Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair

Archive for November, 2011

Laughter is the best Medicine

We are HOME! Finally, the doctors had mercy on us last Monday and let Elizabeth come home. Her ANC was not exactly where they wanted it to be, but with it trending in the upward motion they released her to come home. Oh sweet home, how we have missed thee. As the doctor’s did their rounds that final morning, Brooke and I joined in to see what they had to say. You see, for the past two weeks, we had been waiting for her ANC to come up to the magic number of 250. We tried everything from our special “Raise the ANC” dance to asking our Magic 8 Ball, daily. Well, come to find out that Magic 8 Ball is not so magic and the dance while it was fun, also did not work. That bone marrow was enjoying a long needed vacation. A little too long of a vacation if you ask, Elizabeth. She was ready to get home. She missed Ginger. She missed Bryce. She missed Kate. She missed all her toys. She was tired of the nurses waking her up at night. But most of all she was tired of me being in a room with her every waking minute. And I don’t blame her, if I were in a room with my mother for 16 days straight, well, I would probably freak out on her too. We were eventually told if Elizabeth’s ANC was at least 200, that we would probably get to go home. Well, finally the counts were in…195. Are you kidding me? What? Darn it! Brooke and I looked at each other like, “Is this some sick joke? She is 5 away! We were trying to talk each other through it. We were not only trying to mentally prepare if we would have to stay, but also trying to reason our way into believing we could be going home. Would it be close enough for E’s doctor?” We were not sure what the verdict would be. It was finally time for the much anticipated rounds. I knew it had to be our day when I looked down and saw E’s doctor wearing silver sparkly sneakers! Then all of a sudden E’s doctor looks at Brooke and I with our fingers crossed (and it was not because we were trying to avoid the cheese touch) we were willing to try anything at that point. E’s doctor motioned towards the door with a thumb and said “YOU’RE OUT OF HERE!” WHAT? REALLY? IS IT TRUE? I suddenly heard in my head, WHO LET THE DOGS OUT, WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! Brooke and I both broke into tears. I wish I could describe to you the emotion of joy that came over me at that moment, but the best way to show you is the photo I snapped of Elizabeth just moments after hearing this news for herself. It was the best news we could have hoped for. Elizabeth jumped on her Daddy’s back giggling with excitement. We were so thankful. Before we left she needed to be transfused again so we did not end up coming home until later that evening. I remember seeing a family packing up to be discharged as we were arriving on the 7th floor that first night around midnight or so. I thought why would they not wait until the morning? I sure as heck now know why!

Since we have been home, all has been so wonderfully normal, siblings fighting, toys flying, the dog crazy and barking. All has been so completely normal. It was the fabulous five of us for Thanksgiving this year. The girls helped me make the sweet potato balls and cranberry jello salad the day before. I told them about how my grandmother taught me how to cook Thanksgiving dinner and how my first Thanksgiving I baked my first apple pie from scratch (crust and everything). It was the most super duper sour apple pie anyone had ever tasted. Peeling all those apples seemed like so much work for one little pie back in the day. Today I think I peel that many apples a day between all my kiddos. Anyways, so I didn’t peel the apples. They were granny smith green apples, very sour. It looked completely Martha Stewart, but definitely did not taste like it. The girls laughed and after we were done we all ventured outside to the project at hand. While the girls and I were cooking, Bryce was collecting sticks, leaves and fruit to make a centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table. Now, this is when things got FUN! You know the only thing I have helped craft since stupid cancer were the girls Taylor Swift Posters. So…On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! I gave the kids some cans of pink and green spray paint as well as glitter in every color and they created the most rainbowlicious piece of art. They spray painted and glittered all of Bryce’s treasures from the tree outside as well as themselves. These kids put it all together and created the most perfect piece of art. Perfect because they made it together. The three of them, together.

