Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I cannot even begin to express how exciting this Thanksgiving and Christmas has been. No IV meds, no clinic visits, no dressing changes....and we have a HEALTHY BOY!! He is the BEST Christmas present we could ever ask for! 2010 has been a WONDERFUL year and we are so blessed!!
Things have been crazy busy (as usual) at the Praskins house! Dylan is now done with his second surgery on his eyes. He had his right eye done in October, and his left eye done two weeks ago. When they checked the pressure in his right eye, it was at a 13, which is awesome....but we won't know for sure if the surgery worked until the next exam. We have another exam under anesthesia scheduled for January 12th. This exam will be the one that will show us if his pressure is stable or not. PLEASE PRAY that it is! We need his pressure to be reading in the 10-20 range. IF this 2nd round of surgeries did not work, then we will need to go through with a more invasive and permanent surgery.
We also visited Dr. Graham this month. Dylan now only has to go in every two months! YAY!! I still remember driving to Tucson 2 times a week for clinic visits.....SOOOOO glad those days are over. Of course, Dr. G is now closer in Mesa, so that makes the trips even more convenient :) Dr. G was overjoyed to see Dylan's progress and to see him walking around the clinic! Dylan acted like he owned the place and was walking and practically running down all of the halls. He loved all of the attention from the staff and nurses and loved showing off his new skills. It's always a little nerve wrecking when they draw blood and we anxiously await the results. BUT, ALL BLOOD COUNTS WERE PERFECT!! Praise the Lord!
We had our first 'normal' sick week with Dylan last week. The poor little guy got the flu and was making all sorts of messes for mommy to clean up. It was a rough week for all of us, but with lots of cuddle time, we made it through.
Dylan is still cutting some more teeth. Does the teething ever end?! He now has 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom. There are 4 more that are making their way through on the bottom and they are taking their sweet time. They are molars and are making Dylan's mouth miserable :( We are hoping once he has some molars in, that he will be more interested in chewing some food. At this point, he only eats pureed foods and won't eat any bites of any kind of food. So, maybe the new chompers will help :)
Well, we are busy getting ready for Christmas and are excited to spend this year NOT worrying about cancer. God is so good, and has blessed us beyond measure!! Our hope and prayer for all of our friends and family is that you CHERISH every single moment with your loved never know how long you will have them. Thank you for your continued love and support! We love you all and wish you a VERY Merry CHRISTmas!! May your 2011 be filled with lots of LOVE and JOY!!
Loving life and living it for the Lord,
The Praskins

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicago-Nov 2010

Erik and I had the opportunity to visit one of my best friend's Emily and her hubby Jake. He is going to Moody Bible in Chicago and they live in the heart of the city--it was AWESOME! We decided to leave Dylan with the Grandparents and take a little trip with just the two of was a GREAT idea!! Now don't get me wrong, we love our little stinker, but it is also nice to get time away. I was also glad that he did not have to freeze along with us!! Erik has family close to the city too so we drove out to see them also. It was a fun filled week of friends, family, sightseeing and LOTS of yummy food! We had a blast and are so thankful that we had the opportunity to visit!

Light the Night- November 2010

Hey guys!! Light the Night 2010 was a huge success!! As a team, we raised almost $5000! We had around 140 walkers with all of the 'little' walkers or stroller riders included. Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to walk in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and in support of our family. We are truly thankful to each and every one of you who came out to walk with us! And thank you to all of you who were able to help raise funds or donate to this amazing cause. Because of you, someone will be able to hold their loved ones longer and will be able to live better lives!
We all had a special treat that night.....Dylan walked!! He has been walking 5-10 feet for the past few weeks but had never gone further without someone coaxing him. Well, the night before the walk, he decided it was time! He knew that the next evening would be special and wanted to show off for everyone!! He was so cute! There was a crowd of people circled around our precious little miracle, in awe of his progress and his determination to grow and thrive! The night couldn't have been any better. I can't help but think of last year and the position we were in at that time. We had no guarantees and were waiting day by day to see what would happen. What we DID know was that we served an amazing God who had every detail planned, and Who was in complete control of Dylan's precious little life. Today we are in awe of what God has done in Dylan's little body. Although remission does not come without it's challenges, we are enjoying every single minute with our WALKING MIRACLE!
Thank you again for every person who was involved in making this year's Light the Night Walk a huge success. We are surrounded with such an amazing support group of friends and family and we love you all!!
Walking by FAITH,
The Praskins

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dylan is 18 months old!

