Lauren Elizabeth Hacker's Journal
Omaha Glow Run - Team LoLo
Written Jul 10, 2013 12:59pm
Lauren has been home from the hospital for about a month and she's getting stronger everyday. She got to rejoin her swim team for the last week of the season and to her surprise the official swim team T-Shirt for 2013 had "Go LoLo Go" printed on the back. What an honor! Thanks so much to the Field Club swim team. Good luck this week at finals.
In addition to swimming, Lauren is getting ready for the Omaha Glow Run 5k fun run/walk. It's scheduled for 17 August and it looks like a lot of fun. We'd love to see you there.
You are invited to join Team LoLo at the OMAHA GLOW RUN 5K
17 August 2013
Start time: 8:30 pm
Location: Lewis and Clark Landing,
near the river in downtown Omaha
1. Go to: http://www.glowrun5k.com
2. Click on: “Locations”
3. Click on: “Omaha”
4. “CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW”
5. When the GLOW RUN 5k – Omaha page comes up, click on: “Register Now”
6. Select “Teams”
7. Fill in Registration info. When you reach the point to pick your team search for “Team LoLo” and select it.
8. The charity partner for the GLOW RUN is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So, if you are interested in making a donation to this worthy cause you can do so when you reach the “Donation Section”.
8. Complete confirmation and payment info.
9. Welcome to TEAM LOLO and see you at the starting line!
If you can’t join us for the fun run that’s ok. We’ll see you next time. You might be interested in learning more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. So, check them out on Facebook (search “TNT Nebraska”) or these web sites: www.lls.org and www.teamintraining.org
Quiet and Mighty
Written Jun 26, 2013 9:43am
Official word from the flow cytometry test was that the Lauren's last bone marrow is completely clean. We had a preliminary report, but until the flow cytometry test comes back, it isn't official. The flow can count so many more cells and actually detects the leukemic antigen on the outside of the white blood cell. I was so happy, I did a jig...and didn't even hurt myself. (Carey-I thought of you and your hazardous jig!) So, Lauren can go swimming this weekend. She needs to still have her stitches heal this week. The area of her chest where the central line was threaded through is still giving her some issues. Her hip where the bone marrow aspirate was done is sore, but doing well. She is starting to want to play with some energy behind it. When she does, she rests for a long time afterwards. But, everyday I see her getting stronger.
Lauren and I went to see the Wizard of Oz at the Community Playhouse last night. Her classmate, Lauren Brownrigg, was a munchkin. Jonathan's teacher's son, Kevin, was in it. Our tickets were provided by Jonathan's friend, Gigi Hausman, a girl in his class with a very bright acting future. It was so sweet of her to offer Lauren and I tickets to come see them perform. What a professional cast. We go to at least one play a year at the playhouse. It is the largest community playhouse in the country and it is within walking distance of our house. We like to see it supported because so many of them around the country have closed. Everytime I go to a production, I am amazed at how well done it is. But, at the end of the performance, Lauren wanted to sneak out quick. So, we left while people were clapping. She is still having a hard time being in a crowd and talking to people that say they are praying for her. She is so shy, it makes her uncomfortable. Phil and I are trying to help her be open to the love that is coming her way. She is happy that people are so supportive and she reads everything that comes to her. But, she can appear kind of angry when people approach her. She is just learning to deal with the attention. It is also becoming apparent to her that some people will point at her and kids whisper to their parents about her because they notice she has a hat on and no hair. This makes her really uncomfortable. She is getting there, but you can imagine at 11 years old, it is hard to not be affected by it.
While Lauren was at tutoring yesterday, I went to Field Club for a swim and a chat with my friend. I ran into Lauren's swim coach, Dave Anderson. He told me to come get Lauren's swim team shirt. They ordered one for her. When he handed it to me, he flipped it around. On the back, the shirt said, "Go, Lolo, Go." It made me cry, of course. A bonus is that it is in Boise State colors this year! Woo hoo! I need to order an adult sized shirt! In addition to the shirts, next week at the Happy Hollow vs Field Club Swim Meet, Field Club will have jars set out for people to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Lauren's name. I am thrilled about this. No other child and family needs to suffer from this. We have to get more funds for research for blood cancers. Go, Lolo, Go!
To help the LLS get ready for the swim meet and the upcoming Glo Run, Lauren and I went to meet the administrators at the LLS. I was still in pool gear, but it was fun to finally meet them after speaking to them on the phone so often. We dropped off Lauren's picture that Sara Rogers had done to put on the posters. They asked us some questions and got a game plan for our plan to help raise some money. It made both Lauren and I feel like we could do something. One day at a time.
Afterwards, we went to Pinky Winkles to shop for some funky shoes. Lo found some great purple lace Thoms. She liked that the thought that if she bought shoes, some kid out in the world will have some too. She needed some. She hasn't grown while she is in the hospital, but she also hasn't bought clothes for a very long time. Both Lauren and I do not like to shop. But, she is cleared to go to the mall, so we are probably going to head in that direction this week. UGH...torture! I did not get my mom's shopping gene. I am so over stuff, but I am going to have to shop as well. I have been working out so much to help relieve the stress and anxiety, my pants are falling off of me. Good problem to have...I will accept that one!
This weekend we are hosting 2 guys at our house that are riding across the country to raise money for cancer and cancer research. We are looking forward to it. There are about 25 people doing it and our church, SMM, is hosting the riders. We are all going out to dinner on Saturday night, which will be great fun. I am sure they will be glad to meet Lolo....she is a rock star. Seeing her little sweet smile after all she has been through is enough motivation to make all of us want to wipe out cancer.
