Wednesday, December 14, 2011

24 Hours Later and an Update

November 16, 2011 was yet another sad day for our family.  We learned that the cancer had returned and Emilie would have to undergo more treatment.  Really?  How could this be?  After 17 months of remission, how could this be?  Our life was back to, friends, shopping trips to the mall, swimming, baseball games, etc.  While we were wallowing in "why us?", Emilie was on to something more productive...thinking of others.  You see, the following day, we had a consult with our oncologist and Emilie would miss her Operation Christmas Child packing party at school.  Two weeks prior, we spent a good chunk of time at the Target Dollar Spot picking out items to fill her boxes, making sure that the the items were fun and useful.  Less than 24 hours following the news, Emilie decided that we needed to shop for more OCC boxes before travelling to Packard for our consult.  Off to Kmart and to the Dollar Store where once again, Emilie carefully picked special items for kids in other countries.  Amazing!  Emilie continues to inspire me with her positive attitude and her quiet trust and faith in God!!  Here is a quick shot from my phone of Emilie preparing her boxes.

I don't think Emilie knows this scripture in her head, but it just has to be in her heart.

We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. 2 Cor 4:8-9 CEV

Here's the update...Emilie had one week of chemo over Thanksgiving and weekly IT chemo (in her spinal fluid) in hopes of putting that nasty cancer in remission.  If her tests results show that she is in remission, she will undergo an bone marrow transplant in January 2012.  This will require chemo, full body radiation, bone marrow transplant and a 4-6 week stay at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.  Our sweet Nicolas is Emilie's donor and he will have to have a few tests with a short procedure to harvest his bone marrow.  He is excited to help Emilie and is not afraid of what's ahead.  We will be living at the Palo Alto Ronald McDonald house for about 60 days following our stay at LPCH since Emilie's immune system will be at "zero".  They want us close to the hospital in the event of  a fever.  If all goes as planned, we could be home 100 days from transplant.  Emilie will be in isolation mode for approximately 6-12 months, which will be made better with Facetime and Skype. (Email me for video chat info).  That's alot of "if thens", so we are taking everything day by day and sometimes hour by hour.
We would so appreciate your prayers regarding...
1.) the cancer is destroyed
2.) chemo, radiation and transplant go well with no events
3.) Emilie stays joyful and positive
4.) the boys stay on track with school and sports while we are gone
5.) strength, health and endurance for Nana

I will leave you with our first ever professionally photographed family shot by Michelle Riddle taken only four days prior to learning that the cancer returned.  (Michelle selflessly donated a portion of all her family Christmas sessions to Cookies for Kids Cancer... thank you Michelle.)
Please, please, I encourage you to spend the time, the money, and the anxiety to do this for yourself and your family.  Trust me on this one!!


Eva said...

I love the family shot! I will be praying for you guys and Emily on all accounts! Emily sounds like such a brave girl may the Lord's peace and joy surround you this Christmas season and throughout the new year.

Jill said...

Beautiful picture!!! I am lifting you and your precious Emilie up in prayer!!- my heart is a bit broken- yet completely blessed by Emilie's heart!!- Emilie you are truly an amazing gift to all- an inspiration for us all!! praying!praying!praying!!!
Lots of love and many Blessings!

Janene said...

Beautiful family photo!!
Prayers said daily on your family's behalf by many of us!