Monthly Archives: February 2013

student star

this past week was davey’s turn to be STUDENT STAR in his class.

 

what’s a Student Star?

 

it’s basically a week to focus on ONE student per class.

over the weekend davey got to fill out a poster.

by himself.

with NO help from mommy or daddy

(well, until it came down to drawing the orca whale…).

 

on monday, davey was able to review the poster with his classmates.

so here he is with his finished product:

 

a closer-up of the poster:

 

and the part of the poster that made grandpa’s week (i sent him this photo on sunday):

 

 

on tuesday, he took his favorite book to school and he/Miss Yates read it to the class.

(he chose a hand-made book by his nana – a cross stitch book of Davey the Bear).

 

 

Miss Singleton (his principal) had an afternoon snack with him one day

(she brought him an Otter Pop and a Star Student pencil)

 

 

and finally, all the students in the class wrote a note to Davey telling him what they like about him and then those notes will be turned into a book.

(i haven’t seen evidence of this yet)

 

 

germy germy germs

two weeks ago, alex had a gnarly head cold with some mild fever.

that was bad enough.

then on sunday, davey came down with a fever near the end of our super bowl party (which means we shared germs).

his fever persisted all week.

i finally took him to the pediatrician on thursday.

 

strep throat.

 

he never once complained of a sore throat.

even when the doctor asked him after it was confirmed, still no pain.

so we started antibiotics.

 

he was happy and fine on friday, but not fever-free long enough to go back to school yet.

so davey, the girls and i ran some (mostly in the car) errands.

 

and alex came down with a fever friday night.

and now she and samantha are battling fevers and coughs and head congestion.

 

on saturday, i spent $120 to take the two girls to Urgent Care.

i spent another $22.22 on antibiotic prescriptions for them.

 

and yet neither of them feels any better.

and neither of them is doing any better.

crabby, coughing, stuffy, runny, feverish and blah.

 

[davey also has a cough but he's back at school.]

 

i’m tired of being a walking pharmacy constantly dishing out

acetaminophen,

ibuprofen,

antibiotics,

cough medicine,

allergy pills

and more.

 

ugh.

 

i’m ready for all these germs to be gone.

 

would you please pray for speedy healing for our family?

more specifically that we’d all be healthy by tomorrow (tuesday)?

i’m just ready to be done with this season.

 

 

he’s home – david update #3!

GUESS WHAT? SOMEONE GOT TO GO HOME TODAY:

(From Jacob & Kiki’s FB Status):

We are home! David received his intrathecal and intravenous chemotherapy today, got a blood transfusion, and was discharged. He feels pretty horrible, but we are all happy to be home (especially Elianna). Thank you so much to everybody who has helped prepare our house for David’s arrival home, who has brought meals and gift cards, and prayed and encouraged us. The plan from here will be to watch David closely, give him his oral medications throughout the day, take him in for outpatient blood draws, transfusions, and chemo, and enjoy life together as a family. The biggest challenge will be to keep David healthy; as long as he doesn’t get infections we should be able to stay out of the hospital.

my second David update

on saturday, the hantla family updated their facebook status with more information on david. you’ll be able to read that update below (in bold). since today is tuesday, he’s now on day 7 of chemo. one week in. it’s a 3-year process. we were blessed to hear Jacob share part of the story at church on Sunday. i am astonished and amazed at the peace and comfort God has already provided to this family through this very difficult trial. that is a testament to the faith the Hantlas have in their Savior and God and it’s a testament to the power of God’s people praying for this family.

 

 

(the photos i’m sharing have been borrowed from Jacob & Kiki’s facebook page.)

 

For David, we’re obviously praying for health, recovery, healing, minimal pain and side effects, etc. For Jacob & Kiki, we’re praying for parenting wisdom as they focus on David but also love on and raise their 4-year old Elianna. Jacob and Kiki are both medical professionals, so sometimes it’s hard for them to put on their PARENT hat instead of their PROFESSIONAL hat. As you can imagine, it’s extremely difficult for them to watch their not-yet-18-month old son experience so much pain.

 

David has good moments and bad ones. Earlier this week, he was feeling well enough to enjoy the play room at the hospital (he’s in a children’s hospital):

 

and now, here’s the Hantlas update from this past Saturday (2/2/13):

We are now on day 4 of chemo. It seems like time has flown and like we have been here forever simultaneously. David’s leukemia and chemo have caused him quite a bit of pain; we are thankful for dilaudid. He is getting sick and tired of taking his medications, but overall being a quite a trooper. When his pain is under control he does his best to have fun, play with Elianna, and drive his car around the hospital. Elianna thinks she owns the hospital; she rides her tricycle around the halls for hours on end. David gave us and the doctor a little bit of a scare when it took more than 24 hours to get his electrolyte abnormalities and hand, jaw, and foot cramping under control. We are so thankful for Dr. Li, his oncologist, his nurses, and all the science that has gone into developing the treatments that he is receiving which are so much more effective and safe than treatments of even just a few years ago. The plan from here is to continue on his chemotherapy regimen, monitor his bloodwork (currently tracking cell counts which are slowly trending down, DIC panel which is beginning to show some mild coagulopathies, and his uric acid and electrolytes which have been much better in the last 12 hours), and treat the symptoms of his chemo while hopefully increasing his food intake. God has continued to sustain us. It is hard to watch David when he is hurting, and there have been some tears trying to comfort him. As we consider what needs to be done to return home and planning for the next weeks, months, and years of chemotherapy God has granted us the peace that he promises in Phil 4:6-7. There have been some tears, but little anxiety, and even much joy in the midst of this trial so far. In fact, by the grace of God, I think we are more overwhelmed by the blessings than the trial. Our family has had a great week of time spent together. We have received so many calls, emails, and texts of support and messages of prayer. We can’t even imagine how many people have prayed for us. Please keep praying! God is blessing us greatly and has been faithful to guard our hearts. There has not been a single meal that we have missed or had to fend for ourselves because there has been an overabundance of people wanting to bring us food and more importantly caffeine. Eli and David have more toys than Christmastime; This has made Elianna think of this hospital stay like a mini vacation. She said, “This room is like my princess castle. Isn’t it awesome!” We even caught Elianna walking the halls holding hands with her new friend our oncologist. As we consider what might have been had we not been blessed to catch the leukemia as early as we did, we thank God. As we consider that off all the cancers David could have gotten he has ALL which is relatively very treatable and well researched, we are grateful. As we realize that so far the side effects of his chemotherapy have been quite manageable, we give thanks. Our family and friends, particularly Grace Bible Church, have been an incredible support in a way that has continued to astound the nurses, help us, and give God glory for His provision for us. Sorry for the lack of updates in the last 48 hours. We will try to make up for it by posting some pictures.

 

EDITED TO ADD: IT’S 10:09 AM HERE IN ARIZONA AND I JUST CHECKED WITH KIKI FOR TODAY’S PRAYER REQUEST. PLEASE JOIN ME IN PRAYING THAT DAVID’S BLOOD ELECTROLYTE LEVELS WILL REMAIN NORMAL/STABLE. IF THEY DO, THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE THAT THE HANTLA FAMILY COULD GO HOME AFTER DAVID’S CHEMO TREATMENT TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY).

julie was here julie was here julie was here

so from the title of my post did you gather that julie was here?

as in one of my dearest friends julie?

as in the julie of THIS blog?

as in my friend julie whom i feel like i’ve known forever but really it hasn’t even been three years yet?

 

 

yes.

THAT julie.

 

THAT julie was here, in arizona, to visit me!

 

and while the weather did NOT cooperate while she was here:

at least it was warmer than “back home” for her!

 

our adventures began on Thursday morning, January 24th. I ditched out of Bible study a few minutes early to pick her up at the small airport in Mesa:

 

and then we stopped by the house for a potty break and a tour. and then we headed to Chipotle (YUM!) to grab lunch and we took it to the Logos Tempe office to eat it in the kitchen. The Tempe and Bellingham offices now have a web cam running live 24/7. Both are in the kitchen/break/lunch rooms, so Julie was able to say hi to her husband, Ed:

that was pretty cool even though there’s some lag time with sound and sometimes the volume cuts in and out.

