God continues to bless our family! Since beginning the Herceptin chemotherapy and then adding the Perjeta chemotherapy after Asher was born, we have seen great response from my cancer! The tumor continues to shrink so that now where it used to protrude out from my chest wall, it is nearly flat. Also the cancerous skin area that looks like a rash is much less red and is slowly shrinking as well.
Last Friday, my chemotherapy oncologist gave me the week off to gear up for my big treatment yesterday. I really enjoyed the week off feeling good, with more energy! I was able to spend more time with my wonderful husband and kids and even get a few projects around the house done. It’s amazing how many piles of things can pop up when you are gone to the hospital every day for 40 days. It is so nice to have all of our family together again and be able to tend to my own house. I did get my first 3-week dose of all 3 chemotherapy treatments yesterday along with lots of steroids, so the coming week could be very side effect intensive for me. I am praying I will have energy and ability to go to VBS each night to interact with the kids and parents in the community that come. Some side effects will include the loss of my hair again, GI issues, and a hit to my blood counts again, as well as my normal fatigue and other minor issues. We are praying this regimen will show increased results, as well as give me one “bad” week and then two fairly good weeks in between treatments. I will have 4 more of these treatments every 3 weeks as long as I can tolerate the side effects. Then we will do more scans and see how well the cancer is responding and what further treatment is needed.
We have also been busy with church work these past few weeks. Today is our town celebration of Bennington Daze! We will have a booth in the park for kids to do some crafts that are centered on our VBS and the gospel salvation message. We are also doing our very first picture scavenger hunt in the park. We have also been busy building our float for the afternoon parade. We are praying the rainy weather will hold off until the parade is done and a majority of the people have been able to come to our booth. This is our one time a year to share our church ministry and give back to the community in a setting like this, so we are praying that God will richly bless this outreach opportunity!
We are also preparing for Vacation Bible School in the park next week! This is the first year we will not have a youth group team out to help us run VBS. Our own church people, as well as some from our sister church, Gretna Baptist Church, will be providing the workers for an evening VBS. Be in prayer for good weather each night, and for good connections with kids and families in the community. The theme for this year is Athens, Pauls dangerous journey to share the truth. Eric will be playing the part of Paul and teaching in his tent each night. Other workers will be in a marketplace where groups can walk around and choose which activities to participate in each night. There will be many things from ancient Greece to explore, such as a food market, geometry tent, scribe tent, olympic games tent, toy making tent, and more. Kids and families will stay together in groups of all ages, instead of the typical splitting up by age into classes. We are excited to see how God will use this new format and high interaction VBS to challenge those that come on a deeper level with the gospel truths!
Asher is doing wonderfully at home and growing like a weed! He will be 2 months old on Monday and that will mark 3 weeks home from the NICU as well! He is around 8 pounds now and looks and acts just like a normal newborn baby. He is getting used to being outside in the wind and playing with his siblings. He continues live up to his name and be a source of “joy” and “happiness” to all those around him! He is such a miracle from God and we can’t help but share that with those we see each day! God is richly blessing us and giving us many opportunities to share this blessing with others!
I came across these verse from 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 in my daily devotional reading this past week:
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
After many updates this past year of cancer, cancer, and more cancer that threatened my life and in turn the life of baby Asher, it is amazing to see God work miracle after miracle to deliver both of us and see the cancer shrink and shrink now! Our faith and hope in God continues to grow through all of these experiences, and I pray has helped the faith and hope of others to grow through seeing God’s working in our lives. We know this is because so many are praying on our behalf and God is answering in huge ways! Thank you each for your vital role in praying for and supporting our family!
It has been amazing to see God provide through so many gifts from so many people! We continue to be blessed with 4 meals each week from those in the community since Asher was born until the beginning of July, as well as many freezer meals for after that. These have helped tremendously in the time of commuting back and forth to the hospital and now transitioning to having a newborn at home and the older kids home from school for the summer at the same time. God continues to provide for our medical bills and for all our needs for Asher through monetary gifts, gift cards, and items for him. We have had three breast milk donors so far to continue feeding Asher breast milk since coming home from the hospital. The pediatrician’s office also provided us with many cans of preemie formula for free and said to call when we run out and they will give us more. They don’t give out a lot of preemie formula, so have an abundant supply of free samples. We are praising the Lord for providing our every need as it arises! Thank you all for your kind generosity in our time of need! We can’t thank you enough for your many prayers and blessings! We pray you are all rejoicing with us and sharing in God’s abundant blessings! “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)