Welcome to Ellie's Site!

God is Good!

January 21, 10am:  Ellie is doing great.  She is feeling good and eating like crazy. 

We are almost through January - which is the month I have come to dread.  Ellie had her first surgery in January two years ago.  Then, last January, she had the emergency surgery to remove 18 inches of her small intestine after it become tangled.  We have spent more time in the hospital than out for the last two Januarys.  So I have had a feeling of dread in the back of my mind this month.  But, I think we are going to make it!  In fact, I have a business trip in January each year and I have cancelled my plans for it the last two years.  This year, I went on that trip and just returned without any incident.

Ellie goes in for her 3-month check-up next week on January 28th.  It will be a full day of tests and scans.  I know those days are hard on Ellie, but I secretly like them.  I like getting the "all clear" from the doctors and knowing that everything is still good.  Three months seems like a long time to me.  Especially when we started this journey going to the hospital every day.  Then every week for 6 months, then once a month for a year.  Now we are at 3 months and it seems like an eternity between visits.  I am fearful that something could start growing and we wouldn't catch it early enough. 

But, as always, I know God is in charge.  I know fear and doubt come from the devil and I try not to entertain those thoughts.  The welcome mat is not out for the devil and his thoughts!  I have to push those aside so that God has room to bring His thoughts to me.  And His are much better!  He promises peace and strength.  Fear and faith cannot exist at the same time.  I have to let go of fear so that I can fully rely on faith.

Ellie has that wonderful child-like faith.  Yesterday, after I picked her up from preschool, she told me that a boy in her class had broken his leg skiing over the weekend.  She said, "I hope nothing as bad as a broken leg ever happens to me!"  I had to chuckle thinking of all of the awful things she has been through - worse than a broken leg - but she chooses not to focus on that.  Those things are out of her mind.  Instead, she is very excited to push Jonah in his wheelchair when he returns to school.  She said, "I hope I am chosen to push him  because I don't want him to miss going anywhere with us!"

I will update after our doctor's visit next week.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Thank you for always uplifting us in prayer.  We are blessed by you!

"My soul find rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."  Psalms 62:1-2



December 28, 4pm:  Today is the 2nd anniversary of Ellie being diagnosed.  It has been two years filled with so many ups and downs.  What a journey it has been!

I thought I would let the other authors in my home tell you their thoughts today.  So here are Tom, Mitchell and Lexie:

Tom: "It all started with a curious little lump.  That lump became the diagnosis that no one would expect - a 2 1/2 year old with a cancerous kidney tumor.  A life-changing moment.  Shock, fear, denial, worry, and questions slowly gave way to faith, trust, prayer, hope and optimism.

Reflecting on this situation two years later, prayer and perspective are the first things that come to mind.  Ellie and our family received, and continue to receive, an outpouring of prayer from many people.  It's a powerful thing.  More than I can explain.  I believe that Ellie is healthy today because of prayer and God's plan for her.  We could feel the prayer support during the critical times in this process; through sugeries, recovery, radiation, chemo, and checkups.  We were strengthened, supported, and encouraged. 

Prayer is certainly an opportunity for all of us to reach out and help others who are enduring hardship, illness, or other difficulties in this life.  It's a powerful thing.

Perspective - what is really important?  It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and expectations of this world.  My perspective was forced to change two years ago and now I have a happy, healthy 4 1/2 year old daily reminder of perspective.

Thanks again for all your prayers, support, comments on this blog, calls, emails, etc.  We really appreciate it.  Happy New Year and God's blessings to you!"

Mitchell: "Over the last two years, I have learned a lot about myself and this thing called life.  Life is a funny thing.  It is given abundantly, but yet taken away at the same rate it was given.  I am a very lucky person to have the kind of health I have had and the family that I have.  I am also thankful that God has put certain people in my life to help cope with Ellie's illness.  But in my heart, I knew she would be just fine and that her hair would be back and better than ever.  I guess that's why I never really worried about her, because I knew God had a plan."

Lexie: "Quite a bit has changed since Ellie was born, but a lot has changed since Ellie was diagnosed.  There's obvious things such as Ellie going to the hospital, Ellie not feeling good and being tired, Ellie not being able to play with us, Ellie not being able to go places with us.  Also, Ellie got a lot of attention, which wasn't a bad thing at all, it was just something to get used to.  I got used to people asking, 'How's your sister doing?'  Naturally, I would say, 'Good, thanks.'  But I usually had to answer a little bit differently.  Another example of change is in the faith of our family and me.  We began praying more often.  I also began to pray by myself more often.  I would never forget to before bed.  I realized God really does have a plan and everything happens for a reason.  I think through it all I've matured a lot.  And I'm thankful that my best friend is okay."

From me: thank you so much to all of you for your support over these two years.  We are blessed!!  I thank God that we are celebrating our two year anniversary with a healthy girl! 

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."  1 Chronicles 16:34



December 18th, 8am: Ellie is doing really good.  In fact, she is eating like crazy.  Tom has decided that she has a hollow leg.  She is feeling good and really doing wonderful.  Here are a few highlights of her month so far.

We recently attended our local holiday parade.  Here are the kids watching the parade from a skywalk.  Make-A-Wish invited us to watch from the warm skywalk with other Make-A-Wish families.  We had a great time watching the parade and getting to know the other families.

