Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Celebrating Brayden...6 months & counting!

Last night we decided to surprise Brayden with a big celebration. It was a little tricky; he's still on strict isolation from his Oncologist's orders. Dad was SO helpful in doing the running for me since I don't get out of the house much anymore while taking care of Brayden. He picked up a surprise cupcake-cake ("Brayden's our MVP", football theme, of course!), some little balloons for us to blow up, and some streamers. Dad hid the loot and after showering and changing clothes from work germs, took Brayden for a fake ride in the truck. Meanwhile, thanks to Nini's help, we QUICKLY decorated and put up the posters everyone made for the Chick-Fil-A night.

I also made another special poster for that I wanted to use as the centerpiece for his celebration. Brayden's 6-Month Journey...Look How Far You've Come!! I went through and recapped for him how much he's gone through in a visual sense. We definitely wanted him to grasp just how much he's accomplished in this Journey to fight Leukemia in this 6-months. We wanted to celebrate him and make sure he knows how proud we are of him!

His reaction was so sweet. He was so excited and so thankful and I loved the hugs he kept giving me. The evening had its tough moments while hearing Brayden recall a lot of the emotional details of those first 24 hours: the ER visit, the fear, the life-flight to Arkansas Children's Hospital, the diagnosis, the days spent in PICU, then the Oncology floor stay and visually realizing how different his life would soon become. He remembers so much more that I wish I could protect him from, but hearing him recall it, he's so positive and I'm so thankful for that. We've always taken our lead from Brayden, yet try to approach everything as optimistically as we can. Everything he endures is in an effort to keep him safe, healthy, and free from relapse.

Seeing the counts of all that he's done was really more than I think any of us realized. He took pride in those stats...well, some of them he'd rather forget! We went through his beads and it was almost too much seeing how many he has. He wore them as a badge of honor and kept reminding us, "this is just the first 6 months! I still have 3 years!"

So here's to Brayden! You are such a strong boy and we are SO proud of you! We love you so much and want you to remember how much you've endured and how hard you've fought. Here's to all you've accomplished in your 6-month Journey:
- 129 Beads of Courage
- 132 doses of Chemotherapy from 8 different drugs
- 68 blood draws
- 1,748 pills taken
- 11 ACH Clinic Visits
- 8 different AR Children's Hospital stays for a total of 31 days
- 4 days in PICU
- 26 Highland's Visits
- 1 Life-flight on Angel-1
- 6 Chest X-rays
- 4 Catscans
- 1 Chest Tube
- 2 Echocardiograms
- 1 EKG
- 13 Spinal LP's w/chemo and sedation (yeah! dizzy meds!)
- 8 Bone Marrow aspirates
- 2 yucky foley catheters
- 1 platelet transfusion
- 2 blood transfusions
- 1 port surgery
- 8 PICC line dressing changes (this # seems like it was WAAAAY higher with the tape nemesis!)
- 224 PICC line lumen flushes with van-hep & saline
- too many alcohol wipes and clorox wipes to count!
- 2 proud parents and many other friends and family who love & support you!!!!!


  1. WoW! It's mind boggling everything he's been through to collect those beads. I'm in awe of him and his positive attitude through all of it. Keep it Brayden!! You so deserve the MVP title, and we're so proud of you.

    Trish, Ken, Grace, and Logan

  2. Oh Lisa, I am overwhelmed to tears. First, bravo to you for keeping such good track of everything. Secondly and most importantly, Brayden, I don't know how to express the admiration I have for how you are walking through this journey. You are a very special soul.

  3. Congrats, Brayden for your 6 months milestone! How lucky you are to have an awesome mom to track your journey and keep the progress going. Your dad is sneaky helping to hide the celebration! We are so proud of your courage and fight to face the unknown with each treatment, as you keep your faith to get better and overcome all of the challenges you face. We pray for all of you to get through this journey with the grace of God by your side. I bet you're going to play defense on a football team one day! We love you guys! Amelia, Eric and Andrew

  4. Brayden,
    Congratulations! Wow, what a brave trooper you have been. I am so proud of you and all the courage and joy you have shown. You are such a super example of how God can take us through anything when He is by our side. God has been with you through these first six months and I know He will be faithful to be with you through the rest of this journey.
    ACA is not the same without you. We can't wait until you are back with us.
    Enjoy your six month mark and press on to the finish line knowing there are lots of people praying for you and cheering you on to victory.

  5. Nini Nett woke up missing you so, so much today, Brayden! So, of course the first thing I did was grab my coffee & sign into your bloggie to see your pictures & see how you're doing, cuz I didn't want to call & possibly wake you. So glad your treatment at ACH yesterday will be the last one of "that particular" type. Nini can't wait to see you & get one of your special Brayden bear hugs that takes my breath away. lol! They're the best! But, then you're the best too! - All my love,.....Nini Nett