Friday, December 30, 2011

Counts are Up!

Briley had her monthly scheduled appointment yesterday at Cooks for CBC, port flush, and doc visit. She has been neutropenic for the past couple of weeks, so we have been withholding her chemo & bactrim. Because of that, we were anxious to see what her ANC would be. To our relief, her ANC was 1950! This is an extremelly good number! Much better than the 300-400 she's been at the past couple of weeks. She's been battling a sinus infection lately that could have helped boost her ANC up that high. Her hemoglobin & platelet counts looked great also! The doc decreased her nightly chemo dosing in hopes that her ANC won't drop like they did. But they will still fluctuate so she'll have a couple of CBC's done for the next couple of weeks to she what her ANC is doing.
She started back on her chemos last night. Here we go again, but she is moving forward. She is doing great, feeling good, active, eating well, and her hair is coming back nicely. She has just enough hair to clip a bow in!
She asked aunt Jessica want she wanted for Christmas. Jessica replied, "I would like some money"! Briley responded, "don't you want a cure for cancer"? That's all we can hope and pray for. Maybe one day.....
Her next appointment is scheduled for the end of January. She will start the 2nd cycle at that time. It will be another spinal tap day, vincristine through the port, and another 5 day round of steroids. We are thankful that she will only go through the vincrstine/steroid pulses once every 3 months and not once/month per standard protocol. We appreciate everyone's continued prayers!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Low Counts Still & CureSearch

Briley had another CBC done today. Her ANC is 465. Up just a little from last week. We were really expecting it to be higher since she's been without chemo for the last week. So this is a little disappointing to say the least. She's going to be neutropenic heading into Christmas weekend. We will take her to the family Christmas parties and pray that she does not catch a "bug". The doctor wants her to stay off of the chemos and Bactrim until her next appointment at Cooks on the 29th. It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is sick. We are doing what we can to keep it out of our house!
It's official, we will have a CureSearch walk in Wichita Falls next fall. We are excited to help get this walk up & going. I've looked at the list of things to do and we are going to be pretty busy getting everything together. We will be in need of volunteers, so if anyone would like to help out, let me know! The event itself is only hours long, but there is a ton of preparation. I promise it is for a good cause, good for the soul, and an emotional uplifting experience!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CBC & low counts

During Briley's last Cooks visit, her ANC dropped from 2,000 to 1,000. Because of the big drop, the doc wanted her counts checked in two weeks. Today was week 2. Briley, Bryson, and myself went up to the Seymour Hospital for blood work. Briley's anxiety about needle stick is coming back a little since she doesn't have them as often, but I was proud of her for not crying during the needle stick. She was proud too! The nurses blew up balloons for the kids to play while we were waiting for the results and they loved it! Her results came back. Hemoglobin 12.4. Platelets 151,000. ANC 322. I couldn't believe her ANC was so low. She is now neutropenic and will have to be isolated in the house until it comes back up. It really stinks since she was suppose to attend her dance class's Christmas party today and now she'll have to stay put up in the house.
The results were faxed to Cooks. They called back and said that this was normal, but they wanted us to withhold her daily (6mp) and weekly (methotrexate) chemos for a week. Although she will still take her Bactrim 3x/week to prevent a certain pneumonia.
We left the hospital and sitting in line at the drive thru waiting for lunch. Briley made a little noise. By the time I turned around to see what was going on, it was too late. She threw up everywhere. Bryson was doing his best to hide in the car seat so that he wouldn't get hit! Anyway, we got home and she got a bath. Then I had to clean the inside of the car, car seat, clothes, you get the idea.
I thank God that she is staying healthy and fever free. It is sick season now and we will take extra precautions to keep her well, especially since her ANC is that low. The nurse said her counts will fluctuate like this until the end of treatment. March 2013 can't get here fast enough! We were going to send her to Kindergarten next year, but now I'm second guessing that decision because of today's counts. Hopefully her counts will stabilize by then once the right dosing is figured out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Curesearch Walk

Briley has been doing very well and feeling great!! Her hair has come back in and is growing very fast! She loves putting clips in her hair. One thing about it, her hair loss broke Bryson from pulling her hair!
I wanted to drop a little note and let you know that we and a couple of other cancer kid's parents are planning a Curesearch Walk in Wichita hopefully in September. Curesearch funds the Children's Oncology Group (COG). The COG is the leading pediatric cancer research in the U.S. As you may know, Briley is currently under a COG research trail. Thanks to them, Briley's particular leukemia survival rates have increased from almost certain death in the 1950's to 90-95% today!
Funding for kid's cancer research is very minimal compared to adult. Most will argue that kid's cancer is rare, hence the reason it receives less funding. While that may be true, years of life lost due to pedi cancer almost equals that of breast cancer. Plus, it's just not fair for these innocent kids to get this awful disease. This adventure has changed me. Not only because of Briley's leukemia, but also the kid's that we have met while at Cooks. A few of them are no longer with us. I'll never forget talking to a teenager that had terminal cancer. They gave him 3 months. This is what drives me to do something more.
A couple of folks have told me that they would love to donate to Curesearch, but have already donated to another cancer charity. While that's great, there is a big difference when donating to one or the other.
For example: NCI gives 3% to pedi cancer. ACS allocates .4% towards pedi cancer. What little federal funding there is for pedi cancer was actually cut this year. I find it appalling that the ACS spends more money on a program to ban smoking in bars in S. Africa than they do on pedi cancer research.
I've really opened my eyes and look further into programs as to where the money that I donate actually goes. A good place to do this is at I look up just about every charity that ask for money from us. You may be surprised to where your money is actually going. If I donate my money for "the cure", then I want it to go to research and not the majority of it paying for salaries and overhead.
With that being said, I'm not condoning ACS, NCI, or anyone else. I think they are great and have their place. A lot of good hearted people work hard for "the cure". Thanks to them, advancements have been made that would not have been possible without them. I just wanted to point out the difference between the adult & pedi cancer worlds. It's two totally different worlds.
94% of your donation through Curesearch will go directly to research! That is awesome! I will keep the progress of the walk updated. I just wanted y'all to keep it in the back of your mind and would love to have you join our team. I would love to see the Team Briley t-shirt wearing folks in force at the walk. Thanks!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pizza & Frito Pie Party & Clinic

