Tuesday, October 25, 2016

James 1:2-3

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3

We've had a roller coaster the last few weeks...months even. 

In June my dad was emitted to the ER after throwing up blood. That was a whirlwind of about 18 hours. I got a call from my sister that they were taking him to the hospital around 7:30. Only a few hours later as I was getting in bed, I got another call that a mass was seen on the CT scan in the duodenum. (An area that my sisters researched and found was very rare except for males in their sixth decade--my dad.) They would be doing an endoscopy in the morning, but we went to sleep that night feeling like we'd just been punched in the stomach. Early the next morning my family of 4 got on the road to drop the kids off at my in-laws so Patrick and I could go and hang out in the tiny {and shared} hospital room with my family. Just as we were leaving my in laws, I got another call that the mass seen on the scan was most likely a blood clot and they were able to repair the ulcer/bleed during the procedure. whew.

Fast forward to the end of August and my dad had a repeat endoscopy. We were waiting for the all clear text from my mom. Instead, we got a text that said the doctor took a biopsy of the tissue where the "clot/ulcer" had been-that the tissue did not look normal. Another gut punch.

But even so, there were several things that we were able to see God's faithfulness and provision in. The doctor shared with my dad that, without having his charts in front of him, he was confused when he saw a repeat scope on his schedule for the day.  According to him, they do not normally repeat these procedures if everything looked okay when they finished. So we are thankful that this scan was scheduled. {Because as we would not so soon find out, the "clot/ulcer" actually was a mass.}

After a few days of waiting we got another call that the biopsy came back inconclusive and another biopsy was needed, but the doctor was thinking it looked like lymphoma. And then more waiting...

After another week+ goes by, we received news that the second biopsy did indicate lymphoma. But we still got little specifics, because more scans were needed with an oncologist. So...more waiting.

On October 3rd, he met with the oncologist again to review the results of the bone marrow scan and PET scan. Bone marrow was clear, but the PET scan indicated active lymph nodes in his neck and clavicle, in addition to the one in his duodenum--indicating stage 3.

But it was still back to the waiting game because we had to wait for a surgeon to biopsy an active lymph node to determine what type of lymphoma so a specific treatment plan could be determined.

On Friday (10.21.16), my dad met with the oncologist again to review the pathology report. The report indicated Non Hodgkins, follicular B cell lymphoma, grade 3b. This grade is considered far more aggressive than the other follicular lymphomas, so it is treated as diffuse large B cell (what my mom had). A race began with my the oncologist, my family, and their friends in the medical field to get him prepped and ready for chemo to start on Tuesday---today.

And here we are. Waiting and hoping. Believing. Praying. 

When we went through this with my mom 9 years ago, we all called it the best and the worst time. It was tough, really tough at times. But we saw God provide and encourage us every step of the way. Our faith was strengthened and so were our relationships with one another. Our prayer is of course that God would heal my dad. But we also pray that God would be glorified in all of this. That our lives would only point back to our creator and the one who holds the world in His hands. 

Spirit lead us where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters where ever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

If you are reading this, we would appreciate you joining us in prayer for his healing, strength for his body, and encouragement for his soul. We are thankful for the support of those around us and that God doesn't have us go at this alone.  

This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First day of 2s and pre-k!

We just dropped our babies off for their first day of school! They did great and, surprisingly, we did too! :) Maybe it was because Reynolds walked right in there with such confidence and didn't even look back. I was too happy about that to even start crying sad tears. And Teagan, she loves school and already knows most of her classmates. We knew she'd go in easy breezy. 

Our prayer for them this school year is that they would grow and learn more about themselves, the world around them, and their Lord that created it all. We pray that it would be a fun time of making more friends and memories. And we pray that by their actions they would show the love of Christ to their classmates and their teachers. 

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
class clown ;)
somehow Teagan's sign never looked like this ;) 

...and he didn't even look back. 

Happy first day of school, my littles! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Teagan's birthday and pool party!

We {especially Teagan and I} love a good celebration! This girl gets as excited as I do about decorations for a party and gets sad the day they finally have to come down. We had such fun celebrating her as a family and then with her friends at her pool party! 
P went in to work late so he could make some birthday pancakes! 

A few days later we celebrated 
Side note, this little guy. Fearless in the water. (as is that cousin of his in front)
The after party crash ;) 
The Beauforts came and stayed a few nights with and Teagan loved having them around for so long. I think both Teagan and Reynolds went through withdrawals when they had to leave. There may have been tears. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Teagan Leigh, 4 years old

This precious & funny girl of ours turned 4 last month. She loves to learn and lights up at the chance to be a helper. Although shy, she will put on a good song & dance for those close to her. She is compassionate and kind, and our little lover. I asked what she thought she'd be able to do when she turned 4 and she said, "When I'm 4, I can do whatever I want. Cause that's what big kids do." So there's that.... Here's to hoping the sweet still outweighs the sassy in year 4. So thankful we were called to be her parents-it is one of our greatest joys. 

Teagan Leigh, here's a little look at your life since your last post at 3 1/2
First slumber party!
You have so many of your books memorized and can read to Reynolds. 
You brought your guitar and sang at a show & tell! Ahhh, it was a crazy schedule at school so I missed seeing it myself but your teacher sent me this picture. 
Father Daughter Dance and you had THREE dates! :) 
Snow Mountain! 
And your first hike up Stone Mountain
Girls day to see a Frozen ballet
Visits with family in North Augusta
I came to a class party and tried to get a picture with you...and several of your friends hopped in too! 
Easter egg hunt
and sassy! :) 
Lemonade Days! 
Stawberry picking!
First library card! 
First recital!! 
Lunch at American Girl with a friend! 
Airshow with your cousins 
Last day of school....and looking so much bigger! 
Food Trucks with the Fosters
I love that when I ask to take a picture, your go-to response is to assume some sort of ballet position. 
Family beach trip! 
We were at the lake and people were shooting off fireworks early for the 4th. It woke you up, so we let you watch with us for a while. I was explaining the meaning of the 4th and reason for fireworks, when you said, "Oohhhhh! I get it! They're shooting fireworks for my birthday!" ;) 
Playdate with your first bestie
First movie in the theater! 
First day of ballet camp!
You asked for pancakes for birthday breakfast...and for dinner, IHOP. 

We love you sweet one! We love seeing the little lady that you're growing up to be. Our prayer for you is that you would always show kindness to others, be confident to be YOU, and love Jesus. We  look forward to seeing what adventures being 4 brings you!