Friday, September 20, 2013

Port removal

Yesterday was a big day!  Last chemo Sydney's port would not cooperate and she finally ended up getting her chemo through an IV, so yesterday she got her port removed.  It turned out to be quite the long day, but certainly a great one.  And once again, Sydney has proven herself to be amazing!  We checked in for surgery and 11, then headed up to clinic for chemo.  Daniel (my nephew's brother) met us there to watch how things work, since he wants to be a pediatric oncologist someday.  We were excited to have him along!  We are so blessed to have amazing doctors, nurses and staff and we love them.  They have become part of our family. We checked in with Sandy and then headed to Pam for vitals.  Sydney shrunk!  Not really but she didn't spike her hair this time so it just seemed like it.  :-) Our usual nurse, Vanessa, wasn't there and we missed her but we were well taken care of.  Dr Luke (oncologist fellow and all time favorite) and Dr Paul (child psychologist and also favorite) came in and the fun begins.  Dr. Barnett (Sydney's head oncologist) is usually there too but he was running crazy.  Despite the fact that this is a chemo appointment, we have such a good time and love visiting and laughing with the docs.  They are so good to listen as Sydney fills them in on EVERYTHING that has gone on the last three weeks; boys, drama, school, brother antics, Ava's newest tricks, etc.  They tease and joke and love her.  I am so grateful for them!  Not only have they saved her life, but have been her cheerleaders and friends as well.  After our visit and her check up the IV team was called in and they got her IV place on the first try (thanks Taylor)!  PHEW!  She is so tough.  Doesn't even flinch and watches the whole time.  Chemo was administered and then we headed back to Surgery center.  She is all checked and and changed into her gown, etc and then we head to the pre-op waiting area.  There was a darling Downs girl waiting for surgery also, and she kept Sydney occupied.  :-) We didn't have to wait too long before Sydney was called in.  And off she walked with the anesthesiologist.  She was a little anxious but did fabulous.  A year ago they would have had to have heavily medicated her before the surgery began just to keep her calm and gotten her sedated before we left the room!  Isn't amazing how much she has learned and grown through all this.  Justin and I chilled in the parent waiting room and then the doc came to visit.  Everything went perfectly.  Coming out of sedation is always interesting and Sydney is definitely a roller coaster of tears and loopiness.  It is a little comical.  :-)  She was in quite a bit of pain but they got that under control and after about 2 hours we were able to come home.  Getting out the port is a HUGE deal - an end to a very emotional, scary, difficult year. 
We got home about 8 last night and we so happy to be reunited with Ava, Ian and Owen.  A huge shout out to Mic, Amy and Amelia for taken such good care of them while we were gone. 
Today she has been very sore and not feeling well.  A combo of chemo and surgery.  She hardly complains and is such a trooper.  She got a blessing from Justin and our good friend Regan, and has perked up a little.  It is killing her not to lift Ava!  And the boys have been so sweet with her.  She gets to take the bandage off tomorrow and she is excited to see how it looks...once again, where in the world has my timid, scared, anxious daughter gone?  Away with the cancer!  She has grown into such a beautiful, strong young woman and I couldn't be more proud to be her mom. 
Thank you so much for the texts, phone calls, emails, messages and prayers.  We may not respond right away but please know how much it means to us and lifts us up.  We love you all. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Just a quick update Sydney fevered up Friday night and we ended up in the er Saturday morning. Her fever hit a high of 103.7 but they got it under control and diagnosed her with pnemonia and said they would send us home once her fever stayed down. Well, after no fever they decided to admit her because her heart rate was high. So we were admitted at Logan and spent a couple hours there. The pediatrician looked over all her tests and turns out she doesn't have pnemonia but is fighting a bacteria called gram negative. So we headed to pcmc. Logan doesn't have the resources to take care of it if it should turn bad but this is something primary deals with all the time. She is doing well and feels so much better than she did this morning. Kylee and Luke have the kiddos (thank you!!!) And will bring them up today to see her for her birthday and then leave them with Charlie and marilyn. We feel calm about things. Just a little bump.... :-) prayers are certainly appreciated and needed. Today is her birthday and that is a bummer so a text or call or fb message would be great! Love u all, Barbi

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Only 8 to go!

First of all, thank you so much for all the love and support you have given us.  It has been 6 months since since Sydney was diagnosed.  WOW!  We started out with 21 chemo treatments and have 8 to go.  
UPDATE: This last chemo was really hard on Sydney physically.  She was much more nauseous, lots of aches and pains, very weak all around felt pretty yucky for a little over a week.  However, emotionally she did MUCH better, thanks to the love and support she received.  The facebook notes of encouragement made such a huge difference.  THANK YOU!  She also had a sweet friend give her a gift a day for a week so she had something to look forward to and give her lots of distractions.  My dear niece Karli dropped in at just the right moment to cheer her up and she recieved lots of notes and phone calls to keep her going.  I can't tell you how much that made a difference!  We decided she handles the physical sickness much better than the emotional.  We are so proud of her!  
I have been doing a lot of thinking these past few weeks.  I would have never imagined being the mom of a cancer cutie.  There have been so many ups and downs and so many suprised along the way.  I have gotten to know so many amazing families who are on this journey with their own sweet children.  There is an instant bond and love that happens just in being on this crazy ride together.  It is a HUGE blessing and support to have someone know and understand all aspects of having a child with cancer.  On the flip side, my heart aches so often for these precious children.  Sydney lost a dear friend earlier this year to leukemia.  She didn't know this sweet boy until her hospital stay just 6 months ago, yet he became such a rock and inspiration to her.  His family was our first contact with a cancer family and they gave us support, hope and love.  They still show us the way through their faithfulness and postivity.  Their is certainly a guilt that comes with the fact that while Sydney is doing well, others are saying good bye to their precious ones!  We feel so blessed that she got the cancer she got, that she is responding to treatment, that her prognosis is excellent and she will go on to live a long happy life!  It is so hard to admit that when we have got such dear friends with such a different prognosis.  Sydney will lose another dear friend this year.  Another relapse with nothing more to be done.  Another vailiant, beautiful child of God leaving this earth too soon.  The only comfort through all of this is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows and loves us and is always there for us.  Families are forever.  
We hope that you can feel our love and gratitude for each of you. We hope that you realize your prayers, thoughts, notes, financial contributions, services to our family, phone calls, etc are a big part of what keeps us going.  We appreciate everything done for us, big or small.  We pray that you are blessed for your service to us.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Little Miss Rockstar

Our very own, Sydney Dawn, is a rockstar! Her body is so fragile and achey because of all the meds and chemo drugs. A simple stomp of the foot results in horrible bruising. She just keeps on plugging along with the best attitude. She has been a part of some really awesome events in the past few weeks!

Last Friday, Sydney was invited to be a judge at the Salt Lake City Dancing with the Stars! "With stars on the dance floor and in the audience Friday's event raised money to build a "Hope Lodge" so cancer families from out of town have a place to stay."She was even in the news! If you missed it, you can see it HERE. 

The next night, Sydney got to be honorary Miss Cache Valley in the local pageant. She got to pass out roses to the winners. She even got a new dress for the occasion. 

Sessions for Sydney with Radiance Photography by Rachel Humphreys raised $1400! We can't say enough thank yous to this generous gift from Rachel and all those that contributed!

Sydney's cousin, Luke, is putting together a fundraiser with some classmates to raise money for Cache Valley for Hope. This organization has helped Team Sydney as well as many other cancer families in the Valley. Sydney and Luke went out together to collect some donations for the Silent Auction. There were many local businesses and people that have been so generous. If you would like to donate, please contact us. If not, we'd love to see you on March 20th! There will be some really awesome items being auctioned! More details here!

Thanks for being on Team Sydney. We have been overwhelmed with love and support!

P.S. The 5K was also a HUGE success. Thank you Marci, Running Group, Jeri Kay, Sandy, Barbi, local donators and all participants! There will be a full blog post when Sandy gets back from Cancun with all the photos :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sessions for Sydney

Alright, friends, family and strangers! I have something really exciting to announce. My friend, Rachel of Radiance Photography, just started her photography career here in Cache Valley a few months ago. She heard about Sydney and wanted to offer her help. She set up this event: "Sessions for Sydney." She will be donating all the money she makes from her sessions from now until March 1st to Team Sydney.

Make an appointment directly through Rachel Humphreys. Here is some contact information for her:

Phone: 435-893-1118
Website: Click this.

Thanks guys, Kylee

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Just a quick little update on Sydney.  Thursday was chemo day and she got to spend it with her Daddy while I stayed home with a sick baby Ava.  They went down Wednesday evening to Mom and Dad Mecham's house since clinic was at 8 am Thursday morning.  They had a great visit and didn't have to get up quite so early, so that is a plus.  Sydney got to see her friend Kenton at clinic and also met a new friend, Sarah, which happens to be the daughter of one of Justin's high school classmates.  Small world!  We have gotten to know some amazing people through this cancer journey.  Anyway, back to Thursday.  We love our docs, especially Dr. Luke.  He is who we see the most and connected with from the very beginning.  As usual, docs were impressed with her and had a good visit.  She has stayed healthy for the most part and that has really helped her handle chemo.  She had 2 chemo meds injected into her port (vincristine & doxirubicin) and then a lumbar puncture to inject a chemo med (methotrexate) into her spine.  She has the hardest time with the LP because of the anesthesia, but this was her best yet and she came out of it great.  Along with those we have 2 oral meds we give at home for 5 days.  Prednisone is a steroid that seriously messes with her moods and emotions and makes her hungry ALL the time and 6MP which has been giving her the hardest time.  She has been having LOTS of headaches, some nausea and just all around feels crummy.  We are thrilled that tomorrow is our last day of meds until our next round on January 24th.  This has definitely been her hardest round yet, but she is handling things like a champ.  Thank you for all your support, love and prayers!