Monday, January 9, 2012

Blood Drive

We have made our first step in Cancer Awareness we are hosting a blood drive at the Grandville, MI Walmart on February 25th from 10:00am - 4:00pm. This is just one small step that we would like to accomplish through this journey. We are not only doing this for our Beautiful Daughter but for everyone's Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Siblings, Daughters and Son's that might need one at some point in there life.

I bring myself back to the day Mallory had major abdominal surgery to remove the tumor and adrenal gland on her left side, I just remember them taking blood to find out what blood type Mallory was so that they could prepare themselves in case she lost a lot during surgery. The anesthesiologist went over protocol for how she would take care of our baby girl in case of an emergency, 4 different sites for an IV, one for medication and 3 for if they needed to do emergency transfusions as fast as possible. My heart hit the floor, the possibility of my daughter bleeding out, dying, I had only known her 2 short months but trust me when I say I have been in love with that Girl since the day we found out we were pregnant. This was the hardest part for me, the fact that my child could die without this blood. Praise the Lord that she did not need it during the surgery, the prayers from around the world were heard that Day and God held our little girl in her hands during that time and protected her.

Ryan wrote this the day before "Dear God, please be with the surgeons tomorrow. Guide their hands and their minds to do the best work possible. Please let them have a productive surgery, and let Mallory come out of this stronger than ever.  Oh, and please God, if it be thy will, please let the doctors leave all that extra blood on the shelf. They won't be needing it. Amen." And it gives me chills. Mallory did need a transfusion the day after surgery because in a tiny baby losing a little bit of blood is actually a LOT, so that was the first time. The 2nd time she needed a transfusion was because her hemoglobin was so low after Chemo therapy so they did another one. We have a 50% chance of her needing one every time we go through Chemo.

This is HUGE, never in a MILLION years did I ever think to myself that Cancer patients would need transfusions, this didn't even cross my mind. Within the 2 months we've been going through this I have met many families many of which are at Clinic for this purpose. There are many other reasons why people would need transfusions as well and we want to make a difference.

We have an event on facebook and I pray that each and every person that RSVP's will come, that's 72 people that can make a difference to a whole bunch of people. And for those people I am grateful. They are helping my baby and a WHOLE lot of other families.

We have another clinic apt this morning to check Mallory's blood counts to get her body ready for Chemo. Her ANC was still pretty low at the last check up so she may be needed a Neupogen Injection to raise this number so her tiny body is ready by Thursday. Thursday Marks the 2nd round of treatment, after this treatment we will schedule a CT (to make sure the tumor is shrinking), a catecholamine test (checking her urine for traces of cancer), and an echo cardiogram (this is to take a look at her heart because the Chemo she is recieving can sometimes damage it). For us this is a BIG step, we are just getting closer to the finish line.

I am nervous about them leaving a tumor inside my child, I know that this is the best possible option for her to lead a normal life. It just freaks me out, did they kill it all? Is it going to come back? What are the chances? I know she needs to have it left in so she isn't on medication for the rest of her life from having both Adrenal Glands removed but this still scares me. There is absolutely NO way they can remove just the tumor they would have to remove the adrenal as well. So this is our BEST option, I will take it obviously but still it freaks me out.

I have gone into survival mode meaning that everything I do as a parent is to get me to the next day. This includes the ways I parent. I not only co-sleep with Mallory but I put large amounts of rice cereal into her bottle to get her to sleep longer. As a 1st time parent, NO WAY would I have done this with Jillian, she was in her crib at 2 months old, she would only take naps with me in our bed, and she did not get any solid foods until she was 4 months old and it was only rice cereal and teeeny tiny bits of it at a time. I followed ALL the rules I had set in stone, when your 2nd child does not sleep as much as you need this whole "plan" gets thrown out the window. So here I am 3 months in, sleeping with my child in bed, feeding her huge rice cereal bottles before bed (I now get 3 hours instead of 2!). I am hoping this will slowly stretch her stomach so that she is able to eat more less frequently. The tumor was so squashed up against her stomach that she just has a hard time eating a lot, which is another reason why my chick-a-dee is such a chunk, she eats all day long, but bird feeds. I am curious to see where my parenting goes from here, I am pretty sure Jillian will be in diapers till she's 5, Mallory will be walking around with a bottle and sleeping in a bed with me until the day she gets married and moves out. (HAHAHAHA Ok, so I promise it won't be THAT bad, but it sure seems like it right now).

But seriously how can you say no to these sweet sweet girls?(I am in LOVE with this picture, Jillian conked out on the couch for the 1st time ever after her besties Birthday Bash and I had to use it as a photo op to get a good picture of my 2 cutie pies!)


  1. Ashley, there is simply no "right" way to parent. These are YOUR kids, and YOU get to decide what works for them and you as a family. You are doing great. Don't sweat the small stuff. You've got enough on your shoulders sweating the big stuff right now! So you put that baby in your bed with you, and you snuggle her close. It's the best medicine for you both right now. You are a fantastic momma, and that's all that matters. Your girls are secure and loved, and that's what being a good parent is!

  2. Mallory looks GREAT! Her eyes are sparkling! God Bless her. PS my son Anthony slept in my bed until her was 4, and had a binky until he was 4. He will be leaving for college in September, without a binky- sleeping alone (hopefully!)

  3. HAHAHAHAHA Chris!!!!!!!!!!! :-) Thankfully there is hope for these 2 after all!!!! We got super lucky with Jill, no bottle after 10 months (she didn't care for it), and the paci was gone at 18 months, she was in her own bed at 2 months, Mallory is working a different angle, but then again she's a completely different Kid than Jill was!

  4. What a gorgeous picture!!! You amaze me. You are going through this battle right now, and yet you have the heart to help other people. Why aren't more people like you out there?!!:) I also think your posts are so real, they make me laugh, make me feel, you are a very talented writer. Perhaps you should think about writing a book about your experiences to share with so many people who are going through the same thing. Going through cancer with my mom made me realize how important it is to be able to relate to others who are going through the same thing. Mallory and Jillian are so blessed to have you as their mother.

  5. My daughter was also born with cancer. She had surgery to remove her tumors at 3 days old and started chemo at 3 weeks old. I understand where you are right now. My prayers are with you and your family! God bless you and keep you all safe and healthy! Please feel free to email me anytime.