Chemo Round 6: Day 1: Final Round!

Day 1 is finally here (and gone)… it was an emotional day but we’re so happy to be getting started on this final round of chemo! It feels like it’s been forever since our journey started and we don’t remember what ‘normal’ looks like but we’ll find it again, one day.

For now we are just focusing on getting through these 7 days of chemo. The Cytarabine will run continuously and she will get a dose of Etoposide every day for the first three days. It runs for about an hour. The Cytarabine is the one that usually causes the fevers and yuckies so we’re praying they aren’t too bad this round.

She had a pretty good stay at home although it was a bit extended as her ANC had dropped. She was at 60 the day after Veteran’s Day so our time at home got lengthened. She ended up being over 2,000 less than a week later so she qualified for chemo and we got to skip a clinic visit before admissions.

While we were home we celebrated some birthdays.

We also had our Thanksgiving a little early as we’d planned to be back here before the actual holiday. We scaled back a lot to make things easier for everyone and we’ve decided that we are ok with celebrating it a little early every year to allow everyone to spend time elsewhere on the holiday, if they like.

We spent the day relaxing and made some ‘turkey pancakes’ for breakfast. Ana had found the idea on Pinterest so we thought it would be something fun to do. The kids really gobbled them up!

We also made a lot of bread, English muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and crackers. The sourdough bread recipe is pretty perfect now but the crackers still need some work.

There was lots of playing, eating, and arts and crafts while we were home. The kiddos also got caught up on some science experiments that they needed to do for school. Shyanne got to try on a dress that I had made for her big Sissy’s christening… we’ll try to set up a photo shoot when we get home.

It seems like our time home goes by way too quickly and before you know if we have to pack up and head back. Shyanne wanted to help with the packing this time around. I did pare down some things but it still feels like a lot as I try to bring her some toys and activities from home to keep her happy. We also pack at least two weeks of clothes to make sure we have plenty between washes as someone from home will come collect our dirty clothes to wash and then swap them out when they come back to visit.

We did manage to get most things crossed of our To-Do list which included getting the Christmas tree up.

Before we knew our day was here and we left home bright and early. Shyanne did really well until she realized that Sissy was going home without her.

Shyanne had a lot of visitors coming to see her and everyone was so excited that this is her last admission. They are all a little sad too, as are we. We will miss everyone but we’ll probably pass them here and there as Shyanne has a lot of specialists here at the hospital… plus they can always follow her journey here and on FB/Instagram.

Her chemo started a little while after Sissy had left. She just snuggled up with Momma and took a nice long nap.

Last night went pretty well other than her doing her low blood pressure thing which meant we had a lot of people in and out of the room. Then the doctor came in to check on her as well. He decided she was fine and we just kept trying to adjust her to a sitting position for vitals after that. (Shyanne’s blood pressure is quite a bit lower when she sleeps but this seems to be her normal.)

Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers as this is so very hard on everyone in so many ways. We truly appreciate everyone and everything they’ve done and continue to do to support our precious family… it really does mean more than anyone could ever know! Thank you!

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 (susiekirby.norwex.biz) 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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