Thursday, September 29, 2011


Chase was like any other 2 yr old little boy.  He loves trucks & cars, riding his bike, going to the park, and just having the carefree life that any 2 yr old boy deserves.  On July 22, 2010 his life was changed in a big way and very very quickly.  Unlike a lot of the kids diagnosed, Chase seemed to me to be perfectly healthy.  He had a few weird things going on, but nothing that seemed to me to be red flags for what was to come.  He was happy and healthy (at least I thought).  He had been a little extra tired, but not anything that had me worried.  He was asking for naps instead of me telling him it was time for a nap.  He had some weird really big bruises in strange places that I didn't know how he had gotten them.  He fell and bumped his lip and it was bleeding pretty bad and wouldn't stop from just one little bump.  The last thing was he started telling me that when climbing up on my bed or on a high chair that his side would hurt.  He was only 2 yrs old so I wasn't sure if he was telling me that his arm hurt or if his side hurt.  These were all things that happened on different days, spread out so I didn't think to put them all together.  But all in all he was still happy and he wasn't sick.

At the time I was about 32 weeks pregnant.  We were headed north for the next two weeks.  We live in Southern Utah and I was taking the kids to my parents house in Logan while my husband went on a golf trip to palm springs.  I was feeling huge and living where we do in July it was really hot.  So I thought we would escape the heat and get some help from grandma in the last weeks of my pregnancy.  I was in the stage of visiting the doctor every two weeks for my pregnancy so I needed to see him right before we left.  I had the car packed up ready to head to Bear Lake with my parents so we had EVERYTHING in the car.  I was just getting out of the shower when Chase came in my bathroom.  He had just woke up and his whole face was red.  He had a bloody nose and like any normal kid was wiping it all over.  I held him in my wet arms and put a rag on his nose.  I don't know if it is because I was cold and wet or because at this point I knew something had to be wrong, but it felt like forever for his bloody nose to stop.  I finished up what I had to do that morning and put the kids in the car and headed to the doctor for my OB apt.  Since I see a family doctor I just mentioned that I needed him to look at Chase while we were there.  After my exam he asked me what was going on with Chase.  I gave him the list, which at the time I was so embarrassed to tell him.  I thought for sure he would think I was crazy when I told him my 2 yr old boy had bruises (what 2 yr old doesn't?) and one single bloody nose, and just a little on the tired side.  He did a full physical exam and noticed little petacia (not sure of spelling, but these are just little spots caused by problems with the blood).  They were all over his belly.  I had noticed them in the bath tub a week or so before hand, but then it seems like they had went away so I forgot about them.  After feeling his spleen and that it was enlarged my doctor ordered a CBC.  He kept me very calm, in fact I still thought there was nothing wrong with him.  He told me that it could be ITP which is a condition of the platelets in the blood (which help it to clot).  He said that ITP causes low platelets and there is no treatment for it.  You just have to wait for it to go away and be super careful when his platelet counts are low.  ***I now know that he had a hunch that it was Leukemia but wanted to keep a hugely prego, mom of two, driving alone up north, calm.  He knew that the lab results would come back before I reached the Salt Lake area and then he would deal with it then.  I drove to Salt Lake pretty calm, but thinking that Chase's spleen was so big that at any time it could burst and we would be in big trouble.  Little did I know that would become the least of my problems.

We reached the Salt Lake area and I had not heard from my doctor yet so I started to panic.  He had told me that as soon as the result were back he would call because if it wasn't ITP then we would be going to Primary Children's for follow up's.  Again, he never told me the alternative and for some reason I never asked.  I called my doc and the nurse knew who I was and acted a little weird when she said, "Oh, he is in a room with a patient but I know he wants to talk to you so he will call you right back."  The fact that the nurse was filled in on Chase's situation made me a little suspicious.  I was at 5200 S. when he finally called me back.  He asked where I was, and then said to head up to Primary's.  I knew where it was but had not been there since I was young enough that my mom was driving me there.  So I immediately got off the freeway to finish talking to him.  He said that Primary's wanted to run more lab's and that we should go to the ER.  He also told me not to panic, and to not have my husband turn around.  Remember he is on his way to Palm Springs.  So since he said this, I again thought it can't be too serious.

