Monday, November 9, 2009

Focusing on the Good News

Hey everyone. I just wanted to update everyone on what’s going on with Brent. November 5th marked the one year anniversary of the day that Brent was diagnosed with Leukemia. I will never forget that day. I will never forget how calm we were as Dr Van Es spoke those words, “I think it could be Leukemia. I’m waiting for a call back from Dr Wender”. There we sat. Feeling slightly… numb.

I am happy to say that after one year and many blood tests, dr’s appts, bone marrow tests, tears and smiles… Brent is CANCER FREE! Amazing, right? God has always been and continues to be SO GOOD! Who ever thought we would be saying these words after only one year? I must admit… I didn’t think it.

We got this great news at Brent’s appt with Dr Wender, which was Wednesday, November 4th. We got there, they did the normal blood work, nurse consult, etc. Then it was time to meet with Dr Wender. He came in, sat on the chair all weird like he always does and told us that Brent’s counts from the bone marrow test he had on 10/30 all looked great. There was still no evidence of the Philadelphia chromosome (in other words, there was no Leukemia). At this point, I was feeling good. So, I started asking questions. I asked what the game plan was from here on out. What was he watching for? What would tell him when it was OK to take Brent off the pills? That is when we got some shocking news, and I suddenly remembered all to well the way you can go from good to numb in the matter of a few words.

“Brent will be on these pills for life.”

What? Excuse me? From this point on, I’m pretty sure I mumbled like an idiot. This was all of a sudden becoming very real to me. So the questions continued. Listed below are the questions we asked and the answers we received.

 

THE STUDY BRENT IS ON IS AN 8 YEAR STUDY… DO WE PAY FOR EVERYTHING AFTER THAT 8 YEARS.

Yes. (This may seem like an unimportant question, but the pills alone are about $1500/month (before insurance – Sorry Interstates).

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF BRENT GOES OFF THE PILLS?

The odds are not good. 1 in 4 people will relapse.

 

WE WERE TOLD THAT WE SHOULDN’T HAVE CHILDREN WHILE BRENT IS ON THESE PILLS. IS THAT CORRECT?

Yes, that is correct. There is no research to say that the pills wouldn’t affect the fetus (or baby, as I like to call it). If you really wanted to have another child, Brent could go off the pills for a while and then go back on.

(That would be a nice option, but once Brent stops taking the pills he would be off the study. We would then have to pay for the pills when he went back on them. Even more than that, I’m not willing to compromise Brent’s health! I would then end up with a sick husband and 3 children. Nope, I’ll keep the healthy husband and two kids.)

 

This was a lot of information to take in. To be very honest, I’m still struggling with it. I know what many of you are thinking. “At least you have two healthy children.” And that is so very true! But you are talking to someone that LOVES being pregnant. I love everything about it (OK, maybe not EVERYTHING, but you know what I mean). I love the bond that is built between a mother and child. I love that Brent is the best husband ever and would take such good care of me. I loved feeling the boys kick and hiccup. I loved hearing the heartbeat.

Who knows what God has in plan for us. There are obviously other options. Maybe God will lead us to adopt. Or maybe He wants us to be content with the two children we have. I thank God every day for my 3 boys (Brent, Karter and Brody), and I’m not about to stop. This was just news that takes some time to process and accept. I’m still a little numb.

I want to leave you all with a verse that I found today. It is on my my daily calendar, and it showed up on a blog that I follow, too. Enjoy…

 

I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you, as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high His love really is… And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself.

Ephesians 3:17-19

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I LOVE FALL!

 

Why do I love fall?

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Why do you think?

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I love fall…

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Because…

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It’s a great time

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for someone else

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to take pictures of

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my boys.

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I love fall!

