Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

These are the awesome shirts and water bottles that were
donated for Dylan's walk!

Grandma and Auntie Karyna on Thanksgiving with cranky baby D


Happy Thanksgiving!! We hope that you all had a wonderful time enjoying time with friends and family while enjoying yummy food and giving thanks for all of your blessings!!

After a week of throwing up, followed by 4 days of pure crankiness......we FINALLY have our happy boy back!! He was given a patch to help with his high blood pressure last week because he was not taking his medicine well, and it turns out that the patch does more for D than lower his blood pressure! It also makes him sleepy, hungry, and EXTREMELY cranky!! He did not quite enjoy his first Thanksgiving and pretty much slept or cried the whole day. We took the patch off the next day....and 12 hours later......Smiley D was back!! He woke up at 3 in the morning, and as I was changing his diaper, I caught a smile....I almost cried!! I was so excited!! And he has been happy ever since. Now that he is off of the patch, he is not eating as well or sleeping.....but I'll take smiles over sleep any day! Ha!!

We drove up from Tucson on Wednesday night and will be driving back tomorrow morning. We have really enjoyed our time being home and look forward to being able to move back permanently! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Erik's family on Thursday, some shopping with my sister on Friday, celebrated Thanksgiving with my family on Saturday, and are enjoying a relaxing Sunday at home before heading back. It was a jam-packed weekend, but also a lot of fun.

The plan is to go back to Tucson for the week. He will have another 3 clinic visits this week and then hopefully we can go down to 2 visits a week starting next week. If the doctor feels that Dylan is ok to visit only 2 times a week, then we will move home on Friday!! YAYAYAYAY!! Our lease to our condo is up on Friday also, so everything is working out well! We are soooooooooooooooooooooo excited to have an end in sight and be able to live at home as a family for the first time in over 5 months! 5 months!! It seems so crazy that it has been that long. The Lord has truly protected us so much over the past 5 months. We have so much to be thankful for this year.

It is easy sometimes to dwell on the negative things that are going on, and when I start to do that, I am brought back to the reality that my baby is ALIVE. He is here, with us, and we are able to celebrate this holiday season with him. God has been so good to us! Although our journey is not over yet, and we have a long way to go, we will cherish every moment with Dylan and be thankful for every second with him that God has blessed us with. I still have the daunting task of multiple meds 2 times a day, dressing changes, and the stress of staying ahead of the craziness........but we are COMING HOME!!!! YAY!! I cannot even begin to express how excited we are!! Please pray for us as we need to make some big decisions coming up regarding work and insurance. Our insurance is through my job, and I am only able to stay on LEAVE until Janurary 4th. I do not want to have to go back so early, but it is probably the only option we have right now. Our insurance costs will go up to $1500 monthly if I stay home. I have an amazing job waiting for me, along with my friends and co-workers, but I would much rather stay with Dylan for a little bit longer. He still needs a lot of attention and care, and it would be difficult to leave him at this point.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support!! We are thankful for such amazing friends and family! We love you!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day +70.............a little rough patch

Hey guys! Well, we have been having a rough past few days. On Monday night, Dylan threw up and it was the first time in over a month. He has been throwing almost everything that he has eaten and is not wanting to eat at all. We changed all of his meds BACK to IV, hoping that it helps his tummy a little better. He does not have a fever or any other symptoms of any viruses, and all of his labs have come back negative. The Dr. thinks that his stomach is still not all the way healed from the transplant and is having a hard time emptying and digesting properly. We are hoping that it goes away with time, but we are now on our 5th day of throwing up. Tomorrow, the plan is to increase his steroid dose to see if that helps at all. He is staying hydrated well with all of the IV meds he is getting. We are praying that he will start eating well soon so that we do not have to give him any supplements through his IV. It is hard because it feels like we are taking a few steps backwards. Just when we think everything is going well, something like this happens. It is hard not to get disappointed or frustrated, but we have to go back to realizing how far God has brought us. Dylan is CANCER FREE!! CANCER FREE!! What an amazing thing to say!! So why do I not trust God with something as simple as throwing up? He is constantly reminding us that He is in control....and we are NOT!!

