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Journal 2
2002-2003

Thursday April 25, 2002

Today Katie was now on Maintenance and she was allowed back at school(after all this time).  She got up around 7:30 and she putzed around as usual.  She ate and then she needed to take her pills and she tried to go too fast and threw up.  We cleaned it up and moved on.  Then she got on with her day.  She wore her Easter dress and her white hat and shoes.  Mom came over and went to the school so that she could meet the staff since she  would be the one to pick up Katie if she gets sick.  We left the house about 8:35. When we got to the school the kids were lined up outside.  When we walking to the door we passed some little girls.  I could here them whispering, "Is that Katie?", " Yeah I think so".  "Katie"! "Katie"! "Hi" "Hi Katie"!  They were so excited to see her.  Since she was only in class for one week before she got sick, I was afraid that they would treat her like the new kid.  She was pretty happy too.  We went in and were walking towards her class when we saw Mrs. Dragmen in the Library.  She turned around and saw Katie and exclaimed, "I'm soooooo excited to see you", and gave her a big hug.  Then she noticed the dress and said, "That's the most beautiful dress I've ever seen".  She was amazing.  She is such a caring person.  She really knows how to make those kids feel special.  Katie and Alyssa started looking at books so mom and I took this opportunity to talk to her about Katie and what we have noticed and what to watch for.  We told her that Katie knows her limits and that she will tell you if anything is wrong. Katie had only planned on staying for 1/2 the day to start, so around 1:30, mom picked Katie up from school.  When I got home I asked her how her 1st day back was and she said, "Yeahhhhhhhhh".  She was glad to be back.  She told me that she was the QUEEN of the day and of the class.  She said that all the girls were fighting over her.  They wanted to sit by her and play with her.  She enjoyed the attention.


Friday April 26, 2002

Kristen and Jen (two nurses from the clinic) were gonna do a school visit and explain to the kids about Leukemia and what Katie was going through.  Katie's friend Vedo and his class came over as well.  The kids were really attentive.  They had answers to the questions and asked good questions too.  I was very impressed.  Mrs. Dragmen called me about 3:15 that afternoon to tell me that there was an incident on the playground earlier.  Vedo had taken Katie's hat off and pointed out to one of his friends about her lack of hair(remember Qball).  She said that Katie didn't cry or talk about it much but she said that she was a little quieter for the rest of the day.  She did say that later they were taking a math test and Katie fell behind so she told her to sit on the other side of the room while the class was doing a group project and she noticed that Katie had taken off her hat and that the kids were watching her.  She said that they didn't make any comments but were just more curious if she was growing hair yet. When I got home I talked to her about it and she told me that she didn't think that she was gonna be Vedo's friend anymore.   I told her that that wasn't a very Christian thing to say.  I told her that Vedo wasn't doing it to be mean, but that he didn't think that it was wrong.  She was fine after we talked about it.  

School was fine after that and things went pretty smooth.  It wasn't long till school was finally out.  The 1st half of the summer was very busy.  We were getting ready for Disney, which was a blast and then Moma and daddy came up for a week.  It was so good to see them.  Now it's almost time for school to start again.  Things are going well with Katie.  She has been doing well no real problems.  She has been having some trouble with her counts being to low, but not neutrapenic.  So that's where we stand for now.


A MOTHER'S Reflections   7/23/02

 These are some thoughts that I wrote down, just stuff that I was thinking.

It seems so long ago now.  Sept. 4, 2001 is a day that Kevin and I will never forget.  For a few weeks prior to that, Katie had been saying that she was tired, but she usually said that when she was told to clean her room or to do something she didn't want to.  She had been in day camp over the summer and seemed to be fine.  At least Alyssa hadn't said anything about Katie not feeling well or being tired.  She did fall off the teeter-totter and fractured her collar bone towards the end of camp but that was all.  She has always been healthy.  Nothing more than a cold here and there, she did have pneumonia once.  So it came as a great shock to us.

