Saturday, July 24, 2010

Going Camping

Sorry for not posting this sooner, but we wanted to wait to make sure everything was clear for Sarah. Again, our Heavenly Father is merciful to allow Sarah's numbers to go up fast and be cleared for chemo on Wednesday. This has allowed us to accept the blessing Pine Cove Camp has given us with a week long family camp. (There website is

They are going to take good care of us and we have already talked to the hospital in Tyler to make sure that our doctors at Children's Medical will have their direct numbers in case Sarah develops a fever. Pine Cove has also assigned Sarah her own personal caretaker to hang out with Sarah as the other kids do things that Sarah cannot do, i.e. swim, run etc. Sarah is excited to get to know another older sister in Christ and spend time doing crafts and horseback riding.

For Anne and I, we also get a huge break with having renewal time for our marriage with seminars from a Family Life speaker. So this blessing is huge and we are so excited. I can't promise another video, but we will post pictures. :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Incredible Weekend

Below is a video that I hope you enjoy. It is amazing how God provided by great people at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Sarah will start maintenance tomorrow, if her numbers are good. Please be praying for her ANC to be above 750. If so, she can have her chemo, spinal tap and infusion. If not, it will be delayed a week which will cause us to miss a great vacation. (Anne is still going to tell you once we know for sure.)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today marks the 6 month anniversary of Sarah's diagnosis. As I think back to that afternoon... I had just driven back to the Hong Kong hospital (where Sarah had already been for three days) and the Chinese doctors were taking me and Anne into another room to give us test results- I get nauseous all over again. (the picture is of Sarah in the hospital on the 15th of Jan.) In a way, this all feels like a horrible dream and it has been a nightmare that has lasted six months. There are mornings I still wake up thinking, I can't believe my princess has cancer and is going through all of this suffering. It is in those times that I have the sweetest conversations with my loving savior, Jesus. Lately, I have gained strength from realizing that even though Sarah is battled with health problems and a life-threatening disease that can reappear at any time, we are rich in Jesus. The blessing is watching Sarah continue to mature in her faith in Jesus and grow at such incredible ways. In seeing this, it is a reminder that Jesus has called and saved her for an eternity with Him. It is a reminder that faith is about believing in things not seen instead of what is seen. It is a reminder that many fathers are struggling with perfectly healthy daughters who are spiritually dead. The human, narcissist side of me, wants both. Perfectly healthy and spiritually alive, but in the end, our reliance on God as our strength comes from not dwelling on past or present circumstances, but yet keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and the hope that we have in spending eternity with Him. The girls bought me the new biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer for father's day. I just finished it and was so blessed by how through God's grace, Bonhoeffer kept an eternal perspective even when faced with certain death. The doctor who oversaw his death at the concentration camp gave testimony of this grace of God. Until the moment he stepped to the gallows to be hung by the Nazis, he was praying and finding strength in the Lord. The doctor said that in all of the deaths he has witnessed, which I was pretty sure it was many, he has never seen a man so submissive to the will of God. Wow! what an earthly testimony.
As our family tries to forget the past events of today's anniversary, my prayer for us is that whatever God sends, we glorify Him by keeping in His strength and submitting to His will so the glory of Jesus will shine. In that is true peace and joy.

Prayer request is we have a huge weekend planned to celebrate the end of intensive treatments and Sarah's wish being granted by Make-a-Wish. The problem is Sarah still has low immunity resistance, so any moment, we could be back at the ER. Please pray for protection so she can feel the love of Jesus through those who helped with this coming weekend.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All Cooped Up

This past week we have been homebound since Sarah's numbers have been so low. And of course there is never a dull moment with two other family members having red rashes show up too!
Rebekah developed a rash of tiny red blister bumps below the back of her head and on her shoulders and a little near the inside of her wrists. I is acting like heat rash and she did have a pretty sweaty naptime that day, so that seems to be under control.
Jay's turned out to be poison ivy. We searched the yard and the internet and figured out that it is growing in the back corner by our fence and by our trashcans. I snapped a few pictures of it for your future reference.
Also, with all the rain, the grass grew so quickly and the mosquitoes and other biting insects starting getting in our house when someone went out the door. All three girls have several bites now, but our 'Grass-cutting Angel', Brian, came today and now all the grass is short and pretty. So we all got in the car and rode around while the girls watched Gigi -God's little princess and drank Jamba Juice. When it started raining, poor Brian, we thought it was safe to head back home.
Sarah is feeling sad again about not having a 'normal kid life' and being jailed in the house. But she did get a new book in the mail and was extremely excited. It was called "Chemo, Craziness, and Comfort". She kept reading us all the chapter titles with such enthusiasm. I did have to tell her to stop though as I am well-read now on all types of childhood cancer, and it made my stomach turn listening to Sarah try to pronounce the list. So she moved on to the chapters on Eating, Pets, and Surgery - surgery being the most interesting she said.
Looking forward to days of freedom...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Feeling good but low blood count

