Izzy loves parties, but not pity parties.

If you want to feel sorry for someone, please don't feel sorry for her or our family.

This blog is for family and friends to keep up with Izzy and to document what a tough little girl she really is...

Don't worry - - she will kick cancers butt!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

She might be a little sick of going to the hospital

Or maybe she's sick of me taking her pictures?? Today Izzy had round 4 of her chemo. She doesn't look too happy in this picture, but about 10 minutes later she was sitting on her Dad's lap laughing her head off, so don't let her fool you. She gets really mad when the nurse or tech take her blood pressure, which is surprising considering that it is easy compared to the other things she has gone through. Plus, she starts getting mad and then her blood pressure goes up.

Today's visit she got 2 different chemotherapy medications because of that the home health nurse came yesterday to draw her blood and get her counts. We left the hospital on Christmas Eve and her ANC (Absolute neutrophil count) was 400 so she couldn't be around her cousins during Christmas, but her ANC has now gone up to 800. If it hadn't have gone up they wouldn't have done chemo today because this round is count dependent.

Izzy was pretty funny in clinic today. There were two other little girls around her age getting their chemo and at first Izzy didn't want one of them watching her T.V., but they I talked her into asking them to color with her. It was amazing watching her with these two little girls who have lost their hair. I keep wondering if/when it will happen. We've talked to her about it a lot lately. In fact she's said she doesn't want to loose her hair because her friends won't know who she is, she even went as far as saying that she thinks her friends will say "Is that Izzy or Dustin, Izzy or Dustin?". For some reason she thinks if/when she looses her hair she will look more like her Dad. She also told my sister Kim today that when she looses her hair she will just have a different style. If you know Miss Sassy Pants you will know she's definitely got a style of her own.

Much Love,


Sunday, December 26, 2010


Izzy has to get her antibiotic through her PICC 4 times a day. She has one that she does 3 times a day and runs for 30 minutes and then another one she gets once a day and runs for 36 minutes. Dustin has been incredible about making sure we stay on schedule and keeping everything very sterile and clean. Izzy gets a little bored when we do the antibiotics, but it is much better than having to be at the hospital.

Her home health nurse came today to change the dressing around the PICC and also check her wound from the removal of her PORT. She was pretty sore because once they place the PICC it can be very tender around that area.

This week we go in for chemo on Tuesday since the clinic is closed for the holiday tomorrow. We will have the home health nurse come draw her labs tomorrow to check her counts because this week her chemo is count dependent. When we left the hospital her ANC was low so she isn't able to be around kids, sick people, and crowds, so it was the pits that she wasn't able to go to Christmas Eve with my all my cousins at Grandma Burnside's house and she also missed out on Christmas day for brunch at my Moms. However, we are still happy she is home and we are focusing on the positive side of everything!

You can't see her PICC and the antibiotics that are sitting on the side of her in the picture, but I am amazed that we are able to do so much of this at home. It makes a huge difference for Izzy to be with her brother and her dog so I'm so glad to be home.

Much Love,


Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Christmas EVER!!

We are getting the best Christmas present ever....Miss Sassy Pants is getting to leave the hospital sometime this afternoon. She is waiting to get her PICC placed in her arm and then they will do x-rays, antibiotics, and observe her for a couple hours then we are OUTTA HERE!! I know Primary's would make Izzy's Christmas great, but being home with our family will be the very BEST!!

Here's wishing you all the very best Christmas ever!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Full body CT/Surgery

Here is Miss Sassy Pants on the wagon ride down to get her CT scan.

This is her buddy she got from my good friend Kristen. She named him Socko. It seems pretty fitting.

She held really really still while she went through the CT scan. We liked to call it a rocket ship. It kind of makes noises like a rocket ship.

Here she is holding tight to Socko while they wheeled her down to surgery. She also had to make sure she had her pillow pet. Thanks black Jessi :)

She had a furry visitor come see her yesterday. She couldn't believe how furry this doggie was. I was a little nervous about the dog being on her bed, but whatever makes her smile.

I'm headed back up to the hospital and hoping Izzy is doing well. Dustin said she hasn't had a temperature again since 4:30 yesterday when it got up to 103 degrees and they've been very diligent with the Tylenol. Here's hoping the fever stays down.

Much Love,


Best Big Brother EVER!

This guy has been such a great sport through all this. I came home last night to stay with Tommy. We snuggled in bed and watched Polar Express.

He came up on Monday to hang out in the waiting room while Izzy was in surgery to get her port removed. He saw her come out of surgery and he was really sweet. Izzy was pretty upset because of the surgery and I'm sure the medicine as well.

Here they are reunited for the brief time that they got to see each other. It's been a juggling act to try and be there for both Tommy and Izzy. They are both going through this major crisis and need support in different ways. It's not that we haven't had family and friends tell us that Tommy can come to their place to hang out because we certainly have, it's that he needs his parents just like any other 7 year old kid does. We will get through this though and our family will be stronger than ever.

