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.

Monday, May 30, 2011


The past few days have been filled with mixed blessings. On one hand, Logan has continued to gradually --and slowly-- improve. His bilirubin level is just outside of normal range, his weight has stabilized at a more typical number, his oxygen needs have decreased to 5 litres (down from a previous high of 15) and he simply looks better overall. So we're deeply grateful for all of that. In addition, Adam's younger brother Eric married his high school sweetheart yesterday, tying the bow of permanence on their 11-year on-again, off-again (but mostly on!) relationship. So a heartfelt welcome to Emily; we're so glad to have you as a member of the family. And a huge thank you to Lisa, Jen, Sarah and Mary for staying with Logan so the rest of us could attend and rest --if only minimally-- knowing that he was in good care in our absence.

But good days like yesterday come with a hefty emotional cost for us. Since Logan is still hospitalized, he was unable to attend. And the bittersweetness of the day was a lot to bear for me, though I hope I never let on how much my heart was pained by his absence. When the ceremony started, I remembered how Logan had be-bopped his way down the aisle as my dear friend Cindy's ring bearer two years ago, and wondered if his behavior would've been different this time. When Isaac went crazy on the dancefloor during the reception (he's totally going to join a band one day if his ardent admiration for the wedding singers is an indication of future goals), I realized how alike the two boys are, and I visualized how it would've been had they been tearing it up as a pair. I know Logan would've loved every second of the day. And it hurt me that he wasn't there.

Additionally, his health still isn't perfect, and we still don't know for sure when he'll be released. The doctors attempted to wean him completely from his morphene drip yesterday, and it didn't go well. Apparently the minimal .1 continuous dose was extraordinarily helpful, as he had a rough night and threw up a number of times. The basal rate was reinstated today, however, and by the time I arrived at 5:30, he looked like a million bucks. I know you're wondering: What does Logan looking like a million bucks look like these days? Here's a video from this evening; it features my sunshine doing his impression of Joey Tribbiani (I'd imbed it, but it's uploaded directly from my phone. You don't need a YouTube account to view it): How YOU doin'?

Abby asks every night for God to "please, please touch Logan and completely heal him so he'll be well again", and given its beautiful simplicity, I feel no pressing need to modify that request as I pass it on to you. Please pray that prayer along with us. I feel it when others pray for us. Conversely, I feel it when those prayers wane. We need a wave of prayers to wash over us and over Logan in order to keep our momentum up. It's an utterly exhausting path to take.

Thank you and good night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


As time passes, the frequency of my updates is directly tied to my relative tiredness; the more drained I am, the less often I write. I should work harder to change that. After all, when you're more tired you need more support, so disappearing doesn't help me, does it?

Anyway, Logan is doing markedly better. His numbers are doing what they're supposed to do, and his weight is stable. He's down from 15 to 9 liters of oxygen, and his repirations and saturation have remained good. He needs to begin eating and drinking again, though. I did convince him to eat 4 Cheerios (yes, four tiny circular bits of cereal) and about an ounce of apple juice this evening, so that's something. He hasn't eaten anything at all for nearly a month, so it's a step in the right direction.

He's gaining a bit more energy, too; Adam said he's enjoyed playing with the Physical Therapist in the mornings and that he even laughed a little today. That's a bittersweet statement; how often do we hear our children laugh and fail to recognize what a gift that lyrical sound truly is? Let me tell you one thing: It's striking to hear it again after a monthlong absence.

I'd keep writing, but I truly am just completely wiped out and I need to get some sleep before Brady wakes up. Thank you for continuing to pray for Logan's healing, the health and happiness of the rest of our family, and for wisdom for every medical professional we encounter. Blessings to you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23

A friend remarked this afternoon, in her charming Scottish accent, that if she didn't know me personally, she'd never believe that our story as it's played out in recent months was true. I'm living it and I feel the same way. It's been completely unreal. But I think that's what happens during an intense spiritual battle: The stops are pulled out and bizarre things happen. So here and now, I ask you, beg you, to once again re-up your efforts on our --on Logan's-- behalf. Please. Don't just say 'I'm praying for you'; actually DO it. Because Logan needs you. Because we all need you; we need our friends ot strap on their armor Ephesians-style and go to battle with us. I don't say this judgmentally; I simply remember times in the past when I've casually commented 'oh, I'll pray for you' and then not done it. We need the prayers. Desperately.

