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Jun
23
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cancer doesn’t take vacations, but we did!

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APRIL 2015One month ago, we were standing on the beach. We weren’t sure if it was going to happen, but Noah’s counts were good, so the doctor gave us the green light to go!

It was such a refreshing time for Noah. He did get tired, and food was still hard for him to smell. He still had to take his medicine and his nightly chemo, but having a change of scenery was wonderful for him and us! We are so thankful!

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Apr
30
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Halfway!

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20150429_185401If you look at when we started this journey, January 10, 201,4 to our end date, August 22, 2016, we are now halfway there! Halfway done!

To do the math, you have to take the first 17 weeks of treatment from Phase 1 & Phase 2 + the 120 weeks of the last phase of treatment, divide that by 2 = 68.5 weeks, the halfway mark for Noah’s Total Treatment.

Now take –
the 17 weeks of Phase 1 & Phase + 51.5 weeks of Phase 3 = 68.5 weeks.

That means today, since we are in the middle of week 51, is the halfway point of Noah’s total treatment. I am so thankful to be halfway done! We are celebrating by getting discharged from the hospital today (after being here a few days with a fever).

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Apr
19
Sunday, April 19, 2015

Game ball 4-18-15

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20150418_133005Noah goes to St. Jude every Monday and gets chemo in an IV. He gets chemo every night at home in a pill. And then he goes and throws people out, hits the ball, and runs home. He really should get the “game ball” every single time. What a trooper!

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Jan
13
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Reflections from a Year of Cancer

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As I sit here, thinking about what we were going through a year ago, I am thankful that I can hear my son in another room, playing and acting like himself. I am thankful to hear “life.” A year ago, we were sitting at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital wondering if our son was going to die. There were several possibilities of why he was sick and we didn’t know yet what that was. Was it a virus that could cause great damage to his organs or even kill him, was something called aplastic anemia that there isn’t a great solution for, or was it a cancer that would require us to ask our other two kids to be a bone marrow donor? All of this just sickened me to think about. The only way to know for sure, was to do a procedure called a bone marrow aspirate. We got word late that night that Noah had cancer. Words a parent never wants to hear.

Noah has Leukemia (ALL), a very common childhood cancer. We live near the best children’s hospital for this treatment – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A hospital that has changed ALL’s cure rate from 4% to now 94%. And a hospital that not only gives the best care, but doesn’t charge us anything that our insurance won’t pay! Seriously! You see, there is blessing after blessing IF I just look for it. God is so good to us.

I know now that eventhough I really didn’t want to hear this diagnosis, it was a blessing. The alternatives were so breathtaking, that Leukemia really was a gift.  A gift that I didn’t want to receive, yet would gladly take it over the other options. A gift that isn’t easy, yet has made me more dependent on God. You see since then, I have learned how God is so gracious and kind to us. Many times we don’t even know how good God is to us, unless you look. But I look at things differently now. He protected my thoughts before Noah was sent to St. Jude. He has provided for our needs. Our church, friends, and family have wrapped their arms around us and cared for us so well. We rejoice in the normal things now – normal days, normal behavior, normal eating. He has even given us new friends that are in the pediatric cancer family like us. He has given us a Christian doctor and team to take care of Noah. Am I joyful that we are going through this? No! But I do know God that can give me the courage I need, and I remind myself daily that joy is found in Him.

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Sep
01
Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

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Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 2nd) marks the beginning of Noah’s Reinduction 2 phase, which is 3 weeks long. This is the last Reinduction in his treatment plan, which means this is the last time he gets hammered with some strong chemo. Yes, we are ready to get this part behind us! We still have 2 years of weekly/nightly treatment left, finishing up in August 2016.

Praises – Noah has had a few days recently where he hasn’t been quite so nauseous. He still hasn’t had an appetite, but he is able to tolerate some food smells, and for us to even mention food names without it being terrible. He has acted more like himself, which is a HUGE blessing, it had been a very long time and we have missed his spunky personality.

Prayer requests – Tomorrow is a big day. Noah will not be able to eat until after his procedure, which will probably be around 3:00. He hasn’t had an appetite, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but sure enough, tomorrow will be the day he does.

He has spinal procedure at 2:00. Pray that this goes smoothly. He has had several of these, but it still isn’t easy. (He has had a traumatic spinal in the past that have hurt his legs, so it worries us.)

We are scheduled to start his chemo at 6:45 tomorrow evening and it should last about 2 1/2 hours. One of the chemos he gets will make him feel crummy all week. We are very thankful that since he is low risk, he will only receive this chemo one more time during his treatment (in 2 weeks).

