Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Izzy!

Saying "happy birthday" to Izzy is extra special having once questioned whether or not she'd experience 5 years old. She's our cancer survivor and we'll forever think of the black day that was March 9, 2007 when we celebrate her life.

She came down the stairs as a new 5 year old, completely dressed with no blankie in sight (big girl stuff, you know) and grinning from ear to ear. That grin only stopped once the whole day and that was to blow out her candles. With a holiday party at pre-school (in which she traded with a boy to get her own gift back again :), her favorite dinner, swimming with Abbie, and a b-day bash with the Strattons, she knew she was the woman of the day! You really can't get much sweeter or more loving than this girly-girl!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So Izzy's bladder infection went promptly away with the antibiotics. She continues to have little issues like this off and on, but nothing that keeps her down. I have been amazed at her all of a sudden looking and acting so grown up and strong. For so long it seemed like she and Ryan were both 2. But within the last couple of months Izzy has skipped a few shoe sizes and 4T clothes--just in time for her big 5 year old b-day next month. She wrestles with Lorin and jumps on the trampoline like a wild woman. She also rides her bike every chance she can get and can't stand going slow. All of these things seem pretty normal for a kid, but for Izzy not being fatigued and weak is a blessing we count every day!

gorilla face -->

Going to the Zoo in November and having to strip down (see below) because you're too hot has been a really fun change-up for us :) I was lucky Ryan couldn't figure out how to get the onsie off.

Friday, November 7, 2008


OK, I've got 5 minutes to post. I've got to get this out of my system.

Izzy has had bladder infection symptoms going on since Sat. I tried to take care of them myself with home remedies I have been given. Monday was her appointment and I told them there at which time they took a urine test. I called back later that day wondering about the results and 2 days later I finally had to call and basically chew the receptionist out for her to let me talk to somebody (the same somebody that never called me back when I was told they would.) So, finally I got to talk to a nurse and sure enough her urine test was positive for bladder infection. IT IS THURSDAY!! She has had burning, constant urination (sometimes as close as 10 min intervals) and wetting herself often for 6 days and I never got a call back!!!! A LEUKEMIA PATIENT WITH AN INFECTION....HELLO DALLAS CHILDRENS!!!!!! Anybody home??? Angry!! Starting antibiotics tonight. Angry I'm not still dealing with my favorite doctors and nurses in Michigan :( Thankfully Izzy has been amazing and continues to smile through it all.

Done. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Weekend Fever

We made a quick (of course quick is relative) ER run last weekend for a fever. Thankfully her ANC was really high due to us taking her off her chemo for the week since her counts were really low at the beginning of that week. Now she's doing really well again. I have seen her go from 3T clothes to almost growing out of her 4T clothes (that should be lasting a whole year) just over the summer. It's great to see her body finally trying to catch up. Here are some fun shots of what she's been up to:

McKinsey Kickball party--face paint being the best part!

Pumpkin patch with Aunt Jenny.
Blow-up slides with sisters. Hmmm, not really wondering where she got those germs :) She had a great time though!

Sleeping at the BYU vs. TCU game. I might as well have been too with how aweful we did :( I mean...go cougs!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here is a shot of Izzy at Dallas Children's--very excited she gets a sky walk to her new doctor's office. Doesn't she look great! She has been growing like a champ--of course the 5 days of steroids a month help a bit. Have you noticed the outfit goes with us to every appointment? Definitely an Izzy's choice day. (Reminder: up and running :)

This face cracks me up--chocolate all over it and she acted like "what are you guys laghing at?" Though she was fully aware of the mess.

