Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Sarah is playing with her sisters this morning. I hope she does not crash like yesterday but it is still a blessing to see her have the strength to play around. Now we have the steroid attitude, but we will take that over sickness any day!

Sarah and Hannah wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas by watching a performance they were part of at our church last week. It starts at the 7 minute mark of the video.

God Bless and Merry Christmas, Jay

I Bring You Good News from Bent Tree on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Update

Thanks for your prayers for Sarah. The spinal tap went really smooth yesterday. Today has been hard for Sarah so please keep her in your prayers.

We hope that she feels better by Saturday so she can enjoy the Christmas weekend. This is the third year of battling this sickness and we are ready to have a normal Christmas. Two years ago she was sick in Hong Kong. We did not know it was Leukemia but she could not even sit up Christmas morning. Last year she was in the hospital with a mysterious virus. We left only a few days before Christmas. And this year we have a spinal tap a few days before Christmas and Sarah has stayed in her pajamas since returning home yesterday.

In all of this she is still so courageous. She still keeps her smile and somehow finds a way to be excited about everyone's presents. Tonight we were watching a movie and she looked at me and said, "Daddy, what did you do to mommy's stocking?" She could see it was filled today.

We try to remember that we celebrate the birth of a Savior who was totally inconvenienced by coming to earth to save us. His earthly parents had to live outside and Jesus was forced to be born in a stable. I am sure they wanted it easier, but God had other plans. We continue to want it easier, but does easier mean better?

I pray all of you have a Merry Christmas and continue to seek the King of Kings even in the hard times of life.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Turning 9!!

Tomorrow, the 14th, is Sarah's 9th Birthday! If you want to send Sarah a message you can email through the blog or send me or Anne an email.

When Sarah was diagnosed in January 2010, we were told of Sarah's two and a half years of treatment and the thought of Sarah being 9 when she finished seemed so far away. Through God's grace and mercy, we've made it to the point that seemed unreachable two years ago.

We still have until January 2015 before the doctors use the word "cured", but it is a blessing to know Sarah only has three more months of chemo. She was supposed to have a back procedure tomorrow, but her doctors were really good to allow her to postpone it a week. A back procedure on your birthday is not fun. :)

Please continue to keep Sarah in your prayers. Her back procedure is on the 21st at 8 am. Also, over the last few weeks Sarah has noticed her hair falling out. We are told this will not be like before when she went completely bald, but it does make Sarah nervous. So keep that in your prayers also.

Thank you for sharing the journey with us. Over the last few months, Anne and I hit a wall with writing on the blog, but we pray we are able to finish strong as we start 2012 and looking to the end of chemo on March 26th, 2012.
In the next couple of weeks, we will send you an update on potential plans for 2012 and beyond.

Blessings, Jay

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Even this trial, even this one

