Still I am certain to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the LORD; be strong and courageous.
Wait patiently for the LORD!
Psalm 27: 13-14
We pray this finds you all well and enjoying the last shouts of summer. It was about this time last year when we were inpatient at Riley Hospital for Children that grief really took hold of my heart. We had been through two rounds of intense chemotherapy to fight Haley's aggressive leukemia but the cancer was fighting back and we were faced with tough decisions about a third round of treatment. Simultaneously, the loss of life as we knew it was palpable as school & activities commenced for her friends. It was as if life was moving on without us...and it was hard. Today, I re-read the journal entry from Aug. 7 and was quickly taken back to the four walls of our room on 5W and the faces of the sweet nurses who became like family, the sights and sounds of the hospital room, and the aching in my mother's heart. Those were heart wrenching days and I still marvel at the grace of God that carried us through them. His mercy hemmed us in on every side, and continues to this day. We have full and grateful hearts for what He has done for our strong, brave and beautiful girl. Nothing short of a miracle. And we will gladly tell anyone who has ears to hear of our story and of the power of our faithful God.
Haley Grace is doing well, almost 10 months post transplant, as she continues the healing process. All the results from the bone marrow in June were just what we prayed for as her body is accepting the donor cells and the work of restoration is happening. Her lab numbers have been good, with an upward trend in platelet counts that so many of you prayed for. Thank you! Her zest for life is vibrant and contagious and she is returning to a somewhat "normal" life. She is still immunocompromised so we remain vigilant about responsible decisions to protect her baby immune system. We pray about those decision a lot and trust the Lord for His protection over her life and body.
Haley celebrated her 14th birthday in July with an outdoor gathering of good friends and a family escape room outing. So fun! And so different from last year’s hospital room party. We don’t take things like that for granted anymore. I pray we never do again.
Her first day of high school happened yesterday (picture attached) as a homeschool freshmen attending The Master's Study. TMS has been wonderful about working with us on a hybrid model that makes sense for Haley's unique situation and we are so thankful. Another sweet provision from the Lord.
Horses continue to be a huge part of Haley's recovery and we were thrilled that she was able to compete in our local July 4H fair horse show. It was a great weekend with her equine loves and her friends that brought her so much joy and fulfillment.
We had treasured concentrated family time as Shelby & Riley were home much of the summer. With both big girls' engagements, there has been much to celebrate around these sweet milestone moments. Blessing upon blessing from a merciful God.
Haley is continuing to wean off the tacro drug (immune suppressant) that served to combat GVHD (graft versus host disease) and all is well! Thank you for praying. She will soon begin the re-vaccination process as the next step in her body's immune reconstitution. It is, indeed, a marathon...but one we are most thankful to be on. Experiencing God's grace and mercy each step of the way. Please join us in remembering what He has done and is doing for Haley and praising His powerful Name. And please keep praying for her as the Lord prompts you. I connected with an old friend over the weekend who told me she has prayed for Haley every day since her diagnosis. Every day since June 4, 2020! Humbled...thankful...inspired.
Y'all have been so faithful to carry this burden with us in so many meaningful ways. We praise God for you!