Can you believe our baby Dylan is 18 months old!! He is getting so big! We decided that it was time to give him a "big" boy haircut. We took him to the kids haircutting place by our house and he sat in the cool red car. I watched as they chopped his crazy wavy hair and tried not to cry. He looks so old now!! Maybe a little closer to his real age :) He is no longer our little baby and is becoming a fun little toddler!!
We had Dylan's eye pressure checked again last wednesday. We were expecting the pressure to be in the 15-20 range as it was the previous pressure check. This was not the case, and the pressure is back up. The surgery was not a success. As you can imagine, this was a huge setback and disappointment, BUT, God is in control and now we go to the next step. The doctor is going to do a 2nd goneotomy on both eyes. He is hoping it will work the second time around. It's hard to predict anything with Dylan because he is so special. There are not any other kids like him. He is a special case :) The doctor has another infant who recently underwent his 2nd goneotomy and it was successful the second time, so there is hope. If the surgery does not work, then the next step would be to put shunts in his eyes to drain the fluid. We want this surgery to be a last resort because it can only be done 4 times in each eye because it causes scar tissue. We are praying for success for this second surgery! Please join us!!
Besides the eye pressure thing, Dylan is doing wonderful!! He now has 6 teeth! Two on the top and four on the bottom. He has been teething for what seems like forever and I will be VERY happy when he is done :) BUT, that is far away! He is chugging along developmentally. He is still really behind according to his age, but he is right on track according to his adjusted age (18 months -8 months of treatment). He is still not walking, but has crawling mastered....he is super speedy!! He CAN walk...he just chooses not to. He will take 7-10 steps from me to daddy, but other than that, he is not interested. A lot of his walking issues have to do with his vision. Which brings us back to his glasses. He hates them! I don't blame him, because if I were his age, I would hate them too. So, until he figures out that the horrible things I keep putting on his face actually help him see....he will be crawling. When he is crawling, he can see the floor below him. When he is 2 feet up, everything is blurry. I will try to get a good pic of him in his glasses and post it. But that will require him to keep them on for more than a minute :) Right now, when I put them on, he almost freezes and won't look around or play, he just concentrates on getting them off....which is hard when I am holding his hands or constantly trying to distract him with toys. It is a process. Please pray for us! I know he will eventually wear them and eventually walk, so I am not too worried.
Thank you for the continued love and guys are AWESOME!!
The Praskins

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 Light The Night Walk--Saturday, Nov 6th

This is our 2009 walk team! We were overwhelmed with love and support and it was amazing to see the HOPE and LOVE that can come from friends and family joining together for a cause!

This year's walk is Saturday, November 6th at

Sahuaro Ranch Park

9805 N. 59th Avenue

Walk Distance: 2 miles

Check In: 5:00 PM

Opening Ceremony: 6:00PM (Dylan will be a part of this!! )

Walk Start Time: 6:30PM

HI EVERYONE!! First of all, I wanted to thank all of the people who came out to support Dylan and our family at last year's Light The Night Walk. Representing the largest team at the walk, we had 130 friends and family walk in Dylan's honor and help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for research. This year, we are excited for another great night of fellowship, support, and raising funds for research and awareness of Leukemia.

When we did the walk last year, we were still in the middle of Dylan's treatments. He had his bone marrow transplant just two months earlier and he was still very weak and sick. His future was fragile, and we did not know if he was going to survive. We were walking in honor of him and in the hopes that God would heal him completely. I believe that God used research done by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to heal Dylan. Dylan was going through treatments that had no protocol for children his age. We choose to support LLS because of the amazing research they do. My dream would be that someday the survival rate of an infant diagnosed with Leukemia under the age of 6 months would go from 20% to 100%. The cure is out there, but the research needs to be done. Please join us in being a part in contributing to saving the lives of children and families who are affected by Leukemia and Lymphoma. This year, we CELEBRATE life with Dylan and are proud to have a survivor! Please come and CELEBRATE with us! We are excited to have Dylan present at the walk this year and maybe even WALKING this year! (maybe just a few steps :) Bring the kids and make it a family event. This year there will be entertainment for the kiddos too!


