~~~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..."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

beauty from ashes



even on a hard day, there is joy to be found!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tomorrow



Tomorrow is Wednesday. It has become my least favorite day of the week because I now associate it with chemotherapy. But, the good news is that my boys will be going with me and Ansley tomorrow. She loves having her brothers there. I love that they want to be there! Another "good" bit of news is that after tomorrow, Ansley has 4 more sessions of chemo! We really are beginning the countdown.

Please pray for the port accessing and deaccessing to go smoothly and without pain. Also pray that the day would be relatively short at MUSC.
Pray that I would have the courage to go up to families that are coming into clinic for the first time tomorrow with a new cancer diagnosis.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reminders...both good and bad

During this season, almost every day is filled with some tears. That's just how it is right now. Today the tears came from the visual reminders that we have a sick little girl. Whenever Ansley wears a sundress or a shirt without sleeves, her port is very obvious. Of course, it gets many stares and many strange looks as well. Whenever I see it, I am heart broken to think that my baby girl has to have this object in her body to get the chemo into her system to kill cancer. It just shouldn't be this way.

I also have the visual reminder of her cancer when I see her hair. Yes, it is growing back, but a little girl can only be called a boy so many times before her mom feels like punching someone in the face! I wish some people filtered what they thought before speaking. The daily reminders are hard to swallow. Even on "good" days, there are reminders that things aren't okay.

On the other hand, I have a beautiful reminder daily that God is faithful when I can grab Ansley in my arms in the morning and give her a big hug. She is here with us. She didn't die some 7 months ago. She is here and she is fighting hard. I am reminded daily of how resilient children are. Ansley is very aware that she is sick and that she looks different than most little girls. But this realization doesn't defeat her. She has a child-like trust that I so desire to learn!

I am reminded daily that there is much heartache in the world. Today, I learned of two new children whose lives will be forever changed by a diagnosis of cancer. Everywhere I turn, I see suffering. But, I am reminded that this is not the end of the story and this is not the home that we were created for. Cancer reminds me of how I long for Heaven. How I long for perfection. How I long for no more children to be diagnosed with cancer. One day, that will be reality.

Daily reminders. Some good. Some not so good. But, the question is what will I do with these reminders? Will I have a pity party and live in some "dream" world that cuts myself off from hurting people? Or, will I let the reminders energize my heart to help relieve suffering here and also look to perfection in Heaven? I pray I would choose option two.

As for our family, we are tired but okay. Ansley doesn't look well to me today. I'm not sure if she is just tired or getting sick. No fever, no cough, no pain. But, a mommy knows when her kiddos don't look like themselves. Please pray that she is not getting sick. Pray for our other kids. I have seen some jealousy lately from them in how much attention Ansley is receiving. It is understandable. Everyone asks them about Ansley. I don't want them to start to resent her.

So, in all, I'd say we are doing alright. We have one more week until the next chemo round. This never seems to get easy. I cry as I write that chemo week will be here soon. Please pray for these new cancer fighters and for their families. The initial days are overwhelming and shocking. Pray that God would be near to them and pray that they would know that God will use it for good.

Press on, friends. Don't avoid hurting people. Don't avoid suffering. We have all of eternity to live in perfection! Now is not eternity! Thanks and love to all of the faithful people praying for the full recovery of our little girl.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

5 more to go!!

Ansley, Matt and Morgan had a long day at the hospital today as Ansley completed another round of chemo. She was a champ even with discomfort with her port. After the completion of today, this leaves 5 more cycles before the scans begin. If we stay on schedule, she will be done with chemo the week after Thanksgiving and scans will begin in December.

Our family has been gearing up for the start of another school year. It is hard to believe we will a middle schooler, 4th, 3rd, 1st graders and Kindergartener this year! Boy, the years are flying...although the days can seem quite long at times. We are thankful to be partnering with a wonderful school that loves our children during a tough season of life. I will be homeschooling Garrett and Ansley until the end of 2011 and then we will see from there.

Matt and I had a wonderful weekend together. It is so good to have fun together, to have time to talk to each other for extended time, and just to remember why I think I am the luckiest bride in the world to have Matt as my hubby! When life hits, I forget how wonderful he is and how honored I am to be his wife. This weekend helped me to remember how precious our marriage is!