Happy Holidays

We decided to go back to Flagstaff and spend a day in the snow with Lydia and Vin.  Brianne did not last very long in the snow, but she did sled down a small hill a few times.

I am very happy to report that Brianne had an amazing Christmas.  I was worried we were going to end up inpatient due to Brianne's congestion, but she did not get a fever so we were able to manage her symptoms with Benadryl.  We were able to go to the annual Pasko Family Christmas Party on Saturday and to the Hopkins Christmas get together on Sunday.  We chose to lay low on Christmas Eve so that we would not tire Brianne out too much.  It seems like everyone has been battling respiratory illness and we did our best to avoid it.  The one thing we did on Christmas Eve was go to church.  We had not been to church since Brianne's diagnosis, but because the kids stayed with their parents for the service I was not worried about her being exposed to too many germs. It was great to be back at church and I am hoping we will start to be able to attend more regularly next year.

 Christmas morning Brianne woke up at 2:50 ready to start opening presents.  She was very excited that Santa brought the American Girl Doll that she wanted.  A family from the clinic "adopted" Brianne and went way overboard.  She had about 50 presents under the tree to open Christmas morning.  We spent the afternoon with Charlie's side of the family opening gifts and eating a delicious meal.

Brianne with her American Girl Doll she named Bri.  They have matching PJs thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Doras.

These are all of the gifts that the family from the clinic purchased for Brianne along witht he Lego table the Dad and Grandpa Hopkins built for her.

First thing Wednesday morning we were at the clinic for Bri's count check.  Her counts were great and she cleared to start Maintenance for Thursday.  Thursday Brianne had spinal chemo and Vincristine through her port.  She will receive nightly oral chemo until the summer of 2014 along with lumbar punctures every three months, Vincristine in her port monthly, and 5 days of steroids monthly.  We are very excited to get started with this last phase of treatment.  The nurse explained maintenance as being like Italian cooking, there is no real recipe you just adjust things until everything is right.  We will be going to weekly appointments for a while and hopefully slowly working towards only coming in once a month if counts are within normal range.

Brianne is very excited to go back to school.  As long as her class is healthy enough she should be returning on January 7th. 

We hope everyone is having a great holiday season.  Happy New Year!


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