Friday, July 29, 2011

We Need Prayer Today

I have nothing to say today other than we desire your prayers more than ever right now. I'm not sure why, but last night at church it seemed like everything just came down on top of me at once. At times, I let it go and cry my eyes out but, the majority of the time, I have to hold it in because of the kids being with me. I'm trying to be strong for Kari but I desperately need peace and strength right now so that I can do that.

Kari's hair is bad enough to where we can no longer cover it. It's coming out by the trash can full and it's honestly making Kari and I sick to our stomachs. I hate it that my baby's beautiful long hair is almost gone but I'm to the point where I just want it gone so we can learn to deal with it.

Kari doesn't feel very good today and my heart is breaking. Poor little Malachi...he's just in the midst of the confusion.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again...Kari's birthday party is Saturday and her actual birthday is sunday. I'll do my best to post pictures of it all ASAP.

Please pray for our family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fun and Prayer

We've been MIA for a few days on here. We escaped to Memaw's for a few days and I just now had time to post. Kari, Malachi and I ALL needed a break from our house. After being cooped up for a week it was time to get out. Besides that, Kari was acting depressed and I thought getting her out in the "normal" world would help. We're on the count down until Kari goes off steroids...8 more days. We're praying that she will return to her normal personality and things will be a little easier for everyone. We've experienced some "Roid Rages" (as I've heard they're called) and they aren't pleasant. Also, the late night eating sprees are making us all tired and cranky! LOL!

This morning we got up bright and early and went to Aunt Shelia's bakery and pie shop so that Kari could help make pies and cakes. She and Malachi had so much fun! They played in pie dough and flour and pie filling and ohmyword they made a mess but had a blast! I remembered my camera but left my memory card in the computer at home so you will have to suffer through cell phone pictures. A fun time was had by all and we ate some good homemade chocolate pie. About the chocolate pie...seriously. You all just missed out is all I can say.

This week is youth camp here at our home church where my mom goes. I wanted to take Kari so that she could see all the kids and so that we could have people pray for her. I know that some of you all aren't pentecostal like me (lol) but we believe in prayer and churchin'! Tonight we had everybody pray for Kari and she seems so much better. She is actually smiling willingly again and had a good time tonight with everyone.

I won't pretend that this isn't the hardest thing I've ever faced in my entire life and I hate every minute of seeing Kari in pain or crying her little eyes out because she simply just doesn't understand what's going on in her life right now. Her hair is to the point where she has bald spots that are hard to cover up. At the rate it's coming out, she will probably be in hats by the weekend. Of course, she did tell me today that she WAS NOT wearing a hat until I got some to wear with her. So, I'm searching for some cute hats to wear with Kari. I've found a few but we will probably need every color. Or maybe that's an excuse to go shopping?

Anyway, I realized something tonight while they were praying for Kari. Although I'd like for the Lord to work a miracle and completely heal Kari, I know that sometimes that isn't His will. I won't try to understand why He allowed this to happen or try to understand His ways.

But, I realized that my prayer for Kari is for her to KNOW the Lord. For Jesus to somehow make Himself real to her and that she would know the Lord as her personal Saviour and never stray from that as long as she lives. I remember growing up listening to my mommy pray to the Lord that she loves so much and watching her read her Bible faithfully everyday and that became my lifestyle too as I got older. I also grew up listening to my mother in law and father in law pray and, now that I'm grown, I love the Lord the same way they do and desire to serve Him with my life. I want her to have an even greater desire to serve the Lord and to love Him with all her heart.

And for some reason I'm rambling tonight and you all are probably like...really, can we move on? So I'm going to leave you with my new favorite picture!

Thanks for listening and for commenting to let us know you care! It means so much to us. Love you all! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Brave Girl

Today was our weekly visit to Clinic for treatment. The nurses there are so nice and I know we're going to just fall in love with the whole bunch. We got good reports all the way around so I won't bore you with the details!
I just want to post some cute pics of my brave girl. I'm so extremely proud of her! Dr. D and Kari became fast friends from the beginning of this journey. They really hammed it up for this picture:

Our nurse, Ann, was wonderful and she is so good with Kari.

I hope nobody thinks I'm odd but I just think this is neat so I'm going to share. Most of you all have heard me talk about Brooklyn. When Kari was having her bone marrow biopsy when she was first diagnosed, we had been trying to find a picture of her in the dozens of picture collages all over the clinic. Kari was real scared and nervous and when we saw Brooklyn it took her mind off of what they were doing to her. Then today, Kari was crying over the PICC line dressing being changed and we both looked over top of the table she was sitting on and saw this:

Sweet Brooklyn is our inspiration and I somehow feel like she is Kari's little guardian angel! Like I said, I hope you don't think I'm weird but, if you do, that's okay. :)

Our friend, Angel, sent Kari a package in the mail with a cool scarf and two diva hats! Kari was thrilled with them! She also tried on her wedding dress for Latasha's wedding. She looks like a princess!

