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.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Dark Side

I keep having analogies run through my head...and one of them is Darth Vader.  "Come to the Dark Side, Luke."    Come to the dark side.  Be angry.  Be resentful.  Be frustrated.  Be upset.  Be envious.  Be miserable.   Take out your frustrations, you deserve it.  And I suppose there is a time for some of that... But I do not want the rage and the anxiety to take over my life.

I am finding this struggle to be so much about compartmentalizing my thoughts and emotions.  Cancer over here.  Pool party over there.  It is all too easy to put on my cancer-colored glasses and see everything through a shade of depressing.  So I am learning that there is a lot of mind control that goes into all of this.  I have to choose to find the happy and to enjoy it.  I have to trust that God loves us and will help us through this.

It is easier said than done.  But, a lot easier "done" when Andrew is feeling okay.  When we are not stuck in the hospital.  When he is smiling.   His little bald head and obtrusive painful port keep me from complete denial.  But maybe denial is not such a bad thing?

I had a great week with my boys at home.   We went swimming, we danced with the Wii.  We had fun with our new MarioKart.  Grandma and Grandpa watched Andrew on Memorial Day and John and I went with the two older boys to a pool pary.  Hooray for normal life!  We had a great time, and so did Andrew.

As I sat in church on Sunday I was watching some friends sitting in front of me with their 6 month old baby.  It seems like just yesterday they told us they were pregnant.  Time goes quickly.  And while I want it to go quickly for certain, obvious reasons, I don't want to miss and wish away my baby's whole third year of life.  I still need to  find the beauty in each day, count my blessings and appreciate the life and the joy provided.

The other analogy I think of is Lot's wife.  Don't look back.  Don't think about what was, or what could have been. It is just torture.  If I look around and think about the carefree way my life used to be, it is more difficult to cope.  Gotta look forward (but not too far), gotta keep making the best of things, gotta make the lemonade.

This week Thursday begins the more brutal round of chemo.  Last time it knocked Andrew out for almost a week.  He needed a blood transfusion, morphine, and looked as pale as Val Kilmer's Doc Holiday in the movie Tombstone.  It was so hard to watch.  I may easily slip into the Dark Side next week as I watch my poor little guy suffer in pain.  It makes me raging mad to see him suffer like that.  It may take too much effort to find the bright side, and maybe I won't.  The anxiety and anguish in my gut is already building.

But for now, I can say that we truly had a beautiful week at home.  And that can't be diminished by what may come.

Clinging to the Light.


  1. Andrew and your entire family will be in my prayers. Hang in there and know that there are people out here praying with you. Prayer does make a difference. hugs***

  2. Oh, Julie. I can't imagine any of what you're feeling... the depth, the intensity... but you express yourself so well. More prayers are coming for you.

    HUGS are healing. If the only thing you [want to] remember about Andrew's third year is the hugs, then you haven't given over to the dark side. Denial is helpful, sometimes. It's not always from the dark side. It's a tool.

    Wishing you lots of hugs and healing and blessed moments to remember.

  3. I am your newest follower! What a beautiful family you have! I will be praying for your son and the rest of your family!

    Love all your pictures!!!

  4. But you have the force with you... right? :)

    I'm glad you were able to find some time for fun. The pool party pictures are wonderful. It seems like you are doing a good job keeping up with the "normal" things in the midst of all this.


  5. Cry, rage, laugh, play... do whatever it is that gets you through these days. This was a beautiful post - I love your writing (and the pictures are GORGEOUS!!). You're all in my prayers.... hopefully this 2nd round of the brutal chemo is a little (a lot?) less brutal.

  6. Julie, your post is so profound. You've described it so well -- wanting it to be "over", but not wanting to wish his whole third year away...

    I'm so glad you had some normal and even some FUN!. Praying for you guys and Thursday.

  7. Julie, you've got a way with words - I think that's gotta be helping you a little. My favorite radio guy, Dennis Prager, just talked about compartmentalizing on his happiness hour - I should try to send you the link. I think you're wise and vulnerable. Thanks for letting us into your world. Praying for you all.

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  9. You're such an awesome writer with such profound words. You put words to the way I feel about my son's disease and its effects on him.

    I'll be praying for you and for your little guy, especially in the next week. May "The joy of the Lord be your strength", and may He give you peace.


  10. Thursday ... That's today, right? You and Andrew are in my heart. Thinking of both of you and sending you strength!!

  11. Fingers crossed for you…I know - in a way - just what it is you must be feeling. Hoping for the best.


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