On the positive side of things, we are still on schedule for leaving Tucson and moving home by December 4th. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray that Dylan is able to be healthy enough to go home and that we are able to move back and be a family and be in our home. We will be going home for Thanksgiving and then will be back to Tucson for our final week. We have so much to be thankful for this year. We always have a million things to be thankful for.....but this year is so much different. Dylan has opened our eyes to the hurting world around us and how much we have to be thankful for.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers and we will keep you updated with Dylan's status. I can't wait for him to meet all of you someday! All of his prayer warriors!!

Taking it one day at a time, and trusting God with EVERY step,

Light The Night 2009

The Light the Night Walk was a huge success!! Erik and I were completely overwhelmed by the number of friends and family that joined 'Dylan's Dream Team'! What a great reason to be overwhelmed!! We had our family, our closest friends, and new friends join us as we proudly walked in Dylan's honor. We had the largest group there, with a total of 125 people!! WOW!!! It was a sea of blue Dylan shirts!! As a group we raised $2400 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society--and THAT's AMAZING!!
A special thanks to the Davis Family for providing our special Dylan T-shirts, and also to the Pieters Family for providing special Dylan Water Bottles!! I will put a close up of the shirt and water bottle later. We cannot thank each and every one of you enough for coming out and supporting us! We are truly blessed with the most amazing support system!! Thank you for coming out and taking time out of your busy schedules to support our family and this great cause!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!
For those of you who were not able to make it this year--there is always next year......and this time Baby D will be walking with us.....and every year to follow! We were so excited to be able to carry a "survivor" balloon down the dark pathway, lighting it up with every step we took. It was a very special night, a night we will never forget! We are looking forward to many more events and walks and want to help others fight this horrible disease.
Thank you!! We love you!!
The Praskins Family

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

7 Months old.....and CANCER FREE!! Dylan is at 100% Engraftment!!

Good Morning Everyone!! Well, today is a day to CELEBRATE!! Yesterday, we got the long awaited call. FINALLY!! The information that we have been waiting for sooooooooooooooooo long!! Baby Dylan is OFFICIALLY 100% Engrafted!! His cell counts came back as 100% Donor and 0% Dylan Cells!! Just as Dr G expected (he is so smart!) WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! We cannot even begin to tell you how excited we are about this amazing news and how thankful we are for God's continual healing! So what's next? Next, we pray that the Leukemia does not come back and that Dylan stays in remission. It is possible, not likely, but possible, for Dylan's leukemic cells to come back and infect the new bone marrow. But because Dylan had a 6/6 cord blood match, it is not likely to happen. Dr. G has not had anyone with Dylan's type of transplant relapse after hitting the 6 month mark. So after 6 months, the chances of Dylan's leukemia coming back are almost non-existent. After Dylan hits one year post transplant, he will be considered completely cured. HOW AMAZING!! We know that the Lord is healing Dylan every day and we believe that his cancer will never return! On April 16th, 2010, Dylan will be turning 1 and will be cancer free for 6 months!!! WHAT A PARTY IT WILL BE!!! Thank you all for your continued prayers. Please pray that Dylan's body will continue to embrace it's new cells and that the healthy cells will multiply and fill Dylan's body! Please pray that he continues to stay "side-effect free" and that he continues to feel better everyday!! We are rejoicing today, as with everyday, with the little life that God has blessed us with. Dylan is one of a kind and we could not have asked for a better son. His smiles keep us going everyday and his little personality is blooming! He is such a joy and we are so thankful for our little Dylan!
More updates of our fun weekend in Phoenix to come! I just wanted to get this information on here now so that you guys can celebrate with us!!
Walking by Faith,
Michelle, Erik and Cancer Free Baby Dylan

Monday, November 16, 2009

Waiting for Dylan's Results

Hello All,

We are waiting patiently with great anticipation of Dylan's 60 Day transplant results. We were supposed to find out Friday, but there was a delay with the lab. We were told we should find out later today or tomorrow morning. We appreciate all of your prayers and all of those that participated at the Leukemia walk on Saturday evening. It was a great turnout and Michelle will update the blog shortly with details and pics.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day +60....has it really been 60 days already?!!

