Three-year-old Faye was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on April 11, 2011. After 135 days in the hospital, Faye was able to spend 3 years at home. On September 5th 2014 she was told that she had relapsed. She was able to achieve a second remission and had a bone marrow transplant on Oct 17th 2014.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This is when Faye first got to leave her room last week.

The Pink Car!

Just relaxin' eating some ice cream.

Super Faye is STRONG!

Faye's brothers were tested for a bone marrow match on Thursday. Mitchell was super brave. Didn't cry or whine and was a big hit with all the nurses. Faye's doctors said that Faye is classified in the intermediate risk category of AML of three categories (low, intermediate, high). They cautioned to not put too much stock into the classification since some kids in the low category have not done well and some in the high category have done very well. Because of this classification, if any immediate family member is a match they recommend a bone marrow transplant. If no immediate family member is a match they will continue to do chemo and evaluate. The success rate of the transplant is much higher with an immediate family member match. Siblings are the most likely match and parents are rarely a match.

These two really are the best of friends. During the week they start to really miss each other and like to talk on the phone.

The little gang all together!

Cruising the halls.

Friday she had her last day of chemo for Round 1!

Making the best of the IV stand's cumbersome presence.

Hair cut day! ...Preparing to find short-haired clumps instead of long-haired clumps!

Mom and Dad are feeling anxious and a little emotional at this point. This was Faye's FIRST HAIR CUT!

Almost 4 and this little girl has never had a hair cut! Her hair grows slowly so it was hard to see it all go. She did well with it, though. She just sat still and was so nice for the lady.

Finished product. When she looked in the mirror she said "I look like Mitchell!" :)

After another platelet transfusion Sunday morning, the nurses decided she could be off the IV for Easter to do the egg hunt. What a difference it made! She loved being unplugged for a bit.

On Easter the whole family got to spend some together-ness.

That's more like it.

Aunt Juju was SO happy to be there!

New hospital clothes for easy IV access and style! (Good job Joell!)

A family put on an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids on the 9th floor. They also gave them Easter buckets with goodies and the Easter Bunny took pictures with the kids. (Don't have that one. They used their own camera and printed them out.)

Getting in some little brother time. (Who, by the way, is the best baby I've ever met!)

When I talked to Stacey the other day she explained how nice it is to see Faye acting somewhat normal again. It has been SO long since she's seen her walking around and playing and even jumping. So, the chemo must be doing something right! mmmm More poison please!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ITCHING to Get Out

Something is making Faye ITCHY! She doesn't complain, just itches a lot. On Sunday, she was able to get unhooked from her IV tower for the first time and take a bath. Then she took some Benedryl and got some cream to help the itching. Her skin was getting all red from the scratching. It only helped a little and she woke up Monday morning still itchy.

But THEN the doctor removed her restriction to stay in her room! She hadn't been complaining about staying in the room but as soon as she was given permission to leave she couldn't get out fast enough!
Her and Stacey walked the floor circle and when they came to the wagons and cars they have, Faye hopped right into a pink one and they made the circle again. After lunch she wanted to go back and ride in the pink car, but her tower was running out of power and so had to stay in the room to let it charge. They went out and did another circle before Faye had to come back to her room for another blood transfusion. Her hemoglobin levels were too low again. She was not happy about staying in her room, so she cried and eventually fell asleep.

This morning she had to have the dressing on her picc line changed. She really didn't like that! But at least she has those cars to look forward to! Pray that she doesn't get sick again so she can keep leaving her room and getting around a little.

Mornings are a little rough on Faye and parent. She is pretty grumpy in the morning. She warms up after a bit but doesn’t talk or want to deal with the nurses. She does what she has to but won’t let them look in her mouth. They're working with her on that.

Grandma Mary Ann left her iPad with Faye and she is loving it! She's using her Aunt Holly's Netflix account to watch lots of fun movies.

