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Monday August 16, 2004


Just wanted to let everyone know that Linda at Corporate Angel Network was able to find Andrea, Alex & Nick a flight down to Southern California. They left from Tacoma Narrows Airport, which is right across the street from our house, today at 2 pm. As always we'd like to thank Linda and Corporate Angel Network for all of their help. They really are incredible. We'd also like to thank the two pilots Lance & Nancy and the company they work for, which we unfortunately can't identify without permission. We really appreciate everyone's efforts to get Alex down to Southern California to see Dr. Kurtzberg.

Hope everyone is doing well. Take care.

-- Todd

Sunday August 15, 2004

Hi Everyone,

Okay people, you have OBVIOUSLY been taking PUSHY lessons from the EVIL Granny M!!!! HeHeHe I'm sorry I haven't updated sooner, but we've been out having fun!

We have been going non-stop this summer and we're having a blast! Summer was kicked off very nicely with the removal of Alex's broviac on July 1st!!! Yippee!!!! My dad was up here and went to the hospital with us. Talk about emotions! Almost at the same time, we thought back to November 11, 1998. This was the day she got her very first broviac. Both my mom and dad were there with Todd and I. I will never forget holding her in my arms and as the propofol went into her and she went to sleep, she went completely limp, it was like she died right there as I held her. The doctors took her out of my arms and walked into the operating room with her and the four of us collapsed into each others arms and cried. It was horrible. As we sat together waiting for her to come out this time, we talked about what a wonderful contrast this day was. Although it will not please my drug addicted child, I hope that she will never again need to receive propofol!!!

Before Broviac Removal After Broviac Removal

My mom (EVIL Granny M) came up on July 3rd to join the rest of us. So, we had both my parents, my sister Wendy and my niece Charisse here. It was great! On July 4th, we rented a boat and went out for the day. We went around to the water side of my parents' property to see what it looked like from the water. It was really fun. Alex and Nick LOVED the boat. It was so funny to watch Nick. The faster we went, and the choppier the water got, the happier he was!

Check out the hair! Can I have your hat? Todd on the water and in heaven!

On July 5th, Alex started horse camp and absolutely loved it. On July 12th, we drove out to Ellensburg and met up with the Mitchems. It was great to see them, as always! While Nick enjoyed the visit and all the extra attention he got from Mike and Marian, he HATED the hotel room. This was very unfortunate! He wound up screaming his head off until about 1 am and then woke up at 5 am and started all over again! Todd ended up putting him in the car and driving around for two hours so he would sleep! This did not make us look forward to taking him to camp later in the month!

Alex & Buttercup Petting Buttercup In the Saddle!

On July 18th we went to the Woodland Park Zoo with the Starlight Foundation which was really fun. We hadn't been there for 3 years. In fact, the last time we were there was just after we found out that Alex had relapsed in the CNS and had a tumor in the orbit of her eye. While we were there we walked past this one spot in the park and it hit me that it was the exact spot we walked past while I was talking to Dr. K about whether or not to transplant her immediately. It really took my breath away. I'm telling you, we have some sick memories! The photos below were taken 3 years apart, with the one on the right obviously being the current one.

Alex with a new friend - September 2001 Alex with an old friend - July 2004

The last week of July we went to Camp Agape. It's a family camp for Cancer families. We had a blast! The dedication of everyone involved was amazing. Both kids had their own counselors and they both had non-stop smiles. Nick because he was constantly surrounded by pretty girls and Alex because for the first time in her life she got to play in a sandbox! Yes, you read that correctly. Alex had never played in a sandbox before! The camp had brought in clean sand that was covered every night, so we let her have at it!!! Everyone just had to giggle that of all the things they had for the kids to do there, the number one thing that Alex would choose would be the sand!

Alex & Her Buddy Cecilia Nick w/ his counselor Heidi after going down the Slip n' Slide! Last Day @ Camp Agape

After camp she started summer school. She wasn't as fond of this as we thought she would be. I think it was a little too much work and not enough play for her taste. She has really been having problems with sticking with things that are hard for her lately. I think that she's getting really frustrated because learning isn't easy like it used to be. She used to pick up everything so fast and now with all the radiation and everything she has to really work at learning new things and it's ticking her off! I want to thank Kay Sailsbury, Jenna's mom for posting about the problems Jenna faced with studying. Jenna is an honor student and gets phenomenal grades, but since her radiation has found it increasingly difficult to focus on studying. When I read her latest update the light bulb went on and I realized that this was what was going on with Alex. I'm not sure yet how to help her with it, but we need to find a way so that she can get back to loving being challenged and learning new things.

On Saturday we went up to Seattle for the Beams & Dreams Yacht Party! They had a big barbecue and after that we went out for a boat ride with Doug & Annette Switzer, who donated the use of their yacht for the day. We had a really great time and would like to thank them for their hospitality.

The kids and I were supposed to be catching a flight today to Orange County so we could meet up with Dr. K on Wednesday, but the company called Corporate Angel late Friday and cancelled the flight! So, unless something comes in by Tuesday we won't be going. It stinks! Dr. K took it much better than I thought she would and told me that we could try to meet up in the beginning of December when she'll be in San Diego.

We have one more family camp to go to from August 22nd to the 27th. Then Alex starts school on September 2nd. The summer has flown by! On September 19th we're participating in the LLS Light The Night Walk for the first time. More specifically Alex is healthy enough this year to participate for the first time! Light The Night Walk is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's nationwide evening walk to raise awareness and funds to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

We are participating in the Walk in honor of all individuals who are battling blood cancers. These people, including Alex of course, are the real heroes and we need your support to help accelerate cures and hope for patients and their families. We would like to encourage everyone to make a donation through our Light the Night Walk website. By doing so, we'll both be helping save lives. In addition we'd like to encourage everyone in the Seattle/Tacoma area to join us at the walk in Tacoma on September 19th. Email us for details.

I'm going to cut this short and let the pictures tell the rest of the story. Thanks for checking up on us and yes, even for harassing us in the guestbook! Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Take Care,

Andrea, Todd, Alex and Nick

More Photos...

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Featured Book
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
by Eleanor Coerr

Based on a true story, a young girl faces the battle of her life when she is told that she has the atom bomb disease, leukemia, thus she turns to her native beliefs by making a thousand paper cranes so that the gods will grant her one wish to be well again.




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