Friday, November 7, 2008

"Everything is possible ...the impossible just takes a little longer"

This quote is so dear to me.I found it on blog at yet another time in our life with Zoey,when we were so uncertain as to what the future would hold.The story of this precious boy I found one dark February evening,changed me,forever.His life,renewed my hope.This quote became our adopted mantra and when we celebrated her birthday the very next month,we printed up this quote,had them framed and put them on all the tables at her party.The quote fit her life and the course it had taken up until that day and today we find ,once again that this quote defines Zoey and her journey over the last 20 months.I have placed one of the framed quotes at the top of her hospital bed and I look at it throughout the day, to remind me of the strength and resiliency of this child and what she is capable of.Once again, today found most of us in a state of flux.The boys struggled ..... a lot.Anger,defiance,crying name it,they did it.Not unusual for Joe but for Jake, this is so uncharacteristic.As we settle into our new norm,they hopefully will find their way a bit easier.We all are giving 110% of ourselves to one another and still,somehow,fall short.My expectations are far to high for 9 days into this life altering event.Since I have absolutely no control on the course this "thing" will take with Zoey,I find myself trying to control things within my grasp, schedules,house stuff,events but even at that, I feel like I am failing.Every aspect of this latest leg of our journey, seems totally and completely frustrating.However,my frustration is short lived, as today was another outstanding day for Miss Zoey .Strange to classify a day in the hospital, fighting Leukemia,outstanding but I gotta call it like it was.She even ate some baby food today,which is a first since treatment began.Her g-tube site is a bit irritated,which is unusual for her.Her site,up until now, has always looked stellar.Since chemo can break down skin,thus the frequent diaper changing,it would make sense that her g-tube site might feel the effects.We are trying to stay ahead of problems and are religiously washing,drying and applying ointment to it, to prevent infection.We are watching a little cough as well.I think it is from the post nasal thing she has going on and her lungs continue to sound clear to everyone.Thank goodness for that.Her counts are doing their thing as well and we are just shy of zeroing out on her ANC level.Slow and steady everything goes.She is simply magical these days.She is also in the company of some amazing children on the 4th floor.I found out today that there are 6 other children who have Down syndrome,fighting Leukemia, right along side her.The oldest is 15 and Zoey is the youngest.Tonight as I write,Jessica is making a poster for her Team in Trainging.Little Zoey's picture is plastered across it.This time around,Zoey becomes their personal inspiration.The LA marathon is in February.Zoey will not be able to be at the finish line as Jess crosses on that day.Hopefully and prayerfully she will be close to finishing up her treatment.Mark and I will switch places tomorrow.I will try to make the most of my time with the kids before I head back.The day is sure to go way too fast.I continue to miss Zoey each time I come home.Certain in some moments she is here with me.In my heart,for sure.Today as I was riding the elevator up from buying some hot chocolate down stairs,a mom and her little guy came onto the elevator.He happened to also have Down syndrome.He was darling.His mom told me he was 7.They were there visiting friends on a different floor,thankfully.I said good bye as they got off.I wasn't sure if he heard me but just as the doors were beginning to close he turned to me,waved and said good bye,cute as could be.As I got to our floor,I stepped off and began to sob.I want to know I will see Zoey, just as that boy was .... 7 years old, smiling and happy.We all embraced Zoey,as she was forming within me,before she was born we too knew her.I never, ever felt robbed of what I was SUPPOSE to have because Zoey was is just what we all were always suppose to have.We have embraced and rejoiced in her being from day one.Never yearning for anything other than what you too, see before you.We could not and do not relate to the devastation that families feel when they received their diagnosis of Down syndrome.I do not mean to diminish those feelings of others,it just was not us.Haven't we done it all as we should have?We chose life,we chose Zoey.Why then does it seem as if we are being punished by the prospect of possibly losing her?My whole life, I will never understand how it is, that one small soul should have to prove herself time and again.Hope remains but is sometimes tempered by fear.Fear never winning but always present.Pray for this brave little love.Pray that she continues to show us once again, that she is the absolute wonder,she epitomizes courage and she has more than earned her right to be here amongst us.Just my opinion.A mother biased.A mother in love, with a little girl, that truly and fully completes us all.


Kele said...

You have done it as you should have H, and then some...
Zoey will be bounding off an elevator one day, I know it in my gut, in the deepest part of my soul!!
I love you, you make me proud!

Thirza Ritter said...

