Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Boy, Oh Boy

This news is long overdue but...I am pregnant and it's a boy! In a few short months (January 30th), we will be welcoming our first son into the world.

It's quite a thought that while we are experiencing quite possibly the worst time in our lives with our beautiful first-born teetering between life and death, there is another life growing inside of me. And, boy, is this kid a fighter. Every few moments he gives me a knock to remind me that he's still there and that I'd better pay attention. Here is a picture the technician caught of him. We joke that he is on his knees praying for Ava but maybe he just has gas? :)

I have to say that these past few weeks have felt light and refreshing. Maybe it's the fact that we've been home long enough to build up our sense of normalcy, or maybe it's the peals of laughter I hear from the room as the girls play with one another, or maybe it's the turn of the weather indicating a new season has arrived. Guys, I am on my face praying for a new season in our lives. One that is punctuated with God's very real presence in every one of the harsh moments of reality.

This cooler weather has brought on such a strong sense of nostalgia. Although it is only September, it feels like Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. We don't know what tomorrow holds, let alone the next few months, but my heart is so full these days with the anticipation of celebrating and giving thanks to God for another year of life and love. And even though we may not be "home" for these holidays, I am satisfied that we got to experience the weather and, with that, the memories of all the past winter seasons with our family. 

As Mike already highlighted in a few posts back, we are gearing up for an imminent transplant. We really wanted to beat this cancer with chemo but Ava has fought courageously the last 7 months without being able to reach remission. This residual disease shows that either the cancer is resistant or it is is aggressive. So even if we end up with an MRD negative result at our next biopsy, her chance for relapse is high. (I will leave all the technicalities and specifics for Patty to explain. She has a gift for making it easy to understand.)

Heading into this next phase of treatment is gut-wrenching. We wrestle every day with decisions that we will have to live with for a lifetime. But we are reassured that each choice we have made so far was so infused with love for Ava that there will always be confidence that God has lead us to and through every point of Ava's cancer journey. The conditioning for a transplant will render Ava infertile and will leave behind a host of side effects that may range from uncomfortable to devastating. As a parent, how do you choose which poison to subject your child to in hopes of a cure? 

And yet, with all that we've seen in the past few months, we still haven't explored the depths of despair and grief that is there when a child is lost to cancer. But, God, how I understand the brokenness of this world when I see all the little bald heads poking out from under the covers of hospital beds, when I hear the shrieks of pain and confusion in the halls of the 17th floor, and when I see the heartache etched deep into every wrinkle on a parent of a newly diagnosed child. 

I haven't been able to muster up the energy to do much but I want to help bring awareness to pediatric cancer and to the suffering of children and parents alike that are called to go through it. Please join me in remembering and praying for the families that have been rocked by these diseases. I pray that our faith only grows stronger, our love for God deeper, and our desire for heaven becomes more of a reality than our lives on earth.

Ava's biopsy is scheduled for this Wednesday and with this knowledge, we trust God to guide our next steps. At this time, we are looking at several hospitals to do Ava's transplant. Seattle is our top choice but due to some insurance issues, we are also looking at Minnesota and Ohio. Would you continue to keep us in prayer, that God would point us to the best place for transplant and that we would continue to trust in all of his provisions for our family as we step into our next journey of faith?

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13

1 comment:

Darren said...

Congrats on the pregnancy! Keeping Ava and the health care transition in prayer.