A tender story: Izzy continues to pray every night for Grandpa Kofoed to get better and for Grandma to be happy. She refuses to accept that he has passed on. She will miss him.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


OK, it's time to move to a family blog for our general family blogging. So go to for an update of our summer fun and our becoming Texans. I will continue to keep y'all updated on Izzy's health here:

We have been very blessed as Izzy has gotten through half a year of Maintenance Chemo with only 2 ER runs and a hospital stay. The rest of the time she has felt amazing for having cancer and has been able to be a kid again. Our hearts go out to Morgan--one of our best cancer friends from Ann Arbor--who is taking some of her last breaths. She is 13 and adored Izzy so much so that she would bring a gift for her every cancer center day in hopes of a smile and a hug. Morgan is one of those kids I will never forget. (shot from last fall--steroid buddies :)

Izzy had quite the summer:

Boating at Bear Lake with Grandma and Grandpa Costley

Spending some precious last moments with Grandpa Kofoed

Playing the days away with cousins

Moving to Texas--loving sleeping upstairs in a pink room with Ryan

Now she is on to a new hospital and the works. This Thursday, the 7th, she will get her spinal tap and start the dreaded monthly 5 day dosage of steroids. We are praying for a good experience at the Dallas Children's Hospital. I'll keep ya posted :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Izzy's Grandpa

This is a quick note for those of you who have known Izzy's Grandpa Kofoed and his struggle with cancer these past 10 years. He passed away peacefully in his sleep last night, July 10th, just a few hours after his 68th birthday. We are grateful he has been released from his sick body and is resting now. We will be having his funeral Friday, July 18th at 10:30 a.m. in the Middleton Stake Center.

Thank you all for your concerns and prayers--we have felt every one of them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Little Hiccup

Izzy came down with a fever a week ago in which some heinous virus caused a 103/4 degree fever, her ANC to plummet down to 100, and her red blood cells to be completely anemic. She ended up with a 3 day hospital stay and a blood transfusion. With as good as she's been feeling, it was a little reminder that her body is still putting up with a lot.

Now her counts are almost all back to "normal" (up to par with maintenance expectations) and she is having fun swimming in Grandma and Grandpa Costley's pool and playing the day away.

We caught the end of the Bear Lake get-away after our hospital stay--all the sweeter after convincing our doctors to let us out of prison a bit earlier than planned.

Pile on Aunt KK

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shredding on the Flowrider

We are in Utah now visiting my (Cory's) family. Izzy is doing really well, but has put on quite a bit of weight with this round of steroids. We are thinking that her body is finally trying to catch up with a imminent growth spurt on the way.

Yesterday we went with my family to play on something called the Flowrider. Here is a quote on what it is from the website. "The attraction operates by high volume pumps generating a continuous sheet of flowing water (approximately two-and one-half inches thick be up to thirty-four feet wide) over a specially designed soft riding surface. This stationary 'sheet wave' can be ridden just like a similarly shaped wave that moves in the ocean." Izzy had an amazing time shredding the "sheet wave." Here are some pictures of her mad skillz.




(After they shut the water off, Ryan got to play in the puddles for a bit.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Spinal Tap in Idaho

Izzy had her monthly spinal tap yesterday in Boise, Idaho. Kerri explained the process a couple of posts ago, but here are some pictures. We feel priveleged to be working with some great healthcare professionals again.



(As opposed to being accompanied by smiles as shown here, in the past this procedure was escorted by much discomfort and grief.)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Our New Home!!!

We are excited to report MISSION ACCOMPLISHED on our house-hunting trip to Dallas. We went knowing the area and price-range we wanted and were able to catch an LDS family with 6 kids right before they put their house on the market ready to meet our needs (not wanting to keep it clean and show it for 2 months). We couldn't be happier about it and are excited to live in the same neighborhood as Scott and Mindy and the Bairds, and close to the Strattons and the Stones...YEAHHH!!!

