Monday, April 30, 2012

Change of plans

Greetings from Charlotesville. Today I got up with every intention of cleaning the house from top to bottom and getting organized. I thought we would take a quick break and get David's dreaded blood work done and then come home to resume my cleaning. After looking at his labs and speaking with the nurse practitioner we decided to hit the road to snuggle down here at Camp Pendleton and wait for David's counts to rise back up Close here to UVA.

David has not felt that great this weekend and he has had a low grade fever on and off for the last few days. Today the blood work showed us that the chemo has done its job really well and sweet boy has some seriously low white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin. We are here in case he spikes a fever we can get treatment ASAP. This is the lowest his counts have ever been so we are super concerned about infection. He has nothing to fight anything off so we will stay here until his next clinic visit on Thursday. We pray by then that his counts are on the rise and that we are out of the danger zone. It is also realistic to think that if his counts do not return quickly the he will receive a blood and/or platelet transfusion this week.

I really did not want to leave my babies again. Then I remembered that this is just a phase and very soon this nightmare will be behind us. We are so thankful for this condo where we can rest close to the hospital and that I am home with David so we can be here.

I think I have mentioned my new obsession with Sidewalk Prophets. Their music is awesome and I love their song "Words I Would Say"

Be strong in the Lord
Never give up hope
You are going to do great things
I already know
God's got his hands on you
So don't live life in fear
Forgive and forget
But don't forget why you're here
Take your time and pray
These are the words I would say

Usually I am praying these words for my children to live their lives by, but today I am praying these words for myself. It is so scary to know your child is so at risk for a serious infection, so I am praying these words for me and mike. Mike is holding down the fort at home which is a big job considering Kyle is getting ready to start his SOL tests. I had to leave my baby girl with GG and Pops to come here to nurse David. I know that this is just such a short hurdle to get over and I pray that all five of us will remain strong in the Lord knowing that He has his hand on us.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A lil' Baseball

The bad news about this weekend is that Rock Star feels punky.  The good news is that because of Ashley I have been able to make it to two of Kyle's games to cheer him on!! 
Friday night I was sitting at one of Kyle's games when my phone rang. Ashley was calling to tell me that David's fever was rising.  First off, let me just say that Ashley is totally amazing and we are beyond blessed to have her. When she has my kids, I am at total peace. They love her and she is so mature and smart that I never worry.  Fever is the one thing that makes us all jump because that is the first indication that David could be contracting an infection of some type. 

I jumped in the car and headed home and thankfully his fever never rose so high that we had to take him to the hospital.  We have been instructed that when his fever gets around 101 we are to be seen in our local ER to start a broad-spectrum antitbiotic until we can get to UVA.  This weekend he has had a low grade fever but thankfully it has not gotten too high.  He vascilates between being tired and punky and short burst of energy.  His counts should be at the bottom now from all that chemo so hopefully between the daily shots we are giving him to boost his white blood cell count and his body naturally fighting, then he will be feeling better soon.
Thanks to Ashley I was able to catch Kyle pitching yesterday.  He pitched 76 pitches with a total of 12 strikeouts!!  I was so proud of him!!  He keeps his cool better than his Momma does:)

This boy is super competitive.  His team lost a heartbreaker 2-1.  As his coaches and Daddy shared with him and the team there are lessons learned in games like this.
He has recently had some batting lessons and they have helped his confidence so much!
I love to cheer on my kiddos playing their hearts out:)
Here is his team before the game.  Kyle is the one in the red helmet standing right in front of Mike.  I believe the boy has had another growth spurt.  His baseball pants are almost to small and we are not even halfway through the season. 
Some more pitching action shots.  It is hard to get good pitching pictures, but I found a whole in the fence that I could stick my zoom lens into!  HA! 
David did feel well enough to play outside for a little bit and of course he wanted to pitch just like big brother:)
Great pitch David!!

Despite how punky he feels he still keeps smiling:)  David you make us so proud!!!! 

