Friday, March 12, 2010

Hurdle #1 acheived

I realized a little while back that there are 82 people who get emails letting them know when I have updated this thingy. And because I don't recognize all the names and because others whose names are not included know things I write on here, I am able to assume that you all want to know about my little family. This blog was began to chronicle Pipers journey with Leukemia, but it was specifically chosen to be a family blog spot as opposed to a caringbridge or a carepage. I did not want to focus solely on Piper when I also have a vibrant 5 year old, a husband putting himself through college and the typical day to day things that a mommy does and feels. I felt then, and now, that this is only a phase of our life. A rough season. A dark era, but an era, season and phase none the less. We WILL not be fighting this battle for the rest of my life. Good and Bad comes and goes. Life begins and ends. And we continue to look forwards with Hope and behind with a smile.

That is why I am thrilled to let you know that Piper has completed those 6 months of chemo that we so feared. It was as frightening as I imagined and yet, we were Held. I always feel Held. That may not make any sense to you, but it is the simplest and truest word to use to explain the last 6 months. God has Held me. He has done many, many things as well but overall I felt Held. I felt His arms when my Piper was sick with a fever. I felt Held when she was covered with chemical burns. I felt Held when Pyper Sellers lost her sweet little life. I felt Held when I had nothing more to give and still managed to walk another lap with Piper. Or to play one more game with Linley.

Life is easier these days. Piper hasn't has any chemo in over 3 weeks. She isn't having any Neupogen shots. Her nightly meds are easily given orally. And she remains in Remission. I am surprisingly nervous about beginning less intense chemo. Obviously I am thrilled to have a happy, sweet baby girl in my arms without icky and constant side effects. But this is when we find out whether the last 6 months of chemo have done the job. Without the umbrella of constant chemo we will see just what her body is made up of. So frightening. I have divided the 2 years of treatment into 3 hurdles. That is how I keep from being too terribly overwhelmed with the enormity of this all.

*Hurdle 1: Completion of first 6 months of intensive chemo still in remission

*Hurdle 2: Completion of entire 1 year of chemo still in remission

*Hurdle 3: Completion of Maintenance (second year) still in remission

*Hurdle 4: Remaining in Remission for the year after Maintenance ends

This is a long journey and relapse in always in the back of our minds. But right here, right now Piper is doing wonderfully. Her body has proven strong than we could have hoped for and we are praying that the nasty drugs that beat her up have done their jobs. We pray to never hear the word relapse ever and that we are able to look back at the end of Hurdle 4 and sigh. So with this hurdle leaped I am both thrilled and fearful but mainly I am simply happy. So very happy that we are here. Thanks for your prayer all 82 of you (plus some) but please do not stop. We are not at the end and are still very much engaged in a battle for my daughters life that I am intending to succeed in.


  1. You said it beautifully, Susanna. We will continue to pray. Every day, every step forward is a reason to celebrate!!

  2. Love, thoughts and prayers from the Heintzman family! We've been following you from the beginning of the journey and will continue to follow you until that last hurdle is reached (and beyond)!

  3. I am so happy that you wrote this. Not only does it put tears in my eyes but makes me so very proud of you and your family my dear friend. I love you all tremendously and pray for the continued remission and strength of baby Piper.
    Have you heard Natalie Grant's song "Held," if you have not check it out...

  4. plus three...we love you!
    heather, jack and jackson :)