Brody’s Birthday (Continued)

The day before Brody’s birthday Brent called me at work. He had just picked up the boys from Gretchen’s house, and he called to ask me what Chicken Pox look like. He also asked if I had noticed a rash on Brody when I was getting him ready to go that morning. Nope, I didn’t notice anything. He had been at daycare all day long, and Gretchen noticed a few funny spots on him after he got up from his afternoon nap. That night the spots got increasingly worse. I, of course, called the expert. Mom described what chicken pox looked like, and I just didn’t think that was what Brody had. We just decided we’d take him in to the Dr in the morning and go from there. The spots at that time were just on his legs and stomach.

Here is how Brody looked the next morning, you know… on his birthday…

Grad 034

The spots had spread to his face. In fact, the only place that the spots didn’t appear was on the palms of his hands and the bottom of his feet. Crazy! As you can see by his silly lil smile, the spots weren’t really affecting him.

We wracked our brains to think of anything that had been done differently, or if he had eaten anything new. The only things we could come up with was:

1 – He was on amoxicillin for his ear infections. I had heard horror stories of people reacting to that before.

2 – He had eaten strawberries at Gretchen’s house on Monday.

3 – I put a new outfit on him on Monday, and because I was in a hurry I didn’t wash it before putting it on him.

 

We headed to the dr and told them everything we had thought of. They were shocked to see how bad his spots were. They said this wasn’t typical of anything they had seen before. They put in his chart that he’s allergic to both amoxicillin and strawberries. Better safe than sorry!

Here’s what he looked like that morning:

Grad 038 

And here’s what he looked like by that night:

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They gave us a new medicine for his ears and told us to give him Claritin for his rash. We thought we were good. And then… Wednesday night happened. We went up to Brent’s parent’s for supper that night. As the night went on Brody started to feel warmer and warmer. But that wasn’t it. He also started to get more and more swollen. His little legs were so swollen that his thighs didn’t even have fat rolls. His feet looked like if I touched them they would explode. It was awful. In addition to the swelling, he also started to turn really purple. His skin, his lips, everything. I ended up taking him into the ER. They checked him over and did some blood work. Everything appeared normal (unless you looked at him instead of his chart). They gave him a dose of oral steroids, a prescription for more, and sent us packing.

I was certainly relieved that it was nothing more serious. I was a little nervous in the ER. The Dr kept saying she was very worried about him. She threw out words like platelets, and that’s just not a good word in my vocabulary. God was right there with us, though, and Brody now looks like this:

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We’re still fighting some sleepless nights. They tell us that’s because of the steroids, and tomorrow is his last dose of that. YEAH! We’re ready to have our happy little 1-year old back again!

Happy Birthday, Brody

Tuesday, October 20th, Brody celebrated his first birthday. It’s so hard to believe that it has been an entire year already. It just doesn’t seem like that is even possible!

 

We had his birthday party the Saturday before his birthday. It was a ton of fun! Well, mostly. Unfortunately Brody had double ear infection. He did really well most of the time, but there was about 45 minutes during the party that he wanted nothing to do with anyone or anything. After the Tylenol kicked in, he was back to his happy self. He was especially happy once we gave him his own cake to destroy.

 

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Karter was a little annoyed that all the gifts were for Brody. Here he is begging Brent to let this be his present.

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We had the party at Hanno Family Fun Farm (between Le Mars and Oyens). It’s such a fun place. They have two barns that are all decked out. One barn is two levels. The main floor has all picnic tables, and a place for babies to play. The second level has karoake, basketball and other games. The second building has basketball, pool, foos ball and more games. They also have a lil train that the kids can ride, sand volleyball, lawn games and even a softball diamond (unfortunately it was too cold for those activities when we were there). You should check out their website if you get a chance. It’s http://hannofamilyfunfarm.com/.

 

Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate Brody’s birthday!

More updates to come, but one quick thing before I forget. Last night I was laying in Karter’s bed with him before he went to sleep. We had just said his prayers, and Brent had already left the room. We were just laying there chatting. As I got up and left his room, it was so obvious to me that I am a mother of boys. In that short 5 minutes, we talked about boogers, God and Grandpa. I love being the mother of 2 of the most wonderful boys ever!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two Years... Where has the time gone?

