Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31st

I just want to start out by saying that Jason did a fantastic job today! I thought I would bust with pride! I am so lucky to be married to such a wonderful, Godly man! I was so glad that our whole family got to go to church together today. Everyone was a little cranky but we made it and it was worth it!

Abby is doing alright but she's not 100% One reason is that she is not sleeping well. She won't hardly take a nap during the day and at night she won't go to sleep. Last night she stayed up til 11 and tonight she went to sleep at 10! Way past her normal bedtime! During the day, she will be fine and then she'll start crying and want me to hold her. Every day is a roller coaster-for all of us!

Thank you all for the prayers and please keep it up! We should get the final pathology report in the next few days so pray that the preliminary results were right and that it is treatable!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 30th

The girls and I had a very low-key day today. We just stayed home and rested. We got a new wagon (ours fell into pieces) and we spent a lot of time riding around the neighborhood! Abby was pretty clingy today which seems to make Lyla clingy too! It is hard sometimes to balance everything. I told Abby I needed to clone myself-she didn't like the idea of a bunch of mommies-she just wants one!

We are going to attempt to go to church tomorrow with Abby. I think she will do fine and I really want to go. No, I need to go! There is nothing better for your soul then singing those songs, hearing God's word preached, and being surrounded by your church family! It makes the whole week better! So I am praying that Abby will feel great and everything will go smoothly tomorrow.

Since tomorrow is 5th Sunday our church has potluck after morning services and then a devotional after potluck to take the place of evening services. Jason is doing the devotional tomorrow and I am so excited to hear him speak! Pray for him!

Please cotinue to pray for Abby and our family!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday, May 29th

I can't believe that a week ago I was standing over her bed in ICU and now she is watching TV with her daddy eating a peanut butter sandwich like old times! God is amazing! We have had a very good day. She seems back to normal. She gets tired more easily than she used to but other than that she is doing great!

I want to say thank you to the staff & parents at Cedar Ridge Preschool for the benefit they held last night for Abby at Oil Trough. They raised a lot of money for her and had a great turnout. They have hot pink bracelets and t shirts for sale at the preschool. You can call 870-264-3752 if you would like to purchase one. They also have stickers for your car that say "I'm in Abby's Army." Abby misses her teachers and friends there but we are hopeful she will be back in the fall!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28

More Info from St. Jude

I just got off the phone with St. Jude and got to ask more questions about our conversation yesterday. She said that the results from Le Bonheur were preliminary but are generally accurate. The pathologist at St. Jude's is highly specialized and his results will be final. Having said that, she told me that Le Bonheurs's results indicated a low grade glioma and are leaning toward the diagnosis of oligodendroglioma-a very treatable type of tumor! It is still preliminary and subject to change but just knowing that it is possible for her life to be spared not just prolonged is amazing! We didn't even think it was an option for it to be treatable! God is so great! Thank you all for the prayers-keep sending them up. Pray that it will be treatable! Pray that Le Bonheur's results are right! Pray that God will strengthen us until we find out the final results! I am on pins and needles and can hardly wait to hear the final report!

We love you all! Thank you all for the prayers! God heard us all!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday, May 28th

Abby had a much better day today! She was alert and happy most of the day. She even played a little dress up! I was craving Chinese food and was just going to get take out but she decided she wanted to go in the restaurant and eat so we all loaded up and went out to eat. We even got ice cream afterward! It was wonderful to get her out of the house and do something normal. We all needed that.

St. Jude's called today and we go there on June 9th and 10th to meet our doctors and learn what our treatment plan will be. She also said that the lab results from Le Bonheur indicated that her tumor was a low grade glioma. We were very excited to hear that! We still don't know what that means for her prognosis but its better than if it were high grade. I am pretty sure it means she won't have to have radiation which is a relief. I am really having to learn some patience! I want to know everything and I want to know it now! She is supposed to call me again tomorrow with the details of our appointments and I plan on asking more questions about what low grade gliomas are.