Just to give a sampling of the past few weeks' events, I've had two personal computers completely destroyed by a particularly virulent virus; Logan developed VOD and is still hospitalized indefinitely; my wallet was stolen and the thief charged nearly $1,000 to my credit cards, which I had to cancel; Abby was diagnosed with an ear infection yesterday and while there, the doctor noted a rash on her neck and suggested that we check her glucose levels, since said rash can be indicative of Type 1 Diabetes; and this morning, I found Isaac asleep in a dried puddle of vomit. Now this last item may seem inocuous enough, but inexplicable vomiting --and he didn't act sick today, so it IS indeed mysterious-- strikes fear into the hearts of brain tumor parents, since it can be indicative of a mass.

This is NOT normal. I look enviously at the lives of most of my friends and neighbors, quietly coveting the simplicity that seems to define their days, and wonder why our collective family life has gone into such a tailspin; why we're on the Teacup ride from hell. I'm trying, as Heidi urged me, to remind myself that God thinks I matter, but it's hard. It's hard to have faith, but I'm hanging on by the tips of my toes, the skin of my teeth and every other silly expression there is for 'just barely sliding by with my sanity reasonably intact'.

It's a brutal battle, but I know that ultimately, God is in control and is on OUR SIDE. God is very much in the business of healing, and I believe that he WANTS to heal Logan. As a matter of fact, I believe that God Himself assured me of that a few days ago. I was IMing a friend and I made that very statement, but when the text appeared in the dialog box, the word 'wants' had been mysteriously bolded. And as I remarked to my friend, I don't even know how to bold text in the Facebook IM program.

Even as I write all of this, I fear judgment. I know that some of you probably think I've fallen off the proverbial turnip truck. And that has to be okay, even if it pains me to feel like someone may think I've lost it. I'm merely living out faith as I see it; faith is believing in things when they seem unlikely or even impossible. It's throwing your whole heart into believing, it's getting out of the boat, it's trusting with your heart when your head screams No way, you idiot!. It's facing challenges --and battles-- and offering them up to God instead of trying to fight them by myself. It's taking a risk and asking for prayers and being truthful even though I fear that judgment.

I've been challenged by Mark 11:22-24 for weeks now. The passage reads:

"'Have faith in God' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth: If anyone says to this mountain 'go, throw yourself into the sea' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayers, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours'."

And this is where the rubber meets the road for me: Do I believe it's valid? Do I believe that the scripture here is true, or a lie? Because it can't be both; it's either fully truth or fully false. And if I believe it's true, do I dare to act on it? Do I dare to believe? I need to get out of the boat. I've felt that deeply lately. I need to embrace this scripture. But I've also been convicted that prayer is absolutely essential when it comes to Logan's healing, so I come once again to Logan's Army.

Thanks for sticking with me through this long-winded entry, and for being a member of Logan's team. Thank you for praying for his complete healing; for the health of each of the rest of us; for peace, for strength, for wisdom, for perseverance, for hope, for amped-up, crazy faith. We want that testimony. We want to share it with the world. We want to put our stranger-than-fiction journey out there as a testament to the power of the Creator.

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I had great plans for this blog post. I've been thinking extensively about faith, healing and the interplay of the two, and planned to open this entry with the following line:

There is no way I can emerge from this experience unchanged.

There was so much I wanted to share, so many reflections to pass on. And I'll still write that entry, I promise, but God's nemesis threw a wrench into those plans: We went out to dinner and my wallet was stolen.

Lovely, isn't it? I discovered the theft when Adam called me moments after I'd gotten home with Abby, Isaac and Brady to let me know that AmEx had called to let him know there had been a string of 'suspicious' charges on my account this evening. I was immediately alarmed, and assumed that someone had gotten my card number; maybe I hadn't been careful enough to conceal it while I was paying for my dress at the mall yesterday. But no, it was worse than that: I opened my purse and discovered that my entire wallet was gone. My driver's license and all of my credit cards.

