Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Website

To all:

I have created a new website for Mikayla. Visit it at

I am going to try and copy everything from this site to the new one. If you have problems getting to that site send us an email at

Thanks! - Sasha

Friday, November 23, 2007

Nov 23

Hope you all had a happy thanksgiving. This has been quite an unusual year for our family, so many ups and downs it is hard to keep track. In the end we still find much to be thankful. The Colts won the super bowl, then Lance (Sasha's Brother) was in an explosion at his old house receiving 3rd degree burns to the face and hands, and a lengthy stay in the burn unit, then we went to Disney Land (hard to believe the tumor was growing inside her then), then the Basement Floods, then we get a new and improved basement, then Mikayla's diagnosis Oct 19.

Certainly Mikayla's diagnosis was a big blow to us. But she is pushing through with the chemo, trying to go to school as much as her body lets her, she is trying another wean of the steroids, and her overall prognosis after 70 weeks of chemo seems good. Things could be much worse, so we will be thankful that we have her with us, and Jacob and Grace too! The steroids make her affect very flat. We try to keep her busy and interacting, other she sits and stares. She wakes up (mom and dad with her) multiple times a night. She has made it through 3 weeks of chemo with few side effects. She has an MRI scheduled on Dec 7 at Riley. We are praying there is no increase in tumor size. We don't expect it to have shrunk.
That is all for now, we will keep all of you in our prayers as you have done for us. We continue to pray for Ethan Teeple (I mentioned him in a previous blog) as his condition has significantly declined, his family continues to remain strong and pray God will ease his pain as he opens his arms to Ethan.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday November 17

Sorry we have not posted in a few days, but as they does go on. We are just going on in a new "normal" way. Mikayla being the trooper that she is went to school all day on Wednesday and Thursday. We encouraged her to stay home for a little bit on Friday as she was exhausted, but she wanted nothing of that! I did end up picking her up from school on Friday around noon. I knew she was tired when she didn't argue with me. The side effects from the chemo this week have been pretty mild. Pretty much she is just tired all the time. The dr. did try to start weaning her off the steroids, but on Thursday her headaches returned. When another headache on Friday occured, I called the dr. and he recommended that we go back to steroids 3x/day and we will try again next week to start to wean.

She wants to be as normal as possible. Chris & I struggle with how much to let her do because we know she is so tired, but it is hard to say no when she wants to go somewhere. We went to the school carnival on Friday night and Grace danced today in a mini recital and she wanted to go along to that as well. She also wants so badly to be at school - she doesn't want to miss. She has already asked her teacher what she will miss on Tuesday and when she is at school she wants to go back and make up the things she missed out on. We have not let her go back to recess, so even during a time when she could play in the classroom, she wants to work on schoolwork! Now if that will only follow through the teenage years....

I read something the other day that really stuck in my head...."If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." How true that is. We have always been taught and always believed that God will never give you more than you can handle. We now realize that how He is "bringing us through it" or how we are handling this situation is because God brought each of you into our lives as friends. You all define the word friendship. Never in a million years will Chris & I be able to repay the kindness that has been bestowed upon our family in the past month. Our only hope is that someday we will be able to "pay it forward" to someone else. Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers. We know you are all busy with your own lives and own children and own set of problems and crisis' that occur. For you to take the time and pray for Mikayla means the world to us. - Sasha

