Friday, May 22, 2009

Easy Breezy kit

Hello dear friends. I have felt helpless the past few days. Many of you remember Baby Bree. (You can click here to read about her story). She is just a few days younger than my sweet Claire.

Baby Bree has been fighting neuroblastoma cancer for over 6 months now.
Her mother, Kari (who is one of my best friends), and her father Justin (who is one of my husband's best friends) have been in and out of the hospital so many times. At the same time they are raising a 6 year old Down Syndrome boy as well as a 4 year old little boy.

Caleb & Gunner wearing the shirts/vests that were purchased using some of your donations:
For the past 6 months Bree has been going through chemotherapy, blood transfusions, plenty of IV pokes, feeding tubes, MRI tests, fevers gallore, bacterial infections, biopsies, sleepless nights at hospitals (YUCK!) and the list goes on. I cannot imagine what my friend Kari must be feeling. The couple of weeks that I was at the hospital with Claire were some of my most trying times.

Well, this past week they were going to find out if her cancer is in remission. But they found out that after this long struggle that there is still cancer in her bone marrow. Kari said that the doctors are puzzled and were confident that the cancer would be gone.

Bree goes in for surgery today to remove the tumor (which is in a dangerous spot; it is located in her abdomen next to her aorta and inferior vena cava [major arteries]). They are hoping to get it all out. They will then do a biopsy on the tumor to see if it has any active neuroblast cells. If it comes back "non-active" then they still won't know if the cancer is "non-active" as well in her bone marrow. They would have to do more scans and a bone marrow biopsy in another 3 months. What a long time to be carrying such a load!

Kari wrote:
"Tonight as I sat rocking Bree to sleep, I finally let the tears come. I have felt all day like I need to be strong. I need to have faith that Heavenly Father has a plan for Bree. That she is special to Him and that He has great things in store for her. But, as I let my mind wander and worry about what could possibly be in store for her future, my heart began to break. When you have a baby you never think that they will be dealing with cancer or chemo, multiple surgeries, blood transfusions, bone marrow biopsies, etc. She's been battling this cancer half of her life. I feel crushed in a way because when she was diagnosed they gave us this plan...8 rounds of chemo and she should be done with this cancer. Yes, her tumor has shrunk, yes, its out of her bones, but she's not totally clean. We are not talking about remission yet. At this point we are still confused, bewildered by these results. Justin and I are mentally drained. It's been a hard day. We had much different ideas about today. It was supposed to be a day of celebration and excitement. I was supposed to be planning a cancer-free party. Instead, we have to dig in our heels and move forward, walking blindly by faith and continuing to live, being grateful for the miracles we've seen, and truly enjoying more of the little moments."

(Kari and Bree still making the most out of a hospital stay on St. Patrick's Day):

That last sentence that she wrote was so powerful to me. She lists some very important things that we can all learn from and apply to whatever struggles we are going through: 1) Dig in our heels and move forward, 2) Walk blindly by faith, 3) Continue to live, 4) Be grateful for the miracles, and 5) Truly enjoy more of the little moments.

How profound.

Kari and I have been emailing the past couple of weeks. She is so drained. So tired. So ready to be done. Bree is still nursing from her and Kari truly has never had a break from all of this. If I was in this situation I would want to escape (to a beach perhaps). But Kari is the type of person who wouldn't want to escape, but would want to be with her children and husband always. She is such a good mother. However, I feel that she needs a break!

This is when I decided (once again) to do a kit. I realize that so many (SOOOOO MANY) of you had made donations (small and large) back in the fall when I created the "Gratitude kit". For those who are newer to my site, you can click here to read about what was purchased with the donations.

I realize that I cannot be asking for more. You have all been so generous in the past. But, for those of you who would like to make a donation, I would greatly appreciate it. (I even went above and beyond with this kit and made extra papers and's my biggest kit ever!) I will accept donations for the next couple of weeks (I'll do it until June 6th which is my brother's birthday [easier for me to remember that way]). Just click on the "donation tab" on the righthand side.

If you cannot make a monetary donation, then your prayers and words of encouragement would be wonderful as well. As before, I would love to give her any words and thoughts coming from you. Let me know if you have any ideas on things that could lift their spirits. I'm thinking along the lines of a spa day, movie tickets, restaurant gift cards, etc. But if you have something else in mind, please let me know.

We love you Easy Breezy!!!
Every time I think of Bree, I think of Claire and how grateful I am for her. When I made this kit I knew I needed it to be cheerful and uplifting. As I was with my own sweet Claire one day, I realized how happy she makes me. And as I looked at her I got my inspiration in the beautiful dress she was wearing.

Easy Breezy
Click here to download the free Easy Breezy kit:
Easy Breezy kit: part 1
Easy Breezy kit: part 2
Easy Breezy kit: part 3
Easy Breezy kit: elements 1
Easy Breezy kit: elements 2

To donate, you can click on the "Donate" button at the top of my blog on the righthand side. Thank you so much!