The next day, on Thanksgiving, I thought about making pink mashed potatoes, and putting edible glitter on everything but instead we got out the Alice in Wonderland tea set and fine china and had a Totally Turkey Tea Party. At dinner we each had a heart to place in the centerpiece container and say what we were thankful for. We needed at least 100 hearts each as we could have gone on forever, but here are just a few things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving…

Thankful to be home. Thankful for not having to pee in a pan. Thankful for not being hooked up to an IV pole anymore. Thankful for no fever. Thankful to share dinner ALL together. Thankful for crunching cornflakes with rolling pins. Thankful for no one hitting each other over the head with the rolling pins. Thankful for marshmallows. Thankful to teach my daughters how to make sweet potatoes. Thankful for spray paint. Thankful for glitter. Thankful for spray painting and glittering each other. Thankful for my kids making the most beautiful centerpiece for our table. Thankful for truly beautiful people. Thankful for courage. Thankful for strength. Thankful for hope. Thankful for bravery. Thankful for freedom. Thankful for medicine. Thankful for temporary tattoos. Thankful for love. Thankful for kindness. Thankful for patience. Thankful for pet therapy dogs. Thankful for our dog. Thankful for fashion shows. Thankful for tissue flowers. Thankful for snow in a can. Thankful for my kids fighting. Thankful for screaming. Thankful for laughing. Thankful for crying. Thankful for sprite. Thankful for hello kitty. Thankful for bubble baths. Thankful for chocolate soap. Thankful for faith. Thankful for giggles. Thankful for believing. Thankful for caring. Thankful for peace. Thankful for moms. Thankful for dads. Thankful for brothers. Thankful for sisters. Thankful for grandmas. Thankful for papas. Thankful for aunts. Thankful for uncles. Thankful for cousins. Thankful for family. Thankful for strong, incredible friends. Thankful for unconditional love. Thankful for rainbows. Thankful for pink. Thankful for music. Thankful for dancing. Thankful for tracing hands to make turkeys. Thankful for microphones. Thankful my son likes the stories I make up at bedtime. Thankful for rocket ships at bedtime. Thankful for ipads. Thankful for pictures. Thankful for videos. Thankful for the husband who is thankful for his wife. Thankful for the wife that is thankful for her husband. I AM JUST SO REALLY REALLY THANKFUL FOR MY LIFE.

As we sat down, I asked Brooke to say grace. The kids got extremely quiet, we closed our eyes, folded our hands and bowed our heads. Silence filled the room. You could have heard a pin drop it was so quiet. Before Brooke could begin grace, he started to sobb. He managed his way through, but before I knew it the tears started flowing for me, too. All of a sudden, I open my eyes, Bryce is cracking up laughing, then Elizabeth, yep laughing hysterically and now Kate, oh my practically on the floor. I think they mistaked our uncontrollable sobbing for laughter. Elizabeth even announced to the table that mommy and daddy’s tears were “happy tears”. Brooke and I opened our eyes and smiled at each other. She was so right on! Happy Happy Tears!! For 45 minutes, we the fabulous five ate turkey, toasted tea, laughed tremendously, cried just a tiny, and totally giggled our way through the most super duper Thanksgiving dinner. Laughter truly truly does make for the best medicine.

Finally, at clinic today, somehow the nurses heard about the TPing on the 7th floor last weekend. They were telling us all about it today when Elizabeth told them a thing or two. She said, yes she knew about the TPing and that she was the one who did it. She said, “Do you want to see the pictures?” She had all the clinic nurses gathered looking at photos. She knows how to get attention and she knows how to have a good time. I think I’m going to change her middle name to Hollywood. Elizabeth Hollywood Blair. She is so going there someday, ya know! You see, Elizabeth was named after Brooke’s sister, Christy Elizabeth, who passed away a couple of months before Elizabeth was born. Christy was so Hollywood, too. She would make a room full of people laugh for hours. She was so funny and so full of life, just like Elizabeth is. I know that’s where Elizabeth gets it from. Although Elizabeth’s counts are still not high enough for chemo, she will probably be able to start chemo again next Monday. So on your mark, get set, run cancer run cause Elizabeth Hollywood Blair is acting out in a BIG way. She is full of laughs and giggles so watch out!