 

next up was a quick (and i do mean all-too-quick) run to Hobby Lobby for some crafting supplies and inspiration. the alarm on my phone sounded before we had even broken the surface of scouring the store for fun finds! so we checked out and made our way to pick up Davey at school.

 

with Davey in the car not feeling well, we stopped at Swirl It so Julie and I could enjoy an after-school treat:

frozen yogurt is SO. YUM.

(note: we planned to get some for Davey, too, but he didn’t want any.)

 

then the three of us ventured into Target for a few things.

(fortunately my mom instincts kicked in back in Swirl It and i grabbed a LARGE frozen yogurt (empty) bucket for Davey “just in case” he needed it. he sat in the cart at Target and as we were ALMOST finished with our adventure there, he needed the bucket. poor kid. but hooray for that bucket!)

 

from that not-so-fun adventure, we made our way to Jenni’s house to pick up the girls. julie got a quick tour of Jenni’s new home and she learned which walls i helped paint.

(after awhile, Davey perked up and moved from his car seat to Jenni’s couch to watch tv and when we were ready to leave, he chose our next adventure over going home to rest on OUR couch and watch more tv)

instead of heading home, we made our way north to the Logos house. it is definitely impressive.

(by this time, Davey felt fine and he was running and jumping and playing and laughing as much as Samantha!)

 

and then we hit the drive thru at In-n-Out before heading home to eat our dinner.

before getting the kids into bed (but they were already READY for bed), Julie gave each of them their hugs from ALL of her girls (davey got an extra hug from Teacher Leslie – Julie’s mom and Davey’s preschool teacher!) AND a gift hand-picked by Sarah, Julie’s oldest daughter who used to babysit for the kids.

(sam received a My Little Pony coloring book;

davey received an Avengers activity and sticker book;

alex received a darling stuffed kitty with eyes almost as big as hers)!

I’d say that was quite a whirlwind of a first day!

 

 

On Friday, Dave took the day off work to stay home with the girls and to get davey to and from school so Julie and I could shop and explore and do whatever else we deemed “necessary” without interruption. our morning began at joanns where we found some supplies for our necklace crafting project. and then we headed to one of my happy places:

 

which includes a fun outdoor section titled:

we enjoyed a few hours of child-free shopping in this antique mall. we were shocked (and appalled) at prices. we were confused by some object. we exclaimed with joy over certain FOUND items. and we marveled at the fun we were having. but in the end, we each spent ONLY $10 but we were VERY happy with our purchases.

i did spy this fun find:

but i had NO IDEA where i could put it in my house, so i left it behind and began to dream….

 

the weather made a turn for the better so we grabbed a quick lunch of Jimmy Johns and ate it in the car on the way to a thrift store. in the parking lot, we snapped this photo of Julie, blue skies and palm trees:

 

and then we needed an afternoon treat:

freddie’s frozen custard is SO RICH. SO THICK. SO CREAMY.

and very, VERY filling.

 

 

which meant it was time to do some more walking/shopping to burn off some of those calories. i chose to introduce Julie to a marvelous store called Charming Charlie. it’s like Claire’s or Afterthoughts for adults!

we spent a LONG time in there. in the end, Julie walked out with a watch for herself and gifts for her four girls. I left with a stack of bracelets and two rings. we stopped in a few other stores but nothing really screamed “take me home!”

 

and speaking of home, it was time to head home, change and head out for drinks & appetizers with some of my Arizona friends as a belated birthday celebration!

when we got home, we found some HAPPY children. two of them were busy coloring:

 

 

we headed back to downtown Chandler to a Mexican Restaurant known for it’s tasty margaritas.

(Jenni, me, Casey; Sarah, me, Heidi)

the six of us enjoyed lots of stories, margaritas, chips with salsa and guacamole and several hours of un-interrupted (by children, at least) conversation.

and yes, Julie and I each ordered dinner, as well. as we were trying to pay our bill, the rain started falling and our evening was over.