Today I just should not have gone to church.  It is hard on a Momma's heart to see her boy have no energy and feel terrible.  The amazing FUMC praise band rocked David's favorite song today, "How he Loves Us" by David Crowder Band.   I got so choked up that I was worried that I was distracting people around me.  Fighting cancer is not for sissies and today David is showing more muscle for the fight than this Momma.  I am ready for this to be over and to see my healthy, energetic boy again. 

Then when I feel sorry for myself for just a second,  I am humbled at my son's example.  David has endured so much yet he keeps singing praises to our King and keeps smiling.  David is way braver than I can ever be and I am so thankful that not only does my son keep inspiring me, but our Jesus keeps walking with us with the promise that He will never leave us in the nightmare alone. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

All I Can Say

If you have read the blog in the last few months you will know that David and I both are on a David Crowder Band kick right now.  We love his crazy hair and his awesome music.  We are devastated that they are no longer touring. Sigh.

I have also shared that this last six day inpatient trip was tough.  There was a death while we were there which rattled me.  I had big plans to do lots of bible study and finish my Max Lucado You'll Get Through This podcasts (you must check them ). 

I then got to the hospital and the seriousness of these treatments, coupled with meeting some amazing kids there that are fighting serious battles rattled me.  My prayers were very basic and were poured from my grief over what David is fighting plus all of our new friends at UVA. There are some amazing families and kids fighting some pretty big Goliaths.

 Instead of eloquent prayers I just poured out my fear to the Lord.  Have you ever been so scared and overwhelmed that you could not form words?  I remember being like this when David was first diagnosed and I would lay in the bed at the RMH house and bawl to the Lord.  This time it was not nearly as severe, but I was rattled enough that I could not form pretty prayers or even have the attention span to study my bible. 

So instead of digging into God's word I plugged in my ear phones and listened to praise music nonstop after David went to sleep on my iPhone. On the nights that I slept at the hospital evening time is always sad for me.  It is hard to sleep with the constant commotion of vital checks, IV machines, and screaming babies.  This David Crowder song ministered right to my soul in those dark hours when I should have been sleeping but could not.  I posted the version with lyrics, because the words are so powerful.  I can so identify with the line about the "dark creeping in." 

Then this verse speaks such hope to my soul:

I didn't notice you were standing there
I didn't know that that was You holding me
I didn't notice you were crying too
I didn't know that that was You washing my feet

Our Jesus is always with us.  He knows when our heart is too broken to pray eloquent prayers, he knows when fear has paralzed us, and he is with us when the dark is creeping in.  So even in the dark hours of the hospital when I can't sleep and paralyzed with fear my Jesus is with me.  He hears my child-like prayers, wipes away my tears, and gives me hope in a place that can often feel pretty hopeless. 

Pause the blog music on the right and enjoy this awesome David Crowder Band song.  This song is also the second one on the blog playlist.  Enjoy:)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our Week in Pictures

We are HOME!!!  It is so wonderful to have everyone back together under one roof.  David had a wonderful clinic visit today!!  His counts look great, his weight remained steady this hospitalization, and he is sassy and spunky as ever:)  We are so unbelievably relieved and thankful that this treatment is over.  We are on the homstretch of our treatment, but the last leg of the treatments is brutal and is meant to wipe out his counts, which can open him up for an infection.

Here is our week in pictures from Hooville!
Here is David with Nurse Kelly.  She is one of our favorites because of her sweet spirit.  She appreciates David's spunk and sass and she even agreed to stand on the bed for apicture with him!  The care that we have received at UVA is simply amazing. 
This past Tuesday night we went to the UVA/RU baseball game.  My pictures would not load earlier in the week, but today I got them!  Here is David with my cousin, Abram.  He is a Senior for RU and is a great pitcher who often is called in late in the game to close it out.  We had to leave before he pitched during the 11th inning of the game because it got cool, but it was a treat to see him on the field with his team. 
One of Abram's teammates, Matt Mack came with Abram to give David the ball and the new hat. 
Here they are giving him the ball:)
David posing with Abram's Dad, Abie, and grandfather,  George who made the trip from Radford for the ball game.  They are serious fans and attend most of his games home and away.  This is how David sat for most of the game:)
Here is David with his new shirt and rally towel from our new friend that we met that night. Since I last blogged, she and I have emailed back and forth!  (Thanks and welcome to the blog Wanda!) Her son plays for UVA-how sweet is that?!  Speaking of sweet, I came home to this amazing and heartfelt letter from a blog reader in Kansas (I feel like breaking into the song, It's a Small World) who sent an encouraging letter and some local tickets for us to use as a family:) Thanks Karen in Kansas!
Of course I feel like every blog post I need to shout out a huge thanks to the Pendleton's for once again letting us take over their condo and call it home.  We have made such special memories in that sweet place.  We cannot even begin to imagine how much harder this would have been if we would have had to stay in the RMH (which is always full) or a hotel.  This week we did not eat out but once because we had the use of the kitchen in the condo. After eating hospital cafeteria food for six days, we had fun home cooking some food:) We could make David all the oatmeal his heart desired in the condo:) Literally down the street from the condo is this wonderful park and the kids LOVE LOVE LOVE going!  It is a good place to let David work on his stamina and get some sunshine!
He and Hope love the playground and would play a while, and then rest a while:)  It is hard work going through such brutal chemo.

While at the condo we would rest some, but we tried to get out each day for an outing.  This time we went and saw the movie, Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts.  It was really good but the kids got soooo excited about the previews for Madagascar 3 that comes out this summer.  David insisted to get his picture made in front of the display:) 

We are all under the same roof tonight and we are so thrilled.  Mike has the boys out for a boys night out at a local band concert and then they are stopping by a draft get together for boys at Macado's.  We are still on edge about possible infections for Rock Star, but he seems to feel great.  We covet your prayers that his counts return to normal ASAP so his risk of infection is not so great. 

Thank you for your love and support for our family over the last week.  For this Momma, it was a long and hard week.  David handled it like the true Rock Star that he is.  He is excited to play in his Tball game this weekend (weather permitting).  Never did I dream that he would have the energy to get on the field during these treatments.  Thank you for continuing to cover us in prayer.  We know that our Heavenly Father is listening and continues to journey through this nightmare with us. 

Quick update!

David got a great check up today and we are packing up to head home! We are so excited and I will update more later!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wednesday Update

Today has been a great day here. David has felt great and has eaten beautifully!!! We are in awe of the fact that he has energy after five heavy chemo doses. He is such a rock star. We have a clinic visit Thursday morning and if he is doing well, then we will head HOME!!!!

Today to get out without exposing him to a lot of germs, we took a ride to visit our old house in Orange. Then we drove around and hit Yoders country store for some goodies. Whoever owns our old farmhouse has done a beautiful job within. It looks beautiful and well-loved. My mom wanted to knock on the door but I was too shy.

Tonight it just so happened to work out that Radford University baseball team was playing UVA here in Hooville. My cousin, Abram is a pitcher for RU and we went to cheer him on. Sadly they lost by one run and we left before he pitched, but it was a wonderful night. Abram and one of his teammates visited with David before the game and gave him a ball and a new hat! He wore it proudly during the game. After sitting in a hospital for six days, it felt wonderful to sit outside and watch our boy have a ball.

The lord has also put some amazing strangers in our path that have encouraged us. Tonight we sat near some UVA ball player parents, and one sweet lady went and bought David a new shirt. He put it on immediately and waved his rally towel. We were so touched that she did that for our Rock star. She also invited us to wait after the game and meet some players, but it got chilly and the game went into extra innings and we had to put Hope and David to bed. What a sweet lady.

Thank you for all the texts and messages encouraging us through this step of our treatment. We feel the love and please join us in praying that these nightly shots bring his white blood cell counts back up to avoid infection. Infection is a real threat when his counts are wiped out like this last treatment was designed to do.

