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Dec 25, 2009

Abby Update - Christmas Postponed

From Michelle:

Abby is hurting and the blizzard kept extended family from celebrating with us on Christmas day. I couldn't bare to watch Abby silently suffer on such a special day so Brent and I decided to move the celebration to a day Abby can enjoy with family we love. We are hoping Abby will be ready on Sunday.

Abby really needed a spinal tap to remove the excess fluid responsible for her headaches on Christmas Eve. The roads were dangerous so her doctors opted to gradually increase her pain medications until she was more comfortable. It was a good plan. It should have worked much better than it did. We were able to take the edge off Abby's pain but she has had a hard couple of days.

The roads are a little better now; not great, but better. Abby is asking me to take her to the hospital for a back poke (and she knows exactly what that means). For a 4 year old to ask for a spinal tap, you know the headache has to be bad. Abby will be admitted to the hospital in the morning. She is thankfully sleeping now and we will leave as soon as she wakes up.

Abby has an appointment with her primary oncologist on Monday. I am praying we can come up with a better game plan then. I agree we need to attempt to fix Abby's increased intracranial pressure with medication before we move towards surgery but we need to do this as quickly as possible. What we are doing TODAY isn't working.

Abby is seen by a large group of wonderful oncologists. This has worked to Abby's advantage many times in the past. Unfortunately, if the treatment plan isn't very clear there can be delays in making decisions/changes only because a doctor who is not Abby's primary doctor is in the clinic. Taking a few extra days to make a decision may not sound like a big deal but when you are rocking a child you love as they cry in pain, it is an eternity.

We have two more medications to try. I will let them try just in case they will keep her from needing the surgery but it is hard to be patient. I don't want Abby to go through any more surgeries but I am ready for this intense pain to stop.

Please pray for us as I drive Abby on the slick roads tomorrow. Like most Oklahoma drivers, I don't have a lot of experience driving in winter weather.

Pray Abby is well sedated for her spinal tap and not scared.

They are able to remove enough fluid to stop the high pressure headaches without removing too much and giving her a spinal headache.

For medication changes to be made that will be helpful.

Wisdom for all concerned.

Thank you for thinking about Abby this Christmas. Thank you for praying for Abby and for caring. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I can't wait to see pictures on your blogs and facebook. While I am grateful Abby is still here with us, I still long for a Christmas where she is free from pain.

Here's how Abby looks when we say,
"Abby, look up and smile for the picture!"

Here's how how she looks the rest of the time
(Does it really need any explanation?)...

... and then a few seconds later, asleep again from a
combination of weariness and meds.

At one point Abby crawled up under the Christmas tree.
I ask her what she was doing but she just stared at me.
She's trying so hard to have fun. I have no idea what she was doing.

We let the kids open one gift...

...Sami is really being a big help and enjoying Christmas.

SpideyLandis was a wild man in the snow.
It's funny... he wimpers like a baby when he gets cold
but if he is doing something fun, it doesn't affect him.
Being the bad parents we are, he is actually in his pajama bottoms
in this photo. They wanted to go outside for about 5 minutes
right as the sun was going down so he just threw on
his boots, coat and hat right over his jammies.
His paper thin PJ's evidently are super warm!

Sami loves the snow. It's the first time she's
gotten to play out in it. No snow in Ethiopia where she lived.

The snow brightened up Abby for a few minutes.


rachel said...

came here from twitter and did not want to read without leaving a note...praying that abby is in less pain soon. the photo of her by the tree is heartbreaking.

sending get well wishes from australia.

Laurel said...

Praying for your family! So sorry that things have been so difficult lately.

LOVE the snow pictures!

Laurel & the gang :)

Emma said...

Oh no, that's a bit rubbish she's not good. must be frustrating. I will keep her in my prayers as long as needed - and you lot too. Praying that the New Year will bring a 2010 which will be a great year for Abby.

Thanks for keeping us updated.