Mission Accomplished

Dear Cancer,



Well, believe it or not we are still in the hospital. Going on day freakin’ 14 tomorrow. Elizabeth’s counts look like they might be starting to come up. Fingers Crossed. Elizabeth and I have decided they need a karaoke machine and a running track on the roof. What has EBB been up to at PCH? The question should be what has she not been up to at PCH? Elizabeth has been doing everything from a fashion show to music therapy. She has crafted, colored, beaded and even tried breaking out on several occasions and running away to California. But, there was no need because Hollywood came to her. Imagine that? Elizabeth starred in her first movie! It’s a movie for the hospital TV, which showcases all the amenities they have to offer, like that very therapeutic pet therapy. Her role was walking a pet therapy dog down the hall. She looks forward to the dogs more than anything else at the hospital each day. Bettie Davis was thrilled that Elizabeth decided to wear all her cheetah belongings for the film. You know how those dogs love cats. Even when the dogs are not on the floor, they make a special trip up for Elizabeth. Colleen thanks for putting out the word and hooking E up in a big way! You see Elizabeth has gotten herself quite the reputation around here on the 7th floor. They know she LOVES the dogs and she LOVES music. Everyone also knows if they hear music it’s usually coming from her room and that they better come in because…It’s a party on the 7th floor, specifically in our room. We have been having fashion shows and dance parties nightly around here. Well, tonight was a different party. Friday Night TeePee Party. Brooke, my kind and gentle soul of a husband, came up to relieve me for the evening with pizza in tow for him and E. That is our usual Friday night routine at home. PIZZA!! He knows by Friday I am wore out. I cry the entire way home because I hate leaving my Sweet E. I also know, it is for everyone’s goodness that I take a break sometimes. So tonight I stopped and got a pizza from Streets of New York to take home, as well. Can you believe this…The manager said, “Your husband was just in to pick up a pizza.” I said “I know” and that he was sharing his with our daughter at the hospital who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Can you believe what he did? He gave me that pizza for free! So not necessary at all, but I love seeing EBB! He’s got EBB. I came home and I got to spend some much over due time with Bryce and Kate. Bryce had one of his best buds, come home from school with him today. Bryce and his buddy got off the bus this afternoon, but where was Kate? Oh dear Lord, please find this child, RIGHT NOW!!! Luckily, Brooke was just leaving home as the babysitter came inside to tell him that Kate had not been on the bus. He hopped in his car and raced over to the old bus stop. He called me on his way and I called the transportation department. I all of a sudden feel like I’m in the movie Mission Impossible. Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot Doot DananananaaaaaaaaaNA-NA Yep, Kate took the wrong bus home from school. The bus numbers changed this week. She forgot and rode the old bus number of her current bus, but was now luckily the new number of her old bus. Brooke quickly followed his gut and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED He found Kate. Another prime example of how Kate is becoming more strong and courageous by the day. So tonight Daddy and Elizabeth teepeed (as in toilet papered) the 7th floor! The nurses all thought she got “punked” According to Daddy, they had a TP (totally perfect) evening. Bryce has been asking to go teepeeing for a few weeks now, so tonight was the much anticipated night. First stop, The Kasovac’s. “Oh gosh, they are outside! Abort Mission.” Next, we drove to The Cagle’s. Oh my toilet paper, we got them good! Next stop, The Lemke’s. Oh my toilet paper, we got them really good, too! Kids still want to do more so we drive to The Bruggers’s. BUSTED!!! James joins in and Stephanie hops in the front seat and we roll along with China singing “Calling All the Monsters” jamming on the radio. Back to The Kasovac’s. Coast is finally clear, Oh my toilet paper, got them good… oh wait, BUSTED again. They decide to join in, so I now have James, TJ, Bryce, Mitchell, Preston and Kate all in the car ready to teepee. Thank God for Stephanie tonight keeping “beep” in order in the back of that bus of mine. She was making sure seat belts were buckled and playing paparazzi. Well, we were off to our final stop of the night, just after we make a quick stop at the local Circle K for some more toilet paper. I don’t even want to know what that gal was thinking when I bought them completely out of all their toilet paper tonight. Final stop, The McDermotts. Oh my toilet paper… BUSTED AGAIN! They were awesomeness though and let the kiddos finish the job. Another MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Heading home we decided to drive thru at Mary Coyles for some I scream, you scream, we all scream, for you guessed it, ice cream! Stephanie said, “Are you going to let them eat it in your car?” “Yep I sure am. We have plenty of toilet paper laying on the ground to catch any drips.” I returned all the kiddos home safe and sound, and well, the night was so completely, absolutely, totally, EBB. P.S. To all the families we OMTP (oh my toilet papered) tonight. Feel free to return the favor anytime. Toilet Paper Welcome.

Mission accomplished,

Got EBB?

