This past week has been an emotional one, but most of the emotions came out of a full heart.
Thursday was La Petite Belle's 16th birthday.
She spent the majority of the day before crying. I tried to comfort her, but ended up crying myself.
No one should have to spend their 16th birthday in the hospital.
She was overwhelmed with emotion and her situation.
She vocalized to her father and me that she never imagined that her sweet 16th birthday would look like this. She envisioned that she'd be dressed in a beautiful dress, hair done up, makeup on, surrounded by her friends, dancing at a Cinderella-like ball.
That's not what her day looked like.
She didn't wear a beautiful dress, nor makeup. Her hair wasn't done up either.
But, I dare say she was the most beautiful I have ever seen her.
Let me give you a little more insight into who our La Petite Belle is ... she is the most generous person I know. Her heart is big. Her love for people is humongous.
For her birthday, she wrote individual invitations to her nurses to come by her room (yes, she's was able to sit up in the bed and use a pen to write ... progress!). In the invitations, she stated, "no presents." When I asked her why she wrote that, she said it was because they already do so much for her. She just wanted to bless them.
She wanted to give everyone cupcakes, and achieved her goal of getting in the wheelchair to roll around the unit to hand out goodie bags to all the staff. Other nurses even came up from PICU to see her and wish her a happy birthday.
Little did she know, that we were jumping through hoops behind the scenes to allow her to see Roxy Belle. She's only been able to see her once since admission date, January 5th. Dogs are not allowed on the BMT unit obviously because of the patients' low immune system. However, La Petite Belle is not like the typical BMT patient and over a year post-transplant. A visit was organized using PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support). We encouraged La Petite Belle to get back into the wheelchair a second time, despite her exhaustion from her exciting day, and surprised her in a room outside the unit. It was emotional and amazing.
That was on Thursday, her actual birthday. She spent a lot of time in the wheelchair and visited with lots of people. It was a good day.
But, that wasn't the end of it.
We continued our charade for the next two days.
Two of her absolute favorite people from our home town came and spent the night with her. More tears came when they showed up Friday evening out of the blue. Beau and I were able to get out together.
The best surprise was to come on Saturday, the following day. We invited friends and family from home, plus new Texas friends to celebrate our girl with a surprise party.
Yep ... more tears.
Our sweet girl was so blessed by the love expressed by so many.
We are beyond proud of this 16-year-old beauty and consider it a privilege to be her parents.
As far as an update goes on La Petite Belle ... as you can see, she has made some major strides just within the last week. We see her getting stronger every day. She works hard, despite how painful it is. Of course, she still has a way to go before they will release her based on her strength. La Petite Belle is also continuing on dialysis four days a week. We're praying and believing each day that these kidneys will recover and get stronger as her body gets stronger. La Petite Belle is beginning to try to eat again. She eats small bits at a time, but her stomach issues definitely seem better. Lastly, please pray with us that this blood clot is completely gone so that she can get off this Heparin drip. The doctors are planning a repeat CT to check to see if it's gone within the next couple of weeks.
The road ahead isn't clear and it's been such a long journey. We are already looking to next year and what that may hold for us ... jobs, another place to live, La Petite Belle's medical care/hospital visits & schooling, new deductible, and even needing new health insurance (if you can believe that ... yes, we're going to have to find new health insurance).
We don't know what each day holds, but at least we know who holds each day. And, He loves us.
Thanks for lifting us up and supporting us through this. We appreciate each and every one of you.
Thank you for your continuing to pray, stand, and believe with us for our girl's complete healing!
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com/Katieg. All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.