Sign up at then click on "WALK WITH US". From there, you can create your own page and send supporters straight to your page to raise funds. When they donate online, it sends them a receipt via email. There are even gifts and prizes to those who raise over $250!

We want to challenge every walker on our team to raise $100 and become a Champion for a Cure. For every walker who raises $100 or more, you get a Light the Night T-Shirt, illuminated balloon, and a dinner that night from Texas Roadhouse! We are still working on getting team shirts, so stay tuned for more info on that! :)

We have set a team goal of $10,000. If we have at least 100 walkers, that is just $100 per walker. And remember, this is money you are RAISING. We know that the economy stinks right now and that people do not have a lot of extra money, but if you know 10 people that can donate $10 or 20 people who can donate $5, then you hit your goal!!

Can't make the walk but still want to raise funds? Create an account and raise support, or send others to our team page. You can look it up from the main page at under Dylan's Dream Team, or click the following link

WANT TO DONATE?? Please go to our page and make a donation. Remember, no donation is too small, and every penny counts!

Please join us in supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as we help to find a cure for blood diseases.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! We are looking forward to a fun-filled evening on November 6th and can't wait to see you there!

One more thing! Dylan is a celebrity....well, at least a Leukemia Survivor Celebrity! If you go to Texas Roadhouse in arrowhead, you will see his picture! They are big supporters for LLS, and are raising funds! Enjoy a FREE appetizer with a $5 donation to LLS during the month of October.

More updates and pictures to come!!

Love, The Praskins!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

ONE YEAR, CANCER FREE!! Saturday, September 11th, DAY +365!!!!

365 days ago, Dylan received his life saving cord blood transplant.......and 365 days ago, God healed our son. To God be the glory!! We never thought this day would come, and it's through tear filled eyes that we remember the last 365 days!! Wow, God has blessed us so much. Although it does not seem like it has been a year much has happened since then. I can remember that day as if it were yesterday. We were so anxious, and praying harder than we have ever prayed before. "God, could this be it? Is this how you are choosing to save Dylan? Will he make it through this?" many unknowns, but one thing was always clear....God was in control, and Dylan's life was in His hands. To this day, I still wonder why God chose to heal Dylan, but has taken so many children that were close to us home to be with Him. Why us? Why Dylan? All I know is that we did NOTHING to deserve such a miracle and we will do EVERYTHING to make sure that God is given the glory through Dylan's life. We know that the Lord has great plans for Dylan and that He has already used Dylan to touch the lives of others!

We will be seeing Dr. G this week for Dylan's 1 year check-up and I am excited to get the report!! Thank you to all of you who have traveled this journey with us! You have helped us more than you could ever know.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eye surgery is over! least for now

Hello everyone! Dylan had his second eye surgery on the 18th, this time on his left eye. When the Doc checked his pressure on his right eye (the one that already had the surgery), the pressure was 15! PRAISE GOD! It worked!! We are hoping to have the same results with his left eye. This is such a huge leap forward. Now that the pressure is under control, it is no longer damaging his optic nerve. Time will tell how damaged it actually is. Sometimes, relieving the pressure can actually reverse some of the damage. This is our prayer! Dylan is also really nearsighted as I have said before. We were able to get some glasses for him, but he is not a big fan of them and pulls them off the second I put them on. This will be something to work on. He can basically see clearly about 6-8 inches in front of his face. Everything else is blurry. He has gotten used to seeing like this, so it will be a big transition to see EVERYTHING clearly. Please pray for patience for me as I try to get him to wear his glasses, and that he sees how amazing the world is through the lenses. We also went to see Dr. Graham that same week. Again, Dylan received amazing lab results and praises from Dr. G. The whole time we were in his office, Dylan was crawling around and climbing on things and doing his new favorite thing.....break dancing! He loves to lay on tile or wood floors and spin around in circles with his feet in the air. It is quite hilarious. He will spin and spin until he gets dizzy--he loves it!

