Radiation-Halfway.

 

Well here we are smack dab in the middle or Lane’s radiation and chemotherapy regiment. I’d like to show you what we’ve been up to since my last post (which has been a while) and how we are doing today.

 

Our very first time shooting (We live in Idaho now… I think it’s a requirement!)

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A butterfly, an owl and a unicorn stopped by for Halloween.

halloween

  Princess party at Disney on Ice.

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We had a sweet Belle turn 6!

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Some pretty amazing cancer fighting gear was made for Lane (Thank you Peach’s Neet Feet).

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We’ve been serenaded in our room and welcomed surprise packages when we got home.

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We’ve officially became Team Lanie Bug and have a ton of groupies.

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We take selfies in the kitchen before school.

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A couple of weeks before radiation treatment began we noticed some changes in Lane. She began suffering from neuropathy, her hands and feet are weakened by nerve damage, simple tasks from holding a spoon to walking and standing became challenging for her. That day that we visually understood the affect that chemo was having was indeed a “last straw” moment and Greg and I cried for our daughter.

Lane’s dose was reduced by half because of the severity of the side affects…this was just 2 weeks before radiation began. Even though we ache for Lane, she does not ache for herself. She asks for help but never complains. She laughs about much and cries about little. She can’t put her shoes on or brush her teeth but she does laugh loud, joke often and play much.

Lane is the definition of contentment.

Lane started radiation on a Monday at 6 a.m. check-in. We held her in our arms as they sedated her. She was terrified and so were we.
My heart is screaming:
“I will never be okay with any of this.”
“I will never accept what is happening to her.”
As always we will do what we have to do in hopes for a bright, healthy and joyous future.
Lane on the other hand is teaching me something much different.
Will.
She has a brazen will to get past the hard stuff and onto life.
She voiced her fear about the first moments of the sedation medicine. It makes her feel like she’s screaming and we can’t hear her. So as she sits on our lap and as the medicine is administered she lays her head on our chest and we whisper,
“We can hear you, we can see you, we are right here”
She takes a deep breath and she’s swallowing her fear.
Each day is better. Each day she tries to stay calm and tries to wake up light hearted.
This little girl gets up at 5 a.m. with a smile on her face and has slowly sought out the positives of this grueling experience.
She loves the nurses and the little reindeer on the walls.
She likes her wagon ride from the surgery center to radiation.
She likes that her cheeze-its are ready and waiting when she wakes up.

All of my emotions are sewn into my heart with a very thin thread so before I come undone a few words to leave you with,
Lane is incredibly strong, lovely, brave and stubborn. Lane is 4. Lane is amazing!

Now, I must attend very serious business…
Blanket castles.
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Heavy Shoes.

 Heavy Shoes. That’s what it feels like. These weeks leading up to radiation and ultimately the 4 1/2 weeks that she will actually do radiation is, each day, walking in heavy shoes. Radiation, chemotherapy, sickness and side affects are caked like thick mud on my heavy shoes. This is a path we must walk…she must walk.

Radiation:

The pro’s being an ideal outcome of…cured.

The con’s being dry eye for the rest of her life, halted bone growth, possible but unlikely brain injury.

My friends, walk a mile with me in these heavy shoes.
Remember…

Remember when Lane was first born.

Remember she always loves to cuddle.

Remember a tantrum could be stopped with just a hug.

Remember she’s always had a built in best friend.

Remember her first steps, her first laugh, her first words.

Remember when life was simple and endless adventure was our daily destination.

 Remember every birthday and every person that loves her.

 Remember all the times your heart twisted when she was hurt, all the teachable moments, all the things she loves and all the bad dreams she’s had.

Her life is etched on mine.

Now it’s finally here. Radiation.
She will be up early every day. She will have 5 day treatments for 4 1/2 weeks.
She will be sedated for ever single treatment. 23 days of sedation.
The day will begin with a 6 a.m. check-in and they will put her to sleep as I hold her.
When I think about this day a hot, sticky fear arises in me. Of all the things that she’s been through this is the hardest for me.
My stomach starts to churn when her body goes limp and the darts of helplessness steal my air.
Remember my girl Lord, Remember her.
Lord, help me to be strong. Be her rock through me.
After her 10 minutes or so of radiation she will be wheeled back to recovery.
Waking up from sedation is a marathon. She screams and cries. Her eyes are fuzzy and she’s discombobulated.
When she can eat and walk then we can go home…and do it all again every week day for 4 1/2 weeks.

Are your shoes getting heavy? Do you see my girl?

I ask you to please join me ,every day,
in exchanging our heavy shoes for wings.

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.


As we prepare for this journey we ask you to think about supporting our family by purchasing a t-shirt.
We created these t-shirts for our family and friends that are praying for Lane and want to show their support. Theses t-shirts will be a visual encouragement and will financially help during her radiation treatments.
Please visit- http://www.booster.com/teamlaniebug if you wish to get involved.
Thank you.

Snapshots…

 

Several weeks have past since we cut our hair.
We’ve managed to sneak some fun in, reach milestones, meet more great people and see prayer answered.

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We’ve watched football. The good. The bad. The really ugly.

 

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We’ve seen what can happen with a whole box of apples while mom is on the phone. It was also just as much fun making them into applesauce, apple juice and pie filling.

 

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We’ve celebrated a 1st birthday! A delicious first birthday.

 

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We’ve snuggled together for treatment.

 

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We’ve taken our fair share of selfies 🙂

 

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We’ve had great friends decide to wonderfully symbolize their prayer for Lane with these Overcomer bracelets. We will wear this bracelet until Lane has conquered cancer and finished chemo.

