Jones Family

Jones Family
November 2009

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blood Drive Results & Updates

Thank you to everyone who came out & supported the Blood Drive! We had a goal of 40 units, but were happy that my last donation of the day got us to 24. Every bit helps! Brayden had an early out for Christmas Break and was so thrilled to get to man the check-in table at the blood drive. He did so great! Ms. Korey from the Red Cross so sweetly gave him a beautiful ornament and this cool shirt! Brayden decided to have everyone sign a hat that donated. Towards the end of the day, we were cracking up at him organizing and picking things up all on his own to get ready to go. He was quite the host for the day!

He seemed to really enjoy getting to see those who donated. Both Dad & Mom were able to give and it's a race to see who was done quicker. Of course, Dad always wins that one! Donating blood is truly a precious gift to give. Thank you all who took time out of this busy season to come out to visit & donate!!
Just a quick update on Brayden's treatments - we had a long day in Little Rock this past week. Thankfully, the results were good. Brayden had his quarterly spinal sedation with intrathecal chemo to treat the leukemia cells that were present in his brain at the time of his diagnosis. He admitted he was a bit nervous this time and it really surprised me...he's usually cool as a cucumber. He doesn't like not being able to eat or drink after midnight for his sedations. Thankfully, we were able to get back to the procedure room quickly and there was some tv to distract him as well as some friendly faces in the staff that works with him to keep his mind off of it. It still is so surreal when Bryan and I leave that room after kissing him goodbye for him to get 'the dizzy medicine.' It brings back such strong memories of us walking away while Brayden's enduring life-saving procedures. Each week, we still hold our breath and over analyze all his lab results. Thankfully, Brayden is so resilient and staying so strong without having interruptions to chemo and continuing his weekly regimen. After his sedation procedure was complete and he stayed laying down for the required 15 minutes, he chowed on some yogurt, grapes, chocolate milk (of course) and we went to the floor next door where he stayed upon his first diagnosis and spent many days during the first 6 months of his treatment. It was like a kick in the gut...for both of us. The best part was seeing his nurses! One especially who was in the early pictures and we found out later was the one who came to PICU to give Brayden his first chemo. She couldn't ask questions fast enough and they loved hearing AND SEEING how well Brayden is doing! Another nurse told us how good it is to see the kiddos who are doing well. They don't always get to see their progress and it's so encouraging for them. We learned that 29 precious children at Arkansas Children's Hospital lost their fight with pediatric cancer in 2010. My heart can't handle wondering if some of them were ones we saw while in clinic, sat next to, smiled a knowing smile while walking the hospital halls. Please keep those families in your prayers this Christmas. We continue to be thankful for the amazing staff at ACH. They hold a very special place in our hearts. We've also heard of another one who has relapsed. They're a local family who need your prayers and are at St. Jude receiving a very new type of therapy and we pray even with the dismal success rate, he beats the odds. We also have held in our hearts the past couple of a months a graduate from Brayden's school who was diagnosed with cancer. Our prayers stay close to her & her family.

Brayden continues his regimen this week with steroids, which always come with lovely side effects: extra hunger, wild mood swings, pink cheeks, swollen effects on his body, and the list goes on. Brayden's become a master at taking all his pills in one gulp & I'm amazed how far he's come! Each night between 5-6 pills, each morning 3 and on his antibiotic days and with steroids, the daily dosage becomes 22. He's truly a trooper.

We had a wonderful time tonight getting to visit the Fayetteville Square Lights of the Ozarks! It's been a tradition for a while. Although, last year, we drove around the square in our pj's in the car - since we had just gotten back from radiation and Brayden was in isolation. It was wonderful to get to be out in the chilly weather and Brayden was really into the Christmas spirit! This morning he kicked off the day with barely able to sleep in...some Christmas money in a card from his great aunt was burning a hole in his pocket! Then we went to Lowe's to finish off his train. It's taken 3 weeks to build each part of the train and he did such an awesome job putting the project together at Kid's Clinic all on his own. I remember the days when we needed to help supervise and read the next steps. Those are so long ago. I just sat and watched him and couldn't help seeing the other little kids around whose parents were still helping. Where does the time go?

What a day...he's loving the Christmas countdown and I can't believe how FAST Christmas is approaching! I just want to freeze time a little. I hope we're able to enjoy the upcoming days and knock off all our wishes of things to do in preparation for Christmas. We've got some movies to watch, some cocoa to drink, and some presents to wrap! But most of all, some love to give and some memories to make of being home all together and being so thankful for the true reason for the season! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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