Friday, January 30, 2009

perspective, updated

Heaven has another angel tonight. Please keep Tuesday's family in your prayers.


I am regularly asked how Nicholas is doing. I am generally slow to answer. Not because Nick's doing poorly, but because in my mind I struggle with the horrible inequities of life. Nick's finished his latest round of chemo and is amazing. He's not having too much trouble with being sick, or tired, or anything. His counts are too low to be able to go out and do much, but he's in fine form around their apartment. And for that I am grateful. The prognosis is not yet known because there's not been a new bone marrow test to determine whether he will be able to do the transplant soon, but that's coming. And if for some reason he's not yet ready, there will be another round of chemo and more waiting. But Nick still has hope.

Over the last months I have followed the blogs of several little girls, all of them with cancer. Abby is a blessing to her family from Guatemala; Lydia from China. Tuesday's a home-grown blessing. All 3 girls have cancer. And all three are in desperate need of miracles. Abby has ALL just like Nick. You can read about her here. Her family is amazing, and their faith shines through. But Abby's battle is nothing like Nick's. She's been violently ill for quite some time and has had something like 17 hospitalizations since her diagnosis. Every time I see Nick or think of him, I pray for Abby and her family as well. I understand only a tiny portion of what they're going through, but I have seen the hurt and the heartache. So I pray.

Lydia has AML. Her family is praying for a miracle, as her AML is not responding to chemo and there are no other options for them. Her mother is an amazing writer, and you can follow their journey here. The outpouring of love to Lydia's family is overwhelming, and the family displays such tender spirits. Lydia's little brother Max makes me think of my little guys, and it hurts to know he has to learn such hard lessons at an early age. And I pray for Lydia and her family when I pray for Abby.

And then there's Tuesday. Sweet, 2 year old Tuesday. Just a few days ago her family was told that her tumors were aggressive and non-responsive, that there was nothing left to do but make her comfortable. Her mama's post today broke my heart. She talks of nursing Tuesday and her twin Piper when they were babies, and now nursing Tuesday in the same bed in a "gut-wrenchingly different sense of the word." I cannot imagine the pain of watching your child die, of knowing that she may not live out the week. And yet this family is walking that very path. Tuesday and her family have joined my prayer list as well.

So if you ask me about Nicholas and I don't respond right away, it's not because things aren't going well. More likely, it's because I am taking a moment to pray for those 3 little girls. To ask for their miracles. To offer praise for Nick's health, relative as it may be. Those 3 little girls are making sure I keep things in perspective.

These pictures were taken during volleyball season, so probably October 2008, when Nick was here for the first time. They were taken with my cell phone, so the quality's not what it could be. Sorry!

Nick looks so tiny in this picture! He was 6 1/2, Logan (white shirt) had just turned 4, and Ryan was 3. He's little, but not as little as his cousins!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Ryan turned 4 last week. Seems impossible--where does the time go?? He had a 4 year checkup today, and overall is healthy as a horse. There are a few minor issues, some little concerns, but nothing extraordinary so we go forward. He's still a tiny mite, but he's growing. It's just on his own curve. :) After much conversation, we have some "watch and see" items in his chart that we'll monitor at home and see what happens next.

Here are some pictures of our guy over the years...

November 2005, 9 months old

March 2006, 14 months

First beach trip, 19 months. August 2006

Hanging out in Hailey's room, Feb 2007. 25 months

Christmas 2007, almost 3

Summer vacation, July 2008. 3 1/2

Halloween 2008. 3 years 9 months

Happy birthday, big guy. We love you!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


You know, sometimes I hate technology. Especially when it causes more headaches and costs more that it's worth. Somewhere along the way, our computer picked up a virus. A bad, nasty virus. So bad that our main computer has to be put down--it's not curable. :( And with the virus has come a concern about identity theft as well, so I've spent many hours contacting people and changing usernames and passwords. The next project is to change the hard drive and start rebuilding the computer from scratch. Yuck. We backed up all our documents to load onto the new computer and pray that the viruses didn't attach themselves to our stuff. We'll double check before we reload, but man...this is just NOT FUN!

The fun parts of today include watching my 9 year old nephew play with my little boys (he's here for the weekend while his 6 year old brother has another round of chemo. Keep Nick in your prayers please!) and having Jim's family here for Christmas tonight. 19 people for dinner! Fun times, but I'm sure enjoying the post celebration peace and quiet. Only 9 people here now.

And Brent heads home tomorrow. Sad times. We've had such fun seeing him and will miss him terribly when he leaves. It's hard to have your babies grow up!