Matthew is back on the road with work. He's working to provide for us during this time that I'm off work and I'm so thankful for that! He loves his job and does great at it but I know that he misses us and would like to be here if he could. He told me last night that I forgot to update on him when I was blogging! LOL. Sorry, honey! We love you!
Malachi went to Pappy and Gammy's to play today while Kari and I went to Clinic alone. I figure if we're going for the next two years that I needed to get used to the drive. Kari fell asleep on the way and I had me a good little talk with Jesus. I was thankful for the quiet time alone with my heavenly Father...He's so faithful to listen and so faithful to speak peace and comfort to my heart. I'm thankful that He is mindful of us and so loving to care about our every need and worry! Thank you for praying and for caring about us! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

For The Glory

First an update on Kari's ANC count: as of Friday, it was 1600!! It had gone up 1000 points since Wednesday. Lucky? Nope. God? Yes, sir.
Kari and I got up Friday (Malachi was at Gammy and Pappy's) and made french toast and eggs. We love cooking together and Kari especially loves all of my Pampered Chef stuff. She feels so grown up when she uses it!

Saturday was a rough day for Kari. She didn't feel good and was very tired. The steroids make her moody, hungry, and unable to sleep so I know that all works together to make her a big mass of emotions and fatigue. She's also pretty swelled in addition to the weight she's gained from eating so much. I'm beginning to wonder if her little belly can hold any more. Our favorite people came up for the weekend though: Memaw and Toshi Bug. Kari always finds this a treat. (yes, Malachi has a pink pacifier in this picture...he found it somewhere)

Kari's best buds also visited us along with Chrissy and Cassie. Cassie escaped before I could get a picture of her and Chrissy! I told her I was going to put it on my blog and I think it scared her. Chrissy and I tried to get a picture together but it just didn't work out with 4 kids running around! LOL!

After everyone left, Kari had a meltdown on us. She wouldn't take her medicine, didn't want to take a bath, didn't want her hair brushed out; then I got scared that maybe I wasn't doing something right with her medications.

So I called my pal, Tonya. She quickly calmed my fears and helped me understand a few things better. Thank you, thank you, Tonya!! You have no idea how much you help calm my fears. We all prayed for Kari and this morning things were better. I'm thankful that God renews us daily. We went to church and OMW. I just love how the Lord moves and helps at our church. I'm so thankful for His Spirit being there to encourage and uplift us in these hard times. I'm more convinced that I ever have been that God is in control and will work His perfect will to bring glory to His name.

My sister and her boyfriend, Jessi, came today to spend the evening with us. Kari and Malachi were like two leaches on them. By the time they left, the kids were konked out. They've had a fun filled day and for that, I'm grateful.

During the last 17 days, there have been times that I have only been able to whisper, "Lord, help us." Other times, not even able to whisper anything. I know that it's during those times that the prayers of friends and family have carried us through. Times when I'm trying to comfort Kari and can't pray for crying so's YOUR prayers that get us through. I can't say thank you enough for the encouraging texts, phone calls, cards and hugs that show you care.

Also, for all the donations, the gifts, the food...I will get around to sending out thank you cards eventually! I promise that I'm not an ungrateful brat! Honestly, I'm afraid I'm going to miss someone because I can't even remember all the people that have just shook my hand and left money there. Or the people that have sent money and gifts and cards by others. Please consider yourself thanked! LOL. I'm overwhelmed at the goodness of people. For the employees of Farmers National Bank that read all are amazing! I love you and miss you! I can't promise that I'll be back real soon but hold the fort down for me until further notice.

Thank you, Lord, for your goodness to us! Thank you for loving my baby girl even more than I do. I know she's in good hands. :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Everything Is Gonna Turn Out Right

Church!! I love it, Kari loves it, Malachi loves it...we had a great time in the Lord tonight. For those of you who don't know us personally, we're old time Holiness and we like us some singin' and shoutin'!! From the start of the first song, it seemed that God was there with such a sweet presence and I'm so thankful that He allowed us to be there.

A little background first: about 2 weeks before Kari was diagnosed, the kids and I went with Pappy, Gammy, Uncle Chris, and Aunt Lacey to visit a church in London because Pappy was preaching there. Lacey and I sang Everything Is Gonna Turn Out Right to encourage the people there. As you put it, Sis. Amy....little did we know it would be us needing the encouragement of that song! This song has been with me through many a trial in the past 3 years and I guess I kinda think of it as "my song."

Anyway, tonight at church I sang it with all my heart and it was so good to feel the nearness of the Lord. Kari also decided she wanted to sing. She sang God's Little People and Glory Somebody Touched Me. LOL! It was precious and she sang with more sincerity than I've ever seen out of her before.

