Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh No, Not Croup!

Yes, it is true! I must have jinxed Mason by saying how well he was doing in my last post. On Christmas eve Mason came down with that nasty cough called CROUP. All my kiddos as babies to even 1st graders have been prone to come down with Croup. Sometimes worse than others. And, even though I've learned all the coping tricks and also when to call the doctor, it's definitely one of my least favorite childhood sicknesses. It can be really scary! Thank goodness though, Mason's case of croup right now is not the worse my kiddos have been sick with before.

After much time spent out on the back porch with Mason in the a.m. hours of the night, (allowing him to breath in cold air to help soothe his harsh cough), a home visit from our amazing pediatrician over the holiday weekend, and a dose of decadron (yes, more steroids for my poor little guy), I think he is finally on the mend. Mason still has a very hoarse voice, but it's improving, and his cough has become more productive than the horrible tight barking that it was. His energy has been quite low but, the good news is: Mason's lungs have remained clear and his O2 sats have remained in the mid 90's.

Needless to say Mason's heart cath/ biopsy which was scheduled for this morning has been moved back until January 13, 2011. (2011? Wow! Where did this year go?) I am a little bummed about this, because I was anxious to see where he is at with rejection. But, he's hot showing any signs of rejection, and the risk of putting him under with anaesthesia right now while he's still getting over the croup are way too high!

We were still going to go up to Primary's last night for his scheduled monthly IVIg treatment until we got hit here in Utah with a white-out blizzard. The storm was so bad that I was not going to drive anywhere!!! I called and canceled. (This storm is much worse than the one everyone was scared about the day before Thanksgiving, yet there was not much warning this time!) Mason has now been rescheduled for tomorrow for his IVIg treatment. He and I will now spend most of the day and evening of New Year's eve at the hospital. Although, it is really just fine, because he's still too immune suppressed to join in any large and crowded celebrations right now.

I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season with a very happy new year to come! I will post pictures from our Christmas soon, but I need to go now. Mason is sitting right next to me and whining for "MaMa"! (Maybe I can get him to sleep so we both can catch some rest.)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Miracle Mason and his family want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! With hopes that your holiday season is filled with love, hope, joy, faith, miracles, memories, and many prayers of gratitude.

Here is the card that will take some extra magic this Christmas to make it to your mailbox this year.

(Click on the card to enlarge.)

I recently came across this song and wanted to share it with you:

"A child is born tonight in Bethlehem,

His mother holds him close and sings a sweet lullaby,

All the world lay sleeping, unaware that God himself has come in the night.

The shepherds tremble as the angels sing, and in their song the voice of God speaks peace to the world,

A miracle has happened: God has come and God has spoken...but the miracle has only just begun.

And the God who spoke is speaking still,

And the God who came still comes,

And the miracle that happened still happens in the heart that will believe,

And we see the miracle of Christmas.

So come to Bethlehem again and see the one who's come to rescue us: our saviour and king,

Bring your past, the joy, the sorrow, all your hope to find tomorrow,

And hear the words again: "Fear not and know that God is near."

For the God who spoke is speaking still,

And the God who came still comes,

And the miracle that happened still happens in the heart that will believe, and receive the miracle of Christmas.

The miracle.

And the God who spoke is speaking still,

And the God who came still comes,

And the miracle that happened still happens in the heart that will believe, and receive the miracle of Christmas.

Believe the miracle of Christmas,

Will you believe?"

("The Miracle Of Christmas" lyrics by Steven Curtis Chapman)

These lyrics bring tears to my eyes each time I read them. The Miracle of Christmas is what makes miracles possible in our lives today. The Miracle of Christmas is what has made Mason's miracles all possible.

May you all feel the love and gift of our Savior this Christmas and all year long. We want to send a special "Merry Christmas" and "thank you" to Mason's donor family. It has been 8 1/2 months since Mason received his Angel Heart and not one day has gone by that I haven't thanked them in Prayer to my Father Above. I truly hope someday we can meet.

It has also been 8 1/2 months since Mason surpassed all medical hope. He is the youngest patient known to receive a heart transplant having just one healthy lung. He is doing so well! We feel so BLESSED! Having Mason still with us and thriving this Christmas was certainly a far of hope and dream last year. The medical world had given us very little belief that this would be possible. And here we are together as a family with all our special and amazing 5 children. I couldn't ask for a better Christmas gift!!! (Okay now i just made my self cry! But at least they are tears of extreme gratitude and joy!)

I need to wish a very Merry Christmas to someone very special to our family! To Sammi who I call an "Angel" and "an answer to prayers" (while I was at Stanford with Mason she also earned the title "Super Nanny" by all our friends and family who saw her in action) I want to tell you how much we love you and appreciate all you've done for our family. All the hours you've donated to us this year out of pure LOVE will never be forgotten!!! (She went home to Vegas to spend 5 days with her parents. She's only been gone 2 days and we all ready miss her smiling face.)

