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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Chip in the Windshield

There's a chip in my windshield. Not particularly profound as an observation in and of itself, but to me right now, it takes on a deeper meaning.

Don't get me wrong; there is literally a chip in my car's windshield. A pebble flew up and hit it while I was driving home on the freeway tonight, both startling me and leaving a fresh imperfection on the surface of what had always been smooth and shiny glass. The little pockmark is directly above my line of vision so though it probably won't get in the way, it'll always be visible as I drive.

That chip represents Logan's cancer to me. It marred something that was pretty and neat and near-perfect. The windshield is still fully functional, but it's been permanently damaged. So has Logan. His hearing is no longer perfect. His head is badly scarred. And no matter what I do, I see those imperfections. They're a new part of my reality, as is the chip.

But you know what? Within the context of the entire windshield, the chip is incredibly tiny. Though I can see it and it looks huge to me because it wasn't there before and its presence irritates me, the chip is not the entire windshield. And eventually, its presence will fade from my conscious mind; I won't see it anymore. The physical effects will still be there, of course, but down the line, they won't seem as all-encompassing.

So that's my deep thought of the evening. It's been something of a hard latter part of the day for me, so it's comforting to me to write those words; to have them written on my heart so I could share them here. I hope they make sense and that they speak to someone here.

Logan spiked a fever this evening. I knew it was happening when I arrived at CHO to relieve Adam's mom at 5. He was hooked up to the monitor at the time, and his heartrate was too high. His heartrate always soars shortly before and during fevers. Sure enough, two hours later his temperature had risen to 102.something. He's had a hard time coping with the Etopiside and Thiotepa, and the nausea and vomiting have been worse than usual, so he threw up his Tylenol immediately. Blood cultures were drawn, and the resident planned to check with the fellow to see about starting the meds that would zap the line infection he's already had twice during the past months. Of course we don't know that it's a line infection, but there's good precedent to suggest that it is. His throat is also hurting him, so chances are good that he's developing mucusitis already. All he wanted was ice water, but he threw it up every time he had some.

It breaks my heart into millions of pieces to watch him suffer. I know this is hard to read; I figure that's why I keep losing followers (which, by the way, is like a little knife to my heart. Whenever the number falls, I wonder what I did wrong and why that person didn't want to know my Logan anymore). But I have to write it. I have to push through my own pain and tiredness and try to make some degree of sense of it all. Or, barring that, I have to have a record of the entire journey so I can look back one day and say that was awful, but it was redeemed.

Please, as always, pray for Logan's complete healing. I can't stress the sheer urgency of that request. Tomorrow marks his final day of chemo drugs. Not just a final day for now, but possibly, prayerfully, hopefully, wishfully THE final day EVER. The day that could push him into remission and back to health. PLEASE pray that it will be so. Pray for extremely effective treatment. Pray that the drugs that he's suffering with will make him well. Pray that the doctors and nurses will take good care of him over the coming days with the strike looming next week; pray for wisdom and patience. For me, please pray that I will be kind and understanding; I'm upset over said strike and over the parallels between this cycle and the near-disastrous cycle 2, which also began with a strike looming. Pray for all of our relationships with one another, and for the wisdom to know when we need help.

Thank you, and good night.

Friday, April 29, 2011


That's me: Scattered. I've meant to update more frequently than I have in recent times, but I simply don't have anything left at the end of each day. For the time being, with Logan in isolation and anyone under age 10 unable to visit, my days look like this:

6:45 AM - Get up, wake Abby up, make breakfast, pack Abby's lunch, change Isaac and Brady's diapers, sometimes get them dressed.
7:55 AM - Take Abby to school, then run any errands.
**Amuse boys**
11 AM - Lunch.
2:50 PM - Pick Abby up from school, goad her to do homework, amuse boys, feed Brady, etc..
4:30 PM - Drive to CHO to sit with Logan.
8 PM - Adam and I swap places.
8:45 PM - Put kids to bed.
9:30 PM - Freelance time.
11 PM - Bed.

I suppose that doesn't look terribly busy, but I think it's the lack of mental energy that zaps me. Brady has been a horrible crankpot lately. I was careless with my eating a few days ago and had some pie I should never have eaten, and now we're both paying the price for that indiscretion. It makes me angry that I have to deal with a dairy intolerance amid all of the other drama, but it is what it is. Anyway, that's all rambling.

Logan is doing okay with the transplant cycle so far. He had three days of Carboplatin, the third and final of which was yesterday. His creatnine clearance came back perfect after the first dose, but was slightly decreased the second day, so they lowered yesterday's dose to try to reduce the chances of side effects. Today, he's moving on to the other two drugs -- Etopiside and... well, I can't remember what the other drug is. I just tried to call Adam at the hospital to ask. Although he answered, I could hear Logan screaming in the background and he put his cell down before responding. After a single minute of listening to the crying and ranting, I had to hang up. I couldn't take it anymore.

