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Apr 15, 2009

New Pics... Abby Update - Great, Okay, Ugly

From Michelle:

Abby's doctors overall were very happy with how Abby is doing. Her blood counts are great and her abdominal wound is healing beautifully.

Abby has been begging us to take out her gastric tube. It is bulky, it leaks on her clothes and it hurts when Landis tackles her. She knows she will have to take thousands of pills over the next two years. She has learned to swallow all of her pills and has maintained her weight for a couple of weeks without using her gastric tube for nutrition. Her doctors were excited with all she has accomplished in a short amount of time.

Abby's oncologist and surgeon have both agreed to take out her gastric tube at her next appointment. Abby is on cloud nine.

The not so great news: Last night Abby caught a cold from her big brother. Not a big problem for a healthy child, but they need to be very careful with Abby. After months of worrying about her being out in public, she caught cooties at home.

Her chest x-ray was clear, so we were able to go home on antibiotics. Abby's white blood cells are responding beautifully. She is feeling icky, but no one is worried about her ability to kick the upper respiratory infection.

Because of how beautifully Abby's immune system is working, Abby's doctors are still confident it is safe for Abby to be in public. We are keeping her home (our whole family home), for a few days, out of consideration for others.

Even sick, Abby is feeling MUCH better than she has in the last few months. Tonight, she tried to talk me into going shopping. Got to love a girl with a plan. It is embarrassing to admit but Abby and I have the same cold. I would love to crawl in bed and sleep until it is over. Abby is running through the house, laughing and playing. She is an amazing little girl.

Abby's biggest, ugliest problem is her liver. Her liver functions had been improving, but today they are looking down right ugly. She is 2 tenths of a point from having her chemo held next week. When you are fighting an aggressive cancer, holding chemo is very concerning, especially when her white blood cell count is too high (ANC 6000).

We would appreciate your prayers that her liver counts quickly rebound to normal.

Last night Abby and her 16 year old brother, Garrett, were able to thank his Boy Scout Troop for doing a blood drive to benefit Abby. Garrett did all of the talking and just held Abby. She looked shy on stage, but when it was over, immediately asked if she could go back up front. She's quite the camera hound

Thank you so much for praying for Abby. Abby needs 2 more years of chemo. A lot of her chemo is hard on her liver. I am praying it is healed. Look up in the right corner: only 714 days to go!

Brent was getting some pics ready while I was writing... so here they are:


Michelle took this pic of Garrett and Abby last night at his function
where he thanked the Troop for the Abby Blood Drive.

If you look close, you can see HAIR standing up on
the top of her head!

Sami and Abby dressed up in Sami's traditional Ethiopian dresses.
The girls really love each other. They are inseparable at home
except when SpideyLandis gets between them.

I (Brent) grabbed my camera when a cat wandered into the back yard.
I had actually seen it several times and found out a litte later why...
it had birthed some kittens under my riding lawn mower. Yes, I found them
BEFORE starting the mower for the first time this spring.

SpideyLandis scales the platform I built for them on the side of
the swing set. It's fun seeing your kids actually enjoying something you built.

The BRAVE cat risks her life to see if SpideyLandis had good intentions.
He did, and after a cat kiss, Fred Flintstoned across the yard.

Abby and SpideyLandis just doing what kids do.
I love pictures like this, yes, even me, a macho guy.
Sweet candids of children are probably my favorite thing to photograph.

Landis as the soccer game watching Sami last weekend.

Abby loves being able to get out now and do things. She came to
Sami's soccer game too, and quickly found a friend to pose in front of.
She has become QUITE the camera hound since getting all this attention.

YOUR TURN! SUGGEST A CAPTION... BECOME INFAMOUS.
Easter morning... all dressed up and ready to go.
"Abby, Landis... come over here and let Dad get your picture.
Okay, smile... 1, 2, 3... say cheese..."
And this is what I got from lover boy. Take your best guess
at what this reaction was all about, or even better, just make up
something hilarious. If we choose your caption, we'll post it along with
your blog address if you want and make you famous!

49 comments:

Mary (in MN) said...

Over joyed to hear that Abby's lungs are fine!! Count me in as saying prayers for Abby and her liver!! Wow, do you have gorgeous children, absolutely loved all the pictures!! I'm no good at guessing captions so I'll leave that to someone else.

Anonymous said...

So thrilled to read such good report. Happy to praise God again, even during the storm. Even though you are medically literate, I just wanted to also bring to your attention there are many natural dietary ways to help boost the immune system - fruits, veggies, garlic - I'm a big proponent of Vit. C (for myself), then there's also the need for healthful bacterial flora to fight off yeast, etc. while going gang-busters with the antibiotics - yogurt, acidophillus capsules, kefir. I know you're busy but there are two books you can easily google "Probiotic Revolution" and "Fermentation Cookbook" - something like that. Liz

The Frost Family said...

