December 2011 rolled in and our family was excited about the upcoming Make-A-Wish trip. The first of the month brought a large envelope for Brianna and as we opened it it was filled with cards of encouragement and prayers from Grace Church in Mooresville. Grace has a service on Wednesday nights called Access. At this service they take all the written prayer requests from the week and pass them out to those in attendance. In groups of two or more each request is prayed for. At some of these services a “large” request is prayed over by all and I was fortunate enough to be prayed over at one of these on Brianna’s behalf earlier in the year. As we pulled the cards out of the envelope and I began to read them one by one my emotions took over and I cried. I can not tell you what it feels like in a situation such as ours what it means to have hundreds of people praying for your loved one, hoping for a miracle right along with you. We were so grateful to receive all the words of encouragement.
December was not going to pass us by without yet another hospital stay though. Bri had gotten sick one evening and she vomited. Since she had no muscle control she could not hold herself up to vomit over the side of the couch so we had to always be on the alert to try and run to her and get her up so that the vomit did not go down her windpipe and end up in her lungs. I was always so scared of this and I lived in fear every time I thought she was getting sick. I would go directly into panic mode and try to get her up as quickly as possible. Since Bri could not tell us whether she thought some went back down the wrong way we just had to monitor her. We thought she may have this time so we packed up and left for Riley. By this time in the journey when we decided to take her to Riley Angie automatically packed a bag for us as it was almost a guarantee we were staying. As expected we reached the ER and were taken directly back to a room. Oncology patients never wait at the Riley ER because of their compromised immune systems. The hospital takes no chances on exposing them to germs while sitting in the waiting room. We went through the normal triage checks and then we saw the doc who decided that we were going to stay. So, after the obligatory wait, we were taken to a room on the fifth floor, the HemOnc floor. By now we had experienced so many stays that the nurses knew Bri and we were taken care of very well. After spending a number of days in Riley we were discharged and allowed to go home. This was great news because we were concerned that Bri was not going to be able to go on her Make-A-Wish trip at the end of the month but now we were on our way home and looking forward to Christmas and then the trip. We were sent home with a suction machine to clean the mucus out of her throat to help her breathe. This machine would be a great help in the coming months.
Just before Christmas Brianna and Tori received a very special visit from Santa Claus who made a special trip into our home to bring the Christmas experience to Bri. We told Bri that someone was coming to see her and when the front door opened he had some sleigh bells and he was ringing them. Brianna’s eyes lit up and with what movement she had left in her arm she conveyed her excitement. He walked into the room and he had brought gifts and you could just read Bri’s excitement as he sat on the couch next to her. There was not a dry eye in the room as this little girl, who had lost so much, got to feel the magic. It was beautiful. after leaving Justin Bieber books and a few other gifts for the girls his visit ended. We are so grateful to him for his visit and we are grateful to our friend Mikii Sutton who asked him to be here. We are forever indebted to him. He brought joy to a little girl who had experienced little joy for the past 12 months.
In the months leading up to Christmas Brianna would lift her finger and pull her arm up the best she could and point at the TV when she saw something that she wanted. The main thing that she wanted was the Disney Princess castle and there was absolutely no way that we were not going to buy that for her. I thought the price was ridiculous but I would not deny that little girl any wish that she had. When Christmas morning arrived Tori woke us up and we started opening gifts. Tori would take the Brianna’s gifts to her and place them in her lap and then help her pull the paper off of them. When I pulled the big box out I carried it over to the couch where Bri was and I lifted it up to her. I helped her pull the paper off and when she realized it was her Princess castle you could tell she was happy. I spent the next couple of hours putting it together for her and then we got her into the floor and sat her in a support chair that the school had left for us and she played with what she could but there was very little she could really do. It broke my heart to watch her. She would only play with it on one or two more occasions.
With Christmas past we had the Disney trip to look forward to. More on that next time.
As I write this post it is Christmas Eve 2012 so we want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.