5, 4, 3, 2, 1..........
Tuesday, March 19.......just four days from now. The countdown is on. We head on over to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to begin Anna's intake. She will undergo many scans and tests of her entire body to make sure she is as healthy as can be for chemo and transplant. Daniel will also have tests and a complete physical to make sure he is as healthy as can be to give his bone marrow. Craig and I, along with Daniel and Anna, will sit through classes instructing us on all that will be taking place. Anna will need to be in Seattle everyday now for the next four months. She MIGHT get the next two weekends "off" and get to be home, but we will find out more on that as the days arrive. Her prep will take place until the first week of April, in which she will begin the first form of chemotherapy. After about four days of the first chemo, she will begin the intense, high-dose chemo for another four days and on April 11 (Nathanael's 13th birthday) she will get a day of rest. At this point in time, it looks as if the actual transplant day will be April 12, and this marks day 1 of 100 in Seattle. This will also be the day that Daniel will go in for (day) surgery at Seattle Children's, they will then take the fresh bone marrow and inject it into Anna's Hickman line. It will take around three weeks for Anna's body to start making it's own bone marrow from Daniel's. The shortest time it could take is two weeks. Once this has been accomplished, Anna will be released from the hospital and into our care and that of S.C.C.A.. She will be seen at (Fred Hutch) every day at least once a day for the rest of the 100 days.
We are gearing up for a very intense season in our lives. Currently, the search is still on for a house to rent over in that area. The trouble with the housing facilities such as the Ronald McDonald House, etc., is that our family is too large for the space and fire codes. They do have an apartment available to us for after the transplant which is the longest part of our stay, they are working diligently to accommodate us. Some rent hurdles to get past are rental agreements and cost. Some places that looked like a possibility require a one year minimum. We do trust that the Lord will direct us and provide for us!
Many have asked us how Anna is doing. Physically, she is weary. She has much bone pain, nausea, and light-headedness. She tires very easily and has some difficulty enjoying simple pleasures. Emotionally, Anna is handling things well but getting a bit nervous. She has good moments and unsettled moments. We laugh, we cry, we laugh and cry. Spiritually, Anna is doing amazing! She is trusting in the sovereign hand of God. Anna knows where her eternity will be spent one day and desires to use this trial to share the joy of the Lord as well as the wonderful gospel with all she meets.
I am amazed as well as blessed as I watch my little girl endure such a traumatic trial with grace and peace. The joy that fills her overflows even in the toughest of moments. I say moments because that's how we live life right now, moment by moment. There is much unknown in our future, this is a road we have never travelled and it's scary. And yet, we hold tight to our Father's loving, guiding hand as we follow, trusting. I think about my little ones as they hold tight to our hands, following with complete trust that we will only allow what's best for them. And yet we fail them everyday. If they can trust so completely, parents who are imperfect, how much more can we trust our Perfect, Heavenly Father who NEVER fails us?! This is the peace that passes ALL understanding! When the fears arise, and the tears come forth, we have a faithful and loving Comforter who is ALWAYS there! We pray that we can share this truth with many in the days ahead! Many without hope, without peace, without joy and we have the answer!
We know God has a purpose in this and that He will get our entire family through, closer to Him than ever! Thank you all for your constant love and prayers!