I guess that's kind of how I feel right now at my core: Like I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of the crying, the screaming, the ranting and the raving. I'm tired of the drugs. I'm tired of the hospital routine. I'm tired of pushing negative thoughts out of my head. I'm tired of forcing myself to be hopeful. I'm tired of doctors and nurses and chemo and medical acronyms. I'm tired of watching everyone else get to move on with their lives when mine is so lousy. I'm tired of spilling my gut in this journal in dramatic fashion just hoping that others will keep reading and won't leave. I'm tired of being afraid to say how I really feel about x,y and z because I don't want to offend anyone and stop them from praying for Logan. I'm tired of feeling utterly alone.

Just please pray for Logan. I just want him to be well again. I want him to be healthy. It's really very simple, very primal. It's not a thing of eloquence and I can't make it so right now.

Oh, and the third drug? Thiotepa.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Back to the Grind

It's 11:41 PM and I'm sitting alone in my family room. It's silent, save the ticking of the clock on the wall and the click-clack of my own typing. But instead of feeling comfort in the silence as I often do, tonight I feel loneliness. The quiet sting of a solitude I wish I didn't have to face. Again.

We took Logan back to CHO this afternoon to begin his consolidation cycle, so we're officially back to the grind. The seemingly never-ending car rides, the impatience, the shuffling of schedules, the cessation of family life as we know --and love-- it. I'd be lying mightily if I claimed to feel any emotion other than sadness surrounding our predicament. But it is what it is. I'm resigned to that. My resignation doesn't make it less painful or unfair. It just makes it... what it is.

The in-depth consult with the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) team member, whose name I quite shamefacedly admit I cannot recall, went as well as could've been expected. She reviewed his test results, which were all --thankfully, praisefully, wonderfully-- within normal ranges. And then we once again went over the laundry list of side effects of the drugs he'll be receiving over the next six days. The horrible nausea and vomiting, the hair loss, the tiredness, the long-term implications including hormonal deficiencies and the chance of secondary malignancies.

I half-listened and half-watched Logan as he played with Brady, giggling every time my sweet baby stole his big brother's precious Cars hat from atop his head. And I wondered, for the thousandth time, why this is all happening. Why Logan has been chosen to suffer through this. Why our family is being warped and turned and twisted to the point of breaking. I don't allow my mind to go there often anymore, but today, while sitting at that table, signing consent forms, hearing about the side effects and the implications, it was hard to push the thoughts away.

Logan, as is often the case, was largely unaffected by the gravity of the situation. He was delighted to see Molly again -- because, as he admitted, he 'looooooves' her-- and flitted around his room like a butterly in a glass jar. We played an animal matching game, Disney Yahtzee, a Nascar Playstation 2 game (he was bummed that there was no Cars game available, but since the hospital didn't have one and we don't own a system at home, he had to deal with what they had) and a Leapster game. There was food ordered and just, generally, plenty of energy on display. It was hard to leave when the time came. I could tell that he was in 'hospital mode', sniffing back his own tears to keep me from getting upset; sadly telling Brady that he'd miss him; giving me the biggest, greatest hug I'd received in some time. But that's the thing about hospital time: There's always a separation coming. I can't just go upstairs and kiss his head or look in on him whenever I'd like. It's just reality.

So right now, as I sit here at home, Adam is 3o miles away with Logan in a hospital room in Oakland. He tested positive for the Rhinovirus, which causes the common cold, so he wasn't allowed inside the immunocompromised ward. Instead, he's in an isolation room, which greatly complicates matters for us. Since no one under age 10 is allowed inside an isolation room, it means I can't take Brady with me as initially planned, so Adam and I had to scramble to figure out an alternate plan. We'll try an array of options before settling on one, but it's really just another thorn in my side, another frustration. Just as it was a thorn in my side to realize that the parking garage attendant wasn't present when I left at 5 PM today, so I wasn't able to buy vouchers, and had to pay full price for my 4-hour stint in the garage. It's silly to be upset over something like that, to waste mental energy over something as silly as parking. It is, after all, merely a pesky little thorn. But even the most trivial, tiny thorn can prick the skin and make it bleed.

Please join us in continuing to pray for awesome things from this consolidation cycle: For minimal side effects, quick recovery, good spirits, God-moments and absolute, 100%, complete and undeniable healing.

To close, I wanted to share a thought I had as I was driving home this afternoon. My mind had wandered back to my negative thoughts of the early afternoon, when I'd waxed philosophical over 'why Logan', 'why our family', when it hit me: This isn't the life that God wants for our family. God wants to prosper us; He doesn't want us to languish in separation. And I was once again reminded that this is a battle. We've seen amazing things happen so far, and I expect, I hope, I desire to see more amazing things in the future. I don't believe that God is 'doing this' to us. I believe that God is fighting for us, for Logan, for health, for restoration. I believe that God wants to show Himself in mighty ways through this situation. To have the cup taken from us would be bliss, but for whatever reason, this treatment protocol is necessary for Him to make his grand point. And so we wait. And have faith, and trust, and believe in healing.

