Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blessings from a 2nd grade classroom

Today was SUCH an amazing day!!!! Kayla got the chance finally to sit in her desk in her classroom and have a normal day. It was like she never left. Such great memories. I will never forget the look on the kids faces when the walked in from recess and realized that Kayla was standing there waiting for them. Truly priceless!!! All of the students were in class today... and ALL healthy! Mrs. Boerio made sure. Such a rare occurrence. Clearly our lucky day!
                           Kayla digging into her bag to show off her legacy beads.....
                 SO proud! The kids were raising their hands to ask more questions.
Kayla reading to her friends from a book she made for them, "What I miss about you". It was in response to their book to her, "What I love about you". It was so sweet. She wrote what she missed about each of them with pictures. Mrs. Boerio is going to laminate it. She worked SO hard on that book. It took her months. She put a lot of thought into each person. It was really sweet. :) You can see the kids all smiling and enjoying it! (not as much as I was though!!!)

After her story, they went on to making their art projects, volcanoes and writing their names in cursive at their desks. (Kayla's favorite thing!)

No, she doesn't write upside down... she was drawing a lady bug next to her name. I mean the girl is talented.... but.....    ;)
                           Dinosaur Art...Just like not a day has gone by!
                                      Showing Kayla how to make her volcano
  They even brought in ICE CREAM complete with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Nothing like a little special treat on such a special and memorable day! Keep gaining Kayla!

During all of this, there was a very special surprise being made for her...
A blue sweatshirt (kayla's current favorite color) with all of her classmates signatures on it! How sweet and precious is THIS??? Thank you again Lea! Great idea!!!

Kayla got to erupt the volcano that Mrs. Boerio had from previous (already dry and ready to GO)
 Mrs. Boerio was showing Kayla what to do. Look at the look on Kayla's face... so excited!

 My PROUD girl...... I love this picture of her. It makes me tear up. I know what these moments have meant to her. She has waited and dreamt of this moment for so long. Mrs. Boerio, you are such a special woman. Thank you for today! Thank you......

As if today weren't amazing enough, the presented Kayla with her special surprise. It was like the cherry on top!
 Surprise......... ;)
 SHE LOVES IT!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much for truly one of the most amazing days I have ever had. I will cherish the look on her face for the rest of my days. I just love this little girl so much. I am just so happy she got to have this day...... I will come back to this blog post in the future hard days to come.

Our car gets shipped tomorrow morning. I am happy it will be waiting for us on the other side. Hopefully with minimal (if any damage). We are taking a chance and packing our vita-mixer and a dirt devil for the floors. I SO hope they make it.... Nothing on the inside can be insured. Thank you so much for all the kind offers for rides and for your cars while we spend the rest of our days here at home. You all are so kind! I think we are covered. If anything changes, I will ask. Promise!   

We are busy packing and getting things organized. The next few days will be SO busy getting ready. Emotionally & physically. If I haven't been good at returning emails, I sincerely apologize. Just so many rolling in this last week home. We love you all and we appreciate all of your love more then words can say! Please continue to pray for all of us. Pray for our family and beyond. For all who suffer. For all who continue to fight this fight. For those who fight on after losing loved ones. Pray for those who have just learned what they are up against. Pray for a cure... 

I promise to get back into my regular blogging pattern once back at St. Jude. Luckily, there hasn't been much to report! 

A few questions I have gotten while being here:

Q: Does Kayla now know she has cancer, or does she still think it's a bump? 
A: Yes. She knows everything. Without giving her fear, she knows. The lack of fear is what I believe helps kids do so well during treatment. She does understand that some kinds of cancer are worse then others. She does understand worst case..... She has to. It's part of what makes her fight on!

Q: How long will Chemo take? When will you be home?
A: We don't know. It depends. She has 4 rounds. She will be in patient Monday-Friday (or longer if there is infection or something else that keeps her from being released). It will take weeks until her counts come back up to "normal" after being released. This depends on her. Her own body. Once her counts get back up, they hit her again and the cycle continues. We have seen people take anywhere from 5 months to a year... it really depends. So we just don't know. This is the hardest part! I am a planner!!! This whole thing has made me totally let go of that completely. It's sometimes a good thing though.

Q: When will you have an address?
A: This depends as well. Our ability to move back into an apartment is all dependent on the availability.  We won't have an actual address until we are back into the Target House. Once we are there, I promise to post our address.

Q: How is Kayla doing?
A: You can see in these pics! She is doing GREAT. We are all holding up. Honestly. We are doing ok because of Kayla. Her spirits keep us all feeling normal.

Q: How is Anthony?
A: Wonderful! That kids was made for us!!! I'm telling you. Nothing phases him. He is happy and thriving having us around him 24-7. It's making us all closer!

Q: When does Kayla start chemo?
A: She gets admitted the 14th in the evening. Chemo starts the 15th. 
Q: When do you all go back?
A: Kayla and Denny fly back early this coming Sunday morning. They have a very busy schedule upon returning. Anthony and I don't have flights booked yet... We contemplated just staying here. NO... JUST KIDDING. We will most likely go back the following Sunday.  