We are ready to get home! We miss Mike and Kyle and it hurts my heart that I have missed two of his games while we have been gone. The great news is that thy have won them both and that they are still undefeated!!! It kills me to be gone from home, nut we are so thankful that we have the use of this condo to be near the hospital if David gets sick. Good night from Hooville!

Wednesday update

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear David

Hey David.  It was great to see you this weekend and talk with you on the phone today.  You have been so positive even though you had to go through so much this week with the increased dosage of chemo.  Now that Kyle and I are home, we miss you, Mom, and Hopee so much but we are glad you are staying near the doctors for a couple of extra days. 

Please keep your great attitude.  You are teaching this old dog some new tricks.  I always try and remember how you are handling all the difficult stuff you are going through when I have a tough situation that I am facing.  It really helps me keep life in perspective when I remind myself how you handle things and that God is working in our lives.  You do not even know it but you are making me a better person.  I keep reminding myself to be positive and stay focused on what is important.

It was evident this weekend that you are well loved in Charlottesville.  Some things that I observed over the last week -- nurses who were not assigned to you stopped in, friends from Marion, Orange and Charlottesville all dropped by to check on you; and seeing you with your new friends that you have made while in the hospital.  Your mom and I are honored to be the parents of such a Rockstar.

We cannot wait until you get home this week.  Do all the things the doctors and mommy have you do to make sure you keep from getting sick.  Kyle says hello and that he misses you. 

Keep up the good fight and know that we all love you very much.

Call me.

Your buddies,

Kyle and Daddy

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our hearts

This hospitalization is about to wind down. David has handled five intense doses of chemo beautifully. He is a tad nauseous and has had some belly issues, but like always he has been a rock star. Tonight I was cradling his bald head in the crook of my arm. I was moved to tears of gratitude during my prayers. I am so grateful that God choose us to parent this child. It has definitely not been a walk in the park, but I am so grateful for all the lessons about faith, hope and love that he has taught us.

This stay has been hard emotionally for me, and tonight I realized why. We are now considered frequent flyers here and this place feels like home. We do not like why we are here, but we love it here. We have gotten to know so many of the other frequent flyer families up here and you find that your prayer list gets bigger and bigger as we pray and root for these brave and amazing kids that fight for their life everyday. I have allowed my fear for David's ultimate survival to be bigger than my God. I have not had eloquent prayers or even had the attention span to do much bible study. I have been antsy and anxious so to soothe my fears I have listened to praise music nonstop on my phone. I am in love with Sidewalk Prophets and their music has soothed my soul. I have listened to so much music that my ears are sore from the ear buds.

My favorite song is You Can Have Me. I love the lines

I want to be where you are
I am running into your arms
And I will never look back
So Jesus here is my heart

Cancer has tired to take our peace. Amazingly our God has taken something so awful and made something beautiful from it. We as a family have never been more grounded in our faith and our hope is in Jesus and that is the ultimate stress relief. Jesus has been so faithful to us in our deepest grief that he definitely has our hearts.

Weekend In Pictures

Today we are enjoying some fun and fellowship here on 7 West.  Yesterday was a long day for this Momma.  Some days pass here quickly and effortlessly and some days last forever.  Saturday was one of those because I was waiting for Mike and the kids to get here and I was feeling grumpy and easily frustrated by everything. 

I could never explain how awesome our care is here, but hopefully this picture will help me remember how awesome these nurses are.  Four of the nurses here shaved their heads for St. Baldericks to raise money for childhood cancer.  Here is Tina who once had really long hair but she shaved it to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. 
Hope feeding her favorite David a cheeseburger:)
Dave with one of his oncologists, Dr. B. David insists to check him out when he comes through during rounds.  He is one of the four oncologists that we see.  We really like and respect them all.

Friday Dr. Jeff came by for a visit!!!  David was thrilled and he even let him put some medicine on his mouth sores:)

David has been interested in working on school work.  He is willing to work a while and then play a while. 

We have played lots of games of Yahtzee!!!!
Haley and Hope are so cute together!  We have had a wonderful morning in the playroom with Haley and her family as well as some new friends. 

