Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carmen is an angel for our Nativity play.
Sorry I am so late in posting this. Carmen is doing really well. She had one really bad day last week, but all the rest were great. She has a cold, and hopefully it will stay a cold. Her lab results came back and her blood count is slowly dropping, but so far she has not needed a transfusion. We are so happy that she could enjoy Christmas this year. We have been busy making cookies with Grams, gingerbread houses with aunts, uncles, and cousins, seeing the Christmas lights up at the temple, acting out the nativity, and of course opening presents. We enjoyed someone doing the twelve days of Christmas to us also.
We would like to give a huge thank you to everyone that helped us get a water refiner and reverse osmosis system. It is already helping us immensely!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This is Carmen with her teacher, Mrs.Taylor, working hard on math. Thank you Mrs. Taylor. Because of you Carmen is able to stay at grade level in all of her classes.
She just got her second dose of BCNU (a chemo drug) in Oakland today. She looks pretty good, don't you think?
Her blood work continues to look good, and today at her doctor's visit she was able to balance on one foot for about three seconds, which is the longest she has ever done since her illness.
Her nausea continues to get a little worse every week, but overall she is doing great!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This is what Carmen looks like for at least half of most days. She loves reading, and she loves her blanket. She loves curling up on our couch with a good book. This picture was taken several months ago, sorry we have no current pictures right now, we are having technical difficulties with the camera.
We ended up needing to go into Oakland this week to get her blood drawn after all, but the results look great. This first round of chemo seems to have been pretty easy on her. She is feeling a little more sick than usual, but most days are fun.
Reed and I continue to feel good about continuing the chemo, but we are going to try to make some changes to what we eat, the water we drink, and the other things we use around the house.
We know God is watching over us, and giving Carmen and the rest of us strength to handle such big challenges.
This next week we are supposed to have off, and then the next week we will get another round of chemo.
Keep praying for us. We know God hears our prayers and yours, and that together they are very powerful.
Thank you all of you for all that you do for us! You are such a huge blessing to us! Thank you Knightsen for having another pancake breakfast for us. Thank you to Kaleidoscope for the gift baskets for my children. You all light up our lives.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This is a picture of Carmen and her brothers a couple weeks after her initial surgery.
Reed and I have found peace! Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We have decided to continue on the course we are on. We are still going to look into other hospitals and their options, but we know our doctor is doing a great job. We don't know what the future holds, but we know that Carmen will find joy in every day. We feel really blessed.
Carmen, some of her aunts, a few of her cousins, and I went to the American Girl Store in LA this past week. Carmen loved the trip, and could not stop smiling while she was in the store. Thank you to everyone that helped make this a fun trip for her.
This next week we should get Carmen's blood drawn, and we'll see how she is doing. She seems to be doing great, but sometimes she is good at hiding her need for blood. Thank you to all who have written her so far, keep it coming, she loves to hear what you have to say.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

During radiation last year, Carmen's throat got too sore to swallow, so she would carry around a roll of toilet paper with her to spit in. This is a picture at Christmas time last year.
Today Reed and I have been fasting and praying for guidance as to how to proceed with treating Carmen. I would love if over this next week any who would like, would join their faith with ours in this venture. We have been presented with a few different options, and we are not sure which path we should take. My goal is to feel peace with our decision by the end of next Sunday. I know that God answers our prayers, and I know He will give me the peace I seek. I know that the prayers of many are very powerful. I know that whatever happens will not be easy, but I also know that God's peace and strength will help our family. We are so grateful to everyone for showing us love and support.
Please feel free to comment. Carmen would love to hear from you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things have not changed much over this past week. Carmen is doing very well. Her blood counts are dropping a little, but that is expected. Carmen loves reading, baking, sewing, coloring, and doing puzzles. She keeps herself very busy every day doing these activities. We are hoping to have a home health nurse access Carmen's port, so we do not have to go into Oakland every week to get her blood checked. I love having Carmen home with me. We are both enjoying the blessings that we have so much. Carmen is not sad, and does not feel unhealthy or unlucky. The hardest part for her right now is understanding why other people might feel those things for her. We are so grateful to all of you for all of your support. Keep praying!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our Little Girl

Reed and I have decided to start a blog about Carmen to keep everyone posted on her progress. I am going to go over her story very briefly first. In September of 2007 the doctors found a tumor in Carmen's brain that had metastasized to her spine. She had surgery to remove the tumor and underwent chemo-radiotherapy for six weeks. She had a break and then received six more rounds of chemotherapy. We finished that in May of this year. Carmen is doing so well. Her balance is a little off, her strength is not all back, and she still has bald spots, but otherwise she is totally recovered from these treatments. She is a very happy and full-of-faith girl.

We found out in October of this year that her tumor is back. You would never know it. We are not sure how we are going to handle this. Her chances of survival with the treatment the doctors want to give her is not great. I would like to treat it naturally, but Reed is much more hesitant, because at least we know what we're getting into with the chemo treatments. So far she has had gamma-knife radiation and one round of chemo, and so we begin again with the drugs and the throwing up and the sickness. She is not feeling great as of today, and she has a cold, which we hope will stay just a cold. She is not attending school right now, and will be out indefinitely. She studies with a teacher for an hour a day at our house.

Reed, Carmen, and I feel OK with this news. We are not sure what is going to happen, but all three of us know that God is watching over us and providing comfort to us. Thank you all for all you have done so far for us. KC, thank you for the blood drive, and thank everyone for the blood donations. Ben, thank you for the dinner, and for all of you who came to join us. Thank you all for the books, gifts, stuffed animals, dinners, gas cards, meals, small and large money donations, for remembering my boys and helping them get where they need to go, thank you for the icee sales and the pancake breakfasts, thank you for visiting her in the hospital, thank you for helping at home with her schooling, thank you for the house cleaning, thank you for the lunches for my boys, thank you to our family for living with our boys while Reed and I lived in the hospital, thank you for staying with Carmen in the hospital so we could be with our boys, thank you to all the doctors and nurses that have given Carmen excellent care and made her feel special, and thank you especially for the prayers.
I will update this once a week for now, and more often if things change quickly.