Friday, May 25, 2012

Hemoglobin is moving in the right direction!

It's taken me a while to update, but it's better late than never, and better yet, it's good news!  Here you go!

On Monday (5/14), Nate and I took Beck to the hematologist at the U of I Children's Hospital.  After a blood draw, Beckham's hemoglobin came back lower (7.2), which was not unexpected because of his pale skin and low energy level, but we also got a shocker of his EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus, aka: Mono) coming back slightly positive.  EBV is not a good thing for a transplant patient - it can make them really sick and it can sometimes cause tumors to develop.  Luckily, Beckham's EBV markers were very low, and so low, that the transplant team would not necessarily consider him having acting EBV.  But because he is symptomatic, there is a good chance that the little bit of EBV in him is making him sick and could be the cause and explanation for all that's been going on with our little guy.  So, of course, we weren't thrilled with this news, but it could have been a lot worse and at least now we had a treatment plan.  Beckham was scheduled for IVIG right after the appointment, Nate stayed with him at the hospital, and I went home to put the baby down for a nap.

After returning home, Nate called and said that there were some mysterious charges on our debit card.  I took a look, and sure enough, someone had stolen my debit card number and had gone on a shopping spree, completely emptying out our checking account (awesome).  I made a few phone calls to the bank, the police, and to the stores that had purchases from our card, and after a few days, all the money had been refunded.  Gotta love thieves, right?

By Wednesday, Beckham was actually perking up and had a little pink in is cheeks.  We were thrilled by this development and hopeful the IVIG had worked its magic.  And when his labs were checked again on Friday, his hemoglobin had risen to 8.4!  Yeah!  With such good news, we felt a celebration was in order, so I strapped Blythe and Beckham in the double stroller and set off on a walk to pick up Gwen from school and then stop off at the park.  Unfortunately, while walking, I had to maneuver around some sidewalk construction, and when I got to the other side, I did not notice a cement dust mud puddle that caused me to slip, try to stop my fall with my arm, dislocating my shoulder in the process, and tipping the stroller backwards, causing the kids to be completely upside down.  The worst part was that I could not set the kids upright because my uninjured arm was wedged underneath the stroller and my dislocated arm would not move either.  Beckham kept staring at me, saying, "um, Mommy, I think you need to pick me up."  Fortunately, a nice man saw me fall and ran over, picked up the kids, and helped me call Nate for some help.  We're all doing a better now...a little sore, but much better!

As for this week, Beckham had labs on Monday which showed his hemoglobin at 9.2!  His EBV was checked again, and if it comes back at all elevated, than IVIG will be repeated.  At this point, we have not heard the results, but Beckham is not considered contagious, and I sent him back to school on Tuesday so that he can enjoy the last 2 weeks of school.

Thank you all for the prayers, thoughts, and kindness that has been showed to our family over the past few weeks.  I feel this huge sense of relief and gratitude in my life, knowing that our little guy is not relapsing back into his Evans Syndrome.  What a blessing...a huge, enormous, gigantic, incredible blessing.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Slow and steady hemoglobin decline

Everyday I postpone updating thinking that maybe by tomorrow we'll know something more about what's going on with our little guy.  But every tomorrow turns into another tomorrow, which turns into another tomorrow, which turns into another tomorrow, and eventually, a week or two has gone by and we're still without answers....which, obviously, is where we are now.

We saw a hematologist last Monday to try and get some answers and get her opinion on what's going on with Beckham.  Her initial thought, unfortunately, is that he is relapsing into his Evans Syndrome and maybe even his Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia (yikes), with a small chance that it might be a virus that is causing an anemia reaction.  So, after a slew of blood tests (poor Beck has been poked so much lately that when the nurses walk in, he just points to his vein that draws the easiest, holds out his arm, and then lets tears roll down his face because he knows it's inevitable), they showed that his hemoglobin was down again (7.9), his hematocrit was low, his WBC was low, but everything else was fairly normal.  However, a strange thing did come out of the tests which was that his IGG levels were normal and he tested negative for the DAT (coombs test) - both of which have always been out of whack and positive when he was relapsing and have been a confirmation that he had hemolytic anemia or another blood disorder.  So, does this mean that he is not relapsing into him Evans Syndrome?  No.  But it does make it more possible that something else could be the culprit causing his anemia, and because of that, more tests were ran testing for CMV, EBV, (and whole slew of other things) and retesting for the Parvovirus.  As far as I know, most, if not all, have come back negative.  I'm not quite sure how to feel about that.

