Hello everyone! I hope this finds you happy and well! We have been doing well here, praise God! We had an absolutely beautiful summer, and I am sad to see it end. The girls are just getting so big and time is flying so fast, and I am feeling the best I have in over two years so that is amazing!
My treatments are going just fine, and I have my next set of scans in November, so I would ask for your continued prayers for those please.
With the beginning of September brings the start of a new school year, and for the first time in 7 1/2 years I am having some time alone without any of my children being here with me. Bella has turned three and has started pre-school in our town along with her “big sister!” Bella is in the 3 -year old program here from 12:45 until 3:15, and Savannah Grace in the 4-year old program here at the same time. It is truly just so precious to watch them go off together with their little backpacks and have such joy in their hearts. They absolutely love it and it is such a blessing to have a school where the teachers and bus drivers care so much about the kids. Faith is loving second grade and they all seem to be adapting very well. I, on the other hand was crying like a baby the first few days as there is now this quietness in the house that does not feel comfortable yet! But I am quickly filling that time with so many things I need and want to catch up on from these past two years!
And the excitement in our home right now is the sheer joy that we will be going on a trip to Disney with some of our family in 3 weeks!! When I was first diagnosed almost 2 years ago now Chris and I asked the girls what they would like to do when mommy was all better from cancer. Well Faith replied “Go to Disney World!” and Savannah Grace- not even knowing what that was but because her big sister said it and was all excited about it -obviously thought this was a good thing so she too agreed and started yelling and screaming with excitement!! (I think Bella just laughed at her sissies jumping up and down!) So Chris and I started to talk about it and we said together that we thought it would be a great thing to do to celebrate when I was all healed from my cancer. We started planning and saving, and low and behold two years later we are almost at that time! This is the one trip we have been planning in the back of our minds and it is a different kind of excitement (because we have been blessed with so many surprise wonderful occasions already this year that we did not know about or plan on but that God has given to us so generously) but now we are approaching the one we picked and planned. Isn’t it every little girls dream to go to Disney one day and meet Mickey, Minnie and of course all of the princesses?! At the ripe ages of 7, 4 1/2, and 3, I think this may be the highlight of their life so far! This was also supposed to the their first time on a plane ride but because of one of our surprise previous trips they know all about flying now, and the only thing they are excited about for the actual flying part is, of course, the gum!! Oh, the simple joys of childhood! We are using our timeshare and staying right outside of Disney, and are planning on doing two days at Disney and one day at Animal Kingdom. The other days we are just going to relax at the beautiful resort and swim and play together. God has blessed us with the perfect time, I think, to go. October is Breast Cancer awareness month, and it is also a bit cooler in Florida then and not as crowded we were told as the earlier summer months. It is also 2 years from when I was first diagnosed. So what satan intended for evil God uses for good and instead of mourning we are celebrating 2 years later!! We are so humbled and grateful to Him for allowing this amazing gift of life to us. Because of His Son we can have life, and have it abundantly. We are so thankful.
And now tomorrow, September 12, we will once again be celebrating! I am celebrating that I am not only surviving, but thriving by the pure mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! I will be riding, along with Chris, my brother-in-law Dave, my brother-in-law Jamie, and our friend Steve in the annual Smilow Cancer Hospital Closer to Free bike ride to support my amazing hospital. 100% of the proceeds go directly to Smilow to fund research, patient care, treatments, etc.. All of this goes to help people and children just like me. It is very rare today that you find an organization that is run by all volunteers and gives 100% of the money raised directly to its’ cause. So please, if you can give, please do. It is a tax deductible donation to a very worthy place, one of which my family and I will forever be grateful. Thank you to everyone who has already generously donated so much!! Please keep us in your prayers for the day tomorrow as we are leaving at 4am, beginning at 6:30, and some will be riding all day. And hopefully, one day very soon, we will all be that much closer to a life free of cancer. Thank you so so much.
Here is the website to donate to my team, Team Hope. (April and Chris Robert, Dave Small, Jamie Hunt, Steve Steninger).
With love and gratitude,
April, Chris, Faith, Savannah Grace and Bella (: