We are so thankful to God for all your faithful prayers! The good news is that Ella Joy is looking great and always seems to have lots of energy. After her spinal tap, we waited and got the results of her blood test. Her ANC was dangerously low. Her white blood cells as well as her platelets were also way too low. She has to stop her daily chemo for 2 whole weeks in hopes that her ANC and blood counts can rise. It was difficult to hear that her blood counts were even lower than last month when we first were alarmed and also stopped her chemo. When we initially stopped her chemo last month, we ceased all her daily chemo meds for one whole week. When Ella Joy got blood drawn at home, the result still showed low blood counts, but her white blood cell counts had risen because of the prednisone she had been taking. So, she was directed to go back on her daily chemo meds. Perhaps it was too soon, because now, her ANC is way too low for chemotherapy, and we are praying her blood counts and ANC will rise back to safe levels so she can get back on chemotherapy. We covet your prayers, and we ask you to please pray with us!
There are no answers as to why her counts are so low, and have been for a couple of months now. Now that her counts are even lower than last month, we really need to pray for protection from germs and give her hand sanitizer more frequently. I once again felt that nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach when my APN told me the news that her ANC and blood counts were way too low, but the only thing and best thing we can do now is to pray and pray and pray! To be honest with you, I was really hoping and even thinking her counts would be much better this week. She has been very energetic and always seemed to be doing fine. On May 6th, it will be 2 weeks that Ella Joy will be off her daily chemo meds and will get her blood drawn at home. We are praying her blood counts/ANC will rise by then so that she can get back on her chemo meds. I was warned that if and when she gets back on chemo, her dosage will most likely go down because her body is not able to handle it. This is a little difficult to hear because I already know that Ella Joy had already been getting a lower dosage from the beginning of her maintenance in comparison to her height and weight. And now, with her dosage getting even smaller, I am praying that it would be enough to fight against any aggressive t-cell lymphoblastic cells. Now, more than ever I am praying for zero and negative, and that God would continue to protect Ella Joy’s body as she is going through this stage of uncertainty. She will continue taking prednisone as well as Bactrim, but please pray with me that even though she is not taking her chemo meds for these next couple of weeks, that He would guard her body from head to toe! Towards the end of the night, Ella Joy complained about stomach pain. It could be from the MTX she got after her spinal tap, we are not sure, but please pray she would feel better soon.
In addition to getting her blood drawn in the next couple of weeks, her next clinic date is May 21st Thursday. Please pray that by then, she would be at a good place! I would like to thank Eddie for driving us to RMH as well as Kelsey, Ryan, and Marissa for helping out with the kids this week! For loving them, and playing with them, and making them feel special! We are truly blessed with such amazing friends in our lives, and we never want to take that for granted!
When Ella Joy first started chemotherapy, she was 4 years old! This month, she turned 6! We cannot believe how much time has flown! This was the first year she had asked me to buy her a specific toy called Shopkins. I said no every single day she asked, but when her birthday rolled around, I thought I would go to the store and get her one. Little did I know that it would be sold out in every store I went to! Even Asaph is bonkers for Shopkins, and they ask me every single day if I can put Shopkins under their pillow. It is kind of silly, after all, it is just plastic little toys, but the fact that they want them so much, and also the fact that it is very difficult to get makes me want to get them for them even more! But then, there is a part of me that thinks, if we can hunger and thirst for the Word of God as much as they long for Shopkins, we would be one holy family! I just want Ella Joy to be healthy and for her ANC to rise so she can get the chemo that she needs! She might think all the Shopkins in the world would make her happy, but when you are dealing with a very sick child, what really matters in the world is just being able to live another day without having to worry about if her blood counts are too low for chemo, or if she had enough hand sanitizer to keep germs away so she will not have to have a visit to the ER. Shopkins may be sold out in the store, but our prayer is that we would be a family who would be sold out for Jesus alone! I know that sounds cheesy, but I really mean it!
I would also like to ask for prayers for Asaph. I always thought he was doing fine, but this morning in particular, I was running back and forth helping Ella Joy with her vitals, and then running back to comfort Asaph who wanted me to be with him. Then, as I was running back to help Ella Joy, Asaph started crying that he didn’t want to be alone. I felt so bad because I wanted to care for and comfort him, and at the same time I needed to be with Ella Joy. Please pray for Asaph, that he would know that he is cared for and loved, but that he needs to also be understanding during this critical time when Ella Joy is going through active chemotherapy treatment, getting her blood drawn, and undergoing and spinal taps. He is usually such a trooper, but even he goes through tough days.
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” – Corrie Ten Boom
Right now, it definitely seems like we are going through a tunnel moment. But please pray that we would not throw in the towel and lose hope. Please pray that we would sit still and trust the greatest Engineer ever.
You know the saying, “I need to get my head in the game?” Well, I need to get my head in the Bible:
I Chronicles 16:11
“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
May I please add Ella Joy’s name … “I will strengthen Ella Joy and help her; I will uphold Ella Joy with my righteous right hand.”
We cannot thank you enough for praying friends! Please never give up praying for Ella Joy! Thank you!