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Nov 13

Mikayla went to Lutheran today for week 1 of chemotherapy (last week was week 0). She did very well. She continues to ask questions to make sure she knows what is going on. Everytime something is done to her now, she wants to know if she is getting poked with a needle for an IV. Thankfully she has the port that we cover with numbing cream (emla) before accessing the port. She didn't feel it at all. As long as she knows what is happening she is tolerant to most anything. The steroids continue to make her moods swing. At times she is higher than a kite, which makes Sasha and I laugh. Other times is more snippy and we just avoid her. The steroids also makes her very puffy and swollen. One chemo days she gets alot of iv fluids so she is even more swollen tonight.
She made it through a whole day of school Monday and was able to see sister Grace sing in the Veterans day program (2 were selected from each class to perform). Mikayla was pretty tired after school. We will see how she does tommorow. The one thing that makes her the happiest is being at school with her friends so we let her do as much as she can tolerate. Generally she tells us when she has had enough and takes a nap or goes to bed. She even makes sure she gets her medicine before she sleeps as she requested it tonight. Right now besides the chemo, she is on 3 regular medicines and 1 as needed for nausea (she will get it regularly for the next 2 days), plus tylenol for her pain from the chemo (love side effects).
We continue to be amazed by the cards, emails, gifts we have received. We are told people are praying all over the world, as word of Mikayla passes on. We have received cards from many people we don't even know, but they heard of Mikayla's story and wanted to send a card or gift.
I would ask the you add to your prayers all children suffering from cancer or brain tumors, we have come across so many children afflicted with this terrible disease, many with a worse prognosis than Mikayla. A particular child is Ethan Teeple. His cancer doesn't seem to be responding to his current chemo protocol and will need to be admitted for inpatient chemotherapy at Riley. Ethan's parents actually went to Huntington College at the same time as Sasha, and then became reaquainted with her when Lance (Sasha's Brother) was burned in a furnance explosion last Feb. They helped out at a breakfast to raise money for Lance's medical expenses at his church. Anyway we somehow ran into the Teeple family when Sasha and I went out to eat on our first night alone since Mikayla's diagnosis; they provided us with comfort that we will be able to get through this and that brief meeting meant alot to us that night. We continue to have faith in God's plan for both Ethan and Mikey, but it sure is hard when you see them suffer.
Thanks to all

Saturday, November 10, 2007

November 10

So far we have had a pretty good weekend. I took Mikayla to school Friday around 10:30. She really wanted to go and eat lunch at school! She seems to do just fine at school - our goal is to go all day on Monday - oh yes and she wants to ride the bus! I suppose it takes her mind off things and it is good to be around all her friends. Her friends at school have really missed her and it is so sweet to see how caring they all are. Even at 5 years old, children know so much more than we give them credit for. She is doing so good at taking her medicine - she has 2 different kinds 3x a day, plus tylenol for her aches and pains. Hardly ever complains although that might have to do with the fact that she gets candy afterwards. Some of the side effects are starting to subside (nausea, back pain) but of course that will start up again as we go for more chemo on Tuesday. That is about it for now. Will update you more on Tuesday if not before. Chris and I continue to look for the positives in all of this and the main positive in all of this has been all of you and your support. I can say it a million times and it will never be enough - thank you! - Sasha

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

November 7, 2007

We did get home last night around 8pm. Every minute of yesterday, Mikayla asked when she could go home. She didn't want to do anything because I think she thought if she started doing something (craft, tv, playroom) she would miss going home.

Ah, home. I think at times Chris & I got more rest in the hospital. Seemed today someone was crying or whining every minute of the day. Everything hit me yesterday that this is so real and that she is going through chemo. All the info we received yesterday about blood counts, medicine, side effects, hosptial visits, etc. just overwhelmed me with what all we are going to have to deal with over the next two years. As we were leaving the hospital yesterday, Mikayla's nurse said "See you next time!" I wanted to shout "Hopefully there won't be a next time!!" but I know that there probably will.

The good news is that at least for this month and next month (the 1st 10 weeks of the program) we are set up for our chemo treatments at Lutheran. Every Tuesday from now until Dec. 18 she will go there for a chemo treatment. Should last around 3-4 hours. (meds go in through her port line - similar to being hooked up through an IV, but with the port, they do not have to put an iv in everytime.) She will get blood counts each week to check her levels and to make sure they have not dropped too low (which would make her more prone to infection) The week of the 18th we start 5 days of oral meds (at home) and then we have a 3 week rest period of no meds, but just going in weekly for blood draws. Then we will have another MRI and re-evaluate treatment if necessary. If all looks good then the above cycle continues for 60 more weeks!