Thank you for your prayers and good night.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Reflections

On a Sunday that is simultaneously Easter, the day that Jesus Christ arose from the grave and guaranteed salvation to those who believe in Him, and the day before Logan heads back to CHO to begin the final step in his treatment protocol, I have a lot of mixed feelings. The conflation of these dates is bittersweet; I know that because of what He did, regardless of the outcome of treatment, our family will be complete again, and not merely complete in the limited sense that we understand it, but complete for all eternity.

But I'm still human. I still want healing to come, and I want my son to grow up and to continue to shine his (and His) light in this dark, disturbed world.

Following the post-radiation MRI, I feel like we have reason to be hopeful about the treatment. After all, to go from significant disease in the spinal column to nothing visible at all so soon after his six weeks under the ray ended is, well, miraculous. At least, it is to me, given what we were told about how the MRI would 'likely' look, and how we were told that it probably wouldn't show much of a change because not enough time had passed for the tissue to melt away. But it did dissolve. It was eradicated. And our prayer, the biggest prayer we've ever uttered in our lives, is that it will continue to dissolve, to melt away, to be banished from Logan's sweet little body.

It's been a good day, but a trying one for me. I've alternated between laughter and abated tears; tears that come because I know today is the last day that we'll all be together for at least the next month. It's actually a 'last day' --for now-- for a lot of things that I hold close to my heart. It's the last day that Logan will feel good for quite some time; the last day that he and Abby will giggle and play together; the last day that he'll stand in front of the TV and sing the theme song to Phineas and Ferb; the last day I'll sleep on the floor of his room to make his nighttime restroom needs less obvious to the rest of the household. Yes, we pray that these things will happen again down the line, but it's painful to think of the upheaval that we know lurks in the near future, and the strain that it puts on our collective family life. It's hard to be apart. It's painful. It's unfair. It makes me feel bitter, angry. But I can't feel those things because I can't allow bad feelings, negative emotions to rule me. But it's hard. Very, very hard.

But despite my sadness over the end of this phase, I feel cautiously hopeful about the aforementioned conflation of dates. Just as Christ made Easter a new beginning for all of us, so I hope that tomorrow will be the start of a new beginning for Logan and for our emotionally battered family. I plan to pray every moment of every day, with every breath I take, that God will use the brutal treatment Logan is about to undergo to give us a brand new start. To give him a new life on earth, so to speak.

And I thank you for praying for the very same thing, because there is strength in numbers. Just as there is eternal hope in Christ, there is earthly hope in intercession and in communion. Blessings, and happy Easter. He is Risen!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It's been a convalescing kind of week. At least it has for Adam. I've been feeling better for the most part, following my many recent ailments; Adam battled what I'm sure was a flu for three days and is now on the mend. But just this evening my stomach started to feel off. I've never hoped for food poisoning before --my sole experience happened while I was studying abroad at Oxford and I was miserable for days-- but if there's something amiss, I hope that's it.

Anyway, today we went to CHO for our consolidation cycle consultation with Dr. G. He's not the program coordinator; in fact, we typically saw him wearing his oncology hat during Logan's inpatient stays. He did a relatively quick overview of what's to come. No matter how many times we hear about Logan's treatment protocol, it's always shocking to be faced with the names of the drugs he'll receive and to hear about the side effects. It never gets easier. Even though I'm numb to much of this process now, information about drugs and side effects still wash over me like icy cool water, effectively reminding me that yes, this is still happening. And yes, it's still a very serious situation. I looked often from Dr. G. to Logan, who sat across the table from me playing with Legos, and quiet, private, frustrated thoughts flitted through my mind. It's not fair. No matter what, it will never, ever be fair.

Since I missed posting earlier this week, I should bring everything else up to speed. There have been several pre-transplant appointments. I took Logan to the dentist on Tuesday. Miraculously (and it is miraculous, given how much chemo he's had an how lax we've been about brushing his teeth at times), he didn't have any cavities and his gums are in good shape. Then yesterday, I took him down to Stanford for a creatnine clearance test, which measures how well his kidneys are functioning. We haven't gotten the results of that test yet; please pray that they will come back within normal range. Logan was excellent both days. He was especially tickled over seeing the police cars outside the hospital complex --just as we left, the President's motorcade happened to ride by. I'm from the DC-area so I've seen many a Presidential motorcade, but it was amusing even to me to see one in Palo Alto, thousands of miles away from my hometown.

I want to write a lot here, but I'm floundering through this entry, trying to be eloquent and trying to remember the pertinent details, and feeling like I'm not doing a particularly good job. So perhaps I'm best served by moving on to prayer requests.