Well, when Jay gets ready to go serve in Asia each time, there seems to be trials to go along with it. First, the baby gets a medium high fever, then Hannah and Rebekah get really high fevers, and then Hannah breaks out in a rash of tiny, red bumps all over her chest and sides. I think we are getting much better at dealing with such times though. Maybe this one was just Jesus showing us how he has grown us in this area time and time again- just for us to see and be encouraged by the peace we freely accept in the storm and how we now, therefore, do not overreact or get really discouraged. So, I am thankful for even this one.
Sarah is still having to deal with her cancer in many ways. There is always the physical aspect with feeling nauseous from chemo. Usually the daily chemo is ok, but the once a week 10-pill Methotrexate and the monthly IV Vincristine and spinal tap chemo make her feel worse. Steroids for five days out of every month make her feel aggravated and sad and give her hot, red cheeks - she is also very hungry!
As she gets older, the emotional side of having cancer is becoming harder to deal with. She is much more shy than pre-cancer and cries easily. She is nervous to meet people or go where new people will be since she looks so different than she did before - gaining weight from the steroids and having such short hair - not to mention the scars from a central line surgery in her neck and chest, port surgery in the other side of her chest, surgery to remove a tumor on her finger, and two biopsies on her leg when she had those huge mysterious red bumps. And she gets a rash now and then all over her face and ears which we think is from the chemo or steroids. She has had to learn coordination all over again, which is still a bit of a struggle, and she gets tired quickly.
She has always seemed older for her age, even from her toddler years. She used long complete sentences at age 1 and then just kept going up from there! She understood that Jesus died for her and that she wanted to live for Him at age 4. And just recently, I bought here a little dictionary and her eyes lit up as she took it to her room and started intently reading it and making notes in it, labeling pages to find them later! That Sarah just loves to know what is 'right and true' and doesn't hesitate to always share it with her sister - poor Hannah.
With all the gifts that have been given to Sarah during this past year, she is struggling with her desire to love as God wants her to and to not just think selfishly all the time. So many have served her for so long that she is now trying to cultivate a servants heart of her own.
Please pray for her as she looks to Jesus to help her grow in courage and character, to be able to have many moments of a carefree childhood, to embrace all the lessons and skills and abilities God has gifted her with in this process - as all of this is preparing her for the good works God has prepared in advance for her to do, for the great things He has purposed for her life.
Thank you for entering in to this journey with us. You truly bless us.

Monday, October 10, 2011

appointment on Wednesday

Sarah has her clinic and chemo appointment on Wednesday. The appointment is at 2:30 so please keep her in your prayers.

The last few times these appointments have even been rough on her so she gets tired and a little sick to her stomach. After Wednesday we will only have five more to go!!!

Also, there are many opportunities to give this fall toward children's cancer research. My prayer is that through giving to these organizations they keep developing new drugs that one day will eradicate the need for chemotherapy in blood cancers. In case you do not know a person to support for Light the Night which is part of Leukemia and Lymphoma society, you can give through one of our friends below.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

a little pain but we are good

Thank you so much for your prayers. We all felt them during the back procedure yesterday. Sarah is experiencing more back pain than usual, but it is not as bad as the last procedure.

Also, below is a video of the flash mob that Sarah and Hannah participated in during church on Sunday. You can play the game, "Spot Sarah". A hint is she is in the back in a blue shirt. When the camera zooms toward the blue shirts you should see her face. Hannah on the other hand is very easy to find. The only hint I will give is she has a purple shirt on.

God Bless,

Bent Tree FX Live Flash Mob from Bent Tree on Vimeo.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back procedure on Wednesday

Please keep Sarah in your prayers on Wednesday. She has a spinal tap to inject chemo and take fluid for testing. After her last spinal tap in June, she had really bad side effects and had to go to the hospital for a few days. We of course do not want that to happen again. It was very painful for her.

So pray that she does not have side effects and that we get through the day without any problems. After Wednesday, she will only have two more back procedures with one in December and March.

Thanks so much for sharing the burdens with us.

Friday, August 19, 2011

a good week

The follow up x-rays of Sarah's hand were great. We do not have to go back until February to see the specialist. There will always be a chance the tumor can grow back as long as her growth plate stays open. So we will have to keep following up with the Doctor for a few more years. Hopefully soon, we go to one year visits.

She if feeling better after the chemo on Tuesday. All of the girls are excited to go hear Bethany Hamilton speak at Fellowship Church tomorrow. My girls are huge Soul Surfer fans! They highly recommend the movie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

another request

Thanks for your prayers yesterday. The appointment was very smooth and Sarah's numbers are good even with the increase in her daily chemo pills. She did not feel very good today so please continue to pray for her.

Also, please pray tomorrow as Sarah goes for a follow up for her finger. Even though the tumor was benign it still can grow back so we of course don't want that to happen. We also continue to pray that Sarah's finger grows straight as the tumor was on her growth plate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Number 8

Tomorrow is Sarah's monthly chemo appointment at the clinic along with starting steroids. Please be praying for her as she is more tired and nauseous from these trips. The appointment is at 3pm.