 I feel like a bad mother though.  A couple of weeks before we finally took her to the Dr. She had been complaining of being tired (but like I said it was usually when she didn't want to do what she was told) and she had a lot of bruises.  Some of them were big enough that you would think that you would remember what you did to get them.  Mom even thought she looked pail.  Which we now know are sign of Leukemia.  Even Dave said something about the bruises, and I still said that it was just because she was a kid that plays hard.
The weekend before she got sick, the 4 of us and mom went to Pat Catan's in Wickliffe.  It was grand opening and we wanted to check it out.  Katie wasn't happy to go or about having to walk around the store, but she got over it and settled down.  While we were walking around she said that she was feeling sick and the next thing I knew she was puking.  I thought that that was weird because she hadn't had breakfast, and I don't think she had had anything the night before.  There was about 1/2 a cup and it was clear.  It looked like mucus.

We continued on and came home soon after.  The rest of the weekend was fairly calm.  Katie didn't play much outside.  I remember once that weekend one of their friends came over and Katie didn't want to go outside but Alyssa did.  I watched Katie stand at the door and watch as they walked away.  She came and sat down by me on the couch, she had a sad face and I asked her if she wanted to go out and play and she said "no". Then she laid on my lap.  

Monday was Labor Day.  I was off, and Kevin decided to work(double time and a half).  I thought I would take the girls to the mall just to get out.  Well Katie didn't like the thought of that, which is a little usual.  She didn't fuss too long.  We got there fairly early because I didn't want to fight the holiday traffic.  We parked by Ethan Allen about 10-15 spaces from Tabolt's door.  From the time we got out of the car till we got to Tabolt's door Katie was asking if there was gonna be some place to sit down.  I asked her why and she said it's because she was gonna be tired.  Well I immediately got my attitude and said to her, "How on earth do you know your gonna be tired?  Your a child, your not supposed to be tired.

We went in through Tabolt's and down the corridor to the main mall.  We stopped at a gold store and I bought a necklace and then we started down the mall towards Sears.  Katie whined about that some.  We made our way down to Hallmark to get the Fairlane ornament for Kevin.  I told the girls that they could pick out a beanie baby.  Katie picked one out quick but Alyssa on the other hand took about 20 min.   Katie, in her tired state, just sat down on the floor and waited.  By now I was beginning to get a small clue.  Alyssa finally made her choice and we left and came home.  When we got home, she just laid around for the rest of the day.

The next day she went to school like normal.  Later I called Kevin and asked him to call Health Services to make an appt.  I was now having a bad feeling since the weekend.  Kevin called me back and said that they could get her in at 12p.m. on that day or not till Thursday at 4:30p.m.(which is what we needed because of school and I'm only part time so I don't get paid for missing work nor for Labor Day)  I told him to take Thursday(little did we know what we were in for). Kevin called me back and said that he would take off and go get her and bring her back.  Not long after that I got a call from the school nurse.  She told me that Katie was in there and that she didn't feel well.  I told her that Kevin was already on his way.  

He finally called me about 1:30, he said not to worry but Eileen's concerned so she's sending them to Hillcrest to run some tests.  Well if you know me at all, that's just a contradiction in terms.  Well it wasn't easy but I tried real hard to stay calm.  Inside I was dying though.  3:00p.m. came and it was time for me to go home and I still haven't heard from Kevin.  I got home and Alyssa was soon to follow.   Finally Kevin called me, you could really hear the emotion in his voice.  He told me that Hillcrest was sending them to Cleveland Clinic.  That's when he finally told ME what he had known all along, that they thought she had Leukemia.  I was shocked at first.  I surely couldn't understand, she was only tired.  Not my child. My Katiebaby--Leukemia.  It just wasn't right.  Well it sunk in quick and started balling.  Kevin was telling me that Dave and Sharon were coming to get me and Alyssa and take us to the hospital.  Good thing because I wouldn't be able to find it through the tears, or at all.  When I got off the phone with him I called work and told Pam (Peggy had went home sick). I talked her the next day.  Then I called Moma.  That was a hard phone call.  Then the hard part came, I had to tell Alyssa.  I told her that Katie was at the hospital and that they thought she might have Leukemia, she asked me if Katie was gonna die--I said, "I don't know, she could".  Then we sat there for about 30-45 min. and just cried together, with her in my lap.

