Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair

Archive for September, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Well, where do I begin? Friday was a very busy day for Elizabeth. It started at PCH for the much anticipated PET scan, which had all of our stomachs in knots! We could hardly bear thinking we would not get results until Monday. We were at the hospital for most of the day. We went home only to return a few hours later with a fever. Darn! At first we thought our thermometer was not working properly due to a false fever reading earlier in the week that landed us in the ER. But after a trip to the pharmacy for a new thermometer we knew we needed to go in. By the time we got there her temperature was almost 103. For children with cancer 100.4 is considered an emergency. It showed signs of concern. Because Elizabeth’s blood counts were so low combined with a high fever she was admitted to the hospital and started on antibiotics. She was also given her first blood transfusion. Many thanks to everyone who has given blood!! Blood is so precious and saves so many lives. I personally never fully understood that until Friday night. If you want to help, donate blood (not specifically for Elizabeth) but for all kiddos that will need it. No matter what your blood type. It was a rough Friday, but the sun will come out tomorrow! And on Saturday morning we received news brighter than the sun itself. Elizabeth’s PET scan results came back and showed ZERO cancer!!! We are crying with so much joy, I can not begin to even describe the feeling. She will continue on her current roadmap because although we do not see the large masses anymore, the doctor says the cancer cells are still there. We could not have asked for better results! The chemotherapy is doing it’s job. We see just how powerful prayer can be! Today, Elizabeth got a very special visit from the pet therapy dog, Annie. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen! Annie was even allowed to climb right up into bed with Elizabeth. She snuggled and cuddled her for 20 whole minutes! She would have snuggled her all day if there wasn’t a floor full of children hoping for the same chance. It was truly therapeutic or as Elizabeth would say super duper! So when you’re stuck with a day that’s gray and lonely. I just stick up my chin and grin and sayyyyyy. The sun will come out tomorrow. And it sure did!
With much much love,
The Blair’s

Don’t Stop Believin’

Hello friends!

It’s hard to believe we are a month into this crazy unpredictable childhood cancer we call Lymphoma. There have been many ups and downs that come with each day, but one thing I’m sure of is “Don’t Stop Believin'”. This was one of the sayings on several shirts sent to me this week by a dear college friend. And it is the truth!!

We thought it would be only fitting to come up with our Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate this Week, which marks one month closer to Elizabeth being Cancer Free! So that’s what we did.

Elizabeth’s Top Ten

#10 Done with the “YUCKY” medicine! Can I get a Whoop Whoop! Well, she is temporarily done. I’m not about to tell her she will take it again in the later months to come). Daddy promised a big reward at the end of 30 days. We will keep you posted…not sure what it will be but something great for the bravest girl I know!

#9 Leaping Lizards! As many of you know, but for those of you who don’t…Elizabeth loves loves loves to catch bugs, slugs and anything really that falls within the insects or slimy reptile category. I am constantly poking air holes in the the tops of spaghetti jar lids for all her living treasures. This week was no exception. Elle has a nightly routine as many kiddos do, and the part she looks forward to the most is saying good night to her not so furry lizard friend, Fuzzy Wuzzy, which appears on the outside of the bathroom window each and almost every night. She can not walk into the bathroom to brush her teeth without looking for him. There have recently been several days and nights that Elizabeth does not have the energy to get out of bed so what is a Daddy to do? He saves the day of course! He found a little lost lizard in our house roaming the hall (probably Fuzzy Wuzzy looking for Elizabeth) because she didn’t show up in the bathroom to tap on the window and say good night. Well, out came the jar, in went the lizard, and all was (as Elizabeth would say) “super duper”. She ordered me outside right away to get some grass, a leaf and a flower. We cut a piece of apple and poured just enough water for the the little guy to be happy for a day or so. She kept him on the table top next to her all day long. Today we decided that her lizard friend needed to go home and so she said her good byes and off he went. And leaping lizards Fuzzy Wuzzy was on the bathroom window tonight!

#8 Triangle Tissue Boxes. Mommy found them at Safeway, they have pictures of ice cream with cherries on top. It’s just one of those little things in life that make you happy. Who knew a triangle tissue box would bring so much joy? Apparently Kleenex did and if they don’t I hope they do now.

#7 Candy Apples for dessert! They were pinkalicious!

#6 Pooping. (And that’s all I have to say about that!)

#5 Guess What? Elizabeth asks us the question, “Guess what?” We respond with “What?” Elizabeth says, “I love you.” Or she will say, “Mommy I can guess what you are thinking.” And I say, “What am I thinking?” And Elizabeth will say, “You are thinking that you love me.” She is so right EVERY TIME!

#4 Midnight Snuggles. They are the absolute very best! With not feeling good comes not wanting to be snuggled a lot of the time, but there was a night this week where all Elizabeth wanted to do was continue to squeeze me all night long! I didn’t get much sleep, but it was well worth it and the best night ever!

#3 Chicken Wings, Spaghetti Tacos and iCarly. Elizabeth finished all 38 episodes of iCarly this week. It’s a lot of TV I know, but whatever gets her through the day. She finished all 38 episodes all the while eating chicken wings (her number one craving) and tonight her special request for Spencer’s famous spaghetti tacos. I will say they are delicious and if you haven’t tried them you should. They are the best!! This is not the first time we have had them for dinner and it won’t be the last.

#2 Clear Spinal Fluid!!! Elizabeth had her 3rd LP this week and the results were CLEAR! We will cheer it again…Rah Rah Ree Kick Lymphoma in the Knee Rah Rah Rass kick Lymphoma in the (other knee).

#1 Midday Naps. This afternoon as I was laying there watching Elizabeth take an afternoon nap she would mumble and then smile, and then mumble some more. As she was sleeping with milky drool running down the side of her mouth she put her hands together and started to say her nightly prayers. I only made out part of it but I almost didn’t believe what I was hearing. It was such a blessing to see this little lady praying to God in her sleep. I know God hears her prayers. And I know he hears your prayers too.

So as I end for tonight I will leave you with Elizabeth’s nightly prayer…

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to Lord my soul to keep, Angels watch me through the night as I wake in morning light, Amen. God Bless Elizabeth and make her well.

Don’t stop believin’,
Brooke, Heidi, Bryce, Kate and Elizabeth

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade

If life gives you lemons. What do you do? Make lemonade of course and if Elizabeth is involved you add a little bit of live music to go with it. So that is exactly what we did! Lymphoma is like a big, fat, sour lemon (like the ones in our backyard) They are bitter and terrible, but if you add a little sugar and ice and everything nice in the end it turns out to make for a very good pitcher of lemonade and an even better afternoon. On Sunday, Elizabeth finally got to do a much anticipated lemonade stand with sister Kate. Big brother Bryce even decided to get involved and set up shop with his duct tape wallets with every pattern imaginable.

It was the middle of summer and scorching HOT outside. Our girls had a brilliant idea, “Let’s have a lemonade stand!!” Mom and Dad did not think this was such a brilliant idea. “Once the weather cools down” Mom said. “Next weekend” Dad said. “It’s too hot!” We both said. They insisted that a HOT day is the perfect day for lemonade. We were not convinced. Even as Elizabeth sat in her hospital room on the 7th floor at PCH she asked, “Can we do a lemonade stand tomorrow?” Well, she was thrilled yesterday when her perfect day for a lemonade stand finally happened! She helped bake and ice confetti cupcakes, stir up a sweet batch of lemonade and helped create some really colorful signs for her table outside. Not to our surprise, she sold every last drop. But it can’t end there, not if Elizabeth is involved. The neighborhood kids all gathered and decided they would have a live music concert!! Bryce broke out his electric guitar and amplifier, his friend Jules jammed on the drums and all the girls busted a move taking turns singing on the Hannah Montana microphone system. It was VERY entertaining! Elizabeth sat front and center as she was their number one fan. She played freeze dance in her own modified way, laughed at jokes and had a wonderful day full of fun. (Pictures will be posted)

