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, September 28, 2010

Easy (Happy Birthday Andrew!)

I was expecting you to be "easy."
An uneventful pregnancy. 
The third baby.
You were supposed to "pop right out."
But you didn't.

I was shocked
when the doctor said, "C-section."
With the cord
wrapped around your neck
three times,
you were ascending
rather than descending.
Perhaps you had a premonition about
this crazy world
you were about to enter.
We had no choice but to take you out
 "the hard way."

At 8:20 am, three years ago today,
I saw your sweet face for the first time.
I held you close to my heart,
swirling my fingers
on your head of peach fuzz.
I imagined your future,
and prayed for your protection.
I held your tiny body 
and was so grateful.
I marvelled at your 
long eyelashes.
You were beautiful.

Those first few days and nights were difficult for me.
At times I could hardly hold you because my body was in so much pain.
But you were a "good sleeper", and a "good eater."
You made it easier for me.

As you grew you became my little attachment.
My lap became your lap.
You wanted to be with me,
held by me,
and in my arms,
as often as possible.

You were my "easy" one. 
My easy sleeper,
my easy eater,
my easy-going,
easy-pleasing baby;
So strong, and so affectionate;
I had no worries.

Today, at 10:35 am,
we are at the hospital once again,
exactly three years later.
Five months ago
a doctor again
uttered shocking words.

As we sit here in the hospital,
I hold you close to my heart.
I swirl my fingers
on your head
(which has nary a smidge of peach fuzz).
I fear and hope for your future
and pray for your protection.
I hold your "big boy" body,
and am so grateful
that I can still can.
Today you lost your last,
long, marvelous eyelash.
But you are still so beautiful.

Sometimes when I pick you up, and look into your sweet, lashless eyes,
it causes me so much pain, I can hardly contain it.

My dear, loving, three-year-old child,
do you know how I adore you?
I would give anything to heal you.
I wish I could do it for you.
I wish I could carry your whole burden,
and not just the backpack for your fluids.

Your life has been difficult,
my "easy" child.
But you are handling the chemo,
and the hospital,
and the needles
with bravery and grace.

You continue on
with happiness,
humor, and an
easy-going attitude.
I am in awe.


Happy Birthday my sweet one.
May you never spend another in the hospital.
I pray the circumstances of your life
may someday match the ease
with which you live it.

Andrew at the hospital today.
The nurses got him cupcakes and everyone sang
"Happy Birthday!"

9-26-10 Birthday party for Andrew.  Picture with my sister who made him a "King Boo" cake.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And yes he totally deserves ALL of those exclamation points plus a zillion more. You guys are in my heart all the way here in Michigan. May you all get to enjoy your special EASY Andrew on his extra special 3rd! birthday.

  2. So sweet!!! Happy Birthday to Andrew!! Still praying for healing for you beautiful baby boy. (phew. choking back tears.)

  3. Goodness, Julie, this is so beautiful. I'm sitting on my couch blubbering away. As always, I am in awe of your strength and grace.

    Happy birthday, sweet, easy Andrew - and many, many happier returns of the day.

  4. Sorry to cry on your birthday Andrew, but your mom does this to me A LOT.
    I'm glad that the doctors and nurses made Andrew feel special today.
    And YES - may you NEVER spend another birthday in the hospital.

    Happy, happy birthday to you both!

  5. Happy Birthday Andrew! what a cutie he is!

  6. Oh Julie, we haven't properly met but I sent Andrew his Maple Leafs Hat. And today this post makes me cry and my heart ache for you. Happy Birthday dear boy, with warm wishes and love from Canada.

  7. He's three! What a wonderful age. I hope this year brings healing and happiness for all of you. Happy, happy, happy birthday to Andrew!

  8. What a beautiful, beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. And happy birthday, Andrew, you precious boy!

  9. My son turns 3 on Sunday and as I look at him sleeping in his bed, I can't possibly fathom the heartache you have had to endure.
    I am so used to signing every birthday card I send with the phrase "may you get everything you wish for when you blow out your candles" and I sincerely hope that your wish (of no more hospitals) comes true!
    Happy Birthday Andrew : )

  10. Happy Happy Birthday Andrew!! I found this post through facebook and now you, Andrew, and your whole family are in my prayers.

  11. Happiest of Birthdays Andrew!!! Julie, I'm praying that 3 is smooth sailing, full recovery and EXCELLENT health!!

  12. Happy Birthday Andrew! Julie, you have an amazing little boy. Even though my heart aches for you, I am in awe of your strength. I will keep hoping for the best for you and your family - especially your beautiful little Andrew.

    Hats off to all of you!

  13. Happy birthday, Andrew!

    Oh, Julie, your words evoke such feelings I can't describe. I felt like I was there seeing it all. Your photos are so beautiful, too. I especially love the 4th one... chubby baby legs get me every time! And he already looks like "Andrew" in that one. He's got a depth of soul that most little boys don't have. I can't wait until every last hair and eyelash is back--as they will be. In the meantime, he's such a perfect 3!

    (Love all that frosting on his arm... he looks like he loves his cupcakes!)

  14. This is great Julie. It was great seeing him and you and the rest of the boys. I, too, was amazed at his attitude and spirit. May his road only get easier from here. Love to you all.
    Erin, Wayne, Sydney and Emma

  15. Happy, Happy Birthday to your sweet, easygoing baby boy! Your words make me feel everything you are feeling and have been feeling for the last five months, though I know I can't even begin to understand the intensity of your emotions. I'm making a wish for a full recovery and a hospital-less future with that one last beautiful eyelash he shed today. And tell him his Texas friends are ROOOOAAAAARRRRRING their birthday wishes all the way to Arizona. =>

  16. what a beautiful post. the best part was the last – "I pray the circumstances of your life may someday match the ease with which you live it." such a great prayer.

    and i pray that the circumstances of his life may only add to his character. he is already a shining example of strength, perseverance and joy...even if he doesn't know it.

  17. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDREW! You are a inspiration. And I pray you NEVER spend another day in the hospital...Amazing Prayer Mom. I am sure you make Andrews life a EAZE as he was blessed to have such a wonderful Mom. Enjoy both your SPECIAL DAY! Andrew you not only are a BEAUTIFUL boy, but a very STRONG, Brave boy.

  18. Happy Birthday, Andrew! I hope all your wishes come true now and always. XXOO

  19. What a beautiful way to commemorate Andrew's birthday. Your ability to describe everything - the good, the bad and even the ugly is beautifully gripping, Julie. I pray every night - for your peace of mind and serenity. I also pray for Andrew to be cancer free and completely healed. I love you, Julie! Please give Andrew a big hug for me!

  20. Happy Birthday you brave little boy. You are so lucky to have such an amazing mama that loves you dearly. I pray that this year will bring you healing and an easy life.


  21. Happy Birthday Andrew!!!! Our family loves and prays for yours. Julie, teary post - very special. May you never have another birthday in the hospital :)

  22. Your little guy is beautiful. I hope he had a fabulous birthday! Sending prayers your way.

  23. Happy Happy birthday Andrew, We all love you and send our support. This was beautiful, and heart wrenching Julie.

    much love,

  24. Happy Birthday Andrew! Wishing you an amazing year full of health and love...

  25. Happy Birthday, Andrew!! May all of your dreams come true. :)


Your thoughts...