Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reese is home!

I want to thank everyone for your prayers. It means so much to me to have my family and friends praying for Xander's little friend. Reese is home now and is recovering slowly from the surgery. Here is an update from Kristina, Reese's mom. (taken from Reese's care page)

Home Sweet Home!
Posted 1 hour ago

Hi All,
We are home and enjoying every minute of it! Reese has done amazingly well through all of this, she truly is an inspiration and I gain so much strength from her. I think to myself if she can handle this I can.
The surgery took about 2 hours and went very well. Dr. Miller was able to do a partial sternotamy which means he only had to break her sternum half way down which was wonderful. We are still waiting on pathology but everyone involved was very encouraged by the look of the tumor. The tumor was very tangled in her major arteries of the neck so it was a tricky surgery but Dr. Miller did an amazing job.
We spent 1 night in the ICU and then the rest of our stay on the 3rd floor. This is the most pain I have ever seen Reese in and it is very hard to watch but she is getting stronger every day. Her voice is coming back but still very soft and sad sounding. She was very weak from the surgery and very wobbly when she walked but that is improving also.
Since getting home Reese has began to eat much better which will help with her strength also.
The next step is to wait on pathology and then determine our path for the coming months. We are praying for a benign tumor and if that is the case we will do frequent scans to make sure she stays clear.
For now I ask that everyone continue to pray for Reese and all the other little cancer warriors.
Our friend Lukas MacDonnell from Cooks [Children's Hospital] is at the hospital now and could use some prayers as well-
We also want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and offers to help, it touches our hearts and makes a difference.
Love to All,
The Harding's

Friday, December 26, 2008

The day the big guy came to our house....

Xander still doesn't understand the whole Santa concept and is deathly afraid of the guy. But he sure is happy with all his new stuff! Note to self....don't buy so much stuff next year. Too much stuff! He doesn't even know about half of the presents because I ended up putting them away. He was just overwhelmed by all the toys- it was too much. We will get the other stuff out probably for his birthday.
Here are some pictures of Christmas morning.

He got a ride-on car....

And a parking garage.....

And a Clifford the big red dog ride-on....you may notice we only have one picture of him on this toy. He only knew about it because I picked him up and put him on it. He still doesn't even care that he has it. Clifford is his favorite character but apparently not his favorite "ride-on". Oh well. It goes up to 65 pounds so he has some time to get to like it. I just hope he likes it eventually. LOL

He loves his new car/road mat....

The thing we will remember most about this day is what he did when we asked him if he wanted to open a present. His speech therapist has been teaching him to knock on the baby gate and say "open please" when he wants to go through the gate. Or knock on daddy's office door or basically anything he wants opened. He doesn't say "open please"....that is what we are working on. He just knocks. So I handed him a present to open and asked if he wanted to open it. He knocked on it. It was so funny. We have it on video so I will post the video.

Anyway, we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We are sending out New Year's cards and a newsletter this year. We totally missed the Christmas card boat. Oh well.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Reese update......

Here is an update on Reese. I took this directly from her care page (http://www.carepages.com/carepages/ReeseAddisonHarding) written by Kristina, Reese's mom.
Thank you all so much for praying for Reese. I will continue to update you as I hear more.

Hi All,
We have had another busy day! Dr. Granger called this morning to tell us that the initial path[ology] still seems to be very favorable and that they hoped to have a final answer tonight- I haven't heard yet...But they felt so confident in the results that they have scheduled surgery for next Tuesday December 23rd.
We will talk with Dr. Miller on Monday about the details of the surgery, but I know it is going to be a somewhat difficult surgery. It was compared to an open heart surgery as far as the way they will do the incision. It scares me to death, but I have to be happy that we are not starting with chemo which means they think the tumor will be benign!
We will definitely be in the hospital for Christmas since we will probably spend a few nights in the ICU and a few on the regular [oncology] floor. The good thing is Reese will not know it is Christmas.
Today we went in to the hospital and had an X-Ray to make sure the tumor was not constricting her airway- Good news! It has shifted her airway but it does not look constricted at all!
Reese seems to be feeling pretty good and is enjoying seeing more of Mommy and having the Grandma's in town to visit! We will try and have a fun weekend and celebrate Christmas a little early.
I want to thank everyone again for all their support. I ask that everyone continue to pray for our little Reese. Pray that the surgery goes quickly and smoothly and pray that the rest of the tumor they remove is benign.
Love to All,
The Harding's

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dancing with the Star

Tracy has compiled a bunch of videos of Xander (the Star, hee hee hee) dancing and put it to music. Here it is. Oh, also, please ignore me in the background. It seems like Tracy got me in almost every video! UGH! I prefer to be more "behind the scenes" so to speak. Oh well.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Update on Reese

Reese had her surgery on Friday but they were not able to remove the tumor. The Dr. did say it looked "mature" which doesn't sound good but is actually considered "favorable" because it means it is done growing and isn't spreading. It is in the same place as last time. They took a biopsy of it as well as a bone marrow aspiration. They also put a new port in for chemotherapy. After being intubated two days in a row, she had some swelling and wasn't breathing well and went to the ICU. Last night she was able to leave the ICU and she is breathing well on her own now. They just got the preliminary results from the biopsy tonight and they are looking "good" but they need to wait 7-10 days for the official test results to make sure they match the preliminary results. They will be making a care plan for her tomorrow for her chemo schedule. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and I ask that you remember to continue praying for her and her mom and dad. I am very blessed to have such great family and friends that will pray for my friend that they have never even met. Thank you so much! I love you all! I will keep you updated.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Please pray for baby Reese

I have a good friend who has a baby Xander's age. Xander and Reese have been friends for almost a year. They have taken Little Gym class together and we have weekly play dates with them. When Reese started at Little Gym she had just finished up with chemotherapy for Neuroblastoma. She had responded well to the treatment. In June she had a scan and was all clear of cancer. Her port was taken out and everyone was so relieved she made it through it all. She just had another follow up scan today and they found out the cancer is back and it is worse than before. She will now have to go through a very invasive surgery where they will collapse one of her lungs to remove the tumors and then will have to go back through chemotherapy.
We love this little girl so much and can't even imagine what they are going through right now. This is Eric and Kristina's first child and they have been on such a roller coaster since they discovered her cancer last year.
Please keep them in your prayers.

This is Reese a week after her first diagnosis and surgery last year:

This is Reese last week: