Welcome to Ellie's Site!

Six Years Old!

June 24, 1pm: Ellie had her appointment at Children's Hospital this week.  We had a long day of tests and scans, but everything came back clean!  They didn't see any disease or cause for alarm. 

We also had a milestone as Ellie passed 40 pounds!  She has been trying to get to 40 pounds for 2 years.  She finally weighed 41 at this appointment!  She was so excited!  She was also 45" tall.  She is really starting to grow!  It's difficult to take off a year growing when you are this age.  Ellie was actually losing weight when she went through chemo (she started chemo at 2 and turned 3 during treatment) and it stunted her growth for awhile.  Hard to catch up when you miss a year of growth at that age.  But she if finally getting there.  She seems so tall to me and more filled out.  She looks healthier. 

Below are some pictures from her day of tests:

The last photo is of her celebrating after her appointment at one of her favorite restaurants.  She wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight the night before.  She was so hungry!  When they finally released us, we headed straight for food! 

We will do one more 3-month check in September and then Ellie will go to appointments every 6 months.  She will do that for several years before they move her to once-a-year. 

We want to thank all of you for your continued support and prayers.  We know we are extremely blessed.  We thank God for allowing Ellie to stay healthy and for keeping the cancer away. 

For those of you who are local to us, we will be having a party that we'd love to have you come to.  We will have our 3rd annual "Freedom From Chemo" Party on July 3rd.  Ellie's last chemo treatment was on July 3, 2008.  We will celebrate that we are free from chemo and that Ellie is healthy.  Please email me if you want our address: dvolk@neb.rr.com.  We would love to have you join us that evening!

Thank you for your support!  We are extremely grateful.

"I am the Lord who heals you."  Exodus 15:26



 May 28, 5pm: It is not possible that I have not updated this site for over 2 months!  How did that happen?! I apologize for that and am happy to report that Ellie is doing great!  She has been very busy over the past two months.  Here are some highlights:

She did micro-soccer:

She participated in track:

She had fun at the Children's Museum:

She dressed up when her older siblings went to prom (she wanted to be part of the fun!):

We had a wonderful Easter:

She went to the Husker spring game:

She went on school field trips:

We welcomed our first pet, Romeo:

Ellie has been very busy!  And she has stayed healthy.  She is strong and feeling great.  Ellie finished kindergarten this week.  She had a wonderful year and I am amazed at how much she learned!  She went from barely reading a few words to reading short chapter books.  We are blessed with an incredible school and she is already counting down for school to start again.

We will head to the hospital for our series of tests in June.  I will keep you updated on that.

In the meantime, thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.  We are extremely blessed by you!! We thank God that Ellie is doing so well and that we have an amazing support group.  We are so grateful. 

We will celebrate our 3rd anniversary of her last chemo treatment on July 3rd!  It has truly flown by.  When we were in the middle of treatment, it felt like time was barely moving.  Now that she is done, I cannot believe how fast it is going.  I am so thrilled to have a busy, crazy, "normal", 6-year-old who is always on the run.  What a blessing!  God is so good!!

I will leave you with one of Ellie's memory verses from school: "Worship the Lord with gladness."  Psalms 100:2


March 10, 11am: Ellie had her big day of tests yesterday.  We go in every 3 months for a series of tests and scans to make sure that cancer is staying away.  Here is Ellie waiting to start with her baby.  We started with weight and heigth.  Although Ellie had grown a little bit taller, she is still at 39 pounds!  We cannot seem to break into the 40s!  She has been trying for that goal for a long, long time.  Although she eats great, she is also running non-stop.  We love seeing her so active, but she cannot seem to put weight on.  The doctor wasn't too concerned.  She said Ellie is at 50% for her age group on heigth and a bit lower for weight, but she said she isn't worried about it.

Then Ellie had her blood drawn, which is her least favorite thing.  Here she is putting on a brave face.  I read to her while the nurses worked on getting blood.  Ellie was a trooper.  She then started drinking the contrast liquid that she would need for her CT scan.  She had to drink it over an hour.  It was a long hour!  She was also so hungry because she wasn't allowed to eat after bedtime the night before. 

Here is Ellie during the CT scan.  Unfortunately, this is old hat for Ellie and she laid perfectly still for this test.

Next came something new for Ellie, she had an MRI.  The doctors fear that some of these kids are getting too much radiation with all of the x-rays and CT scans so they wanted to switch to an MRI sometimes.  For an MRI, Ellie would have to lay perfectly still for an hour!  That is so long for an active 6-year-old! Ellie and I went into the MRI room and I could tell she was nervous.  She was squeezing my hand very hard.  I don't have any pictures of this part because I wasn't allowed to bring anything metal into the room.  They laid Ellie on the MRI machine and made, what they called, an "Ellie Sandwich".  They had pads below her and on top of her.  They belted her in tight.  I don't think she could have moved if she wanted to.  They then told her the great news: she could watch a movie while she was in the machine.  She picked out a movie and we were both excited that she would be preoccupied during the hour-long scan.  They put ear plugs in her ears and big ear phones on top of that.  They said the machine was very noisy.  They then put goggles on her which also had mirrors attached to them.  They put her in the tube-shaped machine and once in there, they turned on her movie and she was able to look at the mirror on her goggles and see the movie that was playing behind her head.  They had me sit beside the tv so that Ellie could see me too.  They had me put the ear plugs and ear phones on too.  Once they started the machine, I was shocked at how loud it was!  And we had 2 sets of ear protectors on.  Whenever a particularly loud noise would happen, I could see Ellie's eyes get wide.  They would immediately dart to me.  I would give her a sign that it was ok and her eyes would go back to the movie.  That went on for an hour.  Afterwards, the nurse told me that Ellie's feet were twitching the entire time.  I know she was nervous.  But she handled it very well.  As we were leaving, I asked Ellie what she was thinking about when she was in the MRI machine.  She said, "I tried not to think."  Probably a good idea!

We then went back to Ellie's oncology doctor and she had a physical.  She thought Ellie looked good.  She also told us that all of Ellie's initial tests looked great. 

We then were finally able to leave and get Ellie food.  She ate two hamburgers without even taking a breath!  

We are thankful that Ellie is doing so good.  And I thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts yesterday.  Although we didn't do anything physically strenuous, we were all so exhausted last night.  It is an emotional day and it takes it's toll.   We are thankful that we have great support from all of you.  You have no idea how much it helps us.  We thank God that everything looks good.  We are so extremely thankful.

Yesterday, this Bible verse went through my mind.  I thought it was appropriate because Ellie physically had to be still yesterday, but I also needed to let my mind be still and not go to the "what ifs" that come up during these tests.  I had to be still and remember who is in charge.  And He loves Ellie even more than I do.

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10



March 8, 8pm: Ellie turned 6 last week!  She was so excited and we ended up having a week-long series of parties!  I guess that is fitting for a princess.  She had a wonderful week and loved every minute.  Thank you so much for all of the well wishes, cards and gifts for her.  She is so incredibly blessed by so many!!

We head to Omaha tomorrow for her 3-month check up.  Every 3 months she goes in for a series of tests and scans to make sure that cancer is staying away.  Tomorrow, in addition to a CT scan of her chest, blood work and a physical check-up, they are going to do an MRI.  Ellie has not had an MRI before and she will need to lay perfectly still for an hour.  That is a tall order for a 6-year-old! 

I will update after our day at the Children's Hospital and let you know how it goes.  We are thankful that God has blessed us with amazing doctors and that we have the incredible technology that we have today.  We will be praying for great test results and that Ellie is able to endure all of the tests.  As I write this, she is eating a bedtime snack.  She won't be able to eat in the morning, so we want her as full as possible tonight!  

Thank you for your continued support and we will talk to you soon!

"Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you."   1 Peter 5:7



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