Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lazy Sunday.

Robert is doing well this evening. He is chowing down on some artichokes right next to me on the couch. It's always a good thing when he is eating, and he has been doing it more often. He just can't eat a lot in one sitting. So I got him LOTS of butter to dip those artichokes in. Every bit counts, right? Every calorie I can sneak in there, I do.
Robert did a lot of this last week. He is getting platelets and hydration tomorrow, so there will be more of this tomorrow. We are hoping that he wont have as much of it this week though, more time to hang out at home would be fabulous. So hopefully his numbers will come up and stay up. We are going to Utah sometime this soon, possibly the end of this week, so the Docs there can see Robert, do some tests and figure out what will be the best plan for Robert. As for now we are just letting him get the rest he needs and trying to fatten him up. I am loving every minute of it. I love him. He is the greatest. We love you all.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Puppy love.

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been a few days. With new babies and us getting settled in and all, it's been a bit busy.Things are going well. Robert and I are glad to be home, even though we still have a lot of appointments and things going on. We are at a clinic and he is getting blood as I type this. 3 bags of blood, so we will be here a while. I really love blood donors. They have literally helped save Robert's life numerous times. So all you blood donors... I love you. Really, really love you. You are my heroes.
Isn't Daisy adorable? She was so excited to have Robert back around. Oh how she loves Robert. She loves me too, of course, but with her and Robert it's different. They have a bond. Maybe because Robert wanted her all along, I kind of had to be talked into it a bit, I really think dog's know that kind of stuff. Either way, we love having her in our little family. She is so fun. We will really miss her while we're in Utah.
Robert's numbers have been a little low since he got our of the hospital. Which is why he is getting blood today. He still gets worn out easily and tired, but his energy is slowly improving each day and moving around is getting easier. His appetite has been a lot better. He lost about 10 pounds this last hospital visit, pounds that he needs. He weighs about the same as me right now. Honestly. So we are trying to pack on the pounds before his transplant. Things are coming together for his transplant, we are hoping he will be getting it in about 3 weeks, maybe a little less. He re-did his echo-cardiogram yesterday and they gave him a pass. Yay! His heart is good to go. He still needs a lumbar puncture, but they can't do that until his platelet count is above 100. It is around 30 right now. They will do a lumbar puncture to see if there are any leukemia cells hanging out in his spinal fluid.

Things are going well, it's been so nice to sleep in our own bed and get away from hospital food(Sighs with enjoyment at the thought). We wish we didn't have so many appointments, but we know it's better than being in the hospital, so we are just grateful! Thank you for the prayers, concern, love. All of it. We love you all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

Robdob and Ashpants were heard yelling at the top of their lungs, "LET'S BLOW THIS POPSICLE STAND!" as they drove away from the hospital last night! Just when they were sure they would be in the hospital over the weekend they got the wonderful news--they were free at last!!! Robdob had the 'good health stamp of approval' from all the necessary doctors to head home!


Dad and Steve took the sacrament to Robert and Ashley tonight. Mom and I tagged along and brought Josie to meet her Super Uncle! (If only I'd taken the camera!) Robert was amazed at how small she is--in comparison to her long, chubby sister Taryn (she was 9lbs 4 oz and 21.5"). He said to Steve, "Taryn could have eaten this little one!" I thought that was funny! 
Robert was in good spirits, and so was Ashley. They had the best night of sleep that they'd had in a long time in their own bed last night. Robert even prefers his couch to his hospital bed. Ashley is excited to have Robert home to cook up all his favorite foods to fatten him up, and there is more motivation for him to be up and about. He needs muscle strength as well as good food, and Ashley thinks those two things will happen better at home!
Robert's only complaint tonight is that his feet still hurt. His circulation in the ICU wasn't the best, especially right after his blood pressure dropped. His feet still get a little achy and feel weird sometimes. Karalee was coming over tonight to massage them for him--she is the family massage therapist! Everything else is as good as can be expected! Robert is very bald, thin, and peeling. The rash he got from his antibiotics has made his skin peel. He says he feels like a snake--shedding a whole layer! You could tell that he still tires very easily, even just speaking. He has come a long way since the ICU! So he continues his fight! He definitely won this battle! And that is why we call him . . .
RobDob The Luekemia Slaying Super Hero!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just add milk.