Please pray for Logan's health as we move toward Monday and the beginning of the consolidation cycle. Pray that the radiation will continue to eat away and completely destroy any cancer cells that may remain, and on the other side of the coin, that the effects on his healthy tissue would be minimal. Pray for wisdom as this coming chemo cycle begins; pray that the doctors and nurses will watch him with extra specially watchful eyes, and that he'll be able to avoid some of the serious side effects that could result. One of the big complications is renal failure, so please pray against that. Pray for our family as we once again enter into a prolonged time of separation. Pray for peace and faith for all of us as we go through this final step in the protocol, and pray for amazing results when it's over. Logan has been through so much. He deserves to be well. Please intercede for that.

Thank you for joining us as we continue along this path. Blessings.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pray More (Please)

Just a quick little note to ask for more prayers. Apparently my cold times two, ear infection and trapped fluid, swollen and sore throat, canker sores and laryngitis weren't enough for our family to muddle through, because Adam now has some sort of stomach virus and has been vomiting on and off all night. PLEASE pray for a quick return to health for him, and a bubble of protection around the rest of us. The last thing we need are four puking kids. Thank you for your prayers....

MRI and Other Things

I know some of you have been waiting to hear from me all day long; I'm sorry for dragging it out. The truth is that Adam called me from CHO with the preliminary MRI results several hours ago. I've been a combination of busy with freelancing work, dealing with Isaac and a cranky Brady, out of the house and mulling over the information we received, and am just now getting down to the business of sharing.

Preliminarily --meaning the radiologist's read, as our primary hasn't yet had a chance to review the films-- the MRI results look good. Very good, actually. Despite plentiful warnings that the scan would likely look the same as the last one since radiation can take a while to create visible change in tissue, the radiologist's report claims that the spinal nodules are no longer visible. In addition, the spot in his brain leftover after surgery --the spot that the surgeon theorized may be scar tissue-- is still present, but smaller. So all in all, it's as good as it was gonna get.

The only thing I can say is thanks be to God for all of that. I said more than once over the course of the past weeks that I suspected the treatment was working, not only because he showed none of the outward warning signs we were told about, but because I've been so absolutely hammered by illness.

But even as I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude over a bit of good news, I'm cautious. I'm not fully overcome with joy because we've been burned so many times over the course of the past months that it's hard to be truly and completely enthused. So I guess you could say that I feel a quiet sense of contentment. That's as good as it gets for me these days. But I'll take it and try to rest.

In other news, today's audiology report showed that he's lost a little hearing in his left ear (but still tests within normal range), and that he has a mild to moderately severe loss depending on pitch in the right. Though it hurts my heart to think that this wretched, evil disease has taken part of one of his senses away, I'm not surprised by the results, and am grateful --deeply so-- that it's not any worse than it is.

The next step is the consolidation / stem cell transplant cycle, which will begin next Monday. Please, please keep praying that God will do His work and heal my Logan. He's been through so much and is such a light in this world. I'll link to a video later on, just to let you have a glimpse of who he is, even now after enduring 8 months of brutal treatment.

I have a crying baby who needs me, so I'm off for now. Thank you so much for standing with us and for continuing to intercede over the crucial weeks to come.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just... here.

Lately, whenever someone stops to ask me how we're doing, I pause before I respond.

Just... here.

Not because I don't want to share --I wouldn't writing right now if that were the case-- but because just as it's hard for you to know what to say to me, it's hard for me to know what to say at times, too.

Logan's MRI was yesterday. We'll likely hear back on it sometime Monday. Obviously, our prayer is that it will show significant reduction in the tumors and NO regrowth, but we also know that even a stable read would likely be okay, as the visible effects of radiation can take a while to show up.

Next week, he has a slew of pre-transplant cycle appointments, including a kidney function test at Stanford, an audiology check and an EKG at CHO, and a run-of-the-mill dental appointment that will likely show that he needs some fillings.

The doc decreased his decadron dose to half, so he's been much sweeter than before. He hugged my legs, looked up at me with his enormous blue eyes, grinned and said I love you more times yesterday that he had in months. It was like ointment to the sore, soft place in my heart that cracks open, bleeds and then eventually heals following every setback. I've missed my sweetie, so even though I have to be careful to not get too close --since I now have conjunctivitis, if you believe it-- I've enjoyed the sweet, fleeting cuddles and the return of that precious voice that melts many a heart.

As for prayer requests, there are plenty. First, and above all, please pray for complete healing for my Logan. Pray that God will crush any remains cancer cells and blow them from Logan's body like dust in the wind, and then seal him up tightly so they'll never, ever be able to return. Pray that the MRI will give good news and reason to be hopeful. Pray that the tests will all go well next week; that his heart and kidney function will be normal and that he'll be officially cleared to move on to the next step. Please pray for wisdom for us as well as the medical team. Finally, please pray for health for the rest of our family. I've been absolutely hammered by illness over the past month, and need to be well if I'm going to be helpful.

