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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

really, 10?!

So this weekend my class "celebrated" our 10-year class reunion. Really, 10 years?!! I can remember so many things yet, I guess some of those memories will fade with time -but it just doesn't seem like it could be ten years!

Charli was a little bit of a pill on Friday for her scans. She didn't want to step on the scale, be measured, go in the room, didn't want to sit on the table, etc. After about five minutes she was good...but in the beginning it was a little stressful because I had no idea how she would behave - she had never done that before. She soon warmed up and turned back into her normal self. We were talking during her scans and she revealed to met hat she knows what she wants to be for Halloween...a carrot.

While Chad and I went to the reunion the kids stayed with grandma and grandpa preister. They all had a nice time! On Sunday Charli had SO much running around in the open area, green grass, and there were so many fun things for her to do there! I think it also helped that grandpa bob let her drive his pick up around the shop lot...seriously!!

Hmmm, not sure what else I wanted to mention so just enjoy the pics for now!

I am sure I could dig a picture out of us looking pretty similar (albeit much younger looking) from high school!!

Chad fell asleep watching Dora - Charli was playing with her doll house and at some point curled up with Chad and they took a nap together! After she woke up there, she crawled on my lap and slept on my chest for about two hours...just like a little baby!!

as they were resting, what an adorable site!

we had a lazy day sunday!

charli loving on her little brother!

grandma found a toddler bed for the grandkids to use, it looks like a little dolly bed in comparison to Charli's bed!! She thought it was pretty neat!


Chari and harper on Charli's 4-wheeler! I am pretty sure she did not get to give him a ride...then again I didn't think grandpa would really let her drive his truck either, so maybe?!! ;-)

Charli and Daddy at Scheel's after her dr appointment

playing with the camera as we waited

a complete goof!

Friday, September 25, 2009

we could feel it!!

First of all...good news today!!

Charli's scans showed no change (which is a good thing) with the initial review! They will, of course, look at them in more detail and in comparison to her old scans to be 100% sure.

Although I had a lot of anxiety going in to these scans, I was very peaceful and calm this morning!!

I shared this with a few girls at work this week, but thought I needed to share it here too...because it has a lot to do with all of you! After I mentioned the excessive blinking that Charli had been doing and what that could possibly mean, I know that so many of you lifted her up in prayers. And now...two weeks later, I can see that the blinking has decreased. This is just one reason it is so easy for us to have faith.

Charli and I had lots of fun with the camera while we were in with getting her scans - I will post those and more details about how today went. I just wanted to let everyone know our good news!!

On a side note, we will go back in 6 months for another scan...and after that point they will extend her testing to ONCE a year, and may not even do scans at that visit. Ahhh, I say this with exciting and hesitation. It is amazing that they are so confident in her success that they feel comfortable doing this, I hesitate to make this step because right now we are getting reassurance twice a year on how well she is doing!!

have a great weekend everyone...what a great way to start ours!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'll keep it short because I have only only about two minutes before Harper's bedtime! I just wanted to share some pictures from this week.

Please say extra prayers, Charli has her 6-month scans on Friday. With her "eye" issue this is a tense test, one we have faith will be perfectly fine. Never the less... no matter how much faith we have the fear of the unknown will always be there. Charli said to me the other night "the cancer isn't going to come back mommy, but if it does I will punch it". As her mother, what can I say to that? I said "Thank you God", walked away, and cried.

"Faith is not believing God is knowing that He will"

Enjoy the pictures, you will see what goes on when mom is out of the house....

blue eyes!

Daddy bought him his first JD hat :-)

BIG truck!

this is Harper in Charli's baby bed...MAYBE it was Charli's idea - but who do you think put him in there? I will give you a guess. It wasn't Charli, it wasn't Harper, and it wasn't mom....

Harper in Charli's baby stroller. Again...MAYBE it WAS Charli's idea, but who do you really think put him in there AND fastened the belt!!? THIS is why mom can't leave the house!

Charli feeding Polly and Dolly

"see harper, this is why you go for it when you are 4th and 1" (if you saw the Husker game this weekend you know what I am talking about...if not - you didn't miss much)

decked out for the VT game

Friday, September 18, 2009


Our amazing friends in South Africa have been featuring children each day this month to bring more awareness to Childhood Cancer Awareness month and those touched by it.

Please check out this link and see Charli in her eyes...

They just hit the 100,000 visitor mark - amazing!! Her son, Deqlan, was diagnosed with NB about the same time as Charli...we have been friends since! They are known around the globe for sure!!

You can also visit his site via the link to the right by clicking on "Deqlan"!

Monday, September 14, 2009

i made it :-)

I managed to survive my first day back at work, in case anyone was worried :-)
Natalie left me a fun little gift on my desk of new pens, pencils, chapstick, and fun push-pins! It is funny how my friends know me so well...and so strange that when my friends want to perk me up, it always surrounds office supplies!!
Charli and Harper had a good day at daycare. I have decided that any day we remember to pick them both up and they are in as good of shape or better than when we left them it is a good day...what happens between those two times is just par for the course!! We have an amazing daycare, I will argue that it is the best (!!!) so leaving Harper was nothing like it was when I left Charli for the first time - can't even compare the two.
I changed my work hours a bit so I was able to have supper started before Chad got home, which was nice - and it made the night so enjoyable! Tomorrow is another day for all of us, which means it could be another story :-)
precious 'lil feet

mother-hen...please notice that she is doing something with both hands!! She is holding his paci in his mouth with her right and and covering him up with her left, after saying "no, you can not have those in your mouth" =) I guess we say that?!!