Izzy update: She has fought off a couple fevers and one ER trip while in Utah. Thanks to continued prayers her fever came down (which never happens) on its own while we were away in Dallas. Otherwise she is doing a pretty good job at keeping up with her Idaho cousins for now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Idaho Appointments

A quick note to let y'all know that we got Izzy through her first appointment in Idaho and were very happy with the doctors and facilities. For her spinal tap, they did things a little differently. They gave her Propopol--a drug that puts her to sleep instantly and she wakes up within 20 mintues or so...just long enough to retrieve her spinal fluid and replace it with some Methotrexate chemotherapy. We had to go to the NICU and have a whole team of doctors there for it to happen due to the increased risk of putting her out. Izzy woke up and I told her she could eat and she was very surprised and ecstatic she had already had the procedure done. Usually she has to scream it out for 5 minutes through the pain. We were excited about the change-up.

As for the rest of us: We are loving being with family in Idaho and Utah. We love and miss the rest of you. Cory and his Dad are having the time of their lives in Greece, Italy and France. Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mammas out there!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ROSS Kids Graduation

Today was a big day for Izzy and her sisters. They got to graduate from Ross Kids (notice Izzy shaking the Dean's hand...big time!) I was able to take some fun shots on the grounds of the Michigan Union Building. Also, it was Lorin's last day at Bryant Elementary and Izzy got to help throw her a going away party.

Cory graduates Friday. The girls fly to Utah with Grandma and Grandpa Costley on Saturday. And Cory and I start the long driving trek on Tuesday! Goodbye Michigan :(

Friday, April 11, 2008

Add-on to last post

Izzy caught Lorri's attention the moment her file showed up as a new cancer patient. She has been there for us in a major way! They're kind of bonded at the hip whenever they get the chance--two peas in a pod :)

Lori = Mrs. Claus! Known to pull the biggest stuffed bear out of the tiniest cupboard to surprise Izzy. One was so big I had to push it in the stroller instead :) We laugh a lot with Lori .

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Goodbye UofM Cancer Center

Today was our last Cancer Center appointment before the move and it was very hard to say Goodbye to these special friends. I have never met a more concentrated group of amazingly selfless and empathetic people.

It was Pajama Party at the Cancer Center today. Dr. Connelly was upset he didn't get the memo. Dr. Connelly and Izzy have a race down the hall after each check. He usually cheats and grabs a medicine push-cart to roll on--all in hopes that Izzy will bust up laughing. Their giggle sessions together are a unique experience.
Judy is our Spinal Tap lady--thanks to how patient and loving she is, Izzy doesn't hate her for how bad those hurt. In fact she's a favorite!

Marcia takes care of all of Izzy's infusions and transfusions--we spend a lot of time getting TLC from her. She must never have a bad day--always happy!
More of our happy cancer center family. Jessica in the bottom right is a Childlife Specialist and becomes mommy to my children as soon as we step in the room. Izzy adores her. For me to get to talk to doctors, check email, or read a book is her goal--ready to take her to Dallas with me :)

I think we're the only non-employees who have a free pass back into the offices (we get in trouble if we don't sneak back and say hi). Anne made Izzy this blanket. Lorri, Lori, Deb and others shower Izzy with gifts every time they see her (Think Christmas once a month). As soon as they send pictures ;), I'll post a few more "family" faces.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wish Ball

Last Saturday the UM Stars (a student run organization that supports Make-A-Wish) held their annual Wish Ball. The event was a formal dinner and dance to get support for fulfilling more wishes. Izzy was one of the honored guests, and the UM Stars did a fantastic job.

Izzy sang "I am Like A Star" in front of 200 peole--belted it out loud and clear.

(Izzy and Kevin, a doting UM Star) (Wyatt, Izzy, and Brooklyn dancing the night away)

People were very generous in providing silent auction and raffle items and in bidding on them.
Some of the items included sports memorabilia (e.g., signed Tiger's baseballs, Red Wing jerseys and a Rich Rodriguez signed football). It was an inspiring thing to see so many people willing to sacrifice for someone else.

As it turns out, Kerri was also one of the honored guests. She was the keynote speaker and got a standing ovation at the end. It was a great feeling to see Kerri be recognized for all of the amazing things she has done this last year (i.e.,mother a daughter trying to survive cancer, help two other children thrive and support a husband trying to fulfill his dream all at the same time).