Delayed, again

On Monday, March 25, I headed back over to Seattle for another rigorous week of classes and appointments. I got on the 6:45 P.M. ferry and had this fantastic view of the sunset! We do live in a beautiful place! Upon arrival, Daniel met me to walk me to the vehicle. We then took off, Craig asked me what kind of food sounded good for dinner. I know he asked me because of how sick I've been, but I just didn't care. So, Anna hinted at wanting Mexican food and we all agreed. After taking a wrong exit, we went to turn around. As we turned into a parking lot to make that turn around, we realized that it was what we were looking for! We asked some people who were coming out of the restaurant how the food was and how clean it was, explaining that we must have clean for our daughter and why. They said they have been going to Mr. Villa for eight years and love it! So, we went in and ordered. The food was FABULOUS!!! Everything is made fresh daily, even the tortillas! They happened to have a small group singing that night and Craig went up to them between songs. After a bit of time, they announced that they would be singing a special song requested and dedicated to Anna Houston. They said that they would wait until after the song to tell everyone why. Of course, this put tears in my eyes as often happens with me these days! Upon finishing our meal, the owner of the restaurant came to us and said that the couple who were sitting across from us had paid for our meal! Again, tears. And the owner had sopaipillas made up for us to enjoy! It was a great evening!

Anna's appointments were generally early in the day and ended around lunch time. The classes were a bit overwhelming as we learned how to care for Anna after her transplant. She will be taking immune suppressant meds and will need extra care for a whole year. We learned how to prepare her food as well as how to physically care for her. Craig went on home after a couple days to get some work done and spend a bit of time with our other children. Meanwhile, I took Anna to her appointments and then we hung out. Anna and Daniel enjoyed the basketball court down the street from the Ronald McDonald House. The fresh air was refreshing and the exercise great!

Thursday we had an appointment with the G.I. doctor. He is a specialist on the liver. Back in January, I started noticing Anna's eyes were looking a bit yellow. This concerned me because the meds she was on can cause liver damage, so I called and asked for her liver to be checked. It turned out that her bilirubin and liver enzymes were both considerably elevated. However, her ultrasound showed a normal looking liver, for which we were relieved. Well, fast forward to Thursday's appointment, and Dr. Macdonald said that that week was the first week since January that her liver numbers were in the normal range. He was pleased to see the numbers going down, but wanted to see good numbers for a few weeks before subjecting her to the liver damaging chemo. We were a bit discouraged but knew that we would find out for sure the next day what was going to happen when we met with our transplant team doc, Dr. Woolfrey. Friday's meeting went well. Anna looks really good! Her body is in great shape for transplant, but we need to wait and let her liver "cool down" a bit. The Gleevec and Nilotinib caused some liver damage, but her liver was repairing itself and as her Dasatinib is working well to beat down the cancer cells, we have the time to wait. Going into conditioning (chemo) now would put Anna at too high a risk for liver failure, and once we begin, there is no turning back. Again, we were a bit discouraged as this process has been stop and go from the beginning, but we do know and rest in the knowledge that this is all in God's timing, not ours. So with this news, our next appointment was cancelled and we were free to go home, until April 30 when we will begin intake all over again. This time won't be as long as we don't need to retake all the classes, but there will be plenty of blood work to be done! We do still need to go in for weekly blood draws and checks until then and will probably be seeing Dr. Irwin for that.

We have been looking at all of the positives that this delay has for us: We ALL got to go home and be together as a family, we ALL got to go to church on Easter Sunday, I should be getting over my "all day" sickness by the time she is going through chemo, and Anna will get to start out in a new room rather than start in an old room and be transferred half way through, Dr. Woolfrey will be the attending doctor while Anna is at Children's (the docs have a rotation and this will be her turn!). We know that God has a plan and a purpose for everything. And we are thankful for a bit of extra time together before everything begins.....

