Sunday, January 18, 2015


My heart is grieved today. I have had one too many updates from fellow cancer moms who were given soul sucking news regarding their children. I'm in a dark place of despair and anger and helplessness. I confess that more of the day was spent in angry tears than in desperate prayer.

Cancer does not simply leave the lives of those it affected after treatment is done or a transplant is completed. It lingers on bringing waves of fear and insecurity that we fight to keep under control. Some days are easier than others. Today was not one of those days.

We haven't posted any pictures of Ava recently due to her sensitivity of her appearance. But, in solidarity with all the children fighting this horrific battle, I post one today.

This picture of my baby fighting cancer strikes a tender chord in my heart and is fraught with too many emotions to adequately articulate. I honor the children that fight so courageously and so gloriously. We stand by you, precious ones, and we will ever, ever cheer you on.

We want to be strong for you, Ava, but it has always been you that has kept us from buckling under the weight of this sorrow. We love you. We are proud of you. And one day when you can read this blog, we trust that you will understand the magnitude of what you overcame.

Ava-Christmas 2014

Less than one month later--Cushing's syndrome from high dose steroids to treat grade 4 GVHD 
(She is using her teddy to practice feeding her baby brother when he arrives.)


Heather Rocen said...

When I look at these two pictures, all I see is a beautiful smile and sparkling eyes! We love you Ava, Esther, Mike and Gwen!

Amber Peters said...

I see warrior, strength and a smile that would make anyone's heart melt!

Yaoe Wampler said...

Ava, you are beautiful and sweet girl , be strong and faith with God, Him will rise you up to the top mountain. God love you! Thank you for Lee's family shared every moment the wonderful girl Ava with us. We love all of you.! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Love your post Esther. Have no words to convey what I want to say. But you can be sure that all of you are in my constant thots n prayers.
Ava's infectious smile has not waned and keep fighting the fight of faith. Love, sk

David said...

Dear Esther, we hear you, please feel free to vent. This damn cancer isn't easy to our kids, nor to us the parents. It's tough, can't be easy. We are all proud of our little warriors, they seems to born to take this challenge, this life threatening challenges. Want to say something to Ava, you will be fine, you are the prettiest girl to many of us! We are all proud of you. Listen to Mom and Dad, drink more water, liquid, get the medicine circulate faster in your body to do the work, and kick the left over out your body. You will look prettier later.

Love all of you,


Peter said...

Dear Ava, Gwen, Esther and Mike,
We are so humbled by the impossibly difficult journey you've made so far as a family, and so proud of Ava's strength, determination and faith that carries her through the darkest days and nights. We will ALWAYS see the beautiful warrior princess that you are, Ava, for it is your beautiful soul that Jesus sees in you too!

Sending you much love,
Peter, Lily, Ethan and Claire

Anonymous said...

Ava no matter how you change on the are always Ava! Your shining smile comes through!

Anonymous said...

It must be difficult for you whole family, but you are almost there! Ava made it through a major hurdle and the new little Lee boy will arrive soon. He will bring happiness and a new changes to your family.
You have every right to vent! We are hear to listen! I admire and envy the courage and strength of your entire family! With hugs from Chris Straszewski