Q: Do you see my comments on the blog?
A: YES. I read them all! Each and every one! If you are anonymous, please say your name at the end (some of you already do this). I have no way of knowing who you are otherwise... and I want to know! :) They help so much to keep us strong. THANK YOU!

Q: Does Denny have enough socks? Does he still knit?
A: Yes, thank you to all of you who sent socks. He is still good on socks! He has given knitting  a rest while being home, but will resume the position in a few days. ;)

I think those are the main questions. Of course, if there are any more you want me to answer, just ask. Chances are I just forgot to post it here. ;) 

We love you ALL. Good night!!!!!!


  1. Great day for you all! And for her classmates! Violet told me today that Kayla was back at Lu Sutton now. (I should've believed her, knowing her, but I had to check your blog!) True! (for a day) She looks so beautiful. And she looks so happy and determined. I read all about her day and smiled so much. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes for safe travels back to St.Jude. xoxo Jill and Roddy

  2. What a terrific day! The joy of everyone in those photos just radiates! Thank you also for your "FAQ" - I was wondering about many of the issues you covered. I hadn't realized how long your next leg is. I'm really glad you will have your car with you. Denny, once you all get settled, I can send more yarn and some really easy knitting patterns. I would love to teach you how to knit socks - they are addictive! Hugs to all and safe travels! xoxo Allie

  3. What a grand post! LOVE all the photos, the happiness of the day coming through loud and clear, and such fun to see Kayla, all the children and very special teachers. Big smile here. Also appreciate your FAQ responses...answering things I was wondering about too. Love, hugs, and smooth journeys to you all! xxoo AuntieAnn

  4. What an amazing day for Kayla and what a wonderfully giving and attentive classmates she has. I can't believe fate brought me to the same moment in time outside Lu Sutton yesterday when you arrived. Having witnessed her nervousness and apprehension, non of which you see here only moments later is priceless. Lu Sutton truly has an angel amongst them, the strength and generosity of your school community and the delightful children leave me speechless & filled with love. Matt certainly agrees that Kayla is very talented and he looks forward to sending her letters back and forth the old fashioned way when you do in fact get an address. Until then my techy wiz we have scanners. I am so happy you had this moment, we all love you and wish Denny and Kayla safe travels! MWAH Jayna!

  5. My words today cannot even catch the magic nor describe what I felt yesterday, being able to share in this truly special moment with all of you. I loved being the "fly on the wall"; just taking in. Kayla had her defining moment. She "taught" her classmates about cancer. What it really is like for her, for all children like her, to experience. I feel confident now that the other 16 classmates have a truly better understanding of the disease. All because of our Kayla, our brave little "engine that could". What a warrior! I was inspired by my own Granddaughter!! What a feeling this is. One that I haven't experienced SO PROFOUNDLY before in our relationship. This was such a blessing and gift to be present and experience Kayla's joy with her. I know how much she missed everyone, especially her teacher. Mrs. Boerio, Kayla is so lucky to have you as her teacher! I can tell how many hearts you've touched, and Kayla is one of very, VERY many! I love my family, and we will all get through this together. I feel it with every inch of my being. Kayla is teaching us all to "NEVER, EVER GIVE UP"!!!!

  6. Such a great day for Kayla and her class! Fills us with hope and love to witness Kayla's strength and resilience. You & Denny continue to shine as strong role models for other parents. And your kids will always have this strength in them and can draw upon your collective experience to help them thru whatever else life serves up. I do wish I would have stopped by to see you two yesterday at school -- I have a tremendous need to give you a BIG hug! Praying for safe travels for Denny, Kayla & your car, Vitamix & Dirt Devil. I hope all this love surrounds you like bubble wrap as you travel back to Memphis. XXOO - Erika

  7. It is so wonderful to see these photos! Kayla looks great! This little girl of yours is such a bright light and inspiration, as is your whole family. xoxo, Emily (Hoburg) Raaka

  8. It is so nice to see Kayla having such a good time! It is great she got to see her class again! I love that you are bringing your Vitamix! Betty Criesco

  9. Thank you for sharing all of these joyful hopeful moments, pictures, words. My heart feels relieved to see the loving community support and care of all of Kayla's friends and teachers. Every time I read the blog I realize something deeper to appreciate in life. You all are such an inspiration... By the way, great move on bringing the Vitamix along with the car! I'm imagining them totally protected! love always, Lauray

  10. Connie MacQuarrieMarch 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM glad you are enjoying your time at home and what a great school day for Kayla and fellow classmates. It sounds like everyone's prayers to the calorie God are paying off. YEAH! Thinking of you always and so appreciating this blog and all the effort that you put into it. Loved the Q and A section. I wish Denny and Kayla a safe trip back and strength to the whole family for the next leg of the journey.
    Love to you all,
    Connie M.