~~~standing together as Ansley battles non-hodgkins lymphoma~~~

ways to serve

"...for this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you..."

Monday, February 28, 2011

sweet girl

Sweet girl all dressed up for a big outing to buy groceries with mommy! having a great day together. we've painted nails, danced in the family room and done "homework" for school. remind me of these days when we have bad ones, please!!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

great joy


We have had computer issues for the last week and so I haven't been able to give updates.  Maybe it was a good thing because 7 days ago I would've depressed all of you with my words.  But, today I am writing with great joy in my heart.  We are starting to catch on to Ansley's pattern after chemo.  She is really sick and puny for the first week after chemo.  She is irritable, nauseated, in pain,tired, and just plain frustrated.  And then, at about day 8, she perks up, has energy, and wants to go and play outside.  It is almost like you are dealing with two totally different kids!  But, I am so thankful for both parts of the pattern.  My heart is heavy for her when I see her sick and exhausted.  I want to take it away from her and I want to see her act like a kid again.  And then, when I think I can't handle anymore, God brings relief.  He brings it in the form of no nausea, no tiredness, no hurting.  He doesn't give us more than we can handle!  It really is amazing to see how He works.  Doesn't this sound just like our faithful God?  He might allow something hard or uncomfortable or painful into our lives but he doesn't allow it without also bringing a blessing.  He doesn't give us more than we are able to bear.  

Our baby girl is outside right now enjoying a beautiful afternoon.  I want to remember this day when we have the bad days!  I want to remember that having her here with us everyday is a gift.  I need to remember how many rich blessings we have received as a result of her diagnosis of cancer.

A year is a long time. I am finding out just how impatient of a person I am!  Please pray that with each passing month, we will depend more and more on our unchanging and faithful God.  Pray that this year will not be wasted.  Pray that our family would remember 2011 for all that God taught us and all that God revealed to us. Thanks for walking through this with us.  


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

brave girl!

Sweet girl did a great job having her port accessed! what a tough little girl God gave us!

beautiful!

Wednesday morning and beautiful! headed to school and hospital.

Monday, February 21, 2011

please pray

Really hard day around here. Ansley is so nauseated and puny. Please, please pray she will start feeling better soon. Pray that we can continue to make it through these hard days.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

leaving

Leaving the hospital shortly.

All went well.

Tired but glad it's one more day done!

going well

Done with spinal. 2 more to go. Doing alright....had to give an IV antibiotic for infection. Everything going well.

high enough!

Labs are high enough. Just started the spinal tap. Her spirits are high. She is asleep and will wake up in about 30 minutes. 


look at that smile!

The best port day ever!!! no tears, no holding her down! what a fabulous way to start the day! thnx to everyone for praying.

Monday, February 14, 2011

so sweet

Ansley's class made a beautiful welcome back sign for her. what a precious, precious group!

happy valentine's day

Happy Valentine's Day!
Ansley is dressed and ready for her party at school!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

sleepy girl

Precious girl had a fun day playing in this beautiful weather and fell asleep in the car. Sweet dreams sweetness.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

bulldozer princess


This new path our life has taken has taught me so much.

As I said in an earlier entry, this has been the hardest road we've ever taken and yet it has been the richest journey as well.

One of the things I am having to constantly learn and re-learn is that it is okay to be broken. It is okay to cry. It's okay to hurt. It's okay to grieve. Actually, I think it's healthy. There are probably very few days where I don't break down.

And, normally, it's not that I cry because of "big" things like Ansley being in pain or nauseated or tired of taking meds. Those problems really don't happen every day.

Most of the time it's the things I have taken for granted for so many stinkin' years. Little things like walking down a hallway at school and seeing so many healthy, happy children. Or, the sweet comments when we go somewhere about her cute hats, or not being able to go to lunch with a friend because her counts are too low this week.

