Prayer and He LIVES!!

March 25, 2016

Today on this most holiest of days we remember how Jesus paid the ultimate price for us on the cross. He WILLINGLY went to the cross to suffer and die for us so that we may have everlasting life with Him. I cannot comprehend this act of love but am so humbled and overwhelmed by it, and so completely thankful. Because of Him, we can have life. Because of Him, we have hope, even in the midst of pain and turmoil. I have always clung to the verse “By His stripes I am healed” and even when I had cancer tumors throughout me I believed that I was healed, because His word told me that He already paid the price for me by dying on the cross for me. So once more I cling to this again, and I am humbly asking for all of you to pray for me as I go for my pet scan again on Tuesday, March 29th. Thank you for your love and prayers and concern for us. I claim victory over disease through Christ! May you all have a beautiful Easter weekend! HE LIVES!! Love and God bless, April and Family (:

Prayers Please

Just a little reminder to please pray as tomorrow are all of my semi-annual tests; pet scan, heart tests, doctors, regular tri-weekly treatment too, so it will be a long day for us. But God is good always and we praise Him no matter what! But please pray that we can once again declare “no evidence of disease” and give Him all the glory!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

He lives!

Today on this most holiest of days we remember how Jesus paid the ultimate price for us on the cross. He WILLINGLY went to the cross to suffer and die for us us so that we may have everlasting life with Him. I cannot comprehend this act of love but am so humbled and overwhelmed by it, and so completely thankful. Because of Him, we can have life. Because of Him, we have hope, even in the midst of pain and turmoil. I have always clung to the verse “By His stripes I am healed” and even when I had cancer tumors throughout me I believed that I was healed, because His word told me that He already paid the price for me by dying on the cross for me. So once more I cling to this again, and I am humbly asking for all of you to pray for me as I go for my pet scan again on Tuesday, March 29th. Thank you for your love and prayers and concern for us. I claim victory over disease through Christ! May you all have a beautiful Easter weekend! HE LIVES!!

A different lens

As I was laying in bed cuddling with Savannah Grace tonight like we always do after we read their stories and say our prayers, she turns over and in the same breathe that has just asked me “Mom, why do Bella and Ethan always talk about poop?” and “Why did God make the sun yellow?” she says “Mommy, are me and Faithy and Bella going to get cancer, just like you?” and I, taken aback, reply “Well honey, I don’t know, but let’s pray that you don’t.” I guess she was satisfied with that answer as she took my hand in hers, rolled over, and fell right to sleep next to me as she always does. Sometimes I forget that she was just three when I was diagnosed with cancer and being the middle child, I think she felt it the most. Bella was only 18 months old, and she actually only remembers mom as “mom with cancer”. Just two months ago she said to me in her cute little voice “Mommy, you have hair! And it’s long!” I forget that for Bella she has only known me with no hair. She, too, had barely any hair since she was born so maybe she just thought it was normal! And for her to see me with hair now is a big difference. And Faith was almost 6 years old, and she was in full day kindergarten here, so she was gone for most of the time when I was always in treatment or at my doctor’s appointments. Her life was interrupted the least by all of this cancer stuff (for lack of a better term!) But I know that she keeps a lot in and does not say it much but is still affected by what she hears and sees, just not the same way as her sister was. Savannah Grace, however. was at a tender age, just starting to figure out the world and sorting out reality from fantasy. I am sure it was too much for her mind to grasp that mom was sick, but she understood more than we give her credit for I bet.

