The “Scary Adventure”

This blog is intended to share updates on Brennen’s journey with family and friends so as to better help them know how to be praying for him.

When beginning this journey Brennen said, “I’m starting my scary adventure.” Though it is scary and there are a lot of unknowns, we do know the God who formed Brennen in Jenny’s womb and know that He is in complete control over everything that happens in our lives.

Our prayer is that God would be glorified through this journey that He has placed us on.

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Thankful For Change

Brennen went back to Children’s Hospital for blood labs to see if his immune system was gaining strength. We are grateful that his ANC (a picture of how strong your immune system is) came back at 400. It’s a great number compared to the 32 he had on Tuesday but we pray that it will continue to rise.

During this phase of treatment the doctors want to see it between 500-1500 (a typical person’s ANC would be somewhere between 4000-6000). He will continue to hold off on taking his daily chemo until his ANC is over 750. We will be taking more labs sometime next week to ensure he is continuing to strengthen.

Thank you for praying for Brennen. Please pray that we continue to see his ANC rise and that he would stay free of any sicknesses that could easily tear down his immune system when it’s so weak.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”             — James 1:2-4

32 . . . Please Pray

32. It has been my favorite number for as long as I can remember. Though today, it’s not a number I wanted to hear.

This morning, Brennen went in for his monthly treatment to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Everything looked good. He’s been active, feeling great, and all his vitals were showing to be normal. He received his monthly dose of vincristine through his medi-port as they drew blood labs and we were done.

As usual, Jeanette, the nurse, called with Brennen’s lab results but this time it was different. She said his ANC was 32. The goal is to have his ANC between 500-1500. Anything below 500 means you pretty much don’t have any immune system. We are stopping two of his oral chemotherapies for a few days to see if his body will rebuild the ANC.

As Jenny and I listened to Jeanette read of his lab results it was hard not to be fearful. Brennen’s ANC has not been this low for at least a year and maybe never during his treatment. Jenny and I have already been a bit emotional as we have been talking bout how it was three years ago this Thursday (10/12) that this journey of A.L.L. began when we took Brennen to the E.R. in San Luis Obispo, CA.

As we ask you to pray for Brennen we are confident that our great God is completely in control. God has never promised that life will be easy. In fact, the Bible teaches us that God works everything, and I mean everything, for His glory and our good. While we may not always know what the “good” is we pray that our faith will be strengthened as He stretches us.

Please also pray for Brennen. With his ANC being so low he is not allowed to be out in public and there were plans of a trip to a trampoline park on Friday. While he’s disappointed at the thought of not being able to go he is trusting that his doctor and us will make the best decision for him.

All of us are like Brennen. We may look okay on the outside but we have an issue on the inside. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” While we may not see ourselves as sinful, compared to God’s perfection we have all fallen short. We need God to provide a way to help us be made right with Him and He did exactly that when Jesus came to earth to die. Romans 6:23 says, “The wages (consequence) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” We receive His forgiveness when we confess and turn away from our sin and put our faith in Jesus’ death alone to save us. We pray that God’s truth will cause us all to turn to Him for forgiveness.

Thank you for praying and supporting us on this long journey. We pray that there are just 6 more months of treatment left!

 

Sharing His Own Story

A lot of time has passed since I last gave an update on Brennen. He continues to receive his different medications each day at home and once a month goes in for treatment to Children’s Hospital. We thank God for his continued health. If he does not have a reoccurrence, there are 9 months left until the end of treatment. On one hand it feels like an eternity away, yet at the same time, it doesn’t feel that far away.

On Monday (6/19) Make-A-Wish Wisconsin had their annual golf tournament to raise money to help grant more kids’ wishes. I believe they said they have over 300 kids waiting for their wishes to be granted. We are grateful to Make-A-Wish and how they have blessed Brennen and our family through this battle with Leukemia.