We arrived in Fort Worth with great anticipation of the party. With a little help from the gps and navigator Alicia, we made it to the downtown office without any problems (I get turned around in downtown pretty easy). Thankfully Bro. Terry met us downstairs and led the way up to the floor. We would have got lost just doing that! I guess it's the classic case of small town folk in the big city!
We made our way onto the floor and met lots of nice folks who were excited to have us, but especially because they were able to finally meet Briley. They all have heard how their company's foundation was going to do something special for a little kid with cancer, seen the pictures, and now finally meet her in person! We walked into the meeting room that has become, for a short time, Briley's party room! There was a big poster hanging on the wall with "Princess Briley" on it, along with pink & black cupcakes with a "B" on them. The pizza & frito pie fixings were there waiting for Miss Princess to chow down! The walls of the room were covered with dry erase board and the kids had free will to write on the walls. Bryson took advantage of the opportunity! Then a very special surprise walked into the room! Cinderella & Belle stopped in to eat with Briley. She was very excited to be able to eat with the Princesses! Bryson developed a crush on Belle. He gave her kisses and fed her pepperoni! After the meal, both kids got a bucket full of toys, which was great and kept them occupied on the ride home. We were on the 14th floor and the kids just thought that was the neatest thing and loved looking out the windows. Briley had to make sure that everyone looked out the window and saw how high up they were! We have pictures of the party on our facebook, so if you get a chance, take a look at them!
Briley had a 12:30 appointment, so we had to leave out from the party. I think the kids would have stayed there all day if they could have. Some how, I manage to find my way to Cooks without the gps, however I think I took the long way there. Briley had her port accessed, blood drawn, and port flushed. Her ANC dropped from 2,000 from the last visit down to 1,000. Although it's still a fairly good number, we would have liked to see it a little higher. She will have a cbc done at the Seymour hospital in a couple of weeks to see where her ANC is at that point. Because of the big drop, her home chemo (6mp) may have to be decreased a little bit. Once again, low counts and sick season have us a little on edge. But what can you do? Keep moving forward is what we are going to do! Briley's hemoglobin & platelets are very good and so is her mobility. Her next appointment is scheduled for Dec. 29th.
We would like to thank Bro. Terry, Mandy, Ken, & the rest of the gang at Richland Resources and the HopeWell Foundation for doing everything they have done and continue to do. They put in a lot of thought & work to make Briley's day (and ours) very special. It was good for us also to meet the folks that are doing so much for our little girl. They will never know how much we appreciate everything.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to Fort Worth Tomorrow

We have finally settled into the maintenance routine and Briley is doing pretty good. She takes chemo every night. The chemo needs to be taken on an empty stomach, so we have gotten into a bad habit of setting our alarms and getting up at 1:00 in the morning and giving her the chemo. Whatever works I guess.
She has some nausea with the chemo. Some days are better than others. The last two times that we've tried to eat at a restaurant with Briley, she started getting sick and we had to leave without eating. I don't know if it's the smells or what causes the nausea to come on at the restaurants.
She also got sick and threw up during our Thanksgiving meal at Craig & Briana's house, but she was fine afterwards and finished her meal. At that point, I realized even more how much I hate cancer and the chemo. Even seeing maw maw there not able to cook Thanksgiving lunch for the first time that I can remember because of her cancer and the chemo side effects just makes me sick.
However, we have a lot to be thankful for. We are thankful for the almighty Lord for that we see His works with Briley. We are also thankful for the wonderful support & prayers from family and friends. And we are also thankful for the great doctors, nurses, & child life specialist at Cooks.
Other than my small complaints, Briley is doing very good! Sick season is upon us and she is still not out of the woods yet. Any fever above 101.5 will be an automatic week stay at Cooks. So far, so good. We are keeping her and Bryson as isolated as possible, but still allowing them to do a few activities here and there. Briley goes to dance class once/week. Bryson goes to tumbling once/week. They both go to "Church School" and of course to mass on the weekends. I'm thankful for my job that allows me to stay home with them most days of the week and I'm thankful that Nana is able to keep the kids on my work days. However, I need to dust off the treadmill and lose this weight I've gained from sitting around the house with the kids!
We will go to Fort Worth tomorrow for the pizza party at Richland Resources and then to clinic. Briley will have her port accessed, blood drawn, port flush, and a visit with the doctor. I will update hopefully tomorrow night and let y'all know how things went. Thanks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Settled into Maintenance!

I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post. There's not a whole lot to report regarding Briley at this time. No news is good news!!! She had a blood draw last Thursday to check counts. Her ANC was 2000! Everything else looked good also! She was still getting sick and vomiting in the mornings last week unless we gave her Zofran as soon as she got out of bed. I didn't think about the nausea meds this morning, but she did fine all day. No nausea!!! I'm hoping that her little body has grown accustomed to the chemo. She has also started playing a lot more in the mornings!
Two Saturdays ago, we ran out of her chemo. It takes a special pharmacy to fill it, and of course, no one is open on the weekend. After a call into Cooks, the doctor said the ER could fill her Rx. One problem, we would have to drive down there to pick it up. Thankfully, we found someone coming from Ft. Worth to Seymour that could pick it up. With a little begging over the phone with Cooks, they were allowed to pick up the chemo and bring it to Seymour. Thank you Eric, Pam, and Rilda!!
Her next appointment is on the 29th. It will just be for count check, port flush, and doctor visit. It is really hard to believe that she will only get chemo at Cooks every 3 months! That day before her appointment, we will visit the offices of the folks that are granting her wish for a pizza & frito pie party! We are looking forward to meeting everyone, although I doubt they'll get much work done with Briley & Bryson running around terrorizing the place! Thank you for your continued support & prayers!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Good counts, not so good side effects

Briley has not been feeling well in the mornings since the start of maintenance. We don't know if it's been from the chemo, steroids, or a combination of both. She's been a little nauseated and constantly wanted to be held. By the afternoons, she seems to do better and she will start playing. Anyway, we left out for Cooks yesterday morning for a scheduled appointment for blood work and doctor's visit. Briley was nauseated when we left and no more than we were about to leave town, she threw up. A quick u-turn back to the house for a clothes change and we were on our way. Bryson came along with us this time and stayed entertained with Thomas-the-Train dvd's.
The clinic visit went very well. Briley's ANC was 4600! This is by far the highest that it's ever been, but part of it is due from the steroids giving it a little boost and maybe another boost from a bug. Come to find out, Briley is sensitive to the home chemo (6mp) so that may be the reason for not feeling good in the mornings. The doctor wants her to have a CBC done in Seymour next Thursday to check counts after the steroids are out of her system and then maybe decrease the amount of daily chemo. Oh-yeah, she gained 3 lbs during the week she was on steroids! I'm glad that's over for a while.
While we were there, I met Josh. He is 19 years old with a rare form of bone cancer that could be terminal. Cooks sent him on "Hunt of a Lifetime". He went elk hunting in Oregon with a fellow that has a hunting show on the Outdoor Channel. Josh was uncertain when he's hunt will air so I told him that I will follow along with his caring bridge page and will be looking forward to watching his hunt. Please say an extra prayer for Josh.
Briley's next appointment will be on the 29th. I'll post more before then. Thanks.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a Big Day!