We now have 3 different therapies that Dylan receives every week. We have had a developmental specialist and physical therapist for the past 6 months, and I love them both! Now we have added a speech therapist. We have been having issues with feedings. Dylan cannot move his tongue back and forth in his mouth. This is an issue because he cannot control where the food goes and ends up gagging on it instead of mushing it with his teeth and gums. He LOVES to eat. So for now, he eats mainly yogurt and baby food. He can't have little puffs, cheerios or anything that is chunky.....yet. We will get there and the therapist feels that it is something we can overcome. We just have to 'wake up' his tongue. This was probably a minor issue when he was born and became more intensified through his journey. But knowing Dylan, there is nothing he can't conquer! In addition to a speech therapist, we will be seeing an occupational therapist to help with fine motor skills and feedings also. So are you counting therapists yet....yes, that will make 4!! But just to make things interesting, we may be doing vision therapy also!! I'm exhausted just thinking about it! But I want to do anything to help D get on track. All of the therapists feel that he is just delayed and not disabled. They have not seen any signs of him being incapable of learning and this is a HUGE praise!! There can be a lot of side effects from chemo and radiation, and some of them we may not see until later in life. Learning disabilities can be one. Another we just learned about has to do with his adult teeth. Because adult teeth start to form at 6 weeks of age, Dylan's growth may have been delayed or halted. In some cases, infants who undergo chemo do not form some of their adult teeth. He should have all of his baby teeth because those form in utero. As of now, he has two on bottom and two on top with two more coming in around his bottom teeth. We will be able to see if he is missing his adult teeth when he is at least 3 years of age....until then, I cannot let myself worry about it....and we can't do anything about it anyways :) And about the teeth he has now....he chews on anything and everything! He chews on cribs, tables, plates, my KNEE....pretty much anything he can get his mouth on!

In 13 days, we will be celebrating Dylan's one year of being CANCER FREE!!! Can you believe it?? I can hardly believe that it has been a year already! I'm in tears just writing this! He is such an amazing miracle and we are truly thankful for each and every day. Thank you to all of you who have cried, prayed, and hoped with us to make this day possible! Many prayers have been answered and miracles seen.....GOD is AMAZING!


The Praskins

Monday, August 23, 2010

Abby Grace

Sweet Abby Grace went to be with the Lord on Sunday evening, August 8th. She had her mommy and daddy and family by her side. I cannot begin to tell you of the heartache that I feel for the Mullens, or the heartache that I feel myself. Abby was so special to us. Her smile lit up the room and her bubbly personality was contagious. When Dylan was getting his transplant...when he was in his worst condition, Abby's sweet face gave me hope. I would wait by the phone in our room hoping Jennifer would stop by the front desk to say hi, and almost everyday, she did. I would trek down the hallway in my jammies (my hospital attire:) and look forward to seeing Abby's beautiful smile and get a warm, familiar hug from Jennifer. Sometimes a friendly face was all I needed to get through the day. Jennifer always joked that she was happy that we got to go we could be the example and she would know what to expect. My response to her was always that we were privileged to get to be an example. There were so many unknowns at the time, and Dylan and Abby were so similar. They were only 3 months apart with treatments, and I was able to help and encourage Jen along the way....and tease her. We grew close, and there is nobody that can identify with you unless they too, have gone through this horrible disease with a child of their own. We had an instant bond the day we met and cried together. Abby and Dylan had that bond too. In the beginning, Dylan was still very young and very sedated all of the time....but that did not stop Abby. I remember one day we went into clinic, Dylan was sleeping in his car seat and Abby was determined to see that baby under the blanket. She practically jumped off of Jennifer's lap to get a sneak peak. It was quite funny. I had to pry her little hands off of the handle of his car was love at first sight!! Anytime we came in the room, her face would light up and she would stick out her hands as to grab Dylan, while her tongue hung out of her mouth. She just wanted to lick him and squeeze him! Unfortunately, Dr. Graham would not allow it. He would always say, NO licking, NO touching, NO kissing! HA! They were both so immune compromised that they could get each other sick. Nevertheless, their bond was immediate, and strong!

We attended Abby's Celebration of Life last week. It was so hard to say goodbye, but also so exciting to know that she is in heaven. She no longer has to bear the pain of cancer and is dancing in heaven in her new body. Please keep the Mullens in your prayers, as this is going to be a very long healing process. I cannot imagine my life without our precious Dylan. And yet, this could have been God's plan for his life. Life is short. Nothing is guaranteed, whether you have cancer, or are perfectly healthy. Please take time to love those whom God has blessed you with and do not take them for granted. The Mullens cannot bring Abby back, but they can make sure that her life had a purpose. Anyone who met Abby was changed. She had a special gift that only she could give. We are all better people for knowing that precious girl.

