Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday
February 2011
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Nov 2010

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday
Feb 2010
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Day

Tomorrow we drive to Seattle to get Mitchell's follow-up MRI. Early last week I was very nervous, but after receiving much strength from scriptures I feel optimistic and hopeful. He has still had signs of symptoms that make me nervous, but I am choosing faith instead of fear. Keith (who I mentioned before is battling a medulloblastoma) 's mom reminded me of a great quote from our recent general conference:

"Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism."

I suggested a review of Hebrews 11 to our friends because for me it was very helpful in remembering that the Lord has performed many miracles contingent upon faithfulness. Of course I understand that ultimately the Lord's plan is a perfect one, which may or may not be what I desire. That does not prevent me from exercising faith that it IS possible. Patiently waiting is the best I can do, and as I exercise faith, the Lord gives me hope, which is a "heavenly gift" (Ether 12:8-9).

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and general compassion in this situation. It has meant so much to us. It is so wonderful to know that others love Mitchell almost as much as we do! :) We're taking this one step at a time, and tomorrow we pray for excellent news.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mitchell's Birthday

Happy 4th birthday to our sweet angel baby Mitchell. I'll be honest. Four months ago we didn't know if we would be granted this day. And of course now it's here and gone I want next year and the year after that and that and that... It was strange because on the one hand we wanted to make this birthday extra special, but in the end it all came down to creating memories per Mitchell's request. All of his birthday requests were activities, so that's what we did--a weekend of fun.

We started Friday night with dinner at Red Lobster (thank you Grandma Davenport). Mitchell has asked to go for several months and loves shrimp. That night we got out all the awesome costumes our friends, the Schickedanzes, gave us. Chad made a spaceship and we put up black lights to look like outerspace for the star wars costumes. He's a fun dad and the boys loved it.

Saturday we again took advantage of the costumes and dressed up the boys as knights to go see "Tangled" at the movie theatre (also one of Mitchell's request--to see a movie). Our cousins met us there and we got popcorn--Mitchell's favorite part. After we went to eat pizza at Grandma and Grandpa Hatfield's house and knocked around a pinata that Aunt April made in the form of a dragon in sticking with the theme. Fun!

Sunday, Mitchell's actual birthday, we played and relaxed. He requested chicken noodle soup for dinner, so I made a big pot and while eating he said, "I like it a tiny bit." His appetite is still a little inconsistent, but much better. Family came to open presents and eat his dragon cake. After we budged and watched "Shrek 2" since Jackson didn't have school today.

I was writing in my journal last night and tried to document some info about Mitchell right now. There's so much to say about this little guy it's hard. He is such a mature spirit, but also a normal very sweet little boy. He loves to obey and follow rules. He is very easy going and while opinionated will go along with what's happening without fuss. He loves to make everyone happy and will either forfeit his choice/desire to make others happy or if others are arguing, act as a peacemaker. He still loves "I Am a Child of God" and sings it any chance he gets. He is a very smart little boy and very perceptive. At the hospital when we talked with the doctor about chemo, he woke up the next morning and said, "Dad I didn't throw up!" meaning he obviously heard that could be a side effect. Mitchell is the perfect brother for Jackson and Eden. He loves unconditionally and thinks the world of those he loves. The list could go on forever. The quality Chad and I admire the most and try to emulate is Mitchell's ability to ALWAYS be happy. It is definitely a character flaw of mine to let events around me affect my level of happiness. Mitchell on the other hand is able to smile even when all around him is difficult and dark.

I am trying very hard to be a happy person. Our time in the hospital was a challenge, but in a way it has been harder at home. Everything is so much more real and I am altered. I just don't feel like myself anymore. Maybe because my idea of normal is so distorted now. We have several friends and aquaintances right now who suddenly have major medical issues and my heart hurts for them. We have a hefty list of those who need our prayers right now. Since I don't have their parents permission, I'll just list their first names if you don't mind praying for them: Ashley, Keith, Jonaven, Peyton, Luke, Sophia, Benton, Sadie, and the Wilson/Turner family.

Anyhow, I am following Mitchell's example and I am going to be happy no matter what.

Here are some pictures of my little Mitchell to melt your heart so you can see what an angel he is and always has been from the moment he entered this world. There are no words to describe how much I love this boy. Each second has been a joy with him. Even when he has been difficult it is in a way that makes me laugh. We are so proud of him. Happy 4th Birthday Mitchell!




Sweet new babe.


3 weeks old



Loves to eat


Happy 1st Birthday!

"Hello!"

Always willing to help mama.
Such a sweet and gentle spirit.
He's always smiling.

And also always up for a good laugh!

Happy 2nd birthday!
Just for laughs.

When he cut his finger off in a church door (Oct 2009).
On his 3rd birthday February 20, 2010

Friday night outerspace event.

The knights, dragon, and princess.


Dragon pinata.


Leftie was a great helper opening presents. Mitchell did a great job thanking all for his gifts all by himself.

His new golf club.
Fire breathing dragon!


We love you Mitchell!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011

I think I'm going to try to just do updates through the blog and skip the facebook route. We'll see how it goes.

We have been really enjoying our time at home. Of course the approaching MRI and onslaught of chemo attack brings me back to reality when I remember it's coming. I am trying to forget and move forward with my little ones in tow. Mitchell had a scary week or so where he suddenly just stopped eating, which hasn't been an issue for him at all during treatment. All he wanted was water, but we at least got him to drink some juice and eat very VERY tiny bites of various things. They had us begin zofran (anti-nausea) again, but it didn't seem to make a difference. We got blood work done and it came back normal. All I can guess is his body knows exactly what it's doing and it is possibly self-detoxing, flushing out all the yucky effects of cancer, chemo, radiation, etc.