Last weekend I became terribly ill with what was a stomach virus, typical of what goes around at this time of year. For most people it is no big deal, and you can recover on your own in a few days. The three times I have had this over the last couple of years it is a big deal for me and my body. Because of my cancer drugs that I have been on and am still on my body’s immune system and digestive system is not quite as strong as everyone else’s. As much as I like to believe I am invincible sometimes, I realize that I am not! I had to go to the ER for fluids and care, and it takes me longer to recover from these bouts of things. Before Chris took me the other day Savannah Grace was in the room and he said “I am going to take mommy to the hospital and Norni is going to stay with you.” And she immediately replied “but you’re not staying over night, right? You won’t sleep there?” We quickly reassured her that we would be back, and then I remembered that last year, right about this time, I had gone in for my double mastectomy and when I did the countdown on the calendar crossing out how many days mommy would be gone for we crossed out five, as this is what we were told and expected. Well, twelve days and nights later I came home. I did not realize what an impact this had on her until every single night after I got home she creeped into our bedroom and crawled into our bed, ever so gently, to cuddle and sleep next to me. Never in her four years had she ever done this before, and although I could not sleep well with her there I continued to allow her to do this for 3 solid months, until finally we told her that she would have to stay in her room again at night. I forget sometimes that our girls have seen and experienced things with their mama that praise God not many children have had too. And as much as I like to believe that they are fine and not bothered by it, cancer does have an impact on the family. Not just on Chris or myself, or my parents and in-laws or siblings, or children or family, but everyone. She has had to tell her friends “not to hug my mommy too tight because of her boo boos” after my surgeries. She was the one who hated my hair falling out the most, and although I cringe when thinking about it she said “mommy, I don’t love you without hair. I want you to have hair like my friends mommies.” Although this broke my heart when she said it to me at the tender age of 3 1/2 I had to remember that that was simply how she felt, and it was okay. I tried hard not to take it personally, but it still made my heart sad, even though I know she didn’t truly mean it. When my eyebrows and eyelashes fell out she told me then that I “looked like a boy” and now she just loves when I put on make-up and mascara to show off my lashes! It is funny how all of these little things are just little, but to a child whose mommy is sick they are not all that little. They must represent some sort of security and comfort, and for Savannah Grace that is reassuring.

We often wonder how much to tell our children, how much to share with them and how much do they even understand? Chris and I prayed about it and decided because they were all so young we would not share the gravity of the disease, but just that mommy had cancer and we would pray to Jesus and believe that she would get better. And that is the innocent child-like faith that they all had. They never ever doubted that I would get better, as Chris and I always led them to believe that I would. Some would not agree with us on this but we felt that we were begging for a miracle and believing in one, and until God told us otherwise we would just keep sharing that with them. If and when the time came where we felt it was not going to be God’s will for me to be healed here on this earth then we would talk to them, but not until then. And praise God we have not had too. So their innocent faith never waivered, but Savannah Grace did ask me several times “Mommy, when are you going to be all better?” and to that I simply responded the truth: that I did not know but that we would pray it would be soon.

Savannah Grace noticed every single time that I left because she was not in school yet and I had never left her before any of this. I was with her (by default as a stay-at-home mommy!) all of the time. So this was a big change for a little child- doctors twice a week, 8 and 10 hour weekly chemotherapy days, people coming in to watch her and her sisters. others cooking and cleaning for us, getting the girls dressed and giving them baths-doing all of the things that I could not do because I was either not there or feeling too sick to do any of them. Even though the people were all family and friends that we and the kids love and cherish, it was still not mommy. I will forever be grateful for all of the love and care and help we were extended, and no one will ever truly know how much this carried us and meant to us, especially taking care of our children whom we could not always be there to take care of. But it was still not mom, or mom and dad, and it makes a difference to children.

I realize more now than ever what an incredible gift I have been given to have been able to stay home with our girls for eight years. God granted us this opportunity and Chris allowed me to follow my desire and encouraged me to do so to stay home and raise our children, even though I had just finished grad school! There were days that I thought would never end, with babies crying and nursing all night and sleep deprivation that was real. And post-partum that set in and I truly thought of just running away, with three little ones 4 1/2 and under! A couple of times Chris said to me as I would leave to “escape” at night to go to the grocery store: ‘You’re coming back Hon, right???” I look back now at this and laugh, as my “baby” is now eight and my youngest “baby” already 3 1/2. How can the time be going so quickly? Why can’t I just stop it and cherish these beautiful moments forever? Even with the yelling and the bickering that they do all the time now!- I will still miss it. And I have been given the gift of seeing this though a different lens than most. I have been forced to miss things that I would not have chosen too because of this cancer, but I have also been blessed by the opportunity to really see. I am working again now a bit, but after being sick again last week I realize that my purpose here is not to get out and earn some spending money and be away from my girls; it is to love them and raise them and cherish them every time that I can. Chris reminded me that God was telling me to slow down after I got sick the first time, and now having these small set-backs reminds me of that once again. My pastor spoke this morning of praying that God move us and teach us “as gently as possible but as firm as necessary.” No one wants to learn from pain and struggle, but it is usually through this that we learn the most. And so I am praying now that Jesus takes all of the harder things that my children have seen and gone though and uses them for good. That they may be more compassionate people with loving and giving hearts. That they may appreciate all of the little things that are really the big things that we are blessed with every day. That they may develop and empathy that can only come from feeling some of the things they have felt. I know that “God uses all things for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” And I ask that you please pray for them with us, as we see how cancer does have an effect on them and I am sure in many ways that will even come out later in life. But pray that God carries them, now and always, and that their faith be unshakable. And that they follow the plan God has carefully chosen for their little lives and brings glory to Him. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this.

That being said, I do have my scans at the end of next month. I know I will continue to have these forever but Chris and I always get a bit more anxious around “scan-time.” We continue to trust in Him every day, but some days, on the selfish days, that fear can creep in a bit more. We think “what would we ever do now if I had to go back to weekly chemo or radiation and feeling sick all of the time?” The thought overwhelms me, but then I am reassured that I would do it. I would not want to do it, but God would give me the strength just like He did before to do it and He would be with me. But selfishly I do not ever want to have to do that again! So please keep us in prayer that His miracle in me be continued, and we can once again proclaim that there is no explanation except for the love and mercy of our Great God!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, love and blessings to you. April (:

Update

Hello! I feel like it has been a while since I have updated, but the busy season of the holidays will do that to us at times! Christmas and New year’s were wonderful for the kids-the magic and belief at their ages is just amazing! If only we could all hold onto that childlike faith, (like God tells us to in His world actually) and believe in the magic and spirit of things. It was incredible watching them and experiencing it through their eyes, and I am so blessed and grateful that I was once again able too. Praise God! The girls are just having so much fun being, well, little girls! Playing baby dolls, Barbie dolls, dressing up in tutus and talking on pretend cell phones, doing arts and crafts and just having plain old fun! Oh how I wish I could go back to my childhood days sometimes! The fun we all had playing in the neighborhood and just being kids. Sometimes it seems like so long ago and sometimes I can re-live pieces of it while watching my girls, and that is just awesome!

