Monday, September 17, 2012

Just Keep Swimming....Just Keep Swimming!!!!

     These past few months have been hard to say the least. I have not been well a lot, and it has really been knocking me down. Every time I think I'm starting to go up hill, it seems like I keep on falling back to the same place I was before. In pain and just trying to push through. I miss writing on my blog, and it seems like I never do it anymore. Every time I feel like writing, I always have the words in my head, but I am never able to type them out. But this blog has really been an outlet for me to say whatever I want to say, when no one will ever hold me back.

     Being sick all the time has really put a downer on my life right now. I am not able to be "normal", and that has been really hard, especially because I just started high school. I'm in bed typing this right now because I have not been well for a while, and haven't made it to school. We have had to already change things with school because I am barely able to make it...so now I am doing online work. But, the nice thing is, I am still able to go to the school and do it there and have lunch. So, I am still going to be with my friends...and if I miss I have no worries. Hopefully this will make things easier. I am really sad to miss out on the full high school experience, and this is not what I planned to do or ever wanted to do, but it is best. Everyday I have texts from my friends, wondering if I want to hang out, or go to dances, or birthday parties. Most of the time I have to tell them we should do it another time or no. It breaks my heart, because I used to be able to do that stuff, but right now I am not well enough. And I can always tell that they sometimes wish I could be more involved in that kind of stuff, but the fact is most of the time I don't feel well, but I would love to go if I could. Luckily, I have the best friends in the whole world, who understand me, and get that sometimes I'm not able to do things normal teens do.



    I have developed a new motto, from one of my favorite Disney Pixar movie Finding Nemo. Also, from one of my all time favorite characters, Dori. It is "Just Keep Swimming...Just keep Swimming!" That is all I can do at this point. Keep my head high and keep pushing through, and just keep on swimming. I have been in love with Instagram, and it helps me express myself through pictures, and quotes. Some of my favorite quotes I have found are these:

    "JUST KEEP SWIMMING"
Last month I had surgery again to repair my arm. Because of the first surgery, I had scar tissue trapping my nerve, so I didn't have feeling in my fingers. So they repaired that, and it's doing pretty well. I have had my transfusions like normal, every four weeks, and my IVIG every three weeks. These have given me a little boost of energy, but I still have gotten sick. About a week and a half ago my ears started to hurt, so we went in to get those checked out, and of course the first time the doctor said no they look fine, and then he said we'll just wait to see how they do. That day I was getting a transfusion so I thought that would kick in a little, but it hasn't. Then we went back in and of course it had gotten worse, and I now have a double ear infection. At the same time my foot started to hurt, the same foot that had MRSA in it while in the hospital. So just to be safe we got an MRI on it, thank goodness its not back, but we don't really know whats going on with it or my ears. They took blood cultures too, and nothing showed up, so we have no idea why this would all be going on. I have also had low grade fevers for a week and a half. Then I got IVIG on Tuesday, we thought that would kick in but again it hasn't...so we have absolutely no idea what's going on. I do know that I am in a lot of pain, and the antibiotics are not helping. I go again tomorrow to see what else we can do!

     I have also done some speaking in public for both BeTheMatch and United Blood Services. Those were great experiences. I had a negative attitude going into both of them, and really didn't want to do it. I kept on wondering why do I have to do this. This is not how I wanted my life to go and not what I wanted to do with it. I quickly realized this is what I am supposed to be doing, and like it or not it's not going away for a while. My purpose right now is to do all I can for these associations...and I know by putting a face with an organization, it makes people want to donate blood or want to join the registry. Of course no one enjoys public speaking, but it makes a difference in peoples lives. And it sure has made a difference in mine. It has helped me to enjoy life a little more, and make the best of it. A lady came up to me after I spoke at BeTheMatch golf tournament and said,"if it weren't for you, I wouldn't of joined the registry!" Wow! I have made a difference in someones Else's life. And you know what, I sure enjoy that, and this is what I am supposed to do, and what I was meant for.

     About a week ago I was having a really rough day, and at the end of it, there was a knock at the door. I opened it and a lady from my ward was standing there with a handmade quilt, my favorite thing of all time,some ladies in my ward had made for me. It was the best present I could have possibly been given. Thank you so much, I will always always cherish that. And you know who you are. It was amazing.

     wow, this has been a long post, but I had a lot to catch up on.Also, on October 28, we are scheduled to be in Maryland at the NIH. My whole family will go out there for more testing, and for more info about transplant. Hopefully we can get good news and have a good experience.

Just Remember........"JUST KEEP SWIMMING!"


Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Long Road Ahead

     Hello everyone, it has been so long since I have posted anything, it feels like every time I think to write a blog post, the same things are happening every month. So, it's kind of hard for me to write the same stuff over and over again, it gets really old! But, these past two months have been quite eventful...I must say! From school finishing, hospital visits, and Miss Arizona pageants, it has been a very eventful summer to say the least!
   
     My hospital visit was a very scary time. It all started on the last day of school, which was a Thursday, and my foot started hurting. I kind of shrugged it off, but then it progressively got worse. It actually felt like it was broken, but I could think of nothing I did to injure it! Then on that Saturday night, I was getting my IVIG, and started feeling really crummy! I couldn't walk on my foot at all, and by the time I was finished with the treatment...My temperature sky rocketed to 104, and my heart rate progressively increased. My mom rushed me to the E.R. and it was an absolute terrible experience. I felt horrible, then the inexperienced E.R nurses "attempted" to access my port, but it didn't work! They missed four times, so by then I told them to just put a stinking IV in my hand, because I was so sick of those nurses hurting the crap out of me! But then things started to lighten up, because the IV team came and successfully accessed my port, then they got the antibiotics in me, then got me up to the seventh floor( hematology/oncology). After an MRI, blood cultures, and blood tests... they figured out that I had MRSA in my blood stream and in my foot. The foot infection was actually called Osteomylitis, which is a deep bone infection. After a week in the hospital, they took me off a bunch of antibiotics, and sent me home with only one, but it was a six week course of the antibiotic at home. Three weeks IV antibiotics every six hours then three weeks of oral antibiotics...which i just started. Things haven't been perfect, but they have improved. I received many visits from people and I am so grateful to have such awesome friends. Justin Beiber even paid a visit for the week! Then last week, I went in for a blood transfusion, but I felt miserable. I was throwing up and all that yucky stuff. They called it C-Diff. Which is an infection in my intestines. So, they started me on another antibiotic, and it seems to be helping. Also, my iron levels have elevated, so they started me on Exjade, which is an iron chelator. A lot of things have been happening, and you probably have heard all of this from my Caring bridge site, but I thought I'd give it in my perspective. It's only the beginning of a long road ahead of me! I sometimes feel myself getting very angry, and just frustrated at life; like when is this going to be over. But, I still have a long road, and I'll try to think of all the positives.

     I have had a very hard time deciding where i am going to go to High School, but after a lot of praying, I found my answer, and I am comfortable with that decision. It will be a very hard year trying to cope with school and the health stuff, but hopefully it will be a fun year, and I will have a good time as a freshman. So much has happened this summer it has kind of been a whirlwind, but I thank you all for the continued prayers, notes, and well wishes. It really has helped me through all this. The only thing I am wondering is why this always happens in summer and never while were in school! Dang it! Ha ha!

Miss Arizona pageant with Elizabeth,
 Kate, and Kaitlyn!
     We have done some fun things this summer, like mall trips, the movies, out to dinner, dance recitals, and the Miss Arizona pageant with the cutest girls ever! I wish though we were going some where, it would be really nice to escape this place for a couple of days, and just let loose and have a great time. I somewhat feel like I have been trapped here for so long, and just need to get away, but oh well, things will have to wait!:)

     I also wanted to mention that our blood drive is coming up in the 14 of July! We have twice as many spots as last drive, but they are not filling up very fast, and we are getting closer and closer to the drive. Please we need people to sign up, you would literally be saving someones life...just consider it! If you would like to sign up, just email my mom at Aimee@bananahorn.com and she can sign you up!

    Again, thank you all so much for the continued support and prayers, I love you all so much and appreciate everything!
XOXO,
McKindree

These are some of the meds I'm on! Woo!
Visiting Little Maddie in the Hospital!
   