He has made great progress with his motor skills. "Leftie" is a great helper again, and his legs are working as I previously mentioned! He still is not completely confident in his walking, but I know it will get better and better over time. His knee brace finally came and I think that made a big difference. His swelling from steroids is going down in his face and I finally feel like my little boy is coming back to me. He is enjoying his independence again.

We are patching his eye again since it opens so well, and sometimes I chuckle when I look at all his "patchwork": he still wears a bandage on his head because he keeps scratching his scabs on his incisions; his eyepatch; his knee brace; his pollywog in his right shoe; and his brace on his left ankle.

I have really struggled with completely trusting his care to the doctors--who I believe are amazing and have confidence in--because of a nagging feeling that there's more I need to be doing for him naturally. The problem is, because I am uneducated with natural methods I don't want to do anything that may harm him. With this conflict I discovered a naturopath in Seattle who is supposed to be really good and scheduled an appointment with him. He specializes in working with the primary cancer treatment and providing additional alternative treatments that won't harm the patient and hopefully amplify the end results.

Because of all this on my mind, plus my church calling, I feel I epitomize the definition of a "scatterbrain." You can tell by this post that clearly has no direction. Sorry. That's my life right now. Sign me up for some ritalin.

My mom is gone and that is very sad for me and the kids. She was a great help. I hope I can survive. My sweet in-laws are always here to help and I know I will depend upon them a lot. I'm trying to just take things day to day enjoying every moment. Last night we had a REALLY fun Valentine's party for FHE. Usually I'll admit I do extra festivities purely for the kids so they can have the fun memories. This time, however, it was for the kids of course, but it was also for me. I had so much fun with my sweet little family. I kept it pretty simple and it was perfect.

Also in this round of pics are some from our very special trip to Boise. We got to see a nephew through the temple, see two nephews ordained to the priesthood, and of course the pinnacle of achievement--Mitchell's walking. It was wonderful. I loved the time with my family and the kids loved their playtime with cousins.

Grandma was so kind to babysit for us so we could have a much needed laugh with some friends at dinner. The kids loved their Grandma being here.

Mitchell with his cousin Teagan who is two months younger and just received his second (I think) surgery to repair his clef palate. He looks perfect--it's amazing!

Mitch loves his cousin Tayven. All the cousins are so kind to Mitchell and helped him get around to play all the time. My mom kept saying, "See! You're getting hundreds of dollars of free physical therapy for him!"

My sweet littlest Valentine. She loves to put anything and everything in her mouth--gross! Everyone wanted to hold her, but only for short periods of time because she's too heavy.

We drove back late Sunday night, so Valentine breakfast was skimpy, but fun. Mitchell ate almost all of it. (So glad his appetite is back.)
We had a fun plain jane dinner and dance party afterward. Mitchell shook his booty and Jackson displayed some stellar moves.

For dessert: a giant heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie with ice cream, fudge, and whipped cream.
*I feel like Chad doesn't get a voice in all of this because it's me typing. I think he'd mostly say the same thing--although in a more positive way perhaps--but I just wanted to add that he is truly the most remarkable man. Mitchell is so deeply connected with his dad. I admit I get a little jealous when he wants his daddy, because I want a piece of him, but I understand. Chad is pretty awesome and I'd want him too. I feel so grateful to have him as my companion, especially after a trial like this. His confidence in our Heavenly Father, I am ashamed to say, has carried me through when mine has been shaky. He is a one of a kind and I cannot say enough about him.

My Montage 2/15/11 at OneTrueMedia.com

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feb 12, 2011

Although it has been a week full of emotions, I am excited and grateful for this day. We are visiting family in Boise and just got to see my nephew go through the temple. It was special. We came home to see Mitchell walking all over like this. GRATEFUL!

*I'm having trouble uploading the video, hopefully it will be up tomorrow

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feb 3, 2010

Well, we've been home for a week although it feels a lot longer because of how busy life has been. I am FINALLY unpacked--I had to reorganize, so it took much longer. We had family and friends welcome us home in the freezing cold night last week with glow sticks, balloons, and posters. It made me a bit teary-eyed. We are so blessed with such wonderful friends and family who have loved and supported us so well, but especially we are touched by how much everyone has loved Mitchell.

He is doing well. I am a paranoid mess at times looking for any signs of symptoms returning. As our oncologist NP told me, "You'll find it if you look for it." If there is a REAL problem, she said we'd know it for sure. So, I guess on the whole he's doing really well. He is on a steady pathway to healing. His left hand coordination is vastly improved, and I think his walking would be nearly perfect except that he has intense pain from hyperflexing on his left knee. We're waiting for a knee sleeve and brace. His energy levels are good and he is thrilled to be home. My mama is here to help me with the kids since our sweet daddy is full throttle again with work. Mitchell did have a weird day on Tuesday when he drank approx. 75 oz by afternoon. The Drs were concerned he might be showing symptoms from his radiation therapy that damaged part of his pituitary glands. He did not have increased urination, so we hope it was a fluke from kidney stones/dehydration from radiation/etc.

Mostly, it feels so wonderful to look at my sweet angels playing in our family room just as they've always done before, as if nothing in the world was different. I am grateful for what we have and pray that my boys will always be best buddies and each other's confidant and support.