Please continue praying for all of us!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fundraiser/Benefit on June 13th

There will be a fundraiser June 13th at Southside School for Abby. There will be BBQ plates, pie/cake sale, live auction, and silent auction. The food will be served from 5-8 p.m. and the live auction will start at 6 p.m. There will NASCAR and St. Louis Cardinals autographed items as well as items donated from local businesses to be auctioned. The BBQ plate is $6 and will include a sandwich, coleslaw, baked beans, dessert, and drink. To reserve your tickets call Sarah at 870-613-3469, Casey at 870-307-3784, or Valarie at 870-613-5643. Please tell all your friends-especially if they are NASCAR fans or Cardinals fans. They won't want to miss out on some of the items!

Wednesday, May 27th

I am sorry I didn't get to post anything yesterday. It has been a little chaotic around here. Lyla was glad to be home but a little out of sorts yesterday. She was pretty cranky all day (actually we all were cranky). I think we are finally back in the swing of things though.

Abby is still tired a lot and just lays around most of the time. Sometimes I can get her to look at a book or do a puzzle. Most of the time she wants me to hold her (which is why I didn't post yesterday). She is normally so active that it is hard to get used to her being so lethargic. I know she had a major surgery but I wasn't prepared for how bad she would feel. She doesn't complain but she just doesn't talk much. She does perk up from time to time and seems like her usual self though. A few minutes ago she was watching "America's Funniest Home Videos" with her daddy and was giggling so hard and talking a mile a minute.

We are still amazed that she can walk and talk even though she had a piece of her brain removed! God designed our bodies in such an amazing way. We are so thankful that he sent Dr. Boop our way too. Everyone at Le Bonheur was wonderful. We really loved it there.

Please continue to pray for Abby and that she will start to feel better soon!

"I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works..." Psalm 139:14

Monday, May 25, 2009

At Home

We are all home and loving it! It will probably take a few days for everyone to get adjusted to being home (and to wash all our clothes) but we are glad to be here. We think we will get to be home for about 2 weeks before we go to St. Jude's and start the next round (chemo and/or radiation). So we are going to enjoy being home together since we don't know what the future holds for us.

Please continue to pray for Abby. She is still in pain but is having to take pain meds less frequently. Dr. Boop said it would be 2-3 weeks before she would feel like herself. We have crossed a big hurdle but there are more in the future so please don't stop praying for Abby and our family! We love you all!

"I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me." Psalm 13:6

Going Home

From Tanya

Abby is being released from the hospital this morning and they will be going home. Morgan said they are all very glad to be going home and are looking forward to a restful evening. She will post more later in the day once they get in and get settled.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Abby. Our family appreciates you all so very much.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Abby had her MRI this afternoon. Everything went smoothly. The doctor probably won't be in to discuss it with us until tomorrow morning. She slept a lot today and has eaten well since the MRI. She is coloring right now. We are about to take a bath and get some pain meds and go to bed! We will let everyone know what the doctor tells us tomorrow.

I just want to say a big thank you to all those who organized the benefit Friday night. I heard that there was a big turnout and that it was a lot of fun. We also appreciate all those who provided the talent and the pies/cakes. Thank you all who attended as well! We are overwhelmed by our community's response to our situation. It lifts our spirits to know so many are praying for Abby and care about our little girl.

Sunday May 24th

Abby had a good night last night. She slept well. We should have the MRI today so we are just hanging out drinking clear liquids! Abby is in good spirits today and doesn't seem to be in much pain. I gave her a bath and she has on clean jammies and feels good. Thank you all for the prayers, please keep sending them up!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Back in Her Room

Abby rested well throughout the night. They rescheduled the MRI for tomorrow so she has been moved back to her old room. She is resting comfortably but you can tell she is in pain when she does wake up. They have her on pain med and she can eat and drink, but she has been too sleepy to eat or drink much. They had to cut her jaw muscle so she will be on soft foods for the next several days. Her face is swollen and will continue but it's not as bad as we thought. The incision looks good and she didn't lose a lot of hair.

We all got to rest last night too. We are just so happy that she is doing so well. God is good!

Friday, May 22, 2009

She's OK

Abby came through surgery ok and is recovering in ICU. The doctor said they removed most, but not all, of the temporal lobe. He felt like he got a lot of the tumor but not all of it. She may have some peripheral vision loss but that should be the only side effect to expect. The preliminary results from the tissue sample was inconclusive so it will be 7-10 days before they know exactly what type of tumor it is and develop her treatment plan. Her face is starting to swell and will continue for several days. She has woke up and talked to us and she is moving her arms and legs. You can tell the incision site hurts but they are keeping her well medicated overnight. She will have another MRI in the morning then move back up to her regular room. We don't know exactly how long we will have to stay, probably 5 days.

