Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 2011

Once again time flies and I haven't gotten around to the blog for a while.  It's amazing how much busier I am at home with four kids rather than in Calgary with one!!!  We have all been home for a month now and it's so nice to feel like we can be together like a normal family again!  I don't know that we will ever be NORMAL- but you know what I mean!  After my last posting we had tragedy strike again.  As you all know- Brynn is a huge animal lover and her golden retriever Zoe that was given to her by our amazing friends- was her absolute best friend and kindred spirit!  We had posters all over her hospital door and every nurse and oncologist knew about Brynn's dog and that she couldn't wait to get home to be with her.  Well, on September 14th when Brynn was still recovering from her transplant in the hospital- Kevin called me very upset on the phone.  I had just got out of rounds with the doctors about 15 minutes before and they asked if there was anything they could do to help Brynn feel better.  I jokingly told them- let her dog come stay here with her!  So when Kevin said the words- something is wrong with Zoe- I just took her to the vet- I was in shock.  She had gotten into antifreeze somewhere at one of our neighbors and had lost mobility so Kevin took her in.  Everyone knows Kevin can be tight with money- but he was crying and told the vet- this is my sick daughters dog and I don't care what it costs- you have to save her!  They put her on IV and I didn't tell Brynn why I was upset because I didn't think she could handle worrying about her.  I had everyone as well as myself praying for Brynn's dog to make it and be okay.  I thought there is no way Heavenly Father won't heal this dog.  A couple of days later we heard that she was not responding and her organs were shutting down.  I broke down in the hall and didn't know how I was ever going to tell Brynn.  The doctors debated if it would be good or bad for Brynn to know right now.  I knew she always regret not seeing her.  They decided to give her a pass to go home for a few hours to say goodbye.  I was so scared and said a prayer before I told her.  Brynn was soooo sad but once again amazed me at how strong she is and how she was able to handle losing her dog when she felt horrible herself.  She had a feeding tube and they took her off IV's but we had to put fluids and meds through her feeding tube every hour for her to be away from the hospital.  That was a very hard night and I will never forget how Zoe perked up and layed there wagging her tail while Brynn cried on her.  She was an amazing dog and she knew Brynn was sick and she was there for her whenever she needed her.  I was almost more mad that this could happen with all Brynn was going through than sad.  My shortsightedness changed when the next day we learned that our dear friend Grant had passed away at the hospital.  His mom had become one of my closest friends in such a short time and my heart physically hurt for her and it made me realize that Heavenly Father was blessing me and I need to remember that Brynn was still here and I need to cherish that and not be mad that Zoe was taken from us.  We went back to the hospital the next morning and got through the next week before Brynn was released.  She came home weighing less than ever before.  She had lost a total of 25lbs since diagnosis and they really did not want her to lose anymore.  She came home with a feeding tube for her meds and it was very difficult to eat or drink for a while.  Her appetite was gone and her throat still hurt from all the mucousitis she had.    When they took the feeding tube out a couple weeks later she started eating better and better and now it's close to normal.  Her weight is slowly increasing and she is getting more energy all the time.  She started school with a tutor at our home last week and is amazing us with how well she is doing.  We had many offers to get her a new dog.  People are sooo generous and I didn't know when Brynn would be ready or if she would want another golden retriever.  Ronald McDonald house had gotten a labradoodle puppy in the summer and we spent alot of time with it when we were there.  Brynn mentioned that she might like that so it didn't look just like Zoe- and immediately the phone calls started happening as people were trying to find one for her.  We ended up getting one from another very generous person who breeds them and we have a 5 month old carmel colored labradoodle we named Suri.  Brynn and I still shed alot of tears over Zoe and Brynn being the softhearted girl she is worried that Zoe would think we had replaced her already.  I assured her Zoe would be thrilled she had someone to take care of her and make her smile.  Our friends that gave Zoe to us said that they think Zoe was here to get Brynn through treatment and as soon as she was done said you can take me instead of her!  As you can imagine I'm crying right now even typing that.  We will forever be grateful to them for letting us have her in our life and Brynn's even though it was brief.  We are home now getting bloodwork in Taber every Monday and don't go to Calgary until November 14th for scans.  I told the doctors I'm almost more scared now that we are done treatment and getting checked every 3 months.  They assure me it is normal but I don't know when it gets better.  We just have to live in the moment and have faith.  We have done all we can do physically and Brynn's little body has been through so much.  We have had clear scans since last January and just keep praying constantly that they stay that way!  It's funny how it's so good to be home and enjoy every moment with my family- yet think about and miss our family up at the hospital too.  There are so many people we pray for everyday and worry about besides our own daughter.  We feel so blessed to have gotten to know so many amazing kids, families, nurses and doctors up there.  If there is anything I would say to everyone with healthy kids, it's enjoy all the little things everyday.  Stopping your busy life to jump on the trampoline or play with them.  It's easy to get distracted by so much going on all the time- but it's so special to spend your time on what's really important!!!!:)