Praise the Lord! Thanks to everyone’s prayers and our amazing God who is sovereign over all things and circumstances, we found some people to help with watching Asaphie at Lurie for the next several Thursdays! We are so thankful that he will be able to stay with us in the hospital and be close by as Ella Joy gets her chemotherapy treatments, spinal taps, ct scans, blood transfusions and other procedures on Thursdays! The reason we wanted Asaphie to be with us and not drop him off somewhere outside of the hospital is because this will be our lives weekly for the next 6 months and then for the next 2 and a half years. I might be borderline crazy, but ever since they were born I was always the kind of mom who never hired babysitters. Instead, I would take them everywhere with me. I never wanted to miss a beat with them, because before you know it, they grow up so fast and you wonder where those childhood years went? When we were at U of I, there were so many awesome college students who house sat while Mike and I went to small group. I was always so thankful for these students who were probably very much in need of money, but they always offered to housesit because they wanted to and because it was a way of serving God.
Not only did God provide some phenomenal people to help with watching Asaph at Lurie, but when I was praying to God for help with driving especially when the fierce winter approaches … our good friend Eddie volunteers to drive us on Wednesdays so we can stay downtown and then go straight to Lurie first thing in the morning on Thursday. Mike and I are so incredibly thankful for so many sacrifices our friends are making to help our family out and to make our lives a little easier.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The drugs are definitely kicking in and we are seeing changes in Ella Joy’s livelihood. She is definitely more moody and sensitive. Please pray God would help her to be in control of her feelings and mood swings. Also, we pray she would be brave. Whenever we head to downtown Chicago, she asks, “What are they gonna do to me?” She is traumatized by all the chemotherapy, needles & bloodwork, medicine, and procedures. Mike says he noticed that her hair is thinning too. We were so thankful someone gave us special shampoo that helps soothe the scalp for when Ella Joy’s hair falls out. One huge prayer request is for God to protect her body from infections, germs and bacteria. Her bottom was hurting the other night and also this morning. I was wondering if it was from the chemo drugs, prednisone, zolfran, or powderlax (miralax)? The good news is that we found out it was just a little irritation. We were relieved because we knew that if it was an infection, we would have to rush her to the hospital immediately.
Before Ella Joy started chemotherapy she loved playing with Asaph. They were best friends and did everything together. These days, she yells out for him to leave her alone. We need to pray for wisdom to know how to discipline Ella Joy when she acts out. On one hand, we know the chemo drugs and steroids cause her to be extra moody and sensitive. But on the other hand, if we do not discipline her, Asaph will see how she acts and imitate her and think it is okay to act out and never get disciplined.
One huge decision we made was to have Ella Joy take dissolvable prednisone tablets versus the liquid. I used to follow Ella Joy around the house for hours to have her take liquid prednisone. It was tiring on Ella Joy, on me, and anyone who was watching. When we found out they made dissolvable tablets we were so excited but even with insurance these pills are so incredibly expensive! In the end, Mike and I agreed that it was definitely worth it to get them.
The meal train has been such a wonderful way people have served our family. Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org who has started this up for us, we have not had to cook or eat out this entire week! I even use the meals to pack for Mike’s lunches and it has been such a great help to our family. So we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone signing up for meals, and for everyone who already delivered us meals! We are so thankful for this gesture of love and support!
When our friend Alice was making Ella Joy and me a matching hat set, she shared that when she was in the specialty yarn shop, she met some women and one of them had a daughter with cancer. That woman gave Alice very specific advice on tips for making hats for chemo patients! Things that she would have never thought of, like texture of yarn, breathability, comfort in stitches, etc. She went on to say how she felt God ordained that moment. I really do believe that God is in the details of everything! I was so encouraged hearing about that encounter.
It was great getting to meet up again with the Cho family. They have become our mentors and are always there for us when we have any questions or concerns. I always want to remember to pray for Sophie that she would continue to be the brave and beautiful “feisty fighter” as she finishes her treatments.
After another long day of chemotherapy and being at the hospital and downtown, we took the train back home and got the kids in bed only to find out that our heater didn’t work and it just so happened that night would drop to freezing temperatures. We knew we would need a new motor, and we knew that it wouldn’t be cheap either. We were so thankful that we had 2 space heaters and Mike set them up in Ella Joy and Asaph’s rooms so they would not freeze overnight. A preacher once said when you are a Christian, you are always in one of three scenarios: entering into a storm, currently in a storm, or just getting out of a storm in life. I am not going to try to compare my life with that of Job from the Bible, but we have definitely had many storms come our way, one after another after another. But instead of focusing on expensive problems and why so many difficult and challenging things are consuming our lives, we really pray for a heart that would focus on all the blessings He has given to us in our lives. Amazing friends & family who pray for us and support, encourage, and love us. I cannot emphasize enough how we covet everyone’s prayers for Ella Joy and our family.
We are so very thankful our friend Nana ordered bracelets & our friend Meredith ordered shirts for people to wear to remember to pray for Ella Joy especially on Thursdays her chemotherapy day! We are really excited about that!
Mike’s mom said there was a woman with cancer and she prayed this Bible verse over and over again as she went through chemotherapy and eventually became cancer free…
“The Lord is my strength and my song: he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous. The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.” Psalms 118:14-18
Please pray that Ella Joy would continue to love and trust Jesus throughout her fight against cancer. That she would grow to have an extraordinary testimony of God’s healing power and love for her. I pray that God would have amazing plans for her life, plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11