Fun Hopekids event at the D-Backs game with Jagen
and my brother and sister!
Kaylie and the family came to visit!
JB is in a lot of the pics!!!
Madi and lee came and brought
Cafe Rio and we had a great time
playing headbands!
Elizabeth, Kate, and madi came for a visit!
 They are the ones who brought JB! haha!
Some of my best friends came to see me! I have
great support!
Hospital visit from Madi Jobe!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kinny's Kause

     Many thoughts are running through my mind as I write this. Frustration, sadness, happiness... I went to the mall today with my sister, and to the movies with my mom, brother, and sister, hoping to have a good time, and trying to get out of the house on my spring break.  I walk around limping because my knees are killing me, my spine and back constantly aching, my head raging. It's very frustrating, It's starting to get on my nerves. But, as I'm trying to push through, thoughts of all my little friends, which by the way are five and under, who are dealing and battling with cancer, an absolute awful disease, I realize it could be WAY worse. One word that I now have is gratefulness. Ya, I may be in pain, and I may have an awful disease, that is little by little taking over my body, but I could have it way worse. Way worse. I'm not at home every day, fighting for my life. I GET, yes I said GET to go to school, go to the mall, go hang out with friends. I realize I am very, very lucky. I may not have it perfect, but again it could be Way worse.

     Yesterday, I went to clinic to have another transfusion. I slept most of the time, which was very nice, so my mom went to get me my favorite meal, Cafe Rio, and a Circle K drink. It was a very nice surprise. When I woke up, my mom was chatting with a mom,  her little boy, Jack, who is again five, has ALL, Leukemia. I woke up to his screaming, as the nurse tried to deaccess his port. It made me so sad. He also wanted Fun Dip! Ha ha! Again it could be way worse!

     A little over a week ago, I met my transplant doctor. When she walked into the room, all the scared and unsettling feelings that I felt, went away. The most calming, warm feeling came over me. As the doctor started to explain everything that would be going on if I were to have a transplant, she explained that I would be in the hospital for a long time, not be able to go anywhere for about a whole year, doing chemo, which would make my hair fall out, and probably be infertile. All of these things totally scared me, but I had a calmness there too. This could potentially save my life, and cure me of this awful disease. She told me, she doesn't care about my mom, she would take me over and be my mom for a whole year! Ha ha! This made me feel really good! The next step, is finding, and testing my siblings out to see if they are a match and be my possible Bone Marrow donor. So, please pray one of my siblings are a match. We are still trying to find out when we will go back to the NIH.

     My next blood drive is April 28th, and we will have Be The Match there, so that you can possibly save someones life. All you have to do is swab your cheeks and be willing in the future to donate your bone marrow to someone in need! This is so important, so is donating blood. We have come up with a very important cause called, Kinny's Kause. We are promoting awareness about donating blood, and bone marrow donors. We need every ones help. This involves simply donating blood and being swabbed to become a potential bone marrow match! The drive will be held at my church building. Go to Caring Bridge.com and type in Mckindreepatton in the space provided, my mom gave all the details on the caring bridge page! Please, you literally could save someones life!

     Please keep continually praying for me and all of the sick kiddos. They really could use a little extra something to keep them going. They need all the help they can get!
     With love, Kinny

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I can do hard things!

     There is not much to report as far as my health goes. I haven't wrote on here for a while, but i have received two more transfusions since the last post. That I think makes my ninth transfusion. My Iron levels are elevating each transfusion, and once it gets to about 1000, I have to start iron chelation. This gets rid of all the extra iron, that my body doesn't need. Iron Chelation is very important if you are transfusion dependant like me! Having to much iron can be a silent killer, so the chelation is very important.
     A boy about 12 or 13, recently passed away from DBA. He is a resident in Mesa. His family hasn't been able to put him to rest yet, because of money. They are trying to have fundraisers to try and help his family. My family is trying to help with a fundraiser, so I'll post when I get the info. The family is very sad, so pray for them, please!!! Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan, and he knows what our life is going to be like, everything happens for a reason. He doesn't give us hard things for nothing, he knows we can get through it, he knows we can do hard things!
     Also, we will be meeting with the transplant team, sometime soon! I know many of you already pray for me, but keep praying, and pray that one of my siblings will be a match, so that if ever in need of a transplant, one of my siblings can be a match! This would mean a lot! We are also, discussing going back to the NIH( National Institute of Health), back in Maryland. They know a lot about DBA, and would be a great addition to my medical team, and a great resource to have. One of my cute friends Maddie, is in need of a Bone Marrow Transplant, she also has DBA! You can sign up to donate, and be a possible match for someone in need! It is so easy! Just go to www.bethematch.com, and register.
     I have started up diving again. I absolutely love it! It feels good to be active again. It is so hard on my body though, which is very upsetting, because I was a high level gymnast, and could do anything. Nope, not anymore!!!! But, I believe in myself, and so does everyone else! "I can do hard things".
   
