Thursday, March 20, 2014


Despite Ava's unexpected fever and the truly disappointing news of not being discharged today, today was another GOOD day. Ava's been in really great spirits and doing well! She's been playing and laughing, and Mike and Esther have enjoyed being able to share these times with her. She has also been fever-free for 19 hours! (If she's afebrile for 24 hours, she's technically cleared to go home). Blood culture sensitivities confirm that the antibiotic she's been on is doing its job. Not to make myself eat my words, but they'll likely be discharged tomorrow (Thursday) and go home with IV antibiotics to finish out the course.

Second opinions have also come in from other oncologists around the country, reaffirming that Ava's treatment plan is a good one. Mike and Esther are grateful for the time these doctors have taken to respond with compassion, and praise God for the peace He's given about where Ava is in her treatment regimen. The doctors' experiences also provide some hope for Ava to go into remission without BMT, since they have seen just a few cases of that over their careers. It may not seem very promising that these long-practicing oncologists have only seen just a few patients who have gone into remission without BMT, but it has at least happened! And... since Ava seems to be the "rare" case in so many scenarios, why not throw this one in the hat as well?

Meanwhile, Gwen and her grandparents spent the day at home today, so it would be wonderful for Ava to be discharged and the family to be reunited again.

Prayer requests:

  1. That Ava will have an event-free night and finally be able to go home! No more fevers!
  2. That Ava will remain infection-free at home as well, especially with the added IV antibiotics.
  3. Please pray that should Ava have a fever, let it be at the hospital (for Ava's sake). It was too hard for her to just have a taste of home and then have to return to the hospital. She felt bad about being sick and being the cause of returning to the hospital. But, since we'll be praying that she not have any fevers and be discharged home, we may not even have to worry about this one, right? *wink*
  4. Pray that Ava's blasts will continue to "unexplainably" go down! All the way to zero!
  5. Patients who respond well to ALL have much more promising results. So please pray that if/when ALL treatment begins, Ava would respond really well to it, that she would go into complete remission with no relapse... (and no need for BMT!)
  6. Please pray that we would find a perfect match for Ava should she need it. (Even with a good match, BMTs can be really really rough on kids, so it's not an easy road still).
So in spite of today's setback, today was a day filled with hope. Hope because they can feel the effects of everyone's prayers - they really can. Hope because they know that God is in control, no matter the outcome. Hope because they know God loves them and loves Ava and will provide for all their needs, whatever the future holds. Hope because they believe that God is still good.

You have played an important role in fueling this hope as well, lifting their spirits up so that even in the valley of trial, their feet have not yet touched the ground, for they sense the arms of the Heavenly Father carrying them. It's the kind of "peace that passes all understanding" or "transcends all understanding" in some translations of the Bible - the inexplicable peace in the midst of tough times that can only come from God. Man can't muster this up on his own. Certainly there is sorrow in the journey. You have seen it and felt it. But even in these difficult three weeks, they can still see the fingerprint of God. His love is real.

So who knows what tomorrow will bring? Yet we rejoice in the hope and peace we have through Christ. We rejoice in this GOOD day. We rejoice in Ava's blasts jumping down to 13% "for no reason." We rejoice in Ava just doing really well overall in spite of the leukemia. We rejoice because of you - supporting the Lee family and giving sacrificially. They may not know the lengths of your sacrifice, but they can sense it. God sees it all; may He reward you for your acts of love and giving. Not because you do it for a reward, but because you are demonstrating His love in a tangible way, whether you realize it or not. Thank you for choosing to walk this journey with them.

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