Finally Dave, Sharon, and mom got there.  All of them plus Alyssa and I piled into Dave's little car.  When Sharon came in and I saw her we hugged and I lost it.  She held me and let me cry.  She did too a little.  Then we were off to the hospital.  We finally got there and Katie was sitting on the bed so I hugged her and asked her how she was doing.  Then I sat down next to Kevin and he lost it.  We cried together, which was hard with everyone there.

It wasn't too long after we got there and all the doctors starting coming in.  Dr. Levien was the 1st.  He was awesome even from the beginning.  I thought he looked worse than us and that just touched my heart.  Dr. Cameron was there and some others I don't remember.  The first 2-3 days were such a whirlwind.

Dr. Levien (I believe) was convinced in his mind that she had Leukemia, but wasn't willing to tell us till the conformation.  Se we were there for the night at least.  Things would be clearer in the morning (hopefully).

The results came back the next morning and so did Dr. Levien.  It was Leukemia, however he didn't know which one.  There are several different kinds.  So now we need to pinpoint it to know how to treat it.  Later that day they found out everything they needed to know about it.  She has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia pre-B cell with some myeloid markers.  He said they will treat it like ALL instead of AML because there is more of that.  He did say if your gonna get cancer, ALL Leukemia is the one to get.  The survival rate is 85-90%.  So that was encouraging to us.  He also said that as ironic as it sounded he would have rather her had the AML(which is worse than ALL).  He said the treatment is harder and it means more hospital time, but the treatments only last for 6 months.  As it is her treatments will last from 2 1/2 to 3 years.  We told him that we were planning to wait till Thursday to take her to the doctor, and he said she probably would have passed out before that, so it was a good thing we brought her when we did.  She also will be going for checkups till about the age of 17.

They started treatments on Wednesday and by Friday she was in remission(PRAISE THE LORD).  I was extremely surprised that it happened that fast.  Brenda from our church said that the Dr. should be quaking in his boots.  It just doesn't happen that fast.

Dr. Levien didn't paint a very pretty picture.  First he told us she would be in the hospital for at least 4 weeks and maybe even longer.  She was only in for 2 1/2 weeks.  He also said she would be in and out for a while, and she would be sick off and on.  She hasn't been back in and has had nothing more than a cold since this has started.  He also said that she is classified as a rapid responder and that she has an awesome immune system.

Dr. Levien told us that it would be less traumatic when she lost her hair if it was short, so when we got home I cut her hair in a bob.  Well she just loved that.  

About 2-3 weeks after she got out of the hospital, she started loosing her hair.  That was really hard for me.  She, however thought it would be funny to pull it out and throw it at us.  That made it worse for me.  But I handled it.  She lost about 80-85% of her hair. I cut the longer pieces down to match.

It started growing back a little.  She had about 1/2 inch of re-growth when she went into her re-intensification stage.  They hit her hard again with her chemo.  This time it fell out quick and she was a total Q-ball, even her lash's and eyebrows fell out.  That lasted for about 4 months then it started coming back in.  She had hair for Disney.  

Momma and Daddy came 2 weeks after we got back and the girls just really enjoyed that.   Kevin and I took Tuesday and Wednesday off so on Monday and Thursday they were with the girls all day.  I think everyone involved enjoyed that.  Now we're just looking forward to school and a new year.

Katie's web site has been nationally published at cancerkids.org and the neverending squirrels tale.com, and at makeachildsmile.com and hugsandhope.com we have submitted her to be a featured child. What they do is put her P.O.Box on the site and people send cards and gifts.