Stay strong, Faye! We all LOVE you!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chemo Round 1: Week 1

"This week was a good week! Considering....I feel really grateful starting this week out on a good note....we know there are going to be bad days/ weeks! But starting out it is nice to have some good times!" -Stacey

We still don't know how the cancer cells are reacting to the chemo, but thank goodness Faye's side effects to it have been minimal so far. The hope is that after 2 rounds of chemo the cancer cells will be all gone, she'll be in remission and then receive 3 more rounds of chemo to keep it away. If after 2 rounds of chemo there are still cancer cells she will have to have a bone marrow transplant. Nick, Stacey, Mitchell and even Nixon will need to be tested to see if someone is a match. Siblings are typically the best bet for a match. (Nixon won't be able to be a donor but they need to know if he can be if it comes back down the road.)

Here is a breakdown of each day on chemo:

Tuesday: Faye had an echo cardiogram, a PICC line placed, a lumbar puncture, spinal tap, and a dose of AraC-IT. (AraC is one of her chemo medicines. "IT" means through a lumbar puncture, "IV" means through her IV.) She was groggy from being sedated and threw up a lot. The good thing about last week's spinal fluid being clear of cancer is that she won't have to have a lumbar puncture every 4 days to keep checking it. Yay! That night Grandpa Mike had to say "bye". :(

Wednesday: Faye had 2 doses of AraC-IV, 1 dose of Daunorubicine and 1 dose of Etopocide (VP-16). She responded well! She was a little ornery but mostly in good spirits. She got in and out of bed by herself and walked to the potty. One of the side effects she had was diarrhea. No fun! Stacey switched Nick at the hospital (due to his sore throat) and Nick and Mitchell stayed in a hotel in Houston. The next morning, they came and got Nixon from Stacey. (They decided it wasn't going to work keeping him with Stacey when she's at the hospital. Faye requires too much attention.) And lots of bottles were purchased. Stacey's mom, Mary Ann, got in and went straight to the hospital to help.

Thursday: Another 2 doses of AraC-IV and 1 dose of VP-16. Faye felt more active, was being silly, and used her IV stand as a scooter! (video below)

Friday: Faye received 2 doses of AraC-IV, 1 dose of Daunorubicine, and 1 dose VP-16. Her bum has become very sore from the chemicals. :( Nick and Stacey have to wear rubber gloves to help her go to the bathroom to make sure they don't get any chemicals in their system. Such scary stuff to be pumping into our little Faye! The chemicals can also damage the cells in her mouth and give her sores, so she has to use a special mouthwash 3xs a day. She doesn't like it. "It's too spicy." But if she doesn't take it Nick and Stacey have to use a spongy swab which she likes even less. So, when threatened with that, she does it. Nick came back to the hospital and Stacey went home to the boys.

Saturday: It's looking like a pattern: 2 doses AraC-IV and 1 dose of VP-16. Poor Faye is on "isolation/contact watch" because she has a cough. That means she can't leave her room to go play in other areas of the hospital. That has got to make you so stir crazy!

The hospital has provided Faye with some new discoveries. She loves Golden Grahams! And Connect Four! And got her first Barbie! One of her favorite things to do is look out her window and see all the cars, buses and cabs that go by...and especially the commuter rail.

She is getting better about when nurses come in. They are constantly coming in to check her blood pressure and temperature. Now instead of hiding under the blanket, she will stick out her leg or even pull her little pant leg up for them to check her blood pressure and just goes through the motions letting them stick the thermometer in her mouth to get a temperature. On Friday when the nurse walked in with her machine to take her blood pressure and temp, she looked over at the door, saw the nurse and said "Uggg again" and sighed.

Nick has started to talk with her about losing her hair. He asked her if she'd like to get her hair cut short and she said yes! And says her hair will grow back big and pretty like "Puhtunzel".

Nick and Stacey have a system in place for hospital/home duty. Monday through Thursday Nick will work 10 hour days while Stacey's at the hospital and whichever family member is down helping will take care of the house and boys. (I can't wait!) Thursday night Nick will switch Stacey and stay the weekend with Faye while Stacey can be home with Mitchell and finally be with her baby! But this means husband and wife have a to go a long time without seeing much of each other. Nick said when it's over they'd have to play out the last scene in You've Got Mail where they meet in the park and instead of yelling "Brinkley" Nick will yell "Mitchell" and Stacey will say "I wanted it to be you." haha!

Now for pictures! Yay! And to make them even better, I've got some captions from Stacey! (in quotations)

"This crown Daddy and Faye made, well mostly Dad, he created it! Anyone who walks into the hospital room is greatly impressed!"

"Mitchell has a bit of a cold, so he is not able to go in the room with Faye. She can't wait til he can come hang out in her room with her and watch Tangled! But for now him and dad make funny faces through a corner window!" (Except Mitchell left Nick hangin' here to make him look crazy. Good job, Mitchell!) "...She loves these boys, they are always good for a laugh!"

"Gifts she received already....people are being so generous, but she genuinely loves everything, it makes her smile to see a new something someone has sent her!"

"The night after Faye had her picc line put in, and she woke up, she was not able to keep anything down, and all she wanted was a turkey sandwich! I told her we had to make sure we could keep some juice down before we graduated to trying a turkey sandwich! She woke up at about 2:30 in the morning tried some juice and was able to keep that down, she fell back asleep, but as soon as she woke up again she was asking for a turkey sandwich! Finally for lunch the next day she was able to have her turkey sandwich!" (What does a girl gotta do around here to get a turkey sandwich?!)

"The evolution of the IV stand: First, she would just stand on one of the feet while it was stationary, then she moved onto standing on it while I pulled her out of the bathroom after taking a bathroom break! And now she has already graduated to scooting around on it like it is a scooter!"

"More presents......She especially loves the bunny and blanket...this girl can never have enough soft fuzzy blankets! Now if only we could get her to rotate so we could get some of them washed!"

Chemo means one SLEEPY Faye.

Playing her version of Connect Four. Just putting in all the pieces and dumping them out.

More sleepy medicine

The "spicy" mouthwash. Bottoms up!

"A balloon for Faye from Mitchell!"

"The primary kids were so nice to send Faye cards, so she is coloring a picture to send back to them."

"In all of her hard work she still finds time to take care of her baby!"

"She told me I didn't take a picture of her blood! So this was a Faye picture request! Here is where her first IV was put in, until they had it switched to the picc line! She hated taking the IV out, but really who would blame her, I hate having that done too!"

Golden Grahams and a crazy straw.

Nixon got to sleep in a drawer at the hotel. What a good boy!

A "kitchen barbie" from Nick's coworkers!

She really loves it!

Grandma Mary Ann comes to visit!

"Floppy Hat Faye loves her some fruit! Strawberries and raspberries are her favorites!"

The boys back at home without their girls. Mary Ann said Nick slept with Faye's pillow. :(

Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to Faye and her family. I hope you will all continue to pray for them throughout the whole journey. It's going to be a long six months where so many things can go wrong. This is what Nick had to say about the love they've been shown:

"I am so thankful to everyone who has stepped up in so many ways. It is such a comfort to me during this. It has been overwhelming to say the least and we need to be humble enough to allow people to help in any way they can. Faye and Stacey deserve absolutely anything anyone is willing to offer in help, love, and prayers. It has been such an uplift and inspiration for Stacey and I to get the offers of support and words of encouragement. We have been truly touched by the kindness and generosity. We are in for a difficult and trying time and we feel so blessed to have such wonderful people that care about Faye enough to try and do whatever they can to help her become a survivor of this. I love you all so much. Thank you. I have been praying since this situation began for a miracle and I am convinced that all of you and the others that are and will help are that miracle. " -Nick

Make sure to check out Faye's 'Thank You' at the bottom of the page!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Faye Meldrum

Faye is 3 years old. She loves dolls, pink and "purpur" (purple), princesses, and taking care of babies (including helping you change their "dappers"). She has a sweet, soft voice that melts your heart whenever she talks. When her hair is fixed don't mess it up! And when it's not, she likes to wear her floppy hat. She has two brothers, Mitchell (6) and Nixon (1 week). Mitchell and Faye are best friends. Mitchell is a kind, loving big brother and Faye adores him. Her parents are Nick and Stacey Meldrum. They're natives of Utah, but currently live in College Station, Texas where Nick works. Which means they are far from extended family and friends.

