Thursday, September 26, 2013

Austin get his wish!

Austin has been so excited to hear about his wish being granted from Make a Wish.  Austin made his wish several months ago to go to Walt Disney World.  His "wish grantors" came over to our house and helped Austin make it official.  Since then they have been leaving little goodies on our front porch about once a week "teasing" Austin without telling him if he really got his wish.  At the same time, Make a Wish called me and asked if they could use Austin's picture for their campaign with Lin's Market here in St. George.  When one of our friends let us know they saw Austin's picture at Lin's, we had to go check it out.

 Austin was surprised and amazed at the huge number of stars on the wall spelling out his name and hanging from the ceiling, each one representing someone that donated money to Make a Wish.  Austin had his picture taken with the manager of the store and was treated like a celebrity.  It was so fun!  The employees were excited to meet Austin and put a real kid with the posters and the story.

Finally after weeks of teasing Austin, his wish grantors, Heather and her son, Colby came to our house and sent Austin on a scavenger hunt to get his wish granted.  They didn't know it, but this was one of the best ways they could have announced this to Austin because he loves puzzles and treasure hunts.  So off we went on the hunt, stopping at 3 different places until we ended up at Lin's market for the big party.  

Recognizing the Lin's employees that helped raise money for Make A Wish

 With a cake, balloons, and lots of cheering, they announced that Austin would receive his wish to go to Disney World.  He had the biggest smile on his face!

Cake time!

So let the fun begin!  We are so excited to go.  A huge thanks to Make A Wish for granting Austin's wish and for Heather and Colby and Lin's for making it happen.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A little TPA goes a long way

Time again for Austin's monthly blood draw and checkup with our Pediatrician.  Usually no big deal.  This time when the home health nurse came to draw Austin's blood, she couldn't get his port to draw back.  She poked him twice, much to Austin's anguish.  Poor kid just hates it.  He consents to the first poke but the second one is more pain mixed with stress and fear as well.  When the nurse still couldn't get the port to work we headed to Dr. Marsden's office for his checkup.  That went well so we headed over to the Pediatric floor to figure out the problem with his port.  

So thrilled to be here :(
 Our favorite nurse, Jason, poked the very bruised port site but once again no blood.  So bring on the big guns.  TPA or Activase is a drug used to dissolve blood clots in central lines.  The idea is to inject the drug just into the port and let it break down the clot.  So you put it in and wait...and in our case... wait...and wait.  
Using the "freezy spray" to numb his skin before the poke

Trying to get the port to work--no luck

Wasting time waiting for the TPA to work

Austin's favorite way to pass the time---grilled cheese, sweet potato, and cake--weird but yummy

ahhhh....finally!!!  So happy to see that blood!
Finally after about 4 hours and multiple attempts, FINALLY we got blood.  I can't tell you how relieved I was to see that precious red stuff.  If it hadn't worked we would have been on our way to Salt Lake for surgery and a new port.  Yuck.  So grateful all was well in the end.

Austin's stats for this month---Weight 44.2 kg (same as last month), HCT 35.2, Platelets 238, and ANC 2100 (!)  We knew his counts would go up since we had stopped his Chemo for 2 weeks when his feet were bad.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday Austin!!!

 I can't believe this amazing kid is 10!!  He is obsessed with a game called Minecraft and he designed his cake based on that.  It was super yummy.  Happy birthday my sweet boy!

Playing with his gift from his Uncles Blake and Bryant

Friday, September 13, 2013

Blood and Bone Marrow Drive

In honor of Austin's one year anniversary of fighting Leukemia as well as to recognize September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we teamed up with the Red Cross for a blood drive.  One of my co-workers, Lisa, helped coordinate with the Red Cross and we advertised in the hospital where Kevin and I work.  Several of my co-workers also volunteered to help out.  We couldn't have pulled this off without all these wonderful people and I can't thank them enough for their support.

Kevin's turn
 I also contacted Be the Match and they sent me some packets for people to swab their cheeks and be on the National Bone Marrow Registry.  This is close to my heart because if Austin does relapse in the future he will need a Bone Marrow transplant.  
Shaylyn manning the Bone Marrow Registry Table

Giving my blood
Some of my NICU family--these people are amazing
The blood drive was a great success!  The Red Cross had a goal of 16 successful donations and we were able to have 24.  Thanks so much to all those that donated.  I encourage everyone to donate regularly.   It is one of the truly selfless things that you can do for another person.  One donation can save up to 3 lives.