And suddenly, I knew nearly the precise moment that it'd been taken. We were sitting in a Fuddruckers near CHO. A young African American guy sat down behind Abby and I. I usually keep my purse on the floor between my feet when we're out, but for some reason, tonight I slung it across the back of my chair. Abby was particularly squirrelly, and I was only partially aware of the guy and his partner, but I was aware enough to recognize that they sat behind us for approximately 2 minutes and never ate any food. Just enough time for him to slip his hand into my purse and steal my wallet.

As I drove the kids home, he and his friend went on a spending spree using several of my credit cards, racking up quite a set of bills at area gas stations. The cards have all been cancelled now, but cleaning up the resulting mess will be time-consuming and frustrating.

I called Heidi and Jen for help; Jen and Anna stayed with my trio while Heidi drove me to the E-ville police station so I could file a report. Despite the negativity of the situation, it was almost refreshing to ride in a car with a grown-up and just chatter aimlessly for a little while, and it was a relief to find the humor inherent in the situation. (Because honestly, there's plenty of it.)

Although I won't be writing my planned post this evening, I will still say that despite this latest drama, despite the frustration, and despite the fact that I feel like I must be walking around with a target on my back these days, I believe that God is doing some seriously amazing things in our family's life.

Please keeping lifting up Logan and our family; pray for healing and for peace and for easy resolution of this newest mess. And pray for the kid who stole my wallet and committed a felony by using my credit cards, because he clearly has issues and needs help. Pray that God will enter his life and truly work in his heart.

Thank you and good night.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Today marked another small set of small improvements for my little sunshine. In the ongoing quest to wean him from the oxygen, they dropped his level to 10 litres. He definitely labored harder to breathe afterward, but his saturation stayed near 100%. His bilirubin level came down a little and his other numbers looked good. For now, we breathe a cautious sigh of relief. It's like we labored and labored to get to the crest of a hill, and now we're in the process of coasting for a little while. It's a pleasant feeling after working so very hard over the course of the past weeks.

I sojourned to CHO for my usual late-afternoon shift today... and Logan slept the entire time I was there. Our friend Erin came by with a bag of Cars 2 goodies from the folks at Pixar and we were able to chat for a little while as he snoozed. I miss talking with adults so it was a nice diversion from the norm. I know it was probably disappointing for Erin to miss out on seeing his reactions to the bounty, but he and Adam Skyped me when he finally awoke at 10:30 PM, so I got to see him check out his new stuffed cars, remote control Mater, posters and special just-for-Logan drawing featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater. Many thanks to Scott and to Pixar for the kindness, and to Erin as well. XO.

I have of late felt myself drawn to healing scriptures once again, just as I was last Fall. And they've come my way again without provocation. Just tonight, Abby flipped to a random Bible story and it was the one of the Centurion who believed that Jesus could heal his servant with a thought. I've found myself wondering if it really is that simple; is it truly a matter of faith above all else? Is that the essence of healing: Faith and belief that it will happen? I want to believe that it's true. But alas, as a deeply flawed, more deeply tired and overwhelmed human, it's a challenge to let go of my skepticism and truly embrace a faith-based perspective. But I try. And I'll continue to try. After all, if the Bible says that we can cause a mountain to be cast into the sea by believing in our hearts that it will happen, who am I to say otherwise?

Thank you for continuing to lift up our family as we endure separation and walk this scary path. And thank for you asking for healing for my Logan. He's so very worth the prayers. Good night, and a blessed weekend to you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sometimes I feel like I blink and a few days pass. I know that's not an uncommon sentiment the older we get, but it's become an increasingly profound observation for me over the past nine months.

Logan has continued to improve. He's down to 12 litres of oxygen and his bilirubin level plateaued; today's number was, at long last, the same as yesterday's. The only VOD factor that hasn't improved is his weight, which is stubbornly hovering around 19 kilos. Given that he bottomed out at a little under 15 kilos during the worst of his chemo last Fall and began the process in August at a little more than 17, 19 represents a significant gain. However even with that said, no one appears to be worried. It's all just part of a long recovery process.

So how do I feel these days? I'm not even sure anymore. I feel numb. I feel tired. I feel overwhelmed. But I'm not without hope. I pray and pray and pray for that healing touch to make Logan completely and amazingly well once and for all.

