Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Wow, what a year it has been! It has been a tough one, but so many good things have happened too! Emma finished her chemo treatment in April, we welcomed our new baby girl, Taylor, to our family, Emma has been 8 months off chemo treatments, and she has been in remission for 17 months!!! God has blessed our family! We are so ready to start 2011 and see what wonderful things God has in store for our family : )
Thank you everyone for your continued prayers for Emma. She is doing wonderfully and is so healthy. She has finally hit 21 lbs. She is still small for her age, so the doctors are going to keep a close eye on her to make sure she continues to grow correctly, but they are not worried. Next month they are going to check her IGG levels(the memory part of her immune system) to make sure they are normal. For some reason it never got checked before they took out the central line. This means that they will have to draw blood somewhere other than her finger. I'm not sure how she will take this since she is older and more aware of what is going on. Jonny will be going with me to this appointment to help her through it.
Taylor is growing like a weed! She had a stomach bug a few weeks back and was not eating hardly at all, but ever since then all she wants to do is eat : ) Emma never ate this much, so it is so new to me. She is still not sleeping as well as I would like, but is slowly improving. We have at least eliminated the middle of the night bottle since she is eating so much during the day. We have started rice cereal and vegetables too so that is helping!! Her personality is starting to come out, and she is such a happy baby who loves to cuddle : )
Emma started mother's day out about 2 months ago, and is finally having fun. She had separation anxiety really bad, but the doctors and us decided that it would be the best thing for her since she needs to build her immune system back and socialize with other kids. Taylor will also be starting in January. I'm not sure what I will do with my few hours alone, but I'm sure I will find something : )
I hope everyone has a happy new year's!!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Emma is 2!

Wow how time has flown! I can't believe my precious Emma is 2 years old!! She had a great birthday yesterday, and enjoyed being with her family. We started out the day with gymnastics and then lunch at chik-fil-a. She decided not to take a very long nap, and just played the day away. Our family came over last night for Jonny's famous ribs(Emma's favorite) and some Elmos birthday cake. She enjoyed opening presents in front of everyone and showing off all the new stuff she got. She also had a party on Sunday at her Gigi's house and got lots of great toys. She is so special that she is going to have another party next weekend with all of her friends. So spoiled! But boy does she deserve it : )

She has started going to the church nursery on Sundays and is doing ok. Her first time there was amazing, and she didn't cry a tear. Not so much the second or third visit, but we will slowly get her there. She is just so used to being the center of atttention at ALL times and has socialized with adults her entire life. She enjoys other kids, but only if mommy is there. Please pray that she will adjust to the nursery. The doctors would like her to be around other kids' germs so that she can build her immune system. Plus, she needs the socialization with other kiddos. I am also trying to get her into mothers day out a half a day once a week.

She has started gymnastics and is loving it! As soon as we pull up to the building, she get so excited. When we get into the waiting room, she runs to the door to the gym and says "nastics". It is so cute and I'm glad she has found something she enjoys. I'm also thinking of putting her in some music classes because she is in LOVE with music. Her favorite song is "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum. I know that sounds funny, but since I was obssessed with it and listened to it over and over while she was in the car, I can't expect anything less. As soon as we get into the car she says "Need Now". If you ask her what her song is she says "Need Now". I should probably start listening to some toddler tunes : )

Emma is adjusting to her new baby sister, Taylor, very well. She has her days and moments, but for the most part she is a great big sister. She likes to help change her diaper and feed her. If she is crying, Emma will tell her to hush and then stick the pacifier in her mouth. It is so sweet : )

Taylor is growing like a weed. We welcomed her into our family on August 10, 2010. She was 6 lbs 12 oz and 20" long. She has got a head full of hair that won't stop sticking up. We are enjoying life and enjoying being a happy family of 4. It has been a huge adjustment, but I love being a mommy of 2 beautiful girls.

On the medical side, Emma will be 6 months off of treatment on October 20th. Praise God! She is eating a variety of things(although junk food is still her favorite) and is slowly gaining weight. We have hit 20 lbs, which is a huge acomplishment for her. She has her 2 year check-up tomorrow morning with her regular pediatrician, and will start getting her immunizations next month.