I snapped this while we were at the circus last week.  Doesn't Beck look pale next to everyone else?  
Don't I have one seriously good looking family?

As the week progressed on, Beckham continued to get more pale, more tired, and his diarrhea returned with a vengeance.  I called the hematology team on Thursday to let them know that I was worried and that Beck did not look well, and the doctor asked for labs to be re-drawn.  The labs showed that his hemoglobin was down a few more points at 7.6, his platelets were 525 (wow, that's high) and his hematacrit was lower (I can't remember the exact number).  They instructed me to keep a close watch on him over the weekend, keep him away from people (a illness right now would not be a good thing), and to bring him to the ER if he spiked a fever or anything else happened.  We'll see the hematologist tomorrow morning and if his counts are lower again, then I'm hoping and praying that we'll come up with some sort of treatment program.

I'm not going to lie, I've been a basket case and have had many melt downs over the last little while with Beckham having health problems again.  I think that I got so comfortable with him being stable and with me being able to be a normal mom, that I got a little out of practice with being able to handle the stress of a sick child while being able to be a mother to my other children and a wife to Nate.  It's never easy, nor will it ever be easy to watch your child suffer and it's something I'd never wish on anyone.  I find myself checking on him constantly during the day and night, making sure that something has not gone wrong.  And it's made me physically ill just thinking about him having to go through the treatments to rid his body of this disease.  I hate it, I mean I really hate it, I mean I really, really, really hate it.  But, I cannot change the fact that this is how Beckham was sent to the earth and this is how Heavenly Father wanted him to come to me.  And, truthfully, I would not change that fact because Beckham is perfect and loving and happy and lives a completely normal life.  He has changed and taught us all, and I'm just grateful that he was sent to me.  He is mine, as with the rest of my beautiful family, and I'd do anything to keep him....even if it means becoming a basket case and having a melt down or two!

I'll update when I know more, but for now, please keep little Beckham in your prayers, he could sure use them.  Enjoy the below message.  It made my night to watch this and brightened my day!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Lowered hemoglobin...bummer!

I know that I've left everyone hanging on a limb (sorry),....but the truth is, that I am also on that limb and I'm just as anxious for answers as you are.

The good news, Beckham is home from the hospital and has been so for over a week.  And, the other good news is that his vomiting has ceased, his diarrhea has slowed down, he is eating well and he is gaining a little weight.  And while we are thrilled with all the "good" that's been happening, there of course, has to be "bad." And the "bad" is that his hemoglobin has continued to drop and drop and drop.

After getting home from the hospital, Beckham seemed to perk up and resume back to his normal self.  And by the start of last week, we decided to send him back to preschool because all of his tests were negative and the only thing the doctors could find wrong with him, was low hemoglobin, which wasn't too low and it did not seem to be a reason to keep him away from school.  But, by Thursday, Beckham came home and was not acting normal, and by "normal," I mean that he was not bouncing off the wall, singing The Wiggles at the top of his lungs (yes, he's still obsessed with The Wiggles), or tormenting his sisters (his new favorite past-time).  And within a few hours, he was laying on the couch, lethargic, and had a fever of 101.  I gave him Tylenol after that, but his fever only went higher to around 104, which caused us to have to give him Ibuprofen (that is a transplant patient no-no).  The Ibuprofen worked, and by 3:00 AM, his fever was gone.  The next day, he woke up happy and full of energy, but again, a few hours later, his fever was smoking hot, he was miserable (and SUPER grumpy), needed to be given Tylenol, and then, hours later, he was fever free again.  This pattern went on and on throughout the entire weekend - happy, lethargic, high fever, happy again - with no other symptoms to accompany it.  We debated on taking him into the ER over and over, but we knew that they'd probably just keep him over night, run a whole slew of tests (that would probably come back negative), send him home the next day, and then send us a big fat bill for the whole ordeal.  I did, however, take him to the doctor, and after labs, it showed that his hemoglobin and WBC had dropped, but everything else was normal.

By the beginning of this week, Beckham looked terrible; his coloring was so pale and yellow and he had no energy.  I took him back into the doctor, and after another slew of tests, the thought was that he had the Parvovirus (slapped cheek disease), not only because of his symptoms, but because Blythe had mysteriously broken out in a rash that looked just like Parvovirus.  The Parvovirus is very mild in normal children, mostly presenting itself by a rash and sometimes a fever.  But in people with an anemia problem or a compromised immune system (Beckham has both...awesome), it can stop the production of red blood cells, resulting in a drop in hemoglobin.  When the tests came back, they showed that his hemoglobin had dropped again (bummer) and that he was negative for the Parvovirus (bummer, too).  We were actually hoping that he would have the Parvovirus instead of an unexplained hemoglobin loss.

