The Neverending Story

'The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.'
--John N Mitchell

We set up this website in late October for our wonderful, inquisitive, loving Aiyana. Yana is our eight year old daughter, sister, cousin, niece, friend and granddaughter who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia (MPAL).

Aiyana had an amazing life and we are filled with hundreds of heartwarming memories. May all of us take to heart how much a little girl from Lockeford, CA, impacted the world and be reminded and inspired to never let the sun go down without living each day all the way through.

Her Spirit is in every Butterfly.


The Fourth Day

So many things run through your mind when problems arise. And it did today, in spades. A low grade fever suddenly - SUDDENLY - spiked this afternoon. Already up to her eyeballs with work at home, her mom rushed to be with her little chick. I was in awe at watching what a simple gesture of a mother stroking her child's head can do, gently leaning forward to touch her ear with her lips and whisper encouragement, and her dozing and unresponsive daughter unshuttering her eyes and muttering back. I think it was the most powerful gesture of love I have ever seen.

Up and down, up and down the fever went all afternoon and evening as doctors and nurses scurried in and out to address nausea and take her temperature at 15 minute intervals. It was spiking at times to 105. Test results are due back today whether this is her body's response to chemo or if she picked up a bug but clearly there was no time to waste. Wrapped in cool towels and ice packs, the hospital tripled up on her antibiotics and super hydrated her. Eventually, finally, thankfully, it looked as though the fever was coming down and we were celebrating a drop to 102...

An on-call pediatric cardiologist dropped by who had heard about Aiyana. We liked him instantly, this doctor with kind eyes who reassurred us he would be just down the hall all night long. And sure enough, Aiyana's dad called us in the middle of the night and said she had been moved to ICU for labored breathing.

The Fourth Day after chemo is when many children develop high fevers and vomiting in response to the strong chemicals in their bodies. The more aggressive the regimen, the stronger the reaction. But on the evening of the The Third Day peals of laughter could be heard from the room and we were making lists of foods to bring. I'm glad we had that Tiger-by-the-Tail time, before we knew The Fourth Day would come.

As we walked to the car tonight in a strong embrace, we were acutely aware, maybe for the first time, that we haven't learned how to savor each and every moment because they have always been endlessly abundant. There will be better days ahead, we know, and we will bring her home when it is safe and right. Not on Friday, but it will come. And on that day, this day will be long forgotten.


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