In December, Faye began complaining about her leg and didn't want to walk on it. Her parents took her to the ER. The doctor took an x-ray and when nothing looked broken he told them it was probably growing pains and to give her Advil. They did so and it helped. But her leg pain kept coming and going. She needed pain medication most days. She kept getting colds and flues off and on. And when she did her leg pain flared up. She has had a hard time sleeping and often needed her mom or dad to lay with her and rub her legs to help her sleep. Even when she appeared well she would tell her family, "I can't. I'm sick." and "I'll feel better when I get big."

In March it became obvious that these were not growing pains and, even though their new insurance didn't kick in until April 1st, they determined to take her back to the doctor. This time they were told that she needed to get over her current virus before they could do further tests.

On April 4th Faye's baby brother, Nixon, was born via an unplanned C-section 10 days early. Faye's virus had passed and was able to see her new brother, but wasn't too excited about it all. (Now we know how crummy she must've been feeling.) On April 8th, Nixon had his first pediatrician appointment and Faye went along to get a blood test and x-ray.

The next day, Nick received a call from the pediatrician's office explaining that Faye's hemoglobin levels were critically low and she needed to get to the ER as soon as possible. At the ER, they retested her blood and had the same results. Her hemoglobin level was 6.7. The normal range for her age is 11-13. They said they were surprised she could move. She received an IV and was there for a few hours where her mom was able to come and see her.

Then, she slept as an ambulance took her to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, 2 hours from their home. Her blood was tested again and she was admitted on the Hematology/Oncology floor. That night she had a blood transfusion to bring up her hemoglobin level.

The next day, the specialists looked at her blood, but could not be conclusive. They didn't want to speculate, so Nick and Stacey were left to wonder and prepare themselves for the worst. And that's just what it was. Faye had a bone marrow biopsy the following day and was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on April 11th (exactly 1 week after Nixon was born). This type of leukemia is very rare in children and harder to get rid of than its more common counterpart (ALL). The subtype has not been determined yet. (Their are 8 types of AML: M0-M7.) She had a spinal tap today and some good news! It hasn't reached her spinal fluid! It is mainly located in her bone marrow with only a small amount in her blood.

Today she started phase 1 of up to 5 phases of chemo-therapy. The number of phases depends on further tests and how her cells react to the chemo. After 2 or 3 phases, it may be necessary to give her a bone marrow transplant. Each phase lasts about 28 days. She will have a small break and then move on to phase 2 and so on. The doctors do not recommend that she go home during her breaks. So she will live in the hospital at least the next 6 months.

Because chemo kills the white blood cells as well as the cancer cells her immune system will be very vulnerable. If anyone is even slightly sick or has been around someone sick they won't be able to be with her. Nick felt a sore throat coming on and had to let Stacey and Nixon stay with her tonight. It's his first time away from Faye since this started and it's tearing him up.

Faye has thrown up 3 times today. And the picc line is hurting her arm. But she is such a brave girl! She is glad that "They're going to fix my knees."

Being at a hospital in Houston poses additional challenges. Stacey has to drive 2 hours each way with a baby every day in order to see her daughter. But Faye's mood improves immediately upon seeing her mom and she's been asking for her older brother. So, he gets to miss a little school.

This little family are my favorite people on earth. Nick and Stacey are an amazing couple who are ALWAYS there for someone in need and whose tremendous faith is not only holding them up but their families as well. They are not angry and they're not asking "Why us?" They have recognized the Lord's hand all along the way and are quick to point out their blessings.

We know that the Lord never said we will be spared from trials, but that he will comfort and strengthen us if we let him. Prayers and fasting are powerful and Nick and Stacey are so thankful to everyone who has petitioned the Lord on Faye's behalf. Please continue! And please donate if you are able. Besides the astronomical medical bills, they will need so much in order to stay in hotels, drive back and forth, eat at the hospital, and provide new activities for Faye. There is a donate button and email address at the top of the blog. Thank you so much for being a support to this family. Please leave your words of encouragement for them to read.

Faye with her new little brother.

In the ER at College Station. They gave her a puppy!

Riding the ambulance with her dad. Looks comfy, right?

She loves this rocking chair in her room.

The view from her window.