(Sammi and our 5 kiddos)

One more quote I love:

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. - Agnes M. Pharo

And last, but not least, I leave you with this video:

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Birthday Boy Pictures & How is Mason Doing?

At this busy time of year, preparing for Christmas has kept me from updating our blog. It's amazing how much time we spend preparing for something that comes and goes so quickly! But for me, it's all worth it to see the joy in each other's eyes (especially our kiddos on Christmas morning) as we celebrate the true "Reason for the Season" - Christ's birth, life, and atonement. Let's just say I'm quite behind on things this year, especially Christmas cards! So if you do receive one in your mailbox there must be some kind of Christmas magic that gets it there!!! I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful holiday season. Don't get so caught up in the hustle and bustle to remember the real reason we do all this :) (That's a reminder to myself as well!)

A few pictures of Miracle Mason and our family:

Our 3 Year old boy whom is true proof that miracles still
exist and continue to! Hold on to your HOPE and DREAMS!
PRAY, have FAITH, and never give up! NEVER GIVE UP!!!


A birthday angel comes to our house during the night
and decorates the kids rooms. (Even though Mason and I
ended up on the couch that night-as usual- I stuck him in
his crib for the sake of a picture! Little stinker has NEVER
slept all night in his own bed. Hopefully once he's off his
steroids we will have better luck w/ that !!!)

Our family party that night included
2 sets of grandparents, our Angel Nanny Sammi,
Daddy, Mommy, and our kiddos. Small & simple!

Mason is opening his favorite gift which came
from Grandma and Grandpa.........

his very own recliner chair!
He looked like a king sitting on his throne!!!

Mason's #2 favorite was a new cell phone. Maybe
now he'll leave our phones and ipods alone!

Mason and big sister Kaitlin

It's almost impossible to get all 5 looking at the same time......... you can see!!! Ammon (5 1/2) in front,
Preston (9 1/2), Mason (3), Braiden (7 1/2) in the middle
and last but not least - our one and only girl Kailtin (12).

Mason loves in Grandma's and Grandpas!
Meet the 4 that were able to join us that night........

Grandma SanDee & Grandpa Wally

Grandma Marilyn & Grandpa Jerry

Here's Daddy giving Mason a pep talk about blowing out the candle.

Attempt 1 didn't work. The other kiddos blew it out for him!
So here's Mommy pep talking for round 2.

Mason's thinking about eating his cake........

took one lick........

and decided it was more fun to play with tissue paper
than to eat birthday cake! Of course!

How is Mason Doing?

As always, I want to be very careful not to jinx Mason. But, he is doing so so good!! We have gone almost 3 weeks without a single doctor appointment or blood draw. It makes me nervous, but our transplant team at Primary's saw no reason for another appointment before next week as long as no sicknesses or rejection symptoms manifest. Say some prayers, knock on wood, & cross your fingers that nothing gets in Mason's way of having a wonderful happy healthy Christmas at home!!!! 4 weeks in between appointments certainly means our brave little guy has come a long way from having 2 or 3 appointments a week. Hooray for Mason!!!

Positive: Mason is pulling himself to a stand all the time and isn't as scared to put his weight on his feet. Yeah! He is also being extra courageous and tasting more foods especially all the yummy goodies we receive this time of year! (notice I said TASTING, not EATING- but it's a step in the right direction)

Not so positive: Mason's average night sleep still = 3 or 4 hours! Yikes not so good! Those darn steroids! Can't wait until April when he can come off of them. This also means Mason's Mommy, that would be me, feels like a zomby most days. But, somehow I still make it through the day and accomplish the MINIMAL that a Mom needs to do (as well as what Mason's personal nurse needs to do).

Next week on the 29th Mason has his monthly IVIG appointment. And, on the 30th he'll have a heart catheter biopsy. For this I am truly nervous!! It has been 3 months (the longest he's ever gone) since his last biopsy. For those of you who are new to our blog. A biopsy of the heart is the best way to check for rejection. In the beginning, Mason had them every week. Then at 4 months post transplant he went to once a month biopsies. Now, his last one was the 30th of September-4 days shy of his 6 month anniversary of receiving his Angel heart. His last 3 biopsies showed ZERO rejection. Please remember Mason in your prayers that next week his biopsy will also be a ZERO, just 5 days shy of his 9 month anniversary!!!

I want to leave you with a quote I found yesterday. It instantly made me think not only of all our family, but also all the friends, family, and strangers who have served us in many many ways AGAIN, AGAIN, and AGAIN! Thank you with all my heart. Little by little as a family we are trying to pay your service and kindness forward.

“Just as Jesus used a child in His mortal ministry as an example for the people of the pure love they must and could have to be like Him, He has offered us the family as an example of an ideal setting in which we can learn how to love as He loves.

“That is because the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows we experience are in family relationships. The joys come from putting the welfare of others above our own. That is what love is.” ~Henry B Eyring