Thursday, September 8, 2011


     On Wednesday August 31st we received an unfortunate phone call from Darby's doctor, Dr. Keller informing us that Darby had relapsed and that one of her blood tests came back positive showing leukemia cells were growing in her bone marrow again. This news, news that we had hoped to never hear came as a shock the the system and took the wind form our sales. Prior to this everything seemed to be going great. Darby had been in remission for over six months, her doctors were so confident in how well she was doing that they removed her port just two days earlier not thinking that she would need it any more. Darby was admitted the hospital on September 1st to begin a five week regiment of stronger chemo including arsenic. She has been in the hospital for a week now and if all goes well she will be able to come home in the next couple of days. That would be an answer to prayers so she, mom and baby Vivienne can get some much needed rest. If she continues to handle treatment well she will be able to stay home and but will have to make daily trips to the hospital for chemo therapy. Even with the many long trips back and forth it would be a blessing just to have our evenings together as a family. Our doctors are hoping to reach complete remission with this round of chemo. After this five weeks of treatment Darby will under go a bone marrow transplant. We have more questions than answers right now, but we do know that it will mean lengthy hospital stays and weeks of high risk of infection. Most of the details are still being worked out, but we know that it is a very invasive procedure and will be hard on her. We love our big girl so very much, and know in our hearts that all will be well. But it is unbelievably difficult to watch her go through this challenge. She is so tough and such a fighter. She loves her big brother and baby sister so much, as well as being a wonderful big sister.
    At this time we do not have any active auctions or fund raisers, but would  grateful  for any support and prayers for our Darby. Donations can be made here on the Dollars for Darby page by using the Donate button to the right or at Wells Fargo by asking to donate to the Dollars for Darby fund.
                                   Thank you

Monday, February 14, 2011

Darby's biopsy

This morning we took Darby to Egleston for a bone marrow biopsy. The procedure went well and all of her doctors and nurses commented on how much she was growing and how good she looks. As soon as Darby woke up from the anesthesia, she said "baby-guy." For those of you who don't know, Darby has two prized possesions. Her first doll, aptly named "baby" and her well worn pink bunny, strangely named "guy." Over the past few months their names have gradually morphed into one word. She couldn't wait to eat and drink and her main request was for "nanny" which is her word for candy! The first thing she ate today was Valentine's chocolate!
Her primary oncologist, Dr. Keller, came and examined her and said her counts are still right where they need to be. He also said that they are putting a rush on the biopsy results. What would normally 2 to 3 weeks will now only take about 1 week. We may have the results as early as this Friday. After three months of holding our collective breath, I guess we are not the only ones anxious to see what the cancer is doing. For the time being, we will start another cycle of maintenance chemo at home. There is still no need to up her dosages so we hope Darby will continue to do as well as she has been doing. Dr. Keller feels optimistic about the results, but he also cautioned that if her cancer cell level was even slightly elevated, Darby would need a transplant. He feels that if the level is still the same, he should consult with other members of the children's oncolgy group to get a consensus about further treatment. Of course, we hope and pray that none of that will be necessary and Darby will be in molecular remission.
We realized today that it has been 11 months since Darby's diagnosis. People say this all the time, but it truly has been the longest and fastest year of our lives. As we quickly approach Darby's 2nd birthday, we are so grateful that she is still with us. Watching the struggle some of our friends are having in dealing with the loss of their child to this terrible disease, we are again reminded of how much we have to be grateful for. I'll post an update as soon as we receive Darby's results. We appreciate those of you who are praying with us for good results. Oh, and happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Prayers for Darby Needed

From Lindsey (Darby's mom)

The biopsy results were not what we hoped. The first two tests were negative for leukemia, but the third test still detected leukemia. Darby's doctors say this means that she is not in molecular remission and that her disease is very likely to relapse into her marrow and blood again. Because of her age and the large amount of chemotherapy she has already undergone, the doctors don't know what the next step should be. They want to consult with the worldwide children's oncology group and come up with a plan. They do not believe that maintanance therapy will be enough, but for now, they have started Darby on the maintanance therapy drugs. It seems likely that some combination of arsenic treatment, more chemo, and a bone marrow transplant is likely. We don't know when we will know what is next. It may be a month or more. I can't say we understand why this has happened and we are scared about what is to come. We have a lot of thinking and praying to do about what our family's next steps will be. With Darby's doctors at something of a loss, Tyler and I feel that we may have to make some decisions about Darby's treatment knowing that her medical team cannot reach an accord. We are shocked at the outcome of this test. She looks so good that we never really believed that the treatment hadn't completely killed the cancer. We'll let you know when we know more.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Darby in the News

Thank you Tyler for writing a beautiful story about the Farnsworth Family. Click HERE to read.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Darby's Story

On April 5th, 2010 Darby was diagnosed with APL leukemia. She was 13 months old at the time. She is the youngest person to be diagnosed with this rare type of leukemia. As soon as she was diagnosed, Darby underwent surgery to place a central line in her chest and began chemotherapy. Her doctors have come up with a totally new protocol for her treatment since she is too young for the standard protocol. Right now, she is in the hospital for her fourth round of chemo. She has one more to go and, depending upon the results of her bone marrow biopsy, she may have to have a bone marrow transplant. Over the past several months, Darby has been so strong and brave. She has made friends with all of her oncology team and the nurses on the pediatric wing of Egleston hospital despite all of the needles and fevers and side effects of treatment. She always has a smile and wave for the people who come into our hospital room. Egleston has become our home away from home because each round of chemo brings with it a four to six week hospital stay. She continues to be an inspiration to everyone as she takes her medicine without complaint and learned to walk while undergoing a tough round of treatment. I think the hardest thing for Darby has been how much she misses her big brother, Preston. He is her favorite person, but unfortunately, he can't visit because of hospital age restrictions. While we wait for Darby's immune system to recover, she talks to her brother and her dad on the phone. We are looking forward to the day that Darby achieves a cure and our family can be together again.