So, RobDob has been loving Trix cereal here at the hospital. He eats it for breakfast every morning, and for the last couple of days, he orders them for lunch as well. The nurses get a kick out of it. The first time he got it for lunch they looked a little confused when they brought his tray in, and asked if he had ordered them, thinking it was a mistake. Even his General Doc came in when he was eating them, laughed, and said "Trix are for kids!" He is awesome. I can't complain at all, because really, hospital food is nasty(don't let anyone tell you different. If they do, they are lying). So I enthusiastically encourage anything that sounds the least bit delicious to him. Bring on the Trix.
Robert continues to improve everyday. It is getting easier for him to walk, and get around by himself, although walking the shortest distances even wipes him out. His white count is 5.7 today. Which is good. Usually by this time it would be quite a bit higher, but with everything his body has been through it has taken a bit longer this time. Robert's results from his gall bladder ultrasound was normal, which rocks. His liver has been improving slowly, and he is off his IV nutrition. YAY! So he has been slowly eating a little bit more since coming off of it. We are hoping to be able to go home tomorrow. Dr. Gollard said it was a possibility, but he wants to see what his platelet count is tomorrow, to see if it can hold it's own, since he has been getting platelet transfusions almost daily. Platelets are the last of the blood counts to recover after chemotherapy, it just takes them a little bit longer. So if they hold their own, and Robert is doing well, tomorrow might be the day! It marks our 5th week being here this hospital stay. So it's safe to say that we are both welcoming the a-okay to get out of this joint! The thing I most look forward to: sleeping in my own bed, and I think Robert would concur. Dr. Gollard is in cahoots with the Huntsman, figuring out the plan for RobDob. So I will let you all know what I hear in the next week or so.

Thank you again for the prayers, the love, the blessings! I know I say it often, and I will continue to, because I am so grateful. All our love.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another baby!

Janelle had her baby girl on Saturday night. So I get to grace you all with my blogging presence once more.(Excitement!) Janelle started laboring an hour into Robert's Luau fundraiser, and approximately one hour and ten minutes later she had her baby! It was quick, no one could quite believe it. I thought Steve(Janelle's husband) was teasing me when he text me letting me know I had a new niece. I had talked to Janelle only an hour earlier and she had let me know her contractions had started, so you can understand my surprise. But, boy oh boy, she is a cutie!

Josephine Claire Gratteau
7 lbs. 12 0z.
20 1/2 inches

I've decided that Josephine was so excited to be feeling all of the love at Robert's fundraiser, that she decided she also wanted to join the party. What a fun, memorable night! Full of miracles and hope.

Janelle and Josephine.
(Lookin' pretty hot for just having given birth Janelle, if I do say so myself. Hot mama.)

This picture was taken the very first time Robert was in the hospital, back in November, 2007.( I have the hottest husband ever, just throwing that out there.)

Robert has been doing better, his counts made the big jump we have been waiting for over the weekend, they went from .8 to 1.7 as of yesterday and today they were at 2.0, it's a beautiful thing. He was taken off a lot of his antibiotics today, which is very good, because one of them has been giving him a nasty rash all over his body. He has been getting stronger, he can walk by himself, but with someone right by him in case he needs someone to lean on. He has been bummed about being so weak. This is the weakest he has ever been, but he will bounce back quick, he already is starting to. Robert is still on his IV nutrition, but we are hoping his docs will start weening him off it tomorrow(crosses fingers). He has been eating a little better, of course it takes some forcing, but whatever it takes! It's all out of love.

Thank you to everyone who went to Robert's fundraiser. We hope you enjoyed yourselves! We're sorry to have missed it. Thank you for the continual prayers. All our love.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just give me a beach.

Robert has been much more aware and alert since we were moved out of the ICU. The transition has been difficult for him emotionally. He told me he really doesn't remember too much about being in the ICU, and he had no idea he was there for 2 weeks. He thought at the most it had been a week. He was so out of it most of the time, and now that he is really coming around a lot more, I think it must be strange to have 2 weeks of your life gone by, and be feeling the way he is physically. He is really deconditioned, but Dr. Gollard said that it should get better and better everyday, and he is. Yesterday was an especially trying day for Robert, he just wants to go home, and is feeling very ready to be done. And I can't say I blame him one bit. He told me yesterday how he just wants to go visit all of the beautiful beaches he has been to in his life with me. And the idea sounds wonderful to me. Robert served a mission for our church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and also in the Bahamas, so he has seen some beautiful beaches. I can't wait to get to see them all with him someday. I know it's in our future.
About 2 weeks before Robert and I found out his leukemia had come back in February, my parents invited us to spend a weekend with them in Newport Beach, California. We are so glad now that we got to have a mini vacation before everything. It was so nice to relax on the beach and get to spend some quality time together. I can't wait until we get to do it again! Really, I don't care what beach it is, as long as Robert is right along with me (and our spiffy beach towels with our names on them. I know you're jealous ;).

Robert's white blood count is .7 today. So it is making slow, but steady progress. We are hoping it makes a big jump any day now. Robert got an ultrasound of his gallbladder today, while he was in the ICU they thought it might have a problem, so they are doing testing to see what is going on with it. (I'll keep you posted on that). He is still jaundiced from his liver functioning being low, but the Docs are thinking as soon as Robert is off his TPN(IV nutrition), that should really help. So, he is doing well, improving slowly, but it is a wonderful thing.

I can't say how grateful I am to all of you who continually pray for us, read this, and especially being willing to help us financially with your donations. You are blessing our lives so abundantly, and we are both incredibly thankful for everything. You all inspire me daily. Please keep praying for Robert's speedy recovery. All our love.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Come What May . . . And Love It!

Ashley and I had a great chat this morning. She and Robert moved to the third floor at 1:00 this morning. So technically last night, while I was sleeping any way! Ashley was just so excited to sleep in past 5:45 and to not get kicked out of Robert's room. We were chatting when she was on her way home to shower and get ready to attend a session at the temple. I could tell she felt great! I'm sure getting your adorable hubby out of the ICU would do that to a person!

We really enjoyed talking about life, its unexpected twists and turns and the things they teach us. I realized as we were talking that every experience in our life has a purpose. To learn and see that purpose is to witness and create a miracle in your life. Ashley has seen some of those miracles for herself and Robert. She also holds a great hope that their experience will bless others. She said, "I don't wish for anyone else to have to go through this, but I hope that as other couples watch us do so, they will hold each other a little tighter and not take each other for granted."

That is only one of the many lessons I personally have learned watching Robert and Ashley through this experience. Today she reminded me to look for and understand the purpose in my own trials and hard times so that I can witness my own little miracles!

Ashley also shared that along with the beautiful words to 'their song' Come What May, she has found a deeper meaning to the message of these sweet words from this man:


Joseph B. Wirthlin
He was one of the members of our Quorom of the Twelve Apostles until he passed away on December 2, 2008. I believe this is his last conference address.

You can watch a fabulous and touching video here or read the entire article here.

It is such a great message! Sorry the video isn't on the blog, try as I might I couldn't get it to embed! I hope you take the time to watch it, it is two minutes long. Ashley and Robert never cease to amaze me with the depths of their faith and optimism!

We all know that, Come What May, they will love each other till their dying days and beyond, because they were sealed for time and eternity in the temple.

Now we know that, Come What May, they will LOVE life no matter what it hands them!

*Robert is doing well today. He was awake more and talked more. He is off oxygen and keeping up his oxygen saturation numbers very well on his own. There is still a little fluid in his lungs, but it is getting better every day. He drank an entire Ensure and had about 15 bites of soup (from the Olive Garden) at one meal. His numbers remained at .5!!! His liver is working too hard right now to help him filter out all of the medications and pain meds he is on, and the IV nutrition can be hard on his liver too. So pray for his liver function to stabilize and for a big jump in his numbers tomorrow! With love and gratitude!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Good times! Come on! Celebration!

Robert's numbers are .5!!!


Robert is moving back up to the 3rd floor! You got it, he is busting out of the ICU!!!


Go ahead and sing along!

As of 11:45pm they were cleaning another room, because the patient in the first room didn't go home like they thought! They are still moving tonight though! Everything else continues to look better all the time. He is eating more and more, and is being a good little superhero and drinking his ensure (which they spike with protien and high calorie add-ins, sneaky Ashpants and supermom!) Ashley said he is looking very thin, since his swelling is gone; so she's hoping to see him gain some weight soon!

All in all the best day Robdob's had in awhile, and a great reason for all of us to celebrate with him! Sweet success! Out of the ICU! White counts on the rise! Wahooo!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Quote & Update!

Ashley came across a quote that helped lift her spirits today. She shared it with me when I got the update from her. I knew it had to go on the blog tonight!

