June 9, 2021
I'm very sorry for the incredibly late update this week. I hope all has been well with you all. I'm not going to lie. This week has been quite hard for the Leonhart family.
Last week, Jennifer had a colonoscopy, and we packed up the whole family to head to The Ballard House in Katy, TX. If you are not familiar with The Ballard House, I definitely recommend that you check out their website. They are an incredible ministry.
Anyway, we packed up two weeks worth of belongings and headed here so that we would have a place to stay while Jennifer is recuperating from her surgery. Then, on Monday, Jennifer had a series of pre-op appointments (blood tests, follow ups with doctors, etc.). We left at 6:30am to drop her off at 7:30am. The first appointment was over fairly quick, so we came back to pick her up. We decided to spend the morning with her and do whatever she wanted. Jen's wanted to get glasses for the past few months, so we went to a place that had a 1 hour turn around time, and she picked out some frames. Then, we took her back to MD Anderson and headed back to The Ballard House.
Then, we ate lunch and went shopping for some much needed items. After just 30 minutes of down time, we were back on the road to go and pick up Jennifer from her appointments at MD Anderson. On the way home, we stopped to get her glasses. In talking with the surgeon, Jennifer mentioned that our plan was to be here only while she was in the hospital and then head to DeLeon where she would recover for another week at her dad's house. The surgeon insisted that she remain in the Houston area for at least one more week in case anything were to go wrong, so we spoke with the staff at The Ballard House, and they extended our stay by a week.
After all that, yesterday was even more eventful. First, we woke up very early in order to drop Jennifer off at 5:15am at MD Anderson for her surgery. We prayed for her and hugged her, and then headed for Willis. We went and got donuts for my coworkers (Chick-fil-A), and then we stopped in to eat breakfast in the newly reopened dining room. Meanwhile, back at MD Anderson, Jennifer's surgery began around 7:40am.
Second, we ran by the cottage to grab some stuff that we had forgotten when we packed up and left for The Ballard House. Then, I dropped off the kids with some friends in Willis and headed for Huntsville. Last week, we had toured a private school in Conroe. Yesterday, I scheduled to tour a different private school in Huntsville while Jennifer was in surgery (we would have toured it together, but they were closed all last week). The tour went great, and we may have found the school we want our kids to attend in the Fall. The tuition is low, and there are even options for financial assistance. With that and the funds that have been coming in through the GoFundMe, we think we may have figured out where we want our kids to go to school, and where we may live come the Fall.
Third, I went to pick up the kids in Willis, and we headed back to The Ballard House 1.5 hours away in Katy. Needless to say, we did a lot of traveling yesterday. The whole time, I was fielding calls from MD Anderson keeping me updated on the progress of Jennifer's surgery and calls from concerned friends and family.
It wasn't until around 3pm yesterday that Jennifer finally emerged from surgery. It was successful. They extracted all four tumors from her liver, and they were even able to do so without removing her gallbladder. She's been pretty groggy ever since, and they've had her on a lot of pain meds. Other than that, the doctors and nurses all report a lot of progress in the recovery. They are staying on her about doing her breathing treatments and getting up and around. She is on a liquid diet for now, but I'm sure that will change as she needs less and less pain meds.
Between toys, games, books, and screen time, the kids are all doing well. They keep begging me to take them to a public pool somewhere. I'm considering it, but now I'm busy with trying to get paperwork for school all figured out, and I'm trying to get caught up on rest at the same time. Seems every time we're in the common areas at The Ballard House, I wind up getting caught up in a long conversation with a cancer patient or his / her loved ones. Last night, I even had an opportunity to share the gospel with a group of men on the back porch while we ate some grilled meat and veggies together.
Please pray for Jennifer's continued recover, for our wisdom in finding a school and a home, and for the Lord to continue to provide. Also, I would ask that you prayerfully consider giving to our GoFundMe (if you haven't already), and that you pray for our contentment in whatever the Lord wills for us. Thanks again for all of your prayers. We know that the will of God will be accomplished, and that He works out His will through the prayers of His saints. May He bless you and keep you.
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- Teri CainPraise God for successful surgery! Hugs to you all.6/10/21
- Sharon IleyThanks for the update! Continued prayers. Love y'all.6/9/21
- Freddie TaylorBilly, cannot begin to express our tremendous thanks and relief to read your report. Please keep the news coming and praise the Lord for all the great news and grace God has showered on our Jennifer!! So very thankful!!!!Love to you all!♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️6/9/21
- Susan TaylorI’m thankful for Jennifer’s successful surgery. It sounds like you have a good plan for the family and for Jennifer’s recovery. Praying for y’all everyday. Love you.💕6/9/21