About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, Hospitals and the Concept of Optimism

I'm going to shake things up this time and share my prayer requests before anything else. What can I say: I'm a rebel. First off, please pray that Logan will remain healthy. He's had a runny nose on and off, and we can't afford delays that illness can precipitate. On a similar note, please pray for Brady. He has a nasty cold. It makes for a difficult situation: Logan adores his baby brother and wants to hold and cuddle him often, but Brady's cold is something that Logan simply cannot catch. So please: Prayers over that tenuous situation. Pray for peace for Adam and I, and for wisdom, steady hands, good rest the previous night and discernment for Dr. Sun (the neurosurgeon) and his team as the surgery date approaches. Thank you so much for your support.

Today was tiring. We once again had a child in the hospital, but this time, it was Brady. I took him to the ER last night after his rectal temperature reached 101. He was alternately lethargic and irritable all day long yesterday, so it seemed the right thing to do given his age. He was swabbed for both RSV and influenza, and both came back negative, so we headed home at nearly 2 AM. This morning, he threw up what must've been 4 to 5 ounces of milk in a single sitting, soaking my side of our bed and scaring me. It wasn't full-on projecile vomit, but definitely powerful. When the pediatrician's office called to follow up, we decided that they should check him out, so Adam took him in for a 9:30 appointment. He called about 45 minutes later to let me know that the doctor had sent him back to the ER for further observation, and that I'd need to come feed him so they could make sure he didn't throw up any more mik. Heidi came to save me (thank you!) by staying with Logan and Isaac while Adam and I traded places.

I comforted Brady while they tried to draw blood from his tiny, delicate veins. It took three separate sticks before there was success. Of course, I approached it with an almost mechanical attitude; it's extraordinarily difficult to view a simple needle prick as a monumental event after watching another child deal with a central line for months on end. I felt badly for my sweet baby, but it was a tempered emotion. I think it would be nearly impossible for me to go through this kind of emotionally-challenging, heartbreaking experience without hardening myself just a little. It's a defense mechanism that sort of just... happens.

Anyway, they successfully drew the blood for cultures and a CBC, and then took him for an abdominal x-ray to check for blockages. Everything came back normal (though the cultures take 48 hours to fully develop), so we were again released, but not until after 4 PM. I'm exhausted. And I'm sick of hospitals. My prayer is that Brady will feel better very, very soon and that we'll be able to keep him out of the pediatrician's office and the ER.

I'm absolutely frustrated that my poor little baby is so ill, but I'm not surprised. I called out evil for what it is, and it clearly wasn't an appreciated move. But God is with us, so onward we go, dressed in our battle armor.

So that's all for Brady for now. Please pray for him and his health.

As for Mr. Logan, as I requested up front, please pray for his health as well. We heard from Dr. Sun today, and the plan is for Logan to go in for a pre-op MRI on Monday afternoon at 3:30 PM. We'll meet with him at some point that day to go over the details of the surgery. Dr. Sun said that the main mass is substantially more operable than it was initially. He said that much of it had pulled away from the delicate nerve fibers, though there are still parts of it that are enmeshed with nerve fibers that control facial movement and expression as well as hearing. Scary, yes, but much better than what was initially the case. So that was a relief. He also mentioned that the incision would be in a different location, further forward on Logan's head. I was sad to hear this, and I know how vain it is given the seriousness of what we're dealing with, but I hope that the scar won't be visible once his hair grows back in. It's terribly superficial of me, but I know that children are cruel, and I can't bear the thought that Logan might be subject to ridicule down the line because of a prominent surgical scar. He's been through enough. He deserves better than that.

Our ideal, if I may be so optimistic, would be if he could safely and successfully remove the entire mass (and all of its little cohorts). So please do pray for that: Pray that between now and then, the tumor will retract enough for him to be able to get ALL OF IT. It's a big, bold prayer, but as I say repeatedly and believe, God is in the business doing amazing things. He didn't choose to make it completely operable from the get-go, He didn't choose to make it shrink to nothingness via five rounds of chemo. Now would be an excellent time to completely eradicate that beast once and for all. But God knows best, so I'm doing my best to cling to that truth and not be discouraged if things don't go as we'd want them to go on the path to complete healing. After all, we still have two transplant cycles and radiation to go.

