Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!

Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!
Maddy has officially become a big sister!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hello all, I know that it has been a while, but like the old saying goes...no news is good news!! We have been wonderful, as you can see from the picture above, Madelyn is growing and doing wonderfully! We are getting ready to travel to NY for the holidays. We will be leaving Sat. and coming home in 2010!!!:) We will also get to have dinner w/the Carolina Gamecocks and coaches on Thursday...this is always fun to see the kids get so excited to see "real football players". Funny thing is, I don't know who gets more excited the kids or the parents:) Check up at the clinic scheduled on Wednesday, normal check up w/catecholamine levels tested. Blood tests from weeks ago were normal as well. Of course, we will let you all know how it turns out. In the meantime, please have a fabulous Christmas and remember what this season is about. Thank you God for all of our friends and families and the blessings that you give us every single day! Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

We love you all,
The Bell Family

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scans are negative!!!

Scan results came back with no issue and VMA/HVA came back as well and are on par with what they have been, No more scans for the foreseeable future!!! Just wanted to drop a quick update for those of you that are checking here. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

2 more weeks for scans!

Hello all! Just wanted to drop in and let you all know we are having a fantastic summer. We've been to NYC, my brother's wedding, the beach for a few days and are truly just enjoying our family! Maddy is scheduled for her ckup at the clinic along with a EKG & Echo following her checkup on 8/18. MRI is scheduled for 8/21 at 7:30am. Please pray that the scan proves negative and Ms. Maddy is still cancer free!!! I will update with the results as I get them.

Thank you for cking in and please keep praying!
The Bell Family

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I know...it's been way too long!

Well the old saying, no news is good news rings true here in the Bell household too. Madelyn has been doing great. Growing and learning and amazing us everyday! The last ckup at the clinic went really well. She actually allows the Drs. to examine her now. But poor, poor Nurse Trisha can't get w/in 5ft. of her to take blood pressure, height, weight and temperature. She screams, yells, cries, kicks and hits until she moves away from her. I have now become an expert at doing all of these things for them, b/c she puts up a fight w/me, but if they all leave the room, she let's me do it:) Dr. Kevin said he went back and read her chart front to back before our last ckup and said that she is amazing and truly is a miracle to be here today. That really is an eye opener on this side of treatment and coming from your Oncologist!

I had an opportunity to volunteer last month at Camp Kemo. It is a camp that the Children's Hospital puts on for 1 week and is for all kids that are in treatment or are finished with treatment and their siblings. It was AMAZING!!! I knew a lot of the people but met so many more wonderful people that volunteer their time for a whole week to give these kids 1 week of normalcy and fun! Of course, Drs. and nurses are there on standby in case they are needed but other than that they do so much stuff...swimming in the pool, firemen come w/a fire truck, they take boats and jet skis out on the lake, camp fires, woodworking, arts & crafts and so much more. It was such an amazing experience that I am going to be a camp counselor next year. I am so excited and figure I'll get the training out of the way next year and then when Maddy turns 4, she can go and be a "Peanut". Then we can do this together for 1 week a year. That will be our thing to do and I am so looking forward to it.

We have become really involved in Children's Chance. Rick is now a board member and I try to volunteer and do what I can as much as possible. Our family is representing Children's Chance in their Run/Walk fundraiser next week. I'm not really sure what that entails but who cares! We get to walk and raise money for such an awesome organization!

We went to NY a couple weeks ago for my brother and Liz's wedding. Maddy was the flower girl and was so stinking cute. She did so good and I was so proud of her. While we were there we also had 2 days to visit New York City. Kaitlyn was with us this time and we had a blast. We saw so much and spent great time together. We are back now and trying to get back to normal. Madelyn's next check up is Aug. 18 w/an Echo & EKG and then an MRI on Aug. 21. Dr. Kevin said if that turns up clear, then we will move out to 6 month ckups at the clinic instead of 2 and 6 month MRIs. If we do that for 1 year and everything still turns up clear, then we will sit down and talk about what to do next. Stop MRI's all together or go yearly, we'll see. Rick and I talked and said we would be fine stopping them all together and just doing VMA/HVA to monitor. Not invasive and all it takes is a urine sample and that should be a good way to monitor catecholamines. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Thank you all for checking in and for all your continued thoughts and prayers. I will try to do better about updating more often. Life is good and time just gets away from us. Trying to enjoy all the good stuff in life!!!

Lots of love,
The Bell Family

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a quick update!

Thank you all for stopping in. We just wanted to update you all and tell you that Madelyn is doing great. Last week she had strep throat again...5th time in 4 months. Needless to say, our new pediatrician, Dr. Haile, who Madelyn absolutely LOVES, thinks that she may be a carrier for strep. We have to go next Thursday to get her last 2 immunizations and to have her tested to see if she is a carrier. If she is, we will need to decide whether to have her tonsils out or not. We had our ckup at the clinic on Tuesday. They said that she is growing like crazy and looks great. The physical went well, Dr. Pirich said she didn't feel anything abnormal. Her lymph nodes were a little swollen, but that goes along w/the strep from last week. We go back in June for a ckup and then again in August. Her next MRI is scheduled for August and if that all comes back clear they said we may just follow VMA/HVA and not do MRI's. We will find out the results of this weeks VMA/HVA in a week or so. I will update then. We are all anxiously preparing for my brother's wedding in July and can't wait. I ordered Madelyn's flower girl dress the other day and can't wait to see her in it.