As I drove home tonight, I ruminated over this journey we've been on and the story of Jesus healing the blind beggar came to mind. The disciples asked Jesus why the man had been born blind; had he or his parents sinned? Jesus said no; it had happened so God could use the circumstance to show Himself to the world in a visible, tangible way. I often hope that that's why this has all been allowed to happen to my sweet Logan and our family: So God can show Himself in a mighty way. As a person, I wish that He would show Himself using someone else's dear child --or better still, no children at all-- but I know it's not my decision to make. Each day I pray that He will show Himself and help to make this unforgivable, mystifying ordeal make an iota of sense.

Anyway, that's all for tonight. I wish I had the eloquence of previous months, but I am, to be blunt, simply out of gas. When inspiration strikes, I try to write, but when it doesn't, my keyboard tends to stay silent.

Blessings to you all, and thank you for continuing to pray and pray and pray. Good night.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday A.M.

Because I'm horribly uninspiring these days, I'll just copy and paste the update Adam sent me following the morning rounds:

Nothing really new. They're going to stop some of the antibiotics. And the lasicks will be every eight hours again instead of every six. Doctor Torkildson [Logan's primary oncologist and the on-call doc this week] thinks that as the vod gets resolved the fluid in his lungs will be absorbed and he won't need the oxygen anymore. Everyone agrees that he looks much better and said they were glad to have him back on the floor. Dr. T said that he was very impressed.

So prayers of thanksgiving for all of that and a big thank you to all of you for joining us. But please don't stop: We're still on the road to healing and Logan needs you. :)

I have a screaming Brady to contend with, but wanted to share that with you all this morning. Have a lovely day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Logan Update: 5.15.11

Today was much the same as yesterday; I arrived early-afternoon to find Logan lingering between sleep and quasi-wakefulness. His WBC came in at 2.3 this morning (and apparently had surpassed 4 by this evening, per Adam's call a little while ago), and he received his usual tank-up courtesy of a sub-50 platelet count of 39. His enyzme levels again looked a little better, but his bilirubin and weight had both risen yet again. To extract the good from a bad situation, however, the bili level had risen less than it had in previous days, increasing a single point rather than two. Baby steps. Sometimes it's all about the baby steps.

They took him off of the high-flow nasal cannula sometime last night or this morning and replaced it with moisturized air, and added the facemask as well. He satted well thanks to the combination of the two, averaging 98 or so and sometimes reaching a full 100. He definitely still is in need of Oxygen, though, and panicked whenever he found himself breathing less easily.

Otherwise, he mainly slept during my bedside tenure. We waited all afternoon for a promised move to the 5th floor, but said move didn't come because of "staffing issues". So, perhaps tomorrow.

I'm so overcome with emotion much of the time these days that, ironically, it's hard to put it all into comprehensible words. Rather, it's hard to write them in a fashion that adequately expresses the intensity of my feelings. I hate --and I don't use that word lightly-- that Logan is suffering so profoundly. I hate the evil that is cancer. I look for the good, for the hopeful signs, but I can't lie: It's very hard. It's hard to see Adam only in passing, to be alone with Abby, Isaac and Brady most of the time. It's painful to realize that Logan will be in the hospital for weeks to come, and that he'll miss Adam's brother's wedding. Logan loves parties and dancing and celebrations, and it'll be painful to be there without him. I know that as much fun as weddings are, my heart will be elsewhere while it's going on. And I'm frustrated that my family continues to be hit, to be robbed of so much joy. It continues to be my prayer that we'll have overwhelming joy in the near future, and I thank you all for praying for that joy and for looking forward to it.

Please continue to pray for Logan's recovery and complete health. Pray also for our entire family as we continue to slog through this challenging time of separation and the heartbreaking pain of uncertainty. Blessings and have a lovely Monday because despite its lowly 'first day of the work week' status, it's always a blessing to have another Monday, a fresh start.

5.14 Update, a Little Late

Last night Adam's mom stayed with Logan at CHO, so forgive me for not updating when I got home. Adam and I so rarely have time to sit around and talk these days that I tend to relish the opportunities and let other things slide when those little moments arise.