A lot of people have been asking me how I am doing, and praise God I am feeling great. I have my next set of scans on March 29th, a day filled with lots of tests and my treatment as well but I am believing that all will be well. On this note I recently read an interesting article about metastatic disease and how to explain it to people, and I will share bits of that here: ” I will never be declared cancer free, I have metastatic breast cancer. Once a person is diagnosed with metastatic disease, it means the cancer has left the primary site and spread through the blood to other spots in the body. There is no cure for metastatic disease, it is always a stage 4, or in simpler words, terminal. There is no “remission” and there is no course of treatment for “curing” the cancer and moving on. However, at this point in my disease I have been declared NED by my doctors; No evidence of Disease. This does not mean the cancer is not there, it simply means that the cancer is too small to be detected at this point by the imaging.This is where I am at right now, and it is a good place to be for a bit. “
This writer speaks about the gravity of the disease, and she, too, has what I have, but she does not yet have the one thing that I do; The Hope of a Risen God who sees all, knows all, and heals all IF IT IS IN HIS Will. I, too, like this author, have metastatic disease, and have also been told that I will “never be cancer free” but I am choosing not to believe that. My last scan did have those initials on it; NED, no evidence of disease, and although my doctors may never use the terminology “cancer free”, or “in remission” or “cured” on me, I am declaring it in Jesus’ name and believing it, and I thank you for believing this with me. I am not sure how long I will have to go for my tri-weekly treatments, I will leave that up to God to place that on my heart and discuss with my doctors when the time is right. Until then, I will bask in my state of NED -no evidence of disease, and rejoice in the blessing of yet another day.
That being said, I am starting out on a new venture in life: after eight years of being a stay-at-home mom I am going to begin working again!! (Well, I say working, but let me tell you being a stay at home mom is the hardest job by far that I have ever done! What I really mean is that I will be starting to work for an actual income!) I have prayed about it a lot and after seeing many friends and church family use the skincare products of Rodan and Fields with amazing results and success and other friends have great fun and success with Touchstone Crystals by Swarvoski Jewelers I have decided to start selling both of their products as an independent consultant. I am super excited about this as for the first time in over 2 years I actually have energy again and can get out to be with people for fun, something I have missed! So this will force me to get out and see many of you all that I love while having the chance to make extra income for our family to enjoy this one life that God has given us. I think my new slogan might be something like “beauty on the outside and glowing skin can only radiate from within” since we all know that the love of Jesus dwelling within us is what makes us beautiful!!
I am just so humbled that over 2 years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer I am here, not just surviving, but thriving, and wanting to give all the glory to Him. To spread the love of Jesus and help others, and to love like He loved will always be the most important thing, but I am truly excited about being granted the ability to be here and do these other things as well.
So thank you once again for all of your love and prayers. God is so good and has certainly blessed us so greatly. May you continue to feel His love and His light in your life, and let your own light shine for Him! Love and Blessings, April, Chris, Faith, Savannah Grace and Isabella Hope 

Thanksgiving Blessings

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November 27, 2015–picking out this year’s Christmas tree!

Two years ago tonight I sat down to share news from that day that we never in our worst dreams ever thought we would have to share: that the cancer I had found out I had about a month before was terminal cancer. Never in your life can you prepare yourself to hear those words; that what you have cannot be treated because there is no cure, that you have maybe 2 years to live, that you cannot have surgery or certain treatment options because you are not going to be here long enough for it to be worth the pain and trouble of going through. Never can you wrap your mind around the fact that you have to tell your 3 little girls-then 1, 3, and 5, that mommy may not one day soon be there for them to hold and hug and love.

Two years later I am sitting down with a grateful heart, so humbled and thankful that the loving and merciful God I love has chosen to allow our will to be aligned with HIS will-that I be healed here on this earth and have more time here with my husband, children and family. How fitting that it falls on thanksgiving day this year, where we are all forced to look at what we have and be grateful for a little bit more.

Our lives will never again be the same as they were before November 26, 2013, but what Satan intends for evil God uses for good if you let Him, and I am just amazed that He has allowed me to be a witness for Him and the healing power and love that He has for us. I refused to believe what the doctors told me two years ago-not because I didn’t trust them or was in shock (because at times we were) but because I knew what I read in His word was the truth; that Jesus is our healer, that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. That His love never changes, that He is with us always, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, that by His stripes I am healed. I clung to these words and promises, I etched them into my heart and begged all of you to fall at the feet of Jesus and pray for this miracle that we so desperately needed, for we knew that was the only thing that could save us-Jesus’ miraculous healing power. And I am so humbled and grateful that so many of you did that for us, people we know and love and people we don’t even know and have never met, but who believed along with us in the healing power of our Great God. We will forever be thankful for that, for your faith and belief with us.

It has not been an easy road-weekly chemotherapy, daily radiation, five surgeries and countless doctors appointments is not easy for anyone to handle, let alone someone with small children, but Jesus never told us it would be easy. In fact, in His word He tells us that “in this world you will have troubles, but fear not for I have overcame the world.” God provided all that we needed and more these past couple of years. He has blessed us more abundantly than we could ever have imagined going through this-with help, love, financial assistance, vacations and countless people praying for us and carrying us in their hearts. We are called to walk by faith and not by sight, and this is not an easy thing to do. But it was all that we could do, and it was faith that allowed us to walk on water through the storm. It was faith that allowed us to also praise Him through the storm and be blessed along the way.

