Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review

2011 is coming to a close.  I think it has been both the longest and shortest year of my life; never-ending days of hospitals, chemo and sick baby, alternating with the non-stop appointments, blogging and changes.  I thought I would do a little review of our year, to help us look back on all the events that have shaped the last 12 months.

Scarlett' Year in Review

More than 24 hours of surgery, three weeks in intensive care and a few severe complications, but the tumor is GONE!  In her free time, she learned to coo, and use her left hand again.

Port catheter placed, then a bad case of RSV.  We had to get that cleared up so she could start chemo on Valentine's Day.  Then, a shunt at the end of the month.
Chemo was bad this month; so bad, we took her to the ER for dehydration.  Since she could no longer keep any food down, we had to put in an NG tube...which she still has.  In march, the blog hit 1,000,000 page views after only 4 months!!
Two days after a 10 day hospital stay, she woke up with a fever of 102.  It took a few days to figure out her shunt was infected, and her whole system was in chaos.  She had three surgeries to replace the old shunt.  We spent only 2 days at home in this entire month.  We also learned that her hearing had been severely damaged by the chemo and infection.
May was our last long hospital stay, but it was a pretty uneventful month overall.  The last of Scarlett's hair fell out.
We finished the Induction phase of chemo. Early in the month, we started to notice that the left side of her head was changing, and by the end of the month, it had nearly completely caved in due to an overly-efficient shunt.  However, it never really slowed her down.  Scarlett moved into her own room and got her first teeth.
We battled low blood counts in July.  She had her lowest-ever counts on July 5: platelets only 2000.  This caused quite a panic in the hospital, but a transfusion fixed her up.  She was getting red cell and platelet transfusions every week at this point.  She also got her new hearing aids.  She has not been hospitalized since July - yea!
More transfusions, and a clear MRI.  She was feeling pretty good in August, but her counts took a long time to recover, so she got no chemo this month.
We started to see hair come back this month!  Her counts finally began to rebound, and we began giving chemo each night at home.  She visited the beach for the first time, and started sitting on her own.
I am sure other things happened this month, but the biggest event was by far Scarlett's first birthday!  We celebrated with a big party, and then a fantastic blood drive a week later!  I can't wait for this time next year.
In November, Scarlett got to meet her new cousin Caleb.  They are growing to be good buddies now, but they weren't so sure about each other at first...  Our biggest accomplishment this month was finally getting social services straightened out after months and months of fighting.
We have had a very calm December.  We are moving right along with chemo, had more clear MRIs, and celebrated the holidays at home with our families.  Scarlett has a ton of hair and teeth, and she is just a happy, easy-going girl.  

 Bring it on, 2012. 


Sarah G said...

Amazing summary! You guys are a true inspiration. Keep smiling and Scarlett always is in our prayers.

CEZ said...

So precious. God is good. Praying for you all. Happy New Year!

Robin said...

Praise God for a successful 2011 for Scarlett! What a precious gift Scarlett is, not only to you guys, but all of us too. She is proof that God is Good! May 2012 be filled with blessings from above!

Jenn said...

What a wonderful year, even with so much you battled. I prayed for you before going to bed last night...that 2012 would be a great year for you three! You are the best parents, and Scarlett is amazing. God bless!

Love from Iowa ~ The Lang's

Christina said...

Wow, what a year!
Scarlett is amazing as are you and Chris.
Love her hair!
Christina and Kaitlyn

Crazed in the Kitchen said...

Bring it on, indeed! Can't wait to see Scarlett keep growing in the new year!

April said...

You have been through more in the last year than many of us will deal with in a lifetime. Here's to a happy healthy year in 2012!

MC said...

Happy new year to your beautiful family! I hope this year brings in lots of good memories, health and prosperity for Scarlett and mom and dad!
Hugs from PA

Mommy2CJ said...

What an amazing year it has been! Looking forward to lots more positive news in 2012! Scarlett is a fighter! You and Chris are always in my prayers. Praise be to God!

Christa said...

You have such a darling little girl! And what a fighter! :) congratulations on surviving such a whirlwind of a year and best wishes for 2012. My thoughts and prayers continue for your family.
--christa, oct. 2010 mom

Samantha said...

Chris, Brandi and Scarlett,
All three of you are amazing. You struggle, but manage to keep your chins up no matter what. I am so thankful that things are looking up for you and I pray for the health of Scarlett to continue to rise. Thank you for keeping all of us informed!