"When a train goes through a tunnel and gets dark, you don't throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."
~Corrie ten Boom (author of The Hiding Place)

*Robert is doing well today. He still sleeps a lot, but is awake more. His numbers are still .3, and he got platelets today. He gets a chest x-ray every night at midnight, and they look more clear every day. His breathing is much better. This has allowed him to eat more. Today he had pudding and some chicken pot pie. He doesn't have a great appetite yet, so Ashley helps to convince him that eating and drinking Ensure is the cool and super thing to do! He only gets lasix as needed now, and he didn't need any today. He is getting rid of his excess fluids well on his own. All the prayers are helping! Thank you!


Click to enlarge (it will work this time :)

We are getting closer to our goal to have at least 150 people attend this event, but we're not quite there yet! So please RSVP to myself Janelle Gratteau (702) 457-4419 or Karalee Garber (702) 218-2322! We will add your names to the list for the guard gate. We are happy to have you pay upon arrival on Saturday.
If you can't attend please donate to Robert instead! To those who can't do either, just keep praying for him! The support and generosity of many has been amazing and touching!
Thank you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

DNA Sunday

We would love to introduce to you tonight the last of the Squires' siblings to be featured on DNA Sunday! Last, but definitely not least! This is Elyssa Jean Squires! She is the sixth child in the family. She is very creative. She has always been artistic and loves writing. She is funny, sweet and outrageously exciting! She currently attends Brigham Young University Idaho (BYUi) and she writes and edits for the school newspaper there. Here is a little more about her in her own words:

What is your favorite color?  

I like all colors.  I am quite the colorful person.  I particularly enjoy mustard yellow, pea green, and deep teal.

What makes you laugh?  

My family, more than anything. Also people’s funny quirks/habits.  I love when anyone marches to the beat of their own drum—it amuses and delights me!

 If you had to live somewhere for the rest of your life, where would it be? 

Anywhere my family was!  Or maybe Seattle.  LOVE that city.

Describe yourself in one word.  

I’m taking the liberty of two: TOTAL SASS.

What is your favorite possession?  

My favorite possession is the ukulele I recently inherited from my Grandma Bev.  It was handmade in Hawaii and it is GORGEOUS and sounds amazing, too!  It would be followed closely by my journals and my cello.

What is your passion?  

My passion is beauty.  Making life more beautiful, and more worth living.  Finding beauty where I don’t expect it.  That is a lot of why I have such a creative drive.  It is also why I think relationships are so amazing and important, because they bring meaning and beauty to life.

What surprises you most about your life so far?  

What surprises me most is how fast it has gone.  I remember being eight and truly thinking that I would never be old enough to be in high school.  Now high school has come and gone.  I think I am always surprised to realize how much of my life is behind me (and I’m only 19!).

Favorite holiday?  

Halloween.  This may surprise my family, but the other holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to share my siblings with their in-laws, and I always miss them!  But we almost always get together and have a party on Halloween, and show off our awesome costumes.

Worst habit?  

Second guessing myself.

Favorite dinner/food?  

Barbecue chicken pizza and raspberries.  Always!

Favorite dessert/sweet? 

Hmmm ice cream ice cream ice cream.  And anything I bake.  Things always taste the best when you bake them yourself.

Favorite book?  

So many!  I really love Frankenstein  by Mary Shelley, Extremely Loud and Incredible Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, and The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

If I knew then what I know now?  

Then what would be the point of living and finding it out?

The nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?  

I always feel so blessed and loved to know that my family is praying for me.

Something no one knows about you?   

I have over 50 moles on my body.

Quality you like most about yourself?  

I like that I am passionate about things.  I love that I care so much; I could never stand being an apathetic or indifferent person.

Biggest waste of time?  

Sleeping.  Why do we have to do this?

Most happy when?  

I am surrounded by family, when I am making something that is beautiful/good, when I am making someone else happy, when I am reading something good.

Most embarrassing moment?  

Only every day of my life.

Thank you Elyssa!

*Robert's numbers are up to .3 today!!! Dr. Gollard thinks that it is possible that because Robert's blood pressure got so low when he was admitted to the ICU that his blood was directed to his vital organs and away from his bone marrow, causing the drop in his count--and keeping it low for so long. The good news is that they think his numbers will only keep going up from here.
Robdob is getting the pressure to eat from the nurses and doctors. They would like to get him off IV nutrition soon. He is drinking his Ensure well, but it is still a little difficult to eat (he gets a little cranky when eating under pressure!) Ashpants says he is eating better, and it keeps getting easier!
Everything else keeps improving. They may allow him to leave his room for more tests soon if his numbers keep climbing, so we will keep you posted when we know more!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

What's in a Name?

