This is Abby's story.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Sunday, September 18, 2011
October 29, 2011
There will be a 1 mile charity walk followed by Kid's Olympics, food, activities for the kids, car show, rc boat show and a live band. All money raised will be donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research at Lucile Packard Hospital at Stanford University. They are making huge progress in finding a cure for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas.
Check back later!
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Mary - Abby's Grandmother
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Abby's fight does not end here. We are praying for pediatric brain tumor research to progress and to find the right combination of drugs to help these children finally see remission. We also are praying for every child and adult who is suffering from cancer.
Let's find a cure!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011 8:06am. That is the time that my little Abby received her angel wings and returned home to her Heavenly Father.
We woke up Sunday morning, and Abby had slept really well that night. Maegan came into the living room and came in and touched Abby’s arm to say good morning. When she touched her arm, Abby jumped. We think that Abby’s vision may have gone during the night. Abby calmed down when Maegan started to talk with her, but Maegan noticed that her coloring looked very pale. Abby then started to breath very roughly and loudly. Maegan then put the thermometer under Abby’s arm, and it shot up to 102 almost immediately. It finally stopped at 105.9, but her legs were cool to the touch. We gave Abby her medicine and then I picked her up and sat with her on my lap. I cradled her in my arms, and we sent Mary-Beth to go get Grandpa Miller so he could check on Abby’s condition. Abby sat in my lap, and looked up into my eyes. By this time, Abby began her “fish-breathing”, big gasps of breath. Maegan and I both looked her in the eyes and told her that it was okay to go. I told her that Heavenly Father and her brother Curtis would be coming shortly, and when they did that it was okay for her to go running to them. Abby looked deep into my eyes with her bright blue eyes, her eyes as clear as ever, and then her pupils got real large, and she looked up, and then she was gone.
We were very fortunate to have my parents down at the house when Abby passed on. They had just arrived and were getting ready to take Mary-Beth and Emily to church when everything started to happen. Right after I put Abby on my lap, Maegan’s parents arrived as well. So Abby was surrounded by love.
After Abby passed, her spirit stayed with us for around an hour. The living room was bright and cheerful, and you could almost see Abby with her long hair and twirly dress. The Hospice nurses were here and after a little while, asked if they could bathe Abby before the funeral home arrived. I then placed Abby on her bed and the nurses very gently bathed Abby. I noticed that they were so sweet with her, treating her so lovingly, even shedding some tears for her. When they were finished, I picked Abby back up and put her back on my lap. By this time, we could tell that she was enjoying her eternal reward, dancing with her brother and receiving her mansion above. We did ask Abby, before she passed, to make sure she paints us some rainbows and look after us, and to say hello from time to time.
I miss my Princess dearly. Maegan and I will do well for a while, and then something will spark a memory and we will lose it for a while.
Maegan and I went out on Monday and made the arrangements for Abby’s funeral and visitation. I never realized how expensive funerals are! Luckily, we have wonderful friends and family who have helped out with the expenses to lessen the financial burden.
I just pray that there will be a day when cancer, especially pediatric cancer, is eliminated from this world. I hope and pray that Abby’s memory will inspire and strengthen those who are fighting their battles as well.
Abby’s visitation will be on Wednesday, 7-27-11 from 4-8pm at Ford and Sons Funeral home on Mount Auburn, with her funeral on Thursday 7-28-11 at 11am. We will then take Abby to Memorial Park Cemetery where we will lay her physical body to rest. We actually set up three plots, one for me and Maegan, and then Abby and Curtis. Curtis will be brought up and laid to rest with Abby. Then, a long time from now, when Maegan and I return to our Father, our two children who moved forward before us will be surrounded by their loving parents forever.
We have told the girls that our prayers have been answered. It may not be the way that we hoped the answer would come, but Abby has beaten her tumor and is happy, healthy, and cancer free! I am so happy that Families Are Forever, and that Abby is now and forever my daughter, and Curtis is my son, forever. I thank God for the time that He allowed for us to be with Abby and look forward to many rainbows that Abby will paint for us. And I know, that I will forever be Abby’s Daddy, and Maegan is always Abby’s Mommy.
I hate cancer, especially childhood cancer.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Abby is now dancing and in the arms of our Heavenly Father and with Curtis. She passed in my arms at 8:06am
This is Abby's favorite Primary song.
I am like a star shining brightly.
Shining for the whole world to see.
I can do and say
happy things each day
for I know Heavenly Father loves me.
All your family loves you so much, Abby.