Yesterday was what I'd call an okay kind of day. His bilirubin level was up once again by another 2 to 10.2, which isn't a good thing. However, the two enzymes that are indicative of liver damage were down a little, which is positive. His WBC count was up a little more at 1.2, which should prayerfully mean that the sores from the mucositis --which by appearances seems to be much better-- should rapidly begin healing themselves. His weight, depending on who you ask --and don't get me started on weighing on a zeroed bed, ugh-- was either up a little or stable. His oxygen sats weren't great, but no one was super alarmed. He began the day on a high-flow nasal cannula set to 8 litres. That should have given him plenty of O2 and inflated his lungs, but he's a mouth breather lately, so all of the good pressurized air would go into his nose --if he inhaled at all, that is-- and right out of his mouth. So mid-day, a respiratory therapist brought in a mask for him to try. He hated it and screamed when she tried to put in on, so we let it sit for a while. An hour or so later, he was watching TV and I got his attention and asked if he wanted to feel better. He shook his head aggressively, and I asked if he'd wear the mask for a little while. Always needing to be in control :) he gasped okay but just for two hours. (Where he came up with two hours I have no idea.) After I held it up to his nose for a few minutes, he seemed to really relax and I asked if he'd wear it and he agreed, so I put it on. With the nasal cannula in place as well as the mask, he satted 99 to 100 for the first time in a week. But the resp therapist came in and took off the cannula, which brought him back down to the mid-90s and made him work a little harder. Part of me wishes we could've left both devices in place, but I'm sure they know what they're doing. So those are the official Saturday stats.

The emotional 'stats' are a little different. It's crushing to see my sunshine suffering as he is. It rips absolute canyons in my already-crushed heart. He struggles to talk, he struggles to breathe, his body is so broken. He's out of it most of the time, a combination of the morphine, the lack of oxygen and everything his body is attempting to overcome. I call, as I do every time I post, for his prayer warriors to rise up anew and take up armor in his defense. When I really reflect on it, pray on it, meditate on it, I believe that God wants to heal. I also believe that there's an intense battle going on.

Anyway, that's the update for now. I'll be heading to CHO in the next hour or so. Since he's still in the PICU, I can't update from there, so I'll try to do so once I get home again this evening. Blessings to you and yours from a rain-moistened Bay Area.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Evening Update

Even before I arrived at CHO this afternoon, I felt confident that we needed to move forward with the Defibrotide. Not only was his bilirubin elevated even more, but his weight was up more than a kilo, and the relevant enzymes had reached levels that were considered troubling to the team. He's still considered a mild to moderate case right now --if indeed he has VOD at all-- so we're getting a good jump on controlling it and letting his poor little body heal. Of course we're terrified of the bleeding risk, but we felt as if we were fighting the clock, and didn't want to look back with regrets over not starting when we'd been advised that doing so would be best for Logan. So we both signed the consent, and he started the treatment this afternoon. It's administered via his chemo port four times per day for three weeks.

So tonight, I ask you to pray for effective treatment. That the Defibrotide will do its job and help to heal his liver very soon, and that he'll be protected from the side effects, namely serious bleeding. Please, please pray for those things. He needs every single team member praying for him and interceding right now.

I feel tired more than anything, but I also have a sense that I want to crawl out of my own skin. It's a horrible, miserable sensation. This kind of frantic, crazed fear is one of the worst feelings I've ever experienced as a parent, and although plenty of people have hurt me in the past, I'd never wish it on any of them. It's pure misery, agony.

Logan had a nice afternoon with me, all things considered, so I'm grateful for that. He was awake the entire three hours I was present, and although his eyes had what I call the Mophine Glaze, he was aware. He clearly wanted to drink; he'd take sips of water, ice, apple juice and orange juice, and then hold the liquid in his little mouth. But either his throat still hurts too much or he can't make himself swallow on a psychological level, because invariably, he spat out the liquid and almost immediately requested more. He also watched some TV and asked for my cell so he could play Angry Birds. One of the highlights of my day happened after he'd scored a win playing the game, and a tiny, strained smile cracked his oft-emotionless face. It was fleeting, gone almost as soon as it appeared, but it reminded me how much I miss him and how much I want him to be better.

I still believe that this is a spiritual battle at its core, and that this is a substantial hit from the other side. After all, what a 'coincidence' that Blogger was down for two days when he really needed support. Please pray for him, for health, for recovery, for healing. We want to give a testimony, a story of survival, perseverance, faith.

Thank you.

