 1 more week to go! It should be an easier week for me, and fun for the kids because my mom will be staying with us. She suffered through a week of isolation at a hotel before we picked her up on Saturday. The kids and I enjoyed picking up her coffee at the drive through Starbucks and dropping it off every morning. So I guess we're finding ways to stay busy.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

13 more days to go, still hanging in there

Still doing well. We're at home - and very happy about that. Maren is going strong, she almost doesn't even look sick. She's just slightly pale, and she "spilled her hiccups" in the wee hours of the morning and then again this evening, but she is giving it everything she has. I just hope it's the chemo making her sick to her stomach and not some icky virus. Please pray that she continues to be happy and strong. Thank you!

Oh yeah, about the video, Google blogger was trying to upload it for 2 hours with no success. I'll keep trying.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another good day.

No hospitals. no rashes. no fevers. nada. A very good day.

I was going to celebrate by posting a cute video montage, but after a few hours of working on it(i'm new at this stuff) I clicked on the wrong button. So I have high hopes to get it up tomorrow night. Maybe I found another good isolation hobby =).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delayed Intensification Day 40/56

Maren still looks wonderful. She had her last dose of Ara-C on Friday, and her port was removed without incident. The oncology labs ran the bloodwork, and her ANC decreased from 1200 to 400 in just 4 days. That's a pretty dramatic decline, and we expect her numbers to bottom out sometime around next Friday. Her red blood cells and platelets were a little low too, so we'll keep an eye out for indications that needs to go in to clinic for a tranfusion. That said, I promise she looks awesome, she's running around and playing and just being 2. Praise the Lord. She'll get 6TG tonight and tomorrow and then she's done with the meds for this phase. Hooray. I'll keep you updated on her progress this week. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the prayers. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grape Capers - continued

In reverse order, because who doesn't like skipping ahead to the end once in a while?
P.S. - If your names are not Grandma, Grandad, Deda, or Baba you may not entirely appreciate the multitude of pictures of the kids from every angle. But then again, they are pretty cute.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Delayed Intensification, Day something

We just keep on keepin' on here. Maren looks good - so good that it makes very nervous to even say it. I can tell there are times when she's not feeling her best, and she just wants to be held, but she is a trooper. We get two more visits from the home nurse, and then finish out the 6TG on by Monday night. After that we just wait through the drop in counts and pray that she stays healthy. Thanks for checking up on Maren and for continuing to pray.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Delayed Intensification , Day 34/56

Tomorrow at 10:30 Maren has her final clinic appointment of this phase. She'll get Ara-C through her port and leave with it accessed for the home nurse to come Wed, Thurs, and Fri, of this week. She'll also take her 6TG at night for one more week. When that is finished next Tuesday, we'll be on isolation for another week/10days?, because her counts are expected to be at the lowest point sometime between this weekend and the following weekend. She looks great right now. I really hope she can get through these next few weeks feeling as well as she does today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My brother got married! And we went to the wedding . . . at home!

Complete with fancy clothes,



A Candy Train (see "official wedding favors" below)


Official wedding favors sent from a thoughtful bride and groom,

(Elijah is especially thankful for the favors)
And a special message from Baba
and Deda

Congratulations Aaron and Justine! The wedding was beautiful. Justine was a gorgeous bride. Aaron was looking pretty sharp too. We missed you, and we love you.
A special thanks to Paul and Barbara Mouw, Eric and Heather Jenkinson, my parents and to my brother Noah for managing the whole video transfer, and to my sister-in-law Becky who, no doubt, managed three kiddos while they did it =).