Friday, July 22, 2011
We are thankful for all the dinners that have been taken to their home. If you would like to sign up to take them a meal you can go to this link. They have a dinner scheduled for Saturday night and Monday night but all the other nights are open
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Abby certainly loves her mom and dad! This video was taken a few days ago. Abby and her family had plans to watch Winnie the Pooh but Maegan found a lump on Abby's stomach so they rescheduled their evening. The hospice nurse came to visit Abby and see if there was anything to be concerned about. I'm not sure everything that happened but I know Abby did get a massage and some Milk of Magnesia, I think, and the next day the lump was gone. The doctor thinks it was a bowel movement that needed to pass. Her bowels have been slowing down and she hasn't been eating as much as she used to. The good thing is Abby still loves life. She likes to be with her family, have her nails painted, watch cartoons and movies, and snuggle with her parents. She is a sweet girl and loves everyone! If you get a chance, send her and her sisters a card in the snail mail. It really makes their day.
Don't forget to tell your kids you love them today!
Monday, July 18, 2011
hosted by Just For Abby's Smile
Saturday, July 23, 2011.
8:00 am - Noon
There will be a lot of goodies being made for Abby's fundraiser. If you would like to make something please let April Huffman know at Just For Abby's Smile. She can arrange for the treats to be picked up on Friday night.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Abby was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma on August 6, 2010. In a few more weeks it will be a year since the doctors started fighting the tumor. Research is slowly progressing and one day a team of doctors and scientists will make an amazing discovery on what combinations of medicines will help these children finally see remission. We pray for that miracle.
Although Abby is no longer able to do much or be awake for very long she still loves the attention from her friends and family. She likes her princess wand, being able to look out the window, and watch or listen to SpongeBob Square Pants.
Jon and Maegan were not looking forward to calling Hospice but felt it was time. The Hospice nurses are so sweet to Abby, Mary-Beth, Emily and Sara. They spend time playing with all the girls as well as caring for Abby's needs and helping their family through this difficult time.
The Jensens have continued to receive so much love and support from their friends, family, and complete strangers. Countless people have been touched by the love Abby has shown for life and for her many friends. Her radiant smile cannot go unnoticed. I know that the entire family on both Jon's and Maegan's side have friends in many states who have been following Abby's story. These people have never met Abby but have come to love her and continually ask how she and her family are doing. This not only shows how special Abby is, it shows how special all of you are. So many people have visited Abby, are saying personal prayers, adding Abby to their church's prayer list, have brought the Jensens dinners and are continuing to do so. While others are selling cupcakes, quitting smoking, creating t-shirts and car magnets, holding carnivals and bake sales, and making crafts like cute little men out of an empty juice container as a gift for Abby to bring her more happiness. There is no way I could mention every act of kindness. Your love and support has not gone unnoticed. Thank you.
Abby's favorite colors are pink, purple, and red. She loves princesses and anything girlie. She likes to play with her sisters, friends, and cousins. She has an amazing smile and pretty blue eyes. She enjoys going to Primary at church with her friends and loves her teachers. She looks up to Mary-Beth and is protective of Emily and Sara. Abby will hold Sara any chance she gets and fights her parents when they need to take her away.
Abby loves ice-cream and Chinese food. She likes going to the St. Louis Zoo, Purina Farms, the Pumpkin Patch on Halloween, and to the Magic House. She really enjoys practicing cheerleading moves with Mary-Beth. Abby is smart. She can write her name and some other words, knows her colors, can count, and loves to draw just like her big sister.
Continue to pray for Abby and her family. If you are a parent of a child who was recently diagnosed, we are praying for you too. Find happiness in each day!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
There's nothing more important than choosing your health over an addiction. What a GREAT gift April is giving to Abby and her family and to HERSELF. I know that Abby would be heartbroken if April were to get cancer.
The fundraiser is on Just For Abby's Smile Facebook page. Click HERE to see it.
April has also made custom auto magnets to raise money for Abby. You can purchase the from April for
$3 each. You can contact her on Just for Abby's Smile Facebook page.
Thank you, April!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Abby is, unfortunately, seeming to slip a little further away every day. She is very tired all of the time, sleeping most of the day, and her appetite has decreased dramatically. The other day, Maegan told me that the only things that Abby had to eat that day was a couple bites of yogurt, a few goldfish crackers and a couple pieces of ham for dinner. Using the bathroom is starting to become an issue again as well. Over the past week, Abby will tell us that she needs to go potty, and we'll carry her in there, and she won't be able to go. She gets very frustrated by this, as anyone else would too, I think that makes her tense up which makes it harder to go. Also not helping the case, it is very hard for her to balance herself so she is constantly moving trying to keep balanced, which only makes things harder. I either have to hold her under her arms to help her balance, or I stand next to her and let her lean against me.
Yesterday, she had a couple minor accidents. We think that it happens because she finally gets relaxed on the couch and then realizes she has to go potty and gets a little pee-pee in her panties. Maegan asked her if she would want some pull-ups to put on, and she said that she wanted those so she doesn't have an accident. We let her make that choice, and as of this morning, as best as I could tell, she was dry and she went potty at least once every hour last night. Needless to say, Maegan and I did not sleep well last night, but I was happy that Abby is still wanting to make the effort to get to the bathroom, even though she doesn't go every time.
