Try . . . Try Again

imageMonday we came to Fresno for two days of chemo but Brennen’s counts were too low to have treatment. We came back again today to try and they are even lower. As a result of the low counts, he skips one of the chemos but is able to receive two other. Unfortunately, one of the chemos is a 3-hour infusion. It wouldn’t be too bad if his appointment wasn’t so late in the day and with the 3-hour he can’t eat. Brennen is pretty tough but hunger is not something he deals well with. 🙂

imageIt is hard when his counts continue to go down because you begin to wonder, “Has the leukemia come back?” I think these questions are natural when your child is battling cancer. It’s challenging when outwardly he looks “okay” and then his blood tests show his body is weakening after the constant chemo hitting his littl body. He has lost weight and back to his weight a year ago.

As a parent you love your children and don’t want to see them going through things like this. Your heart is broken as you see the impact of chemo on their body and long for the day that you can say, “Cancer free.” You pray the long term side effects will be minimal. Along the way there are challenges to cause you to remember you’re not in control.

A verse that has been on my mm do this week is, Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” I have to remind myself to not trust my own thinking and to trust my all-sovereign God who is in control.

Please Pray:

  • His counts will rise and he won’t have to skip any more chemo.
  • He will not have a reoccurrence of leukemia.
  • His appetite for good food would increase and his weight begin to rise.
  • Smooth transition to doctors in Wisconsin when we move.

“Fight Song” Video – Valley Children’s Hospital

Valley Children’s Hospital just released this video a couple days ago. It features many of the nurses and doctors of the oncology team that have provided quality and compassionate care to Brennen over the past year. We are so thankful for their encouragement to fight on. Each of these cancer kids represent many more who are bravely fighting. Watch the video below and don’t forget to share it with others. 😀

Click Image To Play Video
Click Image To Play Video

A Birthday Celebration!

IMG_8709 IMG_8645 IMG_8651Last Monday (8/10) was Brennen’s 7th birthday. It was a special Monday because we weren’t traveling to Fresno for treatment. Instead, we had a fun-filled day. First off we enjoyed breakfast at his favorite place, Huckleberry’s, and even had our favorite waitress. Then we had a blast testing our bowling skills.

After a quick stop to Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obisp Brennen wanted ice cream sandwiches instead of a cake and so we ended up at Cowboy Cookie (aka AMAZING!). While there the fire alarm went off in the building and fire engines showed up. The kids loved being able to talk to the firefighters after we knew everything was okay. It will definitely be a birthday to remember.

IMG_8711Last Thursday Brennen went to Children’s for another round of chemo. We were thankful his counts were very high and he was able to have his treatment. We are scheduled to be back in Fresno this coming Monday and Tuesday for treatments.

The last few weeks I’ve been studying the life of Abraham. What has struck in my study is that God promises Abraham several things and yet does not immediately give them to Abraham. Abraham travels through the land with God reminding him of His promise two times and still doesn’t receive it. In fact, after following God’s leading by faith, God tells Abraham that he would not ever receive the land promised but it would be his descendants who receive it. Abraham was definitely not perfect, just read Genesis 16 if you think he was, but Abraham patiently trusted the the Lord’s direction, timing, and provision.

The lesson God was teaching Abraham was not about the end (land), it was about trusting Him on the journey. The faithfulness of God and the true land Abraham hoped for (heaven – Hebrews 11:10) were the foundations of Abraham’s faith that caused him to keep trusting and following.

I share about Abraham because I feel that God has been showing me that I need to trust Him for everything in my life. As soon as I THINK I know what He is doing He reminds me with a change in plans that causes me to have to just trust Him even more.
We are 8 1/2 months into Brennen’s treatment. In some ways it is easy to become numb to what is going on. At the same time it’s hard to find “normal” as each treatment phase is different. I don’t ever want the fact that “my son is having toxic chemicals pumped into his system to try to make sure this cancer doesn’t come back” to ever be “normal.”

Brennen has done so well up to this phase of his treatment. It is when I see old photos of him that I am reminded of how much muscle mass he has lost. He has been struggling to find enjoyable things to eat and is back to his weight one year ago.
The journey has been long and there is a lot more still ahead but I see the faithfulness of God to give wisdom and strength for each day. I pray that I will be patient and trust him so as to not miss out what He has to teach me IN the journey.

Pray Requests:

  • Brennen’s appetite to return and his weight to increase.
  • Brennen’s counts to remain high and allow treatment to continue.
  • Brennen’s protection from current and longterm side effects.
  • Endurance for everyone in the family.
  • Successful transition to new doctors in Wisconsin.

Ready . . . Begin . . . Again

IMG_8591Yesterday Brennen’s counts were high enough and he began the next phase (#7) of treatment. Up to this point, we have mostly been coming into the clinic every Monday but this phase has treatments days 1 & 2 then 11 and continues about each 10 days. Each time he has to have high enough counts for EACH treatment. Things can get delayed during this phase but we pray they won’t. It’s definitely challenging to get into any kind of routine for our family.

Monday he did great with the procedure when’d hey put him to sleep. He was encouraged by his great grandpa and grandma Salisbury who were in California and stopped by to say hi. The good was capped off with a fun pool party at the Hull’s house. 🙂

Tuesday we were back at the hospital again for another chemo and we are thankful he didn’t have any reactions to it. Now we get 8 days to catch our breaths.

Many of you have probably heard that our family is going to be moving to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We have been praying about it and I have accepted a pastoral position at a church there. It is emotional to think of leaving a place we’ve loved but look forward to what the Lord has in store for us. Brennen will be continuing treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (about 1-hour away) for the next 2 1/2 years.

Please be praying for our family as we make plans for our big move and that Brennen will continue to remain healthy and free of side effects.