Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Fifth Dimension

The bravest girl in the coolest t-shirt

So today begins the fifth cycle of maintenance! And for the rest of these three-month cycles (maybe two or three more?), Georgia only has day surgery once per cycle - progress! The Finish Line really is coming into focus more and more, especially since we learned today that we actually set a date to stop meds, somewhere around the two-year anniversary of the start of Interim Maintenance (again, that was April 29, 2010 - for those of you keeping score at home), so technically, we could be having a big ol' party nine months from tomorrow! Wow. And as fast as the past 19 months have flown by (mostly), it will be here before we know it.

Today's 22nd day surgery went very well, as per usual. This time, the note we wrote on Georgia's back said, "Expelliarmus!" with a "No Pokes" sign below it. Dr. Neff loves Harry Potter, too, and when he came out to give us an update after the procedure, he had his papers rolled up like a wand, casting spells left and right. These two get along very well, have I mentioned? : )

Georgia's counts look great, and besides a sore knee that we're keeping an eye on, she got the official go-ahead for the BIG adventure she's been waiting a long time for - CAMP! In about 10 days! We've got five days of steroids and a whole bunch of packing to get through before then, but she is bursting with excitement. More on that later!

Thank you, as always, for the prayers and good thoughts today - they really make a difference and mean a lot to all of us. Please keep it up, and have a great weekend, y'all!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well, Boo. And Yay!

It seems that the excitement of Camp Hermione, plus a weekend with favorite cousins, left Georgia too pooped for film camp this week. She tried to rally this morning, but I could tell she just wasn't up to it. And because she never complains, when she says she doesn't feel well, she doesn't. Luckily, one of her favorite nurses/playmates happened to be in town, so she and Lolly will be having a few days of resting and relaxing before we head in for day surgery on Thursday.

As for the YAY part of this post, the Peachy Keens are in second place for fundraising for the Austin CureSearch Walk! All of our art show donations have now been recorded, so we moved up the team total board a couple of places, and guess who's at the top of the individual total board? Why only the hardest working 11 year old warrior in the world! And the cutest, I have to say:

But we're not resting on our laurels - we have $1500 to go to reach our goal, and we'd love your help in getting there! Click on the walk icon in the sidebar and help close the critical gap in research funding for childhood cancers. Thank you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Super Groups Need Super Support!

This month, we're highlighting two very SUPER groups we've been involved with: SuperSibs! and Superhero Kids. Both provide support and just plain old FUN for childhood cancer patients and their siblings, and we're so grateful for all they do. We'd love it if you would learn more about them and maybe donate to their worthy causes!

First up is SuperSibs!, which recognizes and celebrates the siblings of kids in treatment. Ivy loves the cards and gifts she's gotten in the mail, and it's nice for her to have some special recognition for the way she's handled herself throughout Georgia's journey. SuperSibs! understands that when a child has cancer, their siblings need healing, too, and we can see the difference that extra pat on the back has made to Ivy. An easy way to support SuperSibs! is to vote in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge this month as they try to organize exhibits of sibling art in libraries around the country. The Top 10 projects win $50,000 - so please vote!

Another amazing group that is near and dear to our hearts is Superhero Kids, which specifically addresses quality of life issues for the patients and families of the Children's Blood and Cancer Center (aka "the clinic"). They provide financial assistance as well as fun activities for the kids (and their siblings) who often have to spend many hours at the clinic each week. We've participated in some of their events and are really looking forward to the Austin CowParade, which will benefit the Superhero Kids Fund and Dell Children's Medical Center. Maybe you can bid on a cow of your own or just make a donation here - we appreciate it!

On the home front, two siblings around here have both had banner weeks this hot, hot third week of July. Georgia had a truly magical week at Girlstart's Camp Hermione, where she used her STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math) to design a Hogwarts dorm room, build a Quidditch tower, and compete in a Defense Against the Dark Arts Catapult Challenge. She had a ball, and that enthusiasm will come in handy in her STEM class at Ann Richards this year!