A couple months ago one of the Make-A-Wish employees had asked if Brennen would be willing to share about his Wish Trip to the participants of the golf tournament. He was a bit tentative while preparing but he did an amazing job in front of over 200 people. I cracked up when he said to me, “I’m not scared. But for some reason my knees are shaking.” Afterwards, he received a standing ovation. It was such an encouragement to see the support of everyone who was there.

Thank you to each of you for praying and supporting Brennen and our family.  We never want to presume on God’s mercy but, instead, remain fervently prayerful and dependent upon Him.

In His Own Words: Day 7-8

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Day 7: We got up early in the morning and got dressed. Then we got off the boat at Castaway Cay and went to get our snorkel stuff then went snorkeling. I saw a hidden Mickey Mouse. Then we went to lunch on the island. Then went to swim out to the water slide. Then went back to the ship and met Captain Mickey, then met Lizeth, the cruise line Make-A-Wish ambassador. Then had ice cream. Then went to dinner at Animator’s Palate. Then watched an amazing show, “Dreams.”

Day 8:  We said goodbye to the amazing ship. We were sad. Got off the ship. We rode a bus back to the airport

In His Own Words: Day 5-6

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Day 5: We got up from sleeping and got dressed. We went to midship and got on a little boat to go to shore. We took a bus to swim with a dolphin. I felt it. I danced with it. I swam out to the middle of the pool. The dolphin came to me. I got on its belly and it swam. Then I took a boogie board and (the dolphin) pushed me fast. I had so much fun.

Then we took the bus back to the boats and got on one of them. Went to the ship and had lunch Lumiere’s. Then we went swimming. Then went to dinner at Carioca’s Restaurant. Then went to our rooms and went to bed.

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Day 6:  We got up from sleeping and got dressed. Then went to breakfast at Lumiere’s. it was a great breakfast. Then we went to watch Moana at the Disney Theater. It was so cool. Then went to lunch on deck 9. Then we went to the kids club. We went to our rooms and got dressed and went to dinner at Lumiere’s. It was a good dinner. Then we went to the theater to watch Tangled the Musical. Then we went to our rooms and went to bed. It was a good day.

In His Own Words: Day 3-4

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Day 3:  We got up from sleeping and watched a movie. We got dressed and cleaned the 3 hotel rooms. I colored a picture on the little desk. We went to breakfast downstairs. This was the most best breakfast I have had for a long time. I had a great time having breakfast. Then we went back to our rooms and got packed then we went back downstairs and waited for our car. Then the car got to the hotel. We got in the car then we prayed for safe travel. Our driver took us into a tunnel under water then back out. We drove past some cruises then we got to our cruise ship. We took our suit cases and rolled them with us. We checked in and got our kids club bracelets then we got our “key to the world” cards and our number was called.

We went on the ship and went to deck 9 and got lunch. Then we went to our rooms. Our room numbers were 6018 and 6016. Our suite cases were not there so we walked through the ship.

We went back to our rooms and our suitcases were there. But we did not get our swimsuits to swim. We went to the castaway party. There were a lot of shines then we went to dinner and after we went to the theater and watched a show. Then we went to our rooms and got dressed and went to bed.

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Day 4:  We got up from sleeping and got dressed. We went to breakfast and had a good breakfast. Then we got to go to our rooms and got our swimsuits on and went to the swimming pool. I went to the aqua dunk (water slide). It was so fun. We went to lunch then we went to our room sand got dressed and went to the kids club.

Then we got supper and went to the theater and watched a show. Then it was time for the Pirates of the Caribbean party. We sat by the aqua dunk. I sat on it. Then we went to our rooms and went to bed.

In His Own Words: Day 2

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We got up from sleeping and got dressed and went downstairs and got breakfast. Then we went to the boats we got on to it.We got a tour of the Miami River. We went to lunch at Chili’s.Then went shopping for sunglasses. We went to 5 places to find them. Then we found them. Then we went back to the hotel, watched a movie. Then got dinner. Having fun.