Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day -3

Today Anthony and I picked up our blank wall plaque. Everyone who lives at the Target Houses decorate one when they are about to leave.  They hang behind a protective plexi-glass encasement for everyone who walks the halls to admire. We have no idea what to put on Kayla's square yet. It will come to us. Right now, I stare at this blank palate knowing it is a very important symbol of the time we have spent here. How lucky we have been to be here at St Jude. How blessed we are to have been able to have a place to lay our heads at night... and how proud we are of Kayla.

Things are going just as expected. Kayla had her Mesna and her Cyclophosphomide today and will again tomorrow.  We have fevers on and off. Kayla's face is once again fluid filled and almost unrecognizable. Still beautiful. Just not her normal Kayla face.  As we can all expect, she feels awful.  It hurts to smile. It hurts to talk. So she sleeps and watches movies. I try and guess what she is thinking so she can just nod.  It's a good thing we are so connected. 9 times out of 10 I can usually guess right.  We see little spurts of energy and light and we cherish those moments to get us through the day.

As I walk the halls on the BMT floor this time, I feel an even greater sadness because so many of the rooms there occupy our friends. Friends who's children are all fighting right now. Children who I am growing to love more and more each day. I came into this with only Kayla on my mind. She was my one and only concern. Now, I am so attached to these families and kids! It's amazing how strongly I weep with them and for them when they are having their own struggles. Even if they are not mine, I get it. I can't help but feel anxious for them all. Watching as the doctors approach friends rooms knowing that they are holding important life altering information sends my stomach whirling around and my breathing changes. We all wait anxiously to either meet in the halls or read their precious updates online.  We are all in it together.  So as our moments pass by slowly right now, we cherish the fact that we are all still here. Still fighting. Still finding time for smiles and even laughter. Thank you to all of you who have been so strong in your love for us and for all those who fight.

                                "When you don't give up, you cannot fail."


  1. Annie and Denny you have been so strong through all of this, even when you did'nt feel you were. kayla knows you would move heaven and earth for her and because she is like you, she has been a warrior and is/has been frighting through all the horrible tuff times. I can't wait for her to get to the finish line and see pictures of all of you at home. Praying for Kayla to feel better soon after this last round. Stay strong!
    Love and Big hugs -Lisa, Dan, Brittani and Sophie

  2. Dear Annie, Denny, Kayla and AJ,

    WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. I've never felt a stronger sense of family love and strength until all this began.

    WE HAVE ALL GROWN through this fight together, even focusing on other families that are going through their own journeys.

    Your compassion and love will pull us all through as we continue the fight TOGETHER.

    St. Jude is godspeed for all of our children, as we all have learned. Thank the Lord for people like Danny Thomas! His vision lives on by helping so many children/families.

    You will never forget these new friends, and they will never forget YOU.


  3. Your family is SO very strong. An inspiration to my own family and many others I am sure of it! So happy you guys are almost done, and can go home soon. I really hope you never have to go back again. I am glad you made so many close friends, and am sure you guys will keep in touch after leaving. Blogs are really cool to stay connected with. I hope that things go back to at least semi normal for you guys when you return home. You guys are deff. stronger than ever before I bet. I am so proud of Kayla and all of you really! What a beautiful family !!

  4. We are happy this is the last round! It must feel good being able to bond with so many other families in your situation. I have also been keeping up with some of your blogs listed on the profile and Facebook, and I must say I've had a real eye opening reading them late late into the night. You are all such an inspiration and model of strength and love. Feel better soon Kayla!!!

  5. Your heart is so big and open that you couldn't help bonding with these other families. That's something I've always admired in you back in Jr. High and High School. Always a smile on your face and something nice to say to everybody. That's where your family gathers their strength. Your whole family is amazing. When I have a bad day because of the fibromyalgia, and I feel like just letting life pass me by because I'm depressed; I've been telling myself to stop being a 34-year-old brat and be a fighter like Kayla! Your family has changed my life in more ways than you'll ever know. I'm so proud of Kayla and all of those fighting at St. Jude's! Keep kicking Cancer's booty Kayla!!! <3 Allyson Stallman

  6. That plaque sure must be a such a nice thing to get. It means you're going home soon although it is bittersweet with all those other kids still there. I know it won't be the same as seeing them in person but luckily there is facebook and blogs to keep you guys in constant touch. Good job Kayla! You stayed strong and you never ever gave up! You have been through more than hopefully most people ever will and you did it! Betty Criesco

  7. We are very happy to hear this is the last round for Kayla! As always, we continue to pray for her each night, that God gives her the power to overcome this, and we all know in our hearts she will.