Friday, August 20, 2010

Another Lexi Update!

I got another update from Lexi's mom, Jen from their Caring Bridge website.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 9:12 PM, EDT

Hello! Alexis has had a pretty good week! I was a little concerned on Monday when she was extremely irritable and vomitted twice, but on Tuesday morning she woke up happy and full of energy. She even woke up before room service opened asking for breakfast. When she did get her breakfast she ate fairly well. All week long she has been eating at most meals which isn't always the case. In the beginning of the week Alexis was needing a good amount of morphine to keep the pain away, but as the week has gone on she has needed less and less.

As always, the hospital staff have been keeping Alexis very busy. She has had her usual massages, made up songs with musical instruments with the music therapist, made flip flops in the activity group, played with the rec therapist etc. Then if that isn't enough at least three times this week Alexis and I have been roaming the halls of J5 while she rides the teenage size three wheel bike and I push her IV pole. This evening after her bike ride she beat me 7-6 in a game of air hockey. Since Alexis has been felt well most of the week, we have been able to spend a lot of quality time together. I absolutely love that my almost 8 year old will still play and cuddle with me!

As usual the nurses and PCA's have been spoiling Alexis with attention. Everyone is so happy for her that this is her last scheduled hospital stay. Her last chemo sign is filled with best wishes for her. We have been coming here frequently for an entire year and the staff here at the hospital have been absolutely wonderful! Our family can't thank the entire staff enough for all they have done to keep mainly Alexis but all of us comfortable.

Thank you to everyone who has sent e-cards to Alexis this week! She has enjoyed reading every single one herself with very little help. Alexis wants to say Hi! to Graci from school who also sent an e-card. She can't wait to come back to school to see Graci and her other school friends. Speaking of school, the current plan is for Alexis to go back to school on Novemeber 1st after our make a wish trip to Disney. Even though this week is the last scheduled hospital stay, we still have 1 and a half months left of at home treatments and then 1-2 weeks to have the scans completed. The scans will give us the true picture of what our future holdss

August 30th is Aaron's birthday. He is so excited. I have been thinking a lot lately about ensuring that Scot and I are still there for Aaron. I think we have been doing well with this but want to make sure that never changes. We are going to make sure he has a special birthday!

Well in 5 minutes, Alexis's nurse is taking down her last infusion and hanging the TPN. Then tomorrow she will be discharged. I was told she was being discharged in the morning but that usually means she will be dischaged by 3!

Thanks again for being here for us!


I am so excited for Lexi that this is her last scheduled Chemo treatment. Let's all keep her in our thoughts and prayers so when she goes in for those lasts tests the results give us wonderful news. She is truly a hero.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lexi Update!!

Praying for Lexi

I just got this update from Lexi's mom, Jen on their Caring Bridge website.

Please make sure that you send Lexi a card via Nationwide Children's Hospital, the name is Alexis Howard and her room number is 5316.

The hospital prints these cards off every morning and takes them to her. She loves getting cards to read.

Monday, August 16, 2010 4:50 PM, EDT

Hello Everyone! Alexis is back in the hospital for her last planned scheduled admission! She will be getting the last IV transfusion of the Antibody Therapy. This is the treatment that causes bone pain, high fevers and irritability. The good news about it, is that as soon as the transfusion ends her bone pain in her stomach and neck usually disappear.

The hospital staff brought a sign for Alexis's door that says way to go last chemo and a gift! It is pretty cool because the staff can stop and sign the sign for her. I also thought it would be pretty cool for Alexis to receive as many e-cards as possible to celebrate what will hopefully be her last stay at the hospital(at least for a while!).

Here are the instructions for sending free e-cards:

Go to the hospital web page at: and click on the parents/families/visitors link on the left and click send a greeting card. Follow the instructions and once you finish they will actually print the card you made for Alexis and deliver it to her room. Alexis is in room 5316

On July 28th, it had been one year since Alexis was diagnosed! I can't believe it has been that long already! Alexis and I both agreed that the time has gone by fast. I guess that is what happens when you cram so much in a small amount of time! When I think about everything that has happened it seems like 5 years worth.

So, like I said this is Alexis's last planned admission. After this, Alexis will have two more rounds of Retinoic Acid. Each round lasts for two weeks with two weeks in between. This means that we are looking at around the first week of October being the end of the Antibody Therapy Protocol. This will give the nurse practitioner approximately two weeks to complete all of the scans before our Make a Wish trip to Disney. The bad news that I found out last week was that Alexis will probably not be able to go swimming on our trip like we originally thought. Originally we thought Alexis would be able to have her broviac (a port in her chest) removed before the trip which would allow her to "be back to normal". However, the broviac can not be removed until after the scans are completed. There is a chance that the broviac can be removed before the trip, however it will have to heal for 2 weeks before she could swim. Faye our nurse practitioner did suggest pushing the date back. However, the trip is planned over Alexis's birthday and all of us are more than ready for the trip! I talked it over with Alexis and we decided that we probably wouldn't have much time to swim anyway-so we want to keep the date the same! If ALexis has to go to Disney with her broviac it is really no big deal. It would be nice to not have to worry about wrapping her for her bath, heparinizing her daily, changing her broviac patch weekly and toting all of the supplies required to do this though! Right now who knows what will happen! But whatever it is we will make the best out of it.

