Sunday, May 31, 2009

Maren's family weekend & return to hospital

The Wingard family had a fantastic time at home together! Emily's mom is out visiting and helping, and they all had a great time playing, laughing, and enjoying the sunshine! Emily really had fun pulling the kids around in the wagon. It felt so good to be home as a family after all their time in the hospital lately! Circumstances like these really make every moment at home as a family so meaningful and important. The simple times are a treasure!
Elijah loved the family time too! These two are such cuties!
Maren was even spoiled with a new bike just her size and color!!
Unfortunately, Maren was admitted to the hospital again tonight. She has a fever and her blood counts showed very little ANC(neutrophils) to fight infection; her platelets were also very low. Due to this she cannot get her needed chemo and it wasn't given to her last week either because she was so sick. It really isn't a good thing to wait long for chemo treatments. Maren also has some cellulitis near the port in her chest they surgically implanted to inject the chemo treaments. Cellulitis is an infection under the skin usually caused by staph.  

After such a great weekend, it almost started to feel like Maren wasn't sick. Then, they were snapped back into reality today. Emily was sad to end the time at home and head back to the hospital. Sharon is home with Elijah now, while Emily and Jeremy are staying with Maren at the hospital. 

Maren is starting to breathe hard a lot lately due to the weight she put on from the steroids and chemo; this is very hard on her little body. She is still not walking too much either. 

Please-Please-Please Pray for Maren and her family as they struggle in their battle against leukemia!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sweetness



Maren is doing better this week. Her glucose levels are down and she is being tapered off the steroids for now. She has smiled a bit more and is taking some more steps!! She is home now and they are hoping to stay home until she returns for more chemo on Tuesday!

Emily and Jeremy are the best parents; they are a strong, unstoppable force!

Elijah is an amazing big brother too!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Few Tidbits

So, I (Alison) honestly haven't heard much lately about what's going on with Maren as they are pretty busy these past few days.

I do know they did not do the special procedure of fine combing the bone marrow for hidden leukemia cells. The doctors spent time talking with Emily and Jeremy and they both feel good about not doing it. The extra chemo could be really hard on her body too.

I did hear this morning that Maren does have another fever. I'm sure if it lasts too long or gets too high, they will have to go back to the hospital. So, please pray for her!

Sharon, Emily's mom and my aunt, is flying out there today to stay for awhile to help out. Please pray for her to have safe travels!

Also...Noah, Emily's brother, and his wife Becky gave birth to a healthy baby girl yesterday afternoon. Once they broke Becky's water, baby made her appearance an hour later!! Her name has not been revealed yet and we are anxious to find it out! So, Maren now has a new baby girl cousin to add to the family! Congrats!!!

Emily is hoping to write a post here soon if things ever slow down for them! For now, please know how much they feel your love and prayers and are so so thankful!!

Thanks!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bone Marrow Biopsy

Maren is at the hospital this morning for another bone marrow biopsy. This time, however, Emily and Jeremy are hoping they can get the doctors to do a special procedure during the biopsy that they usually only do during the very first biopsy. A special study has been paying for patient's bone marrow to be "fine combed" to look for hidden leukemia cells in the bone marrow. The find the hidden cells and do extra chemo and this procedure brings a patient's blast cells unbelievably low and decreases the chances greatly of leukemia returning. Maren was too sick during her first bone marrow biopsy to have this done and they usually won't do it anymore because the study doesn't pay for it after this. Emily and Jeremy are hoping and praying the doctors will do it if they pay for the procedure. Please pray for them as they speak with the docs and try to do what they feel is best for Maren. Thanks!!

Cute Pics

Here are some cute pics of Maren and family when she got to go home recently:






Sunday, May 24, 2009

Checked out...

Maren headed home today!!! Yeah!!!

She goes back Tues. for another bone marrow biopsy to see how the cancer & chemo is doing. 


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lil' update

Good News...

Maren happily played with Play-Doh this morning; she hasn't wanted to play with anything all week. 

Her Diaper Rash/Wound is starting to look better too. So, she might get to go home tomorrow!!

However, her glucose levels are still high and not yet under control. 