Also, a few weeks ago we went back to visit an old friend at Sea World in San Antonio. Elrod the sea lion is a hit in the Clark family. His legend grew even more after seeing him act in his show. He is a precious creation from our heavenly Father.

I also want to thank Mike Poole and Sea World for all they've done for Sarah and our family. It is great to continue to receive these blessings to help us keep our endurance.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Video from trip to Trail West

With being on vacation and traveling most of June along with my school starting in July, I am behind on pictures and videos! I thought you would enjoy this video from our time at Trail West. Jay

Thursday, July 21, 2011

another month down 8 more to go

On Tuesday, Sarah had her monthly clinic visit to receive IV chemo in her port. Her blood counts were good, and overall she is doing remarkable well considering all the chemo she has endured over the past year and a half. I know that it is by God blessing her so please keep her in your prayers.

When the doctor was visiting Sarah in the clinic, I was able to talk more about "what's next" for us. Throughout this journey, the doctors have been really good at keeping us focused on today and not allowing us to think too far in advance. Now that we are only 8 months away from the end of Sarah's treatment, they are giving us more information. Below are some of the highlights.

- If she does not miss any chemo in the next 8 months (due to illness, etc.), her end date is the 24th of March. Which is ironically Deborah's first birthday. (When we get closer, we will post information for a party we hope to give Sarah to celebrate the end of chemo treatments.)

- In May or June she will have a surgery to remove her port. She will also stay on her antibiotics for six more months just in case she has any infections.

- Two years after the end of chemo, March 2012 to March 2014, she will go to the clinic once a month to monitor her blood counts. At first we will see the doctor each month, but eventually we will start just seeing the doctors every quarter.

- For one year, March 2014 to March 2015, she will meet at the clinic as part of a cancer survival "club". This will be more about helping her emotionally in being a cancer survivor. At the end of 2015, they will use the word "cured". Sarah will be starting her teenage years, so emotional issues will be a good thing to talk about.(At least that is what I am being told will happen when my girls become teenagers. :))

Of course, we believe she is "healed", but I admit that I look at the day they use the word "cured" with great expectations.

So the journey continues. We can see the end, but we know that God still wants us to focus on today. Our prayer request is that we do not think too long about the end, as great as that will be, but instead to make sure we stay strong today because we know from experience it only takes one moment, and we could face the horrors once again.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

At home

Sarah arrived home last night around 7. She still had back pain, but the fever never came back after the 1st day in the hospital.

The best we can tell is that Sarah's sickness was not connected to Hannah's virus. It looks like Sarah just had a rough time with the back procedure and some phlegm worked its way into her lungs even with them suctioning out her throat while she was asleep during the procedure. The pain she was experiencing was from the needle going into her spine. She still has some swelling but she is able to walk around much better. We really don't know why this one was so different. We can't count how many procedures Sarah has endured over the past year and a half and she never had this many problems. It is a hard reminder that you never are able to relax while enduring chemo. She is on some extra antibiotics for a while and some pain meds for her hips, back and headaches. We still aren't quite sure of all that is going on inside her little body.

Now, we have to quickly forget the past week. After arriving from Colorado on Saturday, I was looking forward to a quiet week at home before my trip on Monday. Instead, our home airconditioner went out on Monday when it was 102 outside, and we had to spend the night at a hotel since it was too late to get it fixed. Then Sarah stayed in the hospital for two days while Anne had to take Hannah (twice) and Rebekah(once) to the doctor. Even with all of this, God gave us the endurance to persevere. Last night, the girls wanted to give me my Father's Day cards so I would have a few days to enjoy them before I leave. As Sarah, Hannah and Rebekah walked up to me (I was holding Deborah), I was overwhelmed with the love of my heavenly Father. With trials like this week, it reminds me the incredible blessing it is to be a father. The brokenness of my heart increases each time I see Sarah suffer. The beauty of it is that brokenness is not allowing anger or resentment to dominate my mind/attitude, but instead the brokenness is causing me to be a dad who loves his children more richly and humbly. Of course, I am not perfect, but the fact I can see progress in my life gives me such joy to know the Spirit is molding me into the image of Jesus, and I thank Him for it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good Spinal Tap / But now inpatient

