Tuesday, November 29, 2011


It's official. As of last night, it has been confirmed that Spencer's Leukemia cells, a.k.a. Blasts, are gone. The disorder has been resolved. A few weeks later than they thought but all that matters is those pesky cells have taken a hike. Now we can start planning a HUGE party early next year to celebrate. One more thing off Spencer's checklist. One more thing.

Having those cells gone was high up on my X-Mas Wish List. Number 1 is a little on the personal side and not something I can see myself getting. Let's say a cancer-free baby boy is tied for number 1. Maybe I can finally get some quality sleep. Even though he's been seriously tuff stuff and after a post-blood draw nap is back to normal, totally unphased...I'm phased. My hurt lasts longer. I need a long nap now that this ordeal is wrapping up.

Outside of the joy I'm feeling after getting the clean bill of health call last night, I've had a great week with my boy. My BOYS, actually. Spencer's first Turkey Day was a smashing success and Todd and I both really enjoyed ourselves. My extended family really is the best. Spencer is so loved. The holiday ended with Spence and myself falling asleep in the new king size bed. Perfection. Friday, he watched me make X-Mas cookies and went to Dave and Buster's for the first time. It was risky to take him there since my overachiever is teething but it was a blast. He is addicted to brights lights and music. Vegas bound? Rock star? Saturday was the traditional family Cookie Day and he was a perfect little dude. It felt like he had always been there. He just FITS. Sunday my in-laws came over to see him and I decorated for his first Christmas season. I've never been so excited for Christmas and my dude LOVES the Christmas tree!!! We took his 1st Christmas pictures to send out in our cards yesterday after the doctor (and for those wanting to see picture of Spencer, I'm holding off until the end of the year and then I'll post all of my favorites).

Speaking of the doctor yesterday...

It was rough. They had a very difficult time drawing his blood and the crocodile tears were flowing. That just rips my heart out of my chest. Still, it's nice to know no one can comfort him like mommy can. Eventually they were able to get what they needed out of his foot but it offset his whole day. No trip to see Santa. He was crabby and slept most of the day away. He barely ate. Seeing him not being his goofy, joyful, energetic self hurts. I can't take his pain and I should be able to. I'M THE MOM!

But the day ended on good news (after an adult milkshake at B-Spot) and I know more than ever that you MUST count your blessings. You're a fool not to.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I received a letter in the mail regarding an evaluation Spencer had that was very positive and reassuring about his development. I have every confidence that he's going to blow minds left and right. He's done so much to be awesome in his 15 weeks of life and I don't just see that coming to a screeching halt.

But it was the phone call I received that really knocked my socks off.

For the first time since this whole Leukemia thing began, the pathologist did not see ANY abnormal cells in Spencer's bloodwork! You read that right. NO ABNORMAL CELLS. I was so excited I could barely stay on the phone with his doctor. I wanted to call Todd right away! We'll have a confirmation follow-up (and a blood draw for a case study he's in...he's the only baby from Rainbow in a case study involving 80 national hospitals), and if the blasts stay gone, he's in "remission". Technically, it's not REMISSION because it resolved itself without treatment and was a transient form of Leukemia. But that's really the best way to describe it.

He'll always be at risk for full-blown Leukemia requiring treatment but I'm going to take this good news and run with it. Will cross that horrible bridge when and if we have to. With him being in this case study for the next 5 years, if something pops up, they're sure to catch it quick and squash it.

I never really thought Spencer was sick. He grew and ate and developed and thrived. He never showed any signs of being a sick baby, just like when Southwest thought he had an infection but Rainbow said, "This is NOT a sick child". No, he's not a sick child. He's an AWESOME child. And once the holidays are over, he's getting the biggest and best party I've ever thrown! After all the shenanigans that have occurred since his birth, he deserves a party. He's stronger than anyone I know.

And Hell, his parents could use a party, too.

So this is what I'm thankful for this year. That my bouncing baby boy has overcome yet another obstacle on his road to greatness and that Todd and I are still surviving it all. One more thing off the Gansert Family check list. Kick Leukemia's ass? CHECK. I'm also thankful for my rad friends and family, especially my sisters, without whom I would be far worse off than I am. Actually, I'm not in such bad shape.

After all, my son is cancer-free!!!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm back. And I'm back to blogging.

Well, Maternity Leave is over after scoring an extra week at home. Sure, I had to have surgery to make it happen (damn kidney stone had the NERVE to get stuck) but it was one more week of Mommy/Spencer time.