Please Continue to pray! Thanks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Miss Maren

Here is a new picture of Maren today in the hospital. She isn't smiling much these days, so Emily was happy to catch a big grin. What a precious and cute smile too!

Her body is really taking a toll from everything. She is really sore and swollen from the steroids and other meds she is taking. According to my aunt, she hasn't actually walked on her own in about two weeks as she is really sore and swollen. The doctors also don't want any diapers on her now as her diaper rash/wound is extremely severe. Jeremy bought Maren her own dvd player to watch movies right in her bed right up close. It made her really happy as she really loves Strawberry Shortcake!

Some possible good news: The doctors think Maren's body may have made its own platelets as their percentage went up today on their own. This would be a great sign for her body, so please pray for her blood to start making more of the good stuff!

They are really busy in the hospital right now and barely have a chance to call anyone, but they really want to express their thanks and gratitude for everyone's prayers and love! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please Continue to Pray...

Little Miss Maren is still in the hospital and dealing with a multiple of painful and annoying results from the chemo. Her little body is having a hard time with everything. It seems like if it's not one thing, it's another! She is on morphine for pain, but even the morphine is having side effects. Maren is tired, sick, and in pain. Her tiny body needs God's powerful, healing touch!

Of course, we are all extremely grateful for her bone marrow biopsy results, but her little body is taking a beating from the chemo and blasting of her blood cells. She will have another biopsy on Tuesday to see where she stands again. 

Emily is staying at the hospital with her and is very tired as well. Please pray for God to continue to give her strength and energy as she lovingly supports her little girl night and day. 

Also, please pray for Elijah as he is home again without Maren and mommy. Pray for him to sense God's love and to be comforted away from them. Also, pray for Jeremy as he is still busy with working and traveling from Maren and Emily to Elijah. 

All around, they really still need our prayers and love! 

Thanks for all your continued support, thoughts, love and prayers as well as the gifts being sent to the Wingards. It is all appreciated beyond words!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maren still in hospital

Maren is still pretty sick in the hospital. She seems to be doing a little better though since they checked in.

The docs gave her morphine and codeine for her pain with the chemo and the diaper rash/wound area. She is on an iv to give her lots of fluids as well as antibiotics and anitfungals. She is also getting pumped with more blood and platelets.

Her glucose is still uncontrollably high and the docs are working on that. If they can figure out how to stabilize this, it will help her to feel better and heal her diaper wound faster.

She will probably be in the hospital for at least a couple more days. But, Emily is glad she is there to get pain meds as it helps with the chemo achiness.

Please keep them in your prayers!
Thanks so much for you love and support!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Maren needs your prayers!

Unfortunately over the weekend, Maren's health has not been very good. She started having a fever a couple nights ago and today is in the ER. She is being admitted to the hospital for her fever, which is possibly a sign of infection. Her blood sugar is also out of control. She has low neutrophils and platelets. 


Please, Please pray for Maren's health as her body has taken a serious beating from the chemo! 

Thanks and we will keep you updated with any news!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Enjoying the sunshine

Here's the cutie pie, Maren, enjoying her day as they celebrate her wonderful prognosis. 

She is trying lots of new things to eat as she can't have certain foods with the diabetes she now has from chemo. 
The sun is shining in Pennsylvania and the Wingards are enjoying time at home. The good news is a great encouragement as they battle through chemo for the next couple years. 

Please continue to pray for Maren's horrible diaper rash and health so she doesn't have to return to the hospital!

Maren, we are so grateful for your body's positive response to chemo! We are all praying for you and your family as you take on this battle! 

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Answer!!

The News is in...

Maren has 0% leukemic blast cells! She is now considered in remission and is seen as an early responder to chemo!!!!!


PRAISE GOD!!!!

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PRAYING!!!!

Everyone is so so thankful for this news! The Wingards plan to celebrate tonight as is everyone else right now! Maren may have diabetes right now, but that girl needs a cupcake!!!!


We love you Wingard Family and are praising God with you!!!!