Thank you for your prayers :)

Living everyday like it's my last,


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cardinals Training Camp with HopeKids 8/3 and The HopeWalk 9/26

Hi Everyone! We had an amazing opportunity to go to the Cardinals training camp this past Tuesday with Hopekids, and we had a blast! The weather was beautiful in Flagstaff, and it was nice to get away for the day. The Hopekids organization arranged for all of the kids to be able to meet the players after practice and even get autographs! Since our little Hopekid is too small to walk....Erik was able to go with Dylan and get to meet the players too! He was soooooo excited! Although Dylan may not be able to appreciate the experience now, he will definitely appreciate his signed jersey later :) Erik said that all of the players were really nice and that they each took time to talk with the kids. A few players even held Dylan and we were able to get some pictures! The pictures that we have on here are the ones from my camera, but we will have some more "official" ones posted later! Enjoy!

What is HopeKids?? I'm glad you asked....HopeKids provides ongoing events & activities and a powerful, unique support community for children with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions. They surround these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope can be a powerful medicine. We have been blessed enough to attend numerous HopeKids events....and they are all free of charge to the families. They do everything from sporting events, to date nights for moms and dads, to movies and activities for the kids, to arranging for kids to meet with their hero's one on one. They provide an environment for families to come together with a common bond, and for kids to be able to be around other kids with the same life challenges. Dylan is now a HopeKid hero! When he is a little older, we hope to be able to go and visit other families that are in the hospital and encourage them with Dylan's story and smile. HopeKids really helped us specifically in the first few weeks when Dylan got diagnosed. The way the laws are now, nobody is allowed to contact you or talk to you unless you 'sign up' for their services...and we are so happy we checked the HopeKids' box. Bridget (from HopeKids) called me with the name of a family that had a young boy, almost the same age as Dylan when he got diagnosed. This was the first family that I had heard of with a child as young as Dylan. Little B's mom was able to encourage me and give me hope through their experience and give me an idea of what I could expect. We were surrounded by negative statistics and circumstances, so B's family was such a huge encouragement to us. God works in mysterious ways, and we are so thankful that He brought us to HopeKids! A big THANKS to HopeKids for all they do for families like ours and the Hope and encouragement they bring to the kiddos!
HopeKids is having a Hope Walk on Sunday, September 26th. We are going to be out of town that weekend and sadly will not be able to attend. BUT we still want to be a part of raising money for this amazing organization. If you would like to make a donation, please click on the following link . Our goal is to raise $1000. If you would like to participate in the walk, here is the information:

Location: The Plaza on Market Street at DC Ranch, 20645 North Pima Road Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Date: Sunday, September 26th, 2010
Registration: Starts at 7:30 AM
Time: The 5k HopeWalk begins at 8:30 AM
Fundraising goal: $65,000
All proceeds to benefit HopeKids and will help provide HOPE to children battling a life-threatening illness and their families.
Please join us for the 2010 HopeWalk around the beautiful community of DC Ranch in North Scottsdale. Last year, more than 500 people came to WALK FOR HOPE and supported HopeKids by raising over $55,000!!


Thank you for supporting us! Remember that no donation is too small :) Have a great week and I will post more pics later :) Love you guys!

Walking by faith,
The Praskins

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day +318....1st Eye Surgery :(