Do not let anyone ever tell you that something is not possible, for if it is God’s will anything is possible. We do not know what is God’s will or not, but we can pray that if it is His will it will be granted to us. We may not even understand why some things happen and some things don’t, but one day we will know. And if we can bring glory to Him while we are here and share hope and compassion with others because of something we have gone through then that is a beautiful thing. No one wants to go through the hard times, the pain, the heartache, but sometimes it is during these hard times that we are refined, and that we are brought closest to Him.

So on this Thanksgiving day and season take some time to reflect on all of the blessings God gives to us each and every day. Not just the small ones, but the big ones as well. The beautiful gift of life He came to give each and every one of us, if we would choose to accept it. May you be richly blessed this day, and give to others because He gave to us.

With love and blessings, April

Praises! A Clear Scan For April!!

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Halloween 2015

 

Hello everyone! Thank you all for your love and prayers! My surgery went great yesterday and I am at home resting and healing now, praise God! And my oncologist just called with the great news that my scans are ALL CLEAR again! Amen Amen!! Our God is an awesome God! I will continue to go every 6 months for pet scans now and for now I will continue on my tri-weekly treatments for a while longer, but I am saying not forever! Thank you again for your constant love and prayers for us. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. Enjoy this beautiful thanksgiving season, Oh how we all have so much to be thankful for! love and God bless, april (:

Praises

Hello everyone! Thank you all for your love and prayers! My surgery went great yesterday and I am at home resting and healing now, praise God! And my oncologist just called with the great news that my scans are ALL CLEAR again! Amen Amen!! Our God is an awesome God! I will continue to go every 6 months for pet scans now and for now I will continue on my tri-weekly treatments for a while longer, but I am saying not forever! Thank you again for your constant love and prayers for us. We appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts. Enjoy this beautiful thanksgiving season, Oh how we all have so much to be thankful for! love and God bless, april (:

Out of surgery

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the love and prayers! Surgery went great they said, and am leaving hospital in a little while! I will share my scan results when I hear, should be by tomorrow, and I am confident we will be singing Him praises and will give all the glory to God! Thank you again for all the love, help and prayers! 

Thank you

Thank you for all the love and prayers, I was super calm and peaceful once again praise God! One of our favorite doctors even came over and prayed with me! Amen! Should have results tomorrow or Thursday, and surgery is scheduled for 10:45 tomorrow, about 4 hours or so. Love and blessings, April 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Upcoming Scan

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Hello everyone! I hope this finds you happy and well and that you are able to enjoy and appreciate this beautiful fall weather! I am not a fan of the cold as you know but fall in New England is truly one of God’s masterpieces that I am so grateful to experience. The colors are incredible and to think that God designed all of this to happen for our enjoyment is sometimes overwhelming for me to think about. It just shows how much He loves each and every one of us and wants us to delight in His creation. Well it sure is pretty here and we are enjoying it! The kids love to see the leaves changing and falling and, of course, jumping in them later!

My bike ride for my cancer hospital last month was wonderful! Thank you to all again so much who supported Chris and I in this, we truly do appreciate it. It was terrific to see all of the riders and actually be a part of it this year and ride alongside some of my very own doctors and nurses. They all care so much at Smilow and it is evident in so many ways. I will say it again, I am so blessed to have this cancer hospital here and be treated by them, and to give back a little felt amazing. We ended up raising 2.2 million dollars this year!! And every penny of it goes to care, research and treatment right at Smilow! That is amazing to me! So again, thank you.