 

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We’ve had gigantic pizza with friends.

 

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Music at treatments is just what we do…no big deal.

 

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We are prayed for constantly and receive support continuously. We have basket raffles, Tupperware parties and fundraisers from people who just want to help. Thank you all!

 

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We pumpkin patched our way through this beautiful day. This sweet girl also received the nomination for student of the month in her Kindergarten class!

 

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We take mountain side 8th anniversary drives.

 

These pictures are a snapshot of our life lately. Our calendar is full, we go to bed late and wake up early. God is good. A marvelous thing is happening with Lane and her treatments…

She’s feeling better!
Her treatments are the same but her recovery time is remarkable. She’s playing more and crying less.
She’s actually playing on the same day of her treatment.
Prayer works!
I follow her around like a toddler taking their first steps,
“Lane, maybe you should come lay down” I wince.
“Nah, I wanna play” she laughs as she runs to the neighbors house.
Today she lives in victory!
Then I hear those two words…
“I’m hungry”
Act casual. Do not pick her up and twirl her sweet face around the room.
“Sure”
We usually settle on soup but sometimes potatoes will do.

During all of these events are the workings of an actual life. Decisions to be made and sacrifices to make. I find that many days I feel like Peter walking on the water. Life gets too overwhelming and If I don’t keep my mind on Christ’s truth then I sink, instantly in anxious despair. Ruth, a great friend of mine, told me to make decisions with prayer, counsel and research then stick with it 100%. So when we decided to stay at a job because we saw God moving despite the absence of it meeting our monetary needs…that advice was divine. We understand that what’s happening with Lane is a gateway for God to work. Our lives are changing. We’ve seen God provide at the 11th hour and our needs have always been met.

Trust me, we’ve drank the watered down version of Christianity.

We’ve definitely defined how God can work by our own reality.

We’ve greedily accepted the cop out’s of a comfortable Christian life.

I’m starting to get the feeling that God’s trying to tell me something…

Surrender.

God is in control.

I remember having complete peace the morning the port was put in. That unavoidable day had arrived but the anguish we felt in those previous weeks had given way to acceptance. No necessarily acceptance of the diagnosis but the acceptance that God was in control. The port has actually been a good thing. See the weeks earlier had been saturated with noise. Everything thrown at us was just white noise that we couldn’t process. Everything was too hard to contemplate and completely objectionable. With the port, in her chest and under her skin,  she receives all of her medication, chemo and fluids. We put medicated numbing cream on her skin over the port before any treatments so she hardly feels anything when the small needle is inserted. She had her first round of chemo the day after her surgery for the port placement.

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Lane’s first chemo treatment at Spokane Children’s Hospital. We were taking in the view on their outdoor terrace!

In the few weeks that she’s started chemotherapy we’ve definitely had good days and bad ones.  Out of her 42 week treatment plan we’ve completed 5 weeks. Greg usually takes her once a week, on Thursdays, up to Spokane (about 45 minute drive) to get her small dose of chemo. She get’s her weight, height and blood work. Before the chemotherapy can start the blood work has to show that her counts are high enough for this weeks dose. So it’s about a 4-5 hour day. Sometimes there are additional blood tests that are required during the week and we can go to a local hospital right down the street. She’s been to the ER two times so far. Once was for a slight fever and the other for not being able to keep any food or water down for several days. You see, if Lane has a fever of 100.4 or over she has to go into the hospital. That particular fever I felt as she laid next to me in bed and her head was on my arm. Taking her temperature confirmed that this would be an early morning started by a hospital visit. After all the labs were back and fluids administered we were able to go home. She’s also completed one 5 day session (she has to go every day for 5 days).  Even though it was tough for her to go every day she didn’t have quite the reaction to this round as she did the others.

She was able to play almost every day and she held an appetite.
There is so much victory in that sentence!

Lately we don’t know what most days will bring. Sometimes she screams in pain because her stomach just, plain hurts. She will cry, “Mommy, pwease caw the doctaw” but I know there is nothing that can be done. I’m aware now, more than ever, that God indeed fearfully and wonderfully created us. The simply, miraculous unseen ways our bodies work can only fully be appreciated once they, well, stop working. Sometimes the vicious cycles of medicine to correct errors of other medicines can have a tumultuous effect. Some days she’s hungry but just doesn’t want to throw up and eating has been a sobering, tough battle.

Other days she will sit in a chair outside and watch her friends play.
Lord Jesus come quickly.

But the good days, oh the good days are such a gift. Lane will wake up and we hold are breath.
“How did you sleep?”
She takes a second to think, “Good”
“How do you feel?” we ask with fresh hope.
“I feel, good” her sweet smile sparks our joy.
Those days are met with smiling, laughter and playing. Those days she’s not sick. Not battling. Not fighting cancer.
She’s just 4 year old, Lane. Thank you Lord for the good days.

When she does have to go to treatments there are many beautiful people who volunteer their time to bring much needed laughter and happiness to the kids. Puppet shows, visits from princesses, face painters and even a foot massage. We have a challenge at every treatment-meet a new friend and remember their name. Her face lights up when she comes home and tells me of her victorious mission…even if dad has to remind her of their name:)

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Lane became a Tiger during chemo!

There is one distinct fact that I take away from this today, that everyone is dealing with something.  Some people walk around with a pebble in their shoe their whole lives. Some are victorious and some waste away with discouragement.  But today I will, because of my circumstances, be a light. I still vividly remember my mother, shouting out to us as we got in the car for school, “Be some one’s hero today!”

Challenge Excepted.

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