Chemo Round 1: Day 21

Wow! We’ve been here 21 days now… that’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my family! It’s amazing to think about how we’ve grown and what we’ve learned in just the past three weeks. This is making us stronger as a family and as individuals. This experience is teaching us so much about how precious life really is.

I’ve been reading several books. The one I’ve been reading yesterday and today :

It’s got a lot of really great information in it… I definitely believe it’s a good read for anyone with a child who has received a cancer diagnosis. I’m currently on the section about support.

This part has really stuck with me because we’ve had a hard time with this since she was born. I’ve always been independent and been able to take care of my family. Accepting help made me feel weak although it shouldn’t have.

I always remember that we had a preacher who said to let others do things for us because we might be robbing them of a blessing if we don’t. This usually helps me accept help when I normally wouldn’t because I don’t want anyone to miss out on any blessings!

Anyways enough rambling and a little updating. Shyanne is doing so good right now. She is full of energy guy and spunk… she’s actually taking a nap right now, shhhh!!!

We are still overjoyed about her lab results from yesterday and hoping for more great news when the doctors round. I’ll be flushing her lines again in a few minutes to make sure that I’m comfortable. I’ve been practicing with my dummy set too because I know that muscle memory will help.


Well, I’ve completed my second line flush and learned a few tips. There is a grooves part that you can hold which makes it easier. You also need to spend about 15 seconds wiping the end with alcohol… I think I’ll sing ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or ‘This Little Light of Mine’ to help me gauge the time. I’m sure there will be more tips and tricks to learn along the way too.

Here’s a video that explains most of the care involved:


Well lunchtime snuck up on us today as we’ve stayed pretty busy. I’ve been sorting and packing a few things so I can send some stuff home. We don’t have a discharge date yet but getting closer everyday.

Ms. B from Child Life stopped by to check on us. She said to remind her about Shyanne’s birthday when we are here next month so we can try to get something arranged for her.

We also had a caseworker stop in to verify all of our information. She is going to work on getting our DME supplies ordered. I should see one of the reps tomorrow and get a little more training.

One of the first things I said when she got her diagnosis was that I didn’t want her to spend her first birthday in the hospital. I know in the grand scheme of things that wouldn’t be the most horrible thing but I had been working on ideas for her birthday right before all of this happened.

I thought this would be cute.

I finished the book I was reading and the last few chapters made me cry. I just skimmed over them as they were about when your hope changes… Hoping for the best while preparing for the worst… something I don’t even want to think about right now.

We’ve been going into this with the mindset that everything is going to work out for the best. We know that God is in control and he already knows the outcome. There is nothing we can do to change the outcome.

I’ve also been practicing the line flush and completed another one this afternoon. We also tried to add some DIY bumpers on the sides of the cribs as little miss keeps banging her head. With her platelets being low all those bumps equal bruises.

I’ve asked Daddy to keep any eye out for some pool noodles. I did find a set of inflatable bumpers for around $40 on Amazon and some inflatable floated for around $4 each at Walmart if the pool noodles don’t work.

I also got to step downstairs again when a volunteer came by this afternoon. I got our usual order… using the kiosk is so much easier than standing in line and trying to talk loud enough through my mask for them to understand me. Shyanne really enjoyed her Frosty and cookie when she woke up from her nap.


We had a nice visit from Sissy this evening. Time flew by too fast and it seemed like she had to leave right after she got here. Luckily, Shyanne woke up and got to spend a few minutes with her before she left.

The nurse just came in with her lab results and I want to cry. We were hoping to surprise everyone by going home this weekend but I’m not sure that is going to happen. Her results are:

WBC 3 (down from 3.4)
HGB 8 (down from 8.3)
HCT 23 (down from 23.3)
PLT 187 (up from 144)
ANC 126 (down from 272)

I guess I better try to get some sleep because I know she’ll be up soon wanting to eat… she needs her strength to keep fighting this battle.

We love you all!

