Monday, July 23, 2012

House of God, Forever

This weekend was great. It felt like a vacation to be at home for 5 full days! On Sunday we all went to breakfast with my parents and then to church and then out to lunch. I was worried about being in so many public places. Anthony reminded me we'll be on lockdown for the next couple weeks, so we should take advantage.

Later Sunday afternoon we had a great showing of help to rearrange our kids' bedrooms. They moved a twin over full bunk bed to the basement, a twin bed along with it's trundle upstairs, and Rourke's loft bed was moved over to the girls' room. The strong muscles and expert bed makers made the process go quickly. The end goal was to give Esther her own space for this next year. The kids were such troopers and understood the need for all the change.

Today Esther started her second round of chemo. She'll have an infusion starting at 7:30am each day for the rest of this week. On Saturday morning she'll start a growth factor med causing stem cell production and release into her blood stream. Those meds will continue the following two weeks until her stem cell production peaks and then they will extract her stems cells, filtering out her red and white blood cells along with her platelets. Those cells will be returned to her body and the stem cells will be stored to help her recover after the MIBG therapy and again following high dose chemo in December.

It was overall a good day. She handled chemo well and only got sick once. I think it was because her anti-nausea meds lapsed a couple of hours due to of a dosing issue. She lost a little weight and they had to re-dose her chemo and meds. It's not a huge loss, she was just 0.1kg under the previous dosing requirements but our doctor thought going with the lower dose might help her counts not drop so low after this next round of chemo and it's appropriate for her weight either way. I like Dr. Garrington, he's kind and Esther loves him. He had her giggling and playing peek-a-boo. Her ANC counts today were phenomenal, 6,111. I am thankful she's so high right now and hopeful these counts will give some wiggle room during this cycle.

Our friend, Thomas, is also recieving a 5 day treatment this week. He along with two cousins and another friend from our homeschool group are taking a logic course right there in the infusion center. Their instructor, Thomas' mom, Emily, is doing an excellent job! When they left, these four teens were growing lots of brain cells from all the learning they did. Tomorrow Rourke is going to join Esther and I and we're going to do a little school of our own. Lydia and Frannie will also get a turn to join us. What a fun and strange circumstance that something so normal to our lives, school, is happening in an oncology clinic.

We are planning to do this week of chemo outpatient and will drive down each day. Since it is likely she'll be admitted again at some point over the next three weeks, we are savoring each possible moment at home.

A friend from church whose daughter had leukemia when she was about the same age as Esther said as she walked through the halls of the hospital they were at she thought of Psalm 23 "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." We sung a song at church that is based on the this Psalm "House of God, Forever." It's a beautiful, hopeful song and accompanied me throughout the day as we walked out of the hosptial the line "Surely goodness, will follow me" sprung into mind. A sweet reminder fromt the Lord that He is right there with me. You can read the lyrics and listen below.


House of God, Forever by Jon Foreman

God is my shepherd

I won't be wanting

I won't be wanting

He makes me rest

In fields of green

With quite streams

Even though I walk

Through the valley

Of death and dying

I will not fear

'Cause you are with me

You are with me

Your shepherd staff

Comforts me

You are my feast

In the presence of enemy

Surely goodness

Follow me

Follow me

In the house of God, forever



  1. Can I just tell you how great it was to see you all at church too!? I had to stop myself from just wrapping Esther and you in giant hugs! I wasn't sure about keeping my distance with germs and all, but I was so so so glad to see you. We love you guys so much! Words do a mediocre job of expressing it. Praying for you this round.

  2. Praying for you this week, Sam! Love you and praying. So glad you had a little time at home. Praying for strength and perseverance and mercy. Love you!