Raquel’s Sweet 16 Birthday Party

Raquel Birthday: Surrounded by friends

Well, the last few weeks have been a blur of amazing progression with Raquel’s health as she’s fighting brain tumor cancer, but her sweet 16 birthday party was so much fun that I need to write a whole post about it!

I invited a whole bunch of her friends to come over the night of her birthday which was a Friday. A few days before I just happened to look at craigslist and found an amazing couch for our basement for cheap, and I was so excited to actually get it.

Raquel's Party: New Couch

That morning I looked at my email and saw a Costco ad for a ping-pong and foosball table on sale. I told my husband that’s what I wanted for Christmas so we could finish out our basement and make it a fun hangout place.

He said that was fine, so I sent my father down to St. George to pick up the tables and then we needed extra help to put them together before the party. A couple of Raquel’s friends helped out and our neighbor. Thank goodness!

Raquel's Party: New tables
Another neighbor, and mom of some of Raquel’s friends, Laura Curry, made the most fantastic cake. It was shaped as the number 16, covered with fresh berries and pomegranate seeds. It was one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever eaten, and it was a huge hit!

Raquel's Birthday Party: Raquel's Cake

The friends just kept coming, and coming!

Raquel's Birthday: Friends at Party

After everyone arrived and hung out for a while, we sang to Raquel and had the cake with ice cream. 

Raquel's Birthday Party: Singing
After that we all went downstairs and played games.

Raquel's Birthday party: Playing downstairs

Raquel sat on the couch with her best friend the whole time and had a sing-along!

Raquel's Birthday: Raquel and Chloe at party

It was so much fun and I was so happy for Raquel. She was beaming the entire time! Here’s a video glimpse of her great night.

Raquel is making amazing progress with her healing! We are so blessed! Check back soon for a general update on how well she’s doing.

Elderberry Recipe: Kid Friendly Glycerite

Elderberry

This Elderberry recipe is a wonderful, natural remedy for kids (and adults), as it is mild and yummy tasting. I usually make this and start administering it in the fall when school starts and the sick bugs are flying around. It is highly anti-viral, which makes it great for fighting flu, fevers, coughs and colds. […]

Read More

Brain Cancer: Coming Home After Radiation

Brain Tumor Cancer: Raquel Home

After five weeks stay at primary children’s hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah doing radiation and other of my own natural treatments for my daughters brain cancer, we are finally home! We’ve been back for almost a week, and I still feel like I’m trying to get my head above water. But I can’t tell […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer: Getting Ready to Go Home!

Brain Tumor cancer: Raquel Thumbs Up

We are so happy to have finished up radiation treatments for our daughter’s brain tumor cancer. This last week has been crazy trying to get all the supplies we will need to bring her home, including a ventilator. But we are so excited that she is doing better every day, and is well enough that […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer: Treatment Ups & Downs

Brain Tumor Cancer: Going to Radiation Therapy

You know there are bound to be ups and downs when going through treatment for brain tumor cancer. It could be a lot worse for us. Right now we have opted to only be doing radiation, along with some natural supplement therapies. Chemo is still a possibility, but I would really like to avoid it. […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer: Hair, Trach & G-Tube Update

Brain Tumor Update: Raquel Asleep With Braids on Trach Vent

Raquel continues to make little improvements, despite being very tired from radiation treatments for her brain tumor cancer. We are learning all about G-Tubes and Trachs, and I’m having fun braiding and styling her hair. She definitely makes her opinion known about what movies she wants to watch, music she wants to listen to, and […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer: The Power of Music for Healing

Brain Tumor Cancer: Emily & Chelsea Singing

Music is a powerful tool for healing. It has the ability to lift us out of sadness, depression, and discouragement. It has helped me and my daughter Raquel, who is fighting brain tumor cancer right now. I want to share some or our favorite, special music with you. We are musical family. I come from one. […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer: Extractions and Radiation Prep

Brain Tumor Cancer: Getting on elevator with Raquel

We had a couple big things happen in the last 24 hours that I believe are going to help us make progress against Raquel’s brain tumor cancer. Yesterday, the oral surgeon told us he could come extract two of Raquel’s teeth that very evening at 8:30 PM. She had two infections under adult teeth in […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Update: Rich Blessings and Strong Prayers

Brain Tumor Blessings: Chloe and raquel in ICU

Raquel is getting better everyday, despite the brain tumor we know is still there, and the extra recovery she has had to make after her emergency surgery 10 days ago. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO has been praying for Raquel (besides everyone we know, and many people we don’t…I’ll tell you in just a minute). Each […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer Update: Healthy Formulas

Healthy Formulas: Raquel in Hospital Bed

This morning I met with the dietician and integrative medicine rep. We decided I needed to write down all the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the supplements and healthy organic formula that I want to give to Raquel via tube. It’s been a good exercise, but tedious. I also mentioned to the PICU doctor […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer Update: Big Decisions in ICU

Brain Tumor Cancer: Music Therapy in ICU

I had trouble sleeping again last night (due to a chicken and mashed potato dinner, mainly I think), I had some bad dreams, prayed, felt better, and then lay awake for a couple hours thinking of ways to take down the size of the cancerous tumors in Raquel’s brain. I wrote down a juice recipe […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer Update: Our Sabbath

Brain Tumor Update: Kids with Raquel in ICU2

Today was more of the peaceful day for us and for Raquel. Each hour is over shadowed by worry about the tumors in her brain which are preventing her from being her normal, happy, energetic self. We are praying to have more answers and a good action plan tomorrow when we meet with our team […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer Update: Ten Little Miracles

Brain Tumor Cancer: Ten Little Miracles

We have been waiting, watching and hoping that Raquel would recover and bounce back from surgery as she did before, but we are having to re-adjust our expectations once again. My husband suspects that the pressure that had built up from the failed shunt pushed the dense tumor matter farther down on her brain stem, […]

Read More

Brain Tumor Cancer Update: Recovering From Surgery

Brain Tumor Cancer: Raquel recovering

Raquel is still with us. Her neurosurgeon said he is amazed she is still alive. According to the MRI, her brain tumor has become bigger and the cancer has grown over the past couple months, but she is hanging in. She’s a fighter. Today held some miracles and blessings, along with some pretty tough moments. […]

Read More

Brain Cancer Update: Raquel’s Shunt Failure

Brain Tumor Cancer: Life Flight Helicopter

I had to lay in bed several hours this morning to recover from the scare, anxiety and exhaustion of the previous night after our daughter, who has brain tumor cancer had a seizure, and we weren’t sure if she’d make it after surgery. I woke up at 7 AM and the recorder of my mind […]

Read More