She was a little nauseous this am, but we battled that with meds. This evening she was complaining of back pain. One of the side effects is achiness and pain in the legs & back. It is so hard to see your normally high energy, spirited, smiley little girl who never sits still be feeling so bad, barely crack a smile all day and know that you can't do anything about it. She wanted to go to school all day, I finally took her in around 2pm. That was the happiest I had seen her all day long. Depending on how she feels, we will probably try a 1/2 day tomorrow.

Don't be alarmed if we don't update everyday...between keeping up with Mikayla and chasing Jacob (he picked a wonderful time of the terrible twos to kick into high gear) and running Grace to her activities there isn't much computer time. Thank you once again for your thoughts and prayers. - Sasha

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11/6 1220 pm

Sorry no post yesterday as it was very upside down, drag out day, kinda like the colts game. But Mikayla, Sasha and I didn't blow it like the offense did (not the defense). Anyway about 6 am yesterday we found out the Port Placement was pushed back to 2 pm. But we were able to get the MRI schedule into the morning. She was fasting so when you take a 5 year old on steroids and tell her not to eat, it is not pretty. She got through the mri great, actually fell asleep. Then we occupied her time as much as we could the rest the day. The surgery continued to get pushed back until finally we took her down to surgery at almost 7pm. The port placement went well as expected.
The time in between the port and the mri was very hard. Mikayla wanted to go home and wanted to eat. She desperately wants to be back at school. Sasha and I did the best we could taking her for walks, crafts , games but it is hard. You can't blame her for wanting to cry. I think both Sasha and I cried inside with her. After the surgery she slept. Her primary food request was a soft taco from taco bell. She ate one at 1 am this morning and the 2nd at 4 am. Yummy!
No more headaches and vomiting since in the er. She is still clumsy and leaning head to the right. We talked with the oncologist after the MRI yesterday and he and the radiologist felt there was no change in size from the previous mri, which makes us think it was inflammation on the ct scan. for info - MRI can show much more detail than a Ct scan. I was unable to talk with neurosurgeon yet as we were off the floor when he came up. I don't want to get too relieved until I get his take on the changes. This has already been too much of a roller coaster of emotions for me to get too excited yet. Today, well, she still wants to go home and if things go as planned we should be able to break her out of this place sometime late this afternoon. She is starting her chemotherapy as I type this. She still needs to get her stitches out and I still need to meet with the neurosurgeon before we go. Sasha and I got a lot of information from the nurse educator, children's life specialist ( they coordinate activities and keep the playroom up to date for the kids) and the social worker. All had good information to help all of my family get through this journey. This continues to be very hard on Grace who got to visit on Sunday. Apparently another child at school told her Mikayla could die, so when we were rushing around on saturday to bring mikayla to the er Grace broke down crying. The only one who hasn't been too phased by this (except for missing mama) is Jacob. He is spaz and still high on candy (his new word) from halloween.
Thank you to Wayne Center (Mikayla's school) for rallying a pop tab collection in Mikayla's honor, there was even an article in the newspaper. All though we didn't sleep in the Ronald McDonal house this time I still went there to relax and eat a few times. Sasha stayed at My cousin Mike's house as I assumed my position next to Mikayla in the room. Thank you to all of those who have helpded with Grace, Jacob, patches and my home.
Mikayla also made a friend, her roomate Laney (4 year old, already on chemo) and her found a companion to lean on during each of their difficult times.
Please continue with your prayers, we are trying to keep our faith strong and know God has a plan for Mikayla that is out of our control, where this journey will take us we don't know but I can't imagine our father has anything but the best in store for her down the road. Certainly it is easy to doubt this the way I felt yesterday and Nov 19 when the radiologist called me about her CT scan.