Life is great here at the Williams' household. Jonathan and I are so blessed and are enjoying our "Normal" life with our girls. Of course we worry about the cancer coming back from time to time, but why worry about something you can't control. We believe God has healed our little girl and has great plans for her life. Just look at how many lives she has touched so far and she is only 2!

Please continue to pray for Emma!

Pray for:

NO long term side effects from the chemo
The cancer to NEVER come back
Her growth and development as she is still small for her age
Taylor's growth and development
Our family's health and safety

Also, I would like to ask for everyone to pray for our friend Stevy. She will be receiving a bone marrow transplant soon. Pray that this will get rid of the leukemia and that her body responds well to the transplant.

Our friend Micah, who has been battling cancer for a long time. He has developed leukemia and is not doing well. Pray for the healing of his body. Also, pray for his family as they are going through this.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2 month check-up

Emma had her 2 month off of therapy check-up and it went very well! Everything was clear and she is becoming a healthy 21 month old. The doctor said she was impressed with Emma : ) Emma has gained weight and is eating more and more things everyday. Her favorites are Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pizza, cheese, and pringles cheddar cheese chips! She is learning new words and things everyday. She loves swimming and swinging in her swing.

We were actually able to travel to Colorado for a week to see my family, and we will be going to Branson, MO for a week with Jonathan's family. It has been so nice to be able to make plans and lead a normal life. We are all getting ready for our new little girl, Taylor, and are so excited. Although, when we ask Emma if she wants a little sister she replies "no". : ) She will be a great big sister.

Jonny and I are adjusting to this "normal" life. It is really hard for us to not worry about the cancer coming back because it is always in the back of our minds. Every little mark on her body is a concern and we just aren't sure what is normal on a baby. We are getting better and working through it together.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

End of treatment celebration for Emma!

We are having a celebration for Emma on May 29th to celebrate her completion of chemotherapy! We would love for anyone to come enjoy dessert and fellowship with our family. It will be at Eldon Lyon Park-West pavilion from 6-8 p.m. No gifts please, just the pleasure of your company : ) Hope to see you there!!

Jonathan, Jessica, and Emma

Friday, May 14, 2010

Emma is FINISHED!!

Emma is finally done with chemotherapy treatment! She has been off treatment for about 2 months now and will be getting her central line out on May 24th! They stopped chemo early because Emma's body was not able to tolerate it anymore as she as fighting off a bad stomach infection. But after about a month of no eating or drinking, she fully recovered from that and is now on a regular diet. She is not eating as much as a normal toddler, but has started trying new foods and is eating more than she ever has before.

She seems to be weaning herself off of her bottle and leaning towards an all solid food diet. This is normal for a toddler, but Emma still needs calories from a liquid supplement. It has been hard to see my baby grow up so fast after treatment. She now knows what it feels like to feel great and she is going at full force : ) We are so happy to see her run around like a maniac day after day, although it is very exhausting. Especially since I'm 26 weeks pregnant with our second little girl, Taylor. We have started to work on Emma falling asleep on her own and staying in her crib all night. This has been a very hard process, but she is doing better every night.

My sister is moving out at the end of the month and we will then convert her room into Emma's room. We have already purchased a toddler bed, so that will be another adjustment for her. Plus, I think we will start potty training in the next couple of months.

Emma will continue to see the oncologist every month for the next year and they will monitor her closely for the next 5 years. Please continue to pray for her health! She is still considered high risk because of her age, and her immune system will not be normal for about 4-6 months. They will start with her immunizations in november and then she can start going to the church nursery and being around bigger groups of kids. The docs have already given us the ok to take her the nursery, but we still don't feel comfortable. Please pray that she doesn't have any long term side effects from the chemo and that she will stay in remission for the rest of her life!

