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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

The Christiansen family Christmas was a memorable one!  I sure hope everyone can say the same and that you all took a few extra pictures, a few extra moments, and a few extra hugs the last 24 hours...

We are so blessed to be where we are today, surrounded by the amazing love and support of our family and friends.  While we know we have it good, it wasn't until other Mothers on my Tumor Groups started sharing some of their struggles that I realized just how good we have it.  Yes we have cancer....but when it comes to other drama and chaos in our lives, we just don't have it.  We don't have to worry about hurting feelings, calling people back, or making sure to remember important dates....from someone who prides themselves on organization and social obligations - this is a huge pressure off my back.  Other families don't necessarily have it this easy.  So the next time I start to think things suck...going to pull that little one out of my back pocket.  We are truly lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people. 

Merry Christmas everyone...go ahead and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done helping out the Christiansens this year -- You deserve it.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Due Date

Yesterday was Jude's due date....the day we should have been celebrating 10 months of uncomfortableness rewarded by one beautiful, bouncing baby boy.  Instead we celebrated one more Saturday with Avery.  One we appreciate having more than anything. 

We celebrated Christmas with Nana and GJ yesterday and they brought down Great Grandpa Johnson too!  We had a great dinner and lots of fun watching Avery open some of her presents.  She has made it through this round with very little problems and we are so relieved.  Her counts have definitely fallen a lot lower than they did the first 2 rounds so we'll be more restricted this month and next.  Her hemoglobin was pretty low last week and although it wasn't low enough to warrant a transfusion, we are thinking when we go for labs and chemo on Tuesday we will probably be close.  She has been rather tired and whiny today and those are usually great indicators of low hemoglobin. 

A special thank you to all of those that have been so generous to us this year, especially during this time of year.  We have been touched by so many of you that have put our family in your prayers and offered up extra support to make sure that we have an absolutely perfect Christmas.  Avery will want for nothing for sure, and Jeremy and I were even able to give each other some nice things without feeling guilty.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts...


Monday, December 12, 2011

Next Step Started

I apologize for the delay in news...last week we were waiting for our team at St Jude to give us more direction on what we need to do next.  Unfortunately, once we got that direction I ran out of time to actually update you all.  As most of you can guess, we decided to go ahead and do another round of this chemo regimen.  So Tuesday we started the round and spent the last 5 days in the clinic getting meds.  So far so good.  Avery's appetite is still up and although the runny poo has started we are no where near where we were last round.  We are really hoping that the last round was compounded by the addition of a virus and that this round will look more like the first. 

Avery is in great spirits and in love with the puppies.  She is talking up a storm and putting 3-4 words together to  make sentences.  We can't believe how much she is talking in the last month.  Her favorite thing to say is "I Need...." so whatever she wants becomes " I NEED A COOKIE".   Course who can resist when someone tells you they need it? 

Christmas is fast approaching and we looking forward to celebrating another year with family and friends.  Avery is in for a treat as Daddy couldn't resist the Barbie Jeep and its opening and closing doors.  She loves to play in the car -- ok no one turn us in for that -- but the kid loves sitting in the front seat and playing with the dials.  We found out very quickly that she also knows how to open the doors - locked or not.  So the Barbie Jeep should replace the need to play in mommy's car.  It has doors that open and shut which should entertain her more than anything. 

As for the next round...not sure.  We will once again talk to our team in Memphis to see what our next move is.  For now - TAKE THAT cAncer!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Heaven Earned an Amazing Angel this week...

One of Avery's biggest the champions has now become her Gaurdian Angel in Heaven.  Gerry passed away on Wednesday after a year long fight with the same monster that Avery has been battling.  During his fight, he held close to the fact that a small thing like Avery could fight this beast without batting an eyelash.  He was inspired by her strength and found courage in her determination.  As a result, he reminded us again why we are still battling this cancer and why so many of you believe in her.  

Avery's MRI was scheduled yesterday morning but due to a scheduling error we were postponed until this morning.  I found out that Gerry had passed just as we got to the hospital yesterday.  I honestly think it was the only reason I didn't light someone on fire for messing up the schedule.  As we left Jeremy and I were talking and we decided that maybe this was a good thing.  It gave Gerry a chance to talk up Avery to Him and for the rest of us to get some last minute prayers in.

Turns out Gerry is just as charismatic in Heaven as he was here on Earth...and us procrastinators got our extra prayers in...and it worked.  Avery's tumors were noticeably smaller, although all were still present and accounted for.  There doesn't appear to be any new tumors, which is a huge relief and her spinal fluid is showing no signs of cells -- although that's a fluke since it only takes a sampling.  What this means for us, we aren't positive yet.  We'll be discussing our options with the Dr's at St Jude and here before moving forward with any treatment.  Once we have figured out what that looks like, I will let you all know.  

forever grateful for our new Angel in Heaven...and all of our prayer warriors...

Jenn & Jeremy