I don't see any of the pictures!

I will continue to keep Abby in my prayers!

God's blessings!

MoziEsmé said...

Abby is looking so great! And all your family photos are wonderful - thanks for sharing...

~Brenda said...

Abby to Landis:

"You're getting sleeeeeepy..."

~Brenda
www.prairiebren.blogspot.com

whenpigsfly said...

"Abby, that is the grossest thing anyone has ever said to me in my life!!"
PRAISE GOD Abby is doingso well and OH YES we will be praying that cold goes away super quickly!
Linda
at www.smithsoup.blogspot.com

Cori said...

I just love your Abby!! She is too precious and what a fighter!! Have to think about the caption.

kelliebean said...

No caption ideas yet - I just wanted to say how cute that little peach-fuzz girl of yours was! :)

Camila said...

I Love Love Love all these pictures!!! God's beauty just springs out from them! Thank you!

Miss Anne said...

my caption:

"if you sing twinkle twinkle one more time........"

p.s. yay for abby doing so well, and get well wishes to you both re: your colds!

xo

Kelli said...

What a relief to see Abby playing and feeling a little better. I think of her daily and appreciate the updates!

tmm said...

"You make me get dressed up AND you want a picture of it!! Well you can point the camera at me, but you cannot make me smile! I am so over this!!!"

Joni In MN said...

Abby says, "Landis, did you get into my morphine?"

Of course we all know that wouldn't happen at the Riggs home so that's why it's funny!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
ALL these photos are beautiful! :) Your children look to be well behaved & well taken care of :) They are so precious Children of God!

Thanks so much for sharing! :)

May prayers are with Abby as she Heals! May God show His HEALING hands for Abby's liver, wbc & her cold. May His HEALING hands mendd the rest of the family's sicknesses & everyone will be able to go together as a family :)

Robyn said...

Beautiful pics!! I am sending up lots of prayers for sweet Abby!!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Praise God for Garrett! What a wonderful young man and great brother to look up to!

Praise God for the progress Abby has made!

Praying for her liver and for nothing to stand in the way of her next round of chemo!

Lovin' her hair and new bloomin' attitude :)

I love the photos of Sami and her in the traditional Ethiopian outfits. They are beautiful! Our girls would love them too! Did you get them there or order from here?

Praying you are ALL feeling better this morning!
Love and hugs,
Jill

GraceFromHim said...

Precious, Precious pics!
I am going to be praying for her to kick this cold and for her liver to heal. We have an awesome God. Praying here in Washington State for sweet Abby!

Momofsix said...

"Smile? Who can smile this early in the morning?
Ugh something Smells!"


(my quote)

Brent-
how do you make the photos pop out that way- how did you crop them?? And what software did you use?
Angie

Oh well, hey! said...

Love the update and pictures! We continue to keep Abby in prayer and I continue to neglect to finish what I have started for your girls. Aside from the shirt I have for Landis I have 2 years to get it over! ... and painted tounge pictures too - can you say too much on my plate!?!? Your family is in prayer and will pray for Abby's liver functions - she has come so far since I have been following her story. God is great! Enjoy!

"THAT kind of Cheese? I wanted Velveeta! Geeze ..."

The Leighton Family! said...

I am so happy for u Miss Abby! I will be praying for u to continue to get better. Caption"Girls...errr!!!"
www.theleightonfamilynews.blogspot.com

God Bless!

Angela said...

Wonderful pictures---I have no caption clue---I'm terrible at captioning...my stab would be: "That's the best you can do Bro?"

So glad to read some really wonderful news and I will begin to pray specifically for Abby's liver.

elteescat said...

Oh, I ate too many jellybeans! Bleagh!!!

Ali said...

Abby: "Oh, Landis. That's smile's not worthy to go on MY blog."

Ali said...

The girls look BEAUTIFUL in their Ethopian dresses. Sami is just exquisite!

Elizabeth Lyons said...

Most importantly, I LOVE hearing all the wonderful news about Abby. Continuing to pray every day.

Caption suggestion: "Today, call me Sultry SpideyLandis, please."

Liz
GotCrazyTwins.com

Kristi said...

I am so happy for Abby and for your family!! God is sooooo good!!

As for the caption:

"If she does NOT stop talking I am going to lose my mind!!!"

The Thornton Family said...

Oh my! That pic of the girls is just too cute for words! I love it!
And the fuzz on Abby's head is the first thing I noticed in that pic. I know she is so excited!
-----------------------------------

Abby (between clenched teeth): "Landis, if you would just smile he'll stop. I promise."

Landis: "Um, not true. You are proof that if you keep smiling, he keeps clicking!"


Stacey in Missippi

Nancy and Isaac McGee said...