This is going to be long..........We woke up late to a cold and windy day. Arrived at the clinic 15 minutes late. Oh-well, I think they have come to expect that of us! Briley's counts came back good, although her ANC dropped to 890. Since it was over 750, she was good to start with Maintenance! She was then randomized by a computer to determine which of 3 treatment arms she would go down. I wanted a certain arm, and was ok with another, but I would have refused one of them. Prayers were answer when Briley was randomized to the treatment plan that we wanted! Awesome news! At that moment, it seemed a lot of weight was lifted off my shoulders! Standard protocol for maintenance is IV chemo and steroids once every month. The clinical trail that she is in now, she will be getting IV chemo and steroids once every 3 months! It will be much less chemo than the standard protocol. The arm that she is going down is standard protocol in Germany with the same success rates as the current standard protocol in the U.S. We are happy to be part of this research and are happy to support Curesearch that funds this type of research.
After all of the excitement, Briley went down for her LP with chemo at the SPA. While we were waiting, Bro. Terry and Mandy came in for visit. They have formed the HopeWell Foundation that will benefit kids with life-threating illnesses. Briley will be their first wish recipient and we are planning a trip to Disney World sometime late winter or spring. We are very excited and honored that they have chosen Briley to take part of this! I will update more on the trip as the details are worked out.
Wouldn't you know it, Briley has visitors and she was delayed in the SPA. Never fails. She was back there waiting for an hour longer than usual. I felt bad for Terry and Mandy having to wait, but I kinda enjoyed having someone to talk to while we were waiting. Alicia finally came out with Briley and Mandy gifted her with some Texas Rangers gear. She got a pink hat, pink jersey, pink glove, pink ball..........I guess everyone knows what her favorite color is!!! The LP went well, and then off to clinic for chemo. Terry and Mandy came with us to clinic. Alicia's sister and nephew, Jessica & Maddox, also stopped by on her way through to Munday. Briley and Mandy played catch for a little bit, a few pictures, and then they had to leave. We are planning to stop by their office in Ft. Worth during one of the next trips and have a pizza & frito pie party! It would be nice to visit with them at some place other than the hospital/clinic. We always enjoy having company.
Briley ate a little bit and then got the Vincristine chemo through her port. It didn't take long to run, and then it was time to go. Alicia and Briley rode with Jessica on the way home up until Jacksboro. We had family pictures done last week and we were schedule to go in yesterday after noon to pick out the ones we like. So Alicia jumped in with me and we took off towards Wichita and Briley continued on to Seymour with Jess and Maddox.
We used Julie Gilmore of Creative Portraits in Iowa Park for our wedding pictures and Briley's first year pictures. She is great! She learned of Briley's leukemia and wanted to take pictures for us. She did a great job and we have some great pictures picked out! We really appreciate everything she has done for us. It really means more to us than I can describe! I will try to post some on here once we get the disk.
Finally, we were headed home with the Ranger game blaring on the radio. We got home around 8:30 last night. Mom-in-law, dad-in-law, and sister in-law were here along with Maddox . We watched the Ranger game. I guess I should have turned Briley's hat inside out and made it into a rally hat.........ugh, it's was a good game though.
Yesterday was a great day. We haven't had a day like that in a long long long time. Above all, we thank The Lord for watching over all of us and leading us in the right direction. Prayers continue to be answered for us and we are blessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Fort Worth

Briley has her appointment tomorrow at 7:15. Since a lot of rain is forecasted for later tonight and throughout the day tomorrow, we thought that it would be a good idea to travel to Fort Worth tonight and stay at a motel. It sure beats leaving Seymour at 4:30 in the morning and driving in the rain.
We had to leave Bryson behind at Nana's house. It was especially hard leaving him today since it is his birthday. Yup, our little boy is 3 years old today. We'll celebrate his birthday this weekend, but we sure wanted to do a little something for him today. I remember Briley's birthday back in June. She had to come down to the Cooks ER that day because of a fever. This cancer stuff stinks.
Tomorrow is a pretty big day for a few reasons: #1 She will start maintenance! We are thrilled about that! #2 We will find out what clinical trail arm she was randomized to. #3 We are meeting with the good folks that will be granting Briley's wish! #4 Once we get back home tomorrow, we will have to go to Iowa Park and pick out the family pictures that we want! We appreciate Julie Gilmore for taking the pictures.
I will post tomorrow once we are done with everything and give y'all an update. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A quick update

I thought that I would drop a quick note on Briley's status. She is doing very well! Everything seems almost normal. She is very active, playing (and fighting) with little brother! We are slowly getting her out and about a little more and more. Cold & flu season are upon us and has us a little worried. But we will take it in stride and are thankful she will be in maintenance throughout the winter season. Her hair is coming back nicely, but slower than I would like. I guess that I just don't have the patience especially when a couple of kids have told her that she looks like a boy. It really breaks my heart for her because I know it bothers her, but it will make her stronger in the end.
We have been in contact with a couple of other cancer kid's parents in the Wichita Falls area and we will be planning a Curesearch Walk in Wichita! This is an exciting way that we can raise funds for the poorly underfunded pediatric cancer research. There are some new and exciting treatments for pediatric cancer out there that needs funding to become reality. Imagine beating cancer without chemo! It's out there just waiting to happen! I'm sure in the coming months you will hear more of this walk and we are honored to help get it going.
I guess that's all for now. Her next appointment is on the 27th of this month. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Last Treatment before Maintenance!

Briley went in yesterday for a 10:30am appointment at the clinic for her last chemo treatment for Interim Maintenance II!! Her count check came back a little surprising, ANC 1900!!! We'll take it!! It's amazing to watch her mature through out this process. She no longer cries having blood drawn out of her arm. No more tears when her port is accessed and dc'd! I would have never though that a 4 year old would not be scared of needles! Anyway, she got the vincristine and methotrexate through her port along with zofran. She never got sick and maintained her appetite. She did sleep most of the way home, but after she woke up at the house, she played like she didn't have a chemo treatment that day. It's sad, but I think her body is getting accustomed to the chemo.
While Alicia and Briley were waiting for the chemo, Bryson and I slipped over to the hospital to visit Tucker. Tucker is a 14month boy from Seymour who was flown to Cooks a couple of weeks ago. He was been in the PICU undergoing dialysis. Tucker and Bryson played catch for a little bit, but he was hurting so we stayed just for a short time. He was about to get some pain meds and hopefully get a little rest. Please keep little Tucker in your prayers. He has had a rough past couple of weeks and we are praying that his kidneys will kick in and start working again.
Back at the clinic, we had a good long visit and a few questions for the doctor regarding the research study. The doctor reassured us and made us feel comfortable with our choice. So we signed the consent form. I now feel like we made the right decision. We won't know until the next appointment which arm Briley was randomized to.
She will begin Maintenance on the 27th of this month. She will go in for yet another spinal tap with chemo injection that morning and I really don't know what else will be done until we find out what treatment arm she is under. We will leave it up to God to take her down the path she is meant to go on. Only He knows best!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Counts, Decisions, Stress