My sweet three looking out of the window of the playroom. 

My three and Haley looking out of the window.  We really enjoy spending time with them here.
Nurse Hope was so sweet with Haley and wants to help her with her line.  David is hooked up to an IV pole, but Haley is hooked up to that small box that Hope is carrying around.  Hope loves to either push David's pole or she likes to carry Haley's box.

We have finally realized that there is a Wii on the floor here and we now know where the magic key is!!  We have had such fun with some old and new friends playing today.  With all the construction going on, there is not a bona fide playroom right now but thankfully we did enjoy some Wii time!

We are still ancitipating discharge tomorrow, but we will probably stay through the end of the week here because he will have a clinic visit later this week and all this chemo has wiped out his counts, so he will be considered neutrapenic later this week and that is when his risk of infection is so great.  Hope and GG are coming down Monday to hang out with us at Camp Pendleton.  We are so blessed with amazing caregivers here that feel more friends.  Thank you for praying us through this round of chemo.  His fifth and finaly dose will come in about an hour and then we will be done for this round!!  Small victories:)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday update

Rock Star just completed four out of his five treatments! He has felt well today considering how little sleep we got last night. This place is full and we had an unhappy baby next to us that cried all night. The good news is that Mike and the kids should be here soon and I hear that Kyle did well in his baseball game today and he advanced to area for his 4h project!!

The good news is that David is fealing well and seems to be tolerating the chemo well. His mouth sores are still there, but no more have popped up. He has eaten a few Popsicles today and sipped some juice. He must be nauseous because he does not want food near him. 

Today has just been a long day here. A baby passed away from pneumonia two days ago which is so sad and tragic. When you hear of things like that it is like a sucker punch in the gut. Love on your babies and never stop enjoying their presence in your life. Never take a second for granted that God blessed us with the title of parent. I have loved on David all day and he keeps telling me to "move" because I am driving him crazy! Ha!

We are excited for family time and definitely excited for discharge Monday!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Update

Today has been restful for Rock star. Sadly he has developed two mouth sores from the chemo and we are praying that this is not a sign of infection coming, but he is still drinking and eating Popsicles, so we are happy. He had a very special visit from Jeff earlier who was here for a conference. David was thrilled of course to see him.

Today I have really struggled with fear. I freaked out when I heard about the mouth sores because last time he had a sore he also had that scary infection. The doctor reassured me that not all mouth sores means infection and obviously they are not too painful because he is still willing to sip juice. It is so easy to go into panic mode here. Today I felt myself getting sad so I turned on YouTube and enjoyed some awesome praise music. Today I really enjoyed Sidewalk Prophets-their music is awesome!

We are looking forward to Mike, Hope, and David coming up tomorrow. Hope was here in preschool today and went home with Pops. She loves being here :) We are keeping the faith here and praying that these mouth sores heal and that they do not multiply or cause further infection. Infection is the word that freaks us out and makes us very nervous.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quick update

Hope and I are down for the night at Camp Pendleton. Hope had a bad dream at 4:30 this morning and I could not get her back to sleep because she was sooooo excited to go to the "big hospital" and go to preschool with Haley. She was in preschool from 9-12 and the again from 2-3:30. Most of you know how shy Hope is, but here at the hospital she ins so comfortable and friendly. She waves at all the little babies and the teachers say that she is talkative and outgoing at school. We are so thankful for preschool here. She will return home tomorrow with Pops who is here helping us toight.

David has had a great day. He has been a little sleepy but that is okay considering howmuch chemo and Zofran he has had. He has been sassy and cute all day. We have had awesome nurses today and that makes a good day great. He went to school for about an hour but got tired.

We are doing well and we are so appreciative of your love and support.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are We Listening

First, a David update, he is doing well and we have had a great day together.  He is so strong and I am so proud of him.  As I think about his attitude toward treatment I am so impressed.  I know I would have probably been pouting or frustrated for having to be here especially considering how good he has felt the last few weeks.  He instead just rolls with it.

