In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Hard Stuff

Yesterday, John and I shaved Andrew's head.  His hair was falling out like a shedding dog.  It was hard to watch, and his hair was getting in his eyes, his clothes, and everywhere.  So I picked up his little two year old body from his hospital bed and carried him to the hospital bathroom, with John pushing Andrew's pole and chemo tubes behind him.  We sat him down on a towel, and I began to shave.  I think he actually kind of enjoyed it, because he didn't complain very much.  He didn't even ask questions, just sat there and let me shave.  It was emotional for me.  All of his sweet blonde hair falling from his sweet little head... so sad.   I gathered up all of the clumps of hair, and put them in a baggy, like I did with his "first haircut."  I stuffed it in my purse. 

This is real.  My son has become one of those bald little children everyone pities and fears...  and the pit in my stomach is here to stay, I'm afraid.

(But if I do say so myself, he is a cute little bald guy.) 

But, as if to prove my mourning wrong, Andrew with his new "haircut" proceeded to eat 5 bowls of Fruit Loops for breakfast,  macaroni and cheese for lunch, and grilled cheese for dinner.  There was some fruit thrown in there, but we are in a hospital people.  The most unhealthy food around.  (His hunger probably had something to do with the steroids they used to protect his stomach from the chemo, but after a few weeks of a very weak appetite, I was happy to oblige and gave him bowl after bowl.)

So far, he is taking well to this chemo, but I am still holding my breath.  Last time I thought he had sailed through, and then two days later he was in massive pain that lasted for a week.  But these are different meds, so I will hope.  I am encouraged that he seems to be doing well so far, and that next time we may be able to complete this five day ordeal AT HOME and in the clinic.  Which will  be a HUGE relief.

Later in the day, I celebrated the last day of Kindergarten with my oldest son.  We went to a party and he played in a blow-up waterslide and had a blast with his friends.  I brought my middle son along as well, and they both had a good time.  I was happy for such a nice celebration of life. Then we headed over to the hospital.  My oldest is having a hard time with all of this...and cries every night when he has to go home, and leave Andrew and me in the hospital. My middle son is a little more oblivious, thankfully, for his sake.

This is hard.  I want my old life back.  I want my happy healthy baby back.  I want to be able to write happy, joyful posts.  But every morning I wake up too early and can't go back to sleep.  These mornings in the hospital are the worst, because I am all alone.  Andrew is asleep, my family is at home, and I am stuck in a hospital room with my anxieties, crappy TV, and a shower down the hall.

I spend a lot of time in prayer these mornings, trying to cope.  God has the control, and no matter what I think about, or how much I worry, I have none.  It all comes down to trusting Him, and praying, and that is hard.  I know that God allows bad things to happen to people, everyday.  He allows death and disfigurement despite boundless numbers of prayers.  So I beg for mercy, that in the end, He will heal my Andrew.  That this will be a mere chapter in our lives, in which we learned the value of each moment.  That this will be the time where I learned to curb my worry-wort ways and began living for each day.  I pray that someday Andrew will be an adult and grow up and have his own children.  I pray for mercy and healing for all of us.  I pray for peace in my heart, and joy for my children.  I pray and pray and pray.


  1. Sending many, many prayers your way. XOXOXO

  2. Oh, Julie, that is the hardest thing to do: to let go and leave it up to God. This really almost made me cry... shaving the hair takes it to a whole new level of reality. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for you guys. That Aaron is crying for Andrew every night... so heartbreaking. And yet there's so much love there in your family. That's an amazing thing.

    I hope you find peace eventually in the early morning hours while you wait for the day to start, and that Andrew really responds well to the treatment. This will end someday. It's just hard to wait and see the outcome. (One of my favorite Bible texts comes from several places in the gospels: "... and it came to pass... " These things don't come to stay with us, they will pass. Dorky, I know, but I find it comforting.)

    Take care.

  3. Let's start with a big smile sent your way. :)

    It's hard to know what to say. I don't want to be too "Pollyanna" and insist that everything will be okay, but I also really hope and think and pray that it will.

    The hair, that's a difficult thing. Sorry.

    I put the "prayers for Andrew" button on my blog and I love seeing his face and his beautiful eyes staring back at me every time I go to my blog.

  4. My son and I prayed for Andrew last night and we'll keep it up. I am sorry about his hair and your aching heart. I do however think that Fruit Loops count as at least one fruit serving per bowl in this situation!

  5. You live on the other side of the world from me, I only read your blog for the first time tonight, and of course I have no words that can ease your suffering. But I will be thinking of you and your family in this most traumatic time. Best wishes, x

  6. Praying for mercy and healing for all of you, too. (And healthy appetites that require five bowls of Fruit Loops!) Hope you all can be at home together soon.

  7. Anytime our children house food it is a comforting feeling, isn't it? May you continue to have good moments like that one.

    I trembled as I read this post- these are the details that I can't imagine going through and therefore irritate myself that I have no deep, comforting words to share with you.
    I simply pray that as each week goes by may you have more "fruit loop moments" :)

    Praying so hard for all of you...
    Love TJ

  8. ((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))

    And I will pray for mercy; for strength (for all of you); for wisdom; for love; for peace; and I will continue to pray for ALL of you.

    There is power in prayer even if it is just a conversation with God. I will be having conversations every day for Andrew.

  9. My thoughts are with you all. I'm so happy that so many people have been there for you. xxx

  10. Julie, for your oldest you could put one of your favourite shirts that you've worn on his pillow as a pillow case to give him that bit of comfort and familiarity (ie: your perfume smell). You could buy the same stuffy for all three of the boys that they can bring to the hospital and take home with them after, but they know the exact same stuffy is there with you guys too? Maybe they're not stuffy boys, but it might help your oldest in particular to know that you and Andrew have the exact same stuffy with you and when he hugs it he could imagine you guys hugging yours at the same time. Do you knit, crochet or cross stitch? It's busy work that could help you handle the mornings... Just some thoughts.

    Praying for you too!

  11. I just bumped into your blog today and I will be praying for your sweet baby boy. I will pray for strength for your entire family. and I will pray that hopefully in the near future no family or person and especially no Children have to deal with this horrible monster. My heart truly goes out to your family.

  12. I remember this... I remember shaving his head, his wasn't pretty head he had a big tumor in the middle of his head, glad u havea cutie. I'm still praying.


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