We got to the ER and it was FULL of sick people.  I waited at the desk behind a lady who was complaining that her little girl had a fever and has been waiting for 2 hours.  AHHH!  First of all we were all healthy and on our way to vacation.  The last thing I wanted was for anyone to be sick while we were at the lake.  I didn't want to sit in that waiting room full of sick people.  I walked up to the desk and told them Chase Prince was here from St. George.  I also told them that while we waited we would be down the hall or outside.  We were not waiting there.  We walked away for about 5 min when the nurse said they were ready for us.  WHAT?  That lady said she had been waiting for 2 hours.  Why us?  Why so quick?  Then I told myself that it was because all we needed was another CBC and we would be on our way.  Once we got into the room it is all a blur to me.  My mom came down because I called her and told her that they wanted to keep him overnight to give him blood.  His red blood was too low.  I needed somewhere for Abby to go, and thankfully my brother in law lives five minutes from the hospital and was there before we even got checked in.  It is a night I will never forget.  A night of confusion.  A night of wonder.  A night that changed our lives forever.  And I still had no idea why we were really there.

They hooked Chase up to some antibiotic drip and again, I still do not know why.  They never said anything, but that they wanted him to be protected from all the germs in the hospital because his blood levels were so low.  (I look back and wonder how I was so blind to all that was going on around me).   We walked up to the ICS floor and once we walked through those double doors where you have to wash your hands I knew something was up.  I knew that this wasn't some little problem that would go away on it's own.  I knew we must be in for the long haul.  One nurse had said they were looking for "the C word."  I think it was the mommy in me that didn't want to ask what "the C word" was so I just stayed blind to it all until the moment of walking through those doors.  Chase's nurse for the night saw us coming down the hall.  She took one look at my healthy little boy that was as happy as can be and said, "oh, he has the good kind."  I tried to play along to get more info out of her, but she could tell I knew nothing.  She went to find the medical assistant that was helping with Chase down in the ER.  She came into our room and said to us, "they didn't tell you anything, did they?"  The medical assistant had filled her in on what had happened downstairs and the nurse was livid.  She couldn't believe that we had no idea what we were really doing there.  Again, a lot of this was me being very blind and probably in denial about everything that was happening.  In my mind we were still on our way for a vacation to Bear Lake and this was just a pit stop along the way.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  So after the nurse did the doctor's job and told me what was wrong and what our options were we settled down and tried to sleep.  I am sure I didn't sleep a wink just wondering when Ashton would make it back (at this point I told him to get on a plane first thing in the morning and get here as quick as he could).  I was wondering what kind of cancer did he have?  Did he have the good kind that the nurse was talking about?  I sent out a mass text to all my friends and family asking for prayers for Chase, while tears were streaming down my face.  I laid in that hospital bed with my son just wondering why?  Why did this all happen?  That was the beginning of a long life of worry and wonder.

Chase was diagnosed 14 months ago.  The first 6-7 months were hell.  I hated every minute of it.  Chase wasn't too pleased either.  We had to drive weekly to Primary Children's.  5 hours up and 5 hours back.  A lot of those trips he was fasting and that made it even harder.  He has endured more than any child should ever have to.  He is a three yr old that knows medical terms and knows that we wash our hands multiple times a day.  He knows what germs are and that anywhere but our house is filled with them.  We tell him in any public place "don't touch anything!"  So now when we walk into a public place (which he didn't do for at least 7 months) and I say, "Chase, what do we touch?"  He says back to me, "anything."  So cute, but so sad.  He is missing out on a big part of his childhood.  One that he can not get back.  But I hate to always be so negative because we have had so many blessing come to our family.  Just about a month into treatment we were blessed with another little baby boy.  He brought joy to our home that was very much needed.  We have been touched by so many lives.  There are good people in this world.  You only hear about the bad ones.  But I really do believe that the good out weigh the bad.  I saw it first hand.  So many people have reached out and helped our family.

Chase is still in treatment.  His official diagnosis is pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  He is now in maintenance and instead of weekly chemo at Primary's he only has monthly IV chemo.  We do two months here and then one month up north.  It has been a nice break to not have to drive every week.  He takes daily chemo and other medications at home.  He will continue to do this routine every day until Oct. of 2013.  He has poison running through his blood a good portion of his childhood.  He is so young he doesn't even know what cancer is.  He doesn't even understand what death is.  He doesn't realize how lucky he is to still be alive.  I look at him every day and thank my Heavenly Father for keeping him here with me.  I love this little boy to pieces and along with all the other little fighters out there he is the toughest kid I know.  I LOVE YOU CHASE!!!

To read more about Chase and follow along with his progress you can visit his

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alex's Lemonade Stand 9/17/11

Dont forget about the Alex's Lemonade Stand this Saturday 
...its going to be a BIG ONE!!!
Brinley's Grand Stand:
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Veteran's Memorial Park
1985 West 7800 South
West Jordan, UT 84084

Watch this video to learn what an Alex Lemonade Stand is...

