Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday!!


 
As always, Grant's birthday has been a day of reflection for me.  His leukemia diagnosis came on this day 6 years ago.  6 years?!?  I really can't believe it!  It seems like yesterday and so long ago all at the same time.  It's amazing to me the things that Grant does not remember about this horribly traumatic experience.  But, he still has a story to tell. 
He doesn't remember all the pokes...pokes in the finger, pokes in the arm, pokes in the back, pokes in his port.  He doesn't remember crying over the pain in his legs.  He doesn't remember being bald.  He doesn't remember slurred speech, drooling, and not being able to stand up during a TIA episode. He doesn't remember the fretful nights of fever wondering if we should call the Dr. and go to the ER.  He doesn't remember the anesthesia that he had such a hard time waking up from.  He doesn't remember all the medication he took and how awful those dang steroids made him feel.  He doesn't remember being isolated from children.  He doesn't remember the fear, frustration, anxiety, helplessness and pain.
But, when we talk about his story, the first thing he will tell you is that GOD healed him.  Grant remembers that so many of our wonderful friends and family prayed for him.  He remembers that people came to visit him and do nice things for him.  He remembers that he loved getting to eat whatever he wanted in the hospital.  He remembers that the nurses (and child life) were nice and took good care of him.  He remembers that we got to go to Disney World and Lighthouse Family Retreats.  He remembers that he was given an amazing playground for our backyard.  And, of course, he remembers all the sporting events we got to attend.  These are the important things!! :)
I have scrapbooked Grant's cancer journey so that he can remember...the good and the bad.  But, it's all part of his walk with the Lord....the good that we could see in the moment and the bad that God turned to good.
We are so blessed to be on this side of the fight.  We are thankful that God chose to heal Grant and truly believe that He has big plans for him. God is good and in control, even when we think our circumstances are not good and things are out of control.  We will choose to remember that God conquered the fear, frustration, anxiety, helplessness and pain and in it's place brought healing, peace, comfort, wisdom, and freedom. 
We serve an amazing, loving God.  I can't imagine going through this life without knowing Him.  And I can't imagine facing eternity with uncertainty.  If you do not know Him, you can.  You just need to Admit that you are a sinner and are separated from God because of it.  Then, Believe that Jesus is God's son and died on the cross to forgive those sins.  Finally, Confess that you need His forgiveness and are saved by His grace.
Life is hard and knowing God doesn't prevent you from going through struggles.  He just gives you the tools you need so that you can live in abundant joy, no matter the circumstances.
I am thankful for Grant's story and pray that God will always be glorified through it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cured?!?!



First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite 8-year old!  And happy "cured from cancer" day.  What does that mean?  I don't really know, because, in my mind, he has been cured for a long time.  But, today marks 5 years from the day Grant was diagnosed with leukemia, the official cured date.  So, it has caused me to do some reflecting, of course.  But, I as I sat down to write this, I became speechless.  I am just so overwhelmed by what the Lord has done!  I am so excited that we get to see what special things God has for Grant.  I just always remember that our lives were not "normal" for a season.  And now I pray that Grant will not be "normal".  I am hopeful that God has amazing for Grant and that Grant will answer the call.  And I cannot think of this season of life without remembering all of our prayer warriors.  We are so thankful for each prayer said on our behalf to the God that hears each one.
We are celebrating this day with a Rangers game.  Baseball is an obsession for Grant.  And we have been able to attend many games and do some fun things with the Rangers through cancer organizations.  The Rangers have never lost a game that Grant has attended.......Let's go Rangers!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Whole Year?!

Wow, I haven't posted an update in so long, I don't know where to start!
As we began our school day yesterday, Grant was looking at the calendar.  He immediately said, "It's been a year."  It took me a second to realize what he was saying.  Then he clarified for me, "It's been a year since I stopped taking my chemo."  Yes it has!!  Can you believe we have lived and entire year of "normal" life?  That seemed like a day that would never come in the midst of treatment.  But, here we are - a whole year!
Grant is still seeing Dr. Heym regularly.  He will go in September and then begin an every other month routine.  Each time, they do a blood analysis and a physical.  Grant has been passing with flying colors.
However, we did discover something unusual.  A couple of months ago, Grant was subconsciously touching his chest where his port used to be.  I reminded him it wasn't there.  He told me very seriously that something was there.  I thought it was all in his head until I started looking closer and touching it.  It sure did seem like something was there, but I kept telling myself there couldn't be.  So, we finally asked Dr. Heym about it.  I was thinking he was going to tell us it was scar tissue.  Grant is very thin and it is easily visible.  But that is not what he told us.  A piece of Grant's port was left in his chest.  What?!  How does that happen?
At that point, the doctors gave us 2 options.  They said that he could probably leave it in and live "harmoniously" with it for the rest of his life.  Or we could have it removed.  "Harmoniously" sounded like a nice word, but we are talking about the rest of the life of a 7-year old.  There were also some other risks, although unlikely, risks nonetheless.  So, to the great disappointment of Grant, we have opted to have it removed.
Grant will go into the surgery clinic today at 3:30 for the procedure.  They are going to do it in the office with a local anesthetic.  Please pray that Grant will be cooperative and this will go smoothly.  We've tried to sweeten the deal with his choice of lunch before and Sweet Frog's yogurt after, but he's still upset that he has to do this at all.
This is very frustrating as a parent.  But, at this point, all we can do is deal with the situation at hand.  We have so much to be thankful for.  God has answered so many prayers and never left us.  And He will go with us today too!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Port is Out

Grant's surgery was successful.  We were at the surgery center for about 3 hours, most of it spent waiting.  The nurse, anesthesiologist, & doctor all came to see him.  He chose strawberry flavored gas to put him to sleep, but he told us in recovery that it was not good.  Once they took him back to surgery, the procedure took less than 30 minutes.  He only has 2 stitches on the inside and a bandage on top.  It did take him a while to wake up, but that was expected and typical for him.  Once he did wake up, he downed 2 popsicles and was ready to go.  He was starving, so we stopped for a Sonic grilled cheese on the way home.  He's taking it easy this afternoon, but seems to be doing fine.  He's already trying to clarify the doctor's statement of "no rough-housing for 2 weeks."
So many emotions today.  I feel like this is more final than stopping medication.  That this is a step of faith that he will no longer need that port.  So excited for him to move forward from this chapter of life. And so proud of the brave little guy he has become.  I feel like this is really THE END.






Saturday, November 17, 2012

No News is Good News

Well I can't believe I haven't posted since the first day of school.  Ironically, Grant is no longer in school.  We began homeschooling 2 weeks ago and we are both having a great time.  God has really blessed this decision.
In medical news, Grant has been doing amazing.  After stopping chemo, his counts have been "perfectly normal".  :)  You know how carefully I use the term "normal".  He continues to see Dr. Heym every 4 weeks and is getting a great report each time.  Because of these good reports, we have reached another milestone in this process.  Grant will have his port removed on Monday at 9:30 a.m.  We took a picture of what it looks like with it in as a little momento.  



He says he is ready and it seems to be so.  I explained the process to him and all that was going to happen that day and he responded with a simple "ok".  Maybe he is more ready and relaxed than mom. I am so thankful that this day has arrived and it's just another answer to many prayers that he no longer needs his port.  However, I never like it when they have to put my baby under anesthesia.  Thankfully, he is so big and brave at this point, Rudy and I won't even be in the room when they put him under.  They will just wheel him back and give him "flavored" gas to put him to sleep.  (He's still trying to decide which flavor he will choose.)  They told us the procedure usually lasts less than an hour.  
I remember sitting in the waiting room 3 1/2 years ago when they placed his port.  I remember how scared I was of the uncertainty that lay ahead.  Today, as tears come to my eyes, I rejoice in the faithfulness of my God.  I rejoice in the strength of my son.  I rejoice in the trials and where they have brought us.  I rejoice in the many blessings and miracles God has given us.  I leave you with the words that have echoed in my mind and heart over the last 3 1/2 years.  God is Good!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Grade



Well, here we are, first grade!  Grant was very excited to go back to school today.  We went to meet the teacher last week and Grant loves her.  :)  God is good!  I was chatting with her to give her a little background information on Grant.  And she has had a student in her class before with leukemia!  I couldn't have planned that better.  Thank goodness God is in control!
He went to the clinic yesterday for his first check-up with NO CHEMO.  They will continue to access his port as long as he still has it, b/c it has to be flushed.  We scheduled a consultation with the surgeon for this Friday, so we will be able to schedule the surgery to have his port removed at that time.  At this point, we are looking for "normal" counts, which would be anything over 1500.  (Yes, he has been in the normal range for most of treatment.)  Grant has also been completely cleared to resume "normal" life as he would if this had never happened.  The only difference is we still have to call if he gets a fever.  I use the word "normal" loosely.  What does that really mean?!?!  :)  Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Win 1 For Me...

What an awesome celebration tonight at the Cats game.  Grant was already so excited about the game.  But this afternoon, the Cats called me and asked if Grant would throw out the first pitch.  Of course he will!  But, that was just the beginning.  Grant got to go in the locker room before the game and came out with all kinds of signed gear.  Then he got to be on the field before the game.  He did an AWESOME job throwing the first pitch!  Then, the manager asked him to hang out in the dugout and be the bat boy.  What a night!  It was so great to have friends and family (and even strangers) supporting us and celebrating with us.  And the Cats organization couldn't have done a better job at making Grant feel special.  Thank you to everyone involved!  We are excited to move on now.
Back to business - - - Grant has a clinic appointment tomorrow (but no chemo).  And then he will start 1st grade on Tuesday.  Praise God!
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