Much Love,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Back in the hospital

This past week has been full of visits to Primary Children's hospital. We were here on Monday in clinic for chemo and a flu shot, Tuesday she has a fever and so we were back to clinic for antibiotics, Friday she had a follow up with her surgeon and he noticed her port looked red and possibly infected, Saturday the Dr called and wanted us to come into the ER for labs and antibiotics because of a positive culture from her Tuesday visit, then Sunday her Dr said we needed to come in and get admitted because the antibiotics we received the night before weren't going to be effective against the type of bug that is showing up on her cultures. Before we came up to the hospital we went to our annual Larsen Family Christmas party. Izzy had a great time and it was so great to see her having fun with all her cousins.

We are glad to be close enough to Primary's so these frequent visits aren't so difficult to get to. Yesterday, she got a full body CT scan to check to see if this bug is anywhere else in her body. She held still enough during the scan that she didn't have to be sedated. Her Dad and I were very proud. Then she went into surgery to get the port removed. She was in surgery for about an hour and the surgeon said the port had a bid puss pocket underneath it and was definitely infected. Tommy was able to come up and sit in the waiting room for Izzy and talk to her when she came out of recovery. He rode the elevator up to the 4th floor and then had to say "Goodbye" because at this point no one under the age of 14 can visit the hospital. The CT scan has come back good and they haven't found that the bug in her her lungs or any other concerning places in her body.

We are waiting on the results for exactly what type of bug it is that we are dealing with. She is on some strong antibiotics that go through her IV. The Oncologist has told us that she won't be able to leave the hospital until she has another central line, which most likely will be a PICC and that they are able to find out more about this bug. We obviously would really love to be home for Christmas and Dustin said he may have to break her out if they won't let us, but truly we understand and want Izzy as healthy as possible so we can enjoy Christmas with our family.

I still have some pictures and posts I wanted to do from the last time we were in the hospital, but at this point I will try to keep everyone up-to-date with the the here and now.

Much Love,


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blowing bubbles and eating popsicles

Because of Izzy's surgery it was important that she clear her lungs so that she didn't get any infection in them, so the nurses brought her bubbles and some pin wheels. Of course she wouldn't do it when we asked her to, but as soon as she wanted to she went to town on blowing bubbles....

She finally got to have a Popsicle on Wednesday, what surprised me is that she only ate half of the half of a twin pop. She chose a red Popsicle.

The next morning she wanted a purple Popsicle.

This trip she walked all the way down to the room where they keep all the treats for the patients and all the way back. I tell ya friends, she is tough!!

She looks so tiny with all the stuff she had to drag around. It was like a parade when she would go down the hall.

Here she is walking back to her room. She insisted on holding the Popsicle and the drink.

Back in her room. Don't you love how the nurse put the Popsicle through the lid to help with holding it and having it drip too much. Those nurses are SO smart!!

*Sorry about the size of the pictures. They are small because I took them with my phone. I don't know how to get to any bigger, but if anyone out there does let me know.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Visits from some furry friends

While Miss Izzy was doing her make up (compliments of Destiny, Ella, and Kobee) she got a visit from a furry friend. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but the morning of Izzy's surgery Dustin asked her if she wanted anything at all from home. Her response was "Just Rogue, Dad". Rogue is our chocolate lab who Izzy just adores. Thanks Pat and Sarah for taking care of her while we were in the hospital. I know she enjoyed hanging out with her cousin Rocket.

This is Elliot the Australian Labradoodle. He is part of the ITA-Intermountain Therapy Animals it is a nonprofit organization. He was so sweet.

Here he is praying for Izzy. Izzy noticed his cute Silver nail polish and his trainer was quick to tell us it's actually Chrome considering that Elliot is a male. LOL! Izzy thought that Elliot was alright, but she still missed her dog at home.

The next day she has a visit from this beautiful chocolate colored cat.

Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of the cat. However, I do remember the trainer saying how rare it was that a cat was able to pass the certifications to become a therapy animal.

I swear I'm going to get this blog up-to-date with all the pictures and details from the hospital, so don't give up on me.

Izzy has been doing considerably well with the chemo this past week. My only concern is that she has no appetite and she is already so skinkin' skinny. She doesn't act lethargic or anything so I'm sure she isn't dehydrated, but we will talk to her dietitian and doctor to see if they recommend anything.

Tomorrow we go in for round 2.

Much Love,


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things that passed the time and her cute robe

Izzy wanted her Barbie's from home so her Daddy-O went to get them in the morning and when he brought them back to her she asked "Where is Jake, Dad?" both of us looked at each other confused and she said "The boy barbie doll!" Duh! She played with her Barbie dolls and loved the new Bell from Beauty and the Beast that Grandma Shanna got for her. She has always likes to change the clothes on her dolls so sorry about the naked Barbies.

