Thursday, October 30, 2014

Never Ever Give Up!

While getting ready to leave the SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance), we bumped into a Korean couple coming off the elevator. The man looked so distressed leading his limping, cancer ravaged wife to her appointment. When he saw Ava's bald head, he did a double take and then began to cry. I'm pretty certain he felt so bad that this incredibly devastating disease did not spare even the innocent and young.

My voice broke while telling Mike about my encounter. Ava overheard my story and this was her response.
Ava: Don't worry, Mom. I'll NEVER EVER give up. 

I'm thankful to this amazing girl. Even when we, as adults, lose faith she stands strong in the midst of adversity. Thank you for believing with us for her healing and for never ever giving up.

"Though she be but little, she is fierce." -William Shakespeare ‪#‎ihatecancer‬

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Welcome to Seattle!

Although our first week in Seattle didn't go as planned, we feel extremely blessed to be here.  We know that God's ways are higher than our ways and we've been praying for clarity to see how these hiccups might actually be blessings in disguise.

Without fail, we see God is faithful! Even though it totally sucks to have to spend an unexpected week in the hospital considering we still have 6 weeks in-patient for transplant to look forward to, it has made it extremely convenient to get all of her procedures done. Had Ava been healthy and out-patient, we would have had another jam-packed week of tests and procedures. But, because Ava was in the hospital, they were able to do many of the tests in her hospital room. And, in between, she was able to rest in bed and play. 

On Monday, she had both her ECHO and EKG done while laying in bed. She was also able to get her bone marrow biopsy and her spinal tap (with chemo) done downstairs in the Operating Room. Everything went smoothly and she was able to eat by 4:00. 

Ava getting an ECHO of her heart.

Ava getting her EKG done right in the comfort of her hospital bed.

On Tuesday, an ambulance picked her up to take her to University of Washington Hospital to meet with the radiologist and discuss the effects of radiation as well as simulate a session of radiation. Starting November 17, Ava will undergo 4 days of intensive total body irradiation to oblate all of her bone marrow. It is essential that Ava stay completely still during radiation to make sure the rays are going to the proper place, so the doctors were planning on using general anesthesia. However, since Ava needs radiation 2x a day, she would essentially be NPO (no food or water) for 4 days with only a few hours in the evening where she would be able to eat and drink. We thought this might be too hard on her so we asked her to do it awake. After spending an hour with her, the doctors all agreed that Ava seemed to be more mature than the average 6 year old and would be able to comprehend the need to stay still and would comply. I have to say, Ava blew us away with her stamina and her obedience. She laid completely still while they did practice runs with the radiation. 

Getting a ride to UW.

The hardest part was leaving Ava in the room while everyone else, including myself, walked out. After telling me about all the negative effects of radiation, they wanted me to willingly leave her there...I don't know how my feet actually walked out of the room that was "too dangerous" for me while Ava laid on the table ready to receive the full wrath of all those toxic rays. I haven't cried much since I've been here, but I couldn't keep it all in as I waited outside the room watching the "X-RAY In Use" sign blink on and off.

Outside the room where Ava was receiving radiation.

The negative effects of radiation are-
Most likely to happen: infertility, growth issues (including secondary sex characteristics), cataracts in the eyes, and learning issues (processing speed) in the future.
Might happen: hypothyroidism (this would require her taking a pill for the rest of her life), lung issues, some organ issues, secondary cancers. 

Later that day, Ava was able to receive her CT scans of all the vital organs to make sure she is healthy for transplant. The good news is her EKG, ECHO and CTs all came back normal!

On Wednesday (today): Ava was set to be discharged at noon but now we are awaiting another procedure because the CT scan detected some irritation in her lungs so the doctors are trying to rule out any other infections. Her cold sores all look contained and are healing up nicely. However, Ava has to be NPO again today for the procedure. 

We also found out the results of Ava's bone marrow biopsy today. Her MRD status is still positive with 0.007% cancer cells detected. Although this number is not ZERO, we still choose to praise God that the number has trended down and is no longer at %0.03. Admittedly, because Ava's MRD is positive, the prognosis remains. However, Mike and I wonder if God is setting up the situation for something incredible that points to HIM through and through. Without a zero MRD, we can't rely on statistics to give us peace. Instead we look to him for healing and, should it occur, there will be no doubt who made it happen! 

Thank you so much for following Ava's story and for keeping her close to your heart! Here are some specific prayer requests we have regarding Ava:

1) Please pray that the effects of radiation would be minimal. Infertility is hard enough but having to deal with hypothyroidism and learning issues would be very difficult too.
2) Please pray that she would stay healthy until transplant and throughout the whole transplant process.
3) Please pray that we would have a few good days to spend as a family before going into transplant. So far, we have been in-patient for most of our days here and would like for Ava to have a break from the hospital before going in for transplant.
4) Please pray that Ava would NOT relapse after transplant despite her MRD status and that she would be in the percentage of children that are completely healed of this cancer!

Your prayers are felt--really, they are! I feel them every morning, through every setback, and through every praise! We thank God for each of you.

Wut? Cancer? It ain't no thang.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Another setback

First of all, thank you to all of our friends from near and far for helping and supporting us in powerful ways such as prayers and tangible service.

We have been meaning to update but it has truly been non-stop since we've arrived. The appointments that we have for each day are overwhelming and pretty draining. Ava is being poked and prodded to make sure she is fit for a BMT and we are being inundated with information regarding her procedure and all the risks and benefits that follow.

Friday was a tough day for us. We were already pretty exhausted from Thursday's appointments and so the 6:00 am alarm clock was not a welcome sound. On this particular day, Ava had her pulmonary function tests to see what her baseline was for breathing function. She endured some hefty breathing exercises that left her winded. Also, due to having 13 vials of blood taken on Thursday, Ava's body was taxed. After that, we went to see Dr. Woolfery, the director of unrelated BMTs at Seattle Children's, for a consult. At this meeting, we talked about risks of treatment and prognosis among other things and had to sign our consent for the BMT to occur. 

We heard some hard to swallow facts about the BMT process but the most difficult thing was to hear that Ava's prognosis for successful transplant would fall considerably if she was not MRD negative at the time of transplant. We also listened to the awful side effects that could occur with the medicines she was receiving. Dr. Woolfery told us that the transplant itself would be uneventful, although Ava could react to the new blood so we would follow her normal allergy protocol. The months after transplant are the most crucial with Month One being the most important of them all. Three to four weeks after transplant is when the new marrow begins to engraft and form white blood cells, neutrophils, platelets, etc. Before then, Ava will be without an immune system. This makes ANY virus or bacteria incredibly dangerous for her system. We ask specifically for prayers during the first month for a smooth engraftment and that Ava would not relapse especially in the first 3 months.

After a few more appointments, we began our way back to Kent. We picked Gwen up from our incredible friend, Sam, who helped watch Gwen the past two days. At Sam's house, Ava began to spike a fever of 102 so we had to turn around and head back to the hospital. She was admitted over the weekend and was just discharged today. Earlier in the morning, we began to see cold sores sprouting on her face so we treated her with her Denavir cream. However, because of her weakened state, the sores continued to spread and began to appear in her eyes. Herpes near the eyes is very dangerous so we packed Ava's bags again to bring her back to the ER. As she stood by the door getting ready to leave, Gwen began to cry. Ava said, "Gwen, please don't cry. If I see a toy there, I promise to bring it back for you."  

That's my kid. She's not perfect but my heart could burst with all the pride and love I have for her. She's stronger than anyone I know. No joke. I am 28 years older than her but I want to have a FIT from all that's happened in the last few days. I want to sit here and cry into a bowl of ice-cream. But, not my girl. She stands at the door and consoles us even though she is bone tired and would much rather be crawling into a comfortable bed than go back to the ER to get poked and prodded again. God doesn't make mistakes and I know we are on the path he wants us to be on but, dang, sometimes I want to run straight off this path on to one that is more brightly lit. What keeps me here is that she's still going, one foot after another, eyes straight ahead, heart full of faith, and eyes that continue to trust even when days often end like today. 

Tonight, I thank God for all of you, for the chance to be at a great children's hospital, for the slumbering 3 year old by my side, for prayers that are being lifted up from all parts of the world, and for my 6 year old hero that keeps fighting hard. I also thank God, that with him, there are no percentages and numbers that are discouraging. He's gone before us and he's here with us now. 

