Saturday, October 22, 2011

Come On Over!

[We interrupt our usual topic of conversation to bring you this news about another member of our family who is pursuing her passion for acting.]

Last spring, Martha had the opportunity to audition for a role in the locally-produced show, Come On Over!  She got the part and was able to spend the better part of a week (and missed school!) filming shorts for the show called "Ceci Wonders" playing the part of Ceci and Josh's daughter, Martha.  Two of the six DVDs, Groovy! and Blast Off! are hot of the presses, with the others to follow in the coming months.  It's my understanding that there is at least one short containing Martha in each of the DVDs, as I believe she shot a total of ten (the events of the summer have messed with my memory capabilities).

COO! is the product of the imagination and talent of our friend, neighbor, and follow Third Church member, Joel Schoon-Tanis.  Please join us in supporting COO! by buying a DVD or two (or four or six!) and downloading a few songs from iTunes.  COO! is geared towards 3-8 year olds, but all ages would love it!

Here's one of the "Ceci Wonders" shorts containing Martha called "Good Enough."



How cool was that!  Obviously we're super-proud of her and the work that she is doing!  (We're super-proud of Joel and rest of the cast and crew, too!)  You can see more videos (be sure to check out God is Green) at the Come On Over! Facebook page.

Come On Over! Live Show

If you happen to live in West Michigan, you're not going to want to miss the COO! Live Show with musical guest Jars of Clay on November 5th @ 10am.  Martha will be on stage with the cast in some small capacity and will even be jammin' with the band on I Love My Triangle playing, yes, the triangle.  We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 10, 2011

first set of scans

waiting for the ultrasound
big day at DeVos.
chloe had her
first set of scans.
chest x-ray,
ultrasound.

i held my breath,
what could they be
looking for?

when they took out
her kidney,
supposedly they got
everything.


even though
the situation
is not ideal,
a cake to share at the clinic
it certainly has not been
the toughest road
in terms of cancer.

so, i was waiting for
the other shoe
to drop.

everything
came back
clear.

we are on track.
we are looking toward
the little patient
the finish line.

chloe goes in
to check her counts
next week.
her next
chemo appointment
is on halloween.

we're hoping to
be done
by christmas.

then we're
going to have
one big party.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

tipping point

early in september
i visited my new favorite bakery
the person who worked there
was so nice and friendly.

"what are you going to do today?"
he asked, casually..
i explained that our daughter was
at DeVos getting treatments
for cancer.
his face fell,
"i will certainly
say a prayer for her."

"thank you,
it really isn't as awful as
one would imagine.
it is actually
going to be okay."
i said as i left the bakery.

i walked back towards
the hospital,
buoyed by
cheerful interactions,
a newfound bakery
and anticipation
of the yummy treats
in my bag.

i reflected that life is
fragile, yet beautiful.
i gave thanks
to God
for allowing me
to be a part of it all.

it is funny how
perspective can change.
this past week
someone asked how it was going.

"it's hard."
i said.

we all have our
tipping points.
whether we are
experiencing something
life shattering
or just a hard day,
we never really know
what will push us
past the tipping point.

it could be anything,
a few sleepless nights,
deadlines at work,
a weird interaction,
bad news...

i think for me,
the hospital stay
was a tipping point.
it moved me from
"it's really okay."
to
"it's really hard."

from prior experience
i know that
life will get better.
it always does.

but i have a choice
of what to do
until it does
get better.

i can look
at chloe
and see
the dark circles under her eyes,
the wisps of hair on her head,
the crabbiness that comes
with fighting against this illness.

i can look
at chloe
and see
cancer.

or,
i can look
at chloe
and see
a resilient spirit,
a little fighter,
a survivor.

i can look
at chloe
and see
a gift
from God.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The 3 Minute Update

Chloe and Christa arrived home about noon.

Martha has a minor sinus infection. Now on antibiotics. Also got a flu shot, something that we'll all be getting, but never have before...

Chloe is loving being home and disconnected from her IV. She has been playing hard since getting home (and is still going strong as I write this "reading" books in her bed).

Christa and I would love to have a little of her energy. We're exhausted. Christa is on track to have a nervous breakdown by Wednesday. Maybe sooner...

And it's only Monday...

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The scoop

As the weekend winds down, this is where we're at:

Chloe is still at DeVos. They want to keep her there until her counts go up and they have time to culture blood samples taken from her port and arm to determine if there is any major infection that needs to be dealt with. On the whole, she is in good spirits and isn't really acting sick. In fact, she truly has begun to see this a sleepover and wants to spend a few more days. She has received an antibiotic through her port every six hours for the first 24 hours. This afternoon she had a shot of a medication that will hopefully bring her counts up. Hopefully she'll be able to come home tomorrow, but only time will tell. Christa is staying there with her tonight.

I'm at home with Martha and Henri. Martha has a cold or allergies (???) and is feeling pretty lousy so she had to wear a mask when she stopped by the hospital to visit Chloe this afternoon. I requested a sub for tomorrow so that I can get Martha to the doctor to get her checked out and see if there is anything we can do so that we don't have to quarantine her when Chloe gets to come home.

A few prayer requests:
- Healing for Chloe and Martha
- Strength and peace for all of us
- A good night's sleep for Christa and I. I think we both forgot how intermittent sleep is in the hospital with nurses and techs coming into to check vitals regularly and little alarms going off when Chloe would roll over and pull off the monitors.
- Keeping this all in perspective. It really could be so much worse.
- The ability for me to let go and say "not in this season of life" as there are things I want to do, but can't find time/energy to do them, and Christa has to remind me "you have a daughter with cancer, that's enough to take care of right now."

Thanks, everyone, for your continued prayers and presence in our family's life. Good night.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

inconvenient yet not alarming

chloe has been
a little
under the weather
this week.

nothing frightening,
just a runny nose,
maybe a bit of a cough.
nights have been restless.

this morning she woke up
coughing and hot.
again, nothing alarming.

kip took her temp,
it was 101.5 degrees.
routine, yet not for
someone with a port.

just as a precaution,
to be sure that infection
does not enter
the central line,
we have been instructed
to call DeVos
when she has a fever
over 101.1.

we followed instructions
and were sent to
DeVos Peds ER.

inconvenient, but
since we were prepared,
not alarming.

martha and henri
were disappointed.
chloe was not happy.

we met my parents at the hospital
they will treat
martha and henri
to a day at artprize

at the ER
they took some blood
did a chest xray
and let chloe teach them
her favorite game.

they decided that the ratio
between her white blood cells
and absolute neutrophil count
was not where they wanted.

chloe was admitted.
she is receiving some
heavy duty antibiotics
and watching tv.

we do not feel anxious
we know that this is
pretty routine
for a cancer patient.

we have enjoyed
a great lunch from the
and some other treats
from my new favorite bakery,

our dog, tobi,
is being picked up
by our friends lisa and mia.

the view from our window
of the fall colors
is beautiful.

i'd like to be
out there,
i'd like to be
doing something
productive,
maybe even
something fun.

but for now
i'll snuggle up
next to chloe,
and take solace in the fact that
this visit is so very different
from the last time
chloe was admitted.

inconvenient,
yet not alarming.