So, basically, we're back at square one with no answers.  Beckham's hemoglobin is slowly lowering and we are not sure of the reason.  The best explanation (and one I pray is not the cause) is that he is relapsing into his Evans Syndrome, but his transplant doctor still hasn't ruled out the possibility of the Parvovirus, thinking that he might have had a false/negative test result.  The good news?  His platelets are stable!  Actually, they are better than stable; they are high at 458!  So, from here, the next step is to meet with hematology again, which we have planned for Monday.  I'll keep you posted on the findings, but until then, I'm going to try and think positive and hope and pray for the best outcome.  And, who knows, maybe, by some amazing twist of fate, his anemia will resolve itself!  It could happen, right?

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's been a while, but we're in the hospital

I should probably title the post, "It's been a while for both being in the hospital and posting on the blog, in general!" Yikes. I know that I am terrible at posting, and I promise that I think about it all the time. But, thinking and doing are two very different things. Awesome.

Anyway, back to the point of this post. If you guessed from the title of this post, yes, Beckham is in the hospital. It has been a year and a half since his last hospital visit (woo hoo) and we've been thrilled to be away. But I guess that, for some reason, we were due for a visit. Either that, or Beck was just craving hospital food (gag). So to explain everything about this visit, I'll have to go back a few weeks.

Beck was potty trained just over a month ago (I know, it's a miracle!), and since then, he's had non-stop diarrhea. At first, I figured it was because he had a big med change, but after adjusting his dose twice over the past month, we knew that wasn't the case. And last night, his diarrhea escalated to vomiting.....which is never a good sign for Beckham. So, at that point, I knew that the hospital was calling our names and Beck and I headed over and left our Gwen and Blythe with our awesome neighbors. Luckily and thankfully, Nate was already working at the ER and was able to be with us the entire time.

And the results? Well....we're not quite sure. It was determined last night in the ER after an x-ray, that Beck had a bowel obstruction. But after the pediatric surgical team and the radiology team reviewed it, they were not so sure. Most of his tests for a virus were negative or are still pending, but I'm pretty sure they will be negative. And most of his general labs were great, though his hemoglobin was the slightest bit low a 10.2. Another thought is that there is something wrong with his liver; a ultrasound is planned to check all over his liver. And the last thought (which I am praying so hard that it's not) is that his Evans Syndrome might be acting up. On the upside, though, his beautiful angel heart looks awesome. So, basically, we're just waiting for results. But in the meantime, Beck is pooping, puking, losing weight, passing huge amounts of gas (nice), and (this is super gross) all the gas is pushing both out of his back side and coming out of his mouth. Seriously. Every time he burps, it smells like the most foul fart. He literally cleared the ER room last night with his burp. Nasty! I bet you're super glad I shared that! This is a totally weird thing, and that is another reason they are not sure what is wrong with him.

So, if you could, say a little prayer for my little guy tonight. Even though he's being spoiled rotten and being waited on hand and foot here in the hospital, we'd all rather be home (him included). Plus, he's way too cute to be in the hospital, don't you think?


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First Birthday for my baby (sniff, sniff)

I know - how lame of a blogger am I, right? Seriously! Looking at the break between my posts is, well, embarrassing. And, sadly, I don't have much of an excuse. But, instead of beating myself up, the best I can do it play 'catch up." So, this is the best place to start, with my little sweetheart, who sadly, is growing up too fast (sniff, sniff).

Little Blythe, you are now 1 year old and breaking your mothers' heart because you are growing up way too quickly. I've enjoyed this last year so much...and not just because we have been hospital free (for the most part) and stable, but because we've been able to have you in our lives, making us smile and laugh and be reminded of what life is all about. You are well loved because you are....

unbelievably adorable (honestly, how cute is that little face?),

even when you're naughty,

or grumpy,

or messy (here she is enjoying her Birthday cake),

or sleepy.