By Susie @ Kirby's Kabin Blog

Susie is a slightly crazy, homeschooling, square dancing Momma with a houseful of babies (10 to be exact), and a whole lot of Jesus. She gave birth to seven of those babies (and she has the stretch marks ans scars to prove it) and then God chose her to be Momma to three more who she refers to as her 'Unexpected Blessings'. Having a large family means she has heard just about all of the large family jokes... you know like 'You know how that happens, right', or 'Don't you have a TV?'. Many people believe that she must be related to Mother Teresa but she insists she isn't anywhere close to a Saint although she does appreciate as many prayers as she can get sent her way. Even though four of her babies have flown the coop, her life stays really busy. Most days start out early with a cup of her favorite Dandy Morning Coffee and a quick Trim Healthy Mama breakfast before the kids get up and the crazy starts. She looks at every day as an adventure where the unexpected keeps her on her toes. In the rare moment that she finds a little quiet time, you can usually find her snuggled up with a good book, browsing a thrift store, sewing a new outfit, or getting a little 'Pin Happy' with To-Do projects on Pinterest. She is extremely passionate about her family, cooking, being a keeper of the home, and square dancing. She is also on a mission to help others to make healthier changes in their lives, one family at a time. She strives to live by the Proverbs 31 model but she also acknowledges that she is not perfect and is just a sinner saved by grace. Kirby's Kabin Blog began as a way to share her family's journey with family and friends as they've gone through so many life changes. After getting so many questions about parenting, homeschooling, and recipe requests she realized that she could really use her blog as a way to help others out there who may be struggling with their roles as a mother, especially the single mothers who may feel like they are all alone on their journey. This blog has become a journal of sorts and a way for her to help inspire and provide encouragement to others. She enjoys looking back over old posts to see how far they have come and to motivate her when times seem tough. On Kirby's Kabin Blog, she talks about their life's journey through the adoption process, how their faith in God got them through some difficult and challenging times, as well as the many ups and downs they have faced with a large family and special needs (ADHD, ODD, and Down's Syndrome to name a few). Susie also shares the products that they use in their home as well as tips and tricks that she uses to keep her family running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Do you ever feel like your juggling so many things that you can't think straight? She has often felt the same way but has come up with some simple routines and schedules that help everyone to stay on track and I think they just might help you too! Under the 'Keeper of the Home' tab, you can find various tips, tricks, and hints to get your house up and running on autopilot. That's not been such an easy task for them since they downsized to a 600 ft square cabin but somehow they make it work and she loves sharing some of the helpful tips and tricks that they've learned along the way. One question they get a lot is about how they feed this army. It's not always an easy task and trying to eat healthily can get quite expensive so she is always looking for ways to save money and stick to their grocery budget. Under the 'Kirby's Kitchen' section they have a ton of their favorite recipes like Daddy Can't Wait Casserole, Hoe Cakes (one of the most viewed posts on the blog), freezer cooking, and meal plans along with their family's 'Trim Healthy Mama' plan ideas and successes. If you haven't heard of the 'Trim Healthy Mama' plan you should definitely check it out today! Sometimes eating healthy does mean she spends a little extra on groceries so she finds other areas to cut expenses. One way they have found is with their cleaning supplies and health products. She has always been concerned about the chemicals (Did you know that the average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals?) and toxins that are in many household cleaners so when she found a company where she could buy the majority of the green cleaning products that they use she jumped at the chance to become an Independent Sales Consultant with Norwex. Direct sales is really not her thing as she really is a bit of an introvert so if you look under the tab 'Susie's Chem Free Zone', you will find information about some of the natural products that they use around their house as they try to create a safe haven for their family. If you find that you are interested in the products, feel free to check out her personal web page ( or contact her to see if she can set up a 'virtual party' for you and your friends. Susie has been homeschooling for several years now and although she does not consider herself to be an expert but she has found a variety of products and services that have helped to make their homeschooling journey a unique experience. You can find links to these products under the 'Kirby's Kid's' tab. Susie and her kids have had a ton of fun reading through the Little House on the Prairie series and she has posted some of the unit studies that they have put together for the different books. The family has been trying to incorporate some of the old fashioned morals and values into their everyday lives. As if juggling kids, home, and a home business weren't enough, the family also enjoys square dancing twice a week or more. Mr. Awesome and his dad happen to be the only father/son caller duo in Florida and are pretty well known in these parts. She also manages a couple of other facebook and blog pages for a couple of the local square dance clubs. The 'Kirby's Korner' tab is where they post links to their square dancing activities which is one of the things they do as a family. Susie loves to dress up in her fancy dance outfits and thinks the fluffier the petticoat the better. She also loves to take selfies of her various square dance outfits and share them with others. Did I mention that she met Mr. Awesome through square dancing? You'll have to poke around the blog to see if you can find that story somewhere. If you just want to find a list of the affiliate/referral programs that the family works with you can click on the 'Affiliate Links' tab. These links help to support their blog, their family, and their homeschooling mission at no extra cost to you. If you like to chuckle about the crazy things kids do or the crazy things they do on a daily basis then you really should follow their blog. They also have accounts on Facebook (@kirbyskabinblog and @susieschemfreezone) as well as on Instagram (@kirbyzkorner and @susieschemfreezone). In July of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Susie and Shane welcomed their youngest daughter, Shyanne, into the family. Shyanne has a dual diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Dandy-Walker Malformation w/hydrocephalus. She has gained many followers and supporters from around the world who have joined together to be prayer warriors for this special little girl.

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