Hi everyone! It's time for our monthly update and this month has no shortage of challenges :) We went in this past Wednesday to get Dylan's eye pressure checked under anesthesia. We were hoping that the pressure in his eyes would be under control with his drops; unfortunately, this was not the case. A normal eye pressure should be around 25, and in past testings, Dylan's was in the high 20's with the drops. The drops SHOULD keep his pressure in the low 2o's. Well, this time, his pressure was pushing 35 in both eyes. When the doctor came out to the waiting room just 5 minutes after they put Dylan under anesthesia, I knew the news was not good. Because the drops could not keep the pressure at bay, they had to do a small surgery on his eye. With a laser, they made a small incision right where the cornea (white part) meets the iris (colored part). This incision is supposed to help relieve the pressure of the fluid in his eye. If the pressure does not get under control, then it will continue to cause damage to his optic nerve causing sight damage. They operated on his right eye first, because it has the most damage and will operate on his left eye in a few weeks.
When Dylan was being woken up from the anesthesia, he was VERY scared. I have walked into the O.R. many times after anesthesia, hearing the his cry, but this time it was different. I don't know what I was expecting to see, but I did not expect to see half of his face covered in tape with a huge metal patch over his eye. He was so scared. Normally, he eats right away (because he is starving), but this time he just kept screaming and crying. I can only imagine how he disoriented. All I could do was hold him tight and let him know that mommy was there. He cried so much that he passed out for a few minutes and was even snoring! Then, when he woke up again, the screaming commenced. That afternoon was very unproductive. I spent 7 hours cuddling with him on the couch. He finally ate, and then took his position back on my chest and nuzzled his face close. I think I saw his left eye open once, but that was it. He only wanted to sleep and cuddle and keep his eye closed. Poor kiddo. He has been through so much, and it is never easy seeing him in pain :( This time, I don't think it was pain as much as frustration and confusion because he didn't know what was going on. Thankfully, he was able to sleep almost through the night in his bed and gave me a little break :) At least when we go in to get his left eye done, I will be more prepared.
The next morning, Dylan was Dylan again. He adjusted to the patch and was hopping along the couch and being his usual playful self. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! We went in that morning and got the patch off, and some more drops to put in! YAY!! We love drops!! Ok, so we really actually dislike drops very much, especially when they have to be put in 4 TIMES A DAY! So in addition to his morning drops, and 2 sets of drops at night, we have two more sets of drops that have to be done 4 times a day at least an hour apart. So basically I am laying him down and prying his eye open every couple of hours :( He needs a medal of some sort...such a trooper!! We also ordered his glasses that day and they should be in this Friday! I am excited to try them out and praying that he will actually keep them on! This should be another fun battle. After the eye appointment, we headed to Mesa to see our beloved Dr. Graham! We love Dr. G! This was our first time not driving to Tucson to see him and we were very happy about that! It's still an hour away, but we will take that drive any day. ALL GOOD NEWS at Dr. G's office! YAY!! PRAISE GOD!! I did not know if I could handle any more bad news that week. His counts are perfect and Dr. G was very impressed with the progress Dylan has been making. All of the staff of the clinic had to come and see the 'Miracle Baby'. And it is so true--HE IS A MIRACLE!! The last time we saw the staff at that office was when we were headed down to Tucson for his transplant. They saw him when he was so little, and so sick. What a blessing Dylan is to the staff of a cancer clinic. God is using Dylan to be a light and support to those who see so many deaths and sadness.
As for progress, Dylan is growing by leaps and bounds. He is 15 months old and weighs 19lbs and is about 29 inches tall(he's our little shrimp:) He is crawling EVERYWHERE and prefers army style over normal, probably because we have a lot of tile. He is cruising along the furniture and loves to try to make his way around the room by reaching for any object that can get him closer to his goal. He climbs anything and anyone who is around him. He LOVES playing patty-cake! He does this funny thing where he hold up his hands in fists and his body shakes anytime he gets excited.(see first pic) It is quite hilarious and we find ourselves trying to get him to do it over and over again. He just makes me laugh. He is so much fun to play with! He is jibber-jabbering a lot and says mama and dada and baba quite well....although when I ask him to say mama, he usually says dada and then blows a raspberry. Funny kid! He is a true blessing, a miracle, and the best gift that we could have ever been given....cancer and all!
ABBY UPDATE: Well, a week ago, Abby was doing REALLY well! There was no sign of the leukemia, and she was eating and playing and had a miraculous turn around. Sadly, today, I heard from her mom and her blood counts are showing that she has 27% blasts (leukemic cells), and she has a lot of swollen bumps on her head. They believe the bumps are leukemia. As you can imagine, this is a horrifying roller coaster of ups and downs for Abby's parents. Please pray for strength for Abby's body to fight off the leukemia, and that the Lord will give the doctors wisdom on what to do next. Pray for John and Jennifer that they have clarity on what they should do next and that they have strength, both emotional and physical to get through one day at a time.
Thank you all for your continued love and support. Talk to you next month! :)
Running the Race set before us,
The Praskins Fam

