Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about our little guy, Jake.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, view the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook. Get started by reading "My Story".
In September of 2010 our 6 year old son Jacob found a lump on his lower left leg, after getting cleaned up from the day. I was at parent teacher conferences earlier that day and my son stayed with his Pappy and picked pumpkins at their market (Newby's Market). I figured it was probably a spider bite, not knowing for sure what to do. I called the pediatrician and was told to bring him in the next morning.
We arrived at the doctors office the next morning with my other 2 children and 2 nieces and was told it was definitely not a spider bite, it needed to be x-rayed. So I shuffled the children along to x-ray and awaited the results. The nurse came to get us and I shuffled the children back to our room when I saw our pediatrician's face. He told me the nurse was going to stay with the children while I looked at the x-ray with him. I began to cry when I saw the lump on his leg. My heart sank. Jacob kept looking at me and saying don't cry, mama, it's just a spider bite. It will go away. It doesn't even hurt.
Well, through a lot of different doctors and extensive testing we found out Jacob has Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at his lower left leg, lungs, and abdomen. We have been told that Jacob's treatment are going to be very long (54 weeks) of chemo, radiation, and surgery and that his cancer is very hard to treat at this stage. We sometimes have extensive chemo 5 days a week and it just breaks you and shakes you to the core. We make daily trips to Riley and we will begin staying inpatient starting in December.
Going through this roller coaster, words can't describe. Only God knows how we all truly feel. I believe in miracles. Jacob is a fighter. He's strong and a normal boy who likes frogs, dinosaurs, fishing, swimming, and playing outside. Even though we have no idea why this has happened to our son we are hopeful in an unhopeful circumstance. We will stand and fight this every moment of every week. God is good and I tell Jacob every day. Every time God hears somebody say Jacob in one of their prayers, God smiles and puts his arm around Jacob. If God can heal the blind to see and walk on water, I believe He has the power to cure Jacob. We don't always understand why we have to do the things that are thrown at us. But in this circumstance, we will stand strong and praise God for every moment we have together. We will overcome every obstacle, like swallowing 6 chemo pills a day. We will smile at every morning that we're made anew.
Thanks for all your prayers. Don't be afraid to talk to us. If you see us. We love all of you and want you to be apart of our journey.
Oct 8, 2013 12:12pmTo Everyone whose lost someone they loved, long before it was their time. You feel like the days you had were not enough when you said good-bye. And to all of the people with burdens and pains keeping you back from your life. You believe that there is nothing and there is no one that can make it right.
There is hope for the helpeless, rest for the weary, and love for the broken heart, there is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, that will meet you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus.
For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on, that have lost all of their faith and love, they've done all they can do to make it right again, still its not enough. For the ones that can't break the addictions and chains, try to give it up ,but you come back again. Just remember that you're not alone in your shame and suffering.
There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary, and love for the broken heart. There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, that meets you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus.
When you're lonely, and it feels like the whole world is falling on you. You just reach out, you just cry out to JESUS, Cry to Jesus.
To the widow who suffers from being alone. Wiping the tears from her eyes. For the children around the world without a home, say a prayer tonight.
There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary, and love for the broken heart. There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, that meets you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus. Cry out to Jesus.
~Cry out to Jesus, From my favorite band~Third Day
I said I wasn't going to do this but I am anyways. I wanted to tell all of our family and close friends by phone first...but I am so full right now if I don't get this out of my system I am going to lose more sleep than I already have. But before I do, this song just gets it. Doesn't it. My hearts been broken for a couple of years now. I can't get back to that old Tosha. I look at photos and happier times when I was a tad younger. Like when I graduated High School. I still remember the day. I was carefree. When I moved to Florida with Ben. Not knowing him for very long. I packed up a few things to fit in his 89' camaro. His pride and joy. Literally, I only took a few bags. But I was excited. Happy to leave this small town(then it was a small town) for bigger and better things. I had just started my grooming career. Our first apartment was nothing fancy and Ben and I slept on an air mattress for a very long time until we finally were given a bed. Ben worked for an assisted living place and that is where most of our furniture came from. Hand me downs. We were so young. 18 and 19. Babies. I had Jake when I was 19. We were terrified. But determined we were going to be great parents. Marriage and babies, we thought life was going to be easy. It was for awhile. Then life happened. Struggles with advancement in jobs, me being a boss for awhile to a large salon, moving back to Indiana. Ben going to tech schools. Having Jonathan, marriage struggles. family drama, dogs peeing on the floor, you name it, we've probably been through the majority of stuff and have only been together for 10 years. Jake having cancer was devastating, but Wow....we learned ssssooo much. I learned to say, "no" I learned to put my kids first before jobs and wealth and advancement. I learned to value each day. And you can't explain to people the day to day of cancer. It is what it is. Filled with surgeries, chemo, radiation, drugs, lots and lots of drugs. oxygen, hospice, hospitals, throw up, constipation, hallucinations, fear, anger, resentment, hope, joy, tears, pain. You feel it, you walk through it, every day is not like the other. Jake was lucky in the part that he reached out of his suffering and pain and conquered this world. Taught hundreds of thousands of people to give back. To love each other and to be there for each other even if that means stopping, buying a pillow pet, and donating it to a child that needed to know they were loved and not forgotten.Then the end of his life came and I had to say goodbye for now. Holding him in my arms I still feel that moment. That moment that I knew there was going to be no more days of heating up frozen shrimp in the microwave. no more drugs, no more hugs and love from my oldest boy. No more pain. No more pain. There is not enough days. Those final days.
Having to do the memorial service just about did me in. I remember singing but it went by in a blur. I remember the Super Baskets of Hope, delivering all those pillow pets to sick kids, always be in my heart.
Selling our old house. Moving to my grandparents farm. Helping heal Gracie's heart from losing her brother has been no easy task. I think she has aged to 13.Watching Jonathan grow into a handsome clone of his older brother. Ben and I learning to stop holding our breath and learning to live again. Its been hard. We have fought. We have yelled. Well, I've yelled. He tells me not to yell. Sometimes there is nothing that makes me feel better than to yell and cry at the same time and stomp my foot. Ben says when I am mad at him my lip quivers and loves to point it out when it happens. Doesn't help things either. We have learned to give each other space when we are having an off day. We have learned that grief is an added family member. it will always be with us. Jake was just that special of a kid. The kids, every day includes hugs for two people and safety for one. "Please give Jake and hug Mark a hug and please keep Uncle Brendan safe." Every prayer.
Next on the list is....we are moving. AGAIN!!! We are moving to Florida in December. In two months y'all. We are terrified. Really really nervous. We have prayed and prayed. Gracie had a 20 minute prayer at the dinner table one night. Please help us find a nice house and jobs and a yard. And on and on. All the doors just seem to have slammed shut for us up here. We have looked at houses but none of them fit. We have been offered different things but none seem to be ok. If we have to pull the kids out of this school district and start over an hour from here why not just pack up and move 1300 hundred miles away. I mean the McConahay crew have never done anything half way, right?
My heart and brain have been conflicting on all this. I don't want to leave some of the people I love. It is hard to invest yourself in so much and so many people and leave. It feels like a bad break up. I have been so conflicted that I dream at night and I try to sort through all of it in my sleep. So when I wake up I still feel exhausted. Or I stay up and think about this person and that person. What will he do if I leave? Like me being here is going to make or break anyone but its that thought that I am close just in case they might call and need me. Its been so bad that someone I dearly loved, who passed away, visited me in my dreams and told me it was ok to move. I know that's weird but it sure helped me. I was in the middle of this debate and I had this dream that all these family members were in this room and I went to each one and told them we were leaving and why. And he just stopped me and took me to this log cabin type house in the mountains. There were all these brown labs, which he loved, and a fireplace with his chair that he always sat in, he told me to sit. He told me to just quit all this nonsense of questioning myself and doubting, I am good enough, I will be fine, Jake is fine, I can't stay in this town just because of all the memories. I can't go to Riley just to sit outside the cancer unit thinking he is going to come out. Its not going to happen. Jake is gone, he isn't coming back. He is happy. I couldn't make him more happier if he was here. I sat on this warm leather couch, with this big ol' brown lab, he had his head on my lap and I just sat and pet his head, I felt like I was in a counseling session, which is what I used to do with him the year after Jake passed. He never counselled really, he told stories, he asked questions to make me think. He said I helped him but money couldn't have bought what he gave me. I used to listen to his stories, stories of being in the Navy and stories of when he got married, stories of the boys, the dogs, his job. He let me know I was loved. The day that I married Ben he came up to me and told me I was the prettiest bride he had ever seen besides his own wife. That is big shoes to fill. I needed to know if I left here that everyone is going to be ok. no man left behind type of thing. IF I could take everyone I wanted to that would be great. Just let me go down and find a big enough town to fit us all. This special person gave me the ok. At the end of my dream, I felt a lot better, I felt like I was at home and if that was what a peak of Heaven is like I hope it is like that. I big rustic cabin with overstuffed leather couches and chairs and a big fireplace, with dogs and people I love. He told me he would continue to watch over my Jacob. And I know that he will. If I trusted Jesus enough to tell Jake that when he died he wouldn't be looking into my eyes any longer he would be looking into Jesus eyes and holding his hands. If I had enough trust and faith to do that and to watch it happen and to hear him say he saw Jesus, Then why is it so hard to have faith and trust to pack up and move 1300 miles away and start over. Its hard. But Its the same thing. I am going to rock this life that I have been given. I have stuff to offer. I am going to move to Florida and see what a difference we can make down there. The town Ben and I have been looking into has a children's hospital in it. The sky is the limit. Did I want to leave yet, NO. Did I want to go out like this, NO but when God slams all doors shut, there is no magic key that is going to open it back up. Not unless you want to be miserable. And I am done with that. Mark gave me peace in that dream. My family and Ben's family will be ok. Our friends will remain friends. The things we have accomplished here we will do down there. And when we come back to visit. "Watch out" Cuz you haven't seen nothing yet.
CRY OUT TO JESUS AND HE WILL GIVE YOU REST!!
See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to a place I have prepared for you.
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