And as many cancer fighting families will say, "All other percentages don't matter. It'll either be 100% or 0%." So we continue to believe that we'll be part of the 100% as well. Thanks for believing with us!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doing Well

Despite Ava's high fever on Friday, she has been fever-free since the morning (Saturday) and had a pretty good day. (She even lost her first tooth! See post below). The Lee family was able to spend the day together in the hospital and because Ava seems to be doing well, she is supposed to be discharged in the morning (Sunday). Hooray! Thank you so much for your love and prayers.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

In the Hospital

Yesterday was a long day for the Lees. I don't know any details except:
  • Ava was admitted for a high fever. Hopefully it is just a virus and will not delay her transplant.
  • Ava is scheduled for a biopsy on Monday.
The hard news is that if Ava is not MRD negative on Monday, her prognosis drops into the 30% to 60% range.

Thankfully, it looks like they got a room at the Ronald McDonald House so they are close to the hospital.

I will update with more details as I am able. Thanks for your prayers.

*Edited to add Facebook posts from Esther:

Yesterday, Ava was admitted to Seattle Children's with a high fever. I felt like having a downright tantrum when the doctor wouldn't let us go home!! We were really looking forward to this weekend to decompress from the hectic and draining week of appointments and procedures.

On the way to the hospital, Ava wanted to pray that God would help her feel better.

Ava: Dear God, would you please help me? Just like you healed Martha's brother and the little girl who didn't wake up from the bible. Amen.

Then Gwen wanted to pray:

Gwen: Dear God, please give Ava a pink marshmallow. Amen
(Gwen has her priorities in order!)

These moments with the girls truly humble me and challenge my faith. They are more precious to God than I can ever imagine so I think it's safe to believe that He has their best in mind always. Please pray that we would have the same faith especially when things are scary.
Gwen is the best medicine for Ava

Ava lost her first tooth!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Help in Seattle

Thank you for your continued support of the Lee family. They continue to be blessed and touched by your giving hearts.

As you know, Ava has her first appointment today where they will begin a series of tests in preparation for transplant. They continue to look into suitable lodging and have some leads.

For Seattle area folks, I created a new page called "Seattle Help" at the top of the blog. Here, you will find a link to the Google document previously created. There is a new worksheet tab that lists some items that would be useful to them while they are in Seattle. If you are able to help provide any of these items, please see the Google doc for contact info on where to drop off in South Bellevue. This list will be added to/modified as needed.

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day (Negative) 31

We've made it to Seattle and we are now 31 days away from Ava's scheduled transplant on November 21st.  Back in Chicago, while walking to our gate at O'Hare we bump into our friend Stephen from Naperville.  He is on the same flight for a business trip.  We either look pitifully needy or he's just so thoughtful, because right away he promises to help us with our six pieces of luggage once we land in Seattle.  I know for sure that it's both.  Outside with our luggage, my Uncle Sam is already waiting with carseats ready (thanks, Virginia!), and Esther and the girls are on the road south to Kent.  I am about to take a cab North to Bellevue to borrow Jenny & Eugene's vehicle, but a woman who is being picked up by her husband recognizes my uncle.  This couple live in Bellevue - in the very same neighborhood where I need to be.  So they offer to drive me there and to also chill at their place until it's time to pick up the car.


I make fast friends with their dog Ender (half hybrid Australian Shepherd/Golden Retriever, half German Shepherd), and most of all enjoy hearing this couple's story of how they put their faith in Christ.  This won't do justice to how she told it, but I'd like to get it down on paper:

Over twenty years ago, her husband is invited to study the Bible and after just six months he decides to put his faith in Jesus.  She thinks he is completely crazy (even though he's a super smart guy who ranked #1 at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing).  So she calls all his other super smart buddies to ask if they think he's gone nuts, and they say, "Don't worry - he probably knows what he's doing." Everything changes at an airport terminal in Seattle, where they wait to board a plane to Shanghai.  Her son falls asleep on her lap and she puts him down across the chairs and also sets her purse down.  She stands up briefly to greet a friend who's on the same flight.  Just then, she turns around and sees a person run off with her purse.  She and her husband pursue, and just as the thief is getting into his car, her husband reaches him but can't do much.  She catches up but puts herself in a dangerous position by running right in front of the vehicle.  She is unable to explain exactly how, but something moves her body out of the way so that only the side of the vehicle brushes against her and she is unharmed.