The following was written by Brinley's mom.
She is the AMAZING cancer mom, who is taking on this HUGE task.
In September, 2008 our lives were changed forever. With the diagnosis of our two year old daughter, Brinley, with leukemia, we entered a world that few people get to see. The world of childhood cancer. The suffering involved with this disease that attacks even the most innocent of beings is something we will never forget. Brinley finished her treatment in November of 2010 and is in remission. This fight, while we do it in honor of her, is no longer just about her. It is about the children who are in the middle of this fight. It is about the children who will not win this fight. It is about the children who will begin this fight tomorrow. Next year. In ten years. There are children to save. And we must save them. Please join us to raise awareness and funds in our community during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Our Grand Stand will include a bounce house, carnival games, food, a DJ, great prizes and giveaways, and all you can drink LEMONADE! So bring the family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, come have some fun and support a very important cause at the same time.

If you cant make it that day, you can still donate here (remember every little bit helps):

To learn more about Alex Lemonade stand click here:

Sunday, September 11, 2011


We are going to start spotlighting some of our cancer fighting cuties on the blog.  Each of them have a unique story, experience and lessons to teach us.  We will be posting at least one story a week so keep checking back for more great stories on these amazing cancer fighting cuties!

I wanted to start with Skyler's story.  Skyler is a very special boy who will forever hold a special place in my heart.  I was introduced to his mom, Crystal, a few days after he was diagnosed.  Cami was only about a month into treatment and I wanted so badly to help them, but instead Crystal and Skyler helped me and taught me more than I ever could have done for them...

Skyler's story:
Written by his mom, Crystal

Skyler was diagnosed with Pre-B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on August 17th 2010 at the age of four.  A couple weeks prior to diagnosis he was having fevers, puffy eyes, and unexplained bruising all over and around his eyes.  I took him to InstaCare and they just wrote it off as allergies and gave him an antibiotic, but instead of getting better he got worse.  He couldnt walk and wanted to be carried everywhere.  The last straw was when his belly started get really big and swollen.  I took him to his pediatrician who only felt his belly for a minute before he got a worried look on his face and sent us up to PCMC, his liver and spleen were very enlarged.  He said somebody would be waiting for us at the ER.  I knew right then something wasnt right and my uneasy feeling over the past couple of weeks became reality when they told me "Your son has cancer."  My heart sank and my world stopped but as I took one look at his limp, swollen, bruised body I knew it was true.  We were admitted that night to the oncology unit.  Walking into ICS is something I will never forget as I looked around at the bald little kids playing.  This was real, my son was now one of those kids.   The next day we found out which type of Leukemia he had (ALL) and Skyler went in for surgery to place a port in his chest so they could pump poison directly into his heart.  We were told that we would be inpatient for about six days and then would be able to go home and do his chemotherapy treatments outpatient for the next three and a half years.  Those six days turned into four and a half months in the hospital, three of those months were spent in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on life support.  

Everything that could go wrong did. That first week Skyler developed Tumor Lysis which completely shut down his kidneys putting him into renal failure.  They quickly placed a dialysis catheter and started him on dialysis.  That first week he gained over ten pounds of fluid from his kidneys not working.  He got so big to the point where he couldnt move and developed a bad wound on his bum that he eventually had to have a would vac to close and numerous times having a surgeon scrape out.  It took over 7 months to heal.  Skyler also developed an invasive fungal infection that started out in his sinuses.  He went in for numerous surgeries to try and scrape them out but the surgeon eventually stopped saying there was nothing more he could do for him.  If he took anymore out it would leave Skylers face completely disfigured.  The fungal infection quickly spread throughout his body leading to failure of five of his organ systems.  His lungs were so full of fluid that he stopped being able to breath for himself and they put him on a ventiltor and had a machine breath for him.  He was completely sedated for the six weeks that he was intubated.  They also had to place six different chest tubes to drain fluid and air that were in his lungs.  They also placed drains in his belly to drain fluid from there also.  Skyler also had a problem keeping his hematocrit and his platelets up leading to well over 100 platelet and blood transfusions.  They eventually removed his spleen because it had quit doing its job and they thought thats what was eating up all his platelets.  He was also in isolation alot of the time due to all of his infections he developed, meaning the staff had to put gowns and masks and gloves on before entering the room.  He also had to have 5 different dialysis catheters placed in his neck and chest because they either got infected or just stopped working.  At one point I counted 17 different tubes and lines pumping stuff into and sucking stuff out of him.  He was covered head to toe with tubes.  It was a very noisy room full of pumps and machines that were keeping Skyler alive. When one of your organs goes into failure it decreases your chance of survival, so with five of Skylers organs that were failing it decreased his chance of survival by alot and we were told at one point that he wasnt going to make it, that we were going to have to say goodbye.  I remember sitting on the bed holding his warm little foot crying and thinking how in the world was I supposed to say goodbye to the one person that I loved more than anything in the whole world.  How could I say goodbye to the most precious, perfect little innocent boy that was my flesh and blood?  Skyler did what he does best though and surprised everyone, he held on.  He's a fighter, a miracle.  Slowly but surely I was able to see my son come back from the brink of death. I got to experience seeing my son opening his eyes for the first time after so long without seeing them.  I got to experience hearing his first words (which were I want my mommy) for the first time again after months of longing to hear his sweet voice.  I also got to hold him in my arms again after months of only being able to hold his hand or give him a kiss.  I got to experience his first drink, sitting up, standing up and taking his first steps.  