Noah starts another big round of steroids. Pray that it doesn’t give him mood swings, etc. that most children have with it.

I have seen the power of prayer first hand many times. We covet your prayers. Pray that this medicine does the job it’s supposed to do while protecting his healthy cells, and causing no ill effects. Please pray that cancer doesn’t dominate our life. We have had a hard summer, and I pray that after these next 3 weeks, it starts to get easier on Noah (and us). He has been such a trooper!
Thank you!

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Jul
13
Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014

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6 months6 months into this journey and 110 weeks to go! (We should finish up treatment in August 2016.) So thankful to have the past 6 months behind us, and praying that the next two years can be somewhat “normal” and fever free!

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Jun
05
Thursday, June 5, 2014

Team Noah Shirts

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TeamNoahShirtB_webWe’ve had interest in ordering more Team Noah t-shirts. So, if that’s you, you can order here. Deadline is June 20th. Thank you! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ZgzjHDXI0-L7vlo9UKPl4KNlKFKyHHyRzGPWW8pTbxE/viewform?usp=send_form

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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Jun
01
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Week 4 of 120

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20140531_191646The last couple weeks have been pretty good for Noah. His days at St. Jude are hard, but he’s much better the rest of the week. We are thankful that the better days have outweighed the bad ones. We are thankful for days he can run in the sprinkler, or jump in a little pool. It wasn’t long ago where he couldn’t even take a normal bath. So, we are thankful for medical devices like a port, that makes Noah feel a little more normal.

Tomorrow, he gets the same chemo he got a few weeks ago that caused him a lot of nerve pain. Please pray that he will not have that this time. We are giving him some medicine that will hopefully prevent it. Also, he will be back on a steriod this week. Please pray that he has no ill side effects from it, which would be a miracle. We know we serve a mighty God that still performs miracles. And with God, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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May
14
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Menu Board

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DSC_2117This week was the first time I was able to erase my Menu board. This was our menu the week of January 10th. It was just a reminder to me of what our week was like before, and it was hard to erase (just like it was hard for me to flip my house calendar from January to April).

I remember sitting in the doctor’s office that Friday. We were waiting and waiting on our doctor to hear back from another doctor, I didn’t know it was from St. Jude. I knew Noah had been diagnosed with Strep and the Flu earlier, and I figured something else like Mono or some temporary virus would be his diagnosis. I remember calling Tim after being there for almost 4 hours, and I told him the appointment was lasting longer than I thought, so instead of making pizza that night, we would just pick one up. But that never happened. A few hours later, we were heading to Memphis.

Just like erasing the Menu board or flipping the calendar, it is hard to look at “before” pictures. Pictures of a sweet little baby, or even from Christmas, knowing that I didn’t know then, but in just a few weeks my life would totally be different. But, I am so thankful for God’s blessing to us in the midst of this. He has taught me so much through this suffering, and even through the midst of it, He continues to bless us.

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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May
08
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Finding a New Normal

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DSC_2293Noah finished his last scheduled inpatient stay. He had his last high dose Methotrexate on April 28th. Everything went well, except for being nauseous (something he is still battling). Now, I know that this probably won’t be our last inpatient stay, because in the next 2 1/2 years, if Noah runs a fever, he will be put inpatient and given antibiotics. But, this is our last scheduled stay.

Noah also got a port. He has had a line coming out of his chest that he was receiving his medicine through and labs were being drawn. This line served a great purpose but was high maintenance. Noah had been resistant to the idea of changing to a port. I think it was just the unknown that made him nervous. But who can blame him, he has been through so much, I think I would be unsure too. We tried to persuade him by telling him he could go swimming with a port, but that didn’t matter. So we moved to the next best thing, a bike. Thankfully that was all it took for him to get on board.

So, May brought us past many hurdles in this Leukemia treatment plan. No more scheduled inpatient stays, no more bags of fluids to deal with. No more Leucovorin (a medicine that has to be given at a precise time). No more dressing changes, no more flushing his line, no more sponge baths, and hospital bags that can be unpacked. Yes, we are excited!

We are anxious to find our new normal, one that lets us be home more. I’m not going to lie though, I would rather not find a new normal. I want to go back to the old normal. It just makes me sad for Noah and what he has to go through. But, then I am reminded of God’s blessing on our lives, even through this hardship, and I know that we can do this. I know this will all be used for His glory, and some day Noah will be an encouragement to many others. God has been faithful to us so far, and I know He will continue to be. So, new normal, here we come!

Categories : Family, Leukemia, Noah
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