     I am having another blood drive on April 28th. I will post more information once I get it! BeTheMatch will be there for bone marrow swabbing, so you can do that too! You never know, you could potentially save someones life!

    OK, so there is a lot to report, but this is my everyday life! Its exhilarating, and sometimes scary, everyday is a new day. We just have to always remember, WE CAN DO HARD THINGS!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Wonderful Time

I really cannot believe that another year has passed. It seems like just a few months ago I was happy and healthy, and just in a matter of two years all of that has turned! From being diagnosed with my Immune Deficiency to being put in the hospital, so much has changed. I don't know where all of my time has gone.

It's really hard to believe that a year from December seventh of 2010, I had my first bone marrow biopsy. This one biopsy led to many wonderings and discoveries! We have been to so many doctors to try and figure things out, we have traveled to Cincinnati.  I have been put into the hospital, found out I have DBA, started more IVIG treatments, Blood Transfusions, surgeries...the list goes on and on. Seriously, where has my time gone? But, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am in a good place. I really have so much to be thankful for.
   
This past month has been good and bad. I have had a lot more sick days than usual, and it kind of feels like things are getting worse. I have had a lot of new symptoms, and I'm not real sure why. I had a blood transfusion because my numbers were really low. It made me feel good for about two days, but since then I haven't been feeling well at all. I don't understand! But as usual, I have to keep pushing on!

I finished this semester of school, and that is a total relief. It has been so stressful, but I made it through and did really well! I had a wonderful Christmas, except for the fact that I was very sick and almost went to the Emergency room! But it was very nice! I got to be with my family and even go to church! Having Christmas on Sunday was so nice, I really felt the spirit of Christmas.

I went to clinic and to the orthopedist this month for a check-up, and to see how my arm is progressing from surgery. The doctor said it was dong great, and that I should be able to do some therapy soon! I am thrilled! I also went to clinic to have a transfusion. While there, my mom and I talked with Dr.Shah about the possibilities of transplant. At first, I was kind of shocked! I kind of had a breakdown, but we are just exploring it. Although the thought of a Bone Marrow Transplant scares me, there is a settling feeling that goes along. It could possibly cure me. That thought gets me excited. We are going to see the transplant team sometime in January. Remember, we are just exploring the option!


video
Well I had my blood drive on the 27th, and it went amazing! I could not believe all of the people who came! I was totally overwhelmed over the kindness of people. People made huge sacrifices to come and donate their blood to someone in need! I had over 120 people come and donate. Although, some weren't able to donate or able to make it, it really was the thought that counted! I had family, friends, school teachers, and so many others that came to donate! The United Blood Services even brought a bus to accommodate more people who wanted to donate! All I have to say is, THANK YOU! It really meant so much to me. You have impacted so many who receive blood, just like me. Remember I am having another blood drive on April 28, 2012! Make sure to sign up and come donate! Up above I put together a little video of only a third of the people who came! Thank you sooooooo much! Have a wonderful New Year! P.S. tomorrow the 30th is my birthday! I'm going to be 14... I can finally go to the Stake dances! Whoooooo!<3

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dot...Dot...Dot!

Wow it has been quit a month. I apologize for the time its taken for me to update by blog! Anyway I'd like to sum up my month with two words, gratitude and pain! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did! There is so much for me to be grateful for. My wonderful family, my doctors, awesome friends, and my life. I have been trying to have a better outlook on life, my life may not be how I want it to be, or how it should be, but how can I not say that I have a good life! I have anything I ever need. I have the opportunity to give back, and that is what I should be doing. This month I am partnering up with United Blood services and Mercy Gilbert Hospital, to sponsor a blood drive on December 27. It is the best way that I could give back. Blood is life sustaining for myself and other children at Phoenix Children's Hospital. You could give the '' Gift" of blood this Christmas season. If you would please consider giving blood this season, it would be greatly appreciated! Did you know that for Arizona, they need 700 donations a DAY! If you or someone you know who would like to donate blood, please contact my mom at Aimee@bananahorn.com, or go to Bloodhero.org and sign up. If you email my mom with your phone number, name, email address, and also the time you'd like to donate, I can sign you up! PLEASE...JUST CONSIDER IT!