Her entire family's passports, tickets, and $2000 in cash are gone.  The cash was from a friend who needed them to bring it to an ailing relative.  She is completely distraught over this, and as they return home unable to go to China, her husband's Christian community tries to comfort them and promises to pray for them during their weekly prayer meeting, which happens to be that night.  Later that night, they receive a phone call from an elderly woman who says that she has the purse.  It contains everything (passports & tickets) except the cash, and the plan is to for them to pick it up the next morning.  While there, the elderly woman happily returns the purse but can tell how upset she still is. So she invites her into her home.  As she is being led to one of the bedrooms, she thinks she might be asked to relax a bit and lie down.  But when she enters, there is someone inside.  The elderly woman makes a brief introduction and then repeats to this man the entire story of what had happened at the airport. But he just sits there, making several strange mono-syllabic noises.  After that, they move on to a second room belonging to a young lady.  It's clear that she also cannot not grasp the meaning of the story or acknowledge her visitors.

Back in the hall, the elderly woman explains that these two individuals had suffered mental handicaps early in life and were abandoned by their biological parents.  At a home for disabled and abandoned teenagers, this elderly couple had chosen to take them in because they wanted to give them a family of their own.  After hearing this story, she is speechless and deep shame fills her heart.  She beings to weep and the elderly woman says, "I understand that you lost a large amount of money.  My husband and I have $600 that we'd like to give you in order to help out with this loss."  The woman replies, "I won't accept your money and I'm not weeping over the lost money. I'm weeping because of how little love I have in my life.  Everything I do for my children, I do because they are my own.  But you have poured out so much love for these people who are not even your children."  The elderly woman explains, "This love comes from Jesus."

From that point on, her heart becomes open to going to Bible studies and meeting with the Christian fellowship group that her husband had been a part of.  She begins to realize that she is not this perfect person who doesn't need God.  She begins to sense within herself a great lacking of the love that was exhibited by the elderly couple as well as the caring individuals who spent time praying for them.  This group of friends ended up raising and donating to them more than the $2000 that had been lost.  It's now been over twenty years that this family has been with this church.  They invited us to visit at some point during our few months here in Seattle, and I look forward to it.


I was then dropped off probably less than a mile away to meet Jenny and borrow their Honda Pilot. Jenny warned me about hitting some bad traffic.  When I hear about bad traffic, I just don't want to go anywhere because Chicago traffic is frustrating like a thousand piece double sided puzzle.  I've been smart enough to never attempt one of those puzzles.  But why I have found myself stuck on the Kennedy hundreds of times I cannot understand.

I hit the road anyway, but slowly begin to realize that I don't think I'm ever going to be late to anything while living here in Seattle.  This traffic is awesome!!

When I get home, Esther and the girls are Skyping with my parents who are still in China.  Everything seems great until Gwen sneezes and snot trails out of her nose.  Like a good dad, I wipe it away with my bare hand and back onto her shirt.  I smile ever so slightly, just a little upward movement at the corner of my mouth.  Gwen sees this and screams, "It's NOT funny!"  With that, she starts coughing and gets really riled up.  She throws up absolutely everything that she ate for dinner. Esther and I then realize that the all-day coughing and now this 2nd time of hurling is more serious than we had hoped.  Thankfully, Dr. Crawford (Ava and Gwen's pediatrician) is so wonderfully available as she has always been, and we are able to get the medicine Gwen needs.

Before heading out to Walgreen's, my uncle asks if I want to borrow his bullet proof vest. I'm sure he's kidding, but his concern for my safety in and around the town of Kent is quite serious.  He asks if I'd like him to accompany me there, but I'm too proud of where I've come from.  I've brought a big piece of Chicago with me.  While I haven't stopped any bullets or anything, I have brought A LOT of love, prayer and back up from our people back home in the Midwest.  So my peace of mind is legitimate. This has been a great first day in the State of Washington.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seattle Bound

Everything is set. The tickets have been bought, the suitcases are being packed, the goodbyes are being said. Up until now, the waiting game brought us a moment of peace amidst the whirlwind we knew was bound to happen once plans were set in motion.

But here we are now, in that storm, running around trying to make everything work when actually things are flipped upside down. We should be cleaning the house for the arrival of baby but instead we are deconstructing everything so that we can pick up and move. The Christmas lights are being put further into storage when they should be unpacked to decorate the dark nights that are coming up.

Ava's hair is another reminder that this storm is not over and is managing to unglue what little of our lives we have pasted back together since her diagnosis. Her hair had been growing in thick but, without any notice,  it began to fall out again revealing sad bald spots all over.  And as quickly as she is losing her hair, I'm losing my words. I have nothing left yet we are getting ready for seemingly the longest journey of our lives.