Spiritual Gangster in the house tonight.  Here we go now…How did I know that cancer was coming?  My gut told me that one day I would be faced with cancer in a big way.  I knew it, I felt it.  I always did.  I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but on numerous occasions, I told my mom my biggest fear would be “One of my children getting cancer.”. Did I jinx myself with fearing it too much, knowing it was coming?  My biggest fear has come true and I feel helpless.  I feel scared of death staring us in the eyes.  I am consumed with so much sadness it hurts every part of me.  The tears come not knowing from one minute to the next.  These tears burn so badly.  They sting as though acid is pouring down my face.  So many tears for so many reasons. Reasons like my baby has cancer.  Reasons like doctors thinking 70-75% are good odds.  Anything less than 100% are awful odds in my book.  These tears burn my face because my son and daughter have to watch this happen to their precious baby sister.  They have to watch their baby sister’s hands shake, her legs ache, watch her scream and cry, watch her vomit, watch her suffer unbelievable amounts of pain.  These tears sting my face because Kate is so worried she wakes countless times through the night to make sure everything is ok.  These tears stingy my face because I can no longer fall asleep like I used to.  And when I finally do fall asleep its not long before I am hyperventilating myself awake and soaking from my tears.  I scream at God.  If he is as mighty and powerful as everyone says, then why can’t he fix this and make everything better?  Why does my baby girl have to suffer like this.  Sleep is not easy, concentrating is impossible.  Functioning day by day is hard.  How can I let this shake me?  How do families do this for so long?  I feel weak and powerless.  Is there a secret?  I need to know!  But, most of all I hate that I have a new fear.  A new fear because my other fear is now reality.  A new fear that seems just too close.  So close, I try not to think it for fear that I will jinx our family again.  It’s the fear of losing this battle.  This battle with cancer.  Cancer, it’s a cruel and too usual life-sucking torcher for way too many beautiful families!  The doctors tell you to keep a normal life.  Please, tell me how to do this because I am trying to wrap my head around how to keep a normal life, when mom has to stay at the hospital, dad has to go to work, so now there is a babysitter feeding and nurturing my other two beautiful children. Why if I am standing in a room with my best friend does my daughter ask her to open her drink?  I hate that she feels like she doesn’t want to ask me for anything because she knows what I carry on my shoulders right now.  It hurts so deep.  It hurts that my beautiful baby girl now screams and yells that she hates me.  Why does she hate me so badly?  Does she blame me for all of this?  All I ever want is for her to feel love and comfort.  No pain and no stupid suffering.  Why did this have to happen to us?  Why does this have to happen to anyone?  Why do my mom and dad have to live so far away?  Good friends became great and some friends have almost become invisible.  Do they feel guilty because their children are all healthy and happy?  Do they just not know what to say or how to act?  Do they feel guilty because the only thing they have to worry about is decorating for the holidays or who is not signing up for napkins at the holiday party at school?  I wish my biggest worry was what size IPad to get for my kids for Christmas.  I hear people complain about having to work too much and not having the time for the priceless things in their life.  THEN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!  If you are not happy with who you are or what you’re doing, then change it or shut up and live with a life that will pass you by as you miss all the truly important things life has to offer you.

The fog is starting to clear…Getting EBB!!!  Things getting clearer.  You down with EBB?  Yah you know me!  Who’s down with EBB?

What’s EBB?  Well, besides Elizabeth’s initials?  It’s a movement inspired by Elizabeth. Not only is she kicking cancer in the buttcrack but also inspiring people to be more super duper beautiful.  People like my friend, Megan.  Oh my beautiful Megan, she’s the one who knows that look in my eyes when I’m thinking something big, she’s also the one who’s not afraid to hear those big thoughts and help me in anyway that she can.  She’s the one who will sit hours with me in the hospital and brainstorm how to spread EBB.  She’s got EBB!  Elizabeth inspiring people to giggle more, to sing daily, dance often, and truly enjoy the simple pleasures of your life.  Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair is the most courageous child I know!  She fears nothing.  At the young age of five she has helped author a book that, no doubt, will be given to each and every child diagnosed with cancer.  Because she makes the best out of any situation.  She always has and always will turn her lemons into lemonade.  Brooke and I have decided to start a foundation to help bring awareness to childhood cancer.  Elizabeth and I have started a book project together to help make a few things easier for young kiddos who are diagnosed with childhood cancer.  We are super duper excited for this!!!

