Sunday, April 29, 2007

April 29, 2007

The weather is beautiful and it feels more like summer today than spring! We are loving every minute of it. Things have been going along well for us. We have enjoyed having a few weeks of "normal" life-no snow days, school for Chris in Grinnell, conferences, etc. The school year is winding down, at least I am counting down, anyway. Leah's graduation ceremony is on May 10, and her day to visit kindergarten is tomorrow.

This past weekend Chris and I took Leah and Chloe to Minneapolis for a night at a hotel and swimming in the pool and then Saturday morning to the Mall of America and lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. On the way home we stopped off at the outlet mall in Medford. Today we are recovering-the girls were up very early yesterday and were so excited on Friday they got little sleep. Chris has mowed our lawn for the first time and it is so nice out that no one wants to be indoors.

There is really little to report aside from the everyday events we now look forward to and continue to enjoy. Leah's next appointment is on May 17 for an AFP draw. UGH! So, please keep sending your prayers for a low AFP and another great check-up. As I was looking ahead in my devotion book I noticed that May 17 is Ascension Day.....

This week Chris and I will be participating in a run to honor Megan Koepke who lost her battle to histiocytosis on February 2. The run will take place in Waverly after school for her junior high friends to participate as well. The profits go to the Heart Connection Camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Last week I insisted on running for a long time on the treadmill despite Chris telling me not to since my foot has been hurting. By the time I was done it was really hurting and still hurts even when I walk a week later. So, I am hoping that I can manage the three mile course. And speaking of running, Chris participated in a mud run in Hudson a few weekends ago with James, Leahs' nurse assistant. We took Grandma Kathy to watch and were not disappointed. It was muddy AND wet AND cold. They crossed a creek 14 times. And, in typical Chris style, he did not bring clothes to change into. We would have enjoyed visiting with James longer, but he was just too cold and too wet to want to hang out with us.

I am trying to post pictures, but without success. Our computer at home is in need of being replaced so I have put some pictures on my parents' computer but am not having luck getting them on the blog. In fact, it has been so long since I blogged I couldn't even access the site!

Thanks for continuing to check in on us, and please continue to keep Leah in your prayers.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12, 2007

AFP = 2.3

We left today for Iowa City at 5:30 AM so that Leah could have an IV put in by the Peds. clinic before our 8:00 appointment for her CT scan. After we had that accomplished (Leah did an EXCELLENT job) we checked in for her scan, received the barium drink (another EXCELLENT job guzzling the drink by Leah), and headed back to see Dr. Rahdi. He checked her over and told us to come back after the scan to have him go over her bloodwork with us.

The scan itself was only a few minutes long. Leah was starving by this point, so she quickly ate a granola bar I had brought along while the nurse was removing the IV afterwards. Dr. Rahdi was happy to report her AFP number - 2.3- which is down slightly from 2.5 last month. He also went up to CT then to look at the scans with the head radiologist. While there is no final reading, both Dr. Rahdi and the radiologist saw nothing in their initial time looking at them, and don't expect to see anything. The AFP number would be rising if there were something there. Leah's other numbers we are always interested in are her hemoglobin - now at 13.7 and her platelets which are 290 (both are normal again!).

The rest of our day consisted of a stop at Coral Ridge Mall for some shopping, lunch at the Olive Garden as soon as it opened because both of us were hungry, and a trip to the consignment shop. Leah does a great job spending money, and told me that we would not be telling Chris much about this because he has us on shopping probation. After all of this Leah was very ready to take a nap while I drove home. These are long days for her when they start so early. However, as I type Leah has revived herself and is throwing in more laundry. We have limited her to one load per day and that is the first thing she wants to do when we are home.

We are so grateful to have another month to enjoy spending time together- and hopefully some warmer weather. Each and every day is truly a gift. Someday soon I will post new pictures so you can see how much longer Leah's hair is getting. Thank you all for your continued prayers for Leah.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

April 8, 2007

Happy Easter! We are enjoying the day, despite the cold, winter-like weather. Last year at this time we were still in the hospital after Leah's surgery- in fact, a year ago today was Leah's benefit.

Both Leah and I did not have school on Friday and we all enjoyed some extra time at home. I cannot claim getting anything remarkable done, but time off is always nice. Yesterday we colored eggs while Reeve napped. Both Leah and Chloe worked hard on their eggs and after we were done I hid them outside for them to find. We also managed to make it to the Good Friday service at our church. Leah waited so patiently for the lights inside to be turned off that she ended up falling asleep before church got done. Today we attended the Easter service at Nazareth in Cedar Falls, which is much easier for us to get to at 10 AM than a service at 6:30 AM. We all pay for the girls being tired later in the day! Leah was excited eary this morning to see that the Easter Bunny had visited our house and had me get Chloe up right away. Among their treats were sticker books - maybe they will finally stop putting stickers on their clothes, the first season on DVD of Full House and a DVD of Charlotte's Web and their first Barbies. Reeve was happily oblivious to all of this. She is working on crawling now, so that seems to require much of her time and effort.

Last week Leah spent two days at home sick with something....on Monday night she complained about being cold, went right to bed, and ended up having a fever that night and all of Tuesday. She perked up on Tuesday night, but I had her stay home another day with Grandma Karen to rest. Tuesday was the night that moms and dads were invited to go to dance class with their kids which she missed out on. Chloe enjoyed that both Chris and I attended her class and then took her out to eat at McDonalds. Leah has a ton of energy right now and has learned a new skill- how to do laundry. She is an excellent clothes washer, however, she likes it so much that she searches out anything that might need washing all the time. It is hard to keep up. Unfortunately she does not like folding or putting away clothes nearly as much.

Thursday is Leah's appointment in Iowa City. This is something we have been thinking about now for a while and ask for your prayers for a clear CT scan and very low AFP. Looking at Leah it appears that she feels great, yet there is always the fear that something is going on inside her body that we cannot see or know about. We know that God is holding Leah in the palm of His hand and we continue to ask Him for her complete healing here on earth. Even though we are never excited to go back to Iowa City, we are thankful for the doctors and nurses there and their skill and wisdom in her care.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. I will post again after our appointment on Thursday.