We are so grateful to God for bringing our baby safely through surgery. Please pray that she will have a speedy recovery with minimal pain. Also pray that the tumor will be slow growing kind that will respond well to treatment.

Thank you all for the prayers today!

Surgery Has Started

Dr. Boop began surgery just a few minutes ago. She was very upset all morning because she couldn't eat. She did well while we were in the holding area and went back with little fuss. Dr. Boop said it will take 4 hours or longer. She will recover in ICU. Please pray for her!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bed Time

We finally got the blood they needed! Yea! We also got to move to a bigger room. When we got in this room Abby said she really liked her new room. I do too. We have cots to sleep on tonight and are about to turn off the lights. Pray that all will go well tomorrow!

What the Doctor Said

Dr. Boop did come by and he went over the surgery plan with us. He will not be able to remove all of the tumor. He will remove the temporal lobe (or the majority of it) where most of the tumor is located but he will not be able to take out the branches of the tumor that reach out into the other areas of the brain. He said removing the temporal lobe will have little to no side effects. Removing it will help with diagnosis, may stop the seizures, and will make room for the pressure that will occur from radiation/chemo. There are some risks involved but he said 90% of patients come through with no problems. Her incision will be over her ear under the hairline. It will be in the shape of a question mark. There will be some swelling around the incision and she may have some headaches for a while. He said she should be back to her normal self in about 2-3 weeks but she will need to play quietly for about a month. No trampolines! So we are disappointed that he can't get it all but we aren't surprised.

They tried for the IV again with no luck. They got some blood but came back later and told us they didn't get enough and what they got hemolyzed. So they have to stick her again. We are very unhappy about that. She has been stuck so many times and that is the thing she is the most afraid of. They should be here soon to try to get the blood. They scratched the IV until they put her under for surgery. We just have to be sure and give her lots of fluid tonight. I will try to post again before bed.

We're Here

We are here and settled in to our home for the next 3-5 days. We have had a lot of nurses and residents in and out all day. Abby has been a trooper, as always. She has played and talked and ate. The only thing she is afraid of is the IV. The nurse tried to start an IV but didn't get it so we are waiting for the IV team to come start it. Everyone here has been so friendly and helpful. Abby, Granny, and daddy just went downstairs to watch "Hotel for Dogs" and eat pizza. We haven't really learned anything new. We missed Dr. Boop so we don't think we'll get to talk to him until the morning. That was pretty disappointing but we did get here a little later than we were supposed to. They checked the schedule for us and we will take her downstairs for pre-op around 11 am. Please pray for her, especially during that time! I told her today while she was scared about leaving for the hospital and getting an IV that God is like a daddy bird who keeps His baby birds under His wing. So He will protect her like a daddy bird protects his babies. She liked that. We had baby birds on our porch so I think she could relate easily.
"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler" Psalm 91:4

t-shirt orders

If you want to place a t-shirt order please call Sarah at 870-569-4053. She will take orders today. If you call tomorrow (Friday) please call Tiffany at 870-307-3302. We appreciate all the support and a special thank you to Kirk and Dana Shaw!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday, May 20th

This will be brief-we are trying to get everybody packed and ready to go. I wanted to let everyone know about the t-shirts that our friends Kirk & Dana Shaw at New Vision Graphics have made for us. They are available to anyone-just call, go online, or go by. The t-shirts say "Abby's Army" and have the verse "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." They are $10. We have ours and are wearing them Friday for surgery. A big thanks to them for the shirts! The proceeds go to Abby and her medical/travel expenses.

Brother Curt preached a great message tonight and I wanted to share the verse that stuck in my mind from his message. "...Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6:50 We will not let our fear destroy our faith. We know God is bigger than this and we know He is in control.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday, May 19th

We had the most wonderful day-Abby caught her first fish! It was a beautiful day and the fish were biting. Lyla even caught a fish with a little Barbie pole! It is so hard to believe that such a seemingly normal child could have such a large mass in her brain. She is so smart and funny and active. But that keeps me feeling hopeful-if she has something that large and nasty in there and can still function so well then she has to have a good prognosis.