We left out of Seymour around 4:30 yesterday morning for Cooks. Briley and Alicia slept the entire way as I downed the coffee. After arriving at clinic, Briley's port was access and blood drawn for testing. Her ANC had dropped to 890. Although this is still considered good, it will continue to drop. Her next appointment is October 10th and her ANC must be over 500 to receive treatment. We will have a CBC done on the 9th here in Seymour to see if she can get the next treatment. After her lab results came back, we talked to the doctor a good bit about some of our concerns. Briley has gotten into the habit of not minding and has a short attention span, kinda like ADD. The doctor assured us that it probably was not ADD, but the effects from the chemo and also the drastic change in our home life. I guess if I was 4 years old and stuck in the house for 3 months straight, I might go a little wild also as soon as I was able to get out! I think we are well over due for a vacation! The doctor did say that she will have neurological test ran before she starts the maintenance phase.
Briley went down for the lumbar puncture and chemo injections. All went fine. The research nurse stopped in to pay us a visit. We are to the point of treatment that we must decide on what path Briley will go down. Do we stay with the standard protocol that has been proven effective? Or do we say "yes" to research and be randomized into a treatment arm? The COG is wanting to know if they can get the same results with less chemo. Now, I have been sick worrying about the late effects of the chemo, so less would be good. At the same time, if she ever relapsed, I would never forgive myself. With that being said, we have a lot of reading and data to look over. I am on the Internet researching what I can. But ultimately, we will give it up to God. He has been such a powerful force in this journey and I can promise you that He will not lead us wrong. Many Many prayers will be said over the next few days and we would appreciate if you prayed for us to make the right decision.
After the spinal tap, Briley went back to the clinic for her chemo. It is weird to watch the chemo work. She was in such a great mood until the Methotrexate dripped into her veins. It wasn't long before she wanted mommy to hold her. I hate Methotrexate..........and also the late effects. The nurses were great with the nausea meds! After we told them about our past experiences with the increased doses of the MT and how Briley got sick on the way home, the nurses hooked her up! She never got sick and slept the entire way home.
I know this was a little long, but so much happened yesterday. Alicia and I are very stressed about this decision we have to make. At this rate, I'll be bald by Christmas! We will keep all of you updated through out this pivotal time. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CureSearch Walk

We left out for Tulsa, OK friday afternoon to attend a Curesearch walk with Briley's friend, Gracie. We met Gracie's family during our time at Cooks and have became friends since then. Gracie started kindergarten this year and is currently in remission from neuroblastoma. She has 2 brothers and one sister. We have never met the siblings before, but they were excited to see us as we were excited to see them. We arrived at the Bloxham's house around 10:30 friday night and stayed up talking and letting the kids play after midnight. We finally got them down to bed and got up early the next morning and headed out to the walk.
To tell you a little bit about Curesearch. It raises funds for the Children's Oncology Group (COG). Briley & Gracie are under COG treatment protocols. Thanks to the COG, overall pediatric cancer survival rates have increased from 30% in the 1960's to 80% today! ALL (Briley's leukemia) has a 95% survival rate thanks to the COG! What is cool about Curesearch, 94% of the money raised goes directly to research!
Anyway, the walk started off with the opening ceremony. Families of kids lost to cancer received balloons and then released in remembrance of those kids. It was a very emotional scene for all of us. Then they had all of the kids that are currently in treatment or previously had cancer walk up on stage, say their name, and receive a medal. Briley acted like she owned that stage! She was front and center and I was proud of her!
The walk kicked off. It was a 3 mile walk around a golf course and through the park. We stopped at the finish line for pictures and then the coolest thing happened that I think I ever seen. A 10 year old boy, who lost his left leg below the knee from cancer and had a prosthetic leg, crossed the finish line. This boy had walked the entire 3 miles and you would have thought that he won the lottery when he came across the finish line! I guarantee that he was the happiest kid on earth at the moment. We all cheered him on! It was an awesome experience!
After the walk, we went back to the Bloxham's for a BBQ. The food was great as was the fellowship. The kids played their little hearts out. Bryson made a new friend with Von. They are both the same age and you would have thought that they were long lost brothers!
We left Tulsa around 5:00 that afternoon and got home around 11:00 that night. We are looking forward to having a Team Briley team at the Curesearch Walk in Fort Worth in May. The actual date has not been set yet, but we would love to have anyone that would like to, join us for the walk. We will have fundraisers as time gets closer. Together we will increase the pediatric survival rate to 100%!
Briley's next treatment is this Thursday. She will go in for a spinal tap and chemo at the clinic. We will keep you posted on how things go. Thanks for keeping us in your continued prayers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another treatment closer to being done!

Briley had her scheduled clinic appointment yesterday at Cooks. We arrived late as usual (never my fault, just don't tell Alicia that)! Briley's blood work and chemistries came back very good so she was able to proceed with treatment. She had the vincristine and an increased dose of the Methotrexate. We were very proud of her for not crying while getting her port accessed and dc'd! This was a first! The doses of Methotrexate increase with every visit and it shows it's ugly face after the Zofran wears off. Luckily, we were able to pull over in time and give her another round of nausea medicine before everything came up. She went all day without eating again due to the chemo. But today, she is doing great and she was able to go to dance class!
Another ugly side effect that we are just now noticing since dance class has started is that she is so far behind all of the other girls in the class when it comes to mobility. She will improve with that once the vincristine treatments are over with. She will have two more treatments this phase and then she will be in maintenance! The next treatment will be on the 29th. It will be another long day with a Lumbar Puncture with meds and chemo at clinic.
We are very excited to be leaving out Friday afternoon for Tulsa! Briley's friend, Gracie, who has just completed treatments for Neuro blastoma, has a team for the Curesearch event that we are attending. Both Briley and Gracie are very excited to be seeing each other and Briley is even more excited that she gets to stay the night at Gracie's house! We will drive home after the walk on Saturday. Curesearch raises funds for the COG research that Briley is a part of and we are happy to support such a wonderful cause. If you never heard of Curesearch, I can best describe it as being like Relay for Life, but funds pediatric cancer research. We will have a Team Briley team for the Curesearch walk in Ft. Worth that I believe is in April. Feel free to join us!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/14 Update