Hello everyone!! Only good news to report! Dylan is still happy, still smiley, and still feeling good. I think we have finally passed all of the yucky times!! PRAISE BE TO GOD!! We are at day +60.....and what does that mean? That means engraftment testing! WOO HOO!! They took some blood yesterday and it is on its way to a special lab, where they will decipher how many cells are Dylan cells, and how many are Donor cells. The goal is to be as close 100% Donor as possible. We will not get the results until Friday, so we have a long week of waiting and praying ahead of us! Dr. G believes that we will have great news on Friday. He said that based on Dylan's numbers and how fast he started to make his platelets, he believes that the donor cells have completely grafted! He said that, "you moms" always want it on paper.....AND I DO!! But for now, I guess I can take the expert's opinion :)
We now only have to go to clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.....and we have Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends off!! Woo Hoo!! It sure beats having to go to clinic EVERYDAY :) So now I just give him his morning meds on days off. It takes about 3 hours, and we have almost 5 meds going in at one time through his three lines. We are slowly switching over some of the meds to oral, so that will be interesting. It is almost easier putting them through his IV. So far, he does well with the 3 he is on, so we will see how he handles 8+ oral meds, 2-3 times a day! Most of them are mixed with a flavored sugar solution, but D does not like it too much. I bought a special bottle that has a syringe built into it, so we may try that out too. Poor little guy hates medicine time :(
We are all set for the walk this Saturday and are very excited to see our friends and family. We have 54 people signed up so far, so if you plan on coming, and are not signed up yet, please register at We have a friend that is donating shirts for the walk! Yes!! DONATING!! Isn't that Awesome??!! God provides even when we do not expect it!! So we will have shirts for everyone on Saturday :) If you have any questions about the walk, please just email me. If you cannot make it to the walk, and are able to donate, please do!! Just go to and on the top of the page, click on find a participant/team. Then either type in a name or dylans dream team. Then just click donate! You can pay with your debit or credit card so it is really easy! Even if you can give $5, every little bit helps!!

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, love, and prayers! You are amazing and truly appreciated!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day +56......Happy Days Are Here Again!!

Hello Everyone!! Well, there is not much new going on right now.....which is AWESOME!! The days are fun, and we are enjoying every little smile and giggle from Baby D. I am ecstatic that he is FINALLY feeling better! Not only are we enjoying the new and refreshed Dylan, BUT HE is enjoying life.......FINALLY! He is happy and feeling well. It is probably the first time since August that he has felt good on the inside. I am sooooooooooooo happy that he is happy and feeling well! What a blessing! THANK YOU LORD!! He has been sleeping really well the last 4 nights also. First night was 6 straight hours, the next night 5, the next, 6 hours and then last night......8 straight hours of sleep for Baby D....AND MOMMY!! I cannot even remember the last time I got that much sleep without someone watching him for me. I am hoping and praying that this please join me in that prayer :) He is giggling, smiling and happy 95% of the time that he is awake, and I just cannot stop holding him, hugging him, and kissing him every chance I get! I am so thankful for the life that he has been given and I cannot express the joy in my heart that I feel. Thank you all for all of your continued support and prayers! I feel like we just started to run in this race we are in and are not walking at a slow pace anymore. I want to run the race that the Lord has set before us, without hindrance from fear or worry.....God is in control!!

Monday is the BIG day of his engraftment testing.....please pray for 100% Donor cells and 0% Dylan cells!! Results should be back on Friday.....and it will be a long week of waiting!

Enjoy the pics....they don't even scratch the surface of showing how happy and renewed he is--but they are a glimpse! :)

Reminder: The Light the Night Walk is NEXT Saturday on the 14th :) We are not going to get shirts because of budget, but we are all going to try to wear blue....any color blue :)

Running the Race through faith,

The Praskins Family

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day +53.....Baby D is feeling better!