Madelyn has definitely come into her own. She is opinionated and doesn't waste a second on telling you what she thinks and how she feels. It is so amazing to watch her grow and yes, frustrating at times. I actually find myself arguing, bar taring and trying to reason w/a 2 year old all the time! She is doing great w/potty training. We wear our Princess/Dora panties at home and b/c she gets distracted at school she wears a pull-up, but we are working on that.
Other than that life is great and we are thankful everyday for our healthy little Madelyn Grace. I am planning on taking her to Disney on Ice at the end of this month and then her dance recital is on 5/9. I will definitely post those pictures!

Thank you so much for checking in. I will try to do better at updating more often.

All our love,
The Bell Family

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Please sign the petition below!

Cure Childhood Cancer Petition! This will be one of the most important petitions you will sign!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

MRI proves continued NED!

Well, if you read the title, I am sure you can guess how the MRI went. We showed up @ 9:30 as the nurse told us too, but found out after getting there her table time was 9:30, so were really supposed to be there at 8:00am. This entire MRI this time has been a scheduling NIGHTMARE, but it all ended well. She did great w/the sedation and was VERY loopy well into bedtime. Couldn't walk very well, her legs were wobbly and she was talking so funny and making no sense. Dr. Kevin came and examined her in the Pediatric Sedation room we were in b/c she wasn't very with it. He said she was doing great and if scans came back clear, we wouldn't see them again until April. We were home by 3:00 and Oncology called me by 5:00 to tell me the scans were clear! We are so relieved and continue to pray for all of those families who are starting or are in the midst of their fight. We do ask for all of your prayers for our pastor and his son, Jonathan, click here to visit his website. He was born w/a malfunction in his heart and has had 2 open heart surgeries and is not even 4 weeks old yet. He hasn't been home yet and continues to fight. PLEASE visit his site and leave Larry and Nan some words of encouragment and of course say some prayers, b/c we sure know that prayer works!!

We love you all and thank you for your posts and emails!
The very happy Bell Family!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you all are spending the day with the ones you love! I sure am, we had a pleasant day toodeling around the house doing household chores, then Maddy and I took a nap and now we are going out to "have fun" as she likes to call it. Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day and let you know Madelyn's MRI is Monday. We have to be at the hospital at 9:30 and then meet w/the Oncologists after to review the scans. Please pray that all goes well while she is sedated, remember she has to be sedated more than a normal child having this scan b/c of her reaction to Propofol. Also, of course, please pray that the scan is negative for any disease! We love and appreciate you all for cking in on us!

God Bless,
The Bell Family

Monday, February 2, 2009

Update on VMA/HVA

Good preliminary news for Madelyn's 6 month checkup. Her catecholamine (VMA/HVA) results are back. They are normal and her VMA is the lowest ever! This is a good non-invasive indicator that nothing major is going to be seen when we do MRIs later this month. We still need to proceed since cancer works at a cellular level and we may not be able to see what isn't shifting her catecholamine levels. Any way, this is good news and hopefully the studies will show the same thing, that Madelyn continues to have no evidence of active disease.

Love and thanks,
The Bell Family

Saturday, January 24, 2009

First 2009 Update

Everything is going well so far in 2009 with the Bell family. Madelyn is continuing to develop well. There are no apparent medical concerns right now. No colds, flu, etc. and the dreaded C word is not rearing it's ugly head right now. Our 6 month scans are a little delayed. They were supposed to be next week, but due to forces outside of our control, we're getting pushed back to 2/16. A word to everyone who has to deal extensively with health organizations. You must manage your own care!!! They are generally unreliable when it comes to organizational skills and requier constant oversight. Sheila asked for Maddy's MRI to be scheduled in November and was not done. Six phone calls and repeated assurances from the staff at the hospital still didn't get it done. We've let that go and will wait another 2 weeks or so to hopefully get some good news.

Sheila is extremely busy as the housing market, while in news reports is still gloomy, seems to be picking up. Contracts and closings are again hitting the schedule and we're quietly optimistic that 2009 will be better than 2008.

Work at the Cross continues to be challenging in every way, the technology challenges as well as the politics. 2009 has been fun so far and it's hard to believe that January is almost over.

We know not as many of you still visit this site, but we appreciate those of you who still stop by every now and then to check on us...or honestly, check on Maddy.

Sheila and I seem to be spending more time on Facebook than this blog, and if you're on please look us up. We're trying to get FB and this blog linked so we can have one stop shopping for our friends.

Thanks to all of you and we love you all for thinking of us.
Rick, Sheila, Kaitlyn, and Madelyn