Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mosquitos and Fried Okra

This morning we were told that the chemo and subsequent NK therapy was on hold due to Emilie testing positive for the West Nile Virus.   West Nile Virus?   How crazy is that?  We see one mosquito a month in Scotts Valley.  What we learned was that WNV can cause havoc, very serious havoc, in patients with compromised immune systems.  The NK therapy uses immune suppression to ready the body to accept the NK cells; Emilie's counts are looking great now, but the chemo would drop her counts quickly.  Eric and I were very upset that this therapy would not be an option for Emilie. As I sat here, a little irritated with visits from infectious disease docs, nuerologists and oncologists, I reminded myself that God is in charge even in the midst of total chaos and confusion.  I entrusted Emilie and her medical treatment to God.  Still irritated and a little angry, I thought through the logistics of packing our belongings here at the hospital and at the RMH, returning a rental car not at the airport, hitching a ride to the airport and then managing my Supergirl through the airport, through (annoying) security and on the airplane by myself.  Questions from Eric that I couldn't answer were irritating me too.  I couldn't wait until the attending oncologist came through the door so that I could give him Eric's phone number so that he could answer all his questions.  Six hours after the WNV news, the doc did walk through the door with the news that Emilie's WNV results were recorded in error and that, in fact, she was tested negative for the WNV.  Tears of happiness flowed and I was so full of gratitude that God was still really in control and that Emilie would still have the opportunity to have the NK treatment.  Both Emilie and I have more testing, but are so close to the end.  Emilie started her chemo today and did great with her first dose.  She still has a great appetite...that's where the fried okra comes in.  Dinner for Miss Emilie tonight consisted of a huge hot dog, chocolate shake, a push up and fried okra.    So y'all, I leave you with this scripture, which I posted as a self-reminder but if it works for you...RIGHT ON!  (Please no grammatical judgement from all our wonderful readers in education.)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We L O V E Ronald McDonald And His House In Memphis

We arrived in TN last Monday and it has been a crazy week of tests, appts, tests, appts, tests and appts.  The first three days here were super busy, but the last few days have been pretty relaxing.  We will be going inpatient tomorrow for a week and then back to the Ronald McDonald House where we have been staying since our arrival.  Lots of words are flowing through my head, but I'll let these photos do the talking. 
These girls spent some time chatting with us.  They were with a church from KY that served lunch to the families of RMH.  Very sweet and kind girls.  The girl on the left talked to Emilie about cancer and chemo and told her that she understood because her dad had cancer.  She told Emilie that she would pray for her.  Such a composed and mature girl, especially at the age of 13 and without a dad.
The following shots were taken by Emilie around RMH.  I love her perspective!  This swing shot is my favorite.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

As I was sitting in my office attempting to come up with a title for this post, I heard the Erickson kids singing "Celebrate Good Times, Come On!".  Perfect title!  Many of you know we have a sign in our kitchen reading "celebrate" and that is exactly what we did last night.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner yesterday with our "crazy train" family!  The Borelli boys did a great job with the bird, pumpkin pies and almond brittle.  We even turned out the lights and opened the slider to enjoy the rain, thunder and lightening.  There's a reason we call ourselves the "crazy train".  Emilie's oncologist emailed yesterday to let us know that her cerebrospinal fluid was free from disease and that her bone marrow aspirate showed "recovering cells, all normal and expected cell types, no disease".  Such great news and a perfect reason to celebrate!  We are grateful for our family and friends who have made our journey thus far very easy and are ultimately grateful to God for giving us the strength and the courage to face each day.  I will leave you with the best photo I got today while trying to get a good Christmas card shot of the KIDS.
Where oh where could those Erickson boys be?Photobucket

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rockin' the Dockers

Love this!  The guy "rockin' his Dockers" is so Eric, right down to the dorky cell phone holder and goatee!


Friday, November 19, 2010

We Are...