Much love and prayers heading your way,
Emma x

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Thanks for the update Brent and Michelle so that I can pray more specifically for Abby and your family!

Sorry things are not getting better. Praying that you can celebrate together on Sunday rejoicing in the Lord!

Love and blessings,

Leslie said...

I'm praying for Abby and for your family.

Livin' out loud said...

Dear Riggs Family, I pray for peace for your family. I pray for peace and healing for dear, sweet Abby. May God bless you all in abundance this coming year.

The Furiato Family

Chase said...

God Bless Abby and your entire family. We'll be thinking of you and praying for you. May you have some peace this holiday season! You are an AMAZING family.

Misty Rice said...

I dont like seeing her face like that either.... poor thing. So helpless.

Praying for your drive and for a better plan to get this little girl feeling her best.

cathy hannah said...

Merry Christmas!
We are so sorry Abby is hurting so... bad!
We are praying for your family and you and hope you can enjoy family today:)
May God continue to give you ALL strength and comfort and wisdom to relie on HIM!
The Lundgrens,

Kimmie said...

Praying for you...and sending a big hug. May God hold you tightly my friends.

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted
*expecting again from Ethiopia

Debbie said...

Oh Michelle, I can hear the pain in your words. I can't imagine watching your child go through so much at such a young age. I pray for you as you seek guidance to help alleviate Abby's pain. I will be praying for clear roads to travel and peace for you as you know that our Lord is ultimately in control of all things. I pray for Abby's pain to be gone. She is so brave and beautiful in the midst of these trying times.

May the Lord bless you,

kate said...

Praying for sweet Abby. I am so sorry she is going through so much pain. Praying, praying, praying for all the things you listed and strength for you. I hope you can all get together and enjoy Christmas when Abby can truly enjoy it!

Charlotte said...

Brent and Michelle, I will continue to pray for Abby and your family. I check here daily for updates and Abby is always in my prayers.

Kristi said...

My heart just breaks for her. I can't even imagine how much pain she must be in, and how very hard it must be for all of you to watch.. Praying for all of the doctors involved that a plan is made, and it provides comfort for all of you.. In the last photos the snow was so beautiful, but I am sure as you make this journey to the hosptial it is not. Pray you make is safetly there and back. We are also praying that your Christmas Celebration on Sunday is everything you had all hoped it would be. Not sure that it says in the bible that Jesus was born on Dec 24th. So to have Christmas a few days later on A Sunday. The day most celebrate as the Lords day every week is a Gift!..


Courtney Kay said...

Poor baby. it iks so sad at how hard they try to feel good when they feel bad

Holly said...

(sigh) I am just hating cancer!!
Praying for Abby to be relieved of her pain and for God to clearly show the doctors how to be part of her healing.

Pam, mom, honey, said...

praying, praying praying, thanks for the updates

Kat said...

We were thinking of you all as we had our first EVER white Christmas. We will continue to hold Abby up to our Heavenly Father and pray for wisdom and discernment in the decisions you will need to make. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that sweet Abby is experiencing so much pain.I wish there was something I could do for her but please know that I've been praying and will continue to pray.What a brave sweet girl.I whine with even the smallest headache and she is trying to play and be cheerful.
Leveta-A Dillon Mom to Sam 14 and Kaitrin 10 both from India and Chad 17 (bio)

Elizabeth said...

Still Keeping Abby and everyone in my heart and prayers!

Cathy said...

Crying out in prayer for your precious little Abby ~ and that all those other needs will be met ~

Anonymous said...

This breaks my heart as i read what Abby is going through. There are no words that i can say to help you, your hearts have to be so heavy. We know that God has complete control of it all and we have to trust in Him to take care of Abby and her family with each thing you face. It is a lot easier for me or someone else to say this, but when we come down to the bottom line, when it is your child, it breaks your heart, when the situation is this serious, it scares you to death of what could happen and to watch them in pain all the time. I pray for God to give me a burden for Abby all day long. My heart is breaking for you all. Please keep us posted on an update as soon as you can. God Bless.