Addendum: Just to add from Adam's evening update call, his WBC rose from .5 this morning at 6 AM to 1.1 at 6 PM, so he's making good progress there. His platelets also held up better than they had previously, coming in at 52. His hemoglobin held at 9 as well. So those are all good things to praise God for. However, as he recovers and his white blood cells begin their work, he's having increasing troubles with his oxygen saturation levels. He's on 6 litres of high flow oxygen, yet he's apparently fallen into the 70s at points this evening (100% is normal for a healthy person) after satting in the low 90s and high 80s when I was with him this afternoon. The PICU docs are hanging around trying to decide if he'll need additional intervention. So please hold that in prayer; pray that his lungs will continue functioning properly and that whatever is causing his saturation issues will resolve soon.

URGENT Request

Man alive, did Blogger ever pick a horrible time to have an extended maintenance window.

Since my last post, Logan's bilirubin level has continued to rise. This morning it was 8.2, which is much too high. I don't yet know his weight. As a result of the bili level alone, it's likely that the medical team will recommend he begin a study drug, Defibrotide, to try to help his liver to heal. We're torn over whether or not we should move forward with that. On one hand, his bili level is climbing, and it's much too high. If he does indeed have VOD, trying to manage it sooner than later is essential since renal failure can result. On the other, no one can be sure that his bili level is elevated because of VOD. It could be the result of a number of other things, including his IV nutrition or any of the several antibiotics he's on. In addition, one of the potential side effects of Defibrotide is catastrophic bleeding.

On the plus side, his WBC recovery has begun: His white cell number was up from yesterday's .3 to .5 this morning. Hopefully, this means the awful mucositis and other ailments will begin healing themselves very soon.

I never, ever imagined that we'd be dealing with anything like this back when I was young and naive. (Or, last year.) PLEASE pray for healing for Logan, that his liver will heal itself and the bili number will come down in inexplicable fashion, and that we'll make the right decision about the Defibrotide.

I'm feeling discourged, upset, frustrated, lost, angry, helpless, hopeless... just about every fearful, defeated emotion I can feel in addition to being scared to death. And Logan really, really needs help. We all do. We need the full, powerful team in action and interceding on his behalf right now. Even if you think I'm nuts, please pray and ask others to do the same. I want to be able to come back here and share how God showed Himself in a powerful way. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Step Back

Because our reality of late is that a step forward is almost always followed by a step back, Logan's weight as well as his bilirubin were both back up again this morning, they were unable to wean him from 4 liters of oxygen down to 2, and he'll be staying in the PICU after all. *SIGH* Please pray for healing. Every fiber of my being is sick and tired of this wretched battle.

In the Wilderness

It's funny, but that's how I've felt these past weeks: Like I'm wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. The funny thing is that absolutely none of the wandering actually is what I'd call aimless; in fact, it's probably the most focused, goal-driven 'wandering' I've ever done. And that's saying a lot, because I am by nature extremely competitive, and well, driven. I guess it's more the feeling of being entrapped, stuck, caged. So perhaps I'm not wandering so much as I'm being held against my will. But I digress from what's really important here.

Logan showed improvement yesterday. His bilirubin level went down a little, as did his weight, both of which gifted us --and the medical team-- with a sense of relief. He still had awful mucusitis and was largely non-responsive when I was there during the afternoon, but they took his oxygen down to just 4 liters (from 10) and he was coping fine with the change. Although no one could see them, suspicion was rife that he had ulcers in his little mouth, based on the way he would cringe and resist when anyone tried to get him to suck a straw or open up for suction. I've yet to hear from Adam this morning, but the plan as of last night was to move him back to isolation in the pediatric ward sometime today, whenever a bed became available.

Thank you as always for lifting my sweet little guy and our family up in prayer. I won't lie -- I'm frustrated with God right now, and have let Him know my feelings on the matter every day as I've made the drive to CHO to sit with my sunshine. It's beyond painful to see Logan hooked up to millions of tubes, bald and struggling to take every breath. It's a cruel form of injustice that I'll probably never understand on this side of Heaven. But I still realize that prayer is essential, so I ask you all to continue to intercede on Logan's behalf. Blessings to you and your families.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Most of my family trooped into my bedroom this morning while I was still asleep, and presented me with a plate of waffles, an Abby-designed 'I Love You' banner, cards, and kid-selected gifts. I was keenly aware, however, that someone very special was missing. And my heart grieved his absence. The same thing happened as we went out for brunch; I looked at an empty chair beside Abby and felt that same sting of sadness.

