A Personal Post…

On Monday, July 11th, 2016 our world got flipped upside down.  Our daughter Sawyer, 5, for weeks had been experiencing severe headaches with accompanying vomiting — often times waking her up in the middle of the night.  We had a CT scan done at our local hospital and by Noon we had received the horrendous news that there was a large mass in the middle of her brain.  We rushed to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and arrived by 5pm.  An MRI on July 12th showed a tumor the size of a quarter sandwiched between her brain stem and cerebellum.  Her ventricles were enlarged due to the pressure the tumor was causing, hence the headaches and vomiting side effects.  She had brain surgery on Thursday, July 14th to resolve her hydrocephalus and to remove the tumor.  The ETV procedure to resolve the hydrocephalus was a success, but the tumor was intrinsic with her brain stem and the surgeon did not want to risk harm to Sawyer, so they were only able to remove 5%.  The day after her surgery, (July 15th), I delivered a baby girl.  We originally had a name picked out for her but we ultimately left it up to Sawyer — she picked the name Elin. <3

After waiting for a few days to find out the pathology results of the type of tumor Sawyer had, it was diagnosed as a JPA (Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma), otherwise known as a low grade glioma.  A team of oncologists met with us to decide her course of treatment.  Sawyer had surgery for a port placement 2 weeks after her brain surgery and immediately started receiving a monthly dose of chemotherapy (carboplatin).  We are fortunate to have a great team in Duluth, MN at the Essentia Cancer Center.  Sawyer the Warrior has been so brave throughout this entire ordeal and her strength continues to amaze us.  The steroids her little body endured in the hospital, and during the 1st week home did a number on her.  We are slowly starting to see the swelling go down and her normal self returning.  Her health has been good and we are pleasantly surprised at how well she feels after each treatment and has yet to experience any side effects from the chemo.  October marked her 4th round of treatment. We are anxious for her sedated MRI on November 9th in Minneapolis and will know more at that time as to tumor size and if the chemo is working.

As for photography, I hope to be back in the swing of things next year and only plan to finish grow package families the remainder of 2016.  Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!!  These past 3 months have been a complete whirlwind and we have been so grateful to everyone who has reached out to us.  This post would not be complete without a few photos…

One week after Sawyer’s surgery…


Elin is 2 months old!

And last but not least…a day of chemo with Sawyer the Warrior.  We drive 90 minutes and arrive at the center by 9:45am.  Sawyer has her labs done, and then it’s fluids for an hour, followed by an hour of her chemo treatment, followed by another hour of fluids.  Her brother is obsessed with Pokemon Go so we spent some time walking around the center hunting for ‘rare’ guys. 😉  This particular day she was visited by a few superheroes who gave her an awesome hat from Love Your Melon. They are a great company that donates a hat to a child going through cancer for every hat purchased.  She is a true superhero. 🙂

Robin - November 4, 2016 - 2:16 pm

Praying for your precious little girl and your family. She is one brave child!

Almost baby time | Family Photographer, Ashland WI

I was so happy that my family and I fit in a mini beach session before baby #4 makes his/her appearance. 🙂 Thankfully my husband was able to snap a few of me and I am always grateful for the wireless remote / trip-pod set up for the family shot.

Just for Fun | Ashland Wisconsin Child Photographer

                                                                                                             Just for Fun | Ashland Wisconsin Child Photographer
I do try to take some personal photos every now and then with my ‘big’ camera. My oldest helped me make a ring light out of LED lights. They all enjoyed taking turns being goofy for the camera. 🙂
ringlightThe girls turned 3 and 5 recently and enjoyed curling hair and picking out their own outfits for a mini session.

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