1/29 update (from April)

“This hope is an anchor for the soul firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19)

Hello everyone! I hope this message finds you all happy and well! We are doing well over here, praise God! I was able to come home from the hospital last Thursday after 10 days there! That was a bit longer than we had expected due to an infection I contracted and the need for 5 blood transfusions but I know God had it all for a reason. Two of our three girls were sick with the terrible flu, as well as many of our caregivers. I could not come back to our home Thursday because of all of the sickness and was fortunate enough to stay at our pastor’s house right down the street for a few more days until Sunday when all was clear here! Thank you Pastor Dave and Mrs. Larsen!

Our family and friends have been incredible during this hard time helping all they can while also staying with and visiting me in the hospital for my unexpected extended stay. I know the prayers from people have been working over time but they make all of the difference so we are so truly grateful. I think Chris is truly exhausted, trying to balance taking care of the kids yet also wanting to be with and see me, so it was tough but now that I am home it feels much more manageable for all of us.

They say I am healing well and I go back next week for my normal 3 week infusion and also some re-checks, so that will be good. I am blessed to have some visiting nurses come to our home every few days and watch me as well. Five out of 6 of my drains have been removed, and let me say that was a wonderful feeling! It is incredible what they can do with the human body and it amazes me how skilled these surgeons are and how God makes our bodies able to heal and adapt. The girls were amazed by mom’s drains and thought I was this cool yet gross science experiment all at the same time! Oh from the mouth of babes, the things they say!
It has been great to be back home with Chris and my 3 little ones, although the rest I had in the hospital and after was something I have never felt before! But oh how my heart missed them and could not wait to be with them again!

Some of you may remember I had asked for prayer a few times a while back for my friend Brandi who had the same cancer I have. She was also diagnosed one year after nursing her baby and they, too, thought it was nursing lumps. Unfortunately it was not and she had surgery and started aggressive treatment when her youngest was one. She did well at first but I met her at Smilow during a treatment together after she found out her cancer had returned. We met because we were there together each Tuesday and our eyes smiled at one another the way an old friend’s do when you see each other again after a while. My bag I was carrying which was given to me as my “chemo bag” from my good friend Danielle says “This Hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19) and her husband came over to Chris and I and said his pastor preached that sermon this past week, and this started the conversation and a new friendship!. From there we talked and talked, sharing our love for Christ, our passion for our children, (mine were 1 1/2, almost 3 and almost 6 at the time and hers were 3 and 5 at the time!) and our zest for life! We were 2 of the youngest ladies on the chemo floor and had our treatments together each Tuesday for 6 months. It was truly a joy to be there together, talking, laughing, praying together. She had to have a break and try new treatments right around summer time, and I too, was given a chemo break for the summer! We still spoke, but not nearly as much as we had each Tuesday at our chemo time together. Not that anyone wants chemo each week but you do find the highlights of things while you are going through them and the wonderful nurses and friendship Brandi and I had made was certainly one of them! In the fall we had different chemo schedules now; she was doing a trial as her cancer was spreading and mine was disappearing even. It was hard to talk at times because we were facing the same battle now with two entirely different outcomes, yet we had the same God. It is the same Jesus we both clung to for hope and healing, for miracles and control. We were blessed to cry and pray together and pour out our hearts to Him, for He knows what our desires are anyway but we still told Him together, yet all the while we were trusting Him no matter what. Right after Christmas I talked to Brandi and she was not doing well; my heart was breaking for her and Matt and their two young children. It had happened really fast, and she was slipping quickly as the cancer was growing throughout her entire body now and causing her a lot of pain. While I was having my double mastectomy on January 13th getting a second chance at life Brandi was in hospice, getting ready to go home with Jesus. Matt told me it was quick and asked us to pray for her pain relief, and on January 14th she did indeed go home. She was a wonderful person, with a life taken much too quickly from this evil disease, but I was blessed to know her and her husband for the first year of my treatment. Chris and I are still trying to make sense of it all, as are they I am sure, but in the end we know God wins. We do not always know why things happen the way they do, or why some are healed here on earth and some are not, or why it has to happen at all, but we trust, we have faith, and we keep praising Him. For He is our rock and our salvation. We keep our eyes focused on Him and keep going.

Please pray for Brandi’s husband Matt, and their children. And please continue to keep Chris, myself and our girls in your prayers. I know this is a life-long battle for me, and once in a while it gets daunting and overwhelming and I feel like I may sink, but that is when I am reminded of Peter walking on the water keeping his eyes on Jesus. I cannot let me eyes focus on the waves and storms around me or I will surely sink, but I must keep my eyes on Him.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your love and continued prayers and for sharing this journey with us. We will praise Him always, and continue to believe and receive this miracle He has given us. May you all be filled with His joy and peace.

Love and God bless, April, Chris, Faith, Savannah Grace, and Isabella Hope

“This hope is an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”. (Hebrews 6:19)