Thank you for all your prayers. Sarah was in the best mood ever during her clinic visit and spinal take and IV chemo yesterday. Everyone went great and we were home before lunch. But then Sarah started having bone pain and shortness of breath with a 103.5 fever. So we went back to the clinic and since her fever and pain weren't going away, she was admitted to the hospital. Sarah is feeling better now with pain meds, and she loves being inpatient (a little too much). The doctor said we aren't going home today though.
Hannah has been sick since the weekend and her doctor said it was a possible strep so she is on antibiotics. But Hannah is still spiking fevers and not getting better. And Rebekah is getting a bit of a fever now too, so I am taking them both back to the pediatrician today.
Jay leaves Monday for Asia, so we are praying that he miraculously will not get sick or take any of these sicknesses with him!
We hope to get some more exciting pictures up soon from our week in Colorado, but it might take a little longer than expected.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From the Mountain Top to Reality

We had a wonderful time at the Young Life family camp at Trail West. The not so good part is reality comes back to us way too fast. Sarah has a back procedure, spinal tap, in the morning. We ask that you keep her in your prayers from 8-12 central standard time. Her recovery is slower and slower after these spinal taps so she is starting to really count down, three more after tomorrow!!

Anne will write and post more fun pictures from the camp later in the week.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Treatment update and prayer

Tomorrow Sarah has her monthly chemo infusion, her bimonthly blood work, and her monthly follow-up with the doctor. Each time it comes around Sarah is a bit nervous and a little down, and her body takes longer to recover the longer that she is on chemo (and it has been 16 months now). Please pray for her emotionally and physically and that she would continue trusting in Jesus through this big trial.
Here is a picture of our whole family at the Wish Night Ball. Also, here is the link for the video of the performance if you can't view the one in the last post.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wish Night Performance

The kids you see performing have a life threatening illness or they have a sibling who has a life threatening illness. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wish Night and Game ball

It looks like we are on schedule for monthly reports! I believe this is good news because it means we are just doing life together without any drama from Sarah's sickness. Below are a few updates from the month:
1. Sarah's blood counts have continued to be where the doctors want. Her ANC is in the low range(where it is supposed to be), and even liver enzymes have been in acceptable ranges for a few months. This is a huge praise, and thank you for your prayers.
2. May has been filled with many events. I posted a few pictures for you see:
a. Sarah received the game ball in her last game of the season. She did so good all year and we are so proud of her courage to play even though there were a few games she did not feel 100%.
b. We participated in "Wish Night" for Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Texas. Sarah and Hannah were among the group of Wish kids that performed for over 1400 people at the banquet. The theme was Sweet Things and they were in three of the dance numbers. Sarah and Hannah(the other two lost the battle early on) were able to stay up until midnight and eat the famous "midnight breakfast buffet" along with watching the live auction. As you can see from the picture, Sarah had an art piece auctioned off. I believe the final/winning bid was $66. The funny story is Sarah's Wish Volunteer was bidding and promised Sarah that she would win! During the night Anne and I were sitting and talking and Sarah comes running up very upset. She says,"Another lady has bid on my painting!!" Well the other lady overheard Hannah saying to Sarah that it was sad that more people had not bid on her painting so this lady started a bidding war. So we are sorry Tony that Hannah made you pay more, but thank you for your perseverance in winning the bid! :)

Anne sends her love and gratitude for your prayers. She has been full speed with all of her many tasks of home, kids and schooling. Deborah is growing fast and will be two months old next week. Wow, I can't believe she is already two months old!