I want to let everyone know about the benefit for Abby on Friday, May 22nd. Southside School is having a talent show and pie and cake auction from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. at the middle school. They have an Event Page on Facebook. We will be in Memphis that night (probably in ICU) but our hearts will be with all those who have put this together for us.

I also want to say that I appreciate all the comments that have been left for us here. It lifts our spirits to know that so many people are praying for Abby. How can we feel down when God has sent so much good our way? I love all the verses that have been shared-I keep them in a journal and read them when I get discouraged.

"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him" Nahum 1:7

Monday, May 18, 2009

surgery update

I talked to Dr. Boop's nurse a little while ago. Surgery will be Friday at 11:30. It should last 3-4 hours. They are hoping that they can remove all of it-I hope so! They should know right away if it is high grade or low grade but the exact makeup of the tumor won't be determined for 7-14 days. That will determine the treatment. She didn't know how big the incision will be but they will salvage as much hair as possible. Please continue to pray for her!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17th

Today was a good day-church services were wonderful and we got some great pictures!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday, May 16th

Nothing new to report. We spent the day with family. Abby is on anti-seizure meds and steroids and they are making her very aggressive. We are trying to treat her the same and discipline her as we normally would but it's hard to be normal. Lyla is so glad to have us all home. Her and Abby have wrestled and played all day! We are really looking forward to church tomorrow and the girls are going to have their pictures made (if I can get them to cooperate).

To everyone who has given to us-you don't know how much it means. We are in awe of how much people have given-money, gifts, cards, food, prayers, etc. It lifts us up to know so many people care about Abby. Everyone keep praying!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday, May 15th

We have pretty much decided to get treatment at St. Jude's. We liked the doctors at MD Anderson but St. Jude's has been great to us and is so close. They just feel like a littl ray of sunshine in this storm. We are still praying about it though and haven't completely made up our minds. I like that St. Jude's wants to treat this aggressively. I want to fight it as hard and as fast as we can. Please pray that we will make the right decision.

We talked with the neurosurgeon's nurse and scheduled surgery for next Friday. The surgery will be at Le Bonheur. She seemed so sincere and genuine. She told me that Dr. Boop (neurosurgeon) was confident that he could help us. His plan is to go in and remove as much of the tumor as he can without causing any damage. She will be in the hospital for about 5 days. We are scared. This surgery will be the beginning of a long road. We know it needs to be done but she feels so good right now that it's hard to make that leap to brain surgery. Please pray that surgery will go well.

After surgery, they will take samples from what he removed and determine exactly what the tumor is. It could be a high grade (malignant, aggressive) or low grade (slow growing). That will determine her treatment. She will definitely have chemo but how much and how strong will depend on what they find when they take the samples. Please pray that it will be a low grade tumor and will respond well to chemo.


I thought I would start off this blog with a little background about our family. I guess you could call it my testimony. A year ago, Jason and I had a 2 year old, a newborn, and a broken marriage. We could not get along. We fought constantly and had little joy in our relationship. This continued all summer and came to a head in July. We either had to make changes or get a divorce. I was given some great advice by a preacher-I could not change Jason, I could only change myself. So I did. I started going to church again after a long absence. The church was Maple Springs Missionary Baptist Church. They had a revival in September and the preacher spoke about how you can't serve God and the world. You have to choose. I chose that night to serve God. No more excuses, no more holding back. I was all in. I told Jason that I was starting over with a new life and I would really like for him to join me. He did. We became very faithful to church, to studying the Bible, and to prayer. It changed our whole lives. We stopped fighting so much, the girls were happier, I stopped being so negative. I felt so lucky that God would give our family another chance. Then on March 8th he moved in our lives again. Jason went forward and got saved! All this time I was living with a lost person and didn't even know it! I didn't think it could get any better but God proved me wrong! He took our broken marriage and turned it completely around. Now we are best friends again! We rediscovered the love that brought us together in the first place.

I now know that God did all this to prepare us for what was to come. We could not have made it this far without the support of our church and the support of each other. A year ago we would have been torn apart but instead we know we can make it, no matter what. We know it won't be easy but we have faith that God will pull us through. We can feel His arms around us and He has already provided for our every need. We feel so blessed to have our church, our families, and each other.