But honestly, coming back to work has kind of been a blessing. I'm good at my job and being here is a time where I can't be all up in my head. As everyone knows, Spencer has some health and development issues (the latter of which I don't really like to talk about...other than to say I think he's going to blow everyone's minds because he's already exceeding expectations and rocking left and right). We didn't expect these things. There were no indicators...though there should've been. So it's been a little rougher on me than on the average mom.

And being a mom at all means I'm CONSTANTLY worried about my little guy, and would be whether he had any issues or not. So it's good to just dive into something else for a few hours. He's in good hands. He's got Father/Son time on Monday, and 15 hours with a sitter per week. That's really nothing. We're super lucky. I know this.

So I'm back. And I'll just quickly say that Spencer's appointment at the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology clinic at the Seidman Cancer Center (say that five times fast...and then throw up because it's horrific that he eve has to go there) went really well! My fella is 11 pounds 14 ounces and 24.2 inches long. All his number (platelets, white blood cells, complete neutrophil counts, hemoglobin) were all normal or above and the computer didn't pick up ANY abnormal cells. But that's happened twice before and a pathologist ended up seeing a few. Can't have a Remission party until those bastards are GONE according to a human being.

But overall, things look fantastic. They love him there. He has a plethora of nurse girlfriends and the doctors are amazed by how active, alert, and interested he is. He's taking in his surroundings and dancing his pants off, literally. But no matter how many times they tell me how good things LOOK (and how he's doing things beyond his age group), I won't be able to rest until I hear those stupid cells are gone. I'm going to be in Mom Panic Mode until then.

I guess that didn't really constitute "quickly".

Despite all the extra stress on us and on Spence, I love being a mom. It was something I knew I wanted to do but not something I knew I'd be good at. And I've got the best kid. I know every mom says that. He's so quiet and cute and content. Nothing going on in his life bothers him. He's a trooper at every doctor's appointment and just the sweetest boy at home. He's the best thing to EVER happen to me and I'm so looking forward to his first Turkey Day and Christmas.

And I couldn't handle any of this without my family and friends...The Spencer Army. Team Spencer. I appreciate everything everyone has done and will never be able to repay any of you the way you deserve. Especially my sisters, Spencer's best gals.

So today, I'm feeling good and strong. Pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I've got a quick minute to blog before my best buddy wakes up from his little snooze. I've been trying to blog for the past few days but EVERY TIME, it disappears. Makes me want to throw in the towel but that's not my style, as I'm sure you know by now.

Yesterday was Spencer's 1st Halloween and I couldn't have asked for a better holiday. He was adorably awesome in his shark costume (Mommy was a mermaid and Daddy was the Gortons fisherman). We did my mom's cul de sac, where Spencer was very popular and filled his little Frankenstein bag quickly, and then warmed ourselves inside at my family Halloween party. My heart was warmed as well. It was a rad night with my little guy.

What's NOT rad is abnormal cells still showing up in his blood. Every time we think we're going to get a clean bill of health, something is still lingering. I should be happy that the numbers have always been on a downward trend and they are now only at 1%, I know that. But until he HITS and STAYS AT 0%, we can't have him "Hooray! I'm in REMISSION!" party. Anyone who cares about us at all is praying for that day. Spence and I go back to the Hematology/Oncology clinic in 2 weeks. Hopefully there's good news by then.

Some good news that we received at his evaluation today is that he does not need speech or occupation/fine motor assistance. He's right on track! These are the things that really mattered to me because they're more "mental", just to quickly describe it. Yes, he's slightly delayed where his motor skills are concerned but with some physical therapy exercises, his muscles will be built up in no time. They were VERY happy with his development so I'm happy, too. Next week, I'm going to learn how to do infant massage...just a fun little thing for my me and my dude!

Not so fun? Going back to work.

These are my last 5 days one-on-one with Spencer and I feel horribly sick. I know women with kids work. I know I need to work. But I would gladly give a few of my toes to be able to stay home with him. I've been the one working with him daily. Sure, it may just be reading, playing, listening to music, Tummy Time, but it's been part of our daily routine. I feel like I'm abandoning him. Maybe it'll feel better after I get back into the groove. And if it doesn't, I'll reevaluate. Spencer is without a doubt my top priority. I'm the head of Team Spencer.

I'm just feeling much better than I was 12 weeks ago (I can't believe my guy turned 12 weeks yesterday) and I'm terrified that separating from him will set me back. And I will NEVER forgive myself if he gets set back in any way. I've been told that I'm a good mom (by my own mom, family members, doctors/nurses, and my husband) and I don't want to screw that up.

But I won't lie, I still wish we all had it just a bit easier.

Still...Spencer is the best thing to ever happen to me. My heart is full.