These were things I will never forget and things I will never take for granted again.  Skyler taught me what a real superhero really is because he is one.  He taught me to never take the little things for granted because you never know when they might be the last.  After one long hard painful year Skyler was finally able to hit maintanence, the phase of treatment that he will be in for the next three years.  When he is finally able to be done with treatment he will have gone through over fours years of getting poison pumped through his little body.  Life will be forever different for him because he will have to be on meds for the rest of his life because of his spleen being removed, he will also have to wear hearing aids because one of the antiotics he was on caused him to lose hearing in both ears.  Even though this cancer journey has been hard and I have seen alot of bad, I have also seen alot of good.  There are so many good people in this world that have helped us get to this point and I will be forever grateful.  Cancer changes everything.  I am a differentperson because of it, but I believe I have changed for the better.  Cancer has taught me to love more and enjoy life. 

 Thank you Crystal for sharing Skylers inspiring and amazing story.  You are both amazing!  

To read more about Skyler you can visit his blog.

Friday, September 9, 2011


September is...
 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!
Gold is the color of Childhood Cancer. Wear it proudly.
This terrible disease can happen to ANY child at ANY time, lets do all we can to help find the cause and cure!

This is a video of some of our local cancer cuties.  Some are off treatment, others are still going through treatment and sadly some have lost their fight with cancer.
ALL of them are the bravest kids around-

You can visit these sites for info and to donate-

*if you work for a corporation, tell them that September is the month to think of these kids who are battling for their lives.  Encorage them to donate to one of these charities this year.

--I also want to mention that Chili's is supporting St. Jude all month long and on September 26th they are donating ALL profits to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. If you can do nothing more, please go eat at Chili's on September 26th.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cancer Moms

I belong to a special group of women
My friends and I have an amazing bond.
We never wanted to be in this group,
Yet we are in, for life.
Maybe we have met, maybe we haven’t,
Yet our love for each other is boundless.
We know the pain the other one feels,
And we share our victories small or huge.
Words like chemo, IV, Zofran , bald heads
Are always parts of our conversations,
As well as roidrage, tears, and meltdowns…
We always know where the closest puke bucket is ,
We can hold it in one hand and if necessary,
Swallow the sandwich the other hand was holding.
We can drive to the hospital ,
Park in the dark parking garage
Make our way thru the halls of the hospital
And to the appropriate floor,
Settle in a room, turn the TV on,
Give instructions to the head nurse,
Silence loud beeping IV pumps,
Direct a wagon AND an IV pole
To the playroom without hitting anything
Make our way back to the correct room
And all this, mind you, With our eyes closed at any given time.
We know how to draw blood from lines
Sticking out of little kids chests.
We can hold them down with one hand ,
While a nasogastric tube is inserted in their little nose,
And be on the phone with their dads at the same time.
We can live for days on hospital food,
And on maybe only one meal a day .
We know the names of up to 20 different drugs ,
Their purpose, dosage and time to be taken.
We are always on call, 24 hours a day ,
Seven days a week.
We are used to not always looking our best,
Hard to do with only a few hours of sleep . M
ake up , hair styling, skirts are words of the past .
We have become addicted to texting ,
hospital, clinic, home, wherever…
We talk sometimes at all hours of the night ,
We know we can count on someone to be up.
Then for one of us , the world stops .
She has to walk away, broken.
This job is over .
The job is over, but the fight is on.
Remember , I said we were in this forever.
We are friends, sisters, temporary nurses,
We are each others rock, each others punching bag,
We listen , we vent , we cry , we laugh together .
We share our lives and our deaths
We share our pain and our victories.
We are strong, but not by choice ,
Sometimes we win , sometimes we lose,
But never are we defeated .
We are not nurses
We are not doctors,
We are cancer moms…