Briley's last clinic appointment went just fine. Bryson also went with us and I think it helps Briley having little brother there with her. Briley is getting very good about not crying when her port gets accessed! We saw a little boy there that we haven't seen since our first month of treatment. He had AML and is doing very good! It is very encouraging to see kids conquering this awful diesease.
Briley is doing very well and acting like a normal 4 year old should. Even though her and Bryson cannot go to daycare yet, we have decided to let her attend dance class and "church school". She needs to get out and be a kid. But I'm sure the first time she gets sick, that will be the end of that. She will still have to be hospitalized for a week at Cooks if she gets sick. We will still be "on guard" for signs of sickness and if anyone around appears to be sick.
Most other kids that have been around Briley have adapted well with her lack of hair. This was a concern of ours and still is. A couple of kids have asked "did you get a new haircut"? We laughed and explain and that was all that was every said about it. We took Briley to the mall a few days ago. She was wearing her mask the whole time and a young boy asked "where did your hair go"? The parents immediately started apologizing. We told them not to apologize, kids are naturally curious and are not afraid to ask. However, Briley did have one girl say "your hair looks funny" and said this over and over with her mom standing right there. Mom said something to her daughter, but this did not phase her and she continued to say that her hair looks funny. I know kids are kids and that she meant no harm, but we were dissappointed that mom didn't do more about the situation. This really hurt Briley's feelings and that's all she talked about that night.
I think that if you explain to the kids first about her hair situation then they will understand and move on. This worked very well with the kids at dance and not a one of them said a thing about it.
Briley's next appointment will be on the 19th. It will be a short (hopefully) visit for the vincristine and MT. Only 3 more clinic visits until Maintenance!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to Ft. Worth Tomorrow

Briley has a clinic appointment tomorrow at the clinic for scheduled rounds of the vincristine and methotrexate. The vincristine is the the chemo that affects her walking and running. The methotrexate has caused the vomiting the last go around with it. Her appointment is not until 3:00 that afternoon, so we may take Bryson, leave out early, and take them to the zoo before the clinic visit. We told Briley that she could go to the zoo as soon as her counts go up. Well, they are up now!
We would like for you to say a quick prayer for a little girl from Abilene, Tatum. We met her and her family during Briley's last clinic visit. Both her and Briley went in for spinal taps. Tatum had the same leukemia as Briley and they were very excited at that time because this was to be her last spinal tap and they would be finish with her treatments in November. Leukemia cells were discovered in her spinal fluid during the spinal tap. She had relapsed. Tatum will have to start treatments all over again. My heart aches for this family as I cannot imagine having to start over. It just makes me sick. Please take the time to say a prayer for her as we well know how the goodness of the Lord can help healing. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to the ugly treatments

We went down to Cooks on Monday to start the next phase of treatment, Interim Maintenance II. We left out of Seymour a little before 5:00 that morning and got to Ft. Worth about 5 minutes late. Briley is getting much better about getting her port accessed and blood drawn from her arms. She doesn't cry and throw the fits like she used to. As the nurses are preparing to stick her, she'll turn her head and say over and over again, "I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry......." And she doesn't (much)!
Her counts came back looking very good! So this time they decided to give her the two rounds of chemo before going down to the SPA (special procedure area) for her lumbar puncture with chemo. She got her nausea meds first, then the two rounds. They finished up pretty fast and down stairs we went. Of course she couldn't eat or drink anything the morning of the procedure, so it started turning into a long morning. Alicia and I agree that we won't eat or drink anything either until she can (except for my morning coffee that I have to have driving so early in the morning with 3 hours of sleep). She finally went back for the procedure around 11:45. All went well. She never once complained or cried. After the procedure, we were free to go, so we stopped in the new eating area at Cooks and grabbed some food for the trip home. Briley did not eat a bite. We should have known she was not feeling well because this was not normal. But we didn't, so we made a couple of stops and I had to bright idea to take a longer way home just so I could show Alicia a cool statue of Jesus by Poolville. About the time we pulled into Weatherford, Briley threw up. All over her, the car seat, the floor. Everywhere. Thankfully, I left Bryson's carseat in the car this time and she had an extra change of clothes. We cleaned her and everything else up the best we could, gave her some nausea medicine that helps her sleep, and drove on into Seymour. We got no more out of Weatherford and she fell asleep all the way to Seymour and slept another couple of hours at the house.
She was all better when she woke up and hungry! She made herself a peanut butter, jelly and ham sandwich! Actually 2 of them! Since then, she has been doing very good other than constipated from the vincristine. We were riding somewhat of a high after her counts came up and her hair coming back and the way she has been feeling so good. Only to come back down to reality. But we are still very thankful that she is doing as well as she is and able to move forward with treatment.
The other bit of bad news we got is the doctor will not release her or Bryson to daycare until about 3 months after maintenance chemo starts. Maintenance will start at the end of October, so that puts it into February when the kids can go back to daycare. At this point, I really don't know how we are going to manage work schedules. Last year mine and Alicia's moms were able to keep them. But my mom's work scheduled changed so she is not able to come in the mornings. That leaves Gloria driving from Munday to be here before Alicia has to get to work. I will be hard pressed to take on any extra shifts. Maybe we can find someone that is willing to watch the kids a couple days a week when I'm working primary. I can keep the kids on the days I'm on backup, but I have to have someone close who can come at the drop of a hat if we get called out. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you for your continued support and prayers!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good news, good news!!

Briley had the CBC done on Friday. All of her counts were good! Hemoglobin - 11.1, Platelet - 345,000, ANC - 1150! What this all means for her is that it should be all downhill from here on out! Sure it will be a gentle slope downwards, but she's topped that hill! She can now start being a kid. I'm excited that she will be able to go to Church with us today!
Briley starts the next phase of Interim Maintenance II tomorrow. She is scheduled for 7:15 in the morning. We will leave out of Seymour around 4:30. She will first go to clinic for port access and blood draw and then down to the procedure area for a spinal tap and then back to clinic for more chemo. It's hard to imagine having a spinal tap done would be considered on the "downhill" side of things, but it has become so routine that she no longer cries about it.
The only thing we are worried about is the chemo she will be getting this phase and her walking. It's the same chemo she's gotten before that has affected her walking and running, making her somewhat prone to tripping because it turns her right foot inward while walking.
She will have 5 treatments during this phase, every 10 days. The phase ends towards the end of October and then she will be in Maintenance! Please continue to keep her in your prayers to help her through this phase of treatment.
Oh-yeah, her hair is really starting to come in! Looks like it may be blonde again! Thanks!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I know, it's been a while since.......

our last post. I had a complaint about that tonight, so I figured I'd better write an update (thanks Alice)! Briley is doing wonderful! She's been getting weekly CBC's done to check counts. Her hemoglobin and platelet counts are wonderful! Her ANC is doing better. It is slowly creeping up. Her last CBC was on Tuesday. ANC then was 630. It has to be over 750 to start the next phase, so she is close. She will get another CBC done tomorrow. Hopefully it will be over 750 and she will be able to start the next phase of treatment on Monday. I consider a ANC of 750 to be a major milestone for Briley. #1 - she will have conquered the worse phase of chemo treatment without complications or running fever and being hospitalized. #2 - at 750, she will have topped that mountain! From there on out will be all downhill! No more "expected" Ronald McDonald House stays. No more very low ANC's. She has been couped up in the house since June. She will finally be able to go outside to play. Go to the grocery store. Go to church and CCD. Take dance class. Play with other kids. Sit in the stands at football games. I am super excited about all of this! She has missed out on so much this summer, but the isolation is about to end! Thank you Jesus! That's good, because I've get back outside myself and lose the 25lbs that I've gained since June!!!!
Most kids end up hospitalized at some point during Delayed Intensification phase that she just went through. She was not. We stopped praying for her counts to go up. Instead we prayed for bone marrow recovery and had faith God would heal her as He sees fit. And He did.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I was asked to get on here and post info on a Team Briley fundraiser. A Ruger Red Label over/under 26" barrel shotgun will be raffled on September 10th. Just in time for dove season! Tickets can be purchased at Vita Auto Parts, Hostas Insurance, or Shumate Taxidermy. The gun can be seen at Shumates. $10/ticket or 6 for $50. The gun is very nice and retails for $1900. We thank everyone that made this possible!
Briley is doing very good. She is still in isolation. She will get another CBC on Wednesday to determine if she can start the next phase. Thank you for all of your support!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just waiting for counts to go up!

Not a whole lot has changed since the last post. It seems that with every passing day, the better she looks and feels. She had a CBC done on Monday. Her hemoglobin (9.5) and platelet (64,000) counts were ok and her ANC was still very low at 170. So, she is still in isolation right now. She is staying fever free, so that is great! She is scheduled to start the next phase on the 18th, but we don't expect her ANC to be high enough to be able to start. I imagine she will be delayed a week or two before moving on.
The next phase is Interim Maintenance II. The went through Interim Maintenance I before D.I. The phase seemed to be fairly easy, with only a couple of spinal taps and chemo every 10 days for a month. Once that is over, it's into the Maintenance phase where everything will almost return back to normal. I forgot what normal is.
Briley is starting to get a lot of "fuzz" on her head. She is super excited about her hair coming back. Looking back at pictures and her long blonde hair, I'm ready to see that again!
We have been very blessed that she has not ran a fever during this time. Most kids during this phase end up admitted to Cooks. Any fever is life threatening at this point. We are going to keep on doing what we're doing. We know that Briley has almost topped the hill. Once her counts start coming up on their own, it will be all down hill from there. Another week or two and we'll be rolling down the hill! Thank you for the support and prayers!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

She feels great!

I'm sorry for not posting lately. Briley had a CBC done at the Seymour Hospital this past Friday. Her ANC is still very low and her platelet count was low also. So we had to take her to Cooks for a platelet transfusion. All went very well and we came home that night. Briley is feeling very good. She is finally starting to recover from the last round of chemo. She even has a lot of "fuzz" on her head! Since her ANC is very low, she is still in isolation at the house. Her counts should begin to come up in a week or two. We are ready for her to be able to go back outside, go to church, eat at a restaurant, and just back to doing normal stuff. The hardest chemo is now behind her now! We thank the Lord for no complications during that time! She will have another CBC tomorrow to determine if she will need another platelet and/or blood transfusions.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Briley's Thank You!!

Briley was talking about her blog, and she wanted to thank everyone for praying for her and she also wants everyone to know she loves them!! She also wants everyone to pray for her!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

All is well

All is going very well. Briley is doing very good. She's very active right now. It's been such a blessing as we were expecting her to stay sick these past 12 days. We went over to the hospital earlier today for chemo treatment in which all went well. However, Alicia lost her cell phone. This should be to no surprise to those of y'all that know her very well. So, we had to go to a Verizon store and get her another one.
Briley will go back to the hospital tomorrow for one final round of chemo for this phase and also get a CBC to determine her counts for possible transfusions and isolation. I hope we'll get to come home tomorrow for a few days.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Update

There's not a whole lot to report today. Briley had an 11:00 appointment at clinic today for more chemo. Before we left the RMH, Briley wanted all of us to wear our Texas Rangers t-shirts to clinic, so we did. We had several comments about being big ranger fans. We are and we were given an autographed CJ Wilson ranger hat! We barely missed CJ at the clinic yesterday so I guess they felt sorry for us and came up with a hat. I have pictures posted on facebook of Briley wearing the hat.
Briley was in a very good mood at clinic and played with the other kids and miss Amy, her favorite Child Life Specialist who has been with Briley since she was diagnosed. After clinic, we decided it would be a good idea to get Briley out a bit before her counts drop to the point of isolation. So we headed north on 35 to the Olive Garden for a late lunch and then over to my favorite store, Cabelas! Briley loved the aquarium and found a couple of toys to play with. Then she stoled my heart. She picked out a crankbait for her Tinker Bell fishing pole! She even picked the color I would have gotten! I was a proud daddy! Then it was the 5:00 friday traffic getting back. I'm glad we don't live here.
Anyway, she will get her chemo tomorrow at the hospital. I guess Sunday is her big day when she will get a CBC along with her chemo. Basically the CBC will decide when she will come back for isolation and also when she will need the transfusions if not needed on Sunday. We'll wait and see.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here we go again.

We are now at the Ronald McDonald House for the next 3 days (at least). Briley had a scheduled appointment today for blood work and chemo treatment. Her ANC, hemoglobin, and platelet counts all dropped a good bit since last Thursday. This is to be expected. Her counts will continue to drop to the point that she will need blood and platelet transfusions at some point next week. Also, her ANC will bottom out again forcing us to keep her in Ft. Worth a week or two until it starts to rise again. She will receive her chemo treatment tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. They will also do another CBC on Sunday to see where her counts are and then determine what day she will come in for the possible transfusions and isolation.
Briley is still feeling pretty good and loves staying at the RMH. I think she likes staying here because of all the good food that is always present. Bryson had a little bit of a rough go this morning when we left. He now realizes that packing suitcases and when Nana or maw maw are there to get him that he's not going to see momma or Briley for a few days. He did not want us to leave, but I think Nana spoiled him today at Wichita.
Thank you for following along.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Going Good!