Two years ago at this time, the entire Langstraat family took turns sitting next to Dad. We would just simply sit there. It was enough. And although no one wants to watch their Dad lay in a hospital bed day after day after day, I miss those days so much. Up until the very end (or his beginning, as I like to think of it), every time you would take any of the grandkids into that room, Dad would light up. He always knew who the grandkids were, and he was always thrilled to see them. It didn't matter if they were whiney or cranky, or even if they were getting in trouble for spilling the blue slushies from the cafeteria... Dad was happy to see them, and they were happy to see Grandpa.

It's so amazing to sit and listen to the grandkids talk about Grandpa. Sometimes they don't even know they are doing it. It's what's on their hearts, and so it comes spilling out. This is where I seem to be struggling lately. I just am so sad that my boys won't be able to tell stories like that.

I try really hard to tell my boys stories about their Grandpa, and to make sure they know what kind of man he was, but that's not always the easiest thing to do. So, I'm looking for your help here...

If any of you out there in blog land have any stories about Dad, could you post a comment on my blog and tell me the stories? This would mean so very much to me. Here's a funny one to get you going...

Just to prove that Dad still had his sense of humor up until his very last days on earth...

Mom was sitting next to Dad's hospital bed, and we all knew that he could go at any minute. The rest of us kids were all sleeping. Some in the room, some in the waiting room, some in their beds at home. Mom was kind of going in and out of sleep, when she heard Dad whisper, "Oh look at the pretty clouds." Mom thought for sure that we had lost him. She could barely breathe. Then she looked at him only to realize that he was looking at the clouds on the TV. I honestly can not look at a cloud without thinking of him.

Thanks, everyone!

Kelli

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Laughs...

Hey there. Remember me? Yes, I did still remember my login and password to get in and update the blog... I'm just not very good at sitting down and actually doing it. Sorry about that!

So what are the Hooyers up to these days? Well, there's two things... Karter and Brody. Man, I just love their ages right now. Karter is just getting too smart. He's funny and sarcastic like his Dad. He's witty and charming, and that's just a lethal combination.

Brody is following his brother everywhere (except up the steps, but I'm sure that's not too far off.) Brody is getting more and more mobile every day. He now pulls himself up by the dishwasher and unloads it as fast (if not faster) than I can load it. He's such a happy little guy, and we wonder what we ever did without him (and Karter).

This weekend was a relaxing weekend. We visited my sisters and some friends that were camping at Oak Grove. God turned on the sprinkler on Saturday, and we turned the sprinkler on yesterday. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves both days, no matter what the weather.

Here's a little video of Karter making Brody laugh. It's quite comical. I really hope everyone can open it.

Have a great week everyone!

Kelli

video

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prayers Please

OK, everyone, I need you to say a quick prayer. We are having our 2nd Annual Camp CURE-ageous/Relay for Life Co-ed Softball Tournament this weekend in Maurice. So, please pray for nice weather. Or even just not miserable weather.

If you don't have anything going on, we'd love for you to come out and enjoy the day with us. We'll have the concession stand up and running. Good food and good entertainment... and all for a good cause!

There are 8 teams total, and I think 3 of those teams involve people from Carmel Church.

Let me know if you would like any more details.

Kelli

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Brody is 6 Months Old

Brody, Brody... I can't believe that you're 6 months old already. (OK, so I'm two days late... so you're 6 months and 2 days. Same thing, right?) Life has really changed since you've been around... but it has changed in good ways, of course. Here's what you're up to these days:

You love to watch your big brother. He "kickles" you, and you love it.
You are so content. You're happy being on the floor, because you love to roll around, but you also like your walker or your jumper.
Yesterday, at your 6 month check-up, you were 19 lbs 8 oz, and you're 28" long. You're in the 90% for your age. I think you're perfect.
You love to go to Gretchen's house for daycare. You like to watch the kids. Eli loves to entertain you!
You love your baby food. In fact, there's really not any that you don't like. You're still in Step 1 food, but probably not for long.
We took you to the circus last weekend. You liked it when the lights went out and all the kids had their light-up toys turned on.