What now:  Maren still has to continue chemo for about the next three years as the cancer cells do try to come back. This news shows us that the chemo is doing its job and Maren's body is responding properly. She will also have another biopsy in two weeks to see where her body is at again. Early responders, which Maren has been labeled now, have a better prognosis and future outcome than late responders. The continued chemo for the next couple years is to prevent the cancer from returning! Being an early responder also means that Maren has a smaller chance of relapse in the future! This is the best possible news to get at this stage in the game! 

She is out of the woods, but still needs our prayers and encouragement as chemo is a hard thing to deal with, especially for such a little one! Thanks to everyone!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still Waiting

Well, there is still no news from the doctors on the biopsy yet. They are hoping to hear tomorrow and we are all anxious to know the results. 

Maren is still suffering from a really, really BAD diaper rash! Emily has to use sterile water and sterile gauze to clean the diaper area and must change it every two hours. It's pretty tiring and rough on all of them. Plus, bad diaper rashes are painful and so annoying for little ones. Please pray for Maren's little booty to heal and for them all to get some amazing rest!

Thanks for all the love, prayers, and concern!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waiting

Yesterday's hospital visit was short for Maren; they were able to return home the same day! 

At the hospital, the bone marrow biopsy went well and they will get the results in another day or two to see where her blast cell levels are at. Her ANC (fights infection) is critically low however. She was also given more Chemo-Vincristine. Unfortunately, Maren has a very raw and broken skin diaper rash that does not help the situation. The doctors are worried about infection, so they have to continually change Maren's diaper to keep her from getting infected, even throughout the night. They also have to wake her up a lot to give her insulin shots. So, they really aren't sleeping well and aren't getting any rest. Maren is also hungrier from the medicines and can only eat certain things due to the diabetes. She gets frustrated when she can't have what she wants. 

Please pray for Maren's continued health so she doesn't have to return as an inpatient to the hospital. Pray for them to get rest somehow and for Maren's diaper rash to heal! Also, please pray for the Wingards as they await the results of her bone marrow biopsy!

Thanks so much for loving and praying for the Wingards!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend at Home

The Wingards enjoyed some much needed family time at home!

Maren, of course, was happy to be home and not in the hospital anymore!!
Elijah loved having his family at home and not away anymore! 
They even got a new red wagon to play in!!
Not much cuter than two cutie pies riding in the Red Radio Flyer!
Good to see those smiles and some sunshine!
Emily & Jeremy, your family is not alone! You are all covered in our prayers and loved so much!

Update: Maren returns to the hospital Tues. morning for more tests and evaluations. The Wingard Family would really appreciate your prayers for her blast cells to be under 5% as this will lay out a predicted path for her recovery. Please pray for them tomorrow!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day...

To one strong, incredible, beautiful mommy!



Emily,

You are an amazing mother! Elijah and Maren are incredibly lucky to call you mom! You are so strong and courageous!
Hope your day was wonderful and full of love!

Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Little Blurb

So, Maren is at home with her family, resting and recovering from an insane week at the hospital.

Emily, along with the rest of the family, was very touched by everyone's thoughts and prayers. It means so much to them!

For now, Maren does not have to go back to the hospital until Tuesday for further tests and chemo. They will do another biopsy as well to test her blast cells. She will be able to remain outpatient as long as she doesn't get sick even a little bit. So, let's pray for Maren to stay as healthy as possible so they can all stay home together!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Going Home...Yeah!!

Maren says, "it's fun going home!"

Not sure how to turn the photo when I get it off my phone, but either way, Maren looks just adorable!!! She is going home finally!! She will be an outpatient now as long as she doesn't get sick. Please pray for her to stay healthy as her immune system is down and very susceptible to infection! If she gets sick, she has to head straight to the hospital. 

But for now, we are celebrating! Yeah Maren! Enjoy some family time at home with big brother and your own bed!

We all love you Jeremy, Emily, Maren, & Elijah!! You are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers! Snuggle up at home and know that you are loved and covered in prayer!

Mini Update & Idea...

Maren's biopsy showed 25% blast cells remaining and she may still get to go home today. They are waiting around for docs still and info before they can be released. Please keep praying for her blast cell levels to drop to below 5% by next Tuesday; this is very important for her recovery!

