Sunday, September 15, 2013

Finally, a blog update!

We've decided it was finally time to update the blog! A lot has happened since the last time we posted, so we'll try to split it up a little!

In December our ward donated time and money to make a tree for the Festival of Trees in honor of Lexe. Jenn Heslop and Jackie Jones spearheaded the effort and made the most amazing Lexe Kicks Leukemia themed tree. Her tree was sold for well over what we expected, and all of the proceeds were given to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Thanks Jenn and Jackie!

This April we were able to go on Lexe's Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii! It was good to get out of Utah and enjoy the sunshine! We were able to do tons of fun activities, eat and go to the beach. The best part of it all was being able to spend time as a family outside of a hospital room. We are very grateful to Make-A-Wish and the time they put into making Lexe's wish one we will never forget!

During the past nine months Lexe has been working her hardest to get back into the physical condition needed to play college level soccer. She trained with Mark and Kyle Aberton, good friends who run an athletic performance lab. She also trained by herself on a daily basis. We were worried that after her PICU stay and the lung trauma she experienced that her lungs would not be able to do what they once could. However after a lung function test in April we were told that her lung function was at 120%. We couldn't be more proud of her! The first week of July we were able to take her down to the University of Arizona as she began her long awaited college soccer career. It was a bittersweet experience- we are so proud of how far she has come, but are sad to see her go.
She hasn't wasted anytime getting back into soccer. She was chosen to be on the traveling team and usually plays around half of each game. She hasn't lost her passion for the game. Nothing is going to stop her!
Lexe is loving the University of Arizona, but we can't wait for her to come home! We love you more Lexe!

Again, thank you for the love and the support you have given our family. We love you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Home At Last

Sorry we haven't posted in so long.  Lately we have been trying to get into as normal of a routine as we can.  Lexe has been enjoying her time at home.  She has kept busy by building a bookcase, eating home cooked meals, going on bike rides, and going to the movies.  If anyone is looking for a good movie to go see, we highly recommend Pitch Perfect.  Lexe's energy levels continue to build but she still has days where she is fatigued.  Hopefully these days will lessen with time.  Her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are starting to return.  Our lives are starting to feel normal again.  Over the last few weeks Lexe has had the opportunity to watch several of her Utah Avalanche teammates plays college soccer games.  She is anxious to get out onto the pitch herself.

On Monday her blood was drawn and we found out her platelets were high enough to get her central line out!  She will be getting it out on Tuesday the 13th (what a great number).  We are very excited because this means she will be able to start training again.  Unfortunately her ANC was only 500 which means she will still need to be cautious around people.  This coming Monday Lexe will start working part-time for the family company.  Time to earn some money!  Lexe will start training with a dear family friend Mark Aberton, she will also take the field with some younger Utah Avalanche age groups to get her playing legs back.

This past Wednesday, Lexe got to meet her lifetime hero, Steve Nash, thanks to Jeremiah Jensen of KSL Sports.  The Jazz organization was kind enough to provide us with tickets to the Jazz versus Lakers game this week.  The Jazz public relations people made arrangements with the Lakers for a private meeting with Steve Nash at the conclusion of the game. During the game we discovered the man sitting next to us, Jeff Hennessy, wears two orange ribbons in his shoelaces, one for Lexe, and one for his wife Carla who also has AML.  The Hennessy family is aware of Lexe's fight through her blog and Carla has been involved in a fierce fight with AML.  What a coincidence that our families were seated next to each other.    After the conclusion of the game Lexe was able to go down to the Laker locker room and talk to Steve.   He was very classy and Lexe really enjoyed her time with him. 

Lexe and her hero Steve Nash

This December at the Festival of Trees, our friends, Jenn Heslop and Jackie Jones, have spearheaded a tree for Lexe. The theme of the tree is soccer and they have put in lots of time to make it look awesome. We appreciate all the hard work of everyone who has helped or donated funds to make it possible. Be sure to attend this event as all proceeds go to Primary Children's Hospital. The festival dates are November 28 - December 1 at the South Town Expo Center.

Thank you for all you kindness, love, and support. We couldn't have done this without all of you. 

 Forever Love, 
    Selman Family

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lexe suffered a bit of a setback today.  For the last couple of days Lexe felt okay but not great.  This afternoon Lexe started running a fever and it spiked high enough to be told by the oncology clinic to take her to the emergency department at Primary Children's hospital.  Once at the emergency room Lexe's fever spiked to 102.7 and her heart rate jumped to around 140 beats per minute.  Her vital signs prompted a shock response protocol and they pumped 2 liters of fluids into her in short order.  Lexe was also given an Intensive Care Unit consult to see if her condition required admission into the ICU.  Blood was drawn from Lexe's central line and cultures were started to see if she has a bacterial infection in her blood.  The cultures will take 24 to 48 hours to grow out.  After a long stay in the ER, Lexe was admitted inpatient to the cancer unit.  Hopefully tonight will be a quite night and Lexe will be able to get some rest.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It has been awhile since our last post, sorry.  Many people have asked for an update so here we go:  Lexe concluded her fourth and final round of chemo 12 days ago and rang the completion bell!  Her physicians made the decision to send Lexe home with 0 immunities.  She has now been home for 12 days and we have all enjoyed our time at home together as a family.  Lexe's immunities have been slow to recover.  She is having her levels checked twice per week and as of yesterday her ANC is only at 200, which is not yet a safe level.  Lexe was scheduled for her final bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap on Wednesday the 10th.  However, due to Lexe's lack of adequate immunities, the scheduled procedures have been postponed one week. These two test are going to determine whether on not Lexe is leukemia free. We are all anxious to have the tests done and the final results in our hands.