The other pictures on this page are of Ellie helping  Mitchell - whom she calls "Yippy" - celebrate his 16th birthday, and of Ellie before her preschool Christmas program. 

During this month, I am simply trying not to get too caught up in all of the "stuff".  I try to keep in mind that 2 years ago I was very caught up in everything: what presents to purchase; what food to serve; what parties to attend...  And then, just a few days after Christmas, Ellie was diagnosed with cancer.  I was so embarrassed that I had been so concerned with "stuff".  I now try very hard to just focus on my family and truly enjoy this season.  It's not about the gifts or the parties.  It's amazing how quickly your priorities and your focus can shift.  Leaving the doctor's office 2 years ago, it certainly didn't matter how my house was decorated or who was getting what present.  I think about that now when I am running errands.  Everyone is so busy and stressed.  People aren't necessarily being polite or kind to those around them.  I wish I could put all of those people in my car and drive them to the Children's Hospital.  I wish they could meet all of the kids who will be spending Christmas in a hospital bed.  I wish they could meet the parents who are simply trying to make their child's hospital room as festive as possible and who are facing the biggest scare of their lives.  

I am not trying to say not to celebrate, but I just wish we could all slow down a bit.  That we could all be so very grateful for what we have.  That we could take a minute and just spend time with our loved ones.  Read Christmas books together or sit around the tree and tell favorite Christmas stories.  Tell those around you how they have blessed your life.  Truly appreciate what you have.  Not the latest gadget, not the "it" present of the season, not mounds of chocolate and egg nog, but just appreciate all of the blessings we each receive every day.

So let me tell you how much you have blessed our lives.  We are very thankful for all of the support and prayers we have received over the last 2 years.  It has truly been life-changing.  We are very appreciative for every prayer, note, card, thought, ....  what a blessing you have been to us.   Tom and I are still amazed by how much we have been supported.  Thank you.

We have truly seen how God's people can come together to support one another.  We have seen Him working through those around us.  We have seen how God uses those in His kingdom to bless one another.  We are so thankful to Him that He has taught us many things through this journey and that He blessed us with YOU!

I will update on the 2-year anniversary of Ellie's diagnosis: December 28th.  Until then, we wish you a blessed Christmas!  We hope you have an incredible time with family and friends.  As we celebrate Jesus' birth, we pray that you have a wonderful, relaxing, blessed holiday.

*Instead of a Bible verse, allow me to leave you with a Christmas idea.  This was passed down to me from very wise women in a Bible study I attended years ago.  For your dessert at your Christmas meal, have birthday cake.   Sing "Happy Birthday" to Jeus and have a true birthday party for Him.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!


Thanksgiving Day, 8am: Happy Thanksgiving!  We are so grateful today.  First, we are so thankful for YOU!  Thank you for giving us such incredible support over our journey.  We are grateful for you!  We have made wonderful new friends through the course of Ellie's illness. 

We are thankful that Ellie was healed.  That cancer has stayed away.  That she is thriving and doing good. We are also thankful for the doctors and nurses and for medical technology.  We are thankful for volunteers at the hospital who spend hours trying to bring joy into the lives of sick kids. 

We are thankful that we have learned many lessons - and are continuing to learn so much!  We have learned to reset our priorities.  We have learned what is truly important.  We have learned to not sweat the small stuff so much.  We have learned to be grateful for each day, each hour. 

Most importantly, we have learned to put our faith in God completely.  We have had to lean into our faith and know that God has a plan.  We may not understand it, but He is in control and His plan is perfect.  We have learned that God truly loves us with an everlasting love. 

Thank you for following our journey.  We are blessed by you!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forver."  Psalm 118



November 12, 7pm:  We just returned from Ellie's appointment at Children's Hospital and we found out that the spot on her lung is gone!  Everything was all clear!  Praise God!!

Here we are at the hospital.  It is a new hospital policy during the flu season that everyone wears a mask.   

Here is Ellie during her CT scan.  She laid perfectly still so they wouldn't have to sedate her.  She was a very good girl and simply did whatever they asked of her.   She amazes me with her strength. 

They think the spot on her lung was because of the cough she had.  I secretly know that even if there was something more sinister there, the power of prayer made it disappear!  Thank you so much for always being such incredible prayer warriors for us.  I received so many texts and emails today.  Thank you!!  It is incredible to me that we are coming up on our 2-year-anniversary of this journey and we still have such amazing support from all of you.  I cannot believe that you have all stood by us through this entire journey.

I am just so overwhelmed with relief and with joy.  I know that we will always have the thought in the back of our minds that her cancer could come back.  I'm sure that won't ever go away, but I am so thankful that - for now - we are in the clear.

I am also so thankful for my other kids.  Last night, as I was giving into worry and shedding a few tears, Mitchell (15) told me I needed to let God take over.  He then suggested that we all pray over Ellie together.  So we sat on her bedroom floor and prayed around her.  Thank you, Mitchell! 

Today, after we learned that Ellie was ok, I shed a few more tears.  Ellie asked me what was wrong.  I told her I was happy because we had been so worried that she was sick.  She said, "We? Not 'we' because I wasn't worried at all!"  I guess I need to learn a few things from my kids!!

Thanks again to all of you.  We are blessed!!

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart."  Psalm 9:1




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