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Week 8 recap and Welcome Week 9!

It would be a total lie if I said I felt strong or like I had control over.....well, really anything at this point! The last, almost, two months have been tough, like almost as tough as the start of treatment tough.....Olivia has been dealing with tummy/poop issues for way too long, her glucose is still all over the place, we went inpatient for about 5 days, been on isolation, had a fever with rhinovirus, crazy mood swings/cravings with steroids, and still just not her normal energized smiley sweet self......add to that Owen is still struggling from missing his sister day to day, Peter still looking for a job (lots of interviews just waiting for calls back) and now having to find a water leak "somewhere" in our yard...... Life is tough right now, no sugarcoating that one but we STILL have so much to be thankful for! We knew going into cancer treatment that it was not going to be an easy road, and truthfully we were spoiled during her first phases of treatment and how well she handled it all! I'm not sure if that is because she was low risk and getting a lower dose then or just after time her body is reacting differently now but it has been hard on us all watching her scream, cry, beg to go to St. Jude and be in so much pain and even tougher on her I know.

 After our week 8 and spring break ended with a 5 day stay at St. Jude with still so so so much diarrhea and complications from that we finally are on the mend and making normal poop!! ( I know she will kill me one day for telling the world about her bowel movements, but we are SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!) Think about a toddler having a stomach bug for about 2 months and you will have an idea of what we have been dealing with! Friday she went in for a routine check and they were not able to get blood return from her port so after an x-ray it was determined that there is a fibrin sheath at the end of her line which blocks the blood from being able to be drawn up. It was planned to go in on Monday for a procedure (where she would be put to sleep) to strip the line, however on Sunday we went in for a fever and congestion. Sunday her line worked perfectly twice and then again on Monday morning! After some answered prayers they decided to put off the procedure since it was working well and she was dealing with congestion and fever the night before. It will happen sometime, inevitably, but not this week! We are also still trying to get a hold on her glucose issues and figure out what exactly is causing it, we thought it was from steroids but she has been off of them for a while and we are still dealing with that at times so we are now under an endocrinologist care to keep watch on it. They are leaning towards her having hypoglycemia from medicine so she is taking advantage of being able to sneak candy from her Poppa's candy bucket right now :) We also shaved her head again last week as she started losing what had started to grow back. We asked her a couple weeks ago and she didn’t want to but came to Peter one day and told him she wanted to cut it again L She actually seems to have come back to life after doing it and looks adorable!

Monday started our Week 9 of 120 and planned to have 3 heavy doses of chemo, however due to low counts and her recovering from a fever the day before they put a hold on it until today, hopefully. This week has been the week we have been needing for a long time now! Olivia has been back to her happy, smiley self, been playing, eating well, walking more and just overall our sweet baby girl! We are all so happy to see this part of her back, but especially Owen!! They have been so sweet to each other this week and he had a tough time this morning with wanting her to be at daycare with him today.

Like I mentioned at the start, we are in a tough valley right now, but we are FINALLY seeing a small glimmer of light through our current tunnel. We know that so many kids with leukemia deal with so many more serious struggles through treatment and are thankful that ours are temporary and finally getting relief. We continue to be so thankful for the amazing care we are getting at St. Jude! Our AMAZING nurse practitioner even checked in on us over the weekend after not hearing from her for a few days to apologize for being MIA while she was in the process of moving her dad into assisted living! On a weekend, while dealing with her own personal struggles she was thinking about our sweet girl! As always, we are encouraging anyone who is looking for someplace to donate money to think of St. Jude. We have two ways to make it easy for you right now! 1) Peter is running as a HERO again for the upcoming Nashville Rock N Roll ½ marathon for St. Jude. You can donate to his team here: https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes;jsessionid=00000000.app20120a?px=3982915&pg=personal&fr_id=97508&NONCE_TOKEN=545CB4545CA785D341EB125BAEA6F59D&copy_link_share   and 2) Olivia has been honored as being the patient profiled on the spring stuffed animal in the St. Jude gift shop. You can buy an Olivia Elephant and all money goes straight to St. Jude. If you are local let us know and we can pick one up and deliver it to you! You can find the elephant here (be sure to scroll through the pics to see the name tag that comes with it with her picture and story): https://giftshop.stjude.org/olivia-plush-elephant/213800000.html?cgid=new#sz=12&start=39   Thank you all for your continued prayers and good thoughts! Please keep them coming for Olivia to handle this week’s high doses of chemo and steroids well and for her tummy to stay healthy, Peter to get a call back and find employment, for our plumbing issues to be an easy fix, for Owen to continue to handle all this well and for this Momma to get some needed rest and renewed strength! We are needy in prayer this week! 

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