This month I received another blood transfusion, and my IVIG. Two days after that, I had surgery to repair my, UCL. The doctor said everything went fantastic! Now, I have a really ugly scar, and I'm in a weird contraption! I like to call my scars my "Battle wounds!" Just  little something for me to remember that day by! This took place on November 17! I am still in a lot of pain, but my arm is healing and getting better each day! Thank you to everyone who stopped by! Love you all!

I am now part of the Arizona HopeKids! It is an organization for children with life-threatening illnesses. They have different events each week, that the whole family can participate in. I went to my first HopeKids event on Saturday, the 3rd. It was the Miss Arizona Trunk Show! Surprisingly, it was so fun. I didn't feel well, so that kind of put a damper on it! But Miss Arizona 2011, Jenifer Sedler, will be competing for the title of Miss America on January 13. I think that's when it is! Jenifer is a big part of HopeKids, and comes to many events, and evens takes regular visits to PCH! While at this event I met the cutest, sweetest little girl named Elizabeth. She had just gotten out of the hospital, from a 17 day stay! Elizabeth was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma this year. She has gone through many rounds of chemotherapy, but had to stop because she had a stroke! I felt so sad for this five year old little girl! She was bald, and the most beautiful little girl...EVER! I wish teenagers could pull off the bald look!!:) She ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug! We had an instant connection! When we arrived home, my mom and I just broke down crying! I felt so sorry for this little girl. Why did this little 5 year old have to go through this? I just thought how lucky I really was! Elizabeth was the happiest little girl though! I know Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, and this is his plan for me and all the other really sick children, including Elizabeth! Please pray for her!

Although my life may be really hard, I am so grateful for my life! In the end, I'll be way stronger than I ever was, and I WILL be grateful for my trials. It can only make me stronger! And this Christmas season, I am extremely grateful for everything!
"With faith, anything is possible!"
Love you, Kinny!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Complexity of Life

     I have to say, life right now isn't a walk in the park by any means. Things have seemed to turn a whole 360 degrees to say the least. I fell like everything in my life has seemed to just collapse all at once, and for some reason I just don't get it!
     Lately I have not been my old, happy self. So much has happened in the matter of four months. My blood counts to continue to drop as the weeks pass. But as I said in the last post I've started monthly blood transfusions that have literally saved me. I really believe that if I wasn't receiving those, I wouldn't be able to even ride a bike down my neighborhood with my mom. But now I can say I can do it! I even got a new bike because I've had enough consecutive days that I feel well that I'm actually able to do the things I want. I receive those every month and I also continue to do my IVIG for my immune deficiency. To add... I received my port, and man has that been a lifesaver! No more vein blow outs! Whoooooooooo!

     To add a positive.... about three weeks ago, my parents went to New York, and us kids stayed with my granny. It was so much fun! But, while we were with her, my uncle invited us to a lecture presented by a Hematology/ Oncology doctor from the Children's Hospital in Alabama. He actually talked about blood disorders and mainly about Diamond-Blackfan Anemia. It was really interesting! He also talked about a different therapy for this disease that wouldn't involve the intrusive therapy, Chemotherapy like in a Stem Cell transplant.. It's called IPS Therapy, or Gene Therapy. All he would have to do is take a skin sample, and hopefully it would produce good cells that they could infuse into me. I really don't think it was a coincident that he came to Gilbert, Arizona, out of all places. And I am truly grateful that I had this experience.

     A negative is that my Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) is torn once again. One more thing to add to my list of doctors and more things to handle. This time though, they are considering more Physical Therapy and even surgery. Although I totally don't want surgery,I think it is a good option for the better, because if I can't even put pressure on it and it goes out of whack again, I probably need surgery. I mean I can't live my life like that. I need my arm to function!

     To say the least, my life is complicated. But, I can't do anything about that. I have to remember to live and not get caught in the wrath of worries and my daily struggles. I love all of you guys! Thanks for your support!
     Love, Kinny!


    
     This was right after my port surgery...everything went well, and I am SOOOOOOO excited I finally have it! Oh, and thanks dad for the " wonderful" picture! I look amazing!

I was hooked up to my third red blood cell, blood transfusion! Using my port for the first time was amazzzzziinnggggg!!!!!! Couldn't feel a thing! Thanks Lee, for the Diet Dr. Pepper and the Flancer's! Love you! These transfusions make me feel so much better!:)