Well Robert was named after his paternal grandfather Robert Ashworth and his middle name is Kenneth, after his dad Ken. Ashley Ann was named after her maternal grandmother Beverly Ann, and because our parents really liked Ashley!
Here though I'm really wondering. . . What's in a nickname?

Robdob: When Robert was quite young his Aunt Deborah started calling him Robdob. Deborah passed away when Robert was still young, and the nickname stuck. Deborah is Ken's sister and he calls Robert Robdob more than anyone else to this day!
I'm sure Aunt Deborah had no idea that she was creating Robert's superhero alias all those years ago. Robdob is to Robert Ashworth as Superman is to Clark Kent! It is Robdob who has all the super leukemia slaying powers you know!

Ashpants: When Ashley lived in Arizona and worked at our Aunt Tammy's montessori school she got the chance to hang out with the cousins a lot. Dallin and Mandy Chase and Trevor Whiting in particular. The story goes that Dallin just stuck pants on the end of Ash one night while they were hanging out, and all three of them agreed that they went together really well. Next thing you know "Ashpants calling" appeared on the screen whenever she called any of their cell phones. The name spread and stuck, creating the superhero alias for Ashley.
And it is Ashpants who has the hot red boots and all the super supportive powers and faith in Robdob powers.

So there you have it; the story of the nicknames! We would just like to thank those who helped to create these superheroes with their fabulous, heroic names! Who knew there could be such POWER in a nickname?

P.S. Speaking of names, Brandon and Chelsa named their little guy. . . 

Griffin John Squires!

*Robert is doing well today. He continues to remain the same or steadily improve in all areas! His breathing continues to improve, allowing him to eat an extra bite every time he orders a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His appetite is improving! He is done with his lasix today and his swelling has gone down significantly! His count is at .2 and Dr. Gollard expects it to continue to rise at this point! They did another bone marrow biopsy and Dr. G. asked to have four more markers checked this time. It appears that some of Amanda's bone marrow has hung around and is putting up a good fight. This could be part of the reason that it is taking his numbers so much longer to come up this time. That is a great sign for the next bone marrow transplant! Keep up the good fight Robdob!

Friday, May 8, 2009


No, not that kind of visitor. Check him out though, he's a hippie alien! Peace dude! (Pardon me it's late and I'm a little tired, which = silly/cheesy :)
Robert has been much more awake and aware. However, he keeps asking Ashley if certain people are there.
Robert: "Ashley, who's here?"
Ashley: "No one, it's just us!"
R: "Steve (my dad, mom, Ryan, Superman, Wolverine, Yoda--ok I made up the last 3) isn't here? I think I heard him."
A: "Nope, it's just you and me."
R: "Oh, is he coming later?"
A: "Would you like _____ to visit later?"
R: "Yeah."
A: "Ok, I'll see what I can do."
Ashley gets a bit of a chuckle out of these conversations. I asked if Steve could/should come visit. Ashley said the problem there is you can never guess when he'll have his coherent/awake moments, and she hates to have someone come over just to sit on the couch with her and watch him sleep.
Now that he is awake more Ashley spends less time away from the hospital in the mornings. Robert gets anxious when he wakes up and no one is in his room. His breathing is still improving. He even had a bit of an appetite, he asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which we think is funny, because if he even smelled peanut butter after his last round of chemo it would make him sick!). He was only able to eat two or three bites--wore him right out! But he ate 2-3 bites!! Ashley thinks as his breathing improves it will get even easier to eat!
Robert is on lasix two times a day until tomorrow. His swelling has gone down. Unfortunately, so have his numbers, they're back at .1! They are really yo-yoing this time! His body is fighting a lot of battles! He just has to beat one opponent at a time! Lets all keep praying for Robert! Together we can pray him right out of the ICU! That would be awesome!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Go, Fight, Win!

