Monday, January 28, 2013

Colds, Care, Giggles, Car Rides, Burritos & Bling

Esther's 5th day of radiation is finished and we're all doing okay. We had to switch a day early, on Saturday, because Zinnia started showing signs of a cold. Rourke and I are here with Esther and Anthony and the girls are back in Ft. Collins. Zinnia has a full blown cold and Frannie has a runny nose. Lydia is fine so far, but has been breaking out in hives the last week. We're looking at what might be causing the hives, starting with some diet things.

One thing about the way an immune system comes back is it's in stages. There are five different types of white blood cells. The cells that take the longest to come back are those that fight viruses. When I asked the doctor about Esther's ability to fight a cold at this stage in the game she was very blunt in saying that it will be very difficult. WHEW...deep breath.

I've been praying for mercy, that Esther would not catch this virus and that Rourke and I would remain healthy. Please pray she would be healthy.

My sister, Robin, is going to organize and restart our care calendar for help in Ft. Collins. This has been a tremendous blessing and gift for our family. We could not do it without your support. If you'd like to be on the list, you can email us at Thank you for continuing to hold our family up this way.

I just want to ask that if you sign up to help us, please know you will love us far more by not exposing our family to something than by completing your task. If there is someone in your family who is ill, you are likely exposed and we'd appreciate you loving us by calling a back up or just letting us know you won't be able to help out. We are fine and cereal for dinner is okay. Our chickens started laying eggs again, so we can always take a trip to the coop for some protein.

Also...this really shouldn't have to be stated, but please love other people in the same way. If your children are sick, the loving thing to do is not share it with other kids, take them to the library, put them in the nursery at church. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if you can't wash with soap & water. I really don't care about the claims about the effectiveness of hand sanitizer...if the alcohol content is over 60%, it will help, but you have to rub it for about 20 seconds for it kill all the germs. If you're worried about other chemicals in hand can get some that are only alcohol and aloe vera, there are recipes online for natural hand sanitizers or I recently heard of someone who uses vodka. The common thread is a min 60% alcohol. The biggest argument against hand sanitizer is that it doesn't work if you touch something after it's dry...DUH! Neither does hand washing. If you wash your hands and touch something, it's the same thing. Yes, this is a soapbox, but when your child could die from a cold and I hear grumbling about hand sort of pushes my last button, and I have do some heart work to think loving thoughts.

I have never been a germaphobe, I've always taken the position that germs will build my children's immunity. I still lean that way, but when there is no immunity in the picture, it makes you a little neurotic. Exit soapbox.

Okay...on to more fun topics. Giggles, car rides, burritos and bling.

Rourke was a great leader today and showed me the ins & outs of radiation. When we were walking out of the radiation clinic to the car she was flat out enjoying the lingering effects of the propofol. She was giggling, wiggling, and flinging her arms around. The look on her face was like this anesthesia experience before her surgery in October.

We headed over to the hospital after her radiation and her numbers look so good! Her red blood count was low on Friday so the automatically planned a transfusion for today. When the results came back (and her transfusion was already started) her reds had come back up! We finished the transfusion because it was still in the low range. Rourke found a perch to do his school work and Esther enjoyed time with the child life specialist, Ali.

Esther made paper dolls and purses with Ali. She's a CSU Ram and we have the same degree. Nice to see a Ram every once in a while! Don't forget to find Rourke doing his school work.
Found him!


A blood transfusion is a three hour process, minimum. So by the time we got to the car Esther was asking for lunch. When I asked her what she wanted she said, "Proooobably Taco Beeelllls?" When the only goal at this point is calories, I obliged. The doctor today told me to not worry as much about healthful choices, caloric choices are more important.

The Taco Bell is about a mile away. I was driving about 40 and Esther was saying, "WEEEEEE" in the back seat. She has not ridden in a car beyond the short drive to the hospital and max speed of 25ish since mid December. This was a like a roller coaster. She kept saying, "Go fast, Mommy, go fast!"

She was giggling so loud I could hear it through her mask and over the car sounds. She has to wear this mask outside the house for about 6 months (up to a year).
Mmm, mmm good.

This afternoon brought a long nap for Esther, and Rourke learned how to play Spider Solitaire. I told him it could be his math for the day.

Finally, my friend hosted a Silpada Jewlery party fundraiser for our family yesterday. The show is open until January 30th if you're looking for something shiny & new. Here are the details:

  • Thank you everyone who has placed an order! If you haven't, there is still time, the event will close on the 30th, and 10% of all the orders will go to the Alvarado Family. Here's the link to order online:, then click Shop Now and Search for Hostess, Jennifer Ball. There are some really beautiful pieces in their new collection! Thank you again!



  1. I'm so glad Esther is doing so well. I pray that the sickies stay away from you all and especially Esther. Continuing to pray for you!

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I've been praying for you to find a new normal and of course Andy's continued progress!