Saturday, June 9, 2018

Thankful for "Normal" Life

This post is #83 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

June 9, 2008

I never knew that life with cancer could be so "normal."  On the days that Hannah was treatment-free, life seemed to go on as it always had.  It was summertime, so we were moving at a little bit slower pace, but there were still school workshops to attend, dentist appointments to keep, cheerleading routines to practice, and basketball camps to sweat through.  We celebrated Bethany's 13th birthday, and life was good.  Hannah was feeling better after having completed her first round of oral chemo ... and best of all, her hair had pretty much stopped thinning as a result of the radiation treatments.

For several years, as their grandchildren were growing up, Brad's mom and dad would host "G and G Camp" (Grandma and Grandpa Camp) for a week each summer.  At that time, they had six grandkids ... all girls.  Hannah was the oldest, Bethany was the second oldest, and they stair-stepped down from there.  It was something the girls looked forward to every year, and it was quickly approaching that summer.  We weren't sure if Hannah would be able to participate ... it would depend upon where she was in her treatment schedule, what her blood counts looked like, how much energy she had, etc.  Thankfully, she was able to go, and I'm so glad her cousins and grandparents were able to spend that special time with her that summer.

My email from ten years ago today ...

Hannah had her weekly bloodwork done today in Hot Springs, and we are praising God for near normal results! All counts were slightly low, but are closer to normal than they’ve been in a long time (with the exception of her white blood count, which was just a little bit lower than it was last week). She has also been feeling much better over the last several days since completing her first round of the higher-dose chemotherapy drug. So much better, in fact, that she and Bethany left this morning to spend a few days with her grandparents and four of her cousins in Van Buren, Arkansas. This is something they do every summer, and we were afraid that she wouldn’t be able to go this summer. We are so thankful that she is feeling well enough and that her counts have held strong enough for her to be able to do something “normal” for a few days!

Again, we are so thankful for your prayers and encouragement! God’s people have been so good to our family throughout the last few months…we can never thank you enough!

God is good all the time!
Jill and Brad

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