Brent and Michelle, isn't amazing how good at heart most people are? For every person commenting here I know in my heart there are hundreds more praying for Abby and your family. Thanks for always updating us on her progress. That helps us immensely and I'm sure is part of the plan God has for Abby! Just think of how many lives she has touched! I'm sure she has saved a few lives in her own beautiful way as well! My prayers are always with you as I'm sure you know that by now. Blessings!

Masto Mama said...

This breaks my heart Brent and Michelle, I'm praying for sweet relief quickly. Praying for you guys too...the pain that a parent feels as they watch their child suffer is gut wrenching. Praying for peace and comfort to be on all of you. (((Hugs)))

Shari said...

Poor Abby, the photos of her in pain just break my heart and I'm not even her mommy. I can't imagine. Praying for all of you.

Ann said...

Praying for Abby's pain to subside and her team of doctors to come up with a plan that works to resolve her pain. My heart aches for her (and for her parents who have to watch helplessly as she hurts).

Debi said...

Praying for sweet Abby and so sad that she is hurting.
Praying for answers and solutions and all the prayer request list.
May God wrap His loving arms around Abby and your family and protect and comfort you.
Love and hugs and prayers,

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Praying for all doctors to find a solution!!!! Safety on those roads, and a Merry Christmas despite any of the obstacles :)

nikki said...

Prayers for you as you face these next few days with Abby. Hopefully the dr can come up with a plan that will give Abby some relife from these headaches!!!!!!!
Keeping that sweet little girl in my heart and showering her with prayers!

Jenney said...

Merry Christmas, I hope by the time this comment reaches you she is feeling better. God bless you guys.

Christian said...

I check your post everyday for an Abby update, but rarely comment. However, this post brought tears to my eyes and I just want you to know that prayers are being offered up for your family! Please keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

I think as mothers we have had to hold our child when they are in pain and can empathize with you from our hearts. Thankfully, most won't ever have to face what you and Brent are facing, but you have trusted God so far in your judgement and decisions and you will continue to do so.

The snow pictures are beautiful as are the ones of the children. It does break my heart to see Abby in pain, falling asleep and crawling under the tree. I am glad that you postponed Christmas to a day that you all can enjoy it. I look for the day Abby will be dancing around the Christmas tree.

Psalm 121: 8 "The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." I use this promise of God's Word every day for Paul while he is on the road and for my children and grandchildren as they are on the road. May this promise protect you and Abby.

love and prayers

Ann Stegall
Wake Forest, NC

Cathy said...

Poor Abby...what she is going through just makes my heart ache. I hope they are able to bring her comfort so that she can be a happy, Christmas celebrating 4 year old!

Sabrina said...

praying for you and Abby. It has to be extremely hard to see her in that kind of pain, I cannot even imagine a pain so bad I would ask or beg for a spinal tap. That poor, sweet little baby. You are all in my prayers.

Debbie said...

Michelle, I just published a blog post on Heart Choices asking for prayer for Abby and your family.

Blessings and love to you,

Marie said...

So sorry to hear about Abby's suffering and your not-so-nice Christmas. I do hope a better day is coming so you can celebrate Christmas in true style. May you have a safe journey on the dangerous roads and a solution is found for Abby's pain.

Annie said...

Praying hard for Abby!!!!!

Bobbie Bailey said...

Prayers abound for your sweet little girl, Michelle. You may be helpless, but our mighty God isn't!

May the Lord bless Abby and the family beyond measure on your "special" Christmas!

In Jesus,
Bobbie B.

Alison said...

The dance contest was wonderful. It was great seeing Abby having fun and smiling.

Thanks for the Facebook updates. I said another prayer for Abby and the whole family.

Alison Lewis from Georgia

Ann Brown said...

Praying for hope and a better game plan to be formulated at today's appt.

Hope your belated Christmas was a merry one!!!

Ann (Elke's mom)