Lexe has spent her time at home eating, sleeping, organizing her room and doing some light hiking.  She has been infection free and her energy levels have been pretty good.  Some days are better than others but overall she is doing great.  Lexe has reconnected with many of her friends and is excited to have the final tests conducted and her central line removed.  Once the line is removed, which will happen about one week after all test results come back "clean",  Lexe plans on starting her journey back to soccer.   Lexe's body has taken a hit and she is going to face a mountain of work.

Once we have the final test results, we will let everyone know the results.  We are all very confident that Lexe has beaten leukemia.

Thank you to everyone for the prayers, well wishes and concern.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lexe remains in the hospital.  Today marks the 28th day of her round four stay.  She still has no immunities.  Todays lab results showed, again, an Absolute Neutrophil Count of 0.  Lexe is resting comfortably and has been able to stay infection free.  She continues to receive units of both packed red blood cells and platelets.  This will continue until her bone marrow "wakes up" and her body starts to produce blood cells on its own.  Its hard to say how long it will take Lexe to start producing cells but we have been told that recovery from round four is usually the longest.  Most patient need at least 40 days.  We sure hope that Lexe is able to beat that number.  Our entire family, and especially Lexe, is ready for a permanent reprieve from the hospital.  Until then we are all keeping our fingers crossed that Lexe will remain infection free.

Yesterday Lexe's University of Arizona soccer team had a hugh win over nationally ranked Cal Bears. It was fun to track the game.  The game was televised on Pac-12 TV and the following link contains a small segment explaining to the televised audience why Arizona's warm ups all are #13:

Arizona honors teammate with Leukemia

Once Lexe starts to show positive cell activity we will let everyone know.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Over the past few days Lexe has been fever free.  The powerful combination of antibiotics she is receiving are working.  Her latest blood cultures have shown no bacteria growth.  Lexe has felt very sick over the last couple of days most likely the result of her current drugs.  Her stomach is taking a real pounding and she is constantly nauseated.  She has forgotten what it feels like to feel "good".   Lexe has told us that her current medications make her feel worse than being on chemo.  Unfortunately she will need to continue taking these antibiotics for several more days.  The latest lab results show that Lexe still does not have any immunities.  Its hard to say when Lexe's immunity system will rebound but it could be a week or more.  This zero immunity period is frightening.

Despite the way she feels, Lexe is a real joy to be around.  She is focusing on the future and is anxious to restart her life.  Lexe is the most positive person we know.  The finishing line is in sight!!

The following link is a story about Lexe told through the eyes of one of her Utah Avalanche teammates who is currently playing soccer at the University of Southern Utah:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sorry to report that Lexe had another setback.  Lexe finished her fourth and final round of chemo 8 days ago.  Chemo went pretty good with steroids helping to keep her fevering down.  The biggest concern over the last week was the amount of weight Lexe has lost between rounds 3 and 4.  Her providers were working on a strategy to help her regain some of her lost weight.

Early Sunday morning Lexe awoke to a rather large fever, 103 to 104 degrees, and had her blood cultured for bacteria.  We found out last night that Lexe cultured positive for a gram stain negative bacteria.  She is again septic.  This sepsis is a result of her having no immunities.  She has started to fever really hard and is very nauseated.  Her blood pressures have had periods of being very low.  She required an IV bolus this morning to help get her blood pressures up.  So far she has avoided a return trip to the Intensive Care Unit.  Lexe continues to receive units of both platelets and blood.  She has required demerol to help control the rigors, a condition of sever shivering brought about by fevering.  Lexe is currently on four different antibiotics, Vancomycin, Fortaz, Flagyl, and Gentamicin.  These antibiotics are very powerful and hopefully will kill the bacteria causing all the issues.  Further blood culturing, results we are waiting for, will help further nail down the best drugs to use against this bacteria.  Lexe is also c difficile positive.  C difficile is a bacteria that we all have in our digestive tracts.  Constant antibiotic use, and chemotherapy, can cause c diff to overtake all the good bacteria in our digestive tracts causing major problems.  This is being treated with the drug Flagyl.

We are very hopeful that her lungs will be spared any trauma from this episode of sepsis.  We expect Lexe to start producing some of her own immunities in the next 10-14 days.  Till then, join us in crossing our fingers!