Rare Pearls from the Sea of Affliction



A huge thank you for everyone who prayed for Ella Joy when we took her to the ER a week after the last clinic. The x-rays showed that she was extremely backed up with stool, and we also found out that her stomach lining has taken a toll from all the chemotherapy drugs she has been taking for the past two years. In addition to her 6mp and mtx chemo pills, prednisone, and Bactrim, she is also taking miralax, senna, omeprazole, and calcium carbonate simethicone, and for a little while zantac. We are praying that they will help make her stomach feel better. Even after getting back from the ER, Ella Joy told us several times her stomach still hurt. Especially after getting her push of Vincristine chemotherapy this morning in addition to starting up her prednisone pills again, Ella Joy was crying that her stomach was in so much pain. Please pray that God would help her stomach to feel better even with the chemotherapy and drugs that are upsetting her tummy.

In previous weeks, the school nurse had been calling me several times letting me know Ella Joy fell in class and bumped her chin on a desk, and another time that Ella Joy fell during PE class and a boy had pushed her port. Another time, I got a call from the nurse that she tripped during recess and got hurt. I have noticed that Ella Joy was falling frequently and that her muscles and bones were not as strong as they used to be. One of the scariest times was when she was at the playground at school and we were getting ready to go home. She ran down a little grassy hill and fell onto the blacktop and scabbed her elbows, knees and side, as well as her port! This is the first time her port had ever bled! I was not sure if her port was still accessible, but we gave it a try this morning in clinic, and Praise the Lord, the nurse was able to access her!

I want to give a shout out to Kelsey who is such a faithful and loyal friend to us, and who watched over Asaph again this week! We love her so much and are very thankful to God for her heart of love for Ella Joy and our family!

Another praise report: Ella Joy’s ANC and blood counts looked great today! Even her liver counts were good! So thankful to hear this great news! After a tough several weeks dealing with her stomach pains and port bleeding, this was exactly what we wanted to hear!

Ella Joy’s next clinic appointment is on November 12th Thursday. Please pray that until then, her stomach will feel better, and that her ANC and blood counts will continue to stay high enough for chemotherapy.

I cannot believe we only have 3 more chemotherapy clinic dates left until Ella Joy will be officially DONE with chemotherapy treatment! 3 more clinic dates until she will be finished with spinal taps and chemotherapy pushes! We will then continue to go to clinic every 2 months for check ups. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him” – Psalm 62:5. I am excited for the end of chemotherapy to come, but this Bible verse speaks volumes as it is a time of waiting silently. Only He knows if the cancer is completely gone. Even the oncology team cannot be certain. Please pray with our family for Ella Joy, that she will truly have ZERO cancer and NEGATIVE MRD.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls.” I truly believe with all my heart that as Mike and I dove in the sea of affliction these past 2 years, we brought up storehouses of treasures. Incredible markers of God’s faithfulness, amazing friends in Christ who have joined us on our knees in prayer, and the testimony of a 6 year old girl who was once a scared 4 year old with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer. We pray that she would never forget how God has been with her through the length and brought so many wonderful friends into our lives to teach us the meaning of kindness, love, support, prayer, and generosity in the midst of her battle against cancer. Although not always as we had wanted or in the way we had expected, He answered every single one of our prayers! As we reflect back on these past 2 years, we are so grateful to God for each and every single one of you, who have been following our blog and praying for Ella Joy. The ways God uses each one of you to bless our family have been rare pearls for us!