So far today, Alexis isn't doing to bad. She has mostly been very irritable and sassy and has had some stomach and neck pain. This morning she had to wake up at 7am. This is a big difference from her usual 9 or 10 am wake up schedule. Going bcak to school is going to be a rough transition for her. I do have some information about school but I will post more on that after I finalize a few things.

Well, Alexis wants me to lay with her so I will write more tomorrow. Thank you for all of your continued support. We couldn't have gotten through this without all of you.


Please make sure that you send Lexi a card via Nationwide Children's Hospital, the name is Alexis Howard and her room number is 5316. She loves getting cards.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Review ~ The Storekeeper's Daughter - Daughters of Lancaster County Book 1

Storekeeper's Daughter

Title: The Storekeeper's Daughter
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Subtitle: Daughters of Lancaster County Book 1
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Publish Date: 3-2005

About the book:

Time seems to stand still in Naomi Fisher’s tranquil Amish community. Helping her widowed father run their general store, keeping house, and raising her young siblings leaves Naomi little time for courting. When Naomi’s baby brother is kidnapped, Naomi’s world is shaken. Will she leave everything familiar to her to pursue a new life? How will God bring Naomi and her family through this devastating tragedy?

My thoughts about the book:

There were so many emotions in this book. I actually sat and cried a couple times. This book drew me in to the story so much. I could feel the emotions that Naomi and her father Abraham were feeling. Naomi is such a strong woman, even though she was only 20 and was left to take care of her 7 brothers and sisters plus do all the chores of two people and help her father run the family store. Poor Naomi has taken on so much and one person can only handle so much before they break.

The strength that the Amish folk have totally amazes me. Their will and belief in God is so strong. I can not wait to start reading the next book in this series: The Quilters Daughter.

If you have never read any of Wanda Brunstetter's books, I highly recommend them to you. I have read quite a few of them and each and every one of them is wonderful!

You can purchase this book at:

Barbour Books for $10.99 for $7.91 for $7.99

Images and excerpt are from Wanda E Brunstetter's site.
I was not paid for this review and the opinions of this book are mine and mine alone.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Wildflower Bride ~ Montana Marriages Book 3 - Book Review

Wildflower Bride

Title: The Wildflower Bride
Author: Mary Connealy
Subtitle: Montana Marriages Book 3
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Publish Date: 5-1-2010

About the book:

Glowing Sun, a white woman raised by the Flathead tribe, has never met a man she didn't want to pull a knife on, including the man who's determined to marry her.

Glowing Sun has vague memories of her former life, including a name—Abby Lind. When she’s forced to sever all links with her adopted Indian family, Abby wonders if she’ll ever find a home again.

Tenderhearted Wade Sawyer, responsible for Abby’s survival during the village massacre, convinces the knife-wielding woman to return with him to the Sawyer Ranch, never realizing danger lurks behind every corner. Can they survive long enough to fall in love?

My thoughts about the book:

This book actually kept me wanting more. I did find a humor in Glowing Sun with her relationship with Wade's father at the Sawyer Ranch. She definitely has the Indian in her. I would say that she could either make 'em or brake 'em. With Wade's father having been shot and needing Wade to come back to the ranch to help take care of things, Glowing Sun had second thoughts about being there with his rude father. Slowly Glowing Sun was turning back into the white woman, Abby, which she was born. She has a lot that she has to deal with. The re-learning or remembering the white-mans language, the learning who her family members are and returning to her white world is a lot for anyone. Sometimes she handles is well and sometimes not so well.

Definitely a great book!

You can purchase this book at: for $10.39 for $9.69
Barnes and Noble for $9.35

If you would like to read my review of the 1st book in the Montana Marriages series, called Montana Rose, you can do so here. And you can read the 2nd book, The Husband Tree here.

Images and excerpt are from Mary Connealy's website.
I was not paid for this review, I did however receive a copy of the book in return for the review from NetGalley. The opinions of this book are mine and mine alone.


Book Review ~ Betsy's Return - Brides of Lehigh Canal Book Two

Betsy's Return, Brides of the Lehigh Canal Series #2   -              By: Wanda E. Brunstetter

Title: Betsy's Return
Subtitle: Brides of Lehigh Canal Book Two
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc
Publish Date: 5/1/2010
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter

About the book:

Relive the glory of a Pennsylvania canal town through the eyes of those who ministered to the needs of the workers. Betsy Nelson reluctantly returns to her childhood home to care for her failing father, a faithful minister who served the town for years. William Covington, a confirmed bachelor, comes to town to become the new pastor and set aside the luxuries of this birth for service to God. Can Betsy and William find common ground on which to work together for the better of the townspeople?

About the book:

I have to say this was a wonderful book to follow up Kelly's Chance. When Betsy returns to help her father, I never imagined this book going where it did. It just kept me wanting to read more and more. The storyline just kept drawing me in further and further. And oh, when William moved to town and took over Reverend Nelson's church I never expected it to take the turn it did. I am so hoping that there is another book to follow this one in this series.

You can read my review of Bride's of Lehigh Canal book one ~ Kelly's Chance here.

You can buy this book at: for $8.97 for $7.99
Barnes and Noble for $7.91

I would like to think Angie Brillhart, Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for the copy of this book.

Images and book information was collected from Wanda Brunstetter's website and NetGalley. I was not paid for this review, however I did receive a copy of this book to read and do the review on. My opinions are based on exactly that, my opinion.