As I sit here in 7 West listening to David snoring so loud that I am sure we are violating some noise ordinance, I am also reflecting on what God wants of me as I grow in my relationship with him. 

So often I get wrapped up in my work, sports, and activities that just take up time and are not so meaningful.  It happened again tonight.  After David fell asleep, I turned on the Red Sox game and got out my email.  Today on the way up here that was not the plan as I listened to Max Lucado podcasts that a friend so graciously downloaded and shared with me for my travels this week.  The plan was going to be that I would continue my listening, reflecting, and praying.  It was easy to give God the time on the way to Charlottesville -- the boys both had an Ipad, the trip has become so familiar, and there was nothing much on the radio.  I think I listened to 4 of the podcast sermons which talked about the life of Joseph and how to deal with difficult situations in our lives.  What I needed to do tonight was listen.

I really think we need to listen more to Gods calling.  Laura and I both have always been Christians.  Laura has always been more open and sharing of her faith and I have always been a little more reserved in my sharing.  I also know that my faith journey has had times where I am not as focused on my spiritual journey as I should.  This is probably normal but it still leaves me with a little guilt.  I know for me that I am working hard at getting better about not having so many pauses in my walk with God.  Especially after seeing the many blessings he has bestowed on David and our family.  Blessings?  Yes blessings -- no cancer on the CT scans, David's great attitude and resilience, the support of family, friends, and community, the opportunity to support causes, the many touching comments that people have made after reading the blog and commenting how it ministered to them.  Yes we are blessed even during David's difficult journey fighting cancer.

My reflections tonight:  Am I listening?  I hope so.  I know God is trying to deliver a message to me.  I can honestly say that I am more focused on listening, praying, reading, and being aware of God in my everyday life.  I am working to recognize that he is trying to get my attention while at work, while I am enjoying sports, and when I spend time doing other activities.  I do not need to stop these other things if I recognize him during these times and spend a moment focused on listening to what he wants of me. 

Let us all vow to a make more time for our relationship building with God.  If you are a schedule person, add it to your schedule.  Make time for a conversation with him.  Listen to his calling.  Listen for his direction. Listen for his desire to walk with you and share your life's journey.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Home Away From Home

We are all settled in here in 7 West.  He has received one of his two chemo drugs.  He had a weird coughing fit during his first chemo, so it had to be stopped to make sure he was not having an allergic reaction to it.  He also had to have an EKG to make sure his heart was not being affected by the chemo.  We are all here together and life is good.  Hope has decided to stay through Friday so she can go to preschool with Haley:)
During the first chemo, Kyle and David watched a movie in clinic while we waited for our room to be ready. 
During clinic Hope got to make this pretty flower with one of the volunteers:) She loves doing crafty stuff and she is really excited to go to preschool.  It is so wonderful that they allow healthy siblings to attend school here. 
This is nurse Kelly, one of our many favorites.  We were excited that she checked us in and then David put on a concert for her!!!  I know we keep saying this, but we are so blessed to be here with these amazing professionals.  We hate coming here, but reuniting with our new UVA friends makes it much easier.  Below David is smiling at me in his new Live Strong shirt his Daddy bought him.

I love this picture of my two youngest snuggling during chemo.  I love that Kyle and Hope do not shy away from the hard parts of this but they are here with us cheering David on.  I had stepped out during the EKG and Kyle jumped in to hold down David's legs and encourage him through that procedure.  I could bawl thinking about it. Hope and Kyle can talk this talk here like a seasoned resident.  We have already visited with cute Haley and Hope is excited to go to school with her.  Haley is doing well, but unfortunately still here.

I do not want to sound like a whiner, but this morning I was just down and out.  It is hard work to pack to come here, and I was loading up all this stuff in the rain. I had a bunch of errands to run that I did not want to fool with and I just felt grouchy.  Then my sweet toddler starting singing "Oh Happy Day" in the backseat and I started to smile.  Then I got a very encouraging email from a sweet friend that encouraged me so much.  Then I had a lovely conversation with Lisa Musser on my drive here and it is always so awesome to talk with her.  I am so thankful for such amazing people in my life that encourage me when I need it.  This walk is not easy, but then I think about how much love and support we have here and I am overwhelmed with thanksgiving.  How can we be sad when we have our Jesus and you, our prayer warriors and friends?

