Day 1 - Tuesday, August 9th: Phoenix Children's Hospital

This morning we arrived at Phoenix Children's Hospital, home for the next 6-8 weeks.  Anna woke up with an optimistic spirit, knowing that the journey she's beginning will make her well and allow her to return to the life a seven year old should be experiencing.  

Her excitement kicked up a notch as we approached her room.  She had made some requests for how it would be decorated, and the result exceeded her expectations.  A special thanks to Trish Dwyer.  Her family has been through this before and they are paying it forward tenfold.  They have provided us with guidance, wisdom and peace during our adjustment to the new normal.  She played interior designer with Anna's room and hit it out of the park.

Anna checked her first box almost immediately, as she went under general anesthesia to place a nj-tube through her nose and down to her gut.  This will allow certain medicines and nutrients to bypass the stomach during the nauseous days that lie ahead.  She woke up and took it in stride.  The rest of the day was spent playing and getting used to her new surroundings.

Tomorrow, August 10, Anna will begin a week of intense chemotherapy to eliminate her bone marrow to make room for the new marrow.  Pending any issues, she's due to have her "2nd birthday" on August 17 - transplant day. It will be a challenging month or so ahead - days of pain, exhaustion, sickness and loneliness.  I can think of no one better to take on these trials than my brave and beautiful daughter, Anna Mae DeLaney.  

One last thought - I'm so lucky to be surrounded by three strong ladies.  When I hope to stand strong for our family and fall short, Melissa picks me up.  When we all need a laugh, Margaret knows just the trick.  And when I feel sorry for myself, Anna reminds me of what's truly important.  

We will try to provide updates every couple days. You'll notice Melissa's writing will put mine to shame. Thank you all for your support, love and prayers.



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