I'm getting this update in early, since there wasn't one yesterday! Life is busy, and there hasn't been as much to share. That is a good thing--it means progress! When I talked to Ashley just now, I could hear Robert in the background. He is easier to understand, and it is more comfortable for him to speak. His breathing is less labored, too. While he still tires easily and doesn't hold long conversations, he is less frustrated by communicating. Ashley says she is getting better at understanding him and is his 'translator' when the nurses aren't sure what he is saying.
His numbers are hanging out at .2 They are still giving him lasix (apparently he has been on it for at least 3 days) to help him pee--he needs a little extra help to get rid of the extra fluid in his body. Ashley says he looks chubbier than he has in a long while, but it is because he has some swelling in his arms and legs. He still has some fluid from them bringing up his blood pressure, but at this point, most of it is from being on IV nutrition and fluids and not getting out of bed at all.
They are running more tests on his e-coli, this takes a little while. Right now--no news is good news. Ashley is so happy to have him more alert and aware, and communicating with her more. We expect him to just keep improving. Robdob is a fighter! He is putting up the good fight and winning this round!

A reminder about the Luau Fundraiser:

Click on the Luau Fundraiser link above to see a full size version of flyer!

We have extended the RSVP date until Monday, May 11th. Our goal is for 300 people to attend or donate whatever they can, although we have not yet hit the minimum of 100 needed to attend the dinner for catering, etc. So, please let us know soon if you can make it. We would love to eat incredibly delicious food and party with you as we celebrate Robert's current and future successes! The financial support they will receive from fundraisers such as this greatly ease the burden of Robert's illness and its attending medical bills. Thank you for all the love and support!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just Upstairs. . .

On the third floor in the maternity wing of the very same hospital in which they currently reside, Robdob and Ashpants got a new nephew last night. Early this morning, actually. Ashley's brother, Brandon, and his wife, Chelsa, had their first baby, a little boy. . . who is yet to be named! (Some of we Squires take our time naming our little ones.)

He was born at 4:42 am. He is 18 inches long and weighed in at 6lbs lloz ! He couldn't be any cuter, even if he tried really hard!

Ashley, Chelsa, Baby Boy Squires and Brandon!

Ashley has enjoyed having family so close and has admired the new little guy at least three times today! I think she enjoyed being the one to stop and pick up lunch to take to them in the hospital. It has been great to have something so wonderful to celebrate in the same hospital in which our heroic Robdob is fighting his battle. So today we celebrate new life, heroism and looking forward to the day when the beaming new parents in the picture are Robdob and Ashpants!

*Robert is doing pretty well. His numbers are .2 today. His oxygen levels are holding well, but his breathing has been a little labored today, so if his numbers are up more tomorrow the doctors would like to drain some fluid from his lungs. They would also like to take him and run their scans on him. His antibiotics are kicking e-coli's butt! He has been awake more today than even yesterday. He is holding steady or improving in every arena he is currently fighting in! Way to go Robdob!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pictures & Update!

Tonight I took dinner to the hospital for Ashley during the time she couldn't be in Robert's room. Before you think I'm a saint, you should know that Karalee did all of the cooking and baking. I really need to get her chicken curry recipe! Our mom has been out of town, so Dad, Mom and Brittany stopped by the hospital for a visit on their way home from picking mom up from the airport! Lucky you, I had my camera with me so here are a few shots!

This picture is the motivation for taking my camera to the hospital in the first place. Ever since they discovered that the E-coli strain Robert has is antibiotic resistant this is what Ashley wears the ENTIRE time she is in Robert's room! She even sleeps in this hot get-up! Now we know why Robert was requesting snuggles today--who could resist this? Everyone, including nurses must gown up before entering Robert's room. I thought it might be fun/interesting to see a little glimpse of Ashley's life in the hospital right now.

Brittany, Dad, Ashley and Mom! We had a great time visiting together tonight!

Janelle, Ashley and mom.
Sorry, no pictures of Robert. Ashley doesn't really want to document his ICU experience with photographs. Can't say that I blame her. He doesn't look like himself.

Robert is doing better today. His neutrophil numbers remain at .1  He is maintaining his blood pressure very well on his own. He is on oxygen still, but is breathing better/more easily. He is responding well to the new medication that they have him on to take down the E-coli.
He has been awake more today and is more coherent. He hasn't spoken for awhile, and breathes through his mouth a lot. This makes it difficult to understand him when he speaks--he gets a little frustrated when people aren't understanding him. He still says some funny 'on drugs and meds' kinds of things too.
He told Ashley, "I need some snuggles!"
Ashley: "Robert, I'm not allowed to get in your bed in the ICU. I can't snuggle you. But I can touch you and rub you. Will that be okay?"
Robert: "Oh, okay."
Ashley knows he is feeling a little better when he wants enough physical contact to ask for snuggles. Ashley was feeling really positive and happy tonight. She was happy with Robert's improvements today. She is doing well also. Getting a little more rest! Hoping he is out of the ICU soon, so she can get even more!