I love, love, love seeing the pics of Abby and Landis outside playing. That is so great. I will keep praying for her and for the rest of ya'll to feel better soon.
Looks like Landis is thinking "oh brother here we go again" too cute

Ali said...

Ok, the morphine comment HILARIOUS! Seriously God has blessed your family! I am so happy to see Abby in such high spirits & having a great time with her siblings!!

PS-We were just matched yesterday! It's a boy!! Born April 3, 09! 7 lbs 4oz! Please pray for our Birthmother, our placement is to happen in 2 wks! God is good!

4 Little Men and Girly Twins said...

LOVE all the pictures... your kids are so darn cute!

and yeah for hair! Abby is such a beauty!

britt

Anonymous said...

oh this picture is just so cute! landis looks like he is thinking...oh no..I gotta have this picture taken with her? lol typical brother I would say lol.

it is so good to hear abby is doing so well! Praise the Lord prayers are being answered!

elaine
ps can't find my darn password lol

Anonymous said...

OOOH! I hate to admit it... BUT... I HAVE HAD TOO MUCH EASTER CANDY !!!!!!!

Love and God's Blessings to all,
Ellen Cameron

heatherkmd said...

Specific prayers that her liver enzyme issues will resolve and chemo can stay on schedule. I love the pic of the girls in the traditional Ethiopian dress. LOVE all the pics. Still checking in with your family and praying for you guys everyday!
LOVE
Heather, Dylan and Karsen in NC~

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

ok.. I know that I am crazy.. but, that is the funniest picture you've EVER posted!! I about died laughing when I saw it!! HILAROUS!!!

I have no catchy caption.. but, that was SO funny... Abby's eyes looking at him sums it up!! LOVE IT!!

So happy her Dr.'s visit was good.. yeah for Abby! Thank you Lord!
Contining to pray for her, the cold cooties, and her liver.. plus some GOOD rest for Mama! :-)
Hang in there... we are holding your family up to Jesus!
Have a great day!!!

aaensons said...

whats that smell that is making me want to pass out.

well that would be at my house anyways with my son. Praying for your whole family

James 1:27 Family said...

"Travis, Travis, Travis! If I hear "Travis" one more time, I'm going to be sick!"

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear the better news!

Caption.... You took me away from the Easter basket for ANOTHER picture?????

Erin said...

What exactly was in that chocolate bunny?

Bonnie said...

I'm not brilliant enough to come up with a great caption for that picture but I had to comment today. What a gloriously wonderful and happy post!!! It is so nice to see Abby looking so happy, to see hair growing back to "hear" a bit of happy relief in the post. Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!!! The picture of Sami and Abby in those dresses, too, is flat out incredible. They are both such beautiful girls. Oh the joy... thank you for brightening our day!

Anonymous said...

How come landis isn'twearing shoes outside? awesome pics:)

TracyC said...

Abby: Landis, I told you not to stay up all night watching that Spiderman movie Marathon.

Great news about Abby doing so well.

Mary (in MN) said...

I am definitely praying. Michelle thanks for the twitter updates so we can be specific in our prayers when needed! That is great that Abby and Brent are promoting blood donating. I have to be honest - I have always been to afraid to donate blood. Seeing how much it has helped Abby I will now check into where I need to go to donate. My son is 21 and has been donating since he was 18, I'm even more proud of him now seeing first hand (well sort of anyway) how it helps people like Abby!! Thanks for opening my eyes about blood donation!! Any chance you can post a link or something so we can all see the interview when it's aired?

Four babies 4 us said...

"Oh puulleee! Must I pose with her royal highness again?

Great pics!

You are always in my prayers,
Michelle

Seth and Christie said...

I have been following your blog for a while and have never commented. I love reading your posts and appreciate your witnessing about Jesus Christ. These pictures are beautiful! My caption: Ugh... too much candy...

Thanks for sharing!

Stella said...

Just wanted to let you all know that I pray for your family and think of Abby often, glad to hear positive updates. I also just wanted to let you know that I'm participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life atmy college this weekend. I will be walking in honor, memory, and support of some amazing people, including your little Abby. http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY09MW?px=9654381&pg=personal&fr_id=15849

Kelsey said...

"I should be saving the world. Instead, I'm posing for pictures!"

Carol said...

"Ummm Daaaaddy, I think Landis has been sneaking Easter candy again!"

Praying, and so happy Abby is home and having FUN!!!

The Gresham Clan said...

Praise God that Abby is feeling better. I will continue to pray for her over this next two years.

The gFamily said...

I love the pic of Sami and Abby!!! It is beautiful and so frame worthy!!

We continue to pray for Abby and your family everyday!!

Murphy Momma said...

So happy to read how life is improving so much for Abby and your family. Trips to the park, hair regrowing, tubes going to come out. I know this battle is far from over but I rejoice that the hardest part seems to be OVER! Please Jesus, let it be so!
Sharon