But, you are also well loved because you've made a perfect little place in our hearts that is irreplaceable and we are so glad that you are ours forever. Happy first Birthday, Blythe (on the 12th...oops, I'm a little late), we love you so much.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday boy (yesterday)

Our little boy is now 1461 days (4 years), and we all think that that is something to celebrate, especially because we were told that he might not make it one day. But look at him now: a happy/vomiting looking sort of way.



Attempting the impossible (aka -trying to wink)



And, adorable!

Happy Birthday, buddy! Go ahead, blow out your candles (or your dandelion) because you deserve it! We're so grateful for the last 1461 day and every day that we have with you. We love you!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

7 months old

My little sweetie is already 7 months, and those 7 months flew right by in the blink of an eye.

It seems like yesterday when I brought her home from the hospital, was supporting her head when she was held, nursing her at all hours of the night, and waiting patiently for her to smile. Now, she can crawl all around the room, sit up on her own, and almost never stops smiling and laughing. And, truthfully, I'm a little sad that my baby is growing up so fast.

I can't begin to describe what our little Blythe means to our family, nor can I even begin to describe how much we love this little baby. But, if I had to describe her in one word, it would be: delightful. For she is a complete delight.

I've heard mixed reports from people who have had a child after having an ill child, and they range all the way from "healing," to "not the best decision," to "a huge change." But, I can say without hesitation, that having this little baby has given us something in our lives that we never expected - Heaven on earth. For she has brought our family back together and made us forget that there was ever any chaos, or that there will ever be.

We love you, baby girl, and we're so grateful that you were sent to our home and get to be ours forever! But, please, stop growing up so fast!

P.S - thanks Kally and Rick for taking such great pictures of all of my kiddos! You're so talented!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kid Captain

(aren't his curls adorable? I can't bring myself to cut his hair, even though, when wet, his hair hangs clear past his nose)

Every year the University of Iowa Children's Hospital chooses 13 children (out of about 300 applicants) who are current and former patients of the hospital, for their Kid Captain program for each of the Iowa Hawkeye football games (both home and away games). And, guess what? This year, our little Beckham was chosen! How cool is that? Here is a link to the official announcement.

On top of him being chosen to be honored at the Iowa bowl game, given that they go to a bowl game (he will also be mentioned at the Pittsburgh vs. Iowa game which we will attend), they also came to our house and filmed a video of him which will be displayed at the game and will be available on YouTube, and they took pictures of him in a Hawkeye jersey. I wish I could display all of the pictures they took, but the photographer charges a ridiculous amount of money just for a copy (seriously! She wants $20 for just one a 5x7. Really?). Though, my favorite part of the photo shoot was when the photographer was taking pictures of Beckham (he was conveniently being defiant to everything she asked him to do....shocker), and she asked him to hold up his finger and shout, "Hawks are #1." He responded by holding up his middle finger (he likes to point with that finger), smile mischievously, and shout that the "Hawks are #1." It was classic!

Thank you, University of Iowa Children's Hospital for choosing our little guy! We feel very honored and grateful that Beckham gets to have this opportunity.

-Beckham & Co.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Tomorrow I turn 30. Yes, 30. Thirty years old. And, truthfully, I'm feeling old. Old, in the sense that I always thought I'd be in my 20's, always have young children, always have a 21 year old body, and always have hair that I dye for fun and not because I have to hide the grays. But not any longer. Sheesh. I'm not going to be that person anymore. And I'm feeling old.

Last night I was standing in front of the mirror examining my hair for grays, when my cute husband came in. I turned and looked at him, frowned, and asked if he's still going to like me when I'm 30, when I'm not his young 20-something wife, when people don't look at me anymore and ask if I'm 18. His response? Well, it was the usual rolling of the eyes, but then followed by him taking me in his arms and telling me that he'll always love me, no matter my age. What a guy, right?

This morning, as I woke up to my screaming 6 month old, ready for her 4 AM feeding, I felt old again. Old, in the sense that I've come to realize that sleep is a thing of the past, that I am no longer the boss - my children are -, and that my children are growing up way too quick. But, as the hours wore on (my little Blythe refused to go back to sleep until nearly 7:00 - oh joy), and as I held my restless baby, I got to thinking about my 20's, about all the things that have transpired during these years. And, unconsciously, a mental list was made in my head, documenting my life for the past 10 years.