Thank you, God, for giving us this little boy. We truly love being parents, and we feel so blessed! Knowing that they are watching our every moves makes us want to be better people. Thank you for putting them in our lives.

(I will post some updated pictures later on. I promise!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Second Inning...

Are you ready for the SECOND INNING?!

2008 marked the first year for the annual Relay for Life co-ed slow pitch softball tournament. Boy, was it memorable! In May of last year, you probably saw news coverage of the teams playing in the mud, rain, and even snow – and we all had a blast! There were so many great sports out there who were raising money for an important cause! Now we are gearing up for the second year. (although we’re hoping for slightly better conditions) With so many families being affected by cancer, we remain committed to finding a cure – and here are a few ways you can join in the fun:



LET’S PLAY BALL:

Our softball tournament will be held on May 1st & 2nd. WE NEED MORE LADIES! Guys, would your wife, daughter, babysitter, beautician, banker, etc be interested in playing ball? They don’t need to worry about being good… this is about fun.



Everyone is invited to come out and cheer on the Interstates team. The concession stand will be open, and there will be a silent auction with some great items that you will want to check out!



“SPOTS” FOR SALE:

We’re making T-shirts, and we need your help. Who can you think of that has fought cancer? For $5 you can have their name put on the back of the T-shirt (either “In Memory of” or “In Honor of”). T-shirts will be sold at a later date. We want everyone who is interested to be able to purchase a shirt, so we’ll be selling them at the best price possible.



KOOZIES FOR SALE ($3):




ALL PROCEEDS TO GO AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY / SIOUX COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE.

Just shoot me an email at kelli.hooyer@interstates.com or leave me a comment on this page if you are interested in more info on any of these things.

Thank you!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter... Please watch this video

You will have to go to my Playlist on the left-hand side and pause that before watching this video.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Praise God! Brent is Cancer-Free

Our prayers have been answered... in exactly the way we were hoping for! It's official! Brent is cancer-free! They called today and told us the good news. They said that the results from his bone marrow test couldn't possibly have been any better. The apologized over and over for not getting this info to us sooner. There was some mistake with how the file was coded or something. Who cares... all I heard is "Kelli, your husband no longer has the Philadelphia chromosome". I could have dropped the phone, peed in my pants or a number of other things. But instead... I just stood there, eventually picking my jaw up off the floor.

I asked about the platelets being high. Luckily, Dr Wender was standing right there, so she asked him. He said not to give it a 2nd thought until his next Dr appt. If they're still high at that time, then they'll look into it more. Those numbers can be affected by something as simple as the food you eat... so just because they are high one day, doesn't mean they'll be high the next day.

At this point... all I can say, is please drop to your knees and thank God for His healing hand.

FYI - Brent will need to continue taking the chemo pills on a daily basis. He'll also continue to be checked on a regular basis (monthly for now, and then they'll spread out more as time goes on). He will also have to continue having bone marrow tests regularly (every 3 months for the first year, and then I think every 6 months after that).

Recap: Brent is CANCER-FREE!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update on Brent (or maybe not really)

OK, so I'm trying to keep my cool and not get frustrated, but it's not working very well. We went to Sioux City today for Brent's appt thinking that we were going to be getting the results from his Bone Marrow Test (which he had done 3 weeks ago). Well, not only did we not get the results, but we didn't even get to see a Dr. Can you say frustrating?!?