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day +283.........over a year since diagnosis

June 13, 2009.....6pm...."Your son's white blood cell count is extremely elevated. That can mean one of two things; he may have a tumor of some sort, or he has Leukemia." I can hear those words as clear in my mind as I heard them over a year ago. Cancer has changed our lives-- Leukemia has changed our lives. I still cannot believe it has been over a year since Dylan was diagnosed. I remember that day so vividly-it was a nightmare that became our reality. It is hard to write this without crying, even knowing the wonderful outcome. We were so desperate for answers that day. So worried, frightened, and scared beyond our worst imaginations. He was just so precious...our little boy. I WILL NEVER forget that pain. And I do not want to. I don't want to forget about how God brought us through the unimaginable. How He was by our side every second of every heartbreaking day....and remains with us today. How GREAT is our God?! Praise Him for bringing us through this horrible trial as a stronger family with a greater love for each other and for Him! Whew....WHAT A YEAR! Now, we get to deal with the boring, everyday troubles of life....and it is AMAZING! I LOVE being bored! Ha! I love laundry, cleaning the house, and getting to spend every second of my boring life with my family! Things are going very well around here. Dylan had his LAST appointment in Tucson 2 weeks ago, and Dr. Graham is officially moved to the Banner Desert in Mesa. It will be nice not having to drive to Tucson anymore, but we will miss our friends and nursing staff dearly. I am sure we will make a few more trips down there to visit everyone :) Dylan's labs and numbers all looked perfect. His platelets are above the highest average number, so Dr. G said that he wants some of them back! Ha! He amazes the nursing staff every time they see him. He is a bundle of energy and smiles! This has been a very hard year for transplant patients, so it is always great for them to see the good cases :) Dylan is a major attention hog. HE LOVES ATTENTION. He has a knack for getting people to pay attention to him and he does not have a shy bone in his body. Last week we went back to Phx Childrens for another eye pressure check, and he had those nurses putty in his hands. He was blowing kisses and batting his eyelashes and flashing his pearly is quite entertaining watching him 'work' his audience. His eye pressure test did not go too well. His pressure is still high, despite being off of his steroids. The Dr seemed a little worried, but we are going to give him another month with drops before we try surgery. His next pressure check is scheduled for late July, and if the pressure is still high, then the Dr will make a small incision in each eye to try to relieve some of the pressure. This will be the first step before doing a more invasive eye surgery. Please pray that his drops can help the pressure on their own. The Dr also said that he is severely near sighted and will need glasses as soon as he starts walking. I hope they make those things indestructible! :) In other news, Dylan is REALLY wanting to walk. He still has a very weak core, but he is building his muscles quickly. His physical therapist brought over a little catwalk with rails that he loves to walk along....its only a matter of time. Thank you to all of you who continue to pray for Dylan.....we are truely thankful for each and every prayer. Please continue praying that his eyesight does not worsen and that the doctors can figure out a way to stop his pressure. Other than that, he is doing amazing! A bundle of joy! Thank you for your support and LOVE!! We love you!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day +255....255 down, 110 to go to get to 1 YEAR of Remission