Last night when we were heading to the playhouse, we received a call from Jenni. Jenni is a mom of a child that has leukemia. She lives in Fr. Weeder's hometown. She and I have become friends since we have both lost our minds during this process, we can relate. Anyway, they are Cooper's "Make a Wish" trip. But, after arriving in Florida, Cooper became septic. Instead of enjoying their trip, they are in the hospital this week. Please, pray for Cooper and the DeWitts. They could use a little R & R. They could use some peace. I hope "Make a Wish" finds a way to extend their trip.
Thinking of you, Jenni!
Well, of to the pool. Lauren can't swim yet. But, her coach said she could help coach her group. Lauren couldn't wait to go sit by Autumn and be in the proximity of her swim buddies. I remember little Lo's first race. I went down to the finish line to be ready to receive her. She was 5. Field Club swim meets are like no other. There are at least 300 people around the pool. By the time I got through the crowd and at the end of her lane, she wasn't in line. I kept looking for her thinking she was behind the upcoming heats. But, no Lauren. I made my way back through the crowd to look for her. She wasn't there. I thought maybe she panicked and ran into the club house. But, next thing you know, here comes Molly Schropp holding her hand. Lo had so much adrenaline flowing through her for the first race, she had to poop! Molly took her hand and took her to the potty and got her right back in line for her race. When she went off the blocks, her suit was so big, it was hanging off her little behind in the back. As she raced down the pool, a bunch of teenagers cheered her on because she was so dang cute and so dang brave. I remember Hannah Alvine waiting for her to finish (a teenager at the time that babysat her.) They were cheering..."Go, Lauren!" Knowing her, she will probably hop back in that pool next week and be ready to race. She is shy and quiet. But, she is mighty! Go, Lolo, Go!
Written Jun 22, 2013 10:38am
On Thursday, Lauren went in with the sunrise to the hospital to have her bone marrow done. What amazes me about Lauren is that she just goes and does what she needs to do. At 11, a lot of kids would have been crying and fussing. She knows she is going to have pain afterwards, however, she copes with it. We had a relaxing time in pre-op. She visited with the nurses and doctors to get her ready for her procedure. We got there at 630, but the procedure wasn't going to happen until 830. We did get to visit with our friend, Amanda, for a while before she went under. They allow me to go into the surgical suite with her while she is going under and then I have to pop out of there afterwards. Phil went up to get us a spot to have coffee and talk while I went in. Of course, I came out with tears in my eyes. She was somewhat nervous in surgery, but not too bad. The nurse had her talking some. Everyone always asks about her meeting Taylor Swift. That puts a smile on her face. She doesn't say much about it other than "She is so nice." And, she tells about Taylor singing to her. I don't know why it makes me cry everytime she goes under. But, I think it is watching your child be so vulnerable. It is also the anticipation of the procedure that is being done to her. I walked out and spent some time in quiet prayer. I always imagine her in Jesus' arms or Mary's arms while she is in surgery. During surgery, Phil and I just chatted about how things were going and plans for the week. We were much more calm this time. Whenever we are in the lobby, people stop and say hi. We have been such permanent fixtures there that people want to know how Lauren is doing. So, we visited with a few people and waited.
When they came to get us, Lauren was already doing really well. Sandy called and said that Emmy wanted to come see Lauren, so Phil picked Emmy up and Emmy sat in recovery with Lauren. Lauren was already starting to have pain from where her central line was, but she was also very happy to have it out of her chest. The girls chatted and waited. When we got home, Emmy and Lauren played quietly up in Lauren's room and then watched a movie for the afternoon. We kept her pretty calm today. Next week, she will be able to start circulating and heading to the pool.
There wasn't any news today after surgery, but when we got home, later in the day we heard that Dr. Perry (pathologist that I worked for..love her) had read the bone marrow slides and reported that their were 0 leukemic cells on the slides. This will have to be backed up by a flow cytometry report that scans more slides and is more accurate, but so far this is news worth celebrating. Lauren is still in remission!!!!! Praise God!
So what do you do when you return to life? It was nice to have the distraction of friends for a week and now we are returning to our regular life, without as much activity. We are planning a celebration party coming up. We want to celebrate Lauren coming home, Jonathan's 8th grade graduation, and our 25th wedding anniversary. We want to thank everyone that has helped us. We want some time to rest. I still want to sit in church and be still. At our next visit to the clinic, we will get Lauren's new protocol and get a better view of what this next phase will be like. But, on the most part, we go off and live our life. It seems the stakes are higher about what that life will be about. I feel like we have been hit in the face with the need to get our priorities straight. I don't think we were living on the edge before. But, we were walking around thinking we had all the time in the world and might have been focused in different directions. I want the most out of life for Jonathan and Lauren. The most of life isn't about achievement and having things. I want them to find a close connection to their faith, their family, and the wonderful friends around them. I want them to make a difference in the world just by being the good people they are and by being open to the people around them. I want to spend time as a family just being together. This sounds simple, but the world today does everything it can to break up a family. There are so many distractions whether it is being too busy, wanting too much, or too much stimulation. But, it doesn't hurt to have a little fun in the middle of it all. That is one thing I do know how to do. So, I can offer something up for the cause in that direction. I do need to get a therapist for Jono to help him deal with his anxiety over his mom dancing in public. I think he will work through it. Gunga ga lunga!
Please continue to keep Lauren in your prayers. I truly believe these prayers have saved her. I want her to beat the odds of AML and not have to have a bone marrow transplant. I want her to be a little girl again and be worry free. Please pray for that.
And...if you feel add some extra prayers, please keep Emma, Cooper, Lily, Malik, Emerson, Jack, and all the kids on the 6th floor in your thoughts.