The Countdown is On…

This past Monday we were in at BC Children’s for another monthly chemo appointment. As of today, Angelica has 4 more monthly chemo appointments left until she is finished taking chemo and only 1 of those appointments will have a sedation procedure. This is SO exciting.

There is not that much that is new or interesting about the actual chemo appointment itself! Angelica goes in. They admit her and draw her blood. They give her the chemotherapy and then we see a Dr. and go home. At this point, as long as I don’t think too closely about the poison that they are giving her, it’s all very routine. I know that it’s a necessary evil and I’m so thankful that we are here and can get the medical help, but it’s still tough…..and that’s never changed from the day that she was diagnosed until now….

What’s been different about the last few appointments has been the issues regarding the bones. The news of Avascular Necrosis/Osteonecrosis has been tough. Dealing with how much constant pain Geli was in was so hard. She had a hard time walking, moving, dressing, doing her hair, bathing……Life was pretty tough and every report we were getting was pretty much preparing us that life would pretty much be like this and possible worse…..

Things started to change after our appointment with Dr. Brown the Pediatric Surgeon at BC Children’s. He gave us news that we received as god news….as positive news and in the middle of all the crap…it’s what we needed to hear.

Angelica is doing so much better. It’s not all butterflies and roses, but she is in less pain. She’s tired and her muscles are sore, but she is working SO HARD!

Geli is doing about an hour and half of physio a day…….on her own…..or mostly on her own…


It’s pretty incredible. She is doing exercises 3 times a day – morning, after school and before bed. It’s making a HUGE difference. Instead of walking around like someone who is 90 years old, she is walking and standing more like a teenager. She is standing straighter and walking straighter. While there is still a bit of a wobble in her step, she looks AMAZING!

It’s exciting to see how far she’s come. Sometimes, it’s hard because she can’t see the change, but to us, looking at her and seeing what she can do now that she couldn’t do a month ago….the changes are astounding. For example, she couldn’t stand up in the kitchen to help with dinner or dishes for 15 minutes without being in pain and so tired. Now, she can do at least an hour. On Monday, she had the sedation procedure with the chemo into her spinal fluid (a Lumbar Puncture) and there has not been one day in the past 2 years that she has done anything other than lay around on an LP day. On Monday, she wanted to walk up to the store a few blocks away from our house to get something that she really wanted for dinner. It blew me away. So SO much different than a month ago……she also has SO MUCH MORE range of motion in her shoulder and elbow and it’s making a difference in the daily living things that she is able to do, like reaching for things up on shelves in the kitchen and doing her own hair.

She still requires help, but all of this change…’s only after ONE MONTH of exercise…..The physiotherapist at the hospital said she was doing incredible and our nurse COULD NOT BELIEVE how amazing she looked even all groggy after having the LP. She looked healthy and happy….in fact, more than a few nurses mentioned how great she looked.

It’s so great to see positive change and forward movement in this situation. We have our next appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon on Tuesday June 14th….I’m looking forward to Geli going in and being in better shape than she was the last time.

One other AMAZING bit of news, is that the Physiotherapist at BC Children’s suggested that Angelica go THERAPEUTIC RIDING… in HORSE RIDING. Any of you who know Geli, know that she has been in love with horses for as long as we can remember. I have lost count of the number of horse calenders, horse bedding and other horse paraphernalia that Angelica has collected or wanted to collect over the years. To say that she was a horse fanatic is putting it mildly. Unfortunately, horseback riding has not been something that we’ve been able to do, but it has been something that Geli has wanted to do forever.

To have the Physio suggest that as another form of physio that Geli could go riding…..well, it’s pretty huge. Just talk to Geli about it and see the smile on her face when she talks about it….she has this amazing smile that just lights up her WHOLE ENTIRE FACE. She is SO excited! We’ve contacted the stable that does Therapeutic riding out here in Langley and have sent out referral forms to her Dr.s to get them filled out and as of last night we received them back so now we forward them to the stable and then set up a time and …………she starts riding.

What an amazing opportunity that is so perfectly picked just for her. What a blessing! We can see God’s hand in this.

There are other emotional side effects from this whole journey that we are working through and it can be tough at times, but there are a lot of things that are going so well. We keep praying and believing for miracles for Angelica’s physical body. It is so encouraging to be at a place where she rarely feels pain as opposed to the constant pain that she was in.

Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, for your love, for your support. We couldn’t have done this or carry on without your support. We are so grateful to all of you.

5 Cycles Left

Angelica has 5 cycles of chemo left until she is FINISHED.

September 30th is the day that she stops taking chemo. It seems SO FAR AWAY and yet…..we only have 5 more cycles of monthly chemo to go until that day comes. It’s pretty exciting to think that when the new school year starts, she will have less than a month of chemo left.

Today we headed in for a monthly chemo appointment. We also needed to meet with the Physiotherapist as well as get an X-ray of her left shoulder. Initially, we were going to be getting an ALL DAY infusion on a drug that would help with the pain that she is feeling in her knees, but we changed our minds on that particualr drug after meeting with the Orthopedic Surgeon last Thursday.