As many of you have been asking…”What are you doing with Vintage Style?”. Well, what I can tell you is this…The doors will be opening on December 10th.  I know we will be open for at least 2 terrific days!  There is going to be a supersonic SALE benefiting EBB Foundation.  I have had so many generous, talented and amazing women contact me about doing fundraisers to help Elizabeth!  They GOT EBB!  Are you giggling yet?  We are!  We are giggling with so much excitement!  This will be our first of many fundraisers to benefit projects to help fight childhood cancer and make life more beautiful for families dealing with such difficulties.  Mommies and daddies united.  Together we stand!

You know, I do believe that God has a plan.  Do I think his plan involved my daughter getting cancer?  No way!  Cancer is all EVIL!  God is nothing but goodness.  He is nothing bad.  Do I think he prepared us for this? Absolutely!  There is a reason why my babysitter is here to help nurture my children right now.  As a cancer survivor, she always knows exactly what to say to them at exactly the right time.  I stand in awww of her knowledge and wisdom.  When the storm is over and you look back on where it took you, you can then see why and what you gained from that experience.  How it made you the person you are.  Forgive me, for always trying to put the puzzle pieces together and see the final picture.  I try to see the good anyway I can.  I always have and I always will.  Although, I have also seen awful stories that I just see no explanations for?   I love God.  He has been so good to our family and I get mad at myself at times for doubting him.  I know GOD IS NOTHING BUT GREATNESS.  Of all the pastors I have listened to in church over the years, the one who taught me that was my dad.  He’s never been baptized, doesn’t attend church regularly, but truly and whole-heartedly believes in Gods greatness.  God would never hurt us.  He only loves us dearly.  I know this, I’ve witnessed it in my life and I know that there is a greater purpose for all of this and not that God created cancer , but that he will help us all the way through it.  He is there.  He has answered my prayers consistently.  He has showed me that at times when I have felt so alone in this fight he has brought individuals into my life at exactly the right moment.  He has given me a beautiful husband that knows exactly what my heart desires.  He has given me a mind to think positive and creative and know where we are going with this and how we will get through it.  There is a big picture.  I have a glimpse of what it would look like.  I will continue on fighting this fight stronger than ever.  How did I know this was coming?  Because God is goodness and he prepared me for it.  That’s how.

Spiritual Gangster peace out!

People Change

My dear wife,

You have been doing all the writing so I decided to write something just for you but I wanted to share it with our family and friends.

You seem to amaze me in a different way every few years.  I know few people know this or would believe it but the first moment you caught my eye there was an aurora upon you that I saw.  Now anyone who knows me realizes that I don’t buy into that kind of well ‘mumbo-jumbo’ but looking back I don’tknow what else to call it.

You were a beautiful shy girl.  Yes, you were quite the shy one at one time while I was the outgoing one in college.  I remember during our first year together seeing some of your early design work and realized that UPitt was not the right place for your talents.  I supported you to follow your dreams though it would take you a thousand miles away from me.  What are the chances of success for two young college kids trying to have a long distance relationship for a year and a half?

Well things certainly changed once you started to live with your very outgoing mother as before I knew it you asked me about working at Hooters.  Yes, I know some people don’t know, but it was big change for a shy small town girl to make.  It was funny though as every time I visited the other girls would tell me you were to nice to be working in a place like that.  There was also another larger change that occurred.  You always called me the smart one but once you found your interests you showed others how talented you really were getting straight A’s.  You were dubbed the next Martha Stewart by your colleagues and I as you showed a rare talent and began to gain confidence in yourself.

After we married you made a sacrifice to move to the desert just part of your selflessness.   Our children came into our lives and gradually you became more outgoing.  You still showed your niceness to others as you befriended all those that you were surrounded by.  I still remember asking you “why are you friends with a certain mother that everyone talks bad about?” and you told me that she was really a nice woman if others got to know her.  That’s one trait that you have never changed and I have never seen in any other person I have ever met.  There is no one that you will pass judgment on without giving them a chance.  But you have also come to realize that not everyone is who they seem to be once you get to know them as well.  Rather than be like your husband and speak your mind, you tend to make the best out of any situation.  Those traits were recognized by other moms and soon you were a leader appointed the board chair for our children’s preschool.

