We thank you all for praying with us through this very challenging week for Ella Joy full of procedures and chemotherapy. Kim, Christy, Jeannie, Stephany, Nam Mee, Angela, LJ, and Gina, thank you for being such an amazing help for us this week of inpatient stay! Please pray that God would continue to provide help for Asaph as there are some weeks we have help but need to double up for different morning and afternoon shifts at the RMH. The night before the Thursday procedures, we were in bed together, and Ella Joy looked at me and said, “Mommy, in the Bible, Jesus looks smaller in the pictures, but when we see Him in heaven, He will look bigger.” What she said reminded me of a quote from CS Lewis from Prince Caspian that a pastor had recently shared in his message at a family retreat, “ “Aslan” said Lucy “you’re bigger”.
”That is because you are older, little one” answered he.
”Not because you are?”
”I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger”.”
Thank you so much for your prayers! Ella Joy was able to have the ct scan without anesthesia! During the scan to comfort her, I started quietly singing an old song “Holy and Anointed One,” and “Oh God how I need you” when she was scared and crying. When the procedure was over, a bunch of nurses and doctors came out smiling and clapping and I was so embarrassed they heard me singing! I had no idea they could hear me, and I had no idea they were even back there in a little room! But we were all so proud of Ella Joy and how she was able to get through laying still for the entire CT scan! Praise God for helping her through it! She did however, need anesthesia for the spinal tap and bone marrow extraction. And she also got anesthesia the next day for the port surgery, so it was tough on her body to have back-to-back anesthesia. For that day, her ANC (Absolute neutrophil count) at 350 was too low for port surgery and definitely not high enough for the high dose MTX chemotherapy she was supposed to have the next day. Dr. Morgan said most likely she would have to come back another week. However, when we got the results of her ANC the very next day, her numbers jumped to 1500! She was absolutely high enough for both the port surgery and the HD MTX! Praise God for listening to all your faithful prayers! So sure enough, on the 31st, we had the port surgery and went straight into the high dose methotrexate. We made sure to offer her plenty of water so she could flush out the toxins more quickly, and her levels were better than on point. At the 1.0 or less goal, she was at 0.6, and at the 0.4 or less goal, she was at 0.27!!! We were so thankful we were able to get discharged Sunday afternoon! We got to take the last leucovorin pill home to give her as well as the mercaptopurine or 6mp to take every Monday through Friday.
Please continue praying for Ella Joy as her port was very tender and sore after surgery. Whenever she walked to the bathroom (and it was extremely frequently for this particular flushing-out-toxins chemotherapy) she was hunched over and she would walk very slowly. She told me her port hurt often while in the hospital. However, even in her pain, she would still sing praises in her heart singing “One way, Jesus! You’re the only one that I could live for!” over and over again while we were doing sticky mosaics!
This week, we have a very urgent prayer request. It is something we dreaded ever hearing from Dr. Morgan. It pains me to write this, but she told us that there is still cancer in Ella Joy’s bone marrow. At this stage of chemotherapy, to have cancer in the bone marrow is extremely life-threatening. She is still going to discuss it with her team, but she said the only options would be more aggressive chemotherapy and a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. Both are extremely risky and the rate of survival is a very low 30% or less. Also, finding a donor would be a very challenging process. The next day, Mike, myself, and Asaph went to Luries to get tested. Asaph was extremely scared to get poked, but Mike reminded him that this could help save Ella Joy’s life. The results will not be in for another 2 weeks, however Dr. Morgan said siblings would be the best bet for a match, so we are praying that Asaph will be a perfect match! We are pleading with you to please help us pray for a miracle! We honestly cannot imagine life without our Ella Joy, and we are crying out to God for zero cancer cells in her bone marrow and entire body!
From the moment Dr. Morgan told us that Ella Joy still has cancer in her bone marrow and that with the stem cell/bone marrow transplant, she had a 30% or less likelihood of survival, there was this nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that never seemed to go away. Also, there is this groaning in my heart that cannot be expressed in words. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26
With tears in my eyes, I would like to please ask you to pray for Ella Joy with all your heart that God would do a miracle and that He would melt away every single cancer cell in her body, in her bone marrow, to never come back again. Please pray that the more aggressive chemotherapy would be powerful and effective and that it would zap away any traces of cancer. If it is His will for Ella Joy to have a stem cell/bone marrow transplant, please pray we would be able to find the perfect match for her. I am praying with all my heart that Asaph would be that match. (Parents rarely are a match, but I pray with all my heart that I could be the match!). Please pray and cry out with us with groanings too deep for words. In times like this, I need the spirit to help me in my weakness. Please pray for our family and especially for God’s healing power on Ella Joy. Thank you so much! We are so thankful to God for you, so many armies of prayer warriors!
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Though storms of strife assail me without warning And though they try to steal my joy away
I will find rest in knowing You have saved me
Precious Jesus, Rock of my salvation (Helming)