Sometimes, I just find it hard to remember that this is our new normal. We will have many months of cute hats, seeing other kids at school and wishing Ansley could take part in that joy of friendship and learning, and also putting lunch dates on hold. I think in someways I am grieving what life was like before 2 short months ago.

But, I am thankful to be learning these lessons. I am thankful that although there are sad, hard days, there are also many joy-filled, happy days, too. Even though there are sad days, we keep going. We thank God for giving us a tough, precious daughter. You know, when Ansley was a toddler, Matt gave her the nickname of "Bulldozer Princess." That is a perfect description of her personality!

Ansley begins the next 3-week cycle on Wednesday. We changed her chemo date from Monday to Wednesday because Ansley gets the treat of going to her pre-school class Valentine party. This is all she can talk about right now! I have to allow her to be a kid and still have fun! So, on Wed. we will go to MUSC for chemo and then come home for the med-a-thon for 5 days. This "med-a-thon" is the picture from a couple of weeks ago of all the medicines she has to take for the week.

Please pray that chemo and accessing her port go well and that she doesn't fight us in taking her medicines. Pray that the Valentine Party brings joy to her little heart. Pray for me, please, that I can be strong while there and not make a fool of myself crying!!!!!!!!!!

Trusting and waiting,
Amy and crew

Monday, February 7, 2011

clinic day



Tired girl. Only 2 hours at clinic this morning. Counts are low but nothing shocking. Chemo next Monday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

8 weeks down


 Well, today is the 8-week mark for Ansley.  It's hard to believe it was only 8 weeks ago that she was diagnosed. There have definitely been some long weeks. And yet, in some ways, I feel like we were just given the nauseating news of her cancer yesterday.  I don't know that the idea of her having cancer has gotten any easier.  I think Matt and I just know what has to happen for the next year and we are  willing to do whatever it takes to get our baby girl well.  

Our family plays a game at dinner where we draw a card and everyone at the table has to answer a question.  A few nights ago, the question was, "In one word, how would you describe your family?"  I was thrilled at the responses from the kids.  They used words like "incredible" and "amazing".  It really made my heart so full.  But, I have to say that I think I have seen our family become brave.  We always tell Ansley that being brave doesn't mean not crying or not being afraid, it just means doing what you have to do even if you are afraid.  I think our family has shown bravery, not by not crying, but by waking up, trusting that God is in control, enjoying every moment, and doing what we need to do even if we are afraid.

We have been awakened to a whole new world of hurting people through Ansley's diagnosis with ALCL. Just the other day, a friend sent me a link to another family's blog that has a daughter just about Ansley's age that is also battling cancer.  It was shocking and heart-wrenching to me to read about this family and to know first hand the kind of pain this momma was trying to explain. We have vowed to pray for this little girl just as you all pray for Ansley.  What brought weeping to me though was to hear Ansley pray for the little girl she had never met.  Her prayer went something like this, "Jesus, I pray for Kate.  Please heal her little body and take away the cancer.  Help her to be a brave girl.  Please heal her."  I almost felt like Ansley understood that they were going through very similar struggles right now.  I really am thankful that we have been given the opportunity to know so many amazing families that have fought hard in this battle against cancer.  

So, today, rejoice with us again that Ansley has fought hard for 8 weeks and is winning the battle!!  We are more grateful than ever that God chose us to be her parents!  She went to sleep tonight with Matt and I holding her hands singing, "Our God is Greater."  Does it get any better than that?  

Much love,
Amy and fam   


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meals!

Sweet friends and supporters of Ansley and her family,

We have opened up the meal calendar again to get them through the school year. I know that many of you have served in this way, and many of you would like to serve in this way but the current calendar is full.

There are now many more dates to sign up to bring food. Thank you so much for your generosity in this area! The practical ways that you all serve have floored me. Matt and Amy appreciate it so very much.

You guys rock, your support is such a blessing, your prayers are making a difference.

Click the "meals" tab on the top of this page, and scroll down until you see the "click here to bring meals" line.

Thank you so much!