Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All is Well!

Brenna's veins were cooperating this morning and the nurse hit it on the first try. Yay! We were thankful for that. They left the IV in and we went from triage into MRI. Everything seemed to progress fairly quickly this morning. It was about two hours later and they were calling us back to recovery. Brenna even woke up from sedation quickly and was bouncin around fairly soon after. She awoke hungry and we went to lunch where she ate a huge piece of pizza and cheetos.

After lunch we went to E clinic and saw Dr. Gajjar. He knew we wanted results so he went on a search for them while the nurse practitioner checked Brenna out. Praise the Lord we have clear scans once again!!! And we have now graduated from check ups every three months to every six months! Woo hoo!! Obviously she's doing fantastic and there aren't any issues that they need to see her more often for. How awesome is that?!!

After E clinic we mosied on over to the Endocrine specialists. They had run tests on the blood drawn and found her cortisol levels kind of off. But, they said that it's probably not an accurate reading because she was on steroids after surgery and now she's on an inhaled steroid for the terrible cough that she's had. She also hasn't grown like she's supposed to. But, we're going to wait until the next visit to re-evaluate and then possibly make a decision about giving her growth hormone. I really just want her to enjoy life right now without adding more medication. And they are supportive of whatever decision we make.

All in all it was a pretty good day. Now we are off to Habitat for Hope. Brenna is excited to see her friend Bella and spend some time playing and we're looking forward to catching up with dear friends. We are so grateful for all of you who have continued to pray for our little princess and our family. God be praised!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hit the Ground Runnin!

Okay, so we're not still in Colorado, in case you were wondering. We are back at life in Oklahoma although I look at these pictures and think - man, why do vacations have to end?? We did a lot of hiking and fishing. The weather was great. We hiked up to the top of Cottonwood Pass and it snowed on us briefly while were were up there. The kids thought that was awesome! (So did I). They loved throwing snowballs in July! We also took jeeps up to an old mining town called Crystal. We used to camp there as kids, but it's so hard to get there. I actually thought we might end up at the bottom of the mountain in a heap at one point. What an adventure!! But we made it alright and now we have lots of wild memories to recall when our family gets together! We also hiked up to the Alpine Tunnel somewhere above St. Elmo. That was a long hike, but it was so worth it. The Columbine and wildflowers are gorgeous and Bella posed for me next to some. We got to feed the Chipmunks and see some wildlife - but no bears - bummer. We fished at Cottonwood and Chalk lakes. Not to brag, but I (Bettina) caught the biggest fish. :) I think all together we caught about 18 rainbow trout. The kids did more exploring than fishing, but they loved it.
We did come back to our tent one day after a storm had blown through and our sleeping bags were a bit wet. Thankfully, the campground had dryers that we could use. It could have been worse. Overall, we had an exhaustingly good time. Anyone that's ever been tent camping, knows exactly what that means.
We hit the ground runnin when we got back home. Our church had a back to school night where we gave away free school supplies and then the next day started school. All the kids got the teachers they wanted. Jalen is in 5th grade - wow! He has the only male teacher and he really likes him. He's very challenging which will be good for Jalen. Brenna got the teacher that Jalen had last year and she loves her. I'm just so happy that Brenna is in school and is doing so well. She still works a little slower, but is really doing fantastic and making good grades. She's down to only one seizure medicine now. Praise the Lord!!! It makes such a difference in her mood and personality. She's back to her fun, energetic, bubbly self. Bella is in Pre-K. Her teacher goes to our church and of course, Bella loves her. She goes half days most of the time, but they are flexible and she gets to stay all day on special occasions when they have parties or if we are going to be gone or something. She thinks she's such a big girl. She's growing too fast!!

So, now, summer is over and the air is getting cooler. I love summer time, but I'm always excited when Fall gets here. It's such a nice change and I love the cooler temps. God is doing some amazing things in our lives and I just feel such anticipation at what He is going to do next. Our church is experiencing some good changes and exciting things are happening. I just sometimes sit back in awe and lift my hands in thanksgiving for all He's done. This morning, we left town early, around 7, to head back to Memphis for check ups. It was so awesome to see the full moon setting in the west and the sky streaked with color as the sun rose in the east. What an amazing God we love and serve!

Yes, we are back in Memphis. Today, Brenna saw Dr. Clarke and he said she's doing fantastic. Of course we knew that. He'd like to leave her on the one seizure med for about a year or so. That's normal procedure - well, actually two years is normal - but since she's doing so well, he'd consider taking her off at one year. So, we can handle that. And he doesn't need to see her again until March. Tomorrow, she has labwork and then an MRI. We'll wait around for results and see her oncologist, Dr. Gajjar, in E clinic. Then we'll head over to the endocrine people and talk about her thyroid and growth issues. She's still not putting on weight, really. And I'm not sure that she's grown like she should - so we'll find out all that stuff tomorrow. But, in light of what she's been through, I think this will be a piece of cake.