Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Few Days Here, A Few Days There

     We got to come home from the hospital yesterday!  Even though we have to head right back to the hospital next week for Chemo, it is absolutely AMAZING to be home!  I am just savoring these moments we are actually getting as an entire family unit.  We even all sat around the dinner table together, and it was glorious!  Our little Hazelnut is doing so well right now too, which makes it even better.  Her infection is cleared up, her counts are high, she's in great spirits and has tons of energy.  I feel that this makes it easier on all of us and allows for our family to have some semblance of normalcy.  Today we were able to spend the day at Grandma Skinner's house, which all of the kids loved, and then, once home, we had several visitors.  It was so nice to see Hazel being able to play around and just be a normal kid.  It brought her such joy.
     If all goes well, we will be starting Round #3 on Tuesday (they are pushing it back a day to make sure her blood counts are ready).  From the information I have received from the doctors, nursers, my own research and other families who are or have been on this same journey, I am understanding that the two types of Chemo she will be receiving next week aren't easy.  Please pray for Hazel as she fights through next week, and that, if He wills it, allow it to be easier on her.  And also that we may have the knowledge, discernment, clear-headedness and strength to be able to do all that we can to help her through it.  I am getting very anxious about next week, and I know that I absolutely need His strength and His peace over these next few days as we await what is coming, and especially through the possible tough moments that Hazel may have.  
    One last thing.  Something I have not shared on this blog yet is that since Hazel was diagnosed, we have found out that there are 2 other cases of Neuroblastoma on my father's side of the family.  There may be more, but we are only aware of the two.  Now, since Neuroblastoma is a very rare form of childhood cancer, and familial Neuroblastoma is even more rare; our doctors thought that this was something for us to be thinking about.  The decision was made for us to do a Genetic Marker Test on Hazel's blood to see if she carries the Marker for Neuroblastoma.  If she does, then the doctors would like to test the whole family.  I do not know much more about the Genetic Marker at this point (i.e. if a host has the Marker, what does that mean?), but what I do know is that I want to have all of the information I can, in regards to the rest of my children, so we can be armed and prepared for the future.  The doctors took blood sample from Hazel on Tuesday, and said the results will take about a month.  So please pray!!!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Infection #1, DONE!


     Our little Hazelnut responded very well to the antibiotics and the infection has already shown tremendous improvement.  We found out on Friday though, that her Central Line also had an infection, so we knew we had to take care of that right away.  Thankfully, the antibiotics she was already on, took care of this infection in no time!  Her blood cultures have remained clear, and we will be able to do her Stem Cell Collection as planned!  The only difference now is that we will be doing it inpatient instead of outpatient. Although I would LOVE to be home with the whole family, it is easier in some ways to do the collection inpatient.  Firstly, I do not have to keep going back and forth over the course of the week.  We were originally scheduled for a check-in time of 7:30 AM each day, but now they will do the procedure in our room sometime in the mornings.  Secondly, I feel I can have a little more peace of mind knowing that there are so many sets of eyes and ears watching over my daughter.  At home, I am constantly on duty and always afraid I will miss something or do something incorrectly.  Lastly, the collection may take up to 8 hours each day, so it will be nice not to have to drive home an exhausted little girl at the end of such a long day!  So, I find myself being thankful for the inconvenience!  
     To prepare Hazel for the collection, she has needed large doses of her G-CSF injections (daily shots we give to her for about a week after Chemo to help boost her blood counts).  Unfortunately, these shots are not pleasant and they have given her a good bit of nausea.  On the bright side though, tonight was her last dose, so the suffering will soon be over!  But please pray for her; the nights have been tough.  Besides this unfortunate symptom, Hazel has been in such good spirits!  And Aaron went on duty this weekend and truly enjoyed his time with her.  We both keep saying that she is making this much easier on all of us.  She gives us so much joy each day, which truly warms our heavy hearts.
     She was even doing well enough for us to feel comfortable allowing my Aunt Laura to watch over her, so we could have a date night!  I did not anticipate being so blessed as to be able to do this, but because of the huge support system we have around us, we were able to reconnect with each other by going out to dinner and seeing a movie.  At first, I was not sure if I wanted to leave Hazel, but so many families I have met that have been, or are still on the same journey we are have all told me that we need to make sure to take care of ourselves in order to better care for our daughter.  After this date night, I completely understand what they were talking about.  It was absolutely wonderful to spend that time with my husband, and I found that seeing a movie was the best thing for me.  I was able, even if just for a few hours, live in a different reality and not have to think about the new world we have been thrust into.  Until this date night I really have not felt what it was like to have my mind clear, and it was so rejuvenating.  So let me just say a huge thank you to my Aunt Laura for offering this gift to us, and thank you to all of our family and friends who are supporting us.  We are truly humbled by your graciousness and love.
     This leads me to one more point.  I want to say thank you to all of you who are praying fervently for us.  This last month (I can't believe it has been that long already) has been such a whirlwind, but one thing that has remained constant is the clear ways in which I have seen the power of your prayers and my God hard at work. I really have never seen Him work so vividly and so distinctly in my life before.  I feel Him near and he has surprised me by giving me peace and joy on even my darkest days.  It has only been through His strength alone that I am even able to get out of bed each day. His fingerprints are all over Hazel's journey and His glory is shining everywhere!  There are two verses that I feel have really applied to all of this these past few weeks:

  • Romans 5:3-5 "And not only this, but we also exult in tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, HOPE;  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us"
  • 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of HIS GLORY you may rejoice with exultation"
     Even though I continue to cling to these truths each day, this is still very difficult for all of us.  So keep praying so that we may continue to feel lifted up, in love, and that His glory may be shown through us.  Especially be praying tomorrow for Hazel's Stem Cell Collection.  If all goes well, it may only be a one day procedure; so let's pray for that!!  I will update you as soon as I can after the collection!


