Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year

Funny Gabriella and Bridget moments

We're in the car and G asks me to roll down the window.  After a few minutes, she get's cold. 
"Momma, can you roll up the window?  I'm starting to feel like an ice cube popped right out of the refrigerator back here!"

Guess what girls...there's going to be a meteor shower tonight. 
"What, a meteor shower?!?  Hey Bridget, guess what, there's going to be a meteor shower!  Mamma, what's a meteor shower...are meteors going to fall on our house?
"Lol..."They're shooing stars that fill the sky".
Bridgy, "Oh wow...meteor  hower... Ow eyiting G".

As we are getting ready to read a book and I accidentally almost sit on her...
"Hey, what are you doing?  You almost smashed me into smashed potatoes".

And my favorite...Bridget with her "me" in her mouth, finding anything to stay distracted and keep her from going to bed...
"Can I (h)elp the (f)ishies?"
"Help them with what?" G asks.
"Elp the ishes?"
"I know, with what?"
"The ishes are wimming."
" I know Bridgy.  That's what they do."
"They are yuck (stuck) in there and an't et out.
"G giggles, "They're supposed to be in there silly."

A few days before New Years and after G's 12th chemo...

I haven't feeling much like writing lately.  I've been feeling up and down and updating the blog often makes me feel vulnerable because it makes me face my emotions.  Maybe I'm reflecting back on the year and realizing how much has happened.  Maybe I over did it through the holidays and am just wiped out.  I guess I haven't wanted to feel vulnerable and am wanting to just have a normal year, just like everyone else.  As the year comes to an end, I realize I'm just drained, emotionally (and probably physically) drained. It's a time to reflect on the past, learn from it, and move forward. What can I possibly say about this past year that I haven't already said?

The other day, I was looking at old pictures when girls were babies...of my G.  She was just a beautiful baby. Never in a million years did I ever think I'd have to put her through this.  If I knew, I would have just died.  Her little body with her skin so perfect now holds scars and battle wounds that tell a whole different story than the one we would have wanted for her.  I often stop for a moment to watch her sleep as tears run down my face.  Her beautiful little face and bald head reminds me of when she was a baby with her big beautiful eyes.  It just crushes me but I can't think of that.  I just have to get her through this.  She will be stronger, more amazing, more incredible because of it. 

As Adam stated in the last post, we made it through G's 12th big chemo.  We have been switching staying with her every other time and this time was my turn.  Each overnight chemo has gotten increasingly difficult (physically for G and emotionally for us) as the chemo builds up in her body.  After she get's her meds and falls asleep, I break down and cry.  It's so difficult to continue seeing her go through this but I know I have to hold myself together for her.  Luckily, we've found the right combination of anti-nausea meds and sedating meds to keep her from throwing up and keep her comfortable through the night.  She came home the next day feeling better and not stumbling around from so much sedation.  I haven't had many tears lately until the big chemo's.  They have been wearing me out much more these days and I just don't feel like myself for a few days after.  (I apologize for not wanting to talk, not returning my emails or phone calls).  We are so close and I just want to be done now. I want to stop giving my child this poison.  I'm trying to keep busy so I'm not overwhelmed with sadness.  It takes me a few days after G's chemo to recover emotionally, once I see she starts to recover physically.  Then I can start getting back to my normal busy self.  We have 2 more big chemo's, scans then port removal.  Scan's will take place every 3 months after for a while to make sure the cancer does not come back.  That will make us anxious as anything but we'll get to that later. 

Bridget has been growing up right before our eyes.  She is a charming little girl and brings so much laughter to our lives.  She is the delight and the innocence that has glued our family together.  She has grown up more compassionate, more thoughtful, more compliant and more giving than any 2 year old should be.  Maybe it's a second child syndrome or maybe because of our situation.  Whatever it is, she is an incredible little person with a heart of gold.  

The girls often watch Team Umizoomi and at the end, Bridget excitedly does the "crazy shake" where she runs in circles shaking her hands and head.  We're continuing to try and get rid of "me" but haven't had the heart to fully take it away yet especially after the crazy chemo days when we are all wiped out.  She often pulls the chair up to the counter and climbs up to find her "me" when we're not looking.  She will run into the living room and say, "Look mommy, I got my me" and laugh.  

Bridget is well potty trained. She often goes the bathroom all by herself and will sit for 30 to 45 minutes every few days.  I repeatedly ask, "Bridgy, are you done yet?" and she says, "Not (y)et mamma" and checks in every so often with another "Not done (y)et mamma".  She is a great sleeper and overall very independent.  Our little G is more opposite but she has every reason to be.  We often find G's little bald head in our bed during the night and don't have the heart (or energy) to put her back into her own bed.  G is very much a cuddle bug while Bridgy runs around and likes to sit on her own.  We often have to coerce her to cuddle with us on the couch but does so willingly during the cold mornings.  

I just wanted to share some of my special holiday moments and some of Team G's accomplishments this season.

Adopt a Family...

Team G helped Jacob's Heart to adopt 28 children who support families that have a child dealing with cancer.  There was a couple of special letters that were delivered to us from two of the children and I wanted to share with you...grammatical errors included because it's just so precious and innocent.  These letters just bring a smile to my face every time I read them.