- I went to college
- Got my first car, moved out of my parents house, got a real job
- I met my Nate and was married at 21
- We moved to Salt Lake City, UT
- I had 2 miscarriages
- We moved to Des Moines, IA
- We bought our first house
- I had our sweet, Gwen
- And, 13 months later, I had our sweet Beckham...
Who had a heart transplant
Who had a stroke
Who nearly gave me a stroke!
Who spent over 200 days in the hospital
Who developed Evans Syndrome
Who....okay, I'll end the "Beckham" list because it will get way too long!
- Nate graduated from Nursing school
- We moved to Iowa City for Nate's NP doctorate
- I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer while 7 months prego
- I had our sweet baby, Blythe
- Blah, blah, blah

But, then, I realized that my 20's were so much more than a list, a list that might sound a tad trite. For they were the most meaningful time of my life, and, they could not be documented so trivial. So, because of this, I made another mental list, documenting more in depth what my life in my 20's has been.

- I became independent and learned to appreciate my parents when I moved away
- I had to learn responsibility and make car, rent, and tuition payments (which sucked!)
- I fell in love for the first time to the most amazing man I know, and married him for time and all eternity in the Temple
- We moved away from our home in Utah, and fell in love with the people of Iowa
- I became a mother for the first time - something that was even harder and even better than I ever could have imagined - to a baby girl
- I birthed a huge, darling baby boy, and then had to watch him suffer over and over and over again, ripping my heart out with ever step of the way. But I got to witness miracles, miraculous miracles, and see my family brought together because of all he has gone through, and also see the healing that happened to a family who lost their son, and gave my son his heart
- I watch my husband succeed, despite all of our trials
- I realized that, even with a huge scar on your neck, a cancer diagnosis, and the loss of a thyroid, you can still feel beautiful
- I was given a gift of a 3rd child, who has blessed our lives, and has healed us all

I'm okay with turning 30....that is, if my 30's will be a little less hectic, and a little more low key. But, no matter how they turn out, I still am surrounded by the blessings of my 20's, and the people that I love the most. And, for me, that make's getting older just fine.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This amazing organization

came and asked this cute, curly haired, little boy

to make a wish. And, guess what? He wished to meet these entertainers:

(I know, it's a shocker that he chose to meet them, right?)

And the best part (not that seeing 4 grown men, dancing around in colored shirts, singing to children, isn't exciting enough!)? He gets to meet them here:

and WOW is he excited (and the rest of us, too....though we're a little more excited for the latter).

Thank you Make-A-Wish Foundation! You've given our little Beckham something that will mean more to him than we could ever fathom. We can't wait to take this trip as a family and see the expression that comes across his face when he gets to see The Wiggles in person. I know it will be priceless!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

5 years old

Our little Gwen turned 5 today...

yes, 5....

already 5 years old....


and just as beautiful and more, than the day she was born....

and boy do we love her!

Happy Birthday, beautiful Gwen! Your little life has blessed our home in a way we never could have imagined. We love you!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boo to the Flu

Last week was Spring Break, which should have been filled with park outings, picnics, swimming, and basically anything where we could enjoy the slight warmth in our Iowa weather. But, unfortunately, it was anything but...and "but" meaning: fevers, snot, coughing and, of course, an ER visit with a confirmed Flu diagnosis. Yeah, Spring Break was spent a little more like this:
We've all stayed relatively healthy in our household for the last little while give or take a few sniffles and so forth, and more importantly, we've had a hospital-free streak for Beckham for almost 6 months (a record!). And I was hoping to keep this steak up, but, sadly, that was not the case. The whole family except myself (not sure how that happened) caught the flu bug, and was quite sick, but bounced back after 3 or 4 days. But when Beckham spiked a fever last Monday that would not go down past 103.8 with Tylenol, I knew that we were ER bound. Beck's fever lasted not 1, or 2, but 6 days straight. And I'm not talking about low grade fevers, but smoking hot fevers where we had to use Ibuprofen (for those that don't know, Ibuprofen is a "no-no" for transplant patients) to get them to at least go down to 102. Because of the fevers, Beckham, broke out if sores all over his mouth, chin, tongue, and up his nose. And, the blisters only got worse because they are on a 3 year old that will not keep his hands out of his nose because, in his words, "booger's are so yummy" (awesome). The good news is that we avoided a hospital stay, but only just barely.

As for now, Beck's fevers have finally broken, but he still looks pretty rough and is still achy all over his body, which his doctor believes is from Synovitis - accumulations of fluid (from his flu virus) around his joints, causing severe pain. But, so far, we have not noticed any signs of him bouncing back into his blood disorders - Evans Syndrome or Glannzman Thrombathsthenia - and we are crossing our fingers that it stays that way.

