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Beware: this post requires kleenex

This has been a week that has caused a lot of tears for me. Not because of anything wrong with Peyton, Rachael or Nathaniel. Nothing’s wrong with Peter or me. But my heart has had a serious workout this week for those I care about and I’m asking everyone who reads this posting to say lots and lots of prayers for those I’m about to tell you about.

My friend Chris (the one who makes the amazing brownies!) has a father who has hepatitis. This week a donor liver became available and her father was in Gainesville getting prepped for transplant surgery to be performed at 9PM. They were waiting anxiously for them to come get her father when the news came that because of signs of infection he would not be able to get the donor liver and it would be given to another patient. It was such a disappointment and I know that Chris’ family was just so let down. It was a good thing that they found the infection because she explained that can be fatal post-transplant, but it was still a huge letdown. She has a great attitude about it and believes that if God had meant for him to have that liver he would have it, but that wasn’t his liver.

I got word through the “cancer family grapevine” that a family we had met in Orlando at the American Cancer Society function had devastating news this week. Their daughter, a leukemia patient who’d been doing so well and had moved into the maintenance phase of treatment, got an infection that spread into her blood and she died Thursday. This was not a family we were close with, we had only met them for a few minutes during our stay in Orlando, but you feel such a connection with other families going through the same struggle. It was just a blow to my sense of well-being about how well Peyton is doing. Their daughter was also breezing through treatment by all accounts, and then a random infection took her away in a matter of days. What a cruel and painful twist of fate. God’s will is so hard to discern some days, but I’ve been reminded by those around me that we have to have faith that His love is complete and His plan is good. The news of this little girl’s death just brought every fear I have to the surface, I can’t even think of what I would do if we didn’t have Peyton. It’s too painful to think about. But I ask that you pray for strength and peace in the heart of the Sanders family as they deal with the loss of their little one, that God will give them comfort.

Today, I got a call and the news that a friend here in Brandon is taking a turn for the definite worse. Karen is a woman who has had a profound influence in my life, we’ve become good friends over the last couple of years and I know that God brought her into my life to change me for the better. She is the most optimistic and positive person I’ve ever met, with a huge heart and a spirit of gold. Karen was a first year parent at Central the same year we were, she was our cub scout leader, she started and taught Nathaniel’s much loved Lego class and was a vivacious and inspiring person. If something needed to be done, Karen could be counted on to help, that was just the kind of person she is. Karen has cystic fibrosis and over the past year has been getting worse and worse. In the past few months her health has steadily gone downhill and she’d gone on the transplant list for a new set of lungs. This was something we talked about at length, she felt terrible because she felt she was praying for someone to die so she could live, but we prayed over the fact that God’s will would be done and if He wanted her to have new lungs, he would provide them. In fact, once, her husband was on his motorcycle behind me as I drove down the street and I called her and joked that with a slam of my breaks she could have those new lungs…she had a great sense of humor and I loved that about her.

Karen has been in the ICU for several weeks now, as her breathing got worse and worse and I got the news today that she was put into an induced coma and put on life support. Karen and I had talked about the fact that she was adamant that she didn’t want to live on life support and I understood that, but she has given approval to keep her on support for 1 year in the hopes that God will provide those donor lungs that she so desperately needs. I pray that those lungs become available, that God will grant her more time on this earth to be the amazing wife, mother and friend she has always been. She is loved and needed here. But her heart is not cooperating, I don’t know all the terms and the exact situation, but it may be that continued life support will not be a viable option. I was told that her husband Mark would be talking to her doctors to find out if it was possible for her to continue to wait on life support or if it was better to just let her go be with the Lord. I am heartbroken for Mark and their 7 year old son Nick who are going through this terrible time, I pray for guidance and peace in Mark’s heart as he deals with the impossible choices he has to make and for the comfort he must give his son at a time when he himself needs so much. If it is God’s choice to take Karen from us, pray that we are able to be thankful that she is no longer in pain and will be taking wonderful deep breaths at God’s side.

I want to end this post in a positive light and with happiness.

Kaylie is doing much better. The obstruction in her intestines is starting to go away, she’s feeling much improved, the drainage tube has been removed from her nose and she’ll get her first meal tomorrow! Tisha says that her mood is happy and she’s feeling so much better. The lesions on her liver are not more leukemia cells, so that is FANTASTIC news, and now they’re working to see if they’re a fungus or what. If all continues to go well, they will hopefully get to go home in the next few days. Thank you all for your prayers for Kaylie, her improvement can only be in God’s hands.

Peyton had chemo on Wednesday and she did very well through another rough day. Her platelet count, her ANC and her white counts were great but her hemoglobin was on the borderline. I took her back on Friday to see what her counts would be to see if she could make it through the weekend without a transfusion and her hemoglobin had actually gone up! She is doing so well through this cycle of treatment, her counts are higher than they've been in two months and she's feeling really good. We are so thankful to see her progressing and constantly doing better than expected.

For those who don’t live in Florida, I just want you to know that the frosty fall weather is really taking a toll on my kids. Just look at what a hard time they had keeping themselves busy today.

These are Nathaniel and Rachael's school pictures….can you tell me what's off with Rachael's picture? They do us so proud! We love these kids.

fully relying on God

1 Comment on “Beware: this post requires kleenex”

  1. #1 Grandma Pat
    on Nov 12th, 2006 at 11:27 am

    Dear Anissa,
    Praying for you for the love of God to surround you and sustain you through these trying days. Praying for you, Chris's father, your friend Karen, and the Sanders family, and for Kaylie. We love you. If there is anything we can do to help please call and let us know.
    Grandma Pat