I know everyone is curious about how we are doing. I am curious too. There are days I think we are good and we mindlessly check things off our lists. But then there are days like today, when I hear her deep laughter and look into her sparkling eyes and I don't know if I can hold in the ocean of tears. Instead of losing my composure, I focus on studying every detail of that moment: her hair, her eyes, her words, her laugh. I commit these things to memory because I don't want to lose that too. I think we will need to recall these moments in the next few months and so I meticulously collect them.

The next leg of this journey will be tough. As hard as it will be to uproot, leave our home and our support system of family and friends, have the baby in Seattle, etc., it will be even harder to see my girl in pain. I pray and pray and pray that what the future holds will not steal her joy and her laughter and her sparkling eyes. I pray that God would uphold our family as we watch her suffer from the sidelines. I pray that she would pull through like the champ that she is, that she would beat cancer down, and that she would not lose her innocence in the process. Finally, we pray that no amount of trouble would make us falter in trusting in His goodness and His love.

Thank you for helping our family make such good memories this year. Despite the hard times, our hearts are filled to the brim with really special and happy times we shared with you, with each other, and with, our girl, Ava. We anticipate more of God's goodness in the midst of all of life's storms because we believe that He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Departure Date Set

Mike & Esther heard back from Seattle yesterday. The good news is that they didn't find any antibodies in Ava's blood, so nothing ruled out the potential cord blood matches they found. Hooray!

The medical team met to determine which cord blood donor was the best fit, and they decided on the 5/6 match whose donor also is of Asian descent. Praise God!

So, the Lee family will be flying out to Seattle next Tuesday, October 21. On "intake day," (Thursday), Ava will begin a series of tests over the next two weeks to determine baseline organ function and other things in preparation/evaluation for transplant. Such tests include (but aren't limited to): chest x-ray, EKG, pulmonary function tests... she will also get a bone marrow biopsy done somewhere in that time frame. Here is the general timeline: 

Oct. 21 - Lee family goes to Seattle
Oct. 23 - Ava's intake day...testing over next couple of weeks
Nov. 5/6 - Seattle medical team gives final recommendation on transplant. If they give the thumbs up...
Nov. 13 - start 3 days of very high dose chemo (inpatient); then one day off of chemo + 4 days of total body irradiation
Nov. 21 - transplant, then 3.5-4 weeks inpatient
Possible discharge around Christmas, followed by 2.5 months of follow-up in the clinic. The family may be able to return home as early as the end of Feb/early March (barring any setbacks).

With the exception of the Lee's departure date and Ava's intake day, these dates are only projected and therefore subject to change.

You may wonder why the medical team needs to give a final recommendation on transplant around Nov 5/6. This is their recommendation on whether or not Ava is ready for a transplant. They would reject her for transplant if she has any active infection at the time, or if there is active disease. Active disease would point to the need for more chemo to first eradicate the cancer before transplant.

There's a lot to do and yet it sometimes feels like we don't know what we're supposed to be doing to prepare. It feels like we've been trying to anticipate logistical needs for quite some time, yet not fully able to confirm what those needs will be. Housing is still a question mark right now. The 3BR house they were originally looking into didn't pan out as the house & interior furniture were all rather old so they couldn't take a risk on germs/mold, etc. They are on a waitlist to get a 1BR at the Ronald McDonald house next week, though for tonight alone there were 30 families on the waitlist! So, the 4 Lee's will likely stay with relatives in Kent upon arrival, and see what kind of housing they can find when they get there. It appears that some of their early appointments will be at the Seattle Cancer Care Center, with the others being at the Children's Hospital (which I understand are in different locations).

There are 2BR units available at the Ronald McDonald house specifically designed with transplant patients in mind, equipped with air filtration, minimal carpet, etc. However, these units are only for post-transplant patients, which means they would not be available to the Lee family right now.

For now, we could use some help from all you Seattle peeps! First, what is Seattle winter weather like? (If any one of you has lived in Chicago, any comparisons would be welcome). What type of winter clothing might be needed? Given that this past winter seemed unusual for everyone all around, any suggestions for this coming winter if it turns out to be similar?

Second, if anyone has other suggestions for housing near the hospital, please let us know. Thank you to those who have already done so! 

*Edited to add: The Lee's are looking for at least a 2BR furnished unit to accommodate their family + Esther's parents. Some relatives may come in to help, too. Hardwood floors are needed for cleanliness (e.g. no/minimal carpeting). They are required to live within a 10 minutes' drive from the hospital. The remainder of insurance they have left for lodging is about $8000 for their stay, which comes out to $2500/month for the months of Nov-Feb. If they end up staying later than that, they can probably manage/arrange something.

I'm sure I'll have more questions/requests, but that's it for now.

Thanks in advance for your input, suggestions, and of course - prayers. The Lee family is so thankful to have you walking alongside them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Waiting for Word on a Match

It's hard to believe how many decisions are needing to be made, and yet we don't have a move date at this point. Originally, Seattle Care Center Alliance (SCCA) proposed October 20th as an "intake" date when they would start the process of preparing Ava for transplant, but they waved that off sometime last week.

Why? They are still determining if they have a good cord blood match for Ava. As you may know, bone marrow transplants need good matching for the best success. Doctors review at least 8 HLA markers for matching (though I think there are up to 10 different HLA markers). An 8 out of 8 match would be considered a "perfect" match. Transplants have also been done with a 7 out of 8 match.

With cord blood transplants, because cord blood cells are more immature than adult donor cells, the degree of matching doesn't need to be as stringent. They typically look at 6 different markers, and a 4 out of 6 match may be used in a transplant.

For Ava, 5 potential cord blood matches have been identified. (Hooray!) Four of these have a 4/6 match, and one has a 5/6 match. However, because Ava has already had a number of blood transfusions to date, her body has likely produced antibodies to certain blood types. Therefore, they are examining Ava's blood sample to see what type(s) of antibodies are present. This is important for them to determine which, if any, of the cord blood donors would be suitable for Ava. Simply going with the 5/6 match is not sufficient to determine a good match. Please pray for successful cord blood matching!

Once this is determined, they'll have more firm instructions on when Ava will head out to Seattle.

On another note, Mike mentioned in a previous post about Seattle's "stem cell expansion program", hoping that Ava gets selected for it. What he's referring to is a clinical trial being done at SCCA where they artificially expand or multiply the cord blood stem cells. Because units of cord blood contain relatively low amounts of cells, it's common to combine 2 different cord bloods from 2 different donors in order to have enough volume for a patient's transplant. But because Ava is little, the good news is that one unit of cord blood will be sufficient for her. Even so, the concern comes in after the transplant. The first month post-transplant is crucial. This is where they look for engraftment - when the transplanted cells start growing and multiplying in the patient, signifying a successful transplant. At the same time, the patient's immune system has been completely wiped out in preparation for the transplant (to put them in a better position to receive the donor cells), but this also means that they are at extremely high risk for infections - unfortunately a complication that can result in poor outcomes. Then there's graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) when the newly transplanted cells start attacking the recipient's body. This can be acute or chronic, and range from mild to severe. In my limited understanding, I believe the clinical trial being done at SCCA is looking at expanding the cord blood stem cells... multiplying the cells so they have more of them on hand. During that crucial first month post-transplant, they can use these expanded cells in the recipient to help them better overcome risks for infection, etc. But this is only an investigative procedure, thus the clinical trial. Patients are randomized into the trial to either be part of the group that has cord blood cells expanded or the group that does not. They are hoping that Ava would be randomized into the group that does have this experimental stem cell expansion done.

They plan to do a bone marrow biopsy in Seattle as part of Ava's transplant preparation (so no biopsy will be done here). We continue to pray for MRD negative status heading into transplant!

Thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Last Chemo Today

From Esther's FB page:

Last chemo at Luries! On to the next part of God's plans for our lives. God, be with us and with you!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Praises & Prayer

Just a quick check-in.

We are thankful that for the most part, Ava has been tolerating the chemo fairly well.
Extra praise: apparently when Ava gets this chemo regimen on an outpatient basis (like today), her infusion time is cut in half! They are able to give it over 4 hours instead of 8 hours. Woot!

Ava started showing some signs of side effects today. Nothing alarming, but she is in pain. She has one more day of chemo on Friday. Thanks for your continued prayers.
Gwen's skin has been flaring up and has been difficult to get under control.
There is lots to plan, but many unknowns, so it's hard to plan for what you don't know! They are narrowing in on a place to stay (yay), and look to God for continued direction and provision.

We are still trying to understand/foresee what kinds of needs the Lee family will have out in Seattle. When we get something more definitive to put together, we'll let you know as soon as possible how you can help! (No pressure, of course).

Thanks for your faithful support!