Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Low Counts

Izzy's counts were too low on Monday to go through with the chemo treatment yesterday. This just means that they want her bone marrow to recover a bit before she gets more chemo that will kill the marrow. This pushs our treament schedule back a week, but hiccups like this are not uncommon. We'll take her in on Monday morning for another blood draw; and hopefully her counts will have recovered sufficiently to go through with the treatment this coming Tuesday.

In general she is still feeling really good with the occassional puking bout. Below I helped Izzy make a little Play-Doh sculpture. Kerri said it was the scariest thing she has ever seen. :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hamsters and Bikes

Izzy had a great time celebrating her sister Lorin's sixth birthday today. As part of the festivities, Izzy spent some quality time playing at the park and riding her new hand-me-down bike from Lorin because Lorin got a new one today. And by some crazy alignment of the stars Izzy and Lorin talked us in to buying a couple of dwarf hamsters. The girls are loving them, and I made sure that when they get tired of them in a couple of weeks we can take them back to the store. :) You can see hamster and bike pictures at the end of the post.

In another vein, we have met a great family, the Hill family, during our visits to the hospital. Kelsey Hill is 18 and had lymphoma, but is now cancer free. It has been extremely enlightening to go back and read her blog to get the perspective of someone going through chemo since Izzy isn't old enough to fully describe how she feels. If you are interested in getting Kelsey's perspective you can find her blog at You will need to create an account for privacy and security reasons and then on the left of the account page click "visit page" and search for "kelseyhill".

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


We had a short clinic day yesterday with Kerri and Izzy only there for three hours. This Tuesday could be another 12 hour ordeal depending on whether her blood counts are high enough. If her counts are not high enough then we'll have to wait a little while before we have the 12 hour session.

Since getting off the steroids, Izzy's eating has gone from gorging to grazing. She will want food often, but only a few bites. Dr. Connelly says that this is common during this period because she is not feeling well most of the time. We've seen evidence of her nausea in the almost daily up-chuck sessions. They don't last long, and she usually feels pretty good before and after them.

Below the girls are enjoying some time out in the warmth.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Dance, Dance

As evidence of her feeling better, Izzy decided to join in the fun last night during a mini-Dance, Dance Revolution party with her Sunday School teachers. For those of you not in the know, Dance, Dance Revolution is a video game that has you stomping on a game pad to various musical tunes trying to step on the right arrows at just the right time. It was a lot of fun to see her using those spindily legs to mash the game pad arrows. If you look closely you can see the increase in concentration on her face in this series of pictures.

Izzy's next big chemo day (12 hours at the clinic) is on the 15th of May. Her consolidation period, which has been some pretty intense chemo targeted at her central nervous system, should be ending at the beginning of June. After that she will start another induction period during which she'll only need chemo every 10 days. We're hoping her counts will be high enough that she will be able to make a quick trip with Kerri to Idaho and Utah to see our families.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A Month and a Half Down and 4 and a Half Months Left of Intense Chemo

Sorry it has been a little while. As you can imagine we had a lot going on. After one of the toughest weeks we have had--3 trips to the ER and finally admitted for a few days all for a fever and a totally-understandable, Izzy, emotional thermal meltdown at the cancer clinic last Tuesday and me finishing up my 7-week long project at school--we used some of the moneys that have been donated to call in the reinforcements and flew Kerri's sister in to stay for a couple of weeks. Thank you to Traci who flew in this time and all of the family members that have come to visit and help and those that have made it so they could.

Izzy's chemotherapy these past couple of weeks has involved us administering chemo at home by mouth and through her port. It is a singular experience injecting poison directly into your daughter's bloodstream from the comfort of your home. Now that she is getting chemo everyday in some shape or form her hair is getting more sparse but still hanging in there like a champ.

As the title of the post suggests, we have completed about a month and a half of the intense part of her chemo protocol; and we have four and a half months left of heavy chemo dosing. She is getting big doses every Tuesday at the clinic and currently blood draws and usually blood transfusions on Fridays. Again, because of all of the chemo her blood counts are dropping quickly. However, strangely enough she is more herself than she has been since her diagnosis. She is riding her bike again with the other girls and gets moving pretty good with a cute shuffling run.

She has lost a lot of weight through the process which you can really see in her skinny little legs. To give you an idea of how dramatic the weight loss has been, she currently weighs 28 pounds at 3 and a half years old. Her little sister Ryan who is of average weight for her age of one year weighs 20 pounds. Izzy and Ryan are separated by a mere 8 pounds. When they wrestle Izzy has to work hard to overpower her. It's pretty funny.

Here is a recent picture of Izzy and Ryan and their cousin Carter.