I found your blog through another blog and I am so sorry to hear that your beautiful daughter has been diagnosed with leukemia. I cried as I read your posts as I remembered the day my son was diagnosed with leukemia almost 11 years ago.

He also has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with pre B ALL shortly after his 4th birthday. He had 30 months of chemotherapy. Today he is 14 years old, doing well and very healthy - we will celebrate his 15th birthday soon. I know God will carry you through this time and I will pray for your beautiful daughter for complete healing of her leukemia and also for your family as you go through this trial.

I hope I can encourage you and I trust and believe that one day, which will be here before you know it, you will be celebrating 10 years off treatment (as we just did) and looking forward to many more years of a great life ahead.
with many blessings,

danette said...

I believe that one day in the near future, we will all gather at your house, so we can meet some of this fantastic family that surrounds you, and we will all watch Zoey running around and squeeling with glee!! You're doing an awesome job guys. We're all in awe of what wonderful parents you are. Keep the faith. "You've got to believe to achieve." Love to all you Needhams.

Anonymous said...

Heather,remember nothing is impossible with God.Keep the faith. Zoey will once again amaze everyone. I know easy for me to say,but I truly believe this in my heart.We will continue to pray! We love you.Helen and family

Caitlin said...

Dear Little Fighter Girl,
I didn't know what bravery was until you were born. I didn't know what strength was until you were born. I did not know what grace was, and I certainly didn't know what beauty was. But here you are, here we are.

"I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born...I made you and I will care for you, I will carry you along and save you." Isaiah 46:3-4

In the pictures you are smiley, goofy, and oblivious, just as you should be. You make me so proud and I am so reassured just by looking at these pictures and hearing you make funny sounds when I'm on the phone with mom or dad.

You fight without fear, I wish we all could be so brave! I love you Baby Doll.


Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, so GOOD to hear your voice. Love Caitlin's comments to your post and about Zoey's strength and beauty. Amazing, all of you. Hold the kids and Mark close, you are all doing an incredible thing. Take care, stay well, prayers are never ceasing, love, Christi Harman said...

Needham family -
I know there is strength in numbers and you are all sticking together 110%! I love all of you and know that Team Needham will conquer the battle put before you. Please know that I am saying lots of prayers for your little Zoey. You're always in my thoughts - Christy P

Anonymous said...

Little wonder - pretty in pink!
or I should say "Princess in Pink"

Keep up the good work little Zoey,
you are so strong and so amazing to everyone near and far....

Hello to your mommy and daddy sisters and brothers too....

Hugs to all


Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Hi friend. You amaze me. The boys will find their way too. Like you said, 9 days ain't much time to find a comfortable niche in it. We are so much alike that I have to giggle a little bit reading this post. Yes, I maybe one of a very few who can smile at this post. I see your strength and Her strength, makes me smile. I also see that some one else turns into a control freak when every thing else is's a great false sense of security. Just don't drive every one nuts doing it - it backfires on me in the end.
You have a shoulder here when you need it. I would love to take a good load of the junky stuff so that your family can get the good.
What exactly is making her skin irritated around the g-tube site? We swab mylanta around Ivey's site when it gets irritated - to combat the gastric juices, but you may be dealing with a different monster.
Lots of love.
gwen and ivey

Cleo said...

Zoey Grace, your extraordinary strength, determination, courage, resilience, tolerance and inner wisdom are such a source of inspiration to all. Your brave spirit honors your journey with such GRACE. Zoey, you greet your days with your precious smile and keep on embracing your amazing life one day a time. I keep your beautiful face in my mind's eye, my heart and my spirit are with you. Sending you all my love, strength and healing energy all the time. Many Blessings to you ~

Heather, the force of LOVE for ZOEY ~ your powerful LOVE and inner STRENGTH ~ are sustaining and carrying her throughout these trying times. Hold on to your FAITH, and keep your mind focused in HEALING. All is well ~. Everything is going to be OK ~

Please know that I continue to send constant positive thoughts, prayers filled with strength, loving and healing energy your way every day. :)

Lots of love.

Michelle said...

Just came across your blog...your daughter is beautiful! Just wanted to let you know she is in my prayers as she fights and conquers this ugly beast known as cancer!

Reagan Leigh said...

My favorite quote yet! I know how you feel about seeing the boy on the elevator. I feel that way a lot. She's you're just want the best life for her (one that doesn't involve doctors and hospitals). It's totally normal. Hope you have a restful weekend. Still sending lots of prayers your way!!