Thank you and a very pleasant weekend to you as we approach Easter.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Go Write.

I tried to go to bed a while ago, but kept feeling that pull to come and post. I want to go to sleep, darn it! I'd think. And then I'd hear Go write. But I resisted, repeating But I want to go to sleep now, which was of course followed by Go write. The back and forth went on for 20 minutes or so until I sighed, gave up and came downstairs to the quiet of my family room and the brightness of the computer monitor.

Tomorrow is something of a momentous day because it marks Logan's final day of radiation. I know -- it flew by, didn't it? Six weeks from start to tomorrow's finish, all in the books. Praise God that he stayed well enough to stay on schedule. Despite having a cold for the past week and a half, his lungs remained clear, so we were able to keep moving forward. A prayer truly answered.

Please pray for those final toxic beams to be extraordinarily brutal on the cancer and equally extraordinarily gentle on the surrounding, non-diseased tissue. Of course, we don't know what the future holds, but as of now, his hearing isn't as diminished as we'd been told it would be by radiation's end. Though he tends to speak more loudly now and says What? What did you say? more frequently, I was quietly overjoyed yesterday when I whispered into his right ear -- the one that Dr. T told us would be left profoundly deaf following radiation -- and he responded in like with a whisper of his own. Just a touch of good in a sea of very bad. But a very beautiful bit of good it is.

There's actually a lot of good lately, to be honest. It's not that our situation is any different. We're still facing a lot of uncertainty. We're still facing one of the worst ordeals parents can face. But I've felt myself regain a sense of peace that I'd lost. I've felt more hopeful. Maybe it's a function of the long prayers Adam and I have said together in bed each night before falling asleep. Maybe it's the prayers that all of you and an ocean of others have offered and are continuing to offer up on our behalf. Maybe it's the little notes I've gotten this week from both strangers and friends long ago lost that are making a difference. More likely than not, it's all of the above. But regardless of what it is, I'm thankful. I needed an ounce of peace and I got it. I needed notes of hope and support and they came. So thanks to God, and thanks to all of you.

Please continue to hold us all up in prayer in the coming days. Please pray for restored health for the rest of us. I took Brady to the doctor this morning, and discovered that he has an ear infection and croup. My own swollen throat has mostly de-puffed, thankfully, but my voice is hoarse and I still don't feel as if I'm in the clear quite yet. Entering the weeks to come, we desperately need our collective health to be intact.

And of course, as always, please pray for Logan's healing. I can't begin to describe the intensity of my own prayers; how I plead with God to touch him and make him well again. How I rehash the healing scriptures in my mind and whisper Lord, I know You can heal him with just a fleeting thought. Please heal him. How my pulse quickens with the desire that my prayer be fulfilled. I know it can happen. I believe it's possible. I believe. I hope. I have faith; though only a mustard seed's worth at times, it's there. I pray that amazing healing will happen and that we'll have an incredible testimony to joyfully share in the days to come. I confess that my eyes well with eager, hungry tears as I write these words. And I ask you, beg you, to join me, to intercede.

Thank you so much for standing with us and for being part of Logan's very special team. Blessings.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Not-So-Chance Encounter

I have much to say this sunny Tuesday afternoon, but wanted to boil this post down to a single anecdote to make it as salient as possible. As I've said before, I don't believe in coincidence. I believe instead that God puts people in our paths when we need to meet them. And that's precisely what happened for me last night.

As the afternoon wore on, my throat and neck felt increasingly swollen and sore. Unable to take the discomfort anymore and concerned about the potential roots of the pain, I headed for the local ER at 6 PM. A victim of a mild version of asthma, I've always been squeamish about breathing issues. A woman named Karen handled my paperwork, and during some casual chit-chat, I mentioned that one of my babies was dealing with cancer. She said that someone would call me back soon, and that was that. But not 'it'.

Later, Karen came by my room with some paperwork. As I John Hancocked the documents, she asked about Logan and his cancer journey. I always approach such discussion with caution, not wanting to scare anyone off by immediately drawing attention to my blog and blue wristband, but I sensed rather quickly that she would respond well and parlayed the information. I felt good knowing that someone else would be praying for my sunshine.

Then she shared that her sister's dear husband had been recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I expressed my sympathies and hopes that he would improve, and she again returned to her post. I immediately sensed that God wanted me to ask you all to pray for him, and chided myself for not asking his name. I uttered a quick prayer asking for an opportunity to ask, and the request was granted when, after discharge, the nurse directed me back to the check-in area to sign some papers I supposedly hadn't signed. I approached Karen, who told me that no, I'd already taken care of my paperwork. Recognizing the opportunity presented to me, I asked her brother-in-law's name.

So please, if you will, in addition to praying for my sweet Logan's healing, pray for Ken in Florida, who is suffering from throat cancer. I believe that God has led me to make this request, and hope that you will join in and offer up some healing prayers for this man I don't know who is clearly a beloved member of his family.