I will let you know as soon as I hear if they get to go home. Then, Emily can actually access the internet and read all your thoughtful and loving comments too!

My idea: I know a lot of you love The Wingards and would love to express your thoughts/prayers/love to them. So, if you would like to write a letter/encouragement/prayer/etc. to them and email it to me, I would love to post it on the blog for them to read! Feel free to attach a pic with it if you want too! alibravenec@yahoo.com

Thanks so so much!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Crazy Day for Lil' Maren

So Maren had an eventful day today while receiving her platelets and a blood transfusion. She really needs your prayers!!

During the blood transfusion, she had some bad reactions to the blood. Her Blood Pressure climbed very high to 160/100, so they had to stop the transfusion to give her some medicine for her heart and Lasix to fix the large amount of fluid in her body. She also broke out in a rash as a reaction to the blood. Luckily, they worked out all the kinks and were able to finish the transfusion after taking care of these crazy problems. We thank God that she is ok after this horrible reaction!

They also found her glucose level rose to 510; a normal rate is below 100. They have now diagnosed her with diabetes as a result of the chemo and are not sure if the diabetes will go away eventually or not. Emily learned to give Maren her insulin shots for the first time tonight and also had to do the finger pricks. It took her about 3 times to get the finger prick right and she really does not enjoy doing this!

Tomorrow Maren receives her blood marrow biopsy results. If she has no blast cells (the bad ones), then she can go home. Everyone is praying, praying, praying for good results! Please pray for The Wingard family tonight and tomorrow as they are very anxious and hopeful! Her results will give them an idea of how her body reacts to chemo and if she is a good responder or not. This is usually how they predict future results and outcomes. 

On another note, Elijah is having a rough time with this as well. As this all happened out of nowhere and Elijah is too little to understand, he feels left behind and forgotten. Jeremy came home after a few days at the hospital with Emily and Maren, and Elijah just cried and cried. He really misses his family and doesn't know why he is the only one home (with grandma of course!)! 

There are plenty of reasons to pray for The Wingards, so please, please pray! They had a rough week and a pretty crazy day! 

Again, they want to express their thanks and appreciation for everyone's comments, love, and prayers. It means so much to them!!

*****By the way...I just posted a link on the top right hand side to Maren & family's Amazon wish list. A lot of people want to help and send love gifts, so here are some things they could really use being confined at home and traveling a lot back and forth from hospital. My aunt has also said they can always use gift cards to food places they can easily drive through or pick up from as they can't dine in anywhere anymore for health reasons. My aunt and Emily want to make it clear, they aren't trying to just get stuff, because of the situation. But, people want to send gifts and are asking what they need, so this is why they put this together.  The hats and sunglasses are to protect her from sunlight and the dvds are to help the kids at home since they are going to be stuck there almost all the time and Maren just can't do much! The kids also love stickers and Maren can always use cute socks with grips for the hospital :)! If you have any questions or ideas or want an address to send things to, you can email me, alison, at alibravenec@yahoo.com

Thanks Again!

Maren's Tuesday...

Emily sent me a text this morning, saying Maren's procedure (bone marrow biopsy, etc.) went very well. She had just enough sedative and it went 1000x better than last week! She wants me to thank all of you who prayed very very much!

They will get the results back tomorrow. Until then, Maren is being loaded with platelets and red blood cells in preparation to go home!

Emily sent this pic and wrote, "even hospital food is good with ketchup :)"


As soon as I hear the results, I will let you all know. Keep praying!

Monday, May 4, 2009

News on Maren

So, Maren's high glucose levels have been confirmed and she will need insulin shots 4 times a day and her finger pricked each time along with the shot. The additional poking and prodding is making her upset too. 

Unfortunately, they will not be able to go home tomorrow as they were hoping. They are doing additional lab work Tuesday, another bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture in the morning. Emily is asking for prayer for the sedatives to work so she doesn't feel the pain, since they don't think she had enough when they did this last week. 

Emily also asks for us to pray for the bone marrow biopsy to show less than 5% blast cells (bad cells)...last week's biopsy showed she had 97% blast cells in bone marrow. So, tomorrow's results will better inform us on how chemo is going and how her body is responding.