Please pray for our housing situation. There is a possibility of a six bedroom house for us to rent. The owner desires to lease it to us from April to August. And then he plans to try selling it. It is unfurnished, so we will need to move some of our things over, and the house needs a little bit of elbow grease to be ready for us. We are seeking the Lord's direction in this as we desire to keep our family as close as possible during this four + month journey. Thank you all for your continued love, support, and prayers! We are humbled by everyone's desire to be a blessing to our entire family!!!


  1. Praying for you all continually! Let us know how we can help you guys. My husband can help move you (if you get that house) and we have a full size futon that is unused in our guest room and a few other things (dining table & 4 chairs, small couches, toddler bed/crib) that you can take if it's helpful! Love you all!
    Amber Bernard

  2. Any elbow grease you may need from the Broxton House, Count us in!! We love you and are so thankful that we got to hug you and see you all together on Easter.

  3. It was SOOOO good to see you ALL together in church even though it means there is a delay. I know... our term is "delay" but God's term is "on time".

    I am thankful, Anna, for the time I got to spend talking with you after church Sunday night... even in the "small things" you are such a blessing!

    Mrs. Houston, I pray that your "morning sickness" is gone soon and am glad you are getting a bit of a "rest" from the "not-so-normal" normal for a while.

    Hugs to all, Grace

  4. Emily,
    Thanks for your wonderful updates! We will continue to pray for your entire family. It was truly a DELIGHT to see your family together on Sunday! You are doing so well at following the leading of the Lord as you walk this road. You are a great testimony!
    Cyndie :-)

  5. Great encouragement Emily. Greetings, love and prayer from your Iowa friends. Kevin

  6. Hurry up....and wait! It feels as though everything on earth is delaying 'our plans'! Isn't it great that we don't have to know why? That God has everything in control, and 'in His timing' things will work out just the way they need to. And you already know some of the reasons, and the effects they will have, and can see the blessings behind the delays. God must really think you are special Anna, because most people live an entire lifetime without knowing the 'why'. So happy God is allowing this special bonding time with your family, and allowing your liver time to heal and get stronger. It's also giving people around the world more time to get serious about holding you up before the Lord in prayer. Now, if we can just pray your Mom past this nausea caused by the pregnancy, we'll all be headed in the right direction! Keeping you all in prayer!
    Carole Binder & family

  7. we also have extra furniture... a queen size futon,(works best as a bed) a full size bed with mattress(it has special quirks)
    we even have a either king or queen size water bed that we have no room for:)

  8. It was so good to see your whole family on Sunday! I enjoyed seeing both Anna and Daniel. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed them! (especially Daniel's handshakes:-) We can easily take for granted our ability to see someone on a regular basis, but that is a blessing we should never forget. I love you guys!

  9. I laughed when you said Anna chose Mexican. She always suggests that. Haha!

    I was SO happy to see Anna walk in on Sunday! It was such a blessing. Her beautiful smile is so encouraging.

    "As for God, His way is perfect." He is totally in control. Praise God that He's in charge and not us!

    Love you guys!
    Sarah S.

  10. Houstons,

    It was great to see the whole family on Easter Sunday. I know the circumstances weren't exactly as you would've preferred. As I stated to Pastor it was wonderful that Anna was able to be there for when Emilee was baptized. What a blessed Resurrection Sunday. Will continue to pray for Anna's liver and the whole Houston family to stay healthy.

    Love and much prayers,
    Rick Potvin
    Pr. 3:5-6

  11. Anna, I was soo excited to see you on Sunday! Praying for you continually- that you will constantly feel God's comfort and His love for you, and that the damage in your liver will clear up soon! Love you

  12. Dear Houston Family,

    We love you all very much and continue to pray. It was wonderful to see you all in church on Sunday.
    The Olsen Family

  13. We will continue to pray for you all! Thank you for the update!!

  14. Hi Houston Family,

    It has been about 8-9 years since I have been to Westside Baptist but I stumbled across Jeanne's Facebook page and was immediately shocked when I found out! I am going to keep checking back on Anna's prognosis/updates and pray for you and your family!

    Congrats as well on the soon to be new addition! I'll be keeping you in my thoughts!
    Kimberly Parent (Beebe)


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