Your trait of ‘make lemonade out of lemons’ has always been with you.  You are no longer a shy girl but a confident, courageous, talented and always caring, beautiful woman that is taking charge with the care of our daughter and about to make significant changes against childhood cancer not just for our children’s sake but for all.  The changes you see in Kate are a reflection of changes I see in you.  Your writing is just another wonderful talent that you have discovered that was always there and I hope that someday will be shared with the world.  You are the most wonderful mother and wife anyone could ever imagine and I love you and our children with all my heart.

People do change but we have done so together as a happily married couple should through the good and the bad.  I look forward to our journey ahead, our daughter’s conquering of cancer and the positive changes that it may bring for each of us and our children.

Though people do change I believe those parts of us are already inside of us waiting to be discovered.  I love you.

Your loving husband,


Hearts of Gold

Click clack snap, those kiddos were little hot tamales tonight!  Maya Thompson and Katie Wilson, owner of Garage Body Shop for Kids did an absolutely amazing job with tonights, Rock the Runway Event benefiting The Ronan Thompson Foundation.  Elizabeth and Kate have been looking forward to it for weeks now.  It inspired me so incredibly much tonight!  I will say my game plan just got a bunch bigger!   So as many of you may know we ended up in the ER with Elizabeth having a Saturday Night Fever.  I wish I were talking about John Travolta and the Bee Gees but unfortunately Elizabeth getting a fever and an ANC of 8 at the same time do not mix well.  E was admitted.  Her ANC count will have to come up to 250 before she can go home.  The fever is gone but her bone marrow has decided to go on vacation.  Maybe to Hawaii?  Gosh, how I wish we were all on a beach somewhere in Hawaii.  Bryce would be building the biggest, bestest sandcastles, Kate would be searching for shiny sea shells to craft necklaces, Elizabeth would be bringing buckets full of crabs back to show off and God knows whatever else her curiosity would help her discover and Mom and Dad would be sipping on some gin and juice.  But we’re not on a beach, we are here in the hospital and Elizabeth is ticked off that she is missing that Fabulous Fashion Show!  I just want to say Natalie Meszaros, I love you and you are my superstar tonight!  My husband and I have not both left Elizabeth’s side since before August 18.  Tonight Nat helped us do just that…My beautiful friend Natalie offered to stay with E at the hospital while Brooke, Bryce and myself went to witness Kate giving cancer a big kick in the buttcrack for her lil’ sis.  When Elizabeth was diagnosed, it sparked something huge in Kate and she was not about to miss a chance to bring awareness to childhood cancer.  Never in her life have I ever seen her more  determined about anything!  Can you picture this…  Kate rocking a rockstar wig with a Rockstar Ronan purple, super duper slick dress accessorized by rainbow colored headphones, a blingy bling belt and t-swizzle writing down her arms which reads Rock Star Ronan.  She looked like a supersonic superstar!  (Baby there’s no other superstar…You know that I’ll be…you’re papa-paparazzi.)  And that is exactly what this mama was trying to be tonight, but not news to me, I’m sorta awful at that, taking photos.  Of course, tonight was no exception.  They all turned out blurry.  Luckily, they had a professional there who knows what she is doing so my husband just decided we better order that cd with all the rockstar pictures.  Well, come to find out that super duper friend of mine, Natalie dressed up with Elizabeth at the hospital and they had there own fashion show on the 7th floor for all the nurses with paparazzi and everything!  Elizabeth had crazy amounts of FUN!!  My heart is so full of love right now!  So many hearts of gold I see.  Hearts of gold dedicated to clicking, clacking and snapping childhood cancer in the (as E would say) BUTT CRACK!  I witnessed awesomeness tonight and it was so paparazzi!
With much love,
Heidi, Brooke, Bryce, Kate, Elizabeth

