Monday, June 29, 2009

*updated* doctor's appointment & randomness

Just wanted to post a quick update that Ethan's oncology blood work from his appointment on Monday looks good. His platelets have been dropping in number slightly over the past couple of months, so I'd appreciate your prayers that it's just the normal ebb & flow of his body and not a trend indicating something more serious. The docs aren't too concerned by it at this point, but of course it's all I can think about since they mentioned it. Oh well, faith can't take a break, right?
And thankfully neither does the Lord!
Oh and have I mentioned that we leave for our vacation in just 3 days!?! We're praying for a wonderful trip full of relaxing fun for our little family! I'll catch up with you when we get back.
I'm sure I will have TONS of pictures to share!!

Original post:

Ethan goes for his routine monthly hospital visit later this morning. Join me in prayer for a perfect set of blood counts today and no unpleasant surprises. We leave for vacation on Saturday and I'm SUPER excited. This is the first real vacation Adam and I've taken in over 2 1/2 years AND our first vacation with Ethan! Did I mention that we are SUPER EXCITED?!

Lots of stuff going on in our lives, but Ethan continues to thrive. He's so funny! His personality is really starting to shine and he's hilarious! Just watching him engaged in various activities or interacting with us and others, he's just a hoot! He's walking now, too! He was expected to be slightly behind on a few milestone activities since he spent so much time in the hospital for his cancer treatments and recovery, but he has completely caught up with where he should be at this age. And speaking of his age, can you believe this kiddo is just a few weeks shy of being 1 1/2?!? ONE AND A HALF! My goodness time flies. And with all that we've had to endure, I'm quite thankful God allowed us to move in and out of the trial of Ethan's illness fairly quickly.

Just a little over a year.

So much can happen in a year.

So much DID happen in a year.

But what an amazing set of days/weeks/months. I still can't fully wrap my mind around everything we've gone through as a family and with Ethan since his diagnosis back in April of 2008. I really can't. I know we couldn't have endured and preserved like we did without God's strength and peace. I tell you for sure, it was not by our might or our strength or our anything... but only by God's grace, God's mercy, and God's power that we were able to even breathe during those hard, hard days. And what an encouragement so many have been to our lives. I was cleaning Ethan's room (sorting out the clothes he can't wear anymore) and I saw all the blankets that were knitted for Ethan, all of the gifts given to him during his hospital stays. All the cards sent to us are all kept in a drawer in Ethan's dresser. It's our "encouragement center". Yep, the bottom drawer in Ethan's dresser is FULL of cards that people mailed to us and cards that children made for Ethan. Yes, I still have (and cherish) all of those things that helped us get through the day to day heaviness.

I look back on this blog, as well. This site started off as a way to keep our extended family and friends in the loop about prayer needs that arose with Ethan's shocking cancer diagnosis. At that point, I was sending out daily mass emails because I wanted as many people praying as possible. And then, with the suggestion of a friend, the blog came to life. One place I could make frequent updates without having to re-send emails all of the time. And I had no idea that it would spread beyond the reaches of those family members and friends that we initially sent the link to. I can't even truly comprehend that complete strangers began following our story and praying for our little boy's miracle. Even now, I start to cry just thinking about it. This blog certainly became a beautiful place for me to come and be real. A place for me to pour out what I had started holding in. A place for me to ponder the Lord. A place for me to connect. With you. And with all that was happening in our lives. And I can't thank you enough for letting me be me, and letting the Lord work through our journey.

I'm not sure where all of this is coming from. I had only intended to write a prayer request for Ethan's appointment today, but then my fingers just kept going. Maybe I'm at a transition point right now. A sort of fork in the road and I'm looking for direction. And maybe I think that if I keep typing long enough an epiphany will occur. Who knows. But suffice it to say, I'm praying for guidance from the Lord on what He'd have me to do next. We've encountered a glorious experience with the healing of Ethan's cancer. A true miracle in the purest form. And I'm trying to determine if the Lord is leading me to share our journey on a bigger scale.

Let me take a step back and clarify I have ZERO desire for fame. Zero. Because then I'd feel pressured to lose 10 pounds and who wants to deal with that burden!?! And I very much appreciate that I can go to Walmart without any makeup on and no one cares (or even points out the fact!).

All joking aside, though, I can't ignore this nagging feeling that there's a message here. A story of faith. A story of hope. A story with a happy ending. And maybe the story has been told sufficiently. Maybe this blog has served the purpose of bringing widespread glory to God (I don't track hits to our site anymore, but you may remember me mentioning in a post last year that we had people from about 9 other countries/providences that followed Ethan's blog! In addition to those who followed our site from the good ole USA. Can I just tell you that that STILL boggles my mind!). And if that's the case then Hallelujah! But I'm trying to be open. I'm praying for direction. What will He make of this journey. What will He make of our experience. What will He make of the transformation He's made in our lives. I don't know. I can't know, unless He shows me. And truth be told, I'm lazy. And I second guess myself. So I'm not moving, unless He moves me.

Completely unexpected and random post today. Guess I just needed to talk. I do appreciating the "listening ear". So thank you. I'm sure another diet dr. pepper is in order for me right about now, so I'll say ta-ta. Thank you for your prayers for Ethan's appointment today.

I love you for praying for him... for us. Always have. Always will. And I love the Lord for His goodness poured out over our lives. Even when other aspects of my life make me weary, His goodness endures. And I'm ever so thankful.

For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come.
Song of Solomon 2:11-12


Anonymous said...

I am one of those anonymous readers who has been following your family's story. You have been a wonderful example of being real in the midst of adversity yet trusting God for the miracle. As I have read your blog, I have been amazed with what a great communicator you are through words and have often thought you could bind these blog entries - to encourage others that have a journey to follow similar to yours. I pray that God will use your talent in writing and communicating for his glory!!

Lorri said...

love that verse!

a good quote as you open yourself to God's leading in sharing your story (and I can't remember the source, but it's not me) is "Your job is to deepen the message, God's job is to broaden it." Continue on one step at a time!

And pickle that cutie - he's getting much too grown up!

Anonymous said...

I too am one of those folks you don't know. I was linked to your site by a friend who lost a child as I did. We have been praying for your family and PRAISING THE LORD for how He is mightily working in your lives. You have a beautiful way of communicating in a very tranparent way. You give God all the glory. You have a ministry here that touches far beyond our comprehension. There are so many families out there hurting and need the encouragement of God. Keep pointing others to the comfort of the Lord. You are a godly example of what every Mom should be. Sending hugs of JOY and prayers for a wonderful, relaxing vacation!

Natalie Ezelle said...

Can I be honest with you? When I read this, I wanted my words to just scream through the computer screen :) I know the Lord has to "open a door" or speak to you personally, but I just hope He leads you to do something on a "larger scale." I don't know what the would be, but keep praying and He will show you. Maybe a book? What an exciting opportunity and you SO have the ability. People comment to me all the time, how well you express your thoughts. That is just my two sense. You know me, always have to give my opinion. :)

Anonymous said...

Keeping my hopes with you!

- molly