Let me back up…..basically, since the Dr’s Diagnosed bone death back in January we haven’t had a really GOOD appointment since then. We’ve had a number of appointments but all of them have been very emotional or full of bad or depressing news. We have tried to stay strong and positive, but with each appointment seeming worse and worse, it’s been so SO tough.

We had a BIG misunderstanding with the Rheumatologist back in the beginning of April and then another BIG meeting with our Oncologist in the middle of April and while it was better….things were still confusing and sounded so……so…… dark and depressing and negative. It was suggested that we start one drug to help with the pain and we thought about it and planned to go ahead. The Dr sent us a bunch of articles to read. Some of the info was good and some was not so encouraging. Isn’t that how it going with most meds??? Anyhow, We were supposed to start that drug today. It was possible that it might give her bone and joint pain and well as a fever and flu like symptoms like aches, fever, chills and nausea….sounds fun, eh? And, it would have taken all day for it to run…..awesome!!!! Not!

We met with the Orthopedic Surgeon last Thursday and it was a GREAT meeting. He believes that Geli’s case is a mild case of bone death and that she is still in the healing process. He believes that she will get stronger and stronger and that the pain should lessen. He also mentioned that as she gets stronger, that she should also have more mobility as well. These were also very positive things. He mentioned that it is possible that she may not need joint replacements until she was 40 years old. While that is earlier than an average age for joint replacement, it is WAY BETTER than being in so much pain and discomfort that she would need it in the next two years…..He also suggested against the medicine that we were considering because among other things, it can make the bones brittle and more suceptable to fractures. As well, if there are negative side effects, those can possbly stick around for a long time…..a life time even and well….that would not really be cool. Would it?

Of course, this is all a natural, medical opinion and we are still praying for and hoping for miracles. Just going to the specialist felt good. We walked away from the appointment feeling very hopeful. And that is SUCH A GOOD THING!!!!

We go back to see him in the middle of June.

Masked up

Today we had our regular monthly appointment and other than it being two straight hours of running around, it was a FABULOUS day and a GREAT appointment at the clinic. There was no traffic to start and we made it in with enough time that we weren’t rushing in from the parking lot. We went into the clinic, and Geli had to mask up as she’s had a nasty virus that’s been making it’s rounds through the kids. We were sent to the back of the clinic which is the long term appointments, but we stopped to talk with our nurse because we were not staying for the extra long drug. While they tried to sort out the confusion, they sent us down to Radiology to get the x-ray that the orthopedic surgeon had ordered for Geli’s shoulder. Geli changed into one of those cute little gowns that tie up in the back and we were to be up next when our nurse came and told us that physio was waiting for us. So we left Radiology and headed down to the PT department. They also felt that both her elbow that seems to be locked and her shoulder that is difficult to move are both from muscle tightness as opposed to being unable to move because of problems with the bones. This is a very good thing. Geli was given a few exercises to work on and we have an appointment that co-insides with her next chemo appointment.

I am hoping that with one month of focused effort that she will start to see some amazing and encouraging results in her physical body. We will be doing a lot of physio over this month and so if you think of it, you could pray that she will stay encouraged to keep on going and that she will see some results sooner rather than later.

After we met with the Physiotherapist, we headed back to the oncology clinic to get her blood drawn so that we could get her counts, as well as get her Chemo drug for this month. After that, we headed BACK DOWN to Radiology to finally get her shoulder x-ray-ed. The results from that will go to the Orthopedic Surgeon and then we will see him in the middle of June. When we finished with the x-ray, we headed BACK to Oncology to meet with Geli’s Oncologist.

It was a completely uneventful appointment. All of Geli’s stats look good. Her white counts are elevated a bit, but that could easily be explained by the virus that she is fighting off. She checked Geli out, increased one of her oral chemo drugs by just a tiny bit and sent us on our way.

All of that happened within 2 hours…….it was a FABULOUS day!

We have just recently made a few changes within our family and house and I’m hoping that those changes will have a more positive effect on all of us. I’ll hopefully be back tomorrow with an update about what’s going on with us……

Miscommunication and misunderstanding……

Yesterday was another tough day.

We had our monthly chemo appointment in at Children’s on Monday and we got talking with our nurse about the what we “thought” was in the wings for Geli as far as knee replacements and surgery and time lines and the more we talked, the more it seemed like something just wasn’t right…..or that something was missing.

Long story short….what we thought was in the works for Geli regarding her knees and surgery and stuff….well, the reality is way no where close to what we had thought we understood.

There is a whole bunch of information that we don’t know and we are going in this coming up Wednesday for a meeting with our oncologist, our nurse clinician Jon, I and Geli.

It’s so frustrating. Geli has been in pain everyday all the time for a long time now. It’s wearing on her. It’s horrible for us to see her in pain.

I fell apart yesterday. Couldn’t stop crying. Don’t really have the energy to get into it all right now, but the bottom line…..something has to change.

We are praying like never before….for a miracle, for answers, for something.

Could you pray for us? We are beyond exhausted. Every blow feels like a HUGE hit and we are finding it harder and harder to cope with the blows and ever more difficult to recover from them.

I’d love to be able to explain a bit more, but I just don’t have it in me.

Pray for Geli
Pray for Jon and I
Pray for the kids


Through The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Psalm 23
A Psalm of David.
1THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him–not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

This passage keeps running over and over inside of me. Different aspects of it hit me at different times of the day and the night.

The Lord is my Shepherd. He will feed, lead and guide all of my and our steps. I will lack for nothing. He provides a place for me to lay down and be at peace and rest. I can feel safe and secure, knowing that He has made a quiet, peaceful place for me to relax when I feel tired or overwhelmed. I can be still knowing that He is in control and caring for me. He refreshes me and restores me when I feel worn down and so tired and so very, very broken. He does lead me into places of uprightness and right standing with Him, because He loves me and Geli and us. Even though we may be walking through a very deep, dark valley and may feel like the shadow of death has touched us with it’s evil and destruction – I WILL FEAR NO EVIL. I will not fear anything because HE IS WITH ME, WITH HER, WITH US….every step of this journey. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He protects us and guides us and in spite of all of our pain, or hurt or confusion or anger – HE COMFORTS US! He provides for us in the middle of all of this garbage. In spite of all we have gone through, in spite of all we are are going through….my life is full of love and joy. Goodness, Mercy and His Incredible Love is with me every moment of every day and I choose to live within His LOVE and PRESENCE all of my life. Nothing shall sway me from this, not life nor death.

Angelica is on the list to get new knees. In all actuality, her shoulder is WAY worse than her knees, but she doesn’t walk on her shoulder. And so, from her standpoint, dealing with the pain in her knees is a higher priority.

I’m very aware of exactly where we are at, and we are taking the steps that are medically necessary to replace her knees, and her shoulder will be shortly behind that. We believe that there is SO MUCH GOOD that the medical profession can offer to help us out.

And in spite of all of that, I am praying for Angelica’s healing.

I would love if if you would stand with me and support her and us with your prayers.

I believe that….. “Where two or more agree concerning anything, it shall be done!” and so I’m asking for two or three….or many, MANY MORE… stand with us to declare healing for Angelica.

Looking at the reality……we need a miracle. Aside from the replacements…..that’s the only other possibility. I’ve seen the pictures of her shoulder bones and the left one has collapsed. There is no natural possibility for healing or regrowth outside of a miracle.

And so, I’m asking, praying and believing for a miracle.

I would like to invite you to join with Jon and I and more importantly Angelica as we pray and believe for healing and new bones for Angelica.

I realize that to some of you who don’t believe, this may sound crazy. And maybe, I’ve gone crazy….there has been a whole lot of stress over the past 2 years. But………in my mind, as much as it might be good to have knee replacements instead of pain and eventual immobility for the rest of her life……the best thing would be to have new, healed and restored bones. Until the moment that they cut her open to put new knees and other joints in….I will pray and ask and believe for God to work a miracle in her life and in her body. At this point, we have nothing to lose….

Angelica doesn’t finish treatment for Leukemia for another 6 months. The list for new knees has a 6-9 month waiting list….and so the timing works out well for her to be on the list starting now.

She starts physio and OT on Monday at GF Strong.

For those of you joining us in prayer, here is a list of things to pray about:

1. New, Healed Bones for Angelica. Currently they have said that her knees, shoulders, hips and elbows are showing signs of bone death….but we want everything in her body and mind to be healthy!
2. We are all feeling quite emotionally tired, fragile and broken. So prayer for strength and comfort, peace and joy.
3. Geli is so tired of feeling physically exhausted all the time. She’d like to have energy to be able to enjoy life.
4. Geli is starting physio and we want her to be able to build as much strength in her body as possible.
5. Prayer for sleep….restful, peaceful sleep for everyone in our family.
6. Strength for us all to be able to keep going on in spite of how tired and worn down we are feeling
7. Protection for our family that each and everyone of us would be safe and healthy
8. We have had so many things break on us recently…our microwave, my laptop, our toaster over, our scale, my breast pump, and I know there are more that I’m not remembering, but we’ve had enough…..this all needs to stop. It’s a drain emotionally as well as financially!
9. PEACE!!!!!! in every area of our lives and minds and bodies……for all of us.
10. Employment – Jon’s job is very uncertain right now. He is a contractor and currently working for a GREAT COMPANY, working amazing flexible hours and making enough to support our family. His contact is up as of March 31st and his boss has applied for his contract to be extended but the boss’s boss has not not yet signed off on rolling over the contract. Jon would love to actually get hired on full time at this company, with benefits and a regular salary, but even just a contract renewal would be amazing.
11. Mini-Vacation – Personally, I’d really love to be able to get away as a family. Somewhere not too far away, but where we can relax and just escape! I’m just gonna be specific and say that I’d love to be on a beach somewhere to hear the waves crashing and smell the salt water and feel the wind on my face, but honestly….any where would be nice.

Thank you for all your support. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your prayers. We need them now, more than ever.