On a lighter note, the new hospital does have free on-demand movies, but not the best selection for kids. However, Maren decided her new favorite movie is WALL-E and has been watching it constantly!

My aunt is putting together an amazon wish-list for Maren for those of you who want to send her a love gift and something needed for her situation. I will put this up ASAP! 

Thanks so much for all the encouragement, prayers, love, comments, etc...I know it means so much to them to know they aren't alone during this crisis!

Emily sends her love and thanks!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday with Maren

Maren's Sunday was more mellow than usual as a lot of the docs were not around on the weekend. So, they didn't get a ton of new info on her. Maren has been fussy and tired, but that is to be expected with all she is going through.

She is enjoying her time with mommy!















My aunt did say that her lab results showed her glucose levels are abnormally high, which is associated with chemo in some children. They took her off her IV dextrose and she may have to start insulin at home and Emily will have to give her shots at home. They will find out more about this and her labs this week.

Thanks for the prayers everyone!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Big Brother Visits

Elijah is only 3 and he already wins the world's best big brother award!!















Yeah for visits for Maren!

And check out her gorgeous blue eyes!

We love you Maren and are praying for you!

More Pics of New Room

Maren & Emily enjoying their new room and great view...














Maren snoozing it up with her dolly...

New Hospital Room for Maren

The Pittsburg Children's Hospital opened a brand new unit/building and Maren gets to be one of the first kids to use it!
Her new room is awesome and they love it! It is really big with wood floors and even a sofa bed for Emily and Jeremy to sleep on! Now they don't have to be on the floor anymore; what a needed blessing for those two! There are also lots of fun toys and a cool playroom for the kids!

Emiy says about the pic, "In the new playroom, sporting her hobbit hair. Maybe today will be bath day :). She can initiate the new tub!"


Maren rode in an ambulance to the new center and she loved the ride! She cried when it was over because she wanted to ride again! How awesome that she is having fun in the midst of all this, oh to be a two year old again!

So far, Maren's body is showing positive responding to the chemo and we are all praying that this continues. She is tired and a bit fussy, but overall doing amazingly well!

Thanks for your continued prayers and love for little Miss Maren!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome!!



Hi Everyone!! Welcome to Maren's new bloggy!

Here Maren's family will be keeping you updating and informed on her status and how you can be praying for this little one!


To learn more about Maren, please read the posts below!

Basically, she is a little two-year old girl, who just started fighting leukemia(ALL)! She is undergoing chemo treatments in the Pittsburg Children's Hospital this week!

We appreciate all your love, support, prayers!

Thanks so much!!

Alison...

Miss Maren Update

So, here are a few updates on Maren from my cousin Emily via text...

After her first chemo on Tues., she woke up Wed. very happy and not sick. She only cried when the housekeeper tried to throw away her new dolly's empty box! Everyone was so relieved that she was feeling good. So far she didn't show any signs of soreness from the chemo either. She slept all night and all the nurses and techs took her vitals without waking her up (they like to poke all night long!)
Wed., after a long day, she fell asleep all curled up in her pink blanky with her bunny while watching Frosty the Snowman...so cute!
This morning Maren woke up tired and fussy, most likely feeling more effects of the chemo. She just wants to go home and needs more sleep. Tomorrow, Maren will receive more chemo treatments.

Here is an update I received from my Aunt Sharon today via email...

"Today she was pretty good. Although, Emily and Jeremy are not getting much sleep on the hard cold floor of the room. Em said that Maren talked a lot during the night, apparently due to the medicine?

She will continue to get the chemo over the next five days and then she will have another bone marrow biopsy. I think that might be on Tuesday. If it looks like the chemo is working, she may go home. The side effects as described to E and J are awful. I am praying that God may spare her of the worst. The most important thing will be to try to keep her away from all germs. She cannot go places and Elijah can't be around a lot of people either. He can't go to preschool any more and they can't go to church. Emily will have to keep the house super clean. I know the whole thing is a bit overwhelming for her. She needs prayer to keep her going. She won't get much sleep."

Please continue to keep Maren and family in your prayers! They need all the love and support they can get! We appreciate it so so much!!

Love you all...