Thank you again for the prayers and fasting on their behalf. Ashley has felt so blessed and lifted since Thursday! Good night! Loves!

Medical Update!

Loving on Daisy!

Sorry I am posting this so late for the day! Robert is doing about the same today as yesterday. The doctors talked about doing a couple of scans on him, but his white blood cell count dropped back down to .1 (Ashley says it is normal after chemo for it to yo-yo a bit before starting the steady climb up). They want to check out his organs, and be sure that they all look good, but they won't take him out of his room for any testing until his numbers come up a little.
Robert's chest x-ray came back, at least we finally got the news from it. There is still some fluid in his lungs, but it is less than the first x-ray--they are improving! He will remain on oxygen for now.
They took Robert off of his blood pressure medication today, and he has been keeping it up very well on his own. 
Ashley says he has been waking up a little more often late in the day today, and seems to be a little more coherent. While he is sleeping--different story! He has been saying some funny things in his sleep again. 
Robert: "Robdob." 
Ashley: "What Robert?"
Robert: "My nickname is Robdob!"
Ashley: "Yes it is!"
Robert: "Rhino!"
Ashley: "That is Ryan's nickname."
Robert: "Yeah, Ryan's nickname."  Then nothing, back out cold.
Later Robert was mumbling and going on about Daisy. Ashley couldn't catch it all, but then he definitely called her, "Daisy!" We figure talking, even in his sleep, is a great sign!
I'll update much earlier in the day tomorrow! I promise! :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

E-coli update!

Just heard from Ashley that the nasty e-coli strain that Robert has decided to get out his bazooka and play dirty! It is an antibiotic resistant strain of e-coli! So the doctors are fighting back with a new Super antibiotic! Other than that she says he is stable. 

Fundraising Luau & Update!

Click on flyer to enlarge!

We are so excited to be hosting this luau in honor of Robert, and to raise money for his bone marrow transplant! We are hoping to have 300 people attend this event! It should be a lot of fun. So sign up, email and call to let us know you'll be there! Thank you to everyone for their love and support of Robert and Ashley!

*Robert is about the same today. He is still receiving blood pressure medication and is on an oxygen mask. (We are still waiting to hear the results of his chest x-ray, I'll post as soon as we know.) He hasn't needed to be on a ventilator, so that is good! His blood count remains at .3 and he is receiving a lot of blood products (platelets, etc.). The doctors say that he is responding well to the IV antibiotics that he has been given to fight the nasty E-coli! He is also receiving IV nutrition again today.

The first two nights Robert was in the ICU the charge nurse on the floor was super cool and let Ashley spend the night in Robert's room. The third night (Wednesday) there was a new charge nurse who would not let Ashley sleep in Robert's room, so she slept in the waiting room--she said it was worth it for one night, because she was able to check in on him twice. Last night she was able to get permission to stay in his room again, and we are hoping that holds as long as he is in the ICU. It was a good thing Ashley was there, because Robert kept trying to get up. He was very restless. He kept taking his oxygen mask off and telling Ashley that he needed to get up to use the bathroom. Each time Ashley would hold Robert in bed, ring his night nurse and they would calm him down and convince him that he should stay in bed. We aren't doctors or nurses, but we are taking Robert wanting to get up and his talking as a good sign. Ashley said he was a little fiesty proclaiming, "I can walk!" This was his response to Ashley telling him that he was on too many medications and he didn't have the strength to walk. Robert fiesty? Sounds more like the Robert I know!

I asked Ashley if she was exhausted. She said that she is very tired, but she knows she is sustained by God, we refer to him as Heavenly Father, and your prayers. No matter how tired she is when Robert needs her, day or night, it has been easy for her to get right up and help him. Like last night, getting up those many times, she said she never felt tired while she was taking care of Robert. Ashley is not allowed to be on the ICU floor (no one besides patients and hospital staff are) from 6:30-8:00 in the morning and at night. This is when the doctors and nurses do their rounds. Ashley leaves the hospital around 6:00 am. and takes a two hour nap in her own bed, showers and returns to the hospital. At night someone from the Squires or Ashworth family meets Ashley near the hospital to hang out with her and have dinner! It makes it easier for her to be away from Robert when she knows he is alone!