Thank you once again for keeping Ella Joy in your prayers! I am so incredibly thankful to God for Kelsey who once again drove us and watched Asaph for me while Ella Joy got her blood drawn and her Vincristine chemo push. For a third month in a row now, her ANC is good enough to continue her daily chemotherapy! The only change is that her prednisone (hormones) will increase because of her height and weight. Since her prednisone dosage had already increased previously, she gained 7 pounds in less than 3 months. Now that her prednisone dosage is going to increase even more, she may gain even more weight. Please pray that she would not be too self-conscious, but that she would continue to eat the foods she needs to be healthy and have well-balanced meals. Many times, food tastes different to her because of her daily chemo meds so she will ask for the same things everyday, even multiple times a day. For example, she will ask for a homemade breakfast sandwich for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Please pray that she would crave the foods that are good for her, and that she would be able to eat a variety of foods despite how her chemo meds alters the taste of certain foods. Another immediate side-effect of her prednisone hormones is that she is extremely irritable and moody. When her dosage was increased a few months ago, we could see the changes right away. She would have arguments constantly with Asaph, and sometimes she would cry uncontrollably and she didn’t even know why. She said she just could not stop. Please pray that God would help her to control her emotions as she needs to take her hormone pills twice a day for 5 days every single time she comes back from clinic.
One thing I mentioned to my oncologist was that Ella Joy was experiencing more leg pains. They still come and go, and I asked if she thought they were growth pains? She is very open and honest and had explained to me from the beginning that Ella Joy would most likely have weak bones and that as a result from her chemotherapy treatment, she will never be as fast or as agile as other children her age. I thought about how much she had wanted to be a ballerina at that time, and how she loved dancing. Please pray that we would not be discouraged by the limitations that come with the long-term side effects of chemotherapy. I know her body will never be the same again, even when her chemo treatment is over in 2016. One verse that always encourages me, “The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” I Peter 5:10
Oswald Chambers said, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” From the moment I heard that Ella Joy had stage 4 cancer, my life was changed forever. There were numerous set backs, fevers, ER visits, allergic reactions to chemo meds, lymph nodes not shrinking to size, and IV difficulties getting blood from her veins, and challenges getting toxic chemo meds to flush out of her system to name a few. And then there was the time when my oncologist told me after a bone marrow aspiration that Ella Joy had a 30% or less chance to live and needed a bone marrow transplant. With Asaph as a perfect match, we were getting ready for it, and it turns out she did not even need it!
By this point, if we were focusing on all the difficulties, we would have been defeated, weary hearted, and we would have numerous questions to fire at her oncology team. But praying with our eyes on God, we were able to accept this as a miracle without having to demand explanations why our daughter almost got a transplant she did not need. Please pray that as we continue this journey that we would be a family that prays with our eyes on God instead of on the setbacks and difficulties. Corrie Ten Boom asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” I realize I need to start every morning off with prayer so that He can lead me throughout the day. I need to build up storehouses of prayer from morning to night, instead of just waiting for when a problem arises to get on my knees. I want to thank you so very much for always being mindful of Ella Joy and for helping us build up the storehouses of prayer for her. Our next clinic visit is Thursday August 13th. Please pray that everything would go smoothly, and as always that Ella Joy’s blood counts will look good! White blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin as well as her liver tests. Thank you my friends!