Lil' cutie pie Miss Maren-UPDATED

My aunt sent me a pic today from her cell phone of Maren at the Philadelphia Children's Hospital...


Today Maren went into surgery to have some thingy (not good with medical terms sorry!) implanted into her chest so she doesn't have to walk around with an IV all the time and the doctors can just squirt fluids and medicine into this thingy. It will be there permanently for now as she will be having treatments for years to come. So far, I don't know how she is doing after surgery, but here is a pic of her and daddy before.

Maren is a trooper and so is her family! Emily, her mommy, is sleeping on a pad on the floor in her room and by her side at all times. Jeremy, her daddy, is back and forth between the hospital and home to be with their 3 year old son Elijah, who I'm sure is feeling the affects of this as well. Luckily, Emily's mom, my aunt Sharon, was out visiting when this all went down and she has been staying at the house to help with Elijah. However, my aunt actually went to their house to recover from a surgery she just had and isn't fully mobile for Elijah. So, Jeremy's mom is due at the house tomorrow to stay with Elijah and take care of him while Maren starts chemo with mommy and daddy by her side. My aunt is going back home to Seattle to recover from her surgery and then I'm sure she will be back to take another shift helping out!

Maren's prognosis is hopeful, thankfully, but chemo is going to be a rough road for this little one. She is only two and it can really take a toll on her body. Please pray for her and I will try to keep you updated on her status! Thanks so much!

Thanks Molly for the button...LOVE IT! If anyone wants a "Praying for Maren" button to add to your blog to spread the word asking for prayer...please let me or Molly know...Thanks for the love!

Evening Update: Just got word on Maren's status...She got her first dose of chemo tonight and was given morphene for the bone pain it causes. They also took more bone marrow to do further tests on the cancer. She was also given Zophran for nauseau...they are all POOPED! Please pray for her tonight! We'll see how she does!
Ephesians 3:20-21 is a wonderful verse for this situation!

Maren Update: Please Pray!

So, Maren's bone marrow biopsy confirmed the leukemia and they diagnosed her type as pre B-cell. My cousin, Emily, and her husband Jeremy are now dealing with figuring out all the treatment and what not for their sweet little girl. Emily has told me that it is hard for Maren to sleep in the hospital with everything going on around her. I'm sure being in such a foreign and uninviting place at two years old is not fun or comfortable. So, please pray for Maren to get some sleep so her body can rest and heal properly. She is suppose to start Chemo on Tuesday, so please pray pray pray for this little one and her family as she undergoes this treatment.

Your prayers are very much appreciated and needed!!!

Also, Molly and I are wanting to send Maren a little gift package for the hospital to bring some brightness to the gloom. If anyone has any ideas or would like to be a part of that, please let me know...more info on that to come!

Thanks!

Prayer Needed & Appreciated!

So this lil' cutie bundle of love is Miss Maren...

She is the two year old daughter of my cuz and good friend, Emily Wingard and her husband Jeremy...
She has gorgeous blue eyes...I think they look like marbles...
She likes to play with her older brother Elijah and snack on yummy treats on their Pennsylvania lush green grass...
The Wingard family came to visit just about a year ago when Maren was just over One year old...
She melted our hearts with her big smile and girlish ways...
She got along great with the boys. She is only a few months younger than Josiah. Emily and I like to stay evenly matched in all things. We grew up together, playing with barbie dolls and always getting into trouble at my sneaky coaxing. She is about a year and a half older than me, so she did finish school stuff first.But, we got married about a month apart...had our first babies about 3 weeks apart and the second babies months apart! She will, however, reach 30 before me; sorry Emily, not much I can do about that!
When they came to visit... we, of course, played at the beach together!!




I love Emily like she is a sister and her kids are very dear to me!

So please pray for this family and lil' Maren!

To our surprise, concern, and sadness, Maren was just diagnosed with leukemia(ALL). She will undergo a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow. She starts chemotherapy on Tuesday and will be receiving inpatient care for 7-10 days. Outpatient care lasts about 2-3 years.

What a wild road for such a young and beautiful little girl and her family!

We would really appreciate ALL your prayers for this little one!

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