Last year, we chose a LIVESTRONG card that said, "Happy Healthy Holiday" on the front. The message I wrote inside holds true for this year as well:
What a year we have had and what amazing love and incredible support we have been given.
Georgia continues to inspire us every day, and we couldn't be more pleased with her progress and the care she has received. Ivy stands ever-steadfast by Georgia's side - comforting her, cheering her on, and entertaining us all. We are so proud of both of them.
We want to thank you for Keepin' Georgia on Your Mind and for taking this journey with our family. You donated more than $10,000 to cancer research and over 150 units of blood in honor of our girl. And while Georgia continues with treatment, the Peachy Keens will be raising awareness, funds, and hope every step of the way. We have learned many things this year, but the biggest is this: we are blessed.
We wish you Happy Happy Holidays and a Healthy Hopeful New Year!
Much love and gratitude,
Trevor, Courtney, Georgia Lee, and Ivy Francis
We interrupt this Twelve Years of Christmas series to bring you Georgia's Surprise Early Birthday Party!
Six of her best Parkside pals conspired with me to make this "the BEST birthday" Georgia ever had, and I daresay, we pulled it off! The girls were eager to practice hiding and surprising the Birthday Girl:
Once the guest of honor arrived, and was completely surprised (see above), we moved on to the pizza party portion of the night:
Next up, ice skating! At the beautiful Barton Creek Resort - where a portion of ticket sales is being donated to Make-A-Wish! Go, Austin friends! It's beautiful!
Then it was time for candles and cupcakes - and Mr. Spriggy pins for everyone, also to benefit Make-A-Wish!
Everyone had a great time, even though Mommy had to gulp when she saw that big number on top of the cupcakes!
Thank you, sweet friends!
Happy Early Birthday, my brave and beautiful girl!
... And on the ninth year of our Twelve Years of Christmas, my true loves looked like this:
And Georgia was a Waltzing Flower in The Nutcracker
I neglected to mention in the last post that Georgia's appointment on Thursday was pretty uneventful - except that Dr. Neff has injured his back and had to leave early for his own appointment. Too much monkey walk, methinks. Anyway, we hope he feels better soon! As for our own patient, her meds were upped to 75% of her usual dose, which is up from the 50% dose she was on since restarting her meds two weeks ago. It seems that if you ever have to hold medicine during maintenance, like we did for the past month or so, you don't restart at the full dosage, but this doesn't effect the protocol timeline like it would (and did) in the first four phases of treatment. She does have an appointment in two weeks (we were hoping for four) to check counts, but it's not scheduled on her birthday or her diagnosis anniversary, which is good because we'll be too busy partying! All this to say, Georgia is quickly wrapping up her sixth cycle of maintenance and has approximately one and a half cycles to go! Say it with me folks, FOUR MONTHS!
As always, we are beyond thrilled and thankful for Georgia's success in treatment and the incredible loving care she has received from everyone at Dell Children's Medical Center and the Children's Blood and Cancer Center. It is our mission and our pleasure to acknowledge and support the amazing folks working in those halls and the warrior children they treat, so as a small gesture, we'd love for our local Friends of Georgia to consider donating a book to the Half Pint Library this Christmas:
I can't think of a better way to honor the biggest book lover we know and to share the joy of reading with some very special kids. Out-of-towners can send books to us, and we'll be happy to deliver them to the hospital. Thanks, y'all!
Since 2002, one of our Christmas traditions has been going to see The Nutcracker. In 2007, Georgia was in a production for the first time, playing two parts: an angel and a mouse.
As it happens, Ivy also played an angel that year in her Christmas dance class demonstration:
And this year, we've got a new angel on The Peachy Keens! Our dear friend, Emily, is celebrating her recent (second!) victory over breast cancer by participating in The Ultimate Hike - a 28.3 mile, 1-day hike that raises funds for CureSearch. Click on the link above to learn more about the hike or click HERE to support Emily's brave quest and make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer. Thanks, y'all and thank you, thank you, Emily!
Meaning, we've talked at you people more than 200 times - wow! Okay, moving on ...
Georgia once again donned her Awesome Spokeskid for Childhood Cancer Research cap last night and helped out on a documentary project to raise awareness about corporate giving. She had a great time with the crew - all crammed into her room with their super cool equipment - and did an excellent job of telling her story. She especially liked the part where we were eating pizza and trying to pretend that there wasn't a camera capturing our every bite!
We really appreciate being asked to participate, so thanks, guys, and good luck with the piece!
We're looking forward to a nice family weekend, full of holiday fun: Christmas movies, a dance recital, baking cookies, finalizing Christmas lists and getting them in the mail to Santa, and maybe some more decorating, because one can never have too much of that. Even though we've already spent 20 hours on the tree alone. 'Tis the season - have a great weekend, y'all!
Christmas 2004 - our first family Christmas picture.
Last December, we posted several holiday gift ideas that, in one way or another, benefited childhood cancer research, patient services, or survivorship. The most important post, Give Life, is one that we are reminded of nearly every day as we continue to learn of someone else in need of blood, bone marrow, or an organ. We have seen the miracles these gifts provide, so we again encourage everyone to please, please donate blood and register to be a bone marrow and organ donor. These truly are the gifts of life!
And now back to Christmas 2003: The Year We Had Our Elvis Baby.
On October 1st, Ivy Francis Moore came barreling into this world with a jet black mohawk, smooth olive skin, and dark chocolate eyes. Upon meeting her moments after birth (as I was nursing her for the first time), three-year-old Georgia Lee turned to her daddy and said, "Is she a mammal?" And so was born the greatest Sister Power team of all time.
I wish I could say that this is one of those awkward poses that "trained" photographers always try to get you in - turn your head this way, turn your neck that way, hold your breath, count to a thousand, now SMILE! But actually, this was an Original Georgia pose, after she'd had enough of those awkward ones. The photographer wasn't even paying attention until I yelled, "Take it! Now!" And we ended up with one of my favorite pictures of all time - I think it's just hysterical. And you can see those little curls starting to sprout ...
Nearly every day, someone asks Georgia - or me - about her hair, now that it's all grown back. Was it this curly before? Did the chemo make it curly? Was it always this color? Even people that know her well seem to have forgotten that once our girl finally got some hair the first time around (at about 2), she was a regular Shirley Temple. Ringlets, y'all. Then, in the two or three years before she was diagnosed, her hair was longer and thicker, and the curl had relaxed some, but it still had a lot of body. When it started to come out at the beginning of treatment, we wondered aloud what it would look like when it came back, and the answer is - Shirley Temple 2.0. In fact, when I picked her up today for her clinic appointment (Counts are up - back on meds, back on track - yay!), she was fresh out of PE, still sweating from a good hour of basketball drills (Yes!), with springy curls bursting all over her head. It reminded me of a Christmas card picture from when she was about three, and thus, a blog post series idea was born: The Twelve Years of Christmas.
Throughout this month, along with the regular news and holiday specials, I'm going to post our Christmas card pictures from Georgia's first Christmas to now. You can then observe the evolution of her hair, her smile, and the undeniable light that shines from within her. Sounds fun, right? I mean, kind of random, but fun, too, right? Yes. So we begin at the beginning.
Send your mailing address and number of bracelets to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, y'all!
Plus Antarctica, Australia, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US Virgin Islands! Also? SPACE!