That Much Closer

Halloween came and went so quickly. The pumpkin cookies will have to wait for Thanksgiving and the decorations, well, maybe next year, I’m just going to have to find them first. Elizabeth was pretty much set on being a witch for Halloween. That was, until we walked into the Spirit Halloween store and she spotted Dorothy’s TOTALLY TERRIFIC “Toto in a basket” for sale. “WOW! That’s what I want to be for Halloween!” She insisted and somehow talked her dad and I into buying her that Dorothy costume. A week goes by and it’s now Halloween day and Elizabeth is once again playing the role as vampire. Receiving yet another blood transfusion and platelets this time, as well. I was so worried she would get a fever and end up admitted, but somehow she continues to show crazy amounts of strength. And yet another VICTORY for Team Elizabeth! Elizabeth all of a sudden has a brilliant idea. She wants to be a “green bad witch” again. “But, we didn’t buy the witch costume.” I told her, “You wanted the Dorothy costume, remember?” Elizabeth had a plan and it’s a good thing because… Ummmm, it’s Monday and again we are stuck hooked to this pole at PCH clinic and I clearly cannot get to a costume store before trick or treat. What is a Mommy to do? How am I going to fix this because that’s what a mommy does? She makes things better and clearly I did not come prepared with my glue gun and all the essentials to make a witches costume. Luckily, daddies fix things, too. Those daddies are the BEST! Elizabeth’s Daddy immediately dashed to the costume store and picked up a cutie witch costume. And it’s a good thing because Elizabeth would have kicked me out of my own bed, which she now calls “her own” and I would have been sleeping out in the basket with Toto. So Elizabeth’s costume ended up being something so incredibly magical and so fantastically fantastical all in one. Why? She put it together herself. I think she had a plan all along and it was true Elle Brooklyn Style. Elizabeth’s Final Costume…The Green Wicked Witch that stole Toto and Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers with Hair. We rushed home from clinic. Grandma was luckily there to help make our little witch green. WE were off and spent the evening with the most amazing family ever. The Wonderful Wise Family! Kathy and Chip did everything I wish I could have done to prepare for the night myself. They are a beautiful family with amazing amounts of beauty. I can’t even begin to say it enough. They are incredibly beautiful people! Kathy and I first met when her son, Nathan and my son, Bryce were 6 months old. We have been friends ever since and I know this is a friendship that will last a lifetime. Kathy was there in the hospital with us when Elizabeth was diagnosed. I think she beat the ambulance to the hospital when we thought Elizabeth was having a stroke? Kathy and Chip were there to coordinate, organize, pick up and move our home when we moved in the midst of all of this. I am still wondering how it all happened? And Kathy is the one who is constantly picking up my spirit when I feel not so spirited. I LOVE that family! So the moment had finally come! Time to trick or treat, Elizabeth chucked Toto across Chip and Kathy’s living room. “What are you doing?” I said. “I’m making room for all the candy!” Well okay then, let’s go. Elizabeth hopped in the little red wagon and we were off. Daddy pulled her in the wagon to trick or treat because her legs are too weak and tire out very easily. Adults handing out candy kept giving her a hard time saying, “Wow, I wish someone would pull me around in the wagon to trick or treat. What a life!” I felt like saying “Wow, I seriously doubt you would really want to trade places with my daughter? Yeah, what a great life to have to fight childhood cancer at the age of 5 years old.” But, I didn’t because they clearly did not know E had cancer. She looked so freaking adorable with that Dorothy wig on. She glowed on Halloween and it was not from the green glow in the dark paint. It could have been the blood and platelets she received earlier that day but I like to think it was because she was so super duper happy and had such a magical magnificent night! The next day, I let the kids have a ditch day from school. Yep, the perfectionist mom I used to be would have said, “But, Bryce, Kate you both have perfect attendance and I don’t think we should mess that up.” We spent the day having tons of fun at home! The kids all planned, practiced and performed a show for Brooke and I at lunchtime. Somehow, I managed to unpack several more boxes from the move. The kids used them as props for their show. It was an exceptional performance they put on with homemade costumes made out of toilet paper! My kiddos are awesomeness. I love them so freakin’ much! They are why I will never give up on this fight against childhood cancer. As the day came to a close, we got ready for bed and the entire family sat in the bathroom as I gave Elizabeth her final chemo shot. We celebrated Elizabeth’s second phase of her treatment as another VICTORY in Blair history. We danced around the bathroom to Boom Boom Pow. Monday she will probably be hooked to another stupid pole again because of stupid childhood cancer, but we will be that much closer to another STUPENDOUS VICTORY.

Cheers to stupendous victories,
Heidi, Brooke, Bryce, Kate and Elizabeth

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