Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Briley goes to Kindergarten & Bryson to daycare!

Monday was a very exciting day for all of us!!!!  Briley went to kindergarten!!!!  Bryson also went back to daycare!!!  I (John) also started Paramedic school (not so excited about that)!  Anyway, having the kids going to school/daycare is a huge milestone for all of us!  The kids have not been to daycare but only a handful of times since Briley's diagnoses nearly 2 years ago.  We had to keep both of them out of daycare to help prevent sickness from being around a lot of other kids.  Thankfully, we had the means to keep them home and I think it really helped Briley from getting sick.  She's not out of the woods yet when it comes to sickness.  It still can be very serious since her immune system is suppressed.  But, if anyone knows Briley, she loves school!  She loved going to daycare and she's extremely excited to be starting kindergarten this year!!!  Bryson also started daycare full time.  He likes going now and then, but not quite full time.  He's had a great past couple of days there and I hope it keeps up!
Really, the biggest thing for us having the kids in school is that we can start becoming "normal" again.  I cannot understate that.  It's nice just to be normal.  Yeah, Briley still has to take chemo, make monthly trips down to Cooks, and can't keep up with other kids, but we are now doing what everyone else is doing.
It's going to be nice for me also.  Before Briley's diagnoses, I was working 4 jobs. I had to give up two of them so I could keep the kids at home.  When I was working the truck, then Gloria would keep the kids.  Now I can start working more and get rid of this "house husband" title that I've given myself.  
KFDX channel 3 did another story on Briley going to her first day of school!  I posted a link to the news story below.  Just click on it to watch the story!  KFDX & Ryan has been awesome telling Briley's story and we thank them so much.  It's neat for us knowing that so many people are interested in and praying for Briley's recovery.  
Briley's first day at school went great until about the end of class.  Alicia happens to be her teacher.  So she has a little problem with minding momma during class!  Alicia says that Briley does good in the mornings, but the later it gets and the more worn out she gets, the less she minds momma/teacher.  Hopefully that will resolve itself in time.  But she had a great time.  She jumped out of bed at 6:30 that morning ready to go and did she ever!  
We are grateful to have Alicia has her teacher.  This was done so that Alicia can keep an eye on Briley since she still has several limitations.  The doc doesn't want Briley doing anything but walking.  No running/climbing/swinging/sliding and that kind of stuff.  Well, try to tell that to an active 5 year old in her first days at school!  At least Alicia can maybe keep her from doing the really "dangerous" stuff like hanging upside down from the monkey bars!!!
Most importantly - She's a kid again!!!

Briley's news story

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Busy Busy

Things are starting to get busy around here.  Alicia is getting her classroom ready.  I'm getting ready to go back to school.  Briley will be starting kindergarten next week!  It's a very exciting time for all of us as you can imagine.  Bryson will also start going back to daycare full time.  He's only been to daycare a hand full of times since Briley's diagnoses, so I'm just a little worried about how he will do with it, but it will be good for him.
Alicia and I are getting busy with the CureSearch walk.  We have registration forms for those of you that rather do it the old way and not online!  
KFDX 3 will be doing one more story on Briley next week.  They will do a story on her progress while at school!  Stay tuned!
Briley's walking continues to improve.  Her dance class will start up next month and she's super excited about that!  She had a CBC done over the weekend and her counts look great!  That's about all I have to report this time, until next, God bless!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11th Update

I've been severely lacking on my blogging duties!  I apologize for that, but no news is good news!
Briley had an Cooks appointment this past Thursday.  Alicia & the kids went to the appointment and then they went to Alicia's sister house over by Tyler for a few days.  So it's just me in  a quiet house.
Briley's appointment went well.  Her ANC was at 910.  It has been slowly declining over the past couple of months and 910 is the lowest it's been since the start of maintenance.  There's no reason for concern at this point, but the doc wants to check her counts again in a couple of weeks.  Below 500 is considered neutropenia, but I imagine that they will withhold chemo or change dosing if it gets below 750.  I guess we'll see what it is in a couple of weeks.  Her platelets & hemoglobin were both great!
Briley's walking has been improving slowly.  She still has a noticeable hitch in her step.  Since we are around her all the time, it's hard for us to notice how much she has improved walking over the past couple of weeks, however, other people that doesn't see her often can really tell how much better she is!  It's been really good hearing that!
She will start school coming in less than a month!  We are excited and scared for her.  She won't be able to play like "normal" kids do.  I don't know how that will affect her socially.  I hope that her classmates will rally behind her and not leave her behind.
The loss of Gloria is still heavy on everyone's heart.  Alicia seems strong on the outside, but really, she's still trying to cope with the loss.  I think the same can be said with all of the kids.  It's definitely been an adjustment.  Glenn is still having a rough go of things.  Gloria was such a presence in everyone's life, from her husband, to the kids, grandkids, her mom, brother, and sister, and people in the community.  One thing we realize is that she's not missing us.  She's rejoicing with the Angels in Heaven. She was an angel to us here on earth and I can't imagine that she's anywhere else but with the Lord.  Death is terrible for us here on earth, but live your life right, obey God's commands, and believe, then death isn't so scary after all.  Our goal in life should be to do everything possible to make it through the gates of heaven.  This earth is only temporary.  Heaven is eternity.  We just have to get there!  Once we are there, then oh-boy!!!!!!  We've made it!!!!!!  That feeling wouldn't even come close to comparing to winning an Olympic gold.  It will be so much bigger than that!  We just got to do what we can here to get there.
Ok, I'm done preaching.   Here is a reminder.  The CureSearch walk is about a month away, Sept 15th.  If you've been thinking about signing up or donating, now is the time to do it!  Go to www.curesearchwalk.org and click on the Texas on the map.  You will then see the Wichita Falls walk and click on it.  Then you will see Team Briley.  You can click on it to join our team or you can make a general donation.  Alicia & I have been on the planning committee for a while now.  This is something near & dear to our heart as 94% of the money raised will go to research and education.  I can tell you that there are some exciting research out there that the COG is partially funding that will cure kids with cancer WITHOUT chemo!  And this is only a small part of what Curesearch & the COG is doing!  Please think about donating to this wonderful cause.  If you have any question, please feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them!  
We appreciate each and everyone of you that takes the time to get on the blog and reads my gibberish.