Brinley went to clinic yesterday for her chemo.  How quickly we are reminded of how miserable this can be for her!  Clinic went fine, she was happy and everyone commented on how good she looks (told ya!).  She gained almost a pound and actually grew in height for the first time since she started chemo!  Almost an inch!!  She got her vincristine and started 5 days of steroids.  It kicked in almost immediately this time.  Usually it takes a couple days, but she was up until 1AM crying that her tummy hurt.  Today she is crying a lot and her jaw pain is back, she is just feeling sick.  Blasted chemo.  It makes me so sad for her to feel sick.  I really enjoyed that break, now we will have a week of trying to help her as best we can to feel okay.  I know it is only a week, but I think having so much time to feel normal and then coming back to this same old story is a little frustrating.  Especially knowing this will be the cycle for almost 2 years.  My sister put it perfectly, it's like at the beginning of spring, and you get a taste of the beautiful weather and get excited for it, you feel the warm sun on your face, you take the kids to the park, you smile just to step outside.  Then another winter storm hits, and you are so stinking sick of winter that you want to scream, because that nice weather felt soooo good.  That's what it feels like, we'll have a winter storm once a month.  And we are tired of winter.  We are tired of giving our 2 year old chemo.  We are tired of her feeling sick.  

Still glad she's in maintenance and fever free for over a month now, though.  That's something to be thankful for for sure!  Go Brinley!  

Taylor and I went to Wicked this weekend. It was so much fun to go together with all the girls (My sis Melanie and her girls went too). She looked so cute we had to take a picture, and this was one of those moments where I looked at the picture and my mouth dropped and I thought "No way this is MY DAUGHTER! When did this happen??? She looks so stinking OLD!!!"

Some Easter pictures.

Um, does the term bad mommy come to mind? Yikes! And in her Easter dress!!! Lidia - I promise this all came out of the dress you made!

We had a really nice Easter. We all got to go to church together. It felt so good to have such a good day. We had an Easter dinner and had some family over. I felt so happy to have our family with us. Aunt Nancy, Alissa and Craig, Dennis, David, my kids. I love being surrounded by my family and I love cooking for all of them, it's my way of putting my feelings into something they can enjoy (hopefully, hehe). I know that sounds cheezy, but I'm cheezy. I admit it.

As we did our Easter egg hunt this year, something interesting happened. I suddenly had a very vivid memory of last year's Easter. It brought tears to my eyes, because that felt like such a distant place from where we are now. How our lives have changed in 1 year! I could picture my little Brinley, no cares in the world, hunting for eggs. Totally innocent. She is a different girl now. Not for the worse, not for the better, I can't describe it. Something about going through trauma like she's been through just changes you. I think there will always be a definite line in our lives, before cancer and after cancer. We are a different family. I had to find our old Easter pictures and just look back on our lives last year. It was fun to smile at how things were, and to cry about how I miss it. It was almost like greiving for something we have lost. Sounds crazy, but that's the best way to describe it.

Brinley this year...the hat she had didn't last longer that 10 minutes at church...she's not much into hats.

Brinley last year. I had to laugh at the weeds in the background of this year's picture, and last years has such nice green grass....hmmmm. I really didn't do that on purpose, just picked a bad spot for a picture!

Now the good news. The Atonement has taken on a new meaning to me. For many years now, I have been grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. That is not new for me, I love Him and have loved and worshiped Him for quite some time. But how that love has grown in the last 7 months! I have learned to truly RELY on the atonement. We need it! For repentance, for resurrection, for comfort. He suffered partly so He could understand OUR suffering! So he would have a perfect understanding of what we suffer. He understands it perfectly, because he has suffered it Himself. I have a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the Atonement that I would not have if we had not gone through this. There you have it, I am learning from this. I wish I could just learn it from a book, but some things we don't learn from a book.