She loved playing with play doh and showed Uncle Ron and Brooke how fun it was by making a mess of it in her hospital bed.

At this point she still wasn't able to eat or drink, which was pure torture for both her and us. She kept asking to eat and we had to tell her not yet. I swear this was one of the reasons she was ornery. She hadn't eaten since Sunday at dinner and we had soup. All I know is that when I miss a meal I'm in a bad mood.

She got this warm and cozy bath robe that she wore when we would go on our walks. The first walk she had to go on her nurse bribed her and told her she just had to walk down the hall and we could find a wagon and she could go for a ride in it. She was so cute she actually told me that she would go on a walk if I went home and got her a stroller. Smart kid, right!

Much Love,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Post Surgery

After the surgery Izzy had to get out of bed and move to the chair 2 times before she went to sleep. She would cry and say she didn't want to do it and wanted me to move her, but it was important for her to get that movement in so she would get better. It wasn't easy with all the tubes and wires attached to her. It was honestly quite a process. We would have to move the tower around so that everything would stretch and make sure her catheter wasn't in the way either. The picture above is of the first time she moved. She had to sit there for about 15 minutes and then get back into the bed. She didn't want me taking pictures of her, but she and everyone else knows me better than that.

Once she had moved from her bed to the chair and back she was exhausted. She fell asleep and even missed her cute little cousins coming to visit. I showed her pictures of Rayanne, Ellie, and Rhett coming to see her, but she was all confused and sad she didn't get to see them.

By the second time she was all about doing it by herself and didn't want any help. That's my Izzy, Miss Independent. This is her playing on Grandpa Kevin's iPad and telling me to stop taking pictures.

It meant a lot to her to have Aunt Kimmie come and spend time with her. She combed her hair and made it look pretty.

Izzy loves to color and do any type of art, so we were blessed to get lots of coloring books and crayons so she could keep her mind off what was going on. We saw this side of Izzy a lot.

She could get pretty mean and upset. I really think it was her way of controlling the situation. She had been poked and prodded so much and wanted to have a little bit of say in things. And we hadn't even been in the hospital for 24 hours yet.

And then with all that energy she spent getting mad she would fall asleep again. I think that it was so too much for her to understand why this was all happening. We went to the hospital and she was feeling fine. Now she had an incision clear across her belly from taking out her kidney and the tumor and was no longer feeling good.

I want to give a big shout out to my friend Danielle who has helped me to get this blog going and put a layout and music to it. Izzy LOVES Taylor Swift and would spend hours watching youtube videos of all her music videos.

**Other updates** I went back to work last night. It was extremely difficult because I wanted to be home with Izzy, but my PTO had run out and the company Dustin was working for let him go for violating his 90 day probationary period. It's okay though, he was miserable there and now he can spend some time finding a job with a company who really cares about their employees. I know that this is just a blessing in disguise and we will get through it!

Much Love,


Monday, December 6, 2010

A week ago today

It's crazy how much Izzy has healed since her surgery. It breaks my heart to see this picture of her, it was so hard to see her like this, but if you could see her now you wouldn't believe how great she is looking.

The day of her surgery was very nerve racking. They prepare you pretty well, but I didn't want to let her go into the surgery without me. However, no parents were allowed so I settled for sitting in the surgery waiting room while we received updates via phone from the surgeons nurse every 1.5 hours. Here she is with a barbie while they explained what will happen in to her in surgery. I could tell she was more excited to be playing with the barbie than anything else. Grandma Shanna had done her hair to keep it out of her face and Izzy was not happen to be wearing the clothes they gave her.

Then here she is getting rolled down the hall on her hospital. She was looking up at the ceiling because they have butterflies painted on them.

We were going on little to no sleep so she got a little tired. Big Yawn!

Here she is in a daze while her parents and grandparents were talking to the surgeon and asking every imaginable question.

And then I look over and she is out like a light. She was so tired she fell asleep.

I don't know if it was better that she went into surgery asleep or not. It may have been worse on her and us if she was awake when we gave her a kiss and hug. I just remember walking down the hall to the waiting room bawling and Dustin holding me.

Much Love,


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lots of visitors

Izzy loved to have her friends and family come visit her. She especially loved to have her little friends come. Once they told us she could no longer have visitors under 14 she was a little bummed. Here are a few pictures of her visitors...

Presli and Easton

Aunt Sarah and Ellie



Uncle Pat and Aunt Kim

Uncle Bobby and Aunt Dani


Kalli (Izzy and Kalli were born only a few days apart)

Baby Taylee

Kobee, Ella, and Destiny

And this was only part of who came to visit. I didn't get pictures of all the family and friends who came just to show their support and love for Izzy and those friends of mine who were there for some emotional support for me.

Thanks everyone! I have lots of pictures to put up. I think Izzy got sick of me taking pictures, but I want her to be able to look back and see all that she went through. Check back soon!

Much Love,