Thursday, October 25, 2007

Augmented Interim Maintenance Begins

Well, Anya's counts weren't high enough on Tuesday for more chemo. So they asked us to be at the clinic again first thing this morning for blood work. Fortunately Anya's counts were high enough today to start so we were sent up to the PICU for the sedated spinal tap with intrathecal chemotherapy and the intravenous chemotherapy. As usual everything went well so we were sent home before 2pm. We praise God that Anya's counts have recovered; if it would have taken a total of three weeks, there may have been reason for concern.

So Anya has now officially started Augmented Interim Maintenance which will last for six weeks followed by a two week break for her body to recover. This phase requires at least a few clinic visits for chemo shots in the leg or intravenous chemo and one overnight visit for intravenous chemo. After that we will have one more set of chemo before starting maintenance - YEAH!

Monday, October 22, 2007

First time eating cereal...yummy! But where was his mommy...he isn't wearing a bib! :)

Sister love!

For the love of Fall!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I wrote the blurb below in my personal blog earlier this evening and Israel asked me to share it here. It is very personal but I share it with the hope that perhaps it will encourage those of you who read the blog who are also facing trials.


"Ask yourself this question: What kind of a following would result if the sole reason for the affection toward the leader is that he provides his followers with bread?" asks Ravi Zacharias in his Jesus Among Other Gods.

Here Zacharias specifically addresses the nature of the temptation Satan posed to Jesus when he asked Him to turn the stone into bread in Matthew 4:3. Zacharias directs us toward the idea that if Jesus turned the stone into bread or for that matter if He defeated the Roman Empire or healed every ailment and disease, what would be the real motivation behind the people's affection? Would it even truly be affection or merely a response of self-love?

This line of reasoning causes me to wonder: Has Christ allowed my suffering or perhaps even the suffering of humanity throughout history at least in part to reveal our hearts' intentions? Does our response to suffering demonstrate who our true first love is - our own selves or our Creator-Redeemer?

In that way, is suffering a type of Isaac in that like Abraham's call to sacrifice his only son to demonstrate His undying love for God, suffering exposes the object of our affection - our comfort and ease or our Savior? If so, are we able to follow in the footsteps of Abraham who chose to obey God in the face of his tremendous pain and confusion?

Desperately I want God to heal my daugher. Yet more than anything, I want my family to be a family that loves God despite the trials, in the midst of our pain. Should we accept good from God, and not accept adversity (Job 2:10)? I pray we will always echo Job's cry by saying, "Though He slay us, yet will we trust Him" (Job 13:15).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kansas City Visit

Israel is planning to make another trip to Kansas City the weekend of the 27th and 28th. If you live in Kansas City, I'm sure he'd love to see you at service that weekend!

Augmented Interim Maintenance

Anya was scheduled to start the next phase of her chemo treatment, Augmented Interim Maintenance yesterday. She was to be admitted for a spinal tap at 3pm but her counts, especially the neutrophils at only 490, weren't high enough so it has been postponed until next Wednesday.

So for this week, rest and healing are the only things on the treatment agenda. The nurse is very confident that Anya's counts will have recovered by next week so we should be starting this next six week phase at that time.

Anya has been such a frequent source of inspiration for me. The other night Israel and I were playing a game at the kitchen table and Anya came in to tell us that she just done something that Israel had told her not to do because she forgot that she wasn't supposed to do it. I told her that I appreciated her honesty and sent her back to play. But then we decided to call her back in to tell her how proud we were of her. When she came in Israel proceeded to shower his affection on her but she was teary eyed and somber. Their conversation went as follows:

Israel: Were you afraid you were in trouble?
Anya: No.
Israel: Then why are you teary eyed?
Anya: God.
Israel: What about God?
Anya: He loves me.
Israel: You are crying because you are thinking about how much God loves you?
Anya: Yes.

I am so thankful for a little girl who knows God's love despite her struggles. I am thankful that she understands true faith - faith that is not dependent on our circumstances but on God's faithfulness.

Monday, October 8, 2007

October News

October has been a fairly uneventful month overall although last week had us spending more time in the clinic and hospital than planned. Anya was only scheduled to be in the clinic for chemo last Wednesday but her hemoglobin count was low so they had us check into the hospital for the day to get blood. We were home Wednesday night in time for dinner but due to a low platelet count they wanted us back into the clinic last Friday to make sure the platelets were recovering. Praise God they were and we were allowed to go back home from the clinic, rather than spending another day in the hospital to get platelets.
This week is scheduled for a clinic visit Wednesday to get chemo. Since Anya's counts had begun to recover as of Friday we are hopeful that they will be even higher on Wednesday and no additional visits will be necessary this week. Her ANC is still extremely low thus she is at the highest risk for infection. As a result we've kept to the house for the most part and tried to limit her exposure to anyone outside the family.
I (Israel) have been able to attend church the past few weeks, but it's been quite a while since Anna went so we are hopeful that she'll get an opportunity for fellowship soon. Anya does well most the time and is usually happy and energetic, however the past few weeks she has definitely shown a decrease in energy and a tendency to be fussy at times. She is also pickier about foods and requires extra rest throughout the day. All of this is expected with her white blood cell counts being so low- a direct result of the chemotherapy. The past few nights she's also woke up very upset and crying, apparently in her sleep. Please pray that these night terrors would stop as they are very hard on everyone in the house. Esther and Isaiah continue to do well and we are thankful for the ongoing love and support we recieve from so many across the country. We will update the blog later this week with Anya's counts from this Wednesday and give info concerning what lies ahead for next week. Thank you again for your prayers.