From Sergio, one of the boys:
"Thanks for giving use gifts.  I appreasiate your work and kineness.  Our dad works, but they don't pay him that much money to buy use presents.  He bearly gets enoughph money to pay the rent and bills.  And you also get the thanks from my leattle brothers.  God Bless you Kristin C"

From his little brother Jesus:
"Thanks for giving us present's.  I appreciat your work, and kindness.  Our dad work's but they don't pay him that much money to buy us christmas present's.  He bearly gets enough money to pay the rent and bills.  And you also get the thanks from my little sister that has lukemia and is so sick.  And you also get the thanks from my dad and mom.  They don't know how to talk in english and write in english, but they told me to write you this "Thanks for all the hard work you've done to get the christmas present's to my son's and daughter.  I really appreciate you".  Thanks 

Snow Day...

We've talked about Gabriella's Snow Day for Jacob's Heart but I just wanted to share my favorites...again.

Toy Drive for Lucile Packard...

Again with the support of Team G (all of you), we were able to collect maybe around 400 toys for the toy drive. There was just too many to count!  Individuals, groups and businesses collected toys, gift cards, gas cards, and more which were brought up in about 4 to 5 different cars to be dropped off to the cancer unit at the hospital.  I think we totally overwhelmed the hospital with the amount of toys that came in.  We didn't even realize how many toys were collected until they started to pile up in the entrance of the hospital!  Once we all figured out what to do with the massive delivery, they were very grateful for all that we brought for the children. 

Girls Room Makeovers...

With the artistry of Papa, my painting and Adam's handy work, we managed to give the girls a new "shared" room (aka G's room) and a "play room" (aka Bridget's room). 

Gabriella's Birthday on the 24th...

A few close friends, some yummy food and cupcakes and the room "reveal" took place on Gabriella's birthday...the morning of Christmas Eve!  


Surrounded by wonderful family and friends, we ate, drank, opened gifts and celebrated a delightful holiday!  The girls were showered with many gifts and a couple of dollhouses from Santa.  G had a last minute request from Santa for a fairy that "has a string in the back that I can pull to make her fly".  Luckily mommy had already gotten both girls a couple of Barbie fairies but G kept looking at the back of the doll wondering why there was no string.  Too smart that girl!  

I've grown so much this year in tolerance, compassion, strength and accomplishing tasks I never thought I could accomplish.  I've witnessed not only family and friends but a community come together.  I seen the heartache of a parent as they kiss their child's head for the last time.  I've seen and celebrated with parents whose child is now cancer free and those who have to start the journey again because of a relapse.   I've seen those who are just beginning the long battle ahead.  I just hope for those who are at the start of their fight If they can find strength and hope in their friends and family, community and the nation as we have. I hope they find strength within themselves to get through the fight.  I've learned to never ever stop believing in miracles, never ever stop believing in each other and never ever give up on hope.  

My biggest though for the new year is this...How can we fail in this journey?  We've had unwavering and steadfast support from all of you. Even when we were so busy and couldn't write back or just having a rough time, you still were there. Unknowingly, you held our hands and carried us through it with your unwavering support... might it be a text, a call, an email, a letter, or a hug to the bigger things like coming over with meals or throwing us a fundraiser, a snow day, overwhelming the hospital with hundreds of toys and a Santa (if only for a moment) or standing by our side through the hottest weather while we sold cookies and baked goods to raise money and awareness for pediatric've been there. How can we fail?  The answer to that is WE CAN'T!!  I am grateful beyond belief I will never forget the support you've shown and how you stood by our sides.

No task is too great to accomplish.


  1. I love reading your posts Kristin! No, we aren't going to fail because love is all that matters. You and Adam are such good parents to Gabriella and Bridget, and it's because of how passionately and honestly you share your love for them, that your story resonates with so many. You are so good at putting big ideas into action. I am so grateful to have met you and look forward to the day AND IT WILL COME, when Gabriella talks about these days like they were band camp. I love you!

  2. nice blog. thanks for sharing this nice blog . seems you enjoyed your Christmas holidays were well. its nice that you spent your time with your family.

    Adam smith

  3. I have no doubt you are exhausted! You guys are in the battle of your lives, and you are doing so many great things to help others and raise awareness for pediatric cancer. Now, perhaps, maybe just take this last part of the treatment to focus on the finish line. Going through it all personally with Carter, I have no idea how you have planned and organized all that you have. Well, I do know, because I can remember how you are running on adrenaline for months on end. But it makes me sad to hear you defeated (even a little) or run down, so take a deep breath and know everything is going to be okay. And keep smelling the flowers and taking time for you and your family, because this is the moment when the important things in life are so clear to you. And when G is cancer-free and you aren't being her nurse 24/7, you guys can continue to do all the amazing things you are doing for pediatric cancer! Keep it up! You're all doing great!! And keep posting updates to purge all the crazy emotions. It helped me so much when we were going through it.

    XO, Kara

  4. Happy New Year, Kristin, Adam, G, and Bridgey-- I feel like I know all your family, Kristin, even though we haven't met.

    You are such an inspiration-- the way you have shared all your hours of pain and fear, the worries and resentments (at CA), joys and revelations.

    I wish you continued hope and energy as you complete this long road of treatment, and emerge into the light at the end of your dark tunnel.

    Thank you for allowing me to share your family's story with my students-- you touch their hearts and inspire them, too.


  5. Gifts I loved your blog post.Really looking forward to read more.