Everyone is home now. Briley and Bryson gave each other a big hug when she walked through the door. 10 minutes later, they were fighting like brother and sisters do. It was good to see the two go after it again!
Briley has been doing very well. Much better than we expected. She has been a little nauseated at night and in the morning. During the day, she has been playing and laughing and feeling good! Kids are so resilient! We are very happy with her activity level at this point. I think that she won't let little brother out do her!
Briley is on home chemo for 14 straight days. We will go back to Cooks on Thursday for another 4 day treatment. Her port stays access during the 4 days, so it's a little tricky not getting it wet during bath time. I hope that I get to stay with her and Alicia the entire time she's there. Alicia and I also would like to place ourselves on the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry during our time at Cooks. I think that's the least we can do to help out others who needs a life saving marrow transplant. I encourage everyone to at least take a look and see what donating marrow is all about. Thanks!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm sorry that I haven't blogged more during this treatment. I'll sum up the past 3 days now. Briley had her big day on Thursday, see post below. Since then, she has been going in to the clinic or hospital for a round of chemo. She is also taking an oral chemo for 14 straight days. She has been nauseated and some vomiting every day, especially in the mornings. Once she gets the zofran down, then she is able to eat and drink and she will play a little. You can tell she doesn't feel good at all. However, we are very thankful that she was able to start this phase of treatment. I cannot say that enough!
Her hair started to come back, but it will fall out again. I know she will be disappointed in that. Dan came and picked me up Friday so I could get back to town and set up the slide and bouncer that afternoon for the Red Springs Baptist Church. I also worked yesterday and today. Alicia and Briley will be coming home today after her treatment at the hospital. She will need to stay on nausea meds for a few days. We will go back to Ft. Worth on Thursday for another 4 day treatment, but she won't have anything done like this past Thursday. The doc said in a week or two after the next treatment that her counts will once again drop and to expect to stay in Ft. Worth for a week or two. That's fine, she will be done with the "hard" chemo at that point. The logistics of that stay will be a nightmare as that's going to be around the time school starts back up. We will cross that bridge when we get there, as we have done multiple times before.
Here is something that is awesome. I believe God can and does sometimes speak through children. But you have to listen and know when he does. We have been praying with Briley that her counts would be high enough to start treatment, but if not, her body is in God's hands and that He knows best. We have prayed weeks for this. The night before her treatment started, Alicia started praying with Briley that she would meet counts. Out of the blue, Briley said, "God just said that my counts would be high enough tomorrow". And they were. Awesome!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Great News!

We drove down to Ft. Worth yesterday afternoon for Briley's appointment this morning. I have been a nervous wreck this past week. Usually I'm laid back and never say a whole lot, but this past week got to me not knowing what Briley's counts were going to be today.
Needless to say, Briley's ANC was 1100! This was such exciting news for us that the nurses and doctors were giving us high fives! Praise the Lord! What a relief! Moving forward! Lets get it done! Yay!
After Briley's blood work came back, she went to the SPA (special procedures area) and got a lumbar puncture with chemo. I was frighten when I walked into the recovery room and saw Briley wearing an oxygen mask. I thought that this couldn't be good. However, Briley wanted to keep the mask and was smelling it when I walked in because, "it smells like bananas"! (she gets to choose a flavor of gas to put her to sleep before her procedure). We all had a good laugh!
After the procedure, we went back to the clinic for more chemo. She was finally done 11 hours after we arrived. It was a long day, but well worth it. I'm not complaining. We are very happy to start this part of the phase.
We are staying in a motel room since the RMH is full. Briley is doing good, although she is not feeling her best now. She will have chemo treatments every day until Sunday. We have got to get through the next month and then everything will become so much easier. This delay has been hard for all of us but God knows when her body is ready. We gave her up to Him when she was baptized. He will take care of her. He will guide us and provide for us. He is the Lord our God, maker of heaven and earth. His kingdom will have no end. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Frustrating Day

Briley went in to the Seymour Hospital this morning for blood check. Her CBC came came back with her ANC still to low to start the next round. It actually dropped again to 280. Her hemoglobin and platelets looked good.
This is extremely disappointing and frustrating. Most kids are delayed 2-3 weeks and some are delayed 4 weeks. I don't like being in the "some" category. Briley will have to wait another week.
We will definitely go back to Cooks next Thursday. If she meets counts, then shi will proceed with the treatment plan. If she doesn't meet counts, then she will have a bone marrow aspirate to determine if the leukemia has relapsed.
Her treatment has gone according to plan up to this point. Now it's one delay after another. I know most other kids are delayed in the consolidation phase and Briley was not, but this has really brought our spirits down.
Our faith will get us through. We will pray that she will meet counts next week. I really believe that the chemo has finally caught up with her and that it will take a little time to overcome it. We appreciate every one's concerns today and your continued prayers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Delayed Again

Briley had a 7:15 appointment this morning at the clinic. We and even the nurses were thinking that Briley would meet counts this time considering how much her ANC jumped last week. So we all agreed that her port would be accessed for the blood draw and it would save her from being poked in the arm. So that's what was done. Well...... then the cbc results came back. Her ANC was too low to start the next part. She dropped from 650 last week to 430 today. We were surprised and very disappointed by this. However, we were reassured by the doctor that this is very normal and that we will try again next week. Thankfully, we will get the cbc done at the Seymour Hospital next week before traveling all the way to Ft. Worth just to find out her counts are to low.
It's very disappointing that she didn't meet counts for a few reasons. Main reason is that we are simply ready to get through this phase. Also, it's difficult to juggle my work schedule, especially already being short handed. I'm thankful that I have some wonderful co-workers that will step up when they need to (just don't tell them I said that). Then of course all of the packing and unpacking. Gas money down there and back. Plus we've got to eat. The elks lodge in Wichita payed for the hotel last night and even though we stayed there, it seems like it was wasted since she didn't get her treatments. We appreciate them so much!
All of this could be prevented by doing a simple cbc at our hospital, which we will finally get to do next week. I know that God has a plan and there is a reason that we do not understand. Maybe He thought that Briley needed to wait another week for what ever reason. To be honest, we are doing good if this is all we have to be disappointed about. It really seems small in the big picture of things. So, we'll try again next week! At least Briley will get to ride a firetruck in the rodeo parade!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Back in Ft. Worth

We drove to Ft. Worth this afternoon to stay the night for Briley's early appointment in the morning. All of the RMH rooms were full, so the social worker set us up at the Hilton downtown Ft. Worth.
As usual, Briley is extremely excited to be staying in a motel. It's a nice place, but we miss the RMH. The RMH is convenient since the clinic is right across the street and there is always food available in the kitchen and also a laundry room is right around the corner. But it is sure nice having a tv in the hotel.
We got here a little before 9:00. I knew that the hotel had a restaurant in it, so we decided to hold off on supper until we got here. That was a little bit of a mistake. The eatery downstairs is Ruth's Chris Steak House. Ummm, $50 for a ribeye! To say the least, we ate there and no we didn't have steak. I'm sure they are good, but I can't imagine spending that much on a steak and be disappointed with it (I'm particular when it comes to steaks). I had an excellent halibut and Alicia and Briley had a stuff chicken.
It is time for bed. Tomorrow will be a very long day. She will get blood work done, then off to the SPA for a spinal tap, then back to clinic for a couple of rounds of chemo. Just looking forward to getting this over with.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day Update

