~~~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..."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Wonderful Breather

Our family just returned from visiting my parents in Florida. It was a great break from reality! Ansley will be delayed this week in having chemo because Matt and I are going on a "staycation" to celebrate 14 years of marriage. This will be a very different year but I hope that we can enjoy the time together and focus on each other. Ansley will have chemo on Monday the 8th so that I can be here to give her meds the rest of the week.

We are looking at 6 more treatments before scans begin in December. I have felt fearful lately....more than I have ever known. I am afraid of what the scans will show. I am fearful of the day I hear the doctors say, "We found more". Other than searching out the Word of God, I haven't known what to do with this fear. I have found comfort in the following verse.

"He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord." Psalm 112:7

I can't say that I am free from fear but I don't feel alone in dealing with my fear.

Our kids start back to school on August 16th. I am dealing with the thought of this year looking so different than expected. The three oldest will be going off to school while Ansley and Garrett stay with me. I look forward to the time with them but it's hard to swallow all that has happened in the last 7 months of our lives. There is so much to be learned in this process of having a precious child with a deadly disease. Often, it's just plain overwhelming. But, as with other journeys, we are not left alone. We have a hope that is greater and His name is Jesus.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Birthday to Remember

It has been a few days since chemo. Actually, it has been 5 days since chemo and 3 days since celebrating a very special 5th birthday for our sweet Ansley. What a roller coaster of a week! The chemo day went well. Her counts were great and her port access went well. The de-accessing didn't go very well. She shed a lot of tears and had a lot of pain with it. Oh, how helpless I feel to hear our baby girl cry while having something like that done to her. The last few days have been hard. We now know to expect these days to be hard. The days following chemo are never easy... Nausea, itching, achy, mouth sores, hunger, fatigue just to name a few of the issues she deals with daily right now.

It was a sweet day on Friday as we celebrated the blessing of 5 sweet years with our baby girl. There has never been a birthday that I have had a wave of emotions like this one. It was a day to remember. I pray we will have many, many more birthdays to celebrate with our daughter.

We will leave for a vacation this Friday to be with family in Florida. It is the first time we will have left Charleston since her diagnosis in December except for the Make-A-Wish trip in April. Please pray she stays healthy. I am fearful of taking her away from a place that knows her so well. But, our family is in need of a break. This season is beginning to take a toll on all of us. It is definitely a marathon. We need a break from the daily struggles that a family undergoes when life changes so drastically from a sick child.

I am so proud of how our kids have handled this stress in life. They are really troopers and have become selfless, patient and sensitive people along this journey. Pray that our time in Florida will be sweet. We could use a break and I am excited to enjoy time together. Pray that our precious Ansley is healed of cancer and that it never again is in her body.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Very Big Week

Ansley has a very big week planned for 2 reasons. The first is chemo on Wednesday. Please pray that she handles it well and doesn't get really sick from it. The second is that she is celebrating her 5th birthday this week. Oh, what a joyous celebration this will be! Her life deserves celebrating in a big, big way this year! And, so, please pray for me and Matt that we can be joy-filled and happy and not emotional during this very special week. She is so excited and has many fun things planned. It is hard as her mommy to know that this birthday will take on new meaning because of her diagnosis in December. I will remember to cherish this celebration and to take it a day at a time. We are given a huge gift this year in being able to sing Happy Birthday to her once again! May we live remembering that today is a gift.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beautiful

Tonight was one of those beautiful nights. We had a fun 4th of July and the kids got to bed quite late. As I was putting Ansley to bed, I decided to lay down with her and hold her hand. Very rarely do I do this but tonight it just felt like the thing to do. And so, I laid down with her and in about 30 seconds she was out! She had a long, fun day and was exhausted. But, then, I just couldn't leave the room. I stayed and watched her sleep. It really was amazing. Here is a little girl fighting the horrible enemy of cancer non-stop for the last 7 months and yet sleeps so soundly. She sleeps so peacefully. It's like she was saying to me as she slept, "Mommy, it's okay. God is greater and bigger and more powerful than cancer. I can trust Him and I will sleep peacefully tonight because of that truth." It has been a while since I have watched her sleep. Yes, as an infant I did it a lot but life just gets too busy and I put important things on hold. It was a good reminder tonight of the beauty of trusting, resting and waiting all from watching a 4 year old sleep. Please don't forget to take time to find those beautiful moments.