The nurse that checked Brent's BP and all that jazz mentioned something about that his white blood cell counts had gone up just a little (not an alarming amount), and also that his platelettes were high. (If any of you know what that means, please let me know.) I asked if that was a bad thing, and the nurse just said "They were in the high range". Great! Thanks for clarifying (sense the sarcasm). The nurse was going to have someone call us with some answers. I figure we've been patient for 3 weeks. If we haven't heard by tomorrow... our patience runs out, and they'll be hearing from us.

We also found out that the study isn't going to cover everything that we thought they were originally. That makes me a bit nervous. They'll be getting us a list of what they are covering and what they're not. Luckily, we have amazing insurance through Interstates. God really did know what he was doing when he put me at Interstates (not that I doubted that... ever)!

So basically, this really isn't any kind of update. All I can ask right now is that you pray that God gives us however patience He really thinks we should have.

Thanks for checking in!
Brent & Kelli, Karter and Brody

Friday, March 20, 2009

Haircuts

**Update** OK, so I apparently can't tell my kids apart. Let me clarify. While it's tru that Karter changes and gets smarter by the day... I may have actually been talking about Brody in the first sentence below. Just so you all know, Karter has actually been able to roll over for quite some time not. :-)
So here are our boys. Karter has really changed a ton lately. He's getting smarter by the day. He rolls all over now, and he loves to watch and laugh at his big brother. I would say the proof is in the picture... Monkey see, Monkey do!


We started putting Brody in his bouncer. He loves being on his legs. Karter loved this thing when he was a baby, too! In fact, he really wants to climb in it now, but he hasn't climbed all the way in... yet. We're trying the "this toy is for babies and you're a big boy" angle.

Brody got his first real haircut. Ashley is so good with the kids! we love her! Brody did very well. He sat so nice! Of course there was the occasional head bob, but he is only 5 months, ya know.
So here is the before:

And here is the after:

Can you even believe it? Isn't he such a little man now? It's crazy! He's getting so big already! All of a sudden, he figured out the whole "eating" thing. He eats his cereal and fruit like a true champ!

As for the RSV bug that the boys had... Karter has officially kicked the bug. He's doing much, much better. Brody, is doing better, but we're still dealing with his cough. It's not nearly as bad as it was, but it still wakes him up at night. I've heard that they can have some of the symptoms for up to 8 weeks, so wer're getting there.

Brent has an appt at the Cancer Center on Tuesday afternoon. This is when we find the results of the bone marrow test. Please pray for us as we have high hopes for this appt.

Another prayer request - Please pray for my friend Debi and her family. She just had her baby about a week ago. Landyn was early and was having problems with his lungs. They were soon transferred to Sioux Falls, and Landyn is in the NICU. It sounds like he's doing pretty well, but they could still use our prayers. Debi had a c-section, so please pray that she recovers as she deals with the stress of having a newborn in the hospital and an older son (I'm thinking he's 3) also. They live in Le Mars, so also please pray for safe travel for them.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Brent, Kelli, Karter and Brody






Friday, March 13, 2009

Lean Hard

I found this poem today and wanted to share it. I think it's awesome.

LEAN HARD
by Mary Prentiss Smith

Child of My love, lean hard,
And let Me feel the pressure of thy care;
I know the burden, child, I shaped it:
Poised it in My own hand, made no proportion
In its weight to thine unaided strength;
For even as I laid it on, I said
I shall be near, and while he leans on Me,
This burden shall be Mine, not his.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Roast

Get a calendar and a pen. Write this down...

"Thursday, March 12th, 2009, Kelli Hooyer made a roast... and it was good."

For those of you who are wondering, I've tried many times to make roast, and it's always disgusting. I can admit this. It's not new for me. I'm not a cook. Yet tonight's roast was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself.

Brent's mashed potatoes and green beans were good, too, but that's not unusual.

That's all I have.
Kelli

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lord, Please Make Me Patient.