For June we will update you with our trip to family camp in Colorado. A wonderful lady has raised donations and reserved the camp and is sending 35 families that have kids with cancer to YoungLife family camp for one week. God is truly amazing how he continues to bring exciting things into our lives just when we need refreshing as a family.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Snacks for Kids and other tidbits

With Deborah Faith joining our family it has put us a little behind in blogging so I will give you a quick update.
1. Snack for Kids: As you can see from our picture, this is one of our snack runs to the clinic. Rebekah is helping us on this particular day. Thanks so much for everyone who has given. I wished I could have taken a picture of the teenage girl, who was in the clinic for treatments, when we walked into the office with our stroller full of snacks. To bring a little smile on a hard day is a wonderful experience.

2. Sarah is playing softball! Her team's, Comets, "funny" picture shows her having fun with her teammates. She is doing so good. Thanks to our world class physical therapist, Ellen, she is able to run with the other kids. The last two games she has doubled three times and scored each time. Again she has amazed me with her courage. To get back out and play a sport after the last year of having to relearn to run and regain her mobility shows so much about her character.

3. Lil Wrangler Event. Wow what a difference a year makes. If you look back to the pictures in April of 2010, you will see Sarah without hair and she looked sick. Now, you could hardly tell she is still taking Chemo.

Please continue to keep Sarah in your prayers. Recently, we had to go to a dermatologist because Sarah has developed a rash on her face. Unfortunately there is not much we can do as long as she is taking her monthly steroids. For the next year, we have to keep cleaning and most of all praying that it does not leave any scars on her cheeks.

We pray everyone has an wonderful Easter and rejoice that our Lord has Risen!


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Deborah Faith Clark

What a few hours! I arrived back in Dallas at 7am. by 10:34 Pm, Deborah is born. We had a few intense moments. Anne had an epidural and they tried to turn the baby but Deborah's heart rate dropped really low so the doctor immediately said we have to do a c-section. So in a matter of minutes Deborah was out and we discovered her cord was way too short that Jay couldn't even cut it! God protected us in many ways! Deborah is 7lbs 7oz. and 20 inches long. She didn't need any glucose due to my diabetes and she is doing just great! Thank you for your prayers! They were felt and God's hand so strongly guided the whole thing and we are blessed! Here are a few pictures of Deborah and her sisters.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Change of Plans

Now there will be no spinal tap or PhD interview until next week because Anne is going to deliver the baby tonight! At her appointment today she was already dilated some and the baby is still breech with a foot hanging down low. The doctor doesn't want any chance of a breech delivery that could be dangerous, so we are going to the hospital tonight to try and turn the baby. If it works, they will induce Anne. If it doesn't, she will have a C-section.
We will keep you posted!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayer team

First, I wanted to share another blog of our trip to Sea World. Click Here to go to Heroes for Children's website to read the blog.

Second, I wanted to ask you to pray for Sarah on March 25th. She goes for another spinal tap and we've noticed they are harder for her emotionally and physically. So we wanted to depend on the only One who can give us the strength to endure. If you can pray for her starting at 8am C.S.T. to 12pm CST on the 25th that would be wonderful. She always likes to know people are praying for her so you can also email us back and she can be encouraged with your comments.

Third and final item is we have the D-Date or End Date. March 24th, 2012 will be the final day of Sarah's treatments. This means we are almost a year away! My personality loves to be able to count down to achieving a goal so I need to share a few numbers with you:)
5 more spinal taps: including one coming up on 25th of March.
12 more monthly visits for chemo
12 more monthly steroid dosages (4 days,every month)
379 more days of chemo pills.

There is starting be a light at the end of the tunnel in this process. We are trusting God that He will continue to keep the leukemia away and for complete healing of Sarah so we can finish the protocol.

While I am asking for prayer, we have another item or two. I will be traveling from the 15th to 24th of March. We originally thought this would give me plenty of time to return home before Deborah is born but with Anne's gestational diabetes and Deborah is breeched, they've moved the induction as early as the 29th of March. Please pray for our family especially the safety of Anne and Deborah Faith.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sarah in the news

Click below to watch Sarah on KSAT 12 in San Antonio.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a day to remember

On the 19th of February, 2010, we anxiously made our way to the Hong Kong airport. We were hoping that our decision to return to the U.S. for Sarah's treatment was the right decision. Our family was finishing 5-6 weeks of great trials and personally I was concerned that the challenge of moving back across the Pacific could possibly be the pressure point that pushes us over the edge. The thought of being on a 12 hour flight with Sarah just finishing five weeks of intensive chemo was extremely scary to me.

As we boarded the flight, after being held for 15 minutes outside the gate because the pilot was mulling the decision to allow Sarah to board or not, we experienced another great hand of the Lord. Psalm 94:19 " When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." I really don't know how Anne and I stayed sane during those 12 hours but I must tell you when the plane landed in San Francisco I had a huge relief come over me. (I probably checked her temp 50 times during the flight. Her poor little ears were sore.)

Now looking back, we know it was the right decision and we praise God ,but it has been a year in the U.S. that was not planned. Previously we had moved over the Pacific three different times. They were all on our own plans and according to our wishes, but the fourth was not. It is like what Jesus told Peter in John 21, in your surrender to Him there are times you go places you don't want to go in a way you don't want to go. Of course, I am like Peter so I immediately start pointing to others and Jesus reminds me that my relationship is one on one with Him.

Here we are a year later and the story continues. I know we have not written in a long time because we are just tired. Not so much physically tired, but just tired of it. We are tired of the pills, tired of the doctor appointments, tired of the struggles. Yet once again we get to share a testimony of how our Father, who has unfailing love for us, answers our prayers.

Sunday night we attended a Valentine's event for Heroes for Children, It was a wonderful event. The kids had fun in their part of Northwood Country Club and they had a "romantic" room set up for the parents. It was great. As you entered you saw all of the door prizes. The Clark Family won a Wii for our first door prize which was great, but they also had a "big prize". Guess what? We won. We are leaving on Monday for a three day trip to San Antonio to have a personal tour of Sea World. The girls will paint with the sea lions. (Daddy will try to get in on that one.) We will also stay at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. Most people say that alone is enough of a vacation.

Yet again, the Lord hears our prayers and gives us this wonderful gift so that we can take a few days to try to forget our current situation and be renewed for the journey ahead.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snacks for Kids with Cancer

Please click on the picture for details on how to be a part of this service project.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daddy is home

Jay is back home, and we have had no more ER runs. Sarah is doing fine and has just had to go to the clinic for routine blood checks and chemo.
It is nice to have these normal days. Some might say boring, but we praise God for boring:)
Although, with three little girls and a jetlagged daddy, you might think our days are anything but normal. Just trying to get through the homeschool daily schedule, keep Rebekah from coloring on everything in sight(where does she get these writing instruments?), and trying to catch my breath as I carry my big belly from one room to the next, is enough to keep us busy.
Drop by if you'd like to visit. We would love to see you and take advantage of this lull in sickness at our house and ER visits.
We did have a fun outing to the bookstore tonight. When Sarah Grace was in-patient not too long ago, she was shocked that the library at Children's Medical Center in Plano didn't have any American Girl books. So she decided to buy some and give them to the hospital library. We went tonight and she took her money and my coupon (my new thing of not going anywhere without a coupon) and bought 8 books in all. She was so very happy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

ER round 2

We just got back from the ER tonight-yes, again. Sarah got another fever this evening, high enough to call the hospital, and they said we had to come in. It was only a 3.5 hour visit this time, and now we play the waiting game again and watch if her fever goes up again and wait to see if the hospital calls with a germ in her blood. Her blood counts have come down but only to 1900, which is still good enough to come home and continue on as normal, well normal for us:)
I am still betting this is a virus that will hopefully run its course soon!
Thanks to technology though we are able to keep Daddy posted and he is able to be in on decisions and much needed support. As we sat in our ER room in Children's Medical in Plano, Jay texted my phone from his meeting in Cambodia!
Well, off to get a little rest as you never know what tomorrow will bring:)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Past 24 hours and still clear

We have made it past 24 hours with no high fevers and the hospital hasn't called saying the blood culture has grown any bacteria. So we are out of red alert and back down to orange.
Thank you for the encouraging emails and for checking up on us. I can't believe a week has gone by already, and we just have one more week to go until Jay returns.
With the Clark Family Schedule on the blackboard in the kitchen and with a few errands and classes for the girls here and there, the time moves along nicely each day. And of course, rest time for all from 1-3pm is faithfully enforced for the sanity of all - or maybe mostly for mommy's.
We do miss seeing our friends around here though and would love to have you for a visit anytime:)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Short ER Visit-just 3 hours!

Sarah got a fever over 101.5 in the wee morning hours 3am, and after waiting an hour or so and her temp to confirm a few times, we had to call the hospital and then come to the ER for IV antibiotics and to take her blood to see what germ she has. But now we get to go home until they hear back from the lab on the blood culture results. Her ANC (good white blood count) is over 4000 which is a big jump from yesterday when it was 1390 at clinic. So it looks like her body is fighting something. I just pray we don't have to be admitted to the hospital to continue fighting it.
Sarah looks pretty good though and feels fine to go home.
I am a bit excited that we can hit Chick-fila on the way home for a chicken biscuit!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

House Dish Washer is Missing

I just realized that our house dish washer hasn't been to work in a couple of days when I came into the kitchen and saw both sides of the sink with mountains of dirty dishes. Jay does so much around here that he leaves big gaps when he is gone. Which reminds me that I must go out in the freezing rain before the sun comes up to put out the garbage can (after filling it with the trash from our house). I am counting down the 13 days left until Jay gets back from Asia.
Jay doesn't just give our family practical help. He also leads our family spiritually which are big shoes to fill when he is gone as he leads our morning family devotions. I have decided to capitalize on the 'all girl' aspect of our house during this time and do a mother/daughter devotion with the girls called The Princess and the Kiss. We have only done one so far and all I can say is I managed not to lose it at Rebekah as she shuffles around whining and crying loudly the whole time, at Hannah for her extreme handicapped in focusing and listening, and at Sarah for not ever wanting to admit that there is any hint of wrong in her life (such a perfectionistic attitude surely isn't coming from me:)!). I need to pray more before we start these little sessions as I really want to model for the girls to deny self and follow Christ in his love and sacrifice.
I was highly motivated to make it to church this morning as I am the sole guardian right now, so I am all there is even when I'm being pushed to the edge. Worshipping God renewed my soul and refreshed my weary heart to continue after Jesus. After making it home in the blizzard the girls played a bit in the snow and we made snow ice cream. Thank you God for such a fun and beautiful time.
If you don't hear back from me, I am either doing really badly and have blown it so much that the growling mommy voice is all I have left, or I am doing really well and I need every once of mental and emotional capacity to keep going. I do know that by prayer and supplication, by meditating on God's words, and by keeping focused on Him - the miracle of modeling the denial of self and following of Christ will happen. And in my weakness, He is strong.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new beginning

Today I rejoice because I am sitting at the gymnastics class not just watching Hannah, but Sarah Grace also. She is running, smiling, jumping and having fun. As this time last year she was weak, tired and sick. God continues to heal her and it brings so much joy to see her enjoying life a little.

Overall Sarah is doing really good. They have stabilized her liver enzymes, her ability to metabolize the toxicity of the chemo along with keeping a high metabolism that fights off the return of cancer cells are all really good. Her ANC is leveled at 1500 which they want so all in all we are thankful that everything is finally stabilizing. Of course, she has her spinal tap on Wednesday which is a nasty reminder that some things in 2011 will not change. She is already nervous about the procedure so please be praying for her. After Wed, we will only have 5 more to go!!! (once every three months ending in April 2012)

Also, I ask for your prayers as I start on another trip. It is ironic that I will be in Hong Kong on January 15th which is the one year anniversary of her diagnosis. It might be harder than I think but what I have realized in remembering 2010 is not just the hurt but the awesome presence of Jesus, which brings joy in the midst of the trial.