My beautiful niece Gracie was recently diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (cancer). It is still early in the diagnosis and we are awaiting results to know more about the fight that Gracie will face. I've created this blog as an outlet for friends and family to stay informed about her journey and a way for friends and family to make anonymous contributions towards her care and the mounting expenses her family will face. Gracie is a fighter and the bravest 3 year old I know. Hundreds of people love you Gracie and are praying for you. "Be strong and of good courage for the Lord thy God is with thee" Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

so happy

This was Gracie on Monday before she went to the clinic for her blood draw. She wasn't feeling well or happy about going. who can blame her? who wants to get poked every monday and thursday? along with shots in your legs very night for 10-14 nights a month? not any one I know, let alone a 3 year old. She is such a trooper about it all. When we got the blood results back, it showed she was in need of red blood cells and platelets. her platelets were 2 and normal is over 160. her hemoglobin was 6 and normal is 11. so she got both of those and her color looked sooo much better and she felt so much better that evening. her white count was still zero so she had to have 3 more nights of shots. hopefully it will be up tomorrow at her appointment. she really wasnt too thrilled about 3 extra shots. but she keeps talking about 2 free weeks off from the hospital. :)

The next day she was so much better and so so happy and smiling and talking like crazy. she wanted to go to the zoo, so of course we went. it was a lot of fun. today has been the same. she is doing so awesome. She is walking all over the house and talk talk talking. and what a sweet smile that has been on her face these 2 days. It warms our hearts to see her old self coming back, although she is never going to be that same little girl she was before. she is strong and wise beyond her years and it makes me sad she had to grow up so much at such a young age. She amazes us every day with the things she says and does.

We go down for her CT scan on the 9th and then she has surgery on the 13th. We are anxious to have it done. excited, scared, nervous, all of those things. Thanks so much for your continued prayers.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Round 5

Gracie had her 5th round of chemo from June 14-17th. She did pretty good with it. Here is Chloe (big sister) reading to Gracie at the hospital. She loves to hear stories because she doesnt feel ike playing very often. She also has quite the selection of movies now.
The best thing about summertime is snowcones!!!

The football players from OSU came around to all the kids and visited and gave them toys and stickers. she liked these pompoms but she wasnt interested in a bunch of big football players coming in her room. :)


We went to the movie after she was released from the hospital before her counts were low. We hit the noon movie so there werent many people anyway, We saw toy story 3 in 3-D and she loved it and has been asking to go again! I told her we will go next week when her counts are back up. We also went to the zoo but it was very hot and we didnt stay too long. We rode the train and the carousel.



the next few days her counts started dropping and she started not keeping anything down. I called the doc and they had me switch her to pedialyte and she did well with that, every time I'd think she was doing good, I'd try a little pediasure again and up it would come. I kept her on only pedialyte for a few days to at least keep her hydrated and it seemed to work well but she didnt get any nutrition those days. She just started tolerating the milk again a couple days ago. I have it set at 1 1/2 oz. per hour continuously. She has been sleeping a ton trying to reserve her energy. Her counts should be on their way back up at this point, we go to clinic to check tomorrow. I hope she gets her energy back and is able to enjoy the next two weeks. Surgery has been scheduled for July 13th down in Ft. Worth, TX.




Sunday, June 13, 2010

what a difference a week makes!

We have had a WONDERFUL week at home!! she doesn't look too happy in this piture. but she was smiling SO big the whle time it was going. this was after it stopped and she wasnt interested in a picture. :) lol. this was just a carousel at the mall here.
We went to the park one evening cause there is a splashpad there. Gracie wasnt interested in getting wet but played a little on the playground. This is her "trying to not smile" look.

Gracie loves doing crafts and she did this glitter craft so well almost entirely by herself. She also has a ton of fun swinging on the new playset in our backyard. The first thing she asks every morning is " can I go in the dolphin swing?" She just laughs and laughs when we push her in it. She also loves the sandbox. She was not wanting any pictures this week so all i have of the sandbox are grumpy ones. :)


Gracie is a little artist and loves to paint. She has great attention to detail. She is excited to turn 4 next month and has asked for more painting stuff. :) She also showed me the bike she wants. I hope she feels good on her birthday. It is July 25.



Here's a big smile cause she was so proud of her finshed painting!! Beautiful I must say!!
Tomorrow she goes back for round 5 of chemo. Still waiting to hear when surgery will be.




Sunday, June 6, 2010

a rough 2 weeks.

all the pictures i have from the last two weeks are of her sleeping cause she was so sick and wouldnt smile for anything. It would just make her mad if i took out the camera when she was awake.


We were hoping to be home for 2 weeks before surgery. it turned into 4 days. Gracie had not been eating and also not keeping much down of the tube feeds. She was complaining of tummy pain on the right side that monday after chemo and then she was vomitting some blood that night. I called the oncology doc and they said to turn her feeds off for a little while. the next evening she developed a fever and i took her up to the hospital and they started antibiotics and ran a blood culture which showed nothing. and did a chest and tummy x ray which showed nothing. the next day she had a CT of her abdomen done to see if there was anything else going on. The CT results were : There are a few lymph nodes in the lower chest that may be slightly more prominent than on the previous study: however, the patient's left suprarenal mass and retroperitoneal adenopathy have decreased considerably since the 3-5-2010 study. There now appear to be some dystrophic calcification within the suprarenal mass and some of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes..
the tumor appers to be 4 cm by 4.5 cm. this is down from 10 cm when we began so that is great.
She kept puking and hurting a lot. she spiked another fever a few days later and they did another blood culture that came back Gram positive rods. which is usually a skin infection. They think maybe it was from the C. diff which came back positive again as well. She also had other infections and infection around her g button site. they did an EGD to see if they could find the tummy pain and she had severe esophogitis, which is from all the puking and reflux.
It is hard to describe how bad she actually was, but it was to the point where I thought we might lose her. It made me think a lot about the will of the Lord and maybe it wasnt His will for her to get better. I think once i came to terms with it, was when it all turned around. Her white counts came up around Thursday and it was a night and day difference. We were able to come home yesterday and she is doing well and so happy.
surgery was supposed to be tomorrow but the new plan is to give her another week to get stronger and recover, then do the 5th cycle of chemo next week on the 14th, followed by surgery 3 weeks later. It has been an emotional rollercoaster these last 3 months. i know it will continue to be, But the Lord is mindful of us and we feel His blessings every day. I hope I can let His will be done and trust in His plan for Gracie. She is an angel on earth. I am so grateful for every day I have her.



Friday, June 4, 2010

Scentsy fundraiser

Gracie's Scentsy Funraiser has started and will go through June 30th. Please go to http://saramendenhall.scentsy.us/ and look under Sara's open parties for "Gracie Bloxham Fundraiser/Melanie Kindle" then select "buy from party". You can order anything you want-and Sara will donate all of her profit-.31 cents for every $1 sold to Gracie!

Sara said "My goal is to donate at least $500!Many of you may not know this but 3 years ago, Lisa was the one who introduced Scentsy to me-so it seems fitting that Scentsy would be how I could help raise money for her sweet Gracie!"