Charli's first day of Sunday School! She had a silly pose here, but better than her normal silly face :-)

their first official day of daycare together, for the long haul

can you say child-labor?! This is what Charli was doing when I looked out the window tonight...she is drying, shining, or waxing his rims...I am not sure!

he is growing :-)

Charli found this in the dirt at Aunt Rachelle and Uncle Shawns while daddy was digging in the dirt! "ewww, gross" mom said...she was just mad because her feet were muddy!

" BEAT CANCER" - Chad and I in our "beat cancer" shirts on Childhood Cancer Day ...hey Court...GO IOWA!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Childhood Cancer Awareness Day ~ 09-12-09

Charli in her 1st chemo hat...

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, more specifically the 12th is childhood cancer awareness DAY. I will not be around my computer much Saturday, so I wanted to post this ahead of time.

Having a child with cancer is not something you “get over” or “move past”, it is something in your blood – and something you breathe everyday for the rest of your life.

All of you know by now that Charli had cancer, I don’t need to go down that road for everyone again. What you may not know is how it can affect a person, two years down the road. Childhood Cancer Awareness is so important, so that there are fewer parents like me…and more parents like you who just hear stories of kids like Charli. It is important to me that you are not only aware of childhood cancer, but also help spread that awareness so we can raise money to put a stop to it.

Let me just share a little story with everyone, that only about three people know about…

A month ago we decided to finally take Charli to the eye doctor because of some excessive blinking she has been doing. I assumed it was allergies, but we started to worry that it could mean a problem with her vision. We took her in, and sure enough she needed glasses…she is near-sided with astigmatism. (on a side note she is doing great with them and already knows how to put them on and take them off without touching the lenses!)

After a concerned email from a loved one we looked a little further into the excessive blinking and Neuroblastoma…it was devastating. Many times excessive blinking can be a sign of relapse in the brain, often misdiagnosed as something minor. I did research and spoke with several parents – some with horror stories, and others with happy endings. Most of the time when things come up that make us question her health I can easily dismiss the fear. This time…I couldn’t shake it. I had an unbelievable fear that just as we were welcoming a new life into our family…we were going to have to fight for Charli’s again – that “ironic” twist happens far to often, to many I know. I cannot even begin to explain how it made me feel - completely nauseous, panicky, and overwhelmed to the point I couldn’t hold a complete thought in my head!

We called her oncologist in Omaha and because she is scheduled to return for scans in a few weeks they said they were comfortable assessing her at that time. I was told that it was very good that we kept a close eye on all of her neurological development and anything that seemed out of the ordinary. I have found piece with her answer to me, and we will “sit tight” until our next appointment. I have found calmness in knowing that she is okay and it is just a fluke…not a relapse. But it made me think.

If Charli were to relapse - - - I can’t even let my mind go there. Not only is it too painful, but it is too overwhelming.

I share this story because it is important that people know what “our” life is like now. When I say “our” I don’t mean Chad, Charli, Harper, and I…I mean any parent of a cancer survivor and warrior. We are not allowed to look at any typical child behavior or action as typical…we always have to analyze if it could be more…that isn’t fair. Ha…none of it is!

I feel so helpless this year as this day/month rolls around. I feel like there is so much I should be and could be doing to promote the day and raise awareness. Honestly…those who are reading this now already are aware. We rely on YOU to help us at this point!! If you have a blog…just mention a quick blub about childhood cancer awareness – and if all you have is 30 seconds to do that, post a link to this site. Send an email of this post, anything you can do to inform or remind others. Informing 10 more people about this world can do wonders.

Last night in the President’s speech he talked about Kennedy’s two children with cancer and made mention to some of the choices parents have to face when they do not have heath coverage for their family. I don’t know what the right healthcare reform plan is or should be…but I do know that kids have died because of a lack of coverage – adults too. BUT, I also know that any steps we take backwards will be 100% time worse than staying as we are.

Before this turns into a complete ramble I will end! I just feel like I have so much to say and I can’t find the words to say it…I am thankful we have this “day” as much as I wish we didn’t have to have it. I know that there are some incredible parents out there doing amazing things this month to help the families and kids with cancer – and I am in complete awe of what they are doing! I am humbled by their friendships and inspired by their dedication.

*just a reminder of some of the facts*

Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children - more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined.

Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories. Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.

Childhood Cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens, and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult.

Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis).
Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.

The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).

One in every 330 Americans will develop cancer by the age of 20. On the average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.

On the average, 1 in every 4 elementary school has a child with cancer. The average high school has two students who are a current or former cancer patient. In the U.S., about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every weekday.

While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

Childhood leukemia (making up the largest group of childhood cancers) was once a certain death sentence, but now can be cured almost 80% of the time.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

quick - quick

Real quickly I wanted to post pictures!

Charli got glasses! I am not sure if I have mentioned this on here or not, but they are in and officially on her face :-) Well...we are working on that part. She doesn't mind having them on for about 10 minutes, then she is done. I will be interested to hear how it went at daycare today.

I go back to work Monday :-( I am not ready to go back. There are so many things I wanted to get done while home, and now that the end is near I don't want to do anything but sit and enjoy the time I have here.

Hmmm, can't think of anything else new or exciting for now!

Charli and mom with our glasses on! I know that we will both look back at this picture and think my glasses are SO ugly! A sign of the times I guess...

we like to start watching dora at a young age at our house I guess!

" SO happy" face!

daddy's hat and daddy's boots!

too funny!! She wanted to mow with dad...this is the closest thing we have to a mower for her. so sad!

she always wants to feed him...for about a minute!

fuzzy kasper fur makes harper smile!

their first day of daycare together!