We are so thankful for your friendship and partnership in prayer for Ella Joy! Today, Ella Joy got a spinal tap, Vincristine chemotherapy, methotrexate chemotherapy, as well as blood counts, and her monthly liver test (enzyme counts). This week, Ella Joy’s liver test turned out about the same as last month. We are thankful it has not risen as in past months. I asked what would happen if the enzyme counts continued to increase, and the answer is that she would have to stop her chemotherapy for an indefinite amount of time. So, please pray with me that God would protect her body from any liver damage and internal bodily harm. Many times people comment that she looks so “good” and we are very thankful to God for that. But many times what people do not see is how sometimes sick she feels after her chemotherapy treatment, and how her stomach hurts after taking some of her chemotherapy pills. We are so thankful she is able to run around with other children at church and school, but we pray you would not lose the urgency to pray with us for continual protection as she continues her chemotherapy treatment. A special thanks to Marissa and Hannah for coming to help watch Asaph at Luries while Ella Joy got her treatment in clinic! This week was also special because Mike was off work and got to be with Ella Joy and myself as she got her spinal tap and chemotherapy. It is so amazing to see how she has changed from the very beginning of her treatment in October 8, 2013, until now, she has come a long way! She was constantly crying at the beginning, getting poked sometimes 3 or 4 times a day with an IV, but now with her port, she is able to get accessed tear free! It was pretty awesome for Mike to see her now and how much she has progressed!
Please store up prayers with us for her next clinic visit on January 22nd Thursday. I am praying that her risk for liver damage would decrease by next month and that she would have a pain free spinal tap. Every single time, I make it a point to remind my APN and doctor to use a J tip, and to wait a good amount of time before undergoing the spinal tap (for numbing purposes). She also always needs Zofran or she will vomit every time, as well as 2 doses of Fentanyl. I hope they do not think I am a crazy momcologist! I just want to make sure they know what works best for Ella Joy since I do not always have to same medical team giving her the spinal tap.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” – Hebrews 12:1
John Piper once preached about Hebrews 12:1 and said, “The best way to illustrate this, I think, is with Hebrews 11:4, where the writer speaks of Abel and says, “Through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.” So Abel is in the cloud of witnesses, and he is witnessing to us by his life through the Scriptures. This is the way all the witnesses of Hebrews 11 are helping us. They have gathered along the sidelines of our race and they hold out their wounds and their joys and give us the best high-fives we ever got: “Go for it! You can do it. By faith you can finish. You can lay the weights down and the sins. By faith, by the assurance of better things hoped for, you can do it. I did it. And I know it can be done. Run. RUN!”
Last Christmas, we spent with Ella Joy at the hospital and RMH. However, this Christmas, we got to be home together as a family! Before they entered the “North Pole” they were received by a long line of fire fighters and policemen. When we walked into the room and were greeted by these men who risk their lives everyday on their knees clapping, it reminded me of Piper’s sermon when he said the witnesses “have gathered along the sidelines of our race and they hold out their wounds and their joys and give us the best high-fives we ever got: Go for it! You can do it! By faith you can finish!” It was a very small glimpse of heaven that made me tear up as we walked past. Every time I see this video, Hebrews 12:1 will forever be etched on my heart. In the same way the witnesses of Hebrews 12:1 are encouraging us to finish the race in faith, the firefighters and policemen were encouraging Ella Joy and cheering her on as she continues her chemotherapy. It was such a beautiful picture that I will never forget!