Here's to hoping that next year's Spring Break will have a little bit of a different outcome, and that we might get a flu shot that covers all the forms of the flu. Hmm...I can hope, right?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Being their mommy.....

I know it has been a while since I have posted, and I know that the blog is due for a update about our family of 5, but that is going to have to wait because tonight I have a little something else on mind, something that I won't be able to get off my mind until I type it out. Here goes:

Most of our - our, meaning the kids and I - days are spent inside our little house in Iowa, stir crazy, and waiting impatiently for this long, cold winter to end. And, sadly, it seems like Mother Nature is bent on making it so that never happens, torturing us with constant cold, wet weather, making our short 24 hour days, seemingly endless. And, as you can imagine, the kids and I are more-than-ready to go outside and spend time doing anything but indoor activities, but knowing this will have to wait for a little while longer.

Today was definitely one of those days - long, cold, stir crazy, and without Nate to help distract us all. Plus, I was up to my ears in laundry, had nothing started for dinner, and my patience was completely shot. And, of course, my children made sure to test every boundary during this day, making me want to rip out every last hair on my head. They had been to time out so many times today (except Blythe, of course!) that it was more like a vacation spot than a punishment.

Take for instance my little Gwen -

So sweet, so loving, and so full of question after question after question. And, when she is not asking a question, she is tattling on her little brother, and not just some of the time, but ALL of the time (I bet that if tattling were a major in college, Gwen would have a PhD!). Today was totally one of those "question" and "tattling" days, followed with meltdowns every time I did not have an answer to her question and when I did not get after her brother after she tattled on him.

Also, there is my boy, Beckham -

So cute, so funny, and so FREAKING naughty! Seriously, I thought that he would have grown out of the naughty "2 year old" stage now that he is 3, but it seems to only get worse with age. And today, after purposefully making a mess of everything I cleaned up, climbing my bookshelves, destroying our DVD's, and then literally making a swimming pool on the bathroom floor during his bath, he also decided that the best place to wipe his chocolate covered mouth was on my off-white rocking chair cushions (lovely).

Even our perfect, beautiful, and precious baby girl, Blythe, had a super gassy day, requiring my arms to be holding her for almost the entire day. Normally this would not be an issue because I love to hold my babies! Love, love, love it! But today was hard as I had two other kiddos requiring a lot of attention, and my cute husband was working and not able to offer another set of arms.

So, as bed time rolled around tonight, and as I was finally able to have some "me time" and sit down without an interruption, and maybe stew over my frustrations, you'd think that I would be grateful for the break, or relieved that I was finally able to have some time away from my kiddos...but I wasn't. Actually, on the contrary, I was missing them, missing their faces, missing their smiles and missing their laughter. And, as strange as it might sound, I wished they were awake.

I hated that I spent the entire day being annoyed and flustered, when they bring me more joy than I can even express. I hated that I could be so selfish as to lose my patience over and over and over again when they are only being children, and only doing what they do best...and that is being them.

And, so, I got up and went to their bedrooms and looked at their sweet sleeping faces and thought "I can't believe they're mine!" and "how did I get so lucky as to be their mom?" And then I went and prayed to my Heavenly Father, thanking Him for my children, asking for forgiveness for my shortcomings and promising to do better tomorrow.

I love being a mom. Love, love, love it! There is nothing else I'd rather be doing. And, even though I have days like today full of busy, frustrating kiddos, and where I am makeup-less, have yet to have a shower and it's 10:00 PM, and am covered in baby puke, I know that it's worth it. The good and the bad, the happy the sad, the whole she-bang. It will always be worth it.


Friday, December 31, 2010

Please watch the Rose Bowl Parade!

We feel so honored that Beckham's heart donor, Jake Campbell, has been chosen to be featured on a floragraph on the Donate Life float at the Rose Bowl Parade tomorrow. Please tune in to the parade that will start at 8:00 AM, Pacific Standard time (that's 10:00 AM Central time), and look for the 10th float (the Donate Life float).

Here's a sneak peak at Jake's floragraph:

We wish so much that we could be there to see the float, floragraph, and the Campbell's in person, but with a brand new baby, it is not the best idea. I guess we'll just have to be there in spirit because we cannot even begin to describe how much this means to our family - to have Jake honored for the hero he has been in our lives!

-Beckham & Co.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our baby girly is here....

....and we sure do love her!

introducing: Blythe Kimberly Scadlock

After a 23 hours of labor consisting of being in the hospital all night on the 10th, being sent home because I was not dilating (I might have muttered a few choice words when that happened! You just don't send a girl in labor home!), returning home and having my water break on the 11th, and finally having her on the 12th, Blythe made her appearance into the world on 12/12/10 at 2:56 AM. She weighed 7.6 lbs, is 19 inches long, and is healthy and as beautiful as we could have hoped for. We are seriously in love with this baby and more thankful to our Heavenly Father than we can even express. Sorry this post is a little after the birth of the baby, but I forgot how much work a newborn is, and finding time to blog is WAY harder than it was before.

Nate, minutes after she was born. Such a proud daddy.

This is the first time the kiddos were able to see Blythe. Gwen was in love, Beck...hmm...not so much (as is apparent with the look on his face!).

Don't worry, though, he warmed up to the idea of being a big brother pretty fast!

This photo is a little blurry (it was taken with my phone), but is their anything cuter than Gwen's expression? She is completely taken and crazy about her little sister!

And here she is at day 3, absolutely perfect! Love her!

Thank you to all our amazing friends here in Iowa City that watched our kiddos while Nate and I were in the hospital. We could not have done this without you! Actually, Blythe was born during a blizzard, and we are so grateful that we were able to get Gwen and Beck to our friends house in safety and get ourselves safely to the hospital in the process.

It feels so strange taking care of a baby that you does not require large amounts of meds, monitoring, and multiple daily doctor appointments, but we'd take her however she came! Welcome to our family, baby Blythe. We couldn't be more grateful to have you as our own!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A new post (finally!)

(Warning: all pictures in the post were taken on my phone and are fuzzy. We had to reset our computer and in doing so, our camera software was erased and now has to be reinstalled. I have been trying to reinstall it this morning...obviously I am not smart enough for the task!)

This has to be my longest blog hiatus ever! Over a month without a post? Sheesh. I wish I could chalk it up to something super incredible and exciting, but the fact of the matter is that it's mainly due to laziness. Pure, plain laziness. Sad!

The great news is that we are all doing great, staying healthy, and enjoying our holiday season. Our baby girl has yet to be born, but I'm thinking that it will happen sooner than later. I am already dilated to a 2 and about 60% effaced. Both Gwen and Beckham were born at 38 weeks, which I will be on Wednesday, so I guess we'll have to see if this baby follows the same suit as well. We're sure excited for her to join our family, though, and none
-so-much-so as our little Gwen. She asks everyday if the baby can come out, and every time I go to the bathroom she asks if I am having the baby. Love it!

Me in my 9 month pregnancy glory (doesn't my hand look huge?)! My favorite part is Gwen's smile in the background.

As for a Beckham update, he is doing fabulous. A few weeks after I was diagnosed with cancer, Beck's puking a pooping decided to stop on it's own. It was almost as if his little body knew that there was more craziness in our house and that it needed to give us a break. It could also be due to the fact that he was treated for just about everything under the sun (GI treatments), and something decided to work and cure whatever what reeking havoc in his body. Either way, I'm sure glad it's over! It's so nice to see Beckham healthy and happy and gaining weight. He finally reached to 30lbs mark - something we have been hoping for, for over a year - and continues to gain weight and have healthy normal labs with perfect platelets and hemoglobin. Actually, both his cardiologist and hematologist are blown away at how well he is doing both heart wise and blood wise. The trick now is to keep him healthy and from relapsing into his Evan's Syndrome. His remission period from his Evan's Syndrome last year was about 7 months, and we are hoping to blow that record out of the water!

Beckham wearing his potty seat as a hat. Sadly, this is as far as we have come in potty training progress.

As for me, I am doing great as well. I am also considered "in remission," as the doctor has removed all of the signs of cancer from my body. He (my oncologist) would like to do the radiation treatment sooner than later (meaning, in 6 months instead of a year) because of the fact that there were some micro-cancerous cells found in my dissected thyroid, meaning that the cancerous tumor was probably just about to enter my thyroid. This does not change anything in my condition because my thyroid is gone, and it's a great thing that we decided to removed the whole thing instead of only the tumor itself, but it only changes the fact that he would like to get the radiation over with so that there is no risk of the cancer coming back. Make sense?

Now, all that is left is to get through the next couple of weeks with the birth of our baby girl, Nate taking finals and finishing up this semester, and Christmas fast approaching. Keep checking back for news of our new arrival. I promise to keep the blog updated on that!