Today was Elizabeth’s 4th chemotherapy at the clinic and she handled it like a veteran. She knows the routine like she has been doing it for years…she walks up, takes her shoes off, steps on the scale, sits down, puts her arm out for her blood pressure, puts her shoes back on and finally follows the nurse to her room. She had to remind me to put numbing cream on her port before we left the house this morning. She asks, “Should I take my Miralax?” Honestly, I don’t know how she does it? I feel like she’s holding my hand through it all and not the other way around. She is amazing and I feel so blessed that God has given me this child. Elizabeth will have her 3rd spinal tap and chemo treatment in her spine next week as well as her 2nd PET scan. We have no doubt she will turn those lemons into lemonade, too.

Finally, we want to send a very special thank you to all of you! Your prayers continue to lift us up and all the wonderful acts of kindness we experience daily. Each and everyone of you have helped turn those lemons in our life into a refreshing glass of lemonade. We are so grateful. We love you and thank you so so much!

Think positive,
Brooke, Heidi, Bryce, Kate and Elizabeth Blair

Do you know what makes you beautiful?

Weeks ago, as Elizabeth primped to perfection in the bathroom mirror, I asked her, “Elizabeth, do you know what makes you beautiful?” Without a pause she looked into the mirror puckered up and said, “Lipstick?” Chuckling I said, “No silly, your heart makes you beautiful.” She looked at me confused, thinking and wondering why in the heck it would not be lipstick? Of course, we had the conversation how beauty comes from within and so it goes, but little did I know how this would be such an important conversation played over and over again in our house over the next couple of weeks.

Elizabeth achieved another milestone this week in her fight against cancer. She starting losing her hair on Wednesday. The strong girl that she is… sat in front of the family room window on Saturday and brushed her hair until she made a giant birds nest on the floor next to her. What is a mom to do? Cry? Honest to God the Martha Stewart in me wanted to glue it back on. I’m not a saver by any means. I purge closets and bins all of the time, but for some crazy reason I felt the need to put her hair in a plastic bag and save it. It’s the hair I caress every night when I tuck her into bed, it’s the hair I help her wash every night before bed, it’s the hair that she won’t let me touch when she’s getting ready for school in the mornings, it’s the hair she just learned to put into a ponytail herself. Cry? Yes of course I cried.

Earlier that day I took big sister Kate to ballet, we made a stop at the ballet store to pick up some hairnets, when there it was… a message from God speaking directly at me. There hanging on a rack was a pink t-shirt with a little birdie on the front. The t-shirt was ok, but honestly I bought it because of the tag attached. The tag said “think positive”. I’ve been wearing it ever since. So when I get sad and want to cry because my baby is losing her hair, my husband says, “Heidi, what does your shirt say?” And so I “think positive” and all of the good to come from this…Elizabeth and I and our daily conversation about beauty, fancy hats, fun wigs, but most of all no more cancer. The chemo is doing what it needs to do and I will not cry about that. I will only celebrate. And so we did, we had a little celebration with fancy hats, Justin Bieber, Never say never movie (which by the way has a great message), and pizza lots of pizza. A special friend came and set up a hat boutique in our home yesterday. She brought tons of adorable hats with tons of adorable embellishments to clip on. Elizabeth, Kate and I went shopping for the most stylish hats out there. And I have to say Elizabeth will definitely be stylin’ at the clinic on Tuesday! Not to mention, a very special day of memories for us all. So when you are asked what makes you beautiful? Just know how Elizabeth would answer that question…”Beauty comes from your heart with a little bit of lipstick.”

Think positive,
Heidi, Brooke, Bryce, Kate and Elizabeth

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