On a sad note, I spoke with my Assistant Chief, about using the Department's Honor Guard for Abby's funeral, and he said that they would be happy to do that for her. That will be a nice touch.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The good news is that the shunt that was placed into Abby's brain has significantly decreased the pressure and fluid build up on her brain! On Wednesday, Abby was complaining of headaches and was acting very tired, so Maegan called up to St. Louis Children's Hospital, so we could try to figure out the headaches were due to the shunt possibly having moved or if it was not working. They asked Maegan if she would Abby up so they could do a scan just to make sure the shunt has not moved. They got up there and they took Abby back and did a scan. They said that the fluid levels on Abby's brain looked very good, and that the tumor was probably what was causing the headaches. We just wanted to make sure that if Abby's pain was due to something that we could control, that we got it fixed. We are still working on fixing the tumor, but until then we can only pray.
Maegan and I decided that we are going to move Abby into our bed at nights from now on. This way, IF something should happen during the night, we will be there with her and if she needs to use the bathroom, it is not as hard on my back to pick her up and carry her to and from the bathroom and then hoist her up into her bunk bed again. She enjoys sleeping in our bed, and she is a great snuggle-buddy! We also cleared out a space in our room to put a twin bed for the other girls to stay in our room if they want to, so they do not feel neglected or left out. (Plus, this way, when they all pile up in our bed, I can sneak out to the small bed and not get kicked and laid on!).
Since Abby is in our room a lot now, Maegan and I decided to get a nice television to go back in our room. So, as kind of an anniversary present for Maegan and myself, as well as for the girls, Emily and I went to Best Buy while Maegan and Abby were in St Louis and picked up a 32" television and got a good deal on a blu-ray player with surround sound system included! I got it all set up for when Maegan and Abby got home, and they were all impressed! So was I!!
Yesterday, Maegan and I went out for our 11th wedding anniversary and my parents came down and watched the girls for us while we went to Ray's of Kelso to eat. I had called ahead and had them get a dozen roses for Maegan and have them waiting on our table. We had a good evening, and then came home. We then got the girls all tucked in, and we went to bed. At around 3, I woke up to Emily kicking me in the back, sleeping behind me! So, I moved myself to the couch and finished my sleeping out there.
The girls are all having fun with Maegan's brother, uncle Bryan, who is here with his girlfriend Tonya from Florida! They will be here for a few days, and it is good to see them again! We last saw them when they drove 6hours to the Give Kids The World Village during Abby's Wish Trip.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
We have been so excited for the arrival of Uncle Bobby and Auntie Colista and our cousins! They arrived to St Louis on Sunday, and Abby was sitting in Grandpa's recliner when they pulled up. She heard them pull up in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house and jumped out of the chair!! I'm glad I was close, or else she would have went splat! I was able to grab her and helped her outside to welcome her cousins! She was so excited to see her cousins, and aunt and uncle!!
Their joyful arrival was sidelined by the return of Abby's headaches and early morning vomiting. We were unsure if it was just a bug or if it was a sign of her tumor. They have told us that the tumor will, as it swells, cause severe headaches, sleepiness, nausea, and irritability. We have noticed Abby getting all of these symptoms. Sunday and Monday, Abby woke up with major headaches, and would throw up. So Monday, Maegan called up to the hospital and told them what was happening, and they had us bring her in for a cat scan. So, while our family went to the zoo and entertained the kids, we went and got a scan in and then waited for the results.
We then got up to the 9th floor and met with Abby's doctors for a little, and they had us go down to the 4th floor and meet with Dr. Limbrick, Abby's neurosurgeon. They did tell us that there was a lot of fluid backed up on Abby's brain, and that the ventricles were congested, not allowing the spinal fluid to flow, which builds up the pressure on her brain. This causes her headaches and vomiting. The technical term hydrocephalus. (I don't know if this is the correct spelling, but it was my best effort!) So they met with us and discussed the options of either putting in a shunt to relieve the pressure and move the fluid through the shunt into her stomach cavity. But since she still gives us glimpses of Abby, and isn't just sleeping ALL the time, we agreed with the doctors that the shunt is worth it for Abby. The other option was to do nothing and just let the fluid build up which would cause her to sleep more, and then when the tumor hits the breathing control of the brain, she would fall asleep and just stop breathing. That was not an option for us!! We know that as the tumor grows, that she will just fall asleep and stop breathing, but we want to enjoy every second that we have with our Abby!! We know that everyday is a gift, and we want to enjoy them to the fullest! We feel that this option will let us enjoy her, and more importantly, that she can enjoy the time that she has left.