Ivy was in hog - er, horse - heaven this week at the beautiful Switch Willo Stables. She has been looking forward to "horse camp" since last summer, and she jumped right in to her first ever English riding lessons. Our true blue cowgirl even learned how to post! She had such a great time, she's doing it all again next week, while Georgia heads back to film camp. It'll be a busy two weeks, but both girls are doing things they truly love, and we're so thankful that everyone is healthy and happy and enjoying themselves!

Finally, we're just a little over two months away from the Austin CureSearch Walk, and the Peachy Keens are hard at work raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. We'd love your support, so please click on the walk link in the sidebar to get to our team page. And thank you to my thoughtful co-workers for the early birthday present - a generous donation to the cause!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wild About Harry!

So this is the end of the Harry Potter movie series, and we've been gearing up for the big event for the past two weeks! We had a movie marathon over the Fourth of July weekend, but we saved the first part of The Deathly Hallows for last night. We had pizza and read the last 30 or so pages of the book then watched the movie and were well-prepared for the second part today. Georgia and Ivy even dressed up - themselves and the car!

The movie was excellent and so worth the wait! But we hated to say "goodbye" to such dear friends. Thankfully, we can read the books again and again and pay Harry and company another visit sometime at Hogwarts - Platform 9 3/4, here we come!

My favorite quote from the entire series comes from Professor Dumbledore in The Chamber of Secrets:

It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

I know this to be true because I have seen it in the choices Georgia has made since her diagnosis. She has chosen to be positive, to fight, and to help others by sharing her story, and Trevor and I couldn't be more proud of her. She is unstoppable!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

At The Old Ball Game

Thanks to our good friends at the local chapter office of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, we were invited to the Round Rock Express game Sunday night - and we had a BALL! Taco Bell is a major contributor to the Austin LLS Light the Night Walk each year, and they opened up their corporate box to our family and a few other lucky guests. Georgia and Ivy enjoyed the food - especially dessert, of course - and we had a perfect view of the game. We even got to see a marriage proposal (thankfully, she said yes!). Unfortunately, the Express lost in the end, but Georgia did get to say "hi" to her old friend, Rojo Johnson - still wearing his Georgia bracelet.

The best part of the night was that Georgia was feeling so great. Friday night is Methotrexate night, and every now and again, it leaves her feeling pretty puny on Saturday - which was the case this week and caused the girls' getaway with Trevor's parents to be cut short. Georgia just rested up and bounced back, ready for action on Sunday, and she hasn't slowed down since. That girl, such a trooper!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hey! We're Walking Here! Again!*

Georgia and the Good Dr. Neff at the 2010 walk

The Peachy Keens are at it again! We're dusting off our walking shoes and hitting the road on Saturday, September 24th for the Austin CureSearch Walk! CureSearch funds the lifesaving research of the Children's Oncology Group (COG), a collaborative of hospitals that treat more than 90% of children with cancer in the United States, including our warrior girl, Georgia Lee.

The CureSearch Walk celebrates and honors all those whose lives have been affected by children's cancer, while raising funds for research. We know that there are (unfortunately) many cancer organizations out there that can benefit from our fundraising efforts, but we've chosen to focus on those that have directly impacted Georgia's care - COG (through this walk and St. Baldrick's) and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (through TNT events, Pennies for Patients, and the Light the Night Walk). We so appreciate these groups and the strides they have made in treatment and cure rates, and we want to do our part to further their work to the ultimate goal - a CURE!

So, to you, our dear, generous Friends of Georgia (FROGs?), we invite you to join us on our walk! Click the link in the sidebar to learn more about COG, the walk itself, or to donate to our team! Or better yet, sign up to walk with us! Registration is $10 for adults, and free for kids under 16. You can set up a page to fundraise and help us reach our goal of $5000, or just come walk with us. We're off to a great start, thanks to the huge successes of Georgia's Lemonade Stand and the Parkside Art Show, and we want to keep the momentum going! Let us know if you have any questions, and THANK YOU again for supporting our amazing girl!

*Reposted (with a few edits - but the same enthusiasm!) - from August 2010.