Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our Journey Update and Fantastic Blessings

I have realized that I have not posted a blog in over one month, and I know many people wonder how we are doing. I continue to lean on God's strength at all times. I continue to have faith in God's word concerning healing for my son. "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up (James 5:15). By Jesus stripes my son is healed and that is what I am reminded each day that I feel my faith being tested. I know that God will use this situation to glorify Him and I have to trust that each day I am at the hospital.

Chemotherapy Procedures

Gabriel is presently on interim maintenance, but with his previous reaction our commitment at the hospital has increased. We are at the hospital three days a week for a period of two weeks at a time. We get a little more than a week break, which means we are only at the hospital once during that time. However, this will change as we enter a new chemo phase for Gabriel and will last for two months. The next phase of treatment will be quite intensive with many chemo medications both orally, intrathecal and iv. The preparation for this phase included an ultrasound and baseline reading of his heart as one particular drugs poses a risk to his heart (rare risk). It is times like this that our fears can surface, but I know that fear is not of the Lord and only used by Satan to defeat our faith in God's word. We appreciate your continued prayers.

Many people ask how Gabriel is doing and I am thankful that he is coping well. His age protects him from fully understanding the severity of his disease, but I am glad for this. I cannot imagine Gabriel carrying the same mental health struggles that adults have to carry when confronted with being diagnosed with cancer. Gabriel has moments where he is angry before and after painful procedures, which is to be expected. Overall, he plays like a little boy should, asks questions like a little boy should and loves to be with his friends and family. He is a energetic, high-spirited, incredible little boy whom I am so proud of. He inspires me. I love hearing him in the back of the car singing his Sunday School songs. He misses so much attending Sunday school and asks when he can go back. We always tell him one day things will be different and he can go back.

The process tends to be more difficult for parents with young children coping through chemo. I have to endure holding my child when he is in pain and feeling so helpless that I can't take it away. Mike and I have to endure the thoughts that creep in each day that create fears of the future. I know that this journey has reinforced for me that if I don't seek God consistently through this journey and forever I can become mentally fractured and allow Satan's control to work in our family. I am thankful that God is in control and that I feel his presence each day as I certainly could not do this journey without him leading the way.

Relay for Life

I want to send a thank you to everyone for your support for our team in the Relay for Life in Tillsonburg. We had an incredible time and was empowering for Mike and I to be part of this great cause. As parents we often feel helpless. The Relay for Life was a great opportunity for us to do something proactive that allowed us to feel a sense of control by contributing to wonderful cause that seeks to change similar circumstances for families. Thank you so much for you help.
I want to thank my team for your commitment and raising pledges. We could not have done this without you. Thank you to everyone who pledged our team and/or the individuals on our team. You have contributed to a worthy cause and many families will come to know the benefits of this cause.

Smith Family Fun

During this phase we had many opportunities to enjoy various outings as a result of Gabriel's neutrophils being high. We have spent time camping at Port Burwell Provincial Park, visiting Point Pelee on two occasions for a day trip, trip to Niagara falls for three days, hikes, picnics in the park, visiting my parents in Wiarton, and spending time Mike's siblings from Alberta and seeing our family and friends. It has been an enjoyable time for us these past two months and has assisted with distracting us from the realities of our family life at this time.

Simone is growing so fast. She is our fearless, comedic little girl who brings us all to laughter everyday. She is trying to run more often and is saying many new words each day. I see a confident and assertive little girl who knows what she likes and dislikes and communicates this very well. We are so proud of her. She shows much concern for her brother and loves to give him hugs and kisses. Gabriel and Simone are inseparable. Gabriel does not like to go to the hospital without her. I must say that my favorite time with my children is our cuddle time. Both of my children love cuddle time with mommy. I am trying to figure out how to fit my three children on my lap, and will be determined to find a way. I am so thankful for each of my children and when I look at them I see God's amazing power.

Our new baby is ready to come on October 28th, and we are getting excited about our new addition. We were recently told in an ultrasound that they are 98% sure that we are having another girl. Exciting news for our family that will soon become five. The name search has begun, but a difficult task for Mike and I. We tend to choose names that are not on the top 100 names of the past few years. I have only made it through three letters of the alphabet and not much agreeable success. Stay tuned upon the delivery of our baby for the chosen name. :)

Thank you once again for choosing to spend your time with us by reading my blog. We appreciate this commitment as I know that life can be busy for everyone.

God Bless you all!