Friday, January 31, 2014

Capturing The Moments

Its time for some catching up. Time flies when you are having fun! As my kids get older it seems like I have less and less time to blog. (I thought as they got older I'd have more time, but that's not the case!) After a brief update you will see that I at least tried to 'capture the moments' of some of our fun and special times the last 2 months months. 

For the most part Mason has stayed pretty healthy lately. He has gotten sick a couple of times since his birthday, but the good news is..... he has handled it just fine and stayed out of the hospital! A couple days after his birthday he got sick with a fever and a nasty cough, which ended up being the Parainfuenza (in the same virus family as croup). He felt much better after about 5 days, except for the cough which lingered for about 3-4 weeks.

 Then after about a week or so of being almost cough free he came down with the flu. Yes the actual Influenza A that our whole family got the flu shot for in September!  But fortunately, because he did have the flu shot he wasn't too sick ! I'm sure it also helped that we got him on Tamiflu (anti viral which helps lessen the symptoms and length of the sickness) right away. After about five days of fevers and feeling crummy the only thing that has lingered is a night time cough once again. (If you are wondering how we know what Mason gets sick with..... because of him being immune-suppressed, we usually have blood work and viral panels done to see if it's anything that needs to be treated.)

As for his special heart, we have been back to transplant clinic twice since his 'good news' biopsy at the end of November. Each time his echo has looked beautiful! He also has blood work done about every 7-10 days to check his Prograf level. It's especially important with all of his rejection last year to make sure he is getting the right dose of his Prograf. Mason also continues to get his monthly IVIg treatment through Hemoc. Our next transplant clinic visit isn't scheduled until March 20th when Mason will also be having a biopsy and cardiac MRI. (It  will actual be his routine annual biopsy and cath, but because of the recent rejection he would've needed a biopsy in March anyways.) Honestly I am nervous because we have never gone more than a month in between transplant clinic visits, but his Doctors think he is doing great right now! So, hopefully no sicknesses will get us up there sooner!!!

The only other matter of concern is that his transplant doctors are a little worried about the amount of time Mason has been on steroids since his transplant and how it could affect his bone health. Mason was on steroids for 18 months post transplant and now again for almost another 10 months. Chronic steroid use can sometimes cause brittle bones. Mason is on a waiting list to see a Pediatric bone health specialist, but in the meantime the transplant team wants him to get a dexa-scan (bone density test). He is scheduled to get one at the University of Utah Hospital on February 1o which is when we will be up at Primary Children's for his next IVIg treatment. I will update with what we find out.

Now on to some captured moments of health and fun......

The birthday boy woke up to a room full of
streamers and balloons.

So crazy that my baby turned 6!!

Mason was excited all day as he anxiously
awaited his friend birthday party that night!

It was so wonderful that Mason was healthy
enough this year to celebrate with some friends!

Some musical chairs,

a baseball pinata,

a bunch of sweet little children,

birthday presents,

 new swat gear,

a special birthday cake,

and we had a fun celebration

with a very happy 6 year old birthday boy!!!

In December Mason participated in his preschool's
Christmas program. The only problem was that he'd
missed about 5 weeks of school while he was on the high
steroid doses and then getting sick, which means he 
he didn't really learn the songs! But, that didn't seem
to phase him. He just sat up there smiling and looking cute!

And, Mason even had a solo part where he was supposed
to sing at the microphone for the song "Rocking Horse
Christmas" while the other kiddos sang behind him. Let's
just say he didn't know the song at all, but at least he had
a big smile on his face!!! Yee haw Mason!!!

Holiday festivities.....

What would the holidays be without a good
ol' gingerbread house making contest?!

On our way to church for Christmas Sunday.

Dressed up and excited for Christmas Eve.

Opening one present on Christmas Eve
 usually mean new PJ's!

And the long awaited Christmas Morning.....

As usual we woke up bright and early to
spy on Santa from the top of the stairs.

And then the fun began....

 Christmas seemed to come and go too fast!
But we felt very blessed to have a wonderful 
Christmas as a family celebrating 
the love and life of our Savior!

Mason had fun spending time with cousins
 this holiday season. (I let my guard down more
than I ever have before trying to protect him
from too many germs at large family 
gatherings! As he gets older he doesn't
want to miss out on the fun!)

One of his favorite activities was the annual Strickland
roller hockey game where he tried out roller skating,
rode his scooter, and his wiggle car with all his 
little cousins.He loved every minute of it!

News Year's Eve is always a fun party
night with cousins at Grandma's house.....

The annual lighting of the 
New Year's Eve Chinese Lanterns.

On New Year's day when the family activities 
slowed down, we finally made it up to
Temple Square to see the beautiful Christmas Lights!

Sending you all hope of a New Year full
of love, health, and happiness!!

Thanks for checking in on Miracle Mason
and the rest of the Strickland clan!

"Hold on.
 Hope on.
 Fan the flame of your faith
 for all the things are possible to them that 
~Jeffrey R Holland