Monday, June 6, 2016

News that changed our life

I haven't blogged on this old, dusty thing in years. I figured it was time to start up again to journal and document my thoughts and experiences. I wrote this post three months ago but could never get myself to post it. I am ready to document our journey...

Over the past month, Hudson has been experiencing a lot of pain in his legs. At first, we thought it was because of his fallen arches and flat feet. I ordered him special shoes and orthotics. He started missing soccer practices and games because it hurt too bad for him to run. After every soccer game, he would be down and out for at least a couple days. He was starting to become lethargic and tired and not wanting to walk anymore. Then, two weekends in a row, he had a low grade fever. I knew that something was seriously wrong. We both knew he needed to be seen by a doctor and have blood work done. We weren't sure who to take him to see. I  got the strongest impression that we needed to take him to he emergency room at Phoenix Childrens Hospital. Steve thought that Phoenix Children's Urgent Care right by our house would be better, more affordable and closer. I knew that Urgent Care wouldn't have the equipment and expertise to really figure out the problem. As we couldn't come to an agreement as to where to take him, we knelt down in prayer and asked the Lord to guide us to where we needed to go to help our Hudson. As soon as we said amen and walked down the stairs, my brother-in-law, Aaron, who is a firefighter/EMT and works for Halo called and asked what was going on. He never medals in our business or calls really, so I knew that it was truly an inspired phone call. My family knew of our concern for Hudson and everyone was fasting and praying for him that day. He strongly encouraged us to go to the emergency room. He said PCH was the best, but Cardons Childrens Hospital was closer, so we could go there. He strongly encouraged the ER. As we were leaving, the thought came to my mind to pack a blanket, Hudsons pillow and some protein bars and water. It was going to be a long night. 
Us waiting in the ER at Cardon's Childrens Hospital
After we were seen by a very kind doctor in the ER, he thought it was possibly an infection in his hip, or influenza. He wanted to do blood work to see what it could be. When he came back and reported that influenza came back negative, my stomach dropped. He then told us that his blood work was concerning and wanted to send us to Phoenix Childrens Hospital because their oncology department wasn't accepting any new patients. When he said the world oncology, my heart sank. He gave us his blood work and x-rays to take with us and at 2:30am, we drove to PCH. My dad met us there at 3:30 in the waiting room and waited until 6:30 until he had to leave for work. They wanted to re-do his blood work to make sure that everything was correct. We waited. And waited. And waited in the most uncomfortable chairs I've ever sat on for what seemed like an eternity to see what the final prognosis was. Finally at 7:20 am, one of the fellows in the oncology department came into the room. As we looked at her with tired, worried eyes to see what it was, she told us that it was...Leukemia. My heart stopped. My stomach sank. I sobbed in Steve's chest while trying to muffle the sound while Hudson slept in the hospital bed right next to us. It was the most terrible and surreal moment. It was more of an outer body experience to be more accurate. 

So many thoughts ran through my head. How could this be? My Kid? No. My Hudson boy could not have cancer. Thats for everyone else. Not MY kid! Maybe they were wrong!... No, they were not wrong. Hudson has cancer. It all makes sense. All those times I told him he had to walk as he was begging me to hold him. All those soccer games he struggled to run but pushed through and ran with all his might. The pain in his legs was because he had cancer in his bone marrow. I felt so much guilt. SO much agony. As the doctor continued to explain what Leukemia was, she assured us that it was not our fault. It is not a genetic disease nor is it caused by the environment. It is really a fluke form of cancer but the best form of cancer you can have because it is the most treatable. That was reassuring.

We texted our family and close friends to tell them the news. I couldn't think of how to word it. All I wrote was, "There is no easy way to say this. Hudson has leukemia." That was all I could say. I was in shock and disbelief. It all felt like a bad dream, like I was going to wake up in my bed and turn over to tell Steve about my horrible nightmare and then go on with my perfect life. I kept pinching myself to make sure that it was real life.   

Hudson had to start his first chemo treatment on his 5th birthday, two days after his diagnosis.
This was Hudson peacefully sleeping after his first treatment.
We were blessed and humbled and 100% blown away by the outpouring of love we received from so many people. We were flooded with gifts, cards, texts, emails, surprise visits from Captain America, Darth Vader and other Star Wars characters! The hospital staff was phenomenal and sang him happy birthday while blowing bubbles, gave him presents and showered him with love and attention. It was incredible to see the immense love and goodness in this world.


It has now been exactly three months to the day since we took him to the emergency room. I will post more of our experiences soon. We have a lot going on in our lives with Hudsons treatments, building a house and getting ready for the big move and raising our three very active boys.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Larsen Family Summer Vacation to Big Bear!

