Tuesday, 9 December 2014

This time last year..

Hello to all of our friends and family!!

Apparently i've been slacking a lot when it comes to blogging! I get people all of the time asking when the next one is going to be posted! I love you all for that.. seriously!
I'm sitting here watching the Polar express and trying to find every last ounce of christmas spirit I can! Maybe it's just me, but with no snow.. it just doesn't feel like christmas!  Perhaps that's just my inner child being a whiny baby.. i'm sure you are all saying to yourself "this girl is nuts!". Maybe it's because I can actually tell people I had to walk in 4 feet of snow too and from school.. and yes, it was up hill.. (Durham street has a hill or 2 haha!).. but I survived it and loved it!!
Hayden is doing quite well these days! She had clinic on the Nov. 28th and sadly her neutrophils (an inportant cell that fights infections) had dropped from 0.5 to 0.3.. so we had to hold her chemo for a week and allow her counts to recover a bit. We went back again this past friday and they jumped up to 0.9! Still low, but at least she can continue on her bedtime chemo again.. and she was also able to have her flu shot! Not many people get a flu shot.. and that's a choice only you can make for yourself.. but i'm honestly glad hayden could have one.. maybe this will protect her a little more from the cold and flu season!!
We got word that her next treatment will be on christmas eve.  She will recieve a lumbar puncture (that she will be put out for) and also Vincristine.. her regular clinic chemo.  We go at 8:30 in the morning  that day.. so i'm hoping we can get out of there in good time and that she is feeling good enough to travel to to Mount Forest that night! She usually does feel good afterwards.. just groggy and extemely hungry since she can't eat all morning until after the procedure!  So its not the most ideal day to have treatment on.. but we do what we have to do in order to get this kid better!! As long as we can see all of our family at some point over the holidays, then I will be happy! The one thing I haven't been able to do this season is to take Hayden to the mall to see Santa! Her counts have been a little too low, so the scared momma inside of me has kept her away from the germy malls! She may be scared of him anyways, who knows!

I can't believe that 2014 is coming to an end already. 

This time last year we started noticing things weren't right with Hayden and her health.  It was around this time in december of last year that she had fallen off her high chair and started limping. I thought maybe she had just bruised her hip or leg. She was having sleepless nights while she was up screaming at the top of her lungs cupping her jaw.. almost as if she had some teething pain.  She started to bruise really badly as well.. Once after she bumped her head on a kitchen table and her ear lobe bruised, and once from falling into a padded couch when she bruised her eye and cheek.  I remember taking her to Port Huron to go christmas shopping.. and through the limps she was running around as happy as could be.. and even sat on santa's lap and had a big smile!
Getting towards christmas she developed a horrible cough. And no matter what I did to help her.. nothing was working. On christmas day night we took her to the emerge in my home town. My sister came with me and kept a very busy Hayden occupied for me by walking the halls of the hospital with her.. and giving her cheesies to feed her hunger!!  After we FINALLY got seen by the doctor, it was determined that Hayden had a cold. So they gave her a shot of steroids to help her swallow better and a dose of tylenol.. and off we went.  She had a great christmas with both familes that year!  Shortly after new years eve her cough still hadn't left and my heart continued to break for her. I took her to a pediatric walk in and the doctor said the exact same thing the other doctor said.. it's a cold or bad virus and to rotate advil and tylenol and it will eventually go away. I had mentioned to the doctor that I had noticed she had a small pea size bump on the back of her neck and he said it was a swollen lymph node.. likely from the cold virus.   So finally on January 4th.. I took her to the emerge at Childrens Hospital here in London. She had developed a fever of almost 40 degrees while I was at work.. so enough was enough.. that was the final straw! In the back of my head I kept thinking it's an ear infection and they are going to give her meds and we will be home in a few hours!
Not so. We were there for 10 days. Everything I had noticed developing in Hayden were signs and symptoms of Leukemia.. I just didn't know.. how would I? How would anyone?? You wouldn't notice them because they easily could have been teething pains, or a bruised leg, anemia, or a simple viral infection!
 What I had hoped was just an ear infection.. was way worse then I could even imagine.  Leukemia.  They told me that my bright eyed, curly blonde haired beauty most likely had Leukemia.  I felt like my world had crumbled in that instant. I felt like my heart was actually broken, and couldn't find the words to say anything at all. They kept asking me if I needed to sit down, or of I wanted a hug, or if I wanted anything.. but I couldn't even move. At that point in a nightmare I would normally wake up.. but I was already awake and living my worst fear.  Often at night I would cry myself to sleep, looking up at the sky and would wonder why God had chosen Hayden for this.  I was angry at the world, and would cry when I saw healthy happy families getting to do things that we weren't able to do. Simple things like grocery shopping. I haven't taken Hayden grocery shopping in over a year.
Eventually, the anger stopped. I have now realized that this happened to Hayden because God knew that  she's strong enough to handle this. She's the toughest little kid I know.
I've realized a few things this past year...
1) Leukemia sucks. Cancer sucks. Any anyone who has to go through it.. whether they win the battle or not.. will forever be a hero to me.
2) Life isn't easy, but it's worth it. There were days when I didn't want to stop looking at Hayden in case I missed something that could be a memory in my head forever. I've since realized that this is our life.. and to not dwell on what scares the crap out of me.. but to look ahead and think about where we are going with all of this. Having a positive attitude can make life so much more fun.
3) That our families rock. I didn't just realize this.. but I had to say it again.. and will say it 1000000 times more if I have too.
4) Kids are amazing. Ya, ok.. the screaming kid in mall isn't quite as wonderful.. but wow.. the kids we have had the chance to meet this past year are truly amazing.  These kids have to deal with something that some luckily may never have to deal with in their lives. They have to know the pain and suffering that comes with being so sick.. yet still smile and push through. 
And last but not least.. 
5) Hayden's still here and is still fighting onward!  As soon as I heard the word cancer come out of the doctors mouth.. I automatically assumed the worst. BUT, as scary as cancer is.. it is beatable. There are many doctors and nurses that will do any and everything possible to make sure that she stays right here where she belongs. They promised me that they always have another plan if something wasn't working the way we wanted it too. We put our daughters life in the hands of these amazing people. People who go to work every day not knowing what they have to diagnose or treat that day. People that have confidence in not only themselves but us as parents taking care of Hayden at home. People that give the worlds best hugs at just the right times. People who will roll around on the floor with Hayden just to ensure she has a smile on her face. And people who care with every ounce of their being about Hayden and her treatement, and want as much as Jon and I do for Hayden to make a full recovery from this horrible cancer.

2014 definitely isn't likely to be listed as one of my favourite years yet.. but thanks to all of your love and support.. we got through it! 2015 is just around the corner, and I can only hope that it bring lots of happiness and health not only to our family.. but to yours as well.
You have all helped us get to where we are in her journey, and we love and appreciate each and every one of you for thinking of us and keeping us in your daily prayers and thoughts! 
We wish you all a wonderful christmas season and that you get to spend it with all of the people you love! Spend it making lots of memories you can cherish and reminisce in years to come! We sure will be :-)
I will write again in the new year!  Be safe on the roads this season... and please be responsible!!
Lots of Love always,
Lindsay xo

Hayden almost exactly a year ago, one month before her diagnosis.

Hayden and Santa in Port Huron last christmas!  Its a picture of a picture.. sorry for the flash on Santa's beard!       

Hayden - Christmas 2014 (Sorry her arms are blurry.. it was a filter on my phone that did it haha)