 Speaking of the Musser family, they  had a caring bridge website while their sweet Thomas fought a brave battle against Leukemia.  His Daddy, Ed, has started a blog entitled  You will be so encouraged by his words as he launches this new blog.  They have been such a source of encouragement for us.  Mike has been to Ed's men's bible study group and Lisa has listened to me on the phone "vent" and talk this foreign language called cancer.  They are a wonderful, christian family and we are so thankful for their encouragement from their blog and their friendship as we walk this path that they know so well.   We will update more tomorrow, but good evening from 7 West!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Packing Up (again)

Tomorrow we are all heading down the road to UVA for treatment 19.  This will be a big one with a six day inpatient hospital stay with full strength chemotherapy.  We are a little nervous because this is the same dosage that gave him the serious infection back in January.  We know our God will meet us there and that each treatment gets us closer to the beautiful remission word!!

As we handle this treatment, please pray:

That sweet Rock Star will handle this chemo well and that he will not suffer from mouth sores or extreme nausea.

That he will not contract a serious infection with this dose. 

For the caregivers that we will be dealing with and the oncology staff. 

For Haley's family as they are STILL there on 7 central waiting on a heart.  We are excited to catch up with them.  Despite our surroundings, we always enjoy our time fellowshipping with them. 

For traveling mercies for all of us.  I will stay there with David and Mike and the other kids will be up and down the road a lot.  We are thankful that because of the condo we are all able to be together there.  Mike will be returning for the weekend with Kyle and Hope so that Kyle can compete in the county-wide 4H competition and for his baseball game. 

Thank you for your support and encouragement as we get ready for another battle against Goliath.  Mike and I are both enjoying Max Lucado's sermon podcasts titled You'll Get Through This.  Mike has listened to seven of the sermons during his travels in the past week and I am a little behind him. They are based on the life of Joseph and they have truly given us such encouragement. 

Life was never promised to be easy or painless here on Earth, but our heavenly Father guaranteed through his word that His grace is indeed sufficient.  As we approach this next treatment we are leaning on God's promises to be with us always and that His grace is truly sufficient no matter where we are headed.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


My heart is so full from this weekend that I can barely type through the happy tears.   This weekend was opening day for Marion Little League.  David was asked to throw out the first pitch to start the season.  Needless to say I was wiping tears away as our Rock Star took the field in his uniform to throw out the pitch. My dear friend Tonya read a sweet introduction about David which added to the tears.  I am tearing up now thinking about what a special moment it was.  Lots of our friends that did not have a game were there to cheer him on and it was truly a wonderful moment for him and our family. 
Smyth County you have been so encouraging and supporting to our family this past year and we are so appreciative of the love.  Mike and I did not grow up here, but you could care less that we have lived here less than a decade.  You have loved on us like we have been here for generations.  We are so appreciative. 

To help us celebrate the big weekend, Pops, the birthday boy, came down for a sleepover to see both boys' games.  We had time to have a little cake and ice cream for his big day:)
Happy Birthday to Pops! 
Steven Dimit took this awesome picture of David throwing out the first pitch.  David had his paparazzi there and lots of cameras were flashing and lots of tears were wiped away. 
David, we are so proud of you! You played hard in your game and we had such fun cheering you on!  We love you Rock Star!
Here is another picture of the pitch.  Big brother Kyle got to catch the ball for him:)  What a special moment that we will always treasure.   Thank you Marion Little League for such a wonderful treat for our Rock Star. 
Not only did he throw out the first pitch, but he played a game afterwards.  He made it home twice...
and of course had to....