God has been so gracious to us over the last few days. Since the last chemo treatments and shots, Sarah has not been sick. She went to the clinic today for her blood test and Hannah went too. Hannah decided to get her blood taken too to support Sarah (and also just to see if there were any 'germs' in there. Our friend, the phlebotomist, said Hannah's few blood drops looked fine and that Hannah was so brave!)
Sarah's numbers were really low as they should be with all of the chemo she has received. The doctor told us to take it easy and to stay indoors for the week, but we have to go back and check her blood in two days. The doctors anticipate Sarah needing a transfusion on Friday since her counts are still on the way down. (platelets 20, hemoglobin 9 and white blood count(neutrophils 615).

We have some really exciting things happen over the last few days that is really going to make July special. Anne will update you soon on the specifics, but I just wanted to let you know your prayers are being heard by our gracious Father. We have been struggling as a family with being isolated and it all seems to be taking it's toll. We have been praying for opportunities to get away from the house and experience some fun family time. We will be doing that this month!

I also wanted to thank my parents. They left last week after staying about five weeks with us. It was not easy for them, especially with my dad suffering from tendentious in his foot, but they were troopers. We were all so sad to see them leave. When they first arrived, they walked into chaos with Sarah going through almost two weeks of hospitalization and a biopsy surgery and doctor appointments. Grandmama and Granddaddy, you are very special people and we love you and thanks for the sacrifice you made for us. The girls keep saying how they wish you could live here all the time. Thank you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

happy to say goodbye to June

The best way to sum up the month of June was Sarah's comment to me the other day. She was having a hard day and wanted me to lay down with her so she could take a nap. We were talking and she said, "Daddy, I am tired of being a special girl; I want to be normal again."

June has been a very difficult month for all of us. Sarah has endured many different types of chemo, we have two more days of shots and a week of pills to go in July before starting maintenance, we've had multiple hospital/emergency room visits, a major surgery (over 2 hours), constant nausea and other horrible symptoms. To add to all of this, the entire family is having to say goodbye to our home in Hong Kong.

Anne and I made the decision to not renew our lease in Hong Kong which meant we had to move everything out by June 30th. First I want to thank all the wonderful friends (more like family to us) who endured so much stress and patience with us to move everything out. Many nights Anne was up late on skype trying to see what we wanted to store, sell or throw away. This entire ordeal was so difficult as we were already emotionally emptied by taking care of Sarah and then adding having to let go of most of our possessions and our home in Hong Kong.

In the midst of all of this, Anne's aunt passed away and that gave us more grief as Sarah had developed a connection with her because they were going through chemo together.

So we start July very tired, but with hope. Hope that God will continue to be faithful in our lives by providing new mercies each morning new that we may endure until the end. As we go through this, we continue to ask- "What more do you want us to give up Father?" We are battling feeling like Jonah and complaining to God as He has covered us with a huge leaf to protect us from the sun. Although we have lost our home in Hong Kong, we have gained a wonderful place in Dallas. His hand has provided all that we have needed and in the end, He has only created in us a greater longing to see the glory of Christ. We desire that in all He allows or directs in our lives, we will proclaim like Paul in
2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Thanks again for your prayers. Sarah has so far not developed a fever from these shots, which is the major side effect, so we praise God for His blessings each day. The power of the Holy Spirit is continually amazing me with the spiritual growth and maturity of Sarah. Yesterday we took Rebekah for her first haircut and Hannah also had her's cut. We did not know how Sarah would respond since she is completely bald (she also has lost most of her eyebrows and eyelashes). It was amazing to see her smile and watch as she stood next to both her sisters laughing and enjoying the moment. How I hope to portray that type of goodness and gentleness in my life. That is truly only by God's grace.