Monday, January 12, 2009

23 pairs

Yes, 23 pairs of socks in today's laundry! No wonder it feels like I'm perpetually folding socks. Here are 2 of the sock owners, dressed in their homecoming finery. Emily (black and magenta dress) and Victoria (blue dress) had a wonderful time! I didn't get pictures of Hailey this time, but she looked beautiful too. She didn't want in this picture because Em and Tori were wearing heels that made them taller than she is! She's usually the tall one...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

my peanut

My peanut Ryan. The sweater he's wearing was knit about 18 years ago for Brent, who wore it about his second birthday. Ryan will be 4 on January 20...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not much happening

Not here, anyway. The girls are still playing basketball (big game tonight!). The boys still love preschool and their tumbling class, and Logan still has speech once a week. We still miss Brent every day. The rain still falls. :) And life goes on.

But for my sister and my nephew, today is a huge day. Nicholas has a bone marrow draw today to determine if this last round of chemo has put him in remission. If so, he'll enter the hospital on Monday to prep for a bone marrow transplant. If not, he'll enter the hospital this evening or tomorrow morning for another round of the intense chemo. Either way, the hospital is in their future. Please pray for Pam and Nick; for Teddy (age 9) as he deals with yet another hospitalization for his brother along with the new school and new living arrangements; for Tony as he's back in Boise working, looking for a job out here, and missing his family; and for this test, that regardless of the results, God will be seen and glorified!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

success, sort of

Well, Logan's surgery went well. We had hoped that inserting ear tubes would clear lots of fluid, but that didn't happen. The ENT sounded a bit discouraged by the small amount and by the fact that his right eardrum is quite scarred, probably from past ruptures from untreated ear infections. She wants to see him in about 8 weeks for a follow up: a visit to the audiologist, then a visit with her. If there's little to no improvement in his hearing, we'll schedule the CT scan and hopefully proceed with hearing aids.

Logan was a trooper yesterday. It was terrifying to him and he was amazing. His resilience and his trust of us was an awesome thing to see. He was able to tell us that he was afraid and to tell us where it hurt. He asked good questions and was so brave when they put the root-beer scented "sleepy air" in his mask. And, his anesthesia mask has become a new prized possession. He struggled a bit after the surgery but recovered relatively quickly. Once he knew we would leave after he finished his juice, boy did he start gulping! Unfortunately, there was a price for that: he threw up twice in his car seat on the way home. No harm done, just more work for mom. :)

Basketball last night, and Logan had a blast! We were a bit concerned that the noise from the game and the gym would be a problem but apparently we haven't had that kind of increase in his hearing. He had no issues at all...which is good and bad. So, we'll do the drops in his ears, do our time for the next 8 weeks, and see what happens. Such is life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bright and early

Tomorrow is the big day. Logan will have tympanostomy tubes inserted into his ears. Hopefully they'll drain the fluid in there so that his hearing improves. If this doesn't work, things get a bit more complicated--he'll need a CT scan of his ears, then digital hearing aids. We're praying that this minor, 5 minute outpatient surgery is successful!

But, sakes alive! We have to be AT the hospital at 6:15 tomorrow morning!! It's about 30 minutes in clear traffic; we'll be going at the beginning of the morning rush hour. We will leave here about5:30... Logan's surgery is scheduled for 7:30, and barring complications we should be home around 9. Nothing like putting in a full day before 9AM. :)

Ryan will stay home with his sisters for a bit, then Grandma and Grandpa will be here when they leave for school. Then he'll go to Aunt Patty's for a bit, then off to preschool with her. (Aunt Patty teaches at Ryan and Logan's school just like I do.) It's so awesome to have family nearby! And the best part is that our original plan for Ryan can't work! I've never been so grateful for plans that can't work!! Ryan was going to spend some time visiting with his cousin Nick on the 3rd floor of Children's Hospital, hanging out with him in his room. But because Nick's been released, that isn't a choice. And that's okay.

Please keep Logan in your prayers. He's quite afraid of this whole thing. I don't know how much he (subconsciously) remembers from his palate and lip repair surgeries, but we talked some today and looked at pictures, and he freaked out. Pray for peace for him, and that he will be easily comforted by our presence. He seems to be doing better right now, asking good questions, and being assured that Mama and Daddy won't leave him and won't let anyone hurt him badly. We'll see how it goes... Fortunately, he's a champion sleeper, so at least we'll be rested when we start.



He was sent home yesterday early afternoon with an ANC (neutrophil count, a part of the white blood count) of 1035. Totally amazing, and a huge God-thing! This comes less than 2 weeks after the completion of his chemo; they were told to expect a 3-4 week stay before his counts would be sufficient for release. Thank you for praying! To God be the glory....

Looking for more miracles in 2009!

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's after midnight, people!

Yes, it's after midnight and I'm hanging at the computer. Why? Well, because we have mixed company here watching movies, so I am playing chaperone. Plus, I have a preschooler with insomnia--Ryan's up keeping me company. For whatever reason he's having trouble sleeping tonight, but the whining is gonna drive me nuts. Time to kick the teenaged boys out so I can tuck Ryan into bed? Perhaps...