This picture has nothing to do with the post, but I just love it and love those kiddos!

-Beckham & Co.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pathology report

I figured that it was about time for me to start writing on the blog again. I want to thank my cute husband for making the last couple of posts when I was a little lost for words, and for explaining in detail what is going on with my health. I actually found myself reading his posts over and over again so that I could better understand my diagnosis and treatments. I'm so grateful that I have a medically educated husband!

As for me, I am slowly healing, and I say "slowly" because I am not healing as fast as I would like (I'm super impatient, obviously)! I kept hearing from doctors and others who have gone through this procedure, that is was easy and easy to recover from. Well, no offense, but they either have a very high pain tolerance, or they are full of crap! The neck is a super sensitive area that hurts every time I speak, swallow, breathe, eat, hiccup, burp, sneeze, turn or nod my head, cough, and much more. All I can say is OUCH! Big ouch! Also, another thing that I am healing from is the whacked out feeling that comes when you don't have a thyroid. I am currently on a medication to compensate for the functions of my thyroid, but it will not be properly regulated for at least 10 weeks. Plus, my symptoms are magnified because of the pregnancy. It's okay, though, because the cost of having the cancer out of my body outweighs both the pain of the surgery and the weird feeling from not having a thyroid. I am nothing but grateful at this point (seriously).

And speaking of "point," the point we are at right now is very positive! I recently received the pathology report from what was taken out of my neck, and everything looks great. The 2.1 cm tumor was cancerous (which we already knew), but the cancer did not spread into the rest of my thyroid, or to my lymph nodes (they removed 10 lymph nodes from my neck and all came back negative for cancer). Yeah! I will still receive the radiation treatment (radioiodine) because of the size of my tumor, but this is basically precautionary to make sure that the surgeon got out all of the cancer cells from my neck. And the radiation will be done after the baby is born and can be postponed as long as a year if I choose to nurse the baby that long.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you to everyone that has supported my family and I during this time. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for every large and small thing that has been done for us. It is so hard to find ourselves continuously in a...hmm...stressful (for lack of a better word) situation, and to be far away from family makes it even harder. But to know that we have those that support, carry, and provide for us from afar, and even close by, in a new town that we are still becoming familiar with, means everything. Thank you so much to infinity!

We're going to be alright and we'll get through all of our trying times. Because, despite everything we go through, we have wonderful, blessed, and happy lives. And, I know that "Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. [and] We can learn to love it." (quote found here).

Lots and lots of love!

P.S - I would add a picture of neck, but it is not a beautiful sight right now (the incision site is a lot bigger than I would have liked). Scarfs are now my best friend and will be for the next little while! I've always wanted to be able to pull off the scarf trend, looks like I just got my chance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pfft...thyroid - shmyroid.

Tuesday morning, Kim and I arrived at the hospital just after 6am. We entered the surgical unit with a herd of other groggy, yet anxious, early-goers that would also soon be under the knife. After a bit of prep work, Kim was taken to surgery just before 8am, where she would spend the next 5 hours. Despite the narrow surgical area, a thyroidectomy takes quite a while because of the small and fragile anatomy of the anterior neck. The physician must be sure to avoid damaging important nerves, the parathyroid glands, or the "voice box". (I wanted to picture of a dissected thyroid, but Kim wasn't cool with that should google it though)

According to the doctor, the surgery went well and they were able to remove the entire thyroid without too much damage to the area. He did say that the parathyroid were "kind of beat up" in the process which is likely why Kim's calcium levels are now a bit low. That problem should be self-resolving with time. He also removed the lymph nodes in the area which will go to pathology and help us determine whether or not the cancer was outside of the thyroid. This takes 5 to 7 days.

After the surgery, she was taken to the PACU for the next 4 hours. That time line isn't typical, but there was no room at the University of Iowa inn. Eventually they found a room in the Burn Unit where she spent the night and was able to come home around noon this morning.

All things being considered, she is doing well, we are just trying to keep the pain under control. It has proven to be a very sensitive area, which is to be expected. Try talking, coughing, hiccuping, deep breathing, nodding your head, or turning your head without using any anterior neck muscles. It is tough.

Thank you everybody that has sent cards, boxes of stuff, called, texted, sent meals, Facebooked, or sent good thoughts and prayers in any other way. If we haven't responded back we apologize, we've just been a bit busy but we are very grateful for the sentiments.

Thank you,
The Scadlocks