Hello Everyone!! Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to update. Dylan is taking a nap right now, so hopefully it is a long one! God could not have blessed us with a better child.....cancer and all! I would do it all over again if it meant being able to spend time with him. He is so full of life! Erik always says that somehow Dylan knows how blessed he is to be alive, and that is why he is such a happy child--and in some ways, I believe that too! He keeps us entertained 24/7. He is always learning something, and surprising us with new adventures everyday. Developmentally, Dylan is soaring. He has come so far in the past 5 months. When we came home in December, he was barely moving around. He would sit in your lap and smile, but that was about it. Now, he is a crazy, moving machine! We think that he is going to skip crawling and go straight to walking. For the past couple of weeks, he has been learning to stand along the couch and ottoman, and now he can stand there for long periods of time without any assistance. He is working on side-stepping right now, and I'm sure he will be a pro by next week. We got instructions from the physical therapist to limit his time in the jumper. This was a hard task because he LOVES to jump in his jumper--the problem with that is he thinks everyone is a trampoline and wants to jump everywhere!! So, we have been spending more time in his walker and walking with holding onto our hands. He has been using the walker for about 2 months now. He used to always get frustrated in it because he could not JUMP in it, like the jumper, and would always get bored quickly. That was up until about 3 days ago.....NOW, he loves it!! He is a walking maniac! He quickly darts from one end of the house to the other! It really is amazing how quickly he got the hang of it! He even chases me and Lily around the house! He thinks its hilarious to run into me while I'm in the kitchen cooking or cleaning. He rams into me and then laughs hysterically! This kid is hilarious! He is a constant joy....even when he is being a little monster....and yes, he is a normal child....not perfect ALL of the time :) He loves to clap! He has been clapping with his feet for months (which I have to say is a strange, but entertaining talent), but he is now also clapping with his hands! It is so cute! He loves to wave at people, and he is quite fascinated with his hands and how they move. He loves to blow kisses too! He usually just smacks his mouth repeatedly...but we know what he is trying to do. He is becoming more vocal. He used to just growl and scream to make noise, but is now 'singing' a lot. He loves to be heard! Especially if people are talking, he wants to make sure you remember he is there. He is not saying any words yet, but when you tell him to say 'Daddy", he blows a rasberry! It is hilarious! He does it almost every time! He LOVES the water! He practically jumps out of my arms when I walk by the sink (because that is where he used to get baths) or if I walk by the tub with him. Bathtime is his favorite time of the day! We have gone swimming a few times and he LOVES it! We have to be careful to keep him in the shade because of his eyes, but as long as we have shade, he is happy! Medically, everything is going really well. His labs were perfect and he has not had many major issues. We will be getting his eye pressure checked again on June 9th, so please pray that the drops are working so we can avoid surgery. I cannot tell you enough how wonderful Dylan is! Everyday is a blessing. And when I get frustrated with stupid problems of life, I look at him, and am reminded of the miracle that we are blessed with. In the grand scheme of things, the little problems do not matter and they are not worth stressing over. Life is a blessing. We are not guaranteed a certain amount of time on earth...our kids, our husbands, wives, family, and friends, are all gifts from God.......cherish each and every one of them!!
Many of you have been asking about Abby, and we appreciate your support and prayer for her. She is hanging in there and fighting hard! She is on a heavy pain medication drip that is controlling her pain well. Although she is sedated and sleeping a lot, she also has her entertaining moments. She had a few great nights this week where she was happy and playful....and those times are cherished greatly. They all celebrated her sister Alyssa's, 4th birthday party on Saturday and had a great time. There is not a lot to update right now, but I will let you know as soon as I have new information.
We love you all and thank you for your continued prayer and support.
Walking by faith,
The Praskins

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tucson Visit and Clinic Picnic

Hello Everyone!! We headed down to Tucson on Friday for Dylan's appointment, and then spent Saturday hanging out with Abby and family at the clinic picnic. It was great getting to spend some time with Abby and her family. She is so much fun! She was in a great mood on Friday night when we went out to dinner. She was all smiles. So precious. It's wonderful watching her and Dylan interact....they are fascinated with each other. But, Dr. Graham gave orders for no we had to be careful! :) The two kiddos were the center of attention at the picnic. They hung out and played underneath the big umbrella, and the crowds came to them! It was great to see all of our nurses who took care of Dylan--they had such an impact on us. The picnic was actually a going away party for Dr. Graham. But, fortunately, we are not saying goodbye! He is moving to Mesa to work at Banner Desert. We have only one more trip to Tucson :) I have a feeling I will still be going there every once and a while to visit friends, but no more doctor visits. :)
DYLAN UPDATE: Dylan's labs were perfect. He is doing great....I will update on next post about more details, but for now....Abby is heavy on my heart.
ABBY UPDATE: Well, Abby was happy and vibrant during our visit. Her smile lit up the room!! When there was music playing at the picnic, she was bouncing away, dancing to the music. ADORABLE!! Now, the tough stuff......sadly, her treatments are not working. Her leukemia is so strong and will NOT give up. But neither will Jennifer and Jon! There are not any more options left to try. They are hoping and praying that this treatment works. She is in a lot of pain right now. They are trying to stay out of the hospital, but if her pain cannot be controlled, then they will be admitted. WE ARE PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE......PLEASE, PRAY WITH US! I don't know what else to say :( Thank you for standing with us through this journey. We have had a happy ending, but so many families have not had theirs.....please pray for the Mullens.