Hello all!! I am overjoyed to tell you that we have a very smiley.....and close to healthy 6 1/2 month old! These past few days, he has been a different boy. We are hoping and praying that this change is here to stay!! It's almost like he did a complete turn around in one day. He is smiling, he has a different cry, and.....he is throwing temper tantrums!! YAYAYAY!! I know that may sound like something strange to be excited about, but we are!! It's normal! And normal is what we want :) There is no denying that this little guy is spoiled.....but what else could we do?! He gets frustrated when you are not holding him, and he wants his own way......he is a normal, selfish baby :) And this baby is now showing his tough side. He has found that he has muscles and is starting to use them. He now loves to arch his back, and is kicking a lot more often and is trying to move in any way he can. Well, now when he is in his car seat, and does not want to be in there, he tries to arch his back and holds his's actually quite funny! I would never think that I would be happy to see my child throw a fit....BUT I AM!! Of course we will be working on these things as the days go on, but we are excited to see the changes. HE HAS BEEN SO SMILEY and has even started to laugh again.....I almost started crying the first time he laughed again! We are excited to see the daily changes in Baby D and it has made life in Tucson so much more fun!! He even slept for 6 hours straight last night.....we will see what happens tonight (it may be too good to be true). He is working on his neck muscles again also. He is still a little bobble head, but is slowly gaining back control. The crying fits have subsided and are hopefully a thing of the past! He has gone 3+ weeks WITHOUT blood and platelets transfusions--he has gone 4+ weeks WITHOUT throwing up--and he is on his way to being a perfectly healthy boy!! We are sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to see what the results of his grafting tests are next week! D is also starting to grow back some of his hair-eyebrows-and eyelashes! I thought his face was dirty the other day and I was trying to wipe his eyebrows, only to find out that the "dirt" WAS his eyebrows! HA! He is growing back DARK BLACK eyebrows and eyelashes! Who would have known? The chemo and some of the anti-rejection meds he is on can make his hair grow back darker, so we will see what grows in the next few months!

To think that 5 months ago, the doctors told us that he had a 20% chance of surviving this aggressive disease.....WOW....God is AMAZING!! Look at him now.....look at what God has done in his little body! We are blessed beyond measure and are so excited to continue on this road to recovery. We are now getting to the point where we can go to clinic every other day. Today was a day nice!! I still have to give him his morning meds at home, but it is much better than hanging out in clinic! He is still on a lot of meds and most of them are through IV. Eventually, they will all go to oral meds, but we are still a month or two away from that. Dr. G says that if all continues to go well, then we may be able to go home-home (to Surprise) by the end of the month!!! What a great Thanksgiving this could be!! We all have so much to be thankful for......and I will NEVER take life for granted....NEVER AGAIN!!

Well, I better get off to finish the rest of our nightly routine. Bath time, and then dressing change....and then hopefully bedtime!! My favorite!!

Please pray that Dylan's body continues to heal from the inside out, and that his counts continue to go up. Please pray that Erik and I can stay strong over this next month until we finally get to be together as a family again. WE ARE SOOOOO EXCITED TO GO HOME!! We will still have to come to Tucson 2x a week....but that is OK with me! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day +51.....a better day AND night

About Pics: On Friday during the 'kid dress up day', Daddy got a Dylan tattoo of a Dinosaur painted on his arm by an artist....but that Dino looked too ferocious to be Dylan :) The nurses were calling Dylan, Dylasauras Rex!! He was a cranky little dino that day, but once he was asleep....he was a DINO-Snore! Ha!! I know, I am cheesy!! I also just had to get a pic of just another cute outfit with him and Auntie Karyna, and Daddy.
Hey guys! Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us. We have changed Dylan's formula and a few other things and lowered his steroid dose, so we are hoping that this helps his demeanor just a little bit. He did well yesterday with few episodes and has done well today also, with just minor crying fits (but those just may be him being a "normal" baby)--and none of them required meds to calm him down!! YAY!! I went to the grocery store this evening and left Dylan with Daddy....and I ALMOST got through the whole shopping list without "the call".....but unfortunately, Daddy called with Dylan screaming in the background. He just wanted his mommy :) All in all, he is doing better....and I am so beyond thankful for that!!
D's counts are still doing well and he is hanging on to his platelets and continues to make the amount his body needs......HUGE answer to prayer! We will be getting his graft testing done in just 9 days!! They usually do it on a Monday, so maybe as early as next week, with results by Friday!! God has continued to amaze us with what He can do and we are excited to see the next GREAT thing!!
Well, D is being super smiley right now.....SO AWESOME!! So I am going to take advantage and enjoy every single one! Maybe he might even let me catch some on camera :)
DON'T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR THE LIGHT THE NIGHT WALK ON SATURDAY NOV 14TH--we already have about 25 people on our team and are looking forward to seeing all of our friends and family!! As long as things go well, we will be able to bring down Dylan for the weekend and have him join us for the walk--So exciting!! Thank you in advance for your support!! I hope we can see you all there!! (see the Walking For a Cure post for details)
Goodnight to everyone and we will talk to you later!!