Thank you everyone for all your support throughout this difficult year! I will continue to keep you posted on Emma and Taylor when she arrives.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter 2010

Emma had a great Easter here at the hospital. This will be her second Easter and her second Easter in the hospital. We started out the day by opening her easter basket, which the easter bunny delivered here at the hospital. We then dyed easter eggs, which she absolutely loved! Then mommy dressed her up in her beautiful yellow and blue dress and she showed it off to all of the nurses and doctors. She cooked daddy and I easter dinner in her kitchen and then all of her family arrived. Jonny and I stepped out and ate our dinner, while she played with everyone. Nana brought her more eggs to dye so she did that and just played the day away. It was nice to be with Jonny and Emma and have such a great day!
She has been feeling great these past few days and her attitude has returned in full force : ) Which is so refreshing, although tiring. She is back to being miss bossy pants and is actually walking by herself every once in a while. She even tried to stand up from the sitting position, and almost did it without help. She is starting to gain a little bit of weight, but the nutritionist would like to see her gain more soon. Her muscles are starting to rebuild and she is really starting to turn around.
She is still on the nutrition through the IV (TPN & Lipids) and is on fluids round the clock. They have decided to stop the antibioitic today, since she is clear of the air in her stomach and looks so well. Her counts are still really low, and she has not had chemo for about 5 days. Her counts have to recover before they can start back up. I asked the doctor if they would make it up, and he said that in this phase of chemo, they usually don't make it up. She only has 2 weeks and 5 days left of chemo and they don't really think it will make a difference. BUT they can't tell me that she won't relapse. I have been worried so much about not finishing out the chemo, but the docs don't seem worried. Even if she finished everylast drop of chemo, they still couldn't tell me for sure that she wouldn't relapse. GRRR!!!! I just want to know the future please!! I told Dr. Meyer this morning that even when Emma is 30 I 'm going to be calling the clinic with every little thing : ) I'm just struggling a little bit with trusting God, even though I know he has had his arms around my baby since the day she was conceived.
Dr. Meyer talked to us about going home this week. As long as they could get her nutrition stable enough and insurance would allow it. Jonny and I were against going home at first only because we didn't think she would adjust well with the kitchen and table since she is still not able to eat. She will not be able to eat again until April 14th. But after talking it over, we decided that we are sooo ready to be home. So, we got the word today that insurance has approved it! Now, we just have to see what her liver levels are tomorrow and we can possibly go home tomorrow or thursday. I'm nervous about going home because she will still be on the IV nutrition, and they will have to train me how to use the pump and administer it myself. Yikes! They also are talking that she will be on it for 20 hours a day : ( I hate that we will have to bring actual medical equipment into the house, but it will sure make Emma so much more comfortable. She will visit the clinic 2-3 times a week to check her counts and her liver level to make sure she is tolerating everything ok.
On the 15th, if everything still looks good, they will start her on a clear liquid diet, and then slowly move to formula. If she tolerates that, then she can start with solid foods again. I can't wait to see how happy she is when she can eat, and when we can eat as a family again! It's the little things like eating dinner together that I miss so much : )
It was a year ago yesterday that Emma was diagnosed with Leukemia. As I go back and read my blog and remember that horrible day, I just cry. I still get sad when she is getting an xray or getting her dressing changed. She is so good and just lets us do our job, this is her normal. But this is NOT supossed to be her normal. Or so I think. As I look back on the past year, I get sad, but realize how truly blessed I really am. I have such a brave daughter who has fought cancer, and won!!! And has done so with so much courage and so little crying or complaining. I am so proud of her and so proud to be her mommy! I look forward to everyday with her!! God has taught me what the most important things in life are. I hope that I can hold onto that forever and forever be changed. Thank you God for giving me the gift of Emma Grace and healing her body!
Thank you everyone who has prayed for Emma over the past year! Jonny and I cannot thank you enough for the continued support you have shown us. We will forever be grateful!!
Please pray this week:
Emma to be able to go home
She will be healed forever!
Adjusting to home and not eating
No long term effects from the chemo
Peace for our family as we worry about not doing chemo these last few weeks
Rest for all of us
Our new baby girl who will be arriving August 16th!