Thank you, and have a lovely afternoon.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


It's not that I want to be awake right now. Maybe it's the coffee I decided I just had to have at 5 PM, or maybe it's the fluid that's drained from my head and settled into my chest. Maybe it's the light from our backyard neighbor's front porch glaring into my window, piercing what would otherwise be still, quiet, restful darkness. Maybe it's the knowledge that in some ways, all I want to do is cry right now but I know I can't because doing so would make the head congestion so much worse. I guess I can't put my finger on a singular reason because there are many. So, late this Sunday night, I'm just up.

I'm not as unsettled by the notion of being alone with my thoughts as I once was. I can sit in silence and appreciate the peace inherent in the experience. I don't know if that's because my days are so hectic that part of me treasures the quiet times more than I ever thought I would, or because the past eight months have inexorably changed who I am. I guess it doesn't matter. Like I'm just up, it just is.

Today was a challenging one. It was a tough one for Logan, who is clearly engaged in a battle with not only his headcold, but his medications. I've found myself breathing I hate Decadron many, many times over the past months, and my dislike of the steroid continued today as he raged and ranted at everyone, everything. He cried at Target when there were no new Pixar die-cast Cars available. He cried again when Adam took him to the section where books are housed and there weren't any new Cars books to be had. He ranted about stopping to have lunch on the way home and raged when, after he told Adam he wanted lemonade, he wasn't given milk. He raged even harder when we refused to dump the lemonade and buy milk instead. It's painful for me to look back on the sweet, happy go lucky, easy child he was, and to realize what he's become thanks to the drugs and the evil, evil disease. He's almost like an animal at times, thrashing and angry. And it breaks my heart into a million pieces because that crazed beast is nothing like my sweet-tempered, generous, loving son.

Of course, at this point, my heart has been broken so many times that the sensation is different. Now heartbreak feels more like numbness, like hopelessness. I watch him suffer through the side effects of his treatment and think to myself, I can't imagine him ever being my Logan ever again. It's like he's gone. I believe that he could be himself again; granted a wiser, older, changed version of himself, but still Logan. My Logan. We just need God to intercede. To touch him.

I ache for that touch so fervently that the very thought of it makes my eyes well over with tears. So please, keep asking for it. Health, healing, faith and hope.

A good night to you. **** I'm back, a few hours later, with an upgraded request especially for our serious prayer warriors. I feel as if I'm under attack right now. This illness I'm battling is increasingly uncomfortable and increasingly frustrating. I call out to Jesus and acknowledge that He is still upon His throne despite our issues. In the past hours, I've felt another painful lump develop, this one in my throat, and I know from experience that it will become very, very painful before going away. A similar sort of condition plagued me two years ago, and persisted for six months, yet no one was ever able to diagnose it and I was tested for every condition and disease possible. With important days to come in the near future, please pray that evil will get behind me, in the name of Jesus, and that I'll be made well. It's clear to me that the other side doesn't want me well, clear-minded and actively praying for my little love, so I'm asking for your help to fend it off. Thank you for taking up armor on my --our-- behalf.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


It's hard to feel hopeful and energetic when you're sick, and when said sickness simply lingers for weeks on end. That's where I am right now. After my initial headcold nearly three weeks ago which led to an ear infection which led to a plugged ear which still hasn't resolved which led to a severe sore throat which led to a canker sore in the roof of my mouth which led to swelling in the back of my throat, I have... another severe headcold. It's like a bad dream, and I'm stuck in it. I want to pray and believe and be hopeful, but it's hard because I've been praying for health for these past weeks and my illness just lingers.

Even worse, my sweet Logan is severely congested, too.

Please lift us up as aggressively as you can. We need health. We need stamina. We need hope. And right now, my tank is sorely lacking of all three.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Update on Baby M

Since a few of you have asked and we're more or less status quo here, I thought I'd give a very quick update on Baby M. Katy contacted me earlier today to let me know that they got to take her home yesterday and that she's doing much better than initially expected. Prayers work, peeps! Thank you so much for continuing to hold her and her family in your thoughts and prayers. I know they appreciate it.


Today Logan was feeling enough improved that I thought we should make use of the Groupon I bought a few weeks ago and visit the Easter Bunny at the Mall. I know: I'm probably one of precious few who bother to have my kids sit on Bun E. Rabbit's lap every year, but I do. And right now, I'm taking advantage of every photo op that presents itself. So we did that, had lunch and then I decided spur-of-the-moment to take a quick Easter picture at JCPenney, just because they were all dressed up in Easter clothes. And because, well, like I said, I take advantage of every single opportunity. I got that single decent photo, which wound up being a challenge because Logan smacked the top of his head against the wall in the studio and cried for several minutes before the shoot. He was okay, just scared, but it put a damper on things and left me feeling tired. And frustrated, in that unproductive 'why is this happening to us?' way.