 

 

as the night progressed, the rain didn’t let up.

in fact, it got more intense.

and then it rained. and rained. and rained. and rained. and rained. and rained. and rained. and rained. and rained….

 

 

and rained and rained and rained and rained….

we had planned to go for an easy hike (with the whole family) after Dave’s morning Bible study, but the rain was coming down so hard we knew that even us north westerners wouldn’t enjoy a hike in THAT much rain!

 

what to do…. what to do….

 

we chatted on SKYPE with julie’s family in washington:

and we even gave them a quick tour of the house!

 

having SEARCHED high and low in my home for a place to put that special door, i finally figured out something that would work and would (hopefully) work well. so we borrowed a truck from a friend and headed BACK to the antique mall to buy the door. which was in an outside booth.when we got to the antique mall, we discovered that everything in the booth was 20% off! [i'm assuming it's because it was raining and it's an outdoor booth]. bonus for me! i brought home my sweet door for only $20.40!

(many thanks to Dad & Mom for my birthday check – look at what you bought me! the door, some furniture straps, two bottles of glossy black paint)

 

on our way home, we stopped by michaels to pick up the final supplies needed for a necklace-crafting adventure and i discovered my american express card was missing. seriously? didn’t this JUST happen a few months ago? (yes, yes it did).

so i called the restaurant from the night before and low and behold,

my card was found!

so we delivered the door to my garage (to allow it time to dry out). then we returned the borrowed truck and headed to Anthropologie (for some window shopping/inspiration) by way of Chick-Fil-A for lunch and the restaurant for my credit card.

 

we did a little more shopping and we enjoyed some MORE frozen yogurt (from a different location) before returning home to hang out with the family. we enjoyed some pulled pork sandwiches for dinner and some time chatting with the munchkins and loving on them:

 

and then it was time for julie to snap a quick family photo:

and then the kiddos went to bed.

 

julie and i then got started on our necklace creations. neither of us are bead jewelry makers but we’re both pretty crafty and we wanted to tackle this project:

 

we opened packages and i found pliers and we got to work…. guessing and trying different things along the way to find out what worked best to form rings and attach things and get the right length….

 

and in the end, we were TIRED, but quite pleased with our creations:

 

 

sunday morning brought more dreary weather (seriously?! what’s the deal?) and an early morning trip to Starbucks before i had to drop off Julie at the airport for her flight home.

 

and though it was sad to say “good bye,” we have more adventures to look forward to. we’ll see each other in seattle in march and down here in june (she and her family will stay at the logos house for a day and a half). but this trip was fantastic… other than all the rain!

 

a David update

first i want to say THANK YOU to so many of you who have added David to your prayer lists. He is a fun-loving, easy-going, super happy kid. He is 17 months old and I am humbled at the outpouring of love my family and friends have shared with the Hantla family. THANK YOU.

 

 

so two days ago (wednesday), david had surgery to place a port which will be used for future blood draws, for his chemo treatments and more. this is david before surgery:

 

while he was waiting for surgery, his sister and daddy had a breakfast date:

 

and after surgery, David’s first chemo treatment began.

 

 

this was posted on the Hantlas facebook page last night (thursday) around 10pm:

“Update on David: David had a very difficult day today. He was very uncomfortable because of the chemo side effects, (diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping) pain from the port placement, and bone pain caused by the leukemia. Thus morning David’s┬áhands went from fine to severely cramped. His electrolyte levels are out of whack do to cells dying. It was a difficult day, but God gave us peace for every moment. I was reminded time and time again that,
“Trouble must go through God first before it is allowed to touch us.” Stephen Altrogee
Thought you might enjoy a picture of one of his happier moments today. Please continue to lift David up in prayer. From what I gather this period of chemo is the most dangerous.”

 

I will continue to post updates for those of you who are praying for him. It will be a long road with many months of treatment ahead, but he and his family could use a lot of prayers right now as they begin this journey…