SLIDE into home plate!!!!! I love it!
This picture melts my heart of all three of my boys in their uniforms!  (Mike is wearing a long sleeve shirt to hide his poison ivy on his arms)
Love this picture of my boys being silly!!!!
David played last night, and Kyle's team played today.  He got to pitch and despite how nervous he was, he did well!  I get so nervous when he pitches.
He takes it all so seriously!

David got to throw out the first pitch again this morning and here are my boys on the field:)

We are so appreciative of all the love for our Rock Star.  It is going to be so hard to head back to UVA this Wednesday for treatment.  He will be admitted Wednesday and we will stay through Monday.  He will miss several Tball games and I will miss many of Kyle's while we are gone.   This never gets easier to go to the hospital, but each treatment puts us closer to the finish line. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tough Day

Motherhood is a wonderful thing.  Today it has certainly had it challenges with a spunky little girl that insists on having her way.  I have been humbled by a toddler today for sure:) It also seems that the closer we get to the end of David's treatment (last treatment will be July 11th) the more frightened I get about the dreaded word "relapse." 

Not only is being a mommy hard, but being a woman is sometimes very difficult.  We question our weights, our mothering decisions, our homes, to see if we measure up to society.  We are so hard on ourselves and often let our low self esteems get in the way of life.  There is a local event coming up ladies called Right To The Heart of Women Conference May 18-20th at the Holiday Inn in Bristol.  The theme of this event is called Falling in Love With Me.

I have been asked to teach a break-out session on Saturday from 12:30-1:20 entitled Break Through. My session will focus on finding victory through God's word when life throw you a curveball and that God's ways are always victorious.  I am nervous to say the least, but I am excited to spend an weekend worshipping with lots of other women from all walks of life.

The event starts Friday at 7, Saturday from 8:30-6:30, and then Sunday starting at noon.  There are some wonderful speakers lined up as well as some great breakout sessions for ladies from ages 5 and up.  The little girls will learn that they are princesses of the most wonderful King with some great "girly" activities.  Preteens and teen girls will have some break out sessions specifically for them.  I am looking forward to a wonderful weekend! 

To say that I am nervous is an understatement, but I am praying that God will use the nightmare to encourage others.  I have learned so much about our faithful and merciful God these last few months that I must share this hope with others.  Please join me for this wonderful weekend in May.  Local folks you can contact Roslyn Graham for more information:)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Day

Today has certainly been a happy day!  The last two days David has attended school almost all day and done well.  We are so thankful that he is feeling good and that he is able to go to school.  I could do a whole blog post on how wonderful that school has been to him.  I know when he is there he is in wonderful hands and that he is getting spoiled rotten:)

Because David has felt well and been in school the last two days, Hope and I have enjoyed some girl time.  We have been doing preschool at home and today we had a big outing to the library for storytime and lunch with friends. 

She loves storytime so much and she insisted to wear her sparkly shoes and tutu to the library.   We are so thankful for friends that we get to enjoy during the day for playgoup and other fun. 
After lunch with some friends, we went by our friends, The Blevins, house to see their new chicks that just hatched last night!  They have 20 brand new chicks and we got to see them!
They were so sweet and fluffy to hold!
Hope really loved them but wanted me to hold them near her!  My children are not huge animal lovers, but she was fascinated with these new chicks. 

We have had such a wonderful week around here that we just keep singing "Oh Happy Day" from church Sunday.  Hope can belt it out!! It is such a great "feel good" song to remind us that Jesus' resurrection is the best news we can ever hear.  I love this song so much.

When you are going through chemo or something else life altering, you appreciate days that are spent doing something besides sitting in the hospital.  Today holding those sweet new chicks with my baby girl, I just could not help but smile.

David has felt so great this week that we are so thankful.  His next few treatments are going to be rough, but we are on the homestretch.  He has been invited to throw out the first pitch of our local Liittle League season this Friday night and Saturday morning.  I could bawl to think that he will be doing that in HIS uniform because he too will be able to play in his Tball game that same night.  Never did I dream he would have the stamina to play during chemo, but Rock Star never ceases to amaze us and this Momma will have two Little League athletes this weekend:)  Oh Happy Day!