We had an amazing time in Florida and going to Disney World for the first time together as a family a few weeks ago! It was just so awesome to see the smiles on our girls’ faces and to watch their excitement as the characters would walk by and they would stand in line to meet them and get their autographs! I felt like I was re-living it again now as I did when I was a kid there myself 20 something years ago! And to have their grandparents see their faces when they were so excited was truly so special, we are so thankful we got to share this opportunity for memory -making with so many loved ones. We have some terrific pictures and memories that will last a lifetime and I am just so humbled and grateful that God allowed us to do this 2 years after my diagnosis when I was not even supposed to be here. God is soo good! One of my favorite pictures was all 10 of us meeting Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom and my 3 girls meeting their favorite princesses; Anna and Elsa. Those images will never get old. And one of my favorite memories from the trip is of Faith, Savannah Grace and Bella decorating a sign made for me that said “mommy has no more cancer!” and march in the parking lot and parade around with it. They were so excited and knew that we were celebrating “no more cancer” and we were just all so happy. They loved the plane rides and playing with their baby cousin each day and playing in the pool at our condo, going on the rides and even some roller-coasters at Disney and just enjoyed every second of all of us being together. It really was truly “magical”, said in pure Disney spirit! So many things we will all treasure for a long, long time.

The girls are loving school and have had another wonderful transition to school again this year. Bella is doing so terrific, a little tired but still so great! She loves to be with her “sissies” and partake in all that they do, and she is just growing up so fast. They all are, and Chris and I just want to stop and freeze time right here. Sometimes we look at each other and can’t get over that God gave us these children to love and raise, and see grow and change right before our eyes. It is both humbling and amazing at the same time. It is such an amazing journey to be a part of. (But there are still days where we look at each other and want to just sleep- we are human, right?!)

I have my next scan coming up on November 3rd, followed by my tri-weekly treatment. All of your prayers are so greatly appreciated because we know what an amazing miracle we have been given and pray that it just keeps continuing. I will go every 6 months forever probably if the scans keep turning up clear, which we are believing they will. But even with faith it is still difficult to be in that spot again, so please just pray for peace for Chris and I while we go through this again on Tuesday. And, then on Wednesday I will go back for more surgery to fix some things from my big surgery in January. It was just too long for him to complete everything and my doctor had to stop, so we knew there would be follow-up surgeries after that because of this. So this is another one, and hopefully only one more left after this. Chris will be home with me and to take care of the kids, so pray for him too! Please pray for the surgeons wisdom and care and for all to go well. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and know how much of a difference prayer makes.

October is always a tough month because not only is it when I was diagnosed 2 years ago but it is also breast cancer awareness month, as many of you know. So it is always all around us this month and some days are just harder than others when facing it. I know I am healed, and keep believing that, but since I am still going for active treatment every 3 weeks it is still a very real thing for me. I am still in this battle but I also know that Jesus is fighting it for me. That being said it is still difficult at times to see and hear so much, and it is sad to my heart that there still is no cure for my disease. I am healed only through the love and grace and mercy of my Savior Jesus Christ, but there are many who have what I have-metastatic breast cancer- that are not. I do not know or understand why, but I do know that more research and time needs to be devoted to this killer of women with breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer. It is wonderful that there is a cure for breast cancer that has not spread, but up to 1/3 of women (and some men) will get metatstatic breast cancer after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and there still is no cure. Many organizations do not even put their time and dollars to this, because it is only “a small percent” (10%) of breast cancer patients who get this, but we are still 10 percent, and in God’s eyes even ONE matters, so please keep encouraging companies and organizations to donate and support Metastatic breast cancer research, and pray that one day hopefully not far off in the future there will be a cure for this, and no more of us will have to die of this terrible disease.

Thank you, thank you for your constant love and support of us. We are so grateful for this and so humbled to have your prayers for us. Our girls don’t quite realize yet the magnitude of the awesome God we serve and healing power of Jesus but one day they will. And they will know what a difference prayers makes in all of our lives. May you feel Jesus’ grace and peace with all of you, and enjoy His bountiful love and blessings. Love and God bless, April, Chris, Faith, Savannah Grace and Bella (:

Closer to Free Ride

11988333_10207397970928552_8724830249589097970_nWell she did it! April finished the 25-mile Closer to Free bike ride for Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven in 5 hours and 15 minutes (though the first hour they didn’t go too fast and stopped at Smilow to wave to the patients outside). It was hard but fun and she did it, with Chris by her side! And, she was well enough to stay several more hours and enjoy the food, fun and festivities while waiting for the rest of Team Hope to cross the finish line. What a great day, and  I’m sure April will have an update for you all soon as well!

Heading to Disney World!

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 (:

Closer to Free in a week!

ONE WEEK from today Chris and I will be bike riding to raise money for my cancer hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. This hospital is amazing and the doctors and nurses truly do all they can for their patients. Please join us in raising money for them-100% of the proceeds go directly to Smilow for patient care, research, and treatment. Many of us here in Voluntown have directly benefited from their amazing care. Please help us to help others and also to spread the good news of God’s hope and healing powers with others! Chris and I both need more support to reach our goal, please consider joining us at :

www.rideclosertofree.org/aprilrobert2015
www.rideclosertofree.org/chrisrobert2015

Thank you for your love and support of us and this great cause!!

Hello and update (from April)

Hello everyone! I hope that this finds you happy and well! We are doing so great here, praise God! As I am writing this I am at my treatment, and I am so thankful that I only have to come every three weeks now. They say I will need to do this forever but I do not believe that so if you could please pray with me that God allows them to see that in His time I really am healed and can stop this other medicine in the next few years that would be wonderful too! But it is so much better than weekly chemo, so for now I will take it! I do still need rides for my tri-weekly treatments so if you are able to sign up for driving me on a Tuesday I would greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. The website is still here: lotsahelpinghands.com and you can add your name in to drive under that section or you can simply facebook message me and I will put your name down for the date you are able too. The dates from now through December are listed there.

We have been having such a beautiful summer; playing, swimming, spending time with family and friends, going away to different places and vacationing together. God has blessed us so abundantly it is incredible! My youngest two girls have never been on vacation and then this year we have been on three with another one in the fall! Amazing, just incredible how He lavishes His love upon us. We are so humbled and grateful. We have to keep reminding them though that this is not real life! They think we can just “go on vacation” every other week now!! I have about 10 million pictures I need to somehow look through and scrapbook now so that is my biggest challenge, but I will take it!

Thank you for the continued love, prayers and concern for us. Our fight is ongoing in the medical world, but I truly believe that through Jesus I am healed, so thank you for your prayers and belief with us on that. Many of you have contacted me asking if you can share my story or testimony that is online; please do not feel you have to ask me. If any of it can be used to help others or give hope or share the love and healing power of Jesus then just share it and pass it on. I believe that God uses “all things for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) So please share it and help others.
I have decided to join Chris, Steve, and my brother-in-law Dave in their now annual Smilow Cancer Center bike ride this year! Their team name is Team Hope, and I am happy to say that while one doctor diagnosed me almost 2 years ago now as having 6 months to 2 years to live, I will be riding 25 miles on September 12 to raise money for our hospital where 100% of the proceeds go right to Smilow for patient care, treatment, research, trials, etc. For my physician is the Great Healer, and He is showing us what He can do and has done. So I will be healthy and bike riding with them when some said I would not be here, but God had different plans, and we chose to believe His plans. So if you would like to support this amazing cause and sponsor any of us that would be wonderful. It is an amazing hospital-, the love, the care and concern of the nurses, the excellent doctors, all of it. It truly is a wonderful place to be while you are battling something like this and I am so grateful that I can be treated here. So this is just a small way that we can give back and keep supporting all that they do in helping those like myself and others. The website where you can make donations is: http://www.rideclosertofree.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=4144

Thank you all again for your love, care, support and prayers for us. I pray that God is blessing you and allowing you to shine bright and be a light to others. This world is filled with a lot of darkness, but we can shine for Him and reflect His love, so keep on shining!

Love and blessings, April and Family (: