Friday, January 8, 2010


This croup bug has really taken it's toll on all three kids. They are all recovering slowly but surely. Amanda is back on her chemo, but only at 50%. Her counts have struggled to rebound. Even on her steroids she seems too tired to really fight and scream much. She hasn't returned to school and must be wiped out because she's not begging to go back yet. I can't make up my mind when to send her back. I suppose she'll let us know when she's ready.

I can't help but think of the past year. Are we finally done with 2009? It has felt like such a bad dream that sometimes I can't tell if it's over yet or not. This past year has been so bitter/sweet that to recap it is not an easy task. There are parts that were so painful, dark, and difficult to get through that it's hard to even think about them. But I want to share what I have learned. Those dark places where you feel totally abandoned are meant to be. They are teaching tools. They are humbling moments. They are intensely painful, but you just have to endure them and learn to move on. I have noticed that during those moments you are pushed to the brink and when you think you cannot go on, the burden is lifted - even just slightly. And consistently the burden lifters have been our family and friends. I could easily lament about this past year - very easily! But staying positive means just accepting that times are tough, but knowing that they will get better. I'm often questioned how we are managing to get through. I'll show you how.

Santa helped reassure Amanda that she has been a good girl and gave her a bag of candy so big she could hardly carry it. She needed reassurance of how brave she has been.

Erin and her great sense of humor! She can be a challenge, but she's good at making me laugh.

Generous donations from friends and family. It reminds us of how much people care and has brought some much needed happiness to these two.

Endless help from family. I had to scramble to find help to go to clinic this week. I realized it was the first time and I knew that finding help would be easily. How fortunate we are to never have to worry that somebody can help us when we need it. Our parents provide the majority of that support. We are so fortunate for the endless hours that they devote to us.

(I'll work on getting more updated pictures of you mom - but I like this pre-cancer one best).

Aunts, uncles, and cousins that are always willing to spend time helping us entertain Amanda. When you are 8 and have cancer, the time passes very slowly. I have many people to thank for helping distract her from the boredom.

(Dayan - the family's future super athlete and only babysitter that will work for food)

(3D fun with uncle/aunt Rick and Carol. We are so glad they live so close and drop by so frequently)

And most important, God has seen us through and gently reminds us that it's because of these three beautiful people that we must keep pushing on each day.


  1. Mary Ann, this entry is wonderful. I couldn't agree more that the hardships we encounter in this life are teaching tools that help shape us and prepare us for the next life. All of your pictures are terrific and notably appropriate. Well done!

  2. I am totally with you on the whole 2009 thing. The girls look so cute in their dresses. Thank You for your advice on the insurance. I guess it is common for the insurance to deny the first time and maybe the second also. We will keep trying until we get success.