10/10/13, Thursday we got up early to got to Lurie. Ella Joy was crying that she wanted me to stop the car. She said her forehead hurt. I felt so hopeless because I was driving and I couldn’t do anything to comfort her. She was so upset that she threw up. It took a little over 2 and a half hours to get to Lurie, and when we got there, Ella Joy started her Chemotherapy right away. It broke my heart to see her crying as they gave her vincristine (destroys cancer cells), & daunorubicin (red liquid). Then, we had to give her prednisone (hormones) and allopurinol (white liquid), which she threw up 2 times. The nurse had to tell her that if she didn’t get the drugs down, she would have to stay at the hospital and get a tubie in her nose. She eventually kept it down. I noticed right away how the chemo drugs were affecting her. She kept having to lay her head down, she was tired and complained about her neck and forehead hurting. That night, we had to give her oral drugs again. She was almost done with it, and then when she was sipping the last drops, she threw up again. We had to start the meds all over again. Ella Joy cried and pleaded with us that she was tired and didn’t want anymore drugs. We were relieved she finally got it down her system. Before she went to bed, she wanted me to read her some books. She picked out a few, and wanted me to read her “Love you Forever” by Robert N. Munsch. I told her I didn’t want to read it because it always makes me cry. She insisted, and I could not stop crying as I read the book to her.
When we woke up in the morning, she was singing, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” and then “John 3:16 says that God so loves the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should never die, but have eternal life!” Even though she had such a tough night at the hospital, she woke up singing praises to Jesus! I felt so thankful, because this was the Ella Joy we remembered! We had to do lab work, so we went in, and once again, the needle made Ella Joy cry. All the poking, meds, tests, and labs were wearing on her. Ella Joy asked me why she needed to take all these medications and why we had to be in the hospital. It was then we talked about the word, “cancer” and how the lumps she had were called cancer. After talking with a child life specialist, she seemed to take her oral meds much better. “Praise God!” We will have to go back Monday for peg-asparaginase (IV infusion), so we are praying that she will not have any allergic reactions. Please pray that Ella Joy will continue to take her meds and keep them down. In about a month, she will be getting a port, but for now, she is getting shots and taking oral medication for her chemotherapy. She is only 4 years old, and her little body as been taking a beating as we see the drugs killing her good and bad cells. Being in the 4th stage of cancer, where the t-cells have spread just about everywhere in her body, the only hope we have is that she takes well & her body reacts well to the chemotherapy treatment. We want to thank all our friends and family who have been reaching out to us, praying alongside us, and crying out to God on behalf of us. We 100% believe in the power of prayer and that God hears every single prayer lifted up for Ella Joy. We know this is going to be a very difficult few years ahead of us, but we know we have a God who is faithful and loves Ella Joy even more than we do.
10/14/13 Monday was the peg-asparaginase (IV infusion) day. Ella Joy was terrified of getting more blood work done. She was crying and reluctant to go into the room. I asked our nurse to get the child life specialist. She said she would, but when 20 minutes passed by, I asked again if the child like specialist was coming? The nurse said there was no rush and that we had time. I was so confused because my daughter was crying hysterically, and all the while, I thought the child life specialist was on her way. We ended up getting a really awesome nurse to come in and help Ella Joy and the child life specialist came with her i pad and games to calm Ella Joy down. Mike’s parents were with us, so it was nice to have some help with Asaph. So thankful to find out Ella Joy is not allergic to peg-asparaginase. I was really worried about Ella Joy because she did not take a nap the other day because she was “playing” when she should have been resting, and today was a long and crazy day at the hospital. As much as possible, we want Ella Joy to be able to go to Awana, Poplar Creek story time, and small group Bible study because these are the events she looks forward to all week. Mike called me and we were both in tears as he told me that Ella Joy’s director of Cubbies had someone make absolutely adorable matching hats for Ella Joy and myself to wear. She also made red and blue hats for all the cubbies to wear. This touched our hearts and we really saw the church and Awana leaders coming together to support Ella Joy as much as possible. God really used her Awana director, teachers, leaders, helpers, and old leaders to show Christ’s love to our family.