Well, today was the bone marrow test. It went well. Brent has been in quite a bit of pain tonight. There seems to be quite a bit more pain this time than there was the last time. He will be going back to work tomorrow (if all goes according to plan), but he will be on light duty. He's not supposed to do any heavy lifting.

Unfortunately I can not give you any results yet. In fact, we will not know any results until our next appt on the 24th. That seems like forever away, but I'm sure it will go quickly.

The boys are doing very well. I ended up taking Brody back in to the dr yesterday. They prescribed nebulizer treatments, and they've really seemed to help! Supposedly I got up with Brody one time during the night last night, but I honestly don't remember it at all. That must mean he wasn't hacking too badly, right? Today was his first day back at Gretchen's, and she said he had a pretty good day.

OK, now that my boys are all sleeping, I guess I can just as well go to bed, too. Tomorrow is a big day... I might actually get a full day of work in. (Seriously, I'm so thankful for my job!)

Sleep sweet, everyone. Thanks for the prayers!
K
(Warning: I'm not even proofing this before I hit "Publish Post".

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Week's Prayer Requests

Hey all. It's Sunday night, and what better way to start out a week than to ask people for their prayers. So, I have 3 prayer requests...

1 - My baby boys (OK, so Karter's not a baby, but he'll always be one of my baby boys). Karter had RSV last week. He's doing much better, but please pray that he only continues to improve. He still has the cough, but he's getting that sparkle back in his eyes.

Brody came down with RSV over the weekend. It's scary in any child, but especially in an infant. His oxygen levels were good this morning, so they just sent us home with no treatment. Just lots of lovin from his mommy and daddy. Karter hates it when Brody cries, so this is tough on both of them. Please pray that things don't get worse for Brody.

2 - Brent has his bone marrow test on Wednesday. Please pray that everything goes well, and that there's not too much discomfort after the procedure.

3 - Please pray for my dear friend, Helen. Her Dad passed away on Friday afternoon. He had a lot of health issues, and Helen has been very involved with his health care.


OK, so here's a couple pictures... just cuz I love to show pictures of my boys! Brody rolls all over now. We tried giving him some cereal, but he wasn't a fan. Maybe we'll try again after he's feeling better. Karter loved having Brody lay by him on the couch (aka "towch"). The 2nd picture is just Karter being goofy (imagine that) :-)



Thanks for all your prayers! Isn't it amazing to be loved by a God that hears every single prayer?

Hope you all have a great week!
Kelli

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Aren't they adorable???













Seriously, aren't my boys adorable? You know they're cute when they even look good in Iowa clothes (could you sense that my nose was pulled up when I said that?). Just imagine how cute he'd look in Nebraska Red!!!

We had Karter's two year pictures taken, and they turned out SO adorable so I thought I'd share a few. We focused on Karter this time, so there's no new pictures of Brody.

We've had a rough week. Karter came down with a nasty fever on Saturday. He even had to come home from Grandma's house because of it. That's when you know it's pretty bad. I ended up taking him in to the dr on Monday, and he tested positive for RSV. It was good to know what we were working with, but unfortunately there's nothing they could give him. Just wait it out... and keep him away from his little brother. We took Brody in yesterday just to get him checked out, and so far he has not caught that nasty little bug!

Brent had an appt with Dr Wender again yesterday. Praise God that everything looked good! His numbers were good and everything looked as it should. Next week Wednesday we will go for another bone marrow test.

Thank you all for praying for us as we go through this. We truly are blessed!
Kelli

Oh yeah, in case anyone is wondering where we had the pictures taken, Niki Kruid took them. She works at Interstates with me, but I can really tell that photography is her passion. If you're interested in contacting her, you can email her at nikikruidphotography@gmail.com. Thanks for doing such a great job, Niki!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Howdy Y'all

Howdy, Y'all! I'm cowboy Karter, and I'm updating the blog today. Look at me in my new play clothes. My Pseudo Aunt Monna (that's how I say Monica) gave me these clothes. She said that if little girls can have play clothes, then so can little boys. She's pretty cool! She plays with my barn and my fence, and that's fun!

