Thursday, June 30, 2011

Everyone awoke this morning excited as can be! Swimming to a child is like winning on one of those big machines in Vegas, they are full of joy!! We are headed off to swim at this early morning hour as it is the perfect time to do so!

Last night we took a stroll along the strip, an ideal time to people watch among the crowd. The temperature is warm but not hot and there is a nice, refreshing, slight breeze that covers your body and makes you feel so very comfortable.

Autumn is as cute as ever, adorable as can be in her new two piece! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"I don't think my port wants any more medicine" sighed Autumn Monday morning. She is almost halfway through this whole thing but definitely tired of it all (who wouldn't be!?!)

We spent the greater part of Tuesday driving to Las Vegas for a little trip we take each year with my mom. It was a long drive to say the least, but much more enjoyable than I would have thought! A few times we had to turn off the air and ON the HEAT, yuck! We were so very thankful to use grandpa's car, so there is little room for complaining! We had fun spraying each other with water all along the way.

We are here now, enjoying the pool, a bit of shopping and the food!

Monday, June 27, 2011

This was a short day for Autumn, those days are sweet and quite enjoyable! It means we have time to visit the zoo or a park or any number of things that beautiful Santa Barbara has to offer! Autumn had one small, quick “push” of Vinchristine today which literally takes 20 minutes for the whole process and there are hardly any side effects!

Autumn’s friend Kiki and her mom Lisa joined us today, what a treat for Autumn. Company is one fabulous way in which to lift spirits during long drive to Santa Barbara. After her treatment we headed downtown where Autumn and her sisters discovered Pinkberry, perhaps their newest favorite frozen yogurt delight! (Thanks Lisa :)

We managed to make it back to SLO in time for Autumn’s dance class at 3:30. She looks so adorable in her leotard, pink skirt and sassy bald head!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, located across the street from Cottage Hospital, put together their 7th annual “Family Fun Day” today. There was food (although we were a bit too late to really enjoy it all!), games and prizes for all to enjoy! Autumn won a Betta fish that is so proud to own and care for in her time of needing to be needed.  This little blue critter was given the name Peal after a lot of searching and hard work. Sage and Lindsey also won betta fish. Pearl, Roxy and Paris are the newest members of the family and so far, seem to be doing well. Only time will tell how “well” they will do as the last fish we had we couldn’t manage to keep alive for more than 2 days!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A great day today! Autumn and her sisters found time this morning to just HANG OUT. It feels like we haven’t done that in awhile, it was so nice to say the least.

We are planning a small trip to Las Vegas this coming week. Traditionally we have taken this trip with my mom and all the girls every summer. It’s fairly cheap and loads of fun with all the activities, heat and all of the pools a kid could desire! She has been talking about it all week, because she can actually swim, something she has wanted to do for so long. Her port was placed under her skin and is completely internal, so she can do just about anything which is great news.

We’re having a garage sale tomorrow, it always feel so good to clear your house of clutter, doesn’t it? Sage and Lindsey are so involved now, they are excited about their lemonade stand and making a bit of change, it’s a good life lesson. Autumn would rather hold onto almost everything, but she is making a move to sell a few items.

Have a great Friday night!
Autumn and her family

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No need for a blood transfusion today, wonderful news!! We headed down EARLY this morning, we left the house at about 6:55am...yikes! Sage and Lindsey had two school friends that were kind enough to join us today. It's always fun to see a girl older than Autumn watch intently as she effortlessly receives a shot through her port, without ever even crying!

Autumn loves to be a part of the entire process, it helps her own this thing, it may make her feel more in control which can help anyone, right?

After we discovered that Autumn was well enough to have her de-accessed (the needle removed), then we headed back north for a much needed fun break at Boomer's! It's a great place, however 2 of the 5 rides were broken...ha! Autumn hardly knew any different and had a blast anyway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I hope all of you hombres out there had a wonderful Father's Day on Sunday!

Autumn has had a great week overall, no news can mean good news, right? (thanks Auntie Janet!). We had a very short day at the clinic on Monday. She didn't even need to go to the hospital! We are headed there again tomorrow for a blood check and a possible blood transfusion, it feels so "normal" to say that now. I remember when I used to conjure up images of terrible things infecting her little body, a bad bag of blood...something to make the situation so much worse! There can be rejection of the blood, simple miscommunication between cells and the surface proteins, ANYTHING is possible! But I have also discovered that is true, anything really is possible and sometimes there is just nothing, NOT A THING you can do about it! Life is funny that way. It may be a way to show us that we really need to appreciate the now, the moment we are ccurrently living in.

Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday Autumn and I drove to Santa Barbara for a long day of chemo. This appointment was part of the regular schedule, nothing unexpected, but a bit too long of a day to spend in the hospital. During this type of chemo, Etoposide and Cyclophosphamide, Autumn needs to be hydrated for about 3 hours prior to the administration of chemo and then about 6 hours afterwards. This type of chemo can cause serious damage to the lining of the stomach wall and needs to be flushed to prevent too much harm. Really? Doesn’t it seem likely that one would just use less chemo? There are so many intricate rules for each type of drug and so many side effects besides the obvious…not fun! Autumn seems to react with really watery eyes during this session, but she never really complains, she just keeps drying her eyes. Amazing what a little one will endure, just amazing.

One of the drugs is a red color, much like to color of blood. Autumn was pleased to find out that that same red color made her pee red too! I love what kids find entertaining; it makes life so much more enjoyable.

Speaking of kids, Sage made me laugh this morning. She was a bit jealous this morning (completely understandable since Autumn is getting the lion’s share of attention these days) and claimed that Autumn just loves going to the hospital because she gets all of these gifts! Again…really?? Out of the mouth of babes!

The treatment schedule is quite varied and offers all sorts of unique chemo regiments. Each week is seemingly different from the next. The only similarity is the continuity between the three sessions (we are currently in the second round). Next week and the week after we have short sessions…finally! There are a few of those tucked in between the endless days there at Cottage…for that I am thankful!

Have a wonderful week everyone, thanks for reading and keeping Autumn and her sisters in your thoughts!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Autumn was able to see some friends and just seemed to be back to her old self! We have a long day tomorrow, perhaps 11 hours or so of chemo. We should be back by nightfall in our own cozy beds. She seems to know what is coming, but certainly doesn't anticipate the future as an adult. The freedom to live each day at it's fullest seems to be a gift given only to the youngest of our species. The adults have all but forgotten it's beauty and significance, but there may be hope at last! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Autumn did so very well today! Her labs came back higher than we expected. No need for a blood transfusion this week. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here she all her glory!
Hello everyone!

Autumn has had a wonderful week, we could not be more thankful! We have been keeping her home as much as possible, with as little exposure to outside germs as we can manage with two other girls both in school.

Autumn and I will go to SB tomorrow for a regular blood count check which will hopefully result in a one hour stay with nothing to report. Next week she will continue with her chemo treatments. For the next 6 weeks or so, she will need to have chemo only one day a week, and most of those stays are quite short (2 hours) with one being all day (9 hours or so). It seems more manageable for the time being!

I hope life is treating you all well!

Autumn and family

Sunday, June 5, 2011

We just had a few days of feeling pretty overwhelmed! Friday night Autumn had a fever that continuously elevated until it reached a critical level of 101.5. At that point, she had to be hospitalized for fear that it can only get worse and that a pathogen may be causing the rise in temperature. By Saturday morning, with the help of 2 types of antibiotics and continuous saline her temperature was back in a normal range. She was so incredibly tired and just not herself Friday evening. It was such a pleasure to see her yesterday morning, she was back to her little Autumn-self!! Hooray!

She continued to progress throughout the day yesterday, she was happy, had energy, received yet another hemoglobin transfusion and was on the road to recovery.

Today she is considered stable and we should be on our way home in about 2 hours. That is the best news of all and she is more than ready to go! Sage and Lindsey came to stay with us yesterday. They spent all morning playing doctor with Autumn and her sweet little bunny, Fluffy! The kids love to eat here, not something you hear everyday! There is a pool across the street that we try to visit each time we are here and soon Autumn can join us!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Little Autumn had a fever last night, the magic number to be concerned with is 100.4, she was close, but never crossed the 100 mark. It is scary though, and it makes many positive thoughts fall by the wayside. In a moment everything can change, I know that, but she does so well most of the time that it can be so easy to take that for granted.

We will be heading to SB in a few moments to have her blood drawn and figure out if we can do anything to reduce her fever. At the moment she is sleeping, sweet girl!