That's right, Emilie and I will be flying to Memphis on Monday in search of Elvis!  Elvis? Really?  Maybe, but we are primarily in search of some great natural killer cells to attack any remaining stubborn cancer cells in Emilie.  We will be gone for a month, but only inpatient for a week.  We would so appreciate prayer for travel safety, no adverse effects from chemo (Emilie will have some mild chemo prior to NK cell transfusion) and most importantly that my NK cells will not do harm to Emilie but rather will attack and kill any remaining cancer cells.  Photobucket

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Farmer McNugget and The Interview

I am happy to introduce to you....Farmer McNugget.  Nicolas was Farmer McNugget in his Thanksgiving play at school and he was a super cute farmer.  The whole family, including Nana, was able to make his performance and he was so happy to see everyone in the crowd.  Nicolas was standing next to a little boy during his performance and he told me that he helps him in class from time to time.  I asked him why he helps him and he simply answered "he needs help".  No judgement, no criticism, no nothing!  Just simply "he needs help".  What a lesson I learned today from Nicolas:  don't complain, don't question, don't judge...just help!  Thank you God for using Farmer McNugget to show me how to love and serve selflessly!
Emilie was happy to be back at school for Nicolas' performance.  She was able to see her classmates, Mr. Ward and teachers from previous years.  She was so perky after visiting school.  She is looking forward to returning in January.  Today was Emilie's big interview with  Mrs. Siemsen.  Mrs. Siemsen asked Emilie about her cancer, how it has changed her, and how was life in a wheelchair.  Emilie answered that she is not afraid of anything now, that her faith has grown and that being in a wheelchair is not much different that not being in a wheelchair.  Emilie continues to amaze me with her positive, non-complaining attitude.  God has really given her a great attitude through this journey and I am so proud of her perseverence and courage.
Go Emilie Go!
(Yucky shots in low light with high ISO....Santa, if you are listening, a new camera, lens, etc. would be greatly appreciated.)Photobucket

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Who Loves You Baby?

Lord, you are good.
You are forgiving.
You are full of love for all who call out to you.
Psalm 86:5

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Box+Tube+Magnifying Glass+Curiosity=Budding Photographer

Last week Nicolas came home with the Super Scientist backpack from his class.  His assignment was to choose an experiment, practice it home and then demonstrate it to his class.  Before Nana picked him up from school, he had chosen the "Construct a Camera" experiment.  I really thought he would have chosen something that exploded or oozed, but no, he went for the camera.  With the help of dad, Nicolas built his camera from a cardboard tube, empty tissue box, magnifying glass, vellum and tape.  He donned the super scientist coat and gave me a few shots of his creation.  His teacher was thrilled with his selection as he was the first child to build a camera.  Nice Nic, nice!!!
You can actually see the inverted image that appeared on the vellum.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's Ashton Gillin Day!

Here is the latest news about Ashton!  He is a sweet little guy that has endured 2 years of chemo, pokes, prods, scans and recently got his feeding tube removed.   It's a wonderful day for Ashton and his family.  They have come a very long way and endured alot of pain and sadness.  Thanks Gillins for your encouragement and support and we pray for many many more "Ashton Gillin Days"!  Thanks Ashton for your cute smiles that makes Emilie so happy every time she sees you!
Here is the first post I posted about Ashton.   Go leave some "love" on their blog!

Friday, November 5, 2010

* 5 * Peeps * 12 * Times *

September 2010 has come and gone with no family photo (my toes are proof that I was here for September 2010...need to work on handing my camera to others).  This is the best I have and I am totally okay with it.   September 2010 = chemo, school, homeschool, football, fly-in and baseball.  Life is good!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giants Anthem, Erickson Style!

Yesterday was a great day in baseball history as the Giants won the 2010 World Series.  Emilie and I are still at SCVMC for rehab so we enjoyed the game here, while the boys and Nana watched the game at home.  The boys went nuts in the street, banging pots and pans and screaming with the neighbors. Good, good fun!  We are thrilled with the win, but are already missing baseball!  When's opening day?

While Emilie was out on a day pass this last Sunday, we made this video which is a take off Ashkon's video. (See previous post.  I still don't know who this Ashkon guy is.)  So fun.  Nicolas as Brian Wilson just cracked me up, although, I think the rally thong was getting to him. 

Backing up to Saturday. Emilie had a half day pass so we celebrated at Buca's with Nana, AV, Mike, Nick, Jen and Kate.  I so love my family even as crazy as we are.  Fake birthdays, baseball and pasta...all to celebrate life and family!