Last weekend we had my friends Ile (some people call him Eli, but I call him Ile), Brett and Trevor over, too. Matt and Kristi came, too. Mom & Dad had fun hanging out with them. But, me... we'll just let the next few pictures prove how much fun me and Ile had. Enjoy...


I think our Moms said that we weren't supposed to jump. But... it's just so much fun!

We wanted to go outside and play in the snow, but Mom said it was too dark and cold. Who needs snow anyway?!? We just went sledding off the couch.

Tonight my mom was acting silly. See, tomorrow night we're having our pictures taken. Mom promised Dad that she would trim Brody's hair before then. So... tonight was the big night. We took our baths (which was all I really cared about), and then it was time. All she was gonna do was trim something that Dad always called Brody's hippy side burns. Then she said she had to even it all out and trim his bangs. I think he still looks like my baby brother, but Mommy said that he doesn't look like a baby anymore. Here, you guys be the judge...

BEFORE


AFTER
All I know is that he has cool CARS jammies.

OK, Mommy said that I have to go to bed now. I just wanted to show you these cool pictures. Hope you're all having a great week!

Later Gators!

Karter

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prayers have been answered!

God has heard each and every one of our prayers, and he answered them. Today we heard the news that we've been praying for... Brent's white blood cell counts are exactly where they should be. An average Joe's counts are anywhere between 5 - 10. Brent started out 10 weeks ago with counts of 102. Today, his counts were at 4.1. That is so amazing to me!

So, I know what you're all thinking... what does this mean? Well, once we got Dr Wender to quit talking about OJ Simpson and the Steelers, I asked him that very question. He explained to us that it's way too early to take Brent off his chemo pills. If he were to go off the pills at this point, there's no way to tell if it would last or not. In all reality he will probably be on the pills for a couple years. After his trip to the ER a little over a week ago, they lowered his dosage down to 300mg/day. That's where they're keeping it at. He hasn't been having many side effects at this dosage, so we were OK with that.

It's amazing to think that we're as far as we are in only 10 weeks. How many cancer patients can say that? Like I said, God has really answered prayers. We realize that we have a long way to go, and I'm sure every day isn't going to be as positive as today was. There are going to be days where he's not feeling well, where either of us are frustrated with the situation, or where we just can't help but ask why. We know there will be those days. But if God can bring those numbers down so quickly, then He can certainly help us through our "down" days.

We want to thank each of you for continuing to pray for our family. We really feel blessed to have each of you in our lives.

OK, so an update on the boys... (I can't do this and not mention them)...

Karter is getting his two year molars. I feel terrible for him and his sore little mouth. He is talking like a little champ lately. Every day there are new words. His hands are "foody" (aka filthy). His new favorite animal is an "ebra" (aka zebra), and he now calls Brent "B" or "Daddy B".

Brody is growing like a weed. His personality is really starting to show. He smiles so easily, and he giggles, too.

They just make you feel like you're doing something right in this world.

We are getting ready for Brody's big day... baptism. On February 8th, our little man will be baptized. This is going to be such a special day! I can't help but think that it could be somewhat of a sentimental day, too. When Karter was baptized, my Dad came to church that morning and surprised us by acting as the elder for baptism. It was SO special, and I love those memories. I can't help but be sad when I think of what an amazing man that Brody will never get to meet on this earth. Both boys will hear lots of stories about this amazing man named Grandpa.

OK, enough for tonight. Thanks for checking in!

Kelli

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another First

I just had to quickly tell you all that Brody giggled last night. He's gotten close so many times before, but last night his giggle came from the tips of his toes. I was holding him and Brent was tickling him. He just could barely contain himself. It was so stinking cute!

This Wednesday we have another appt at the Cancer Center. They'll check where Brent's counts are at and go from there. I am nervous for this one. I feel very confident that his numbers are going to look great! ... But then I'm worried that I'm going to be very disappointed if they're not. Please pray for good results and that we ask all the questions that are filling our minds.

Have a great week!
Kelli

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Part II

OK, so sorry that it took me a little while to get Part II to all of you. I'll explain later what's been going on. First... the pictures...

Here's our family picture from Christmas. You'll notice that only one of us has good taste! :-)

Talk about crazy hair... It's funny, because I have one of Karter when he was about this same size. I'll have to see if I can dig it up to show you.

Saturday night we went to our nephew's birthday party.
Pizza Hut and swimming... Karter was shot by the end of the night!
Happy 3rd birthday, Kole!!!

Who do you suppose was having more fun in the next two pictures?
Karter just had an absolute ball, but it doesn't look like his Daddy is hating it either.





OK, so now for other things that have been going on in our crazy life...
Sunday morning while we were sitting in church Brent started having quite sharp pains in his stomach. I could tell it was more than just an excuse to get out of church... :-). He just kind of dealt with it all day long. Finally at about 8:30 that night I called up to the doctor that was on call in Sioux City. Sure enough... we headed up to the ER at Mercy yet that night. They did some tests and decided the pain was because he was dehydrated. They gave him a bag of fluids by IV, but that was about all they could do for him. After that the pain changed to more of a dull, constant pain. Not that anyone would want that either, but it was better than the sharp pains.
Monday morning Brent called up to the cancer center to let them know what had been going on. They decided to take him off his chemo pills for a few days. We're hoping that his body gets back to normal, and then Brent has to call back to the CC on Thursday to see what happens next.
No one really is excited about a late night trip to the ER, but we did find something positive in it. We asked the dr what his white blood cell count was at... and we're waiting to confirm at our appt with Dr Wender on Jan 28th, but I'll just say that we're very hopefull!!!!!
OK, I need to end this post so that I can go home and find my 3 guys who are waiting for me at home. This is my favorite part of the day!
Have a great night everyone!
Kelli




Sunday, January 18, 2009

Karter's Birthday

Yes, we're still here. I know, I know... it's been a long time since I've posted anything. I'm so sorry. I have to admit, this kind of fell to the back burner once I went back to work. So I may have to do this update in 2 parts.

Part 1

On January 9, my little Karter Henry turned 2. Seriously, where did the time go? He was so excited about his birthday! He helped get ready for his big day by making cupcakes to take to daycare. That was fun for him! Then, since his birthday was on a Friday, we planned a Chuck-E-Cheese birtday party for him. As it turned out, we got tons of snow that Friday. The weather was pretty crappy, but we still headed up to Sioux City. Unfortunately, the snow and a basketball game meant some of our family couldn't be there. Those of us that did make it had a good time. Since my brother drives the snow plow, he kept us up to date on the road conditions. (Thanks Jason!)

As for an update on Brent... We went back to see Dr Wender about 1 1/2 weeks ago. They reduced his dose down to 400mg/day (he was at 500mg/day). Unfortunately the side effects stayed about the same. It really just varies from day to day. We go back to see Dr W on Jan 28th. Hopefully his numbers are still going down. That is just so encouraging!!!

Anyway, here are a few pictures for you all to enjoy! I'll try update again later today. I have to get going, because my mom and us girls are going to see a movie this afternoon.

Karter in bed with his stuffed pony

Brent was in heaven at ChuckECheese. You can't really see it, but I was trying to capture the long chain of tickets that he had just won! I guess I know where to have his next b-day party...
Karter rode this horse (a.k.a. dootch) quite a bit that night.
Who wouldn't want to ride in the car with C-E-C?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cat and Mouse

OK, so I just had to show you all this little video of Karter. It's hilarious! We paused our movie, and so the DVD logo was bouncing around the TV. Can you say "Cat and Mouse"?


video