I went to visit my sunshine this afternoon. He's still in the PICU, and though it's not my favorite place for many reasons, it's where he needs to be in the now. He's stable, but has a horrible case of mucusitis that makes each breathe he takes a challenge. His blood gas level has remained good, but he's consistently run a fever and his weight was up markedly this morning, along with a small increase in his bilirubin level. They're watching carefully for signs of VOD, the condition that can lead to renal failure, and just doing what needs to be done to help him weather the current storm. He's largely non-responsive, even when awake, and spends much of his time just staring at the clock on the wall.

Meanwhile, on this Mother's Day, this mother's heart breaks all over again. I want to scream and get angry, but it doesn't do me any good. And at times, I feel as if I don't have the right. It is what it is.

Thank you for your prayers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday Night

First off, thank you all for your responses to my request earlier today. I was so touched by every single note.

I figured that I should return before heading off to bed to give an update. Logan was transferred to the PICU this afternoon, as I mentioned he would be. Due mostly to mucusitis, he had a lot of trouble breathing, but he remained stable through the afternoon and into the evening, thanks to some Albterol treatments and an oxygen mask. He's very, very tired, but handling it with more grace than you would ever expect to see from a 4-year old. Or anyone at all, really. He amazes us every single day with his spirit.

There are things they can do, should he have increasing troubles with breathing, but for now he's under observation. Adam's mom is there with him tonight, so I should have a chance to rest a little.

Thank you for holding Logan --and the rest of us-- up in prayer.

PLEASE Pray and Re-Post

It's not often that I ask you to re-post something, but today I feel the need. Although Logan's current condition isn't entirely unexpected, it's scaring the stuffing out of me and I'd like to know he's thoroughly covered in prayer.

Two days out of his stem cell infusion, the mucusitis is horrible, he has a cold, there's fluid in his lung, which is partially collapsed, and he's running a fever and on oxygen. He's going to be transferred to the PICU this afternoon so they can watch him for breathing problems. As a mother, it breaks my heart. It makes me wonder, at times, if God is in this at all. It feels as if He's turned his back on my sunshine. To see such awful suffering in the face of a child... it's an unspeakable injustice. Still, despite my frustrations, anxieties, worries, doubts and fears, I know that GOD can make him well with a touch.

So I'm asking, once again, for the upteenth time, for a big rally for Logan. Please pray and re-post where you will. We need help. Thank you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Evening

I've spent much of today caught in the awkward space between grinning like a fool and thanking God for the blessings in my life and crying over those very same blessings. And out of helplessness, sadness, anger, confusion, and every other intangible emotion I've felt over the course of the past months.

I was gratified to be recognized for some of my freelancing work for the first time, and touched to tears over the generous act of a friend. I was overwhelmed when, during a routine trip to Costco with Isaac and Brady in tow, I realized as I arrived at the checkout lane that they were collecting donations for CHO this month. As I croaked out yes, I'd like to make a contribution I had to steel my jaw to keep the emotion from spilling forth. Even so, I suspect red-rimmed eyes coupled with a shaky hand that scrawled Logan alongside a heart on the donation card betrayed my attempt.

Then this evening, as I arrived outside Logan's room and put my bags down to wash my hands, I peeked through the window and saw my little sunshine propped up in bed, his face puffy and his little lungs clearly laboring to breathe. And my heart broke all over again. I'm not sure how many times a heart can heal itself after it's cracked open and bled, but mine has done it more times than I can count.

He's apparently right where he's supposed to be in terms of health. It's a small comfort, though, given how he labors to breathe, to talk, to communicate. How his eyes droop and his heartrate soars into the 170s. It's hard to believe, in moments like this, that God hasn't forgotten all about him. It's such a hefty, overwhelming cross for someone so young, so tender, so mild to bear. But bear it he does, because he wasn't given a choice.

Please, please pray for Logan's health. Pray that he will improve faster than expected. But more importantly, that it will be permanent healing. That he'll be with us at home on Mother's Day next year. That all of our hearts will be allowed to heal.

Have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 00 - Part One

Day 00 is the technical term for the transplant day. Since Logan has two transplant days, I'm dividing them up into parts one and two. But really, I should say that I'm extraordinarily tired so this will be brief.