MORE REFLECTIONS

Before this whole thing started we were house hunting.  You know that the Lord really knows what he's doing.  We looked all summer.  We just couldn't agree.  We did find one that we liked and we bid on it but the homeowner rejected the bid because we had to go FHA.  We continued to look, but we couldn't find anything.  Then this happened.  Had we bought a house we would have been ruined.  We only had about $5,000 in savings and we would have put it all on the house. Our house payments would have almost doubled from what our rent is now.  

We stayed home for 6 weeks with her and we had to pull our savings  to live on while we were out of work.  Not to mention the astronomical bills we were receiving.  But THANK THE LORD there is an organization called BCMH.  They pick up everything that insurance doesn't. Also there is The Leukemia Society and they pick up parking and mileage.  Now that we are back at work and we miss on days that she has to be there, we just plain miss out.  Kevin has no vacation time left and I never had any,  but the Lord supplies.  We haven't gotten behind on our bills, it's just been real tight.  

I think maybe she will be able to go for her appointments once a month soon so we will be able to catch up a little.

So the point of this is that the Lord really knows what he's doing when he tells you NO.  There's a reason.

Added 11/09/2002
Well after Moma and daddy left things were pretty uneventful. School started August 27,2002.  That was great for everyone involved.  YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  On September 13, Katie celebrated her 1 year anniversary of being in remission.  She was also told that instead of coming every week she could wait 2 weeks this time.  When we went back they told her she could come back in ONE MONTH.  Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Now maybe we can catch up at work with vacations and our hours, but I tell ya we sure miss that weekly 3 day weekend.lol

For her anniversary I took her to the George Strait concert.  Jo Dee Mesina was there as well.  Katie had such a great time.  Kevin and I went out the night before so mom decided to keep them both overnight.  She said that they didn't go to bed till 1 a.m. and that they got up around 6 a.m.  Then she brought them home around 8 a.m. and we went to the West Side Market in Cleveland.  Then we did other running that day, came home and did some cleaning.  The concert started at 7:30 p.m.  George didn't come on till about 9:30 p.m.  Katie got to hear her favorite song, Write This Down. I believe he sang it 2nd, and then she started fading fast.  She actually fell asleep.  How do you do that with 40 to 50,000 screaming people.  She did it.  It was soooo funny.  She had a blast though.

Last time I told ya'll that Katie was gonna be featured on Make A Child Smile and Hugs and Hope.  She was featured the month of October at MACS and in November 2002 she will be featured at Hugs and Hope.  Let me tell ya'll the spirit of humanity is not gone.  People have been so generous.  The cards, letters, and the gifts that the girls received were just amazing.  I have been so touched and moved that if you know me at all, I've just been balling all month.  These sites also give out Christmas presents as well.  It's almost overwhelming.

Katie's birthday is November 22 and we are gonna have a small party for her.  She will invite a few friends.

Katie's health has been really good.  She had a doctors appointment on the 25th of last month and she had to have a spinal tap (CLEAR FLUID) and a flu shot.  I think that maybe the combination of the two did a little number on her.  A couple of days later she started getting a spinal headache and then about a day later she started having a hard time breathing and she got dizzy.  We called the doctor on call at about 8:30 p.m. one night and he never called us back so at about 10:30, we decided to go to bed.  She didn't have a fever and she calmed down quite a bit so we decided to blow it off.  She's been fine ever since.  We chalked it up to a spinal and a flu shot.

Her hair is growing back really well.  She has about 3 to 3 1/2 inches now and it's getting pretty curly.  In the back at her hairline it curls straight up.  It's the funniest thing.  

Now we are just getting ready for Thanksgiving, her birthday and then CHRISTmas.  I can't wait, it's my favorite time of year.  

Well I think that's all for now.  I'll keep in touch.  

