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Update on Alex's Fight Against Leukemia

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Monday January 10, 2005

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long wait! Let me start by saying, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!!! Alex turned 7 today. It's unbelievable on so many levels! The child that we thought would never have to opportunity to grow up is doing just that, and doing it very quickly! We are thrilled!

Things have been so crazy around here, but for once it's the kind of crazy that we'll take! Alex's counts have been fantastic and she is only going into the clinic every 2 months! She has started having her immunizations again and has been absolutely phenomenal about it. The last three clinic visits she has been poked once for a blood draw and then five more times for her immunizations and she hasn't let out a peep! She just sits there and watches them do it. I'm so proud of her.

I know some of you are probably wondering about the surgery that my mom mentioned in the guestbook in November. Late in October, the school nurse called me to tell me that she had been doing the yearly eye tests on the kids and that Alex's right eye tested 20/50 while her left eye tested normal. I told her that I would get her into the eye doctor to have it checked since that was the eye that she had had the targeted radiation. Back in 2001 when she had the radiation the doctor told us that it wasn't a matter of "if", but rather of when she would get a cataract in that eye. So I called up to Children's and the earliest they could get us in for an appointment was February! I was afraid that if it was a cataract that her brain might shut the eye down if we waited that long, so I called Nick's ophthalmologist and they got us in 2 1/2 weeks later. In that 2 1/2 weeks, she went from 20/50 to 20/200! Cataracts grow fast in kids! This gave us a reason for why she was falling down the stairs and tripping so much! She had no depth perception! He immediately got us in to the surgeon who scheduled her for cataract removal surgery the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The surgery went very well and when I saw her eye when she woke up I couldn't believe anything had been done! There wasn't any sign of trauma at all. It was amazing. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get all of the residue off of the membrane, so she will have follow up laser surgery sometime this month. Even after that, she will need to have glasses which she is very happy about. She tells us she wants pink with polka dots and flowers! I'll be calling ahead to make sure they hide anything that resembles this!!!!!

School is going much better for her. She still has her days where she seems to forget how old she is and how to treat her friends, but those days do seem to be getting farther apart.

She is really looking forward Saturday. She is going to have her second ever birthday party! We are going to have it at the Rose Tea room here in Gig Harbor. She is so excited! For that matter, so are we! I decided to make her invitation and had a ball! Of course I spent a fortune doing it and was up until 3am several nights in a row, but I had fun! As an added bonus, they turned out REALLY cute!!!

Nicholas, is Nicholas! We are constantly finding him in the middle of tables, dressers, you name it! I think he's part mountain goat! Boy is he lucky he's cute!

That's about it for the kids. Todd and I are doing great. We want thank everyone that did their holiday shopping through Alex's Coupons this year! Todd has been working really hard on the site and it finally feels like it's taking off. Right now he's working on getting all the Valentines links together and he's also going to put up a wedding section. He really thinks of everything.

I've been keeping busy helping at the school and I somehow managed to get myself harangued into chairing the annual bingo night! Just one more thing to confirm my insanity! Lastly, I want to thank everyone that donated money towards the Light the Night Walk. It was an amazing night and we raised $1200 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

That's about it for now! Thanks for checking in on us. We'll catch up with you again in a few months!

Take Care,

Andrea, Todd, Alex and Nick

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