His first day of transplant went well. An autologous stem cell transplant like Logan's involves a few fairly straightfoward steps, which I figure I should detail since I've had a few folks ask. Unlike Leukemia patients and the like, Logan's marrow is actually fine. Patients with blood disorders need donors so medical staff can kill off their diseased bone marrow and replace it with the healthy marrow of the donor. Logan is receiving stem cells because his marrow has been so taxed by round after round of intensive chemo that it simply doesn't work as well as it used to work.

The nurse hooks him up to one bag of extremely carefully preserved stem cell material at a time, and it's pumped into his system via his central chemo port. Given how momentous it is and how much meaning is behind it, the process itself is actually very straightforward and simple. This morning, he felt a little nauseated and threw up once, but in general was okay, but tired. I expect more of the same when I'm there with him myself for Day 00 part two tomorrow morning. I hope that's a good enough explanation for now; as I said, I'm completely exhausted and falling asleep over my keyboard.

Thank you for your continued prayers. There's so much I'd like to share, so I'll try to hold my observations in my heart until I'm clear-headed enough to type them out. Blessings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Logan is less than 12 hours away from the first of his autologous stem cell infusions. A year ago, I wouldn't have understood the meaning of those words, but today, I'm keenly aware of their profound significance. Tomorrow is, if God sees fit to touch my son and heal him once and for all, Logan's brand new birthday.

Of course, it's not quite that simple. He will, in reality, have two new birthdays, since he has so many bags of fluid to thaw that they'll be finishing the process on Thursday, but you get the point. Both days, morphed together into one, signify a new birth for my baby. And we pray with the collective wholeness of our hearts, minds and souls that the cancer will be gone and stay banished for good.

I feel a cautious sense of optimism as I think of it; as I look back over the grueling 8 and a half months in the rearview. As I realize how very much my sweet boy has endured and the unique ways our family has suffered. I long to have a testimony to share. Deeply, truly I do. Thank you for continuing to pray for amazing healing and restoration of health, hope, faith and peace for Logan and within our family unit.

In terms of the right-now, I'm happy to report that he's feeling much better. He's had three days of positive blood cultures, but has been on antibiotics and today was substantially more comfortable. He felt well enough to watch TV and play Farmville. His hearing is awful, but an ENT stopped in earlier today and confirmed that his ear canals are stuffed with wax, a by-product of his radiation therapy, and there's likely fluid behind his eardrums. So while he's undoubtedly lost some of his hearing, it's likely not as profound as it seems. His nausea and vomiting are currently well-controlled, and as long as he doesn't have issues over the coming days, they'll attempt to make them all PRN (as needed), per Lizzie the BMT (Bone Marrow Transplant) NP. So all in all, good things are afoot.

Forgive me while I go the way of the related tangent for a moment. Thursday isn't just the second of Logan's two new birthdays. It's also the day that an old acquaintance-recently-turned-friend from high school, Jessica, will put her own life on hold so she can donate bone marrow to a man she doesn't even know. Rather than going through the non-invasive apheresis process that many donors can use (which happens to be the very same process Logan underwent to harvest the stem cells that will be infused tomorrow and Thursday), Jessica will donate via the traditional, markedly more painful method. If you would, please pray for a safe procedure and for a quick recovery for her, and for restored health for her match. And if you're able, please consider registering as a potential bone marrow donor at marrow.org. As our family has learned over the past year, anyone can be struck by cancer and other diseases at any time.

Thank you all, bless you, and good night.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Full Circle

Logan's chemo journey came to a close today in somewhat unusual fashion: The very same nurse who hung his first-ever dose back in September just happened to remove the bag that contained his final dose after it finished today. Strange, isn't it? There are many, many nurses at CHO and this particular gal isn't one we've had often at all. Yet somehow, quiet Mary Jane bookended his chemo.

Please keep praying. Logan's fever persisted today. The blood culture showed an infection in the blue lumen of his chemo port. It's happened before, but he's incredibly miserable right now and it pains us to see him in such a sad state, with a high fever, chills, incessant vomiting and horrible nausea. Please pray that God will transform this time of sadness and suffering into one of great gladness and, well, redemption. We want to have a joyful testimony to share.

Blessings and good night.