So this morning, Maegan, Aunt Colista and I brought Abby up to the hospital to have her surgery. Grandma Mary and Aunt Amber met us up here, and we took Abby in for her surgery. It was hardest on Aunt Colista today, just because she has not seen Abby like this before. I hate to say it, but we have seen and been through this before so we knew what to expect. I know our first time was very rough as well, and I think Aunt Colista held up very well.
They had to shave a section of Abby's hair, on the right side from the temple area all the way around to the neck behind her ear. They left a patch above her ear that we may have to cut, but we'll have to see what Abby wants to do first. So they put the shunt in, and when her hair grows back in, you won't be able to see it at all. It goes from the front of her head into one of the ventricles in her brain to allow the fluid to drain from her brain to her stomach cavity where it will be absorbed by her body. There is a valve on her head that keeps the fluid moving out and not back in.
After her surgery, she was very groggy and not in the best of moods. As time passes, Maegan and I can see progress! Her eyes are clearer and focused and Abby hasn't complained of any headaches! Dr Limbrick came in and said that there was a lot of pressure built up when he put the shunt in, and we should be seeing positive results almost immediately, and we have been!
We will be in the hospital, room 12East12B, and hopefully we will get to go home tomorrow afternoon, or at the latest Thursday. We are hoping for tomorrow so we can hang out with our cousins more before they have to leave!
Abby is doing good and it is good to see her personality and silliness returning! Everyday is a miracle and we definitely thank God for everyday he blesses us with her, and all of our girls!! Even through this entire ordeal, we are extremely blessed!!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Where do I begin?! Abby is continuing to show so much strength and character, she just blows my mind! Over the past few weeks, we have noticed some negative effects from the tumor with Abby. Her walking is almost completely gone now, and even with help walking, she is mostly throwing her legs out in front of her than walking. She has compensated by learning how to scoot herself off of the couch and onto the floor, and then very slowly crawl around to play with her sisters or to just move. Her spirits are still up and she is an inspiration to me!
Last Friday, while Abby was getting her chemo treatment, she was only able to receive one of the medicines because of a high liver enzyme. They told Maegan, that if Abby doesn't feel like making the trip to St. Louis for her chemo, then to keep her home. If she is playing, or anything else and she doesn't want to come up, they said that it was fine to keep her home and to make her happy. It hurt to hear that, and the doctors did say that in no way are they giving up on Abby, and we never will, but we just need to make Abby happy. That is the most important thing.
Before reading the next little bit, please remember that we will fight tooth and nail to help Abby get better and giving up is not in our vocabulary! I'm not trying to be offensive or defensive, but when you keep reading, you'll see why I felt it necessary to put in that disclaimer...
On a sad note, (and yes, I'm tearing up just typing this), Maegan and I have had the discussions on keeping Abby home or at the hospital. We have decided that Abby will be home where she is comfortable until the end. As things get closer, we will move her into our bed (because nothing is more comforting than being in mom and dad's bed!). We'll also move a spare bed into the room for the other girls to sleep on, because we don't want them to feel left out or neglected. We feel that Abby will be the most comfortable at home surrounded in love.
On another sad note, we've also decided that we want Abby and Curtis to be together. Grandma Mary spoke with the funeral home and they said that it is possible to bring Curtis up, and then Abby and Curtis can be together in the same plot. You don't know how hard it is to type this right now, or how hard it was for us to have this conversation.
With all of the sadness out there, let me share some positives! Everyday is a miracle and we are trying to treat them as such! Abby and Mary-Beth are both on t-ball teams, with Mary-Beth being on a coach pitch team. Abby just loves being on the team and smacking the ball! She lets me help by pushing her in her stroller around the bases! She also enjoys being in the field too, and the coaches, players, and parents, all go out of their way to let Abby really be a part of the team! She gets ground balls, catches the ball, and throws the ball! I offer a little assistance, but to see her face beam is awesome! Her next game is this evening at 6pm and she can't wait! When we showed up to the first game, there was a new t-ball bat, glove, and some t-balls waiting for her that a new friend of ours had got for her!
On Memorial Day, we all went to our church's picnic, and Abby was having a blast throwing water balloons and playing with the other kids in the water! The primary children are inspiring to me, as I watched them fill and tie off water balloons for Abby, and then let her throw the balloons at them. It was a really good time for all of us!
A few days later, Maegan was outside with the girls cleaning the silly string off of the deck from their silly string battle (because grandpa Brian and I had spent all morning power washing it) and had a water spraying good time! I looked outside and I see Abby in her stroller with Maegan spraying her down and Abby just laughing and loving every second of it! Those are the types of memories that will last forever!
We are all looking forward to Uncle Bob, Auntie Colista and the cousins coming out next week!! The girls, and all of us, are so excited! It will be a good time for all of us!