Love ya'll.
Kevin, Donna, Alyssa, and Katelynn


Added  01/05/2003

Well, here it is the end of the year.  2003 is here.  Katie had a good birthday.  I invited a friend of hers from preschool.  She didn't know till Sarah got to our house.  I think that was the best present for her.  It was her 1st party with friends.  She had a really good time.  Then it was a waiting game till Christmas.  

The girls had a really GREAT Christmas.  Katie had 2 Christmas elf through Hugs and Hope.  This person would buy for each child in the family.  In our case they were buying for 2 children.  One of her elf's was from Denton, Texas so that was really cool since it's our home state.  The other is from Mentor on the Lake, Ohio, which is about 10 min. from us.  

One Friday night, I went to cut hair where I work and I was waiting on one of the guys to get done. I got online to check on Katie's site and check my e-mail.  Kim had signed Katie's guest book and said that she was from MOL, Ohio.  I thought that was cool because nobody had signed from this area except family and friends.  She had e-mailed me to let me know that they were thinking of us and that the Coast Guard was too.  So I e-mailed her to say  "thanks", and that I thought it was cool that they were down the street.   No big deal right?  Wrong.  The next day I got online and to check my e-mail and she had written me again.  This time she told me that she had contacted Hugs and Hope and asked to be Katie's elf.  Then she proceeded to let me know that she had already gathered money from family and friends and that she wanted to deliver them herself.  I just sat there and balled.  I couldn't believed that there were nice people out there.  

We started e-mailing back and forth and decided to meet before Christmas.  We had a really nice time.  They were very easy to talk to.  We all were worried about meeting someone from the Internet.  However it was really easy.  We met at a restaurant and stayed for about an hour and a half and talked.   We continued to talk online and started to get to know each other.  Kim also needed to know more about the girls and what to get them. I  gave her ideas as I would think of them, which was hard because other people were asking me as well.  I also had to have ideas for us.

The best thing about this is Kevin and I have gained friends.  We have gotten together Kim and Brendt several times and it looks to be a lasting relationship.  This spring or summer Brendt  is gonna take Katie out on the boat.  He works for the Coast Guard.  Katie is really excited and is looking forward to this.  

Not only did the 2 Christmas elves send her gifts, other people latched onto her as well.  There is Melissa from California.  She is involved in a website called The Cage has adopted Katie and she sends at least a card just about weekly.  She sent Katie both birthday and Christmas presents.  She sent to Alyssa and me as well.  Then there is another Melissa.  She is from Arizona.  She just came to find out about Katie through H&H.  She sent all of us gifts.  Then there is DeWanda, she's from Texas.  She too has taken Katie under her wing.  Then there Nikki in Pennsylvania, and a couple of people who didn't leave names or addresses.  

So you see this random act of kindness didn't stop with the 2 elves.  It grew and grew.  We have been so blessed.  We want to Thank each and every one of ya'll from the bottom of our hearts.  And to those of you who didn't want the recognition, THANK YOU anyway.  We love you all.  God will truly bless you all.  

Katie has done really well.  She has been so healthy.  We thank the Lord everyday.  She has an appt. coming up on the 10th of January.  She is starting a new phase in her chemo.  She will only be having a spinal tap every 3 months now.  Praise the Lord.  

Well I guess I will go for now.  I will talk to ya'll soon.  Thanks again for your continued love and support.

Kevin, Donna, Alyssa, Katelynn<><

Added  06/30/2003

Well it's the middle of  June and the year is half way over.   We are making turn 4 and heading for the checkered flag.  Katie's last treatment will be in December.  She has been doing really well.  She has had a very minor set back.  Around January or February she got some kind of bronchial infection and that has had us at the doc's office every week since.  She just got back to where she was gonna get to start back to once a month and now she has some kind of congestion.  Pray that this doesn't do the same thing again.

