Thursday, November 26, 2009


We have had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And I am truly thankful to God that we got to spend the day with family and that we are all healthy. I am so glad that we are not in a hospital, not having chemo, and that we will get to enjoy the holiday season all together. I am thankful that God worked a miracle in our life and that He continues to bless us daily. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my church.

But most of all, I am thankful that God loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to take my place on that cross, to sacrifice himself for me. In one act of unconditional, inconceivable love, my sins were paid for, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ.

I hope that even if we were in a hospital, going through chemo, that I would still be thankful for that gift. I hope that no matter what happens in the future, I can still find thankfulness in my heart. I hope that I can always lift my hands in praise of our Creator and all that He has done for me. I hope you can too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cookbook to Benefit St. Jude

I have been searching the web often looking for healthy recipes that fit into our new diet. I have found some great websites but yesterday while looking up how to cook spaghetti squash I came across a blog that caught my eye. The author of the blog had compiled healthy kid friendly recipes from other blogs and made a cookbook as a fundraiser for St. Jude! You make a donation and download the cookbook and all the money is going to be given to St. Jude. How great is that! I am constantly amazed at how generous and kind people are.

I got a cookbook for myself and have already made something in it (it was the parmesan chicken nuggets and they were delicious). It's great and I wanted to share it with all of you. Go to scroll down a little and look on the right hand side. There is a picture of the cookbook and a headline. You can donate any amount through PayPal. Go check it out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's New

Life has been good for us since returning from St. Jude. We are so happy that we get until February to enjoy-no chemo during the holidays! Yea! Everything got back to normal pretty quickly.

I have really settled into staying at home. It was challenging at first and I have had a hard time managing everything in the household but now I feel pretty good about it. I still have days when I feel overwhelmed but I am slowly learning how to balance the kids and cooking and cleaning and laundry. It has been much harder work than I anticipated! I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with them. I sometimes look at the clock and think about how different our lives would be if I were at work right then instead of at home.

The major change since we got back is in our eating habits. Before leaving for St Jude I had spent a lot of time researching nutrition and cancer. Jason and I both decided that for Abby and for the rest of us, a change in our diet was a must. After lots of reading and planning we are finally making the change to a healthier diet. We have cut out almost all added sugar and processed foods and have greatly increased whole grain, fruit, and vegetable intake. It has been hard at times and it has taken much more thought and planning but I feel much better about what I am feeding her and Lyla! We are eating as much organic foods as possible as well and are switching to organic chicken and grass fed beef. I am still drinking coffee with french vanilla creamer though and when we go to our family's house we eat what is there. Right now the goal is not to deny ourselves food but to replace the food. I don't want to burn out so if I really want some chocolate-I eat it. I have lost 8 pounds in 2 weeks so far. Abby and Lyla like most of what I have made but there has been some real disasters (chicken millet skillet-yuck)! I have thought about starting another blog about our meals but I just don't know if I have the time to maintain it.

Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Great News!

We are home from St. Jude and we received great news! The tumor has not grown! It looks the same as it did last time! We are so relieved!!!!!!!! Thank you God for taking care of us!!

Our trip couldn't have gone any smoother-thank you all for the prayers-I know they made a difference!

We ran a little behind schedule Monday morning but got there with no problem. She had an eye appt and PT and OT evals. Her vision has not changed (still 20/20) and her optic nerve looks healthy! The PT and OT both said she looked great so they are recommending no evals for a year unless I have a concern. She had to have blood drawn and she was so brave. We still have to hold her down but not like before. She was much easier to control this time. After those appointments we went to our clinic (E clinic) to get clearance for the MRI. They check her blood counts and listen to her lungs to make sure she is ok for anesthesia. The nurse, Lindsey, does a bunch of neuro checks to be sure there is no weakness, her eyes move together, balance, etc. Then we were done and had enough time to go to the zoo. She had so much fun! We only had 1 1/2 hours but we managed to see a lot! The goat she is petting in the picture was her favorite animal (I think b/c she touched it). It was a beautiful day and the zoo was so nice-trees changing colors everywhere. We went out to eat after and then went back to the Grizzlies House to sleep. It was a wonderful day and we felt so greatful for it.

Her MRI was on Tuesday morning. It went well except she did not want to wear the hospital gown. We had a big meltdown over that-so I put on a hospital gown and then she was fine. They put her under with gas this time, then started the IV. I was so glad we didn't have to hold her down again! They also gave her a different medicine b/c she has been coming out of anesthesia extremely cranky. It worked! She was so sweet this time when she woke up! After the MRI we went to our clinic to meet with her neuro-oncologist, Dr Armstrong. I spent the whole time crying-I was so embarrassed that I couldn't get it together. I guess all the stress and worry caught up with me. We got to have a good talk with him though and ask lots of questions. We really like him-he is so calm and reassuring. After that we ate lunch and headed home. Dr. Armstrong said he would call as soon as he knew about the MRI but it wouldn't be until evening more than likely.

Every time we heard the phone ring we got nervous. The ride home was hard b/c we just wanted to know! He called at 6:10 and gave us the good news. I bawled. I can't even explain the relief I felt. I am so grateful to God for giving us 3 more months. He has been so good to us!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers! You just don't understand how much it means to us. Please continue to pray for her. This will be a lifelong fight for her. Please don't ever stop praying for her! I would also like for you to pray for all the patients at St. Jude. I am forever changed by the things I have seen there. There are so many families out there in such worse situations than us. There are so many brave little kids there. If you have healthy children, get down on your knees and thank God! Any time life gets you down, remind yourself of all the blessings that may seem insignificant. At any moment they can be taken away. None of the families there expected this to be their life. Pray for them all.

"Give thanks unto the Lord" Psalm 107:1