Due to the amazing support and generosity that our loved ones have been showing, we want clear up some confusion around tributes vs donations. To clarify, tributes go to fund the Caringbridge website, which is a worth while cause. We're currently not requesting donations as we are not clear as to how Joel's health care needs will impact us financially, but if you'd like to help our family through a takeout or groceries delivery gift card, we posted some suggestions in the "Ways to Help" tab, and will post updates about addition needs as they arise. You can of course contact us if you have others ways in which you'd like to offer help and support (Laura's email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Our address: 918 Brown Ave, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006) as Covid has made it tricky to receive certain kinds of help, like offering childcare and such. If you made a tribute to Caringbridge, but meant to donate to the family, please call Caringbridge at 651-452-7940 and they will refund your donation.
Dear friends and loved ones, Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this as the main place to post updates on Joel's health and our family's journey. Thank you for visiting!
After years of struggling with chronic fatigue and a host of other odd symptoms, this past Fall (2020) some blood tests revealed that there was something wrong with Joel's bone marrow. Additional blood tests and a biopsy confirmed that he has a rare type of chronic leukemia (a blood/bone marrow cancer) called myelofibrosis (MF). You can easily find more info about MF on the web, but there seems to be a common consensus that the progression, treatment, and prognosis for this type of cancer varies widely between those who have it. We're just at the beginning of understanding Joel's particular diagnosis but we are hoping to gain a clearer picture as he meets with specialists, begins treatment, and monitors his progression over time.
Everyone asks, "How are you doing?" Here's our best summary of where we are (collectively) at the beginning of all this: 1. It's hard to imagine this diagnosis coming at a more difficult time. Like many, we were feeling pretty weary and worn thin after 2020. On top of all that's come with the pandemic - multiple rounds of COVID tests and quarantines, caring for our kids while working from home, and switching (multiple times) between in-person and virtual school modes - we've had a number of household disasters (like a flooded basement and a power outage that left us without a stove and hot water for weeks), challenges to getting care for Elijah's special needs, Laura's chronic health issues, and deaths in our family. So when we received this news, our hearts were crushed. It's still hard to face the reality that this disease will likely introduce additional burdens, suffering, loss, and uncertainty into our lives. 2. The silver lining of this timing is that we have spent almost the entire past year being forced to take life one day at-a-time. So as scary and heavy as the future feels, we are a little more practiced at accepting our limitations and humbly seeking help. We are more quick to be open about our struggles, appreciate the small victories, enjoy the blessings that we usually overlook, and let go of unreasonable expectations. And we only need to look at our history and look at the people around us to remember that we have so much support and have so much to be thankful for. We are loved and rich beyond measure.
Like every difficult journey, we expect to experience (and have already experienced) good days and hard days, and we want thank in advance those of you who care for us on the hard days and celebrate with us on the good days, especially because we know that - now more than ever - it will be difficult for us to express the depths of our gratitude. Please know that your love, prayers, and support mean the world to us.