On Tuesday, we're to report to CHO at 6 AM in preparation for the resection. Butterflies flitter-flutter in my stomach every time I think about the procedure, but despite the worries that had clouded my vision and haunted me for the past several weeks -- and this is a peculiar confession, I realize -- the butterflies are less of worry than of nervous, excited anticipation.

I know that sounds strange. It feels weird to type it, to own it. But I'm excited for the future and for taking another step toward vanquishing the evil that is this cancer, even if neurosurgery is scary and I'd prayed fervently that it wouldn't be necessary. I trust that the Lord will have his hand upon Dr. Sun's hands and those of his teammates, and that He will guide them as they work. I pray that He will guide them to the successful and safe removal of the entire mass, and give them wisdom as to how to achieve that goal.

While I'm on the subject of unexpected anticipation and trust, I want to touch on the notion of optimism and the interplay between the three concepts. I've realized, over the course of the past 6 months, that I'm a closet optimist. I know it's amusing, but it's true. I've always considered myself to be a half glass empty kind of girl, but I've come to distinguish the difference between me and a true pessimist. I don't actively seek out negativity; I truly do hope for the best and expect it to happen. Unfortunately for me, that often means I wind up horribly disappointed when things don't go the way I'd hoped and planned. I realize now that that disappointment doesn't make me a pessimist, rather a disappointed optimist! Now, in light of our situation, I'm trying something new: Instead of allowing crushing disappointment to take over and send me spiraling into despair when things don't go my way, I'm attempting to change my perspective and to trust that despite a less than ideal circumstance, things will still inevitably turn out for the best. If you're a 'disappointed optimist' like me, I challenge you to change your perspective. It'll change your entire life, one snafu at a time.

So Tuesday's the big day. Please pray for everything I've outlined above -- and forgive the disorganization of it all! -- and recruit your praying friends, neighbors and relatives to join you. You have my sincerest, humblest thanks for your help and your kind support. Blessings for a lovely weekend.

10 comments:

  1. Prayers for you all. So sorry to hear Brady is not feeling well. I think that it is incredibly healthy that you are thinking of the future! While neurosurgery is scary, keep your eyes on what an amazing outcome it can allow. Not silly at all your thinking about the scar! The usually do what they can to allow hair to cover it. I will ask my friends again for more prayers for Logan!

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  2. Whenever I woke up to feed/calm Gabriel (which was about every hour), I prayed for you, Brady and Logan. I'll be thinking of you non-stop on Tuesday.

    It's not silly about the scar at all. Kids can be cruel, but I have a feeling that if somebody messes with sweet Logan, there will be an army of kids to put any cruel kid in their place.

    I hate that you an ER trip for the baby.

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  3. ((((hugs Sherry)))) Massive continual prayers for you. I've spread the word to all the prayer warriors I know. Your blog put me right back to those early morning ER visits and attempts to get a CBC draw. (((hugs, love and prayers))).

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  4. I hope Brady is doing better today.

    I think 'disappointed optimists' should unite. I like that phrase.

    Thinking of and praying for all of you.

    Kris

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  5. I keep praying every day, Sherry. Prayer does work wonders. I pray for protection for Logan and your family. I pray that the tumor will continue to shrink, that the surgeons' hands are dexterous and sure and guided by God. I pray for complete healing for Logan in this world, and for Logan to grow up to praise and trust God as you are teaching him to. Blessings, Carolynn

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  6. Ha! I love it ~ a "disappointed optimist".
    I think God is stirring up more hope in you Sherry and it's truly amazing :) Continued prayers for that hope, for peace, and for perseverance!
    And praying BIG prayers over the complete removal of that bad boy and it's nasty cohorts. Big, Bold Prayer and it's not stopping!
    Also praying for little baby Brady :( Ugh. Poor baby, poor mommy.
    Love to all of you!

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  8. Hi Sherry- I've recruited about 50 of my friends and family to pray for Logan. He has been added to many prayer lists at churches and bible study groups. Take comfort in the fact that there are so many people out there praying for him and pulling for him to get through this. Good luck to all on Tuesday.

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  9. Joined your prayer team. Praying for Logan, but mostly for his parents.

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