I had a great chat with my older brother (hi Bobby, now that I know you're reading along) this evening, which was welcomed, as I don't see family nearly enough these days. And then the congestion that I felt creeping in overnight hit me with a vengeance. I'm once again stuffy-headed, much to my annoyance. My throat is less painful and I can hear more (though not perfectly) through my right ear, but now I'm congested. It never ends, it seems.

On that note, please continue and ramp up the prayers for health and healing. Logan is still congested, but seemed better today. So far, it hasn't impacted his treatment. Brady is also still congested. We need to be healthy in order to cope with the months to come.

Thank you for being a part of Logan's team.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I logged in tonight to post this update feeling tired as always, and well, drained. And then I saw the comments on my previous entry, and felt heartened once again. So thank you to everyone who has the time and can figure out how to leave notes.

Today was... long. Adam took Logan to Alta Bates for his radiation session early this morning as has been the custom for the past five weeks. Since it's Spring Break week, I slept in with Brady cuddled next to me until about 8, when Isaac appeared and demanded attention. Adam called at 10 to say that Logan's bloodwork for the morning showed that he needed both hemoglobin and platelets, as both numbers were below the threshhold at 8.2 and 12, respectively.

God bless CHO, but it's never a good thing to have to be there unexpectedly for transfusions. Last week, when we knew ahead of time that he would need platelets, he and Adam were in and out lickety split. Today? Not so much. It took a long time to get the platelets -- Adam joked that they must've gotten them from someone out on the street -- and then a longer time to get the blood. Adam's cell battery died mid-afternoon, so I called the Day Hospital at 6:15 and found out that they'd just left minutes earlier.

The pair arrived home, Taco Bell in hand, at about 7:15. At least Logan is now well-tanked up. And prayerfully, his body will begin to make its own platelets again very, very soon.

So tonight, I ask you to pray that his body will begin to recover from the craniospinal portion of his radiation therapy. We need him to start making his own platelets so we can move on to the next phase. I also ask that you continue to pray for health for our family as we struggle with various illnesses that seem to want to hang on. Please also pray for amazingly effective treatment as we look to the transition from radiation to the transplant consolidation cycle. Logan has a number of appointments scheduled for the following weeks, so I ask that you pray for health and a strong body (and mind) for him as he enters this phase. And of course, at the heart of it all, please intercede for his healing.

Bless you all this rainy Thursday night.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let Us Pray, Let Us Pray...

I know I've quoted that Steven Curtis Chapman song previously, but I think it bears repeating:

Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day it is the right time

For the Father above, He is listening with love


I really fell off the prayer wagon for a while there after the bad news about the spinal tumors broke. I'm ashamed of myself for that; after all, I hold no power over what's going on in Logan's body, but the God of the Universe, the Lord of all Creation DOES, so it was foolish to allow myself to be overcome with doubt and worry over the future.

This song has been playing and re-playing in my head for days now, so I take it as a sign that I need to get to work again. I need to strap on my armor, grab my sword and get to work against the evil that is this cancer. I've had some time to rest and be still, and now that time is over, and I need to make sure the troops are mobilized and hard at work.

Thank you all for praying for Logan and our family. Thank you for believing that God is the ultimate Healer and that He can -- that he WANTS to -- heal my little sunshine. It's so heartening whenever I hear that someone else has joined the team and is actively lifting us up, interceding on Logan's behalf.

Although I'm not without fear, I stand on the Rock and pray for BIG, amazing things in the future. I cannot wait to share them with you when they happen.

Blessings to you and yours this mid-week afternoon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Let's Do the Wave

That's what we need here, desperately: A wave prayers to wash over our entire family and restore our collective health.

At this moment, Isaac and Abby are relatively well. Abby still has a lingering cough and Isaac is on antibiotics for his ear infection, but otherwise, they're both in grin 'n go mode. But that's where the good health ends.

Brady is very congested. He's on antibiotic eye drops and has a very, very stuffy little nose. He tries very hard to be in good spirits, but it stinks to be a three-month old with a headcold. Adam has a cough and the beginnings of congestion. I'm a trainwreck; my throat is extremely sore, I have what is likely a huge canker sore (because a few years ago, I started getting them when faced with stressful situations) on the roof of my mouth, and my ear still hasn't returned to normal. I can hear through it again, but the sound quality is off-kilter. I took a trip to my primary today, but she didn't think anything was wrong (horrible pain aside), and gave me just some lidocaine to gargle. (I'm going back to my ENT tomorrow; he wants to do a strep test and check my ear again. Thank God for specialists.)

But worst of all, my poor sweet Logan is horribly congested. We've done the absolute best we could do with keeping him away from the germs, so it's frustrating that he's ill. He still has seven days of focal radiation remaining, so PLEASE pray that God will touch him and make the cold better soon.

As always, please keep praying for healing for my little sunshine. I can't express how important those prayers are to me; how closely I hold them to my heart. How much it means to know that scores of others are interceding on Logan's behalf, begging God to heal him, to eradicate the cancer entirely and to make him well again. Because THAT is the desire of my heart. THAT is what I want, what I yearn for, what I plead for every day, all day long. Eternal perspective aside -- and I DO have one -- I want my son to be well. I want him to grow up with an amazing story to tell. I'm his mom; I can't possibly desire anything else.

Thank you and good evening.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


As Logan's mom, I feel like I can't, or at least shouldn't, complain about my own health-related issues. After all, I've watched my little boy endure so, so much more than most people could ever even fathom going through over the course of an entire, normal lifetime.

But I have to say it: I feel terrible. My ear has still yet to return to normal, and now my throat hurts. A lot. Given the state of my poor ear, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it's merely post nasal drip. It seems to get better in the morning, worse at night, although that may be because I've made liberal use of Tylenol, ibuprofen and throat spray to cope. If you will, please pray that these symptoms will alleviate themselves so I can enjoy the upcoming week. Abby has Spring Break, so it would be nice to have some good family time.

Logan has, so far, managed to avoid the worst of the nasty bug that we've been hosting here for the past several weeks. Please pray that that will continue to be the case so his treatment can continue on schedule. In addition, please pray for my little Brady. He woke up this morning with his dear little eyes stuck shut and an extremely stuffy nose. I took him to the doctor and he's on antibiotic eyedrops, but I know that it could well get worse before it gets better.

As always, thank you for your prayers. I've been struck lately -- repeatedly -- that I need to just get out of the boat and trust, so I'm trying to do that. I feel like all of this illness that's befallen our family is a sign -- albeit an unpleasant one -- that things are going in the right direction with Logan's treatment and progress. After all, I believe that when God scores victories, there are pushbacks from the other side. Thank you for praying for protection for our family as we continue along his road. Blessings to you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Grindstone

I've typed and deleted numerous opening lines for this entry. I just can't put what I'm feeling into words, so perhaps bluntness is my friend tonight.

I really need hope. I need signs. I need encouragement. I've had my nose pressed against this grindstone for so long now that the skin has worn off, scabbed over and been cut open again more times than I can count. It's not so much that I feel like there's new, fresh skin exposed. No, it's more that I'm so numb that I've lost a lot of sensation. I'm not feeling a lot of the acute pain anymore, which isn't an entirely bad thing, but I'm also not feeling the joys. And with that, I take issue. I don't want to be cheated out of feeling happiness when there are pleasant moments to be enjoyed.

So please pray over those things, if you will. Please pray for health for Logan and for our family. Pray for signs and encouragement, and pray that I won't be so numb that I'll be unable to recognize them when they appear. And as always, pray for the salient desire of my heart: Healing for my little sunshine. Thank you, and have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Logan Update: 4/1/11

April. It seems like it was the other A-month -- August -- just a few weeks ago. I guess the old adage is true: Time flies when you're having... fun? Hardly. But it definitely flies whether or not fun is being had.

Today was something of a rough one. The doctor opted to put Logan back on Decadron to help with his sore throat. Commence the 'roid rage: Tears, yelling, screaming, anger... then quiet. It's maddening to watch him morph into a crazy person and then back into someone who resembles his usual self over and over again. Sad. Frustrating. Depressing.

Otherwise, Adam said that the anesthesiologist had The Talk with him this morning: Your child has a cold. We should stop treatment if he has a cold. Of course, they went ahead with the session anyway since his oxygen saturation was at 100% and his lungs were clear, but still, not a good situation. Dr. T. is of the opinion that we need to plug away as aggressively as possible and stay on track with the protocol, so please pray that the cold/allergies/whatever is plaguing Logan will go away soon. Very, very soon.

Before I go, I also wanted to note that there's been a date change. The MRI that was scheduled for the 13th has now been moved to the 15th because no one wanted to give him anesthesia two times on the 13th (once for said MRI and once for radiation). So if you plan to pray over the scan and results, please do note the change.

On the me-front, things are passable. I still can't hear much from my right ear. I paid a visit to my ENT yesterday, who checked things out and noted plenty of fluid behind my eardrum but no active infection. He used a tuning fork test -- one of the weirdest tests I've ever taken -- to determine that I'm suffering from a temporary hearing loss. (How he could tell that from me telling him how loud a given tone was is beyond me.) It should eventually get better, but it could take a few weeks. Meanwhile, I have to be careful to sleep only on my right side, otherwise I can't hear the alarm clock when it goes off in the morning. This evening my throat hurts, but I'm unsure if it's a new issue or merely postnasal drip. There's always something, isn't there?

Anyway, that's it for now. Please continue to pray for Logan's complete healing. And for me, renewed hope and vigor. And for our entire family, HEALTH! Thank you so much for walking with us.