We want to wish everyone a happy 4th of July! This is the first year that I can remember that we will not have the Hostas firework spectacular at mom & dads house. Due to the drought, Baylor Co. has banned the sale & use of all fireworks. Being on the fire dept., I think it's a good ban.
Briley is doing very good. She's very active and playing like old times. She has a little peach fuzz coming back on her head and has not had a fever. She even got out and went to church! Everything is moving along perfectly right now.
We will go back to the RMH on Wednesday for Briley's appointment Thursday morning. Her counts should be plenty high this time to begin treatment. It's hard to see her get knocked back down, but once she gets through the next couple of weeks, then the treatments will get so much easier! This is the final push before maintenance chemo. We appreciate the get well cards, offers of help, words of support, and prayers during the past couple of weeks. It sure makes it easier to get through this difficult time. Thanks.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Briley is back home

I left out of Seymour around 5 this morning to make it to Ft. Worth in time for Briley's appointment at clinic. I arrived without any issues and met Alicia and Briley in the clinic waiting room. Alicia had numbing cream on both of Briley's arms and port. That's good, be prepared! Briley went back for vitals and blood draw out of one of the arms. I know it hurts by the way she cries, but I think most of it comes from anxiety than of the actual stick. The numbing cream works wonders.
The lab results came back. Her ANC was 650. So it is too low to start the next round of chemo (750). However, it is high enough for her to be able to come home! At first we were really disappointed that she could not begin the next round. We are ready to get through this phase. The doctor made us feel much better about it though. She explained that most kids are delayed 2 weeks, as Briley is. Also, since the next round will knock her counts down, it will actually be good that she will be able to build her counts up over 1000 before the round begins. That should help keep her from being knocked down so far and possibly keep her out of the hospital. We'll take that.
We left out of clinic, packed our stuff, ate lunch, and checked out of the RMH. Briley is trilled to be back home again. She is feeling very good right now. She's laughing and playing and running around. It's good to see her like that. Bryson is also happy that all of us are home again. He started crying in his sleep and we think it's the stress of not being home with us. All of this has been hard on him not understanding the situation. All we can do is try our best with both kids.
Briley's next appointment is next Thursday. Her counts will be above 750 by then, so the next round of the necessary evil will start. It will take her counts a couple of weeks to drop after beginning treatment. Until then, she will be free to come home on the days she's not getting chemo. We are hoping that she will be at the RMH only a couple of weeks during low counts.
We were thinking for the past week that she would have to stay at the RMH for a month straight. Oh how things change quickly. I gave up trying to schedule anything during July. Do what you gotta do, right? Home is wonderful!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Praying for good counts!!

Briley has to be at the clinic to see if her counts are high enough to start the last half of this round of chemo. She has felt great today, and has been fever free!! God has truly blessed her and has kept her fever and infection free!! Please keep Callie in your prayers. She had a malignant brain tumor, and had surgery last Thursday to remove the tumor. God is good, and all glory, honor, and praise is His!!


Well, it seems like someone in particular doesn't get on here and blog if I don't.........and she complains about my country boy grammar! I've got to pick on Alicia a little bit.
Briley has been doing really well. No signs of sickness! It's been such a blessing that she hasn't been sick. Most kids are admitted during the period that she is in. She still has a few weeks of low counts ahead of her, so we are doing are best to keep her out of the hospital!
I know that they are tired of being couped up in a small room. It's bad when both Alicia and Briley look forward to going down to the laundry room just to get out of the confined space. But we have got to do what needs to be done. Any illness would be very serious at this point. At least Briley feels good and is back to playing.
We loaded the kids up yesterday and took a drive just to get out for a bit. Of course she wears a mask anytime she is out of the room. Anyway, we drove by the new Cowboy's stadium, the Ranger's ball park, and parked across the street from Six Flags and watched the roller coasters. Briley really enjoyed that.
When Bryson and I first got to the RMH on Monday, him and Briley hugged and said "I miss you" and held hands and were very sweet. That all lasted for 10 minutes and then it was back to fighting. Bryson and I came back home yesterday and went out to the lake and fished for a while without luck. He really loved being out there.
I'm working today and Bryson is in Munday with Nana. I will eave here at 5 in the morning to make it back for Briley's appointment. Hopefully she will meet counts and start the next part of this phase. We are ready to get it over with and get back home. She will still have to stay at the RMH at least another 3 weeks.
Thank you for the support and prayers. Please keep praying that she stays well.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

John seems to be the resident if anything is not spelled correctly or is grammatically incorrect, just know it's him!! Haha!! I love you!!

A Beautiful & Precious Little Girl (a.k.a. Briley)

 A BEAUTIFUL princess.
What a PRECIOUS smile!

Two little ANGELS!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Briley's Trip

I've mentioned this in a couple of post, but I haven't mentioned all the details on it. Some time back I posted the Team Briley Blog link on I really haven't thought much about it since then. It's a great website that you can read up on other kids with cancer. Bro. Terry with Richland Resources, an oil & gas exploration and production company, contacted us after finding Briley's story on the cancerkids website. Bro. Terry's boss, who is also a fellow Red Raider, has ask Terry to find a kid that they could help and to kick off the Hopewell foundation. Terry got in touch with Alicia and I by phone to discuss the possibility of a trip to a place Briley would like to visit. Although this company has done numerous charity work in the past, they have never done anything on an individual basis. This will be their first rodeo. Also, he is aware that Briley is eligible for the Make-A-Wish program. Terry mention that this may be a little less organize than Make-A-Wish and that he would have to "find" contacts to where ever Briley wanted to go.
We never gave their offer a second thought! I've mentioned several times before that I would like to give back in some way. I just didn't know how. Now I have found one way to give back! Yes, the company is giving this trip to us, but I would like to think that we'll be giving back to the future of this foundation in many ways. We have been very open in allowing Terry to be able to learn from us as being the face of pediatric cancer. Just has we've been very open to the COG research and surveys through various universities. I believe the more that the organizers of the foundation understand this life that we were forced to live, the better the foundation will be down the road for other kids. We are very excited to be a part of this!
Bro. Terry came to visit us yesterday at the RMH. He mentioned yesterday about the company picnic he was organizing for today. Alicia called earlier and said the Bro. Terry, wife, and son stopped by the RMH to drop off food and pies for anyone in the house to enjoy! It was wonderful that they thought of everyone in the house! I've heard the pies are just about gone already! And it sound like Briley was in a little better mood today also!
These are very good and sincere people. After talking to Bro. Terry yesterday about future programs they would like to start, I am honored that they have chosen us. We are very excited about this opportunity and it will definitely be a once in a lifetime trip for us.
Oh-yeah, where does Briley want to go? Disney World! We are looking forward to that day when our little princess is there drinking tea with a "real" princess! And just maybe me & Bryson can catch a real florida largemouth! There's one more surprise that we will probably never get to do again. The company will pick us up at the Seymour airport in their company jet! We are very thankful for this and that these great folks came into our lives. We have no idea as of right now when the trip will take place. Briley will first need to be in maintance chemo with approval from the doctor. We are thinking some time late fall at the earliest. Thank You Richalnd Resources!!