I know it's already October now but I never got around to blogging about our fun vacation to Big Bear, CA over the fourth of July weekend. Better late than never I guess! We wanted to go on vacation with the whole Larsen family before McKay left for his mission.  My in-laws rented  an amazing cabin that fit all 22 of us! It  had a gorgeous view of the lake too which was an extra bonus. The trip started out with a bang when on our drive up, the boys ate Fiber One bars and both had major poo attacks at the exact same time in the car. I thought I bought plain old granola bars. Whoops! Steve and I got a pretty good laugh out of it! I'm not quite sure the boys thought it was funny though... #motheroftheyear

There was a jacuzzi tub on the balcony upstairs overlooking the lake. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever. Our room was right below the jacuzzi. When I was getting ready one morning downstairs in our bathroom, I thought the jacuzzi tub was coming through the roof because the whole room starting shaking. I panicked and grabbed the baby and ran out of the room for dear life! Then it dawned on me that it wasn't the hot tub-- it was an earth quake! It was pretty wild! The best part was when Meredith yelled so nonchalantly "Earthquake... "while she was doing her hair. Yeah, she's definitely from California. It didn't worry her one bit. I on the other hand, thought it was pretty darn scary! I guess you can say I'm an Arizona girl!
 We all went to the alpine slide on the fourth and we all had so much fun! The weather was overcast and in the 70s. It was heaven. The boys liked going on the "faster one" (even though they were both exactly the same... we let them believe there was a faster one!)
 I loved seeing all of the cousins bonding and playing together the whole time whether it was playing outside, on their iPads, out of the porch swing, or riding scooters in the driveway. They all had a great time together.
 Parker went on a pretty intense hike with the guys. Steve said he was really proud of Parker because it was a super intense, uphill hike and he made it to the top! 
 We had matching shirts that had all of our names in the American flag. Super cute idea! My favorite part of the picture below is little Hadley kissing Mikes cheek! 

 Everett got lots of attention and cuddle time from everyone!
 All American Baby!

Our boys still ask us weekly to go back to the cabin (Hudson especially!) It was definitely an unforgettable trip! I love spending quality time with family. There really is nothing better.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A change in perspective

      This is a hard post to write. I have so many emotions going through this crazy head of mine ranging from overjoyed with love, exhausted, frustrated, humbled and grateful. I have been feeling sorry for myself lately due to a demanding 6 month old that still wakes many times in the night and a challenging 3 year old who is extremely fun but when he's mad-- it's very hard to change his mood. I have found myself yelling a lot lately and getting upset with the older boys all the time. I get mad over the most trivial little things that really aren't that big of a deal. I have been praying for the Lord to help me be a better mom and to help control my temper. Then I got a call from my mom early this morning. I knew it wasn't going to be good news because of the hour she was calling at. She told me that a boy that grew up in our church, who's mom was one of my favorite Young Women's leaders, had committed suicide last night. He was a senior in high school and had his whole life ahead of him. I sobbed on the phone and couldn't imagine the pain and heartache his family must be feeling right now. When my kids woke up at 6:00am, my usual self would wake up annoyed and upset that they were up so early. But I held and hugged them both very tightly and told them both how much I loved them. We had family scripture study (which was only a few verses) but Parker read them and it really set the tone for having a more peaceful morning together. I want to cherish this time in my life when my kids are young because I know that they are going to grow up in a flash and I will wish I could have done things different and enjoyed this time more. I am going to focus on showing my family unconditional love and showing gratitude as much as possible. Life really is so precious and we never know when our last day on earth could be. Here's to living life to its fullest. I'm so grateful to our loving God who gave me the gift of being a mother to these precious little spirits. My trials have definitely been put into perspective today. My heart truly aches for the Edwards family. I hope and pray that they may find peace and comfort during this terrible, tragic time and know that they have many people who love and care about them. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

So much has happened...

I don't even know where to start. So much has happened these past five months! One cool thing the boys got was a custom bunk bed made by their awesome Uncle McKay! I showed him the bunk bed I wanted from Land of Nod and he made it! The boys love sharing a bunk bed!

 We have done a lot of swimming this summer! Hudson looks awesome all geared up in this picture. Now he WILL NOT wear his floatie. He is a "big boy" and doesn't need it!

 Uncle McKay left for his mission to Pennsylvania. It was sad to see him go because the boys absolutely adore him! But I know he is in the right place and will change lives spreading the Gospel for the next two years!

Another huge thing that happened was Parker started KINDERGARTEN!! We put him in a Montessori program and so far he is loving it. It was sad to send him to all day school. But I love seeing how much fun he is having and all the things he is telling me he is learning. My favorite questions are when he asks me about different states and countries. His favorite country right now is Australia. He talks a lot about that one for some reason! I also loved when he asked me if we live in North America or South America. What kindergartner asks those questions?! He is also reading so well and his writing has improved drastically already. Kids are like little sponges. It's so fun to watch them learn and grow right before your eyes. Pretty soon, I'm going to be asking him questions because he is so dang smart! I love that boy!