Same Treatment, New Place, and New Faces

Dr. Paul
Dr. Paul Harker-Murray

Yesterday, Brennen had his monthly treatment and for the first time it was at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. We had a chance last week to meet our key doctor Paul Harker-Murray and get a tour of the clinic. The clinic was just completed in April so it is a state of the art facility. We look forward to getting to know the nurses and staff as they care for Brennen.

IMG_0058
Recovering from the anesthesia.

Brennen was a bit apprehensive due to new nurses and a different location but the staff are wonderful and the procedure went smoothly. It is great that the hospital is under an hour away!

He continues to take daily chemo orally and will go once a month to the hospital for treatment. There are several medications he takes and they vary each day so we have to keep a calendar with a list of what medications he has to take each day to keep us on track. Since Jenny is pregnant she is unable to even touch his medications due to the toxicity of them. It’s just a daily reminder of the powerful drugs he is taking.

As we enter cold and flu season would you remember to pray that God will keep him healthy? Fevers due to infections are what we try too avoid and we that the Lord that, to date, we have not had any hospitalizations due to fevers.

Also pray that everything with our new insurance goes smoothly. There’s a lot of moving pieces when you are going to new clinics, doctors, and hospitals and we are just trying to keep track of everything.

We are getting settled into our new home and enjoying the change of seasons by cleaning up all the leaves in our yard. Thank you for all your prayers and support as we continue this journey!

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Transition Time: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Dr. Razzaqi
Dr. Razzaqi

This update is a few weeks late in coming but Monday, October 12th, was a day full of emotion. First of all, it marked one year since we first took Brennen to the emergency room and it was discovered that there was something wrong going on in his body. It would be another 7 weeks until diagnosis but our journey had begun. It is amazing to thing is how much has transpired this past year in Brennen’s life, body, and in our entire family.

Joy - Child Life Specialist
Joy – Child Life Specialist

Secondly, on October 12th, after being delayed a couple of times, he was able to begin the next phase in his treatment. We are happy that he has finished this most intense phase of treatment . . . now to maintenance. In this phase he is on daily chemo, occasional steroids, and monthly visits to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital for chemo treatments. This phase will last until 3/31/2018 unless there is a relapse. We continue to rejoice in good news and pray for continued health. We have been down this road far enough to know that we can’t put our hope in a date but we can only live in the strength that God gives for each day.

Nurse Cynthia
Nurse Cynthia

Lastly, October 12th was a day of emotion because it was Brennen’s last time at Valley Children’s Hospital. When you go through a traumatic event, the people who have been involved in your life leave a huge impression. As we transition we want to acknowledge all the doctors, nurses, and staff who have served Brennen this past year. (I’m sure I’m missing many names.)

Dr. Ti
Dr. Ti

At Valley Children’s Hospital: Dr. Razzaqi, Dr. Ty, Dr. Gates, Dr. Samuel, and Nurse Practitioner Melinda. Child life specialists Joy and Sara for their care and “distractions” when things were a bit hard. Nurses Cynthia, Patti, Jody, Wendy, Jennifer, and many others whose names are not coming to mind right now who worked tirelessly. Each person we came in contact truly treated Brennen as if he was their child.

Nurse Practitioner Mary
Nurse Practitioner Mary
Nurse Susan & Receptionist Sonya
Nurse Susan & Receptionist Sonya

At the clinic in San Luis Obispo: Nurse Practitioner Mary, nurses Susan and Linda, and receptionist Sonya. They we’re all so encouraging and it was a blessing not having to drive as far for some of the treatments.

Nurse Patty
Nurse Patty

We are also thankful for Karen Borges at Jack’s Helping Hand for her encouragement and gift cards to help with gas and food while traveling to and from appointments. Also for putting on Camp Reach for the Stars. It was a great time for our family to meet other families on a similar journey.

Dr. Gates
Dr. Gates

In looking back over the past year God has been teaching us many things but I believe there have been two main things.

First, that His timing and plans are perfect. Countless times we have said, “here’s the plan” and countless times things have not happened that way. It’s a good reminder that we are not in control but we can trust our sovereign God who is in absolute control. I am thankful that God is in absolute control because we would have no hope if He wasn’t. Everything would be left up to “chance.” Just as God was sovereign over the creation of the universe and leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt He faithfully leads us with wisdom and power.

Nurse Angela in Sedation Services
Nurse Angela in Sedation Services

The second thing God has taught us this past year is that our hope is not in doctors, medicine, or even statistics. Please don’t misunderstand me. Our doctors have been amazing and medicine is not a bad thing. It is easy to put confidence of Brennen’s healing in “things” but God has not promised us that Brennen will be cured of cancer. Instead, He has promised in the Bible to lead us and give us the strength for each day. We are thankful, over this last year, that God has kindly chosen to give Brennen great health through the means of doctors and medicine. We faithfully pray it continues but mostly we trust His plan to cause our faith in Him to grow. Without our faith in our sovereign God this past year would have been chaos. We give Him the praise for the work that He has done in Brennen’s body and our family’s life.

Solo Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory)