Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rennaisance Festival

Yesterday we went to the Texas Renaissance Festival which is really big and lasts two months. They have two school days so we went for one of those. Jason went with Jacob and the Abercombie School. Kim came down from San Antonio and met us there.

It was so much fun. We saw juggling shows, bagpipe shows, mud fight shows, and the Birds of Prey show. McKenna did bungee jumping on trampolines and I got some great photos of her reactions. She and Grandpa had fun swinging but they kept accusing each other of not pulling their fair share. McKenna had never shot a bow and arrow so we did Archery. It is just fun to walk around and look at all the people and shops. We met Queen Isabella of Spain. It was fun and went along with our study of Shakespeare.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Taking Pills is a Drag

McKenna has decided she is tired of taking pills. She takes quite a few during the week. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday she takes a couple of pills twice a day that help prevent her from getting pneumonia while her immune system is suppressed. Every night she takes two LARGE chemo pills. She adds a couple other pills that keep her body running smoothly with the effects of some of the chemo meds and then tops it off with pills for nausea.
She has developed a technique that prevents her from tasting them as little as possible. First, she takes a drink of water. Second, she tilts her head back and drops the pill down her throat. Third, she takes another drink of water to wash it down. She has about a 50% success rate at keeping them down the first try. She is looking forward to the day when she won't have to take quite so many!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!!

An adorable birthday blanket made by her young women's class at church. She has some of the best blankets. I may have to steal a few!

I'll always cherish this picture of us. Spending time with her at the hospital and taking care of her when she hasn't felt well has helped us become closer. One of the blessings!

McKenna and some of her friends smiling for the camera. She has the best friends!!! (Notice their "Kenna's Girls" pink t-shirts)

We had some photos taken of our family after McKenna was diagnosed with leukemia. This is one of the photos of her that I love. She felt awful that day, but you'd never know. She was a trooper!

McKenna shaving her dad's head. She seems to be enjoying it a bit too much.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Update on McKenna

McKenna had a bit of a rough week last week. The week after having her Benadryl trauma, she had an allergic reaction to one of the chemo meds they gave her. The nurse told me it happens fairly often. Because the medicine is formulated to be a slow release med, they always make sure that you have your epinephrin pen before sending you home in case there is another reaction. Kenna was thrilled at the idea. :) (Luckily we didn't have to use it.) She ended up getting another spinal headache and had a lot of back pain from a different chemo. By Wednesday she was absolutely miserable. None of the pain meds they sent us home with helped so they had us go back in for something stronger. This girl can handle her meds. She had 3 doses of morphine and didn't fall asleep! On Thursday she felt like a new person. She had good energy and no headache or back pain!
This coming Friday is her birthday. She is supposed to get chemo again, but only if her counts are high enough. If they are then it will be a very long day at clinic. If they aren't then we will go home. We are bringing cupcakes and balloons in case we need to do a little celebrating there.

Blessings and Service

As many of you know, our church and our faith are very important parts of our lives. Our faith in God and His plan for us, especially during these past two months, has comforted and strengthened us. This has been such a blessing to us.
Early on in McKenna's diagnosis, I was reading a magazine that is published by our church called "The Ensign." That day I read a talk by one of our church leaders that really touched me. It was about serving others. He taught that even in times of difficulty, serving others can bless our lives. I really felt that I was meant to read that talk that day. As we have tried to follow this counsel we have found that we are less focused on our own problems and happy being able to make someone elses day a little brighter.
I wanted to mention some of the awesome things some of our friends and family have been doing to serve others that have really inspired me.
McKenna has a sweet group of girlfriends from Northland Christian School. There are 11 girls that have a class at the beginning of the day called "Habitudes." After learning of McKenna's diagnosis they decided to do something to make a difference. They started planning fundraisers in Kenna's name (Kids for Kenna) and are donating the funds to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. They have sold wristbands, soda, and homemade notebooks just to name a few. We are so amazed by these girls and their kindness and determination.
McKenna's friends and teachers from our church have been amazing. They have been so awesome to come over regularly to visit, hang-out, or just watch movies with her. Even though she can't be at church right now, they bring it to her. A couple of weeks ago they brought over t-shirts that they had designed with the logo "Kenna's Girls" on the front and "Kenna Kicks Cancer" on the back. (They were bright pink, of course.) Everyone wore their shirts to school and work the next day. These girls mean so much to us.
My brother Jared and his wife Brittany were recently involved in a big service project in their church. It was called "The Big Give." Families were divided into groups and were asked to come up with some sort of service they could provide for someone else. Jared and Brittany's group decided to provide dinner to the Ronald McDonald House in their area of Boise. Of course we loved this idea. I'm sure those families were thrilled. (Brittany is a good cook!)
Our friend Dallin Sellers was trying to decide on an Eagle Scout project when McKenna was diagnosed. He heard of some of the facilities, like the teen room, at Texas Children's Hospital, and the need for blood donors for so many of these children. He decided to do a combined blood drive and fundraiser/party for his project. I am helping get the word out about the blood drive, so if you are able and interested in donating blood please call me and I'll give you the details.
After crocheting hats for McKenna, I decided it was a good way to pass the time while McKenna is at the clinic on Fridays. My mom has also been crocheting and we have quite a collection of hats now. We have been making fun flowers and bows for the girls to add to them. We will bring them to the clinic with us so McKenna can give them to some of the children there. I think she is excited to be able to do that. (If any of you know how to make cute hair bows...I would love some instruction!)
I am so inspired and thankful for your kind deeds and service. I am recommiting myself to do something everyday to make someone elses life a little better.