Well, as some of y'all know we were involved with the Relay for Life this year.  We had a good time.  We only had 5 members to our team, but we had a good time anyway.  Katie got to take her survival lap.  It is always an emotional time for me.  I usually cry the whole lap.  Katie, of course, thinks I'm being silly.  She always says to me, " Mommy, don't cry."  If only she understood.  It's so awesome when they call her name, "Katelynn Mc., survivor - 1 year and 8 months.  It's just a great feeling.  The only draw back to the whole thing is that it rained ALL night and the next day.  We had an onsite fund raiser and we raised $88.00 for the American Cancer Society.  Yeehaw.  

Well the girls will be going to summer camp through the parks and recreation of our city.  They are pretty excited.  They have really fun stuff for them to do.  They will swim every Friday.  They have crafts, magician day, park days.  They go to water parks, and amusement parks and much,  much more.  Also, in July, Katie is going to a week long camp called Camp Quality.  They take the siblings as well.  Wooooooooooooooooooo Hoooooooooooooooooooo.  What ever will we do without them.  lol  Then about 2 weeks later Katie is gonna go to another camp through the American Cancer Society called Camp Sunshine.  They are both excited about that.  

My summer will consist of job hunting.  I was let go on June 3rd due to downsizing.  I'm not too upset about it because I was gonna quit anyway, but I did want to do it my way.  We were in the process of looking to buy a house again.  So I was worried what that would do to that.  However it didn't do as much damage as I thought.  I would have liked to have a job to go to when I was done with this one, but oh well.  Keep me in your prayers that I find a job fast and better than what I had.  I am gonna stay home with the girls June 9-13.  Then when they start summer camp on the 16th I will start job hunting.  

Well I hope all of you have a fun, wonderful, and safe summer.  Thank you for your continued prayers, love and support.


Love to all,
Kevin, Donna, Alyssa, & Katie<><

Added 10/15/2003

Howdy all, sorry it's been so long since my last entry.  The girls had a wonderful summer.  They went to summer camp through the parks and recreation here.  Then the first of July they BOTH went to Camp Quality.  Wooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooo a free week for us.  It was great.  We didn't do much, but it was nice to have some Kevin and Donna time.  Katie was home for a week, and it was off to Camp Friendship for a week.  She had such an awesome summer.  Then to top it all off part of Katie's extended wish trip she got to go to just about any amusement park she wanted to for up to a year after her stay at Give Kids the World.  So off we went to 4 different parks.  We went to Kings Island in Cincinnati first.  It was a good park, but we went in May and it was still chilly then.  So not was it only chilly, but it was raining as well.  We made the best of it though.  Then about 2 weeks later we went to Hershey Park.  That was a cool park, but very hilly.  No problem if you're only walking, but Kevin was pushing Katie in a wheelchair.  He got his exercise on that day.  Katie still gets quite tired if she has to walk for too long so we get a chair for her when we go to the parks.  We had a good time, however I got really sick to my stomach.  Kevin kept pouring water down me.  All I could think was I am getting old.  I can't even handle the heat anymore.  Then about a month later we went to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.  We love to go there.  It was pretty hot that day.  It figures.  It was a pretty cool summer, but the day we go it was around 85 degrees and no wind.  Well I got sick that day too.  What is going on with me.  How crazy.  I was born and raised in Texas, home of sunny days and it never bothered me before.  Oh well anyway then Progressive (where Kevin works) had their summer outing at Six Flags.  Again I got queasy.  Not as bad as the last two times, but sick anyway.  So that was our summer.  It was quite full with things to do.  We had a great time.