Friday, May 24, 2013

A Quick Update

    Just wanted to keep everyone up to date....
We are back in the hospital right now (which is going to happen a lot!), because our little Hazelnut has an infection.  We were admitted on Thursday and will be here until she has 3 days of clean blood cultures (results can take up to 48 hours), so we are settling in for a longer stay.  Her cultures from yesterday were not clear, so please pray for this infection to clear up quickly!!!  When we were home, she was in a lot of pain and spiked a fever, so I called the hospital immediately.  They had us come right over and got us into a room as soon as they could (it still took about 6 hours!).  The fever is now gone, so I am very relieved!  And with the pain medication and antibiotics they have her on, she is feeling so much better already.  There is still a little pain/discomfort, so also pray for God to heal her and bring her some relief!  Despite all of this, she has continued to be her chipper self!  She absolutely amazes me!  Thank you all for remembering my daughter, and I hope the next update I can give you will find us home and healthy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Upcoming Fundraisers

Midnight Mommy Designs (you can like the page on Facebook!) makes these beautiful blankets and will raffle off a blanket of your choice!

38 Raffle Tickets Sold! Fundraiser Auction ends this Friday. 

For every $5 you will get 1 online raffle ticket for this auction. The raffle ticket will be emailed to you! $4 of the $5 will go to the fund! After we hit 50 raffle tickets 100% will go to the fund (the $1 is going to cover the fabric cost). We have 35 tickets sold so far! I am going to keep this open for 1 week, ending this Friday.
To buy a raffle ticket:

1. go to
2. click on SEND MONEY
3. Send money to
4. Make sure to email me your full name and phone number!
5. You will receive your online raffle ticket by email within 24 hours.
6. If possible, I will try to coordinate a time with Hazel's mom after the auction closes to have Hazel draw the winner. I will post a video of it, as well.

Buy Some Scensty!
 Kristi Heald says:

Remember to Help Hazel Hammersley out by ordering a Scentsy treat!! It will not only make your house/office smell absolutely AMAZING (and remind you of her every time you smell it) but I am donating 100% of the profits to the family to help out Hazel!! All you have to do is go on my website and shop in the Helping Hazel party. 

Fundraiser Ends June 5th!

Golden Meadow Retrievers, in conjunction with the Talbert Family Foundation, presents....

*****Help Hazel & Win a Golden Retriever Puppy!*****

Raffle tickets $50.00 each or 'Buy It Now' for $10,000.00 (see bottom of this page for purchasing directions, website)

Raffle drawing on June 22, 2013.

All proceeds of the raffle will benefit Hazel's Fund, a program of the Talbert Family Foundation.

ABOUT THE PRIZE PUPPY: The Golden Retriever puppy is named Ellie May, she will be 10 weeks old at the time of the raffle pulling. Ellie May will be already crate trained and sleeping through the night without accidents. She will also have a microchip already in place. Ellie May will come with a booklet with both parents pedigrees, test results, and her up to date shot record as well as a ton of information on proper upbringing. Limited AKC registration. Elli May is located in Moorpark, Ca at Shipping/transportation costs may apply depending on the location of the winner.

ABOUT GOLDEN MEADOWS RETRIEVERS: Golden Meadows has been breeding top quality Golden Retriever puppies for over 20 years. All of their Dogs come from excellent pedigrees with champion lines, sweet temperaments and great looks. All of their Golden Retriever puppies come with up to a 3 year health guarantee against genetic hip, heart and eye defects. Their Dogs and Pups are surrounded by attention & love from day one, they socialize our pups from birth to help ensure that you get the sweetest addition to your family. Like them on facebook: http:/

ABOUT HAZEL: Hazel, or "Hazelnut", as her family likes to call her, was diagnosed with a High-Risk, Stage 3 Neuroblastoma on April 24, 2013. For full information, or to donate directly to her Fund, please visit: 100% goes to Hazel

HOW TO BUY RAFFLE TICKETS: ~Please read these directions before purchasing raffle tickets~

1. Visit

2. In the "OTHER" box put the dollar amount for the raffle tickets (NUMBER OF TICKETS X $50)

3. In the "WHAT FUND ARE YOU DONATING TO" box, state Hazel's Raffle (QTY). Tickets are $50.00 each. To purchase tickets, click on the ticket.

4. If you'd like to "BUY IT NOW", for $10,000, indicate $10,000 in the"OTHER BOX" and write "I won the puppy" in the fund designation box.


Raffle Registration Number R-5770.

Ventura County Public Safety
Little Hero’s Blood Drive & Fundraiser
June 11th, 2013
Oxnard PACC
800 Hobson Way
Oxnard, CA 93030

Blood Drive Hours from 7:30am-1:00

Lunch/Fundraiser will be help at 11:00am until 1:00pm

Events will include Bystander CPR and Child Fingerprinting & Identification

Blood Drive for Hazel
 by the CHLA Blood Mobile and Hazel's Family & Friends

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Simi Cornerstone Community Church
2080 Winfred ST
Simi Valley, CA 93063

Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcomed.
Please contact Grandma Linda @ 805-990-4770

Opportunity Drawing for Prizes
Kids Craft Table
Hope For Hazel Bracelets
Grandma's Cookies