Well I have these bone spurs on  my heals and they have really bothered me off and on over the years.  I have had cortisone shots in them before.  Now that has got to be one of the most painful things I have ever gone through.  I would rather give birth.  Anyway  they didn't bother me while I was at the dealership because I was on my butt for 2 1/2 years.  Well now that I am back in the salon, guess what.  My heals are killing me.  So I thought that they would get better after I had been working for a while. It finally got so bad I could hardly walk.  It would hurt when I bend my foot.  So I made a doctor's appointment.  While I was getting ready on that day I was looking at my face and I decided not to wear makeup.  My face is so red all the time.  I think I have roseatia.  So I thought I would have her look into that as well.  So when the doctor walks in she looked at me kinda funny.  I just thought it was because she had never seen me without makeup before.  Well we talked about my feet and then I said to her, "can we talk about my face now".  She just laughed. She talked a lot of doctor talk and finally said to me that she thought that my feet and my face were tied in together.  I looked at her like she just grew another head.  What do you mean they are tied in together.  She said she thinks I have Lupus.  I just laughed.  I said well is now a good time to tell y'all that my mom has it to.  She kinda laughed and said yes it was a good time.  She did tell me that it was generally NOT hereditary. She said it will skip a generation if it is.  Well guess what--it didn't skip.  Oh well.  She took some blood and told me she would call me when the results came in.  Well guess what?????? My tests were positive.  So I have to go see a rumatoligist.  She said that this doesn't mean that it's Lupus, but something is going on.  So I will let y'all know what he say's.  I go see him on the 29th of October.  

Kevin called me at work the other day and told me had some news.  What is it I asked.  He told me he just won 2 round trip tickets to Hawaii.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself.  We still don't know when we are gonna go. We have to get some finances arranged as well before we can figure out when we are gonna do this.  We ARE accepting donations ; - ) We are thinking maybe May.  This will be a much deserved vacation.  Except for our outings to the 2 parks that we had to use a whole weekend to go to we didn't get a vacation this year.  So this will be great.  It is a minimum of 7 nights.  I think it was some kind of package deal, because we have to use a Sheraton hotel.  We can't make our own plans for that.  I'm a little peeved about it, but not enough to throw it all away.  

Well I think I will wrap it up for now.  Thanks for all of y'all's love and support.  Talk to ya soon.

Love ya,
Kevin, Donna, Alyssa, & Katie <><

Added 12/12/2003

Well it's finally here. It's the last day. She made it. It's been a long 2 1/2 years. I have a flood of emotions going through me right now. I'm excited, scared, apprehensive, nervous, elated, rejoicing, and worried.  All are good in there own way. Some can be bad if I dwell on them, so I am trying very hard not to. It has been a long road that only God has brought us through. HE has healed our little girl, and HE allowed her to stay with us and we THANK HIM for that. I don't think I could bear it if He told us she couldn't stay, but I would have allowed Him to help me through it. I know what you're thinking, "How could a loving and just God allow this to happen?" Well He didn't. He allowed her to stay. It was in His plan to heal her. I feel he is gonna do great things in her life. He has a wonderful plan for her and I can't wait to see what it is. We have said all along if only one person has come to know Christ through this whole thing, then her sickness was worth it. What a wonderful Christmas present the Lord has given us. He healed her in the first place and then he allowed it to be all over 1 week and 6 days before Christmas.  

Katie did really well with all of it. She had her last spinal tap, her last bone marrow biopsy and also had her med port removed. She was really sore when she woke up. She was in quite a bit of pain as well. They gave her some pain medicine in her IV, and after a little while they gave her some Percocet. They also gave us a prescription. She took one at bedtime last night and then when she got up this morning. She has not had any since. She is such an amazing little trooper. We are SO proud of her and how she has handled this. She could have been a real baby about it, but instead she has been very grown up about it. Well now she can go back to being a kid. The next thing on her agenda is to flush her pills. She SO can't wait to do that.

The girls are really looking forward to Christmas. It is everyone's favorite time of year. We are looking forward to a new year. A year with no Leukemia. She will, however, have to go every month for a year to have a blood draw to check to make sure it's not coming back. Then every other month for a year and so on till she is down to once a year. She will be considered cured in 5 years.  

So once again thank so much for your love and support. It has always made us feel more comfortable knowing that y'all are here and praying for us.  

Thanks and love,

Kevin, Donna, Alyssa, and Katelynn <><


To Be Continued...                                                                               Journal 3