Bro. David (aka Pappy), our pastor, preached a wonderful, encouraging message about the Lord being with us even when it seems He's far away. Then at the end of the service, Kari wanted to testify and she said (in her own little accent) "I just want to thank the Lawd for bein' heah tonight."
Seriously? How sweet is that? She was so proud to be there and she was as sincere as she could be.

Kari is coming to terms with her hair. Gammy and Pappy told her today that when her hair was gone, she could shave Pappy's, Bubby's and maybe Uncle's hair so they would look like her. She giggled when she heard that...a giggle with a little meanness behind it, maybe? :)

I talked to my friend, Chrissy, tonight for a long time. I think I talked my way into being encouraged! I was already encouraged tonight at church and then after telling Chrissy what God has already done for us, it finished me off! Chrissy and I talked about the fact that God is GOD...He has all these things to do, all these people to listen to, to heal them, to encourage them, to protect them and yet He hears US too. No matter how dark the night, how hopeless the situation...God hears us because His love for us is that great.

I've found that God is teaching me something about His will. God will make a way for His will to be done even if it takes something like this. While I will be honest and say that I HATE it that my baby has to go through it, I know that God has a special plan for her life. I want God to be real to Kari and for her to know the awesome power of God. Above anything else for her life, I want her to know Jesus as a personal Savior and for her to grow up desiring to be in His perfect will. I can choose to be victorious through this (although I know there may be times when I will feel helpless and hopeless) and give God the praise through this storm, or I can be down and out and question God repeatedly.

I think I'll choose to let God perform His perfect will in this situation and see what awesome things He has in store for us. :)

Hard Times

Thank you all for prayer has been answered!! Kari's counts are up from 360 to 610!! We get to go to church tonight. We are so excited!

Tuesday night Kari's PICC line started leaking so we had to make a quick trip to Clinic yesterday morning to get that taken care of. Before we left for Lexington, Home Health came to draw Kari's labs. She was all upset about that and even more upset to find out we had to get "Pluto" cleaned and re-dressed. It's painful for Kari because the tape that is over her PICC line is stuck on there so tight that it probably feels like it's pulling a layer of skin off!

Her appetite is hilarious still. When we were finished with Clinic, she ate a piece of pizza on the way to Cracker Barrel then gravy and biscuits, chicken tenders, and mac and cheese at Cracker Barrel. Already this morning she has eaten 3 pieces of french toast, bacon and 2 packs of oatmeal. It's really funny!
On another note, Malachi is adjusting well I think.

He seems to be the only one sleeping in our household at this point. LOL! Kari is up all night hungry and I'm up all night feeding her. Malachi has a hard time remembering that Kari has a "boo boo" on her arm and he has to be careful but he's learning.

Last night was probably the worst night we've had. When I gave Kari a bath last night after her already emotional day, she saw me getting hair off my hands to put in the trash. She asked if that was her hair falling out...??? My heart broke and apparently so did hers because she burst into tears again and said "Mommy, I don't want my hair to fall out!" We sat and cried together and then when she got out of the bathtub, we cried some more. I sat down with her and explained that Jesus is with us and even though we hate this sickness, He's going to make something awesome out of it! I'm not sure she was convinced. But my prayer for Kari is that Jesus would be real to her and she could understand that He is here with her to comfort and help her.

Just being honest...I don't understand this trial and I won't try to. But I HATE it. Anyone who has walked this road before us, you know where we're at right now. Kari doesn't understand and, really, there is no good way to help an almost-4-year-old understand why they're sick, losing hair, going to the hospital so much, taking so much's a nightmare. The next few weeks will be rough and we desire your prayers. God is faithful and I know He will be here to comfort and get us through. This wouldn't have come our way had it not passed through His hand first. Because of that, He will surely get glory out of it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We are finally home!! Everyone is asking how this happened? I'm saying God granted us one more miracle because all the doctors said it would at least be this weekend but probably the first of next week before we were able to go home. God is so good!

On Sunday, they said Kari's counts were up around 1000 which is outstanding as the threshold is 500. However, Dr. Moscow came in yesterday morning and said that number was given in error. He said that Kari's counts were staying around 360 and that her body was slowly bringing the counts up on its own and that the only reason they are staying low is the leukemia. This is kinda confusing but I'm trying to explain it the way I understood it from Dr. Moscow. If Kari's body was not responding to the chemo, her counts would not be able to stay steady or climb at all. Since it's the leukemia and not Kari's body, he said she didn't need anymore fluids or antibiotics; therefore, there was no reason for us to stay in the hospital. They did give her a blood transfusion and sent us home with a bag full of medication (not fun for either of us). I also have to flush her PICC line twice a day myself. I was very nervous about coming home because while we're in the hospital, we have nurses and doctors that do this routine daily...for us normal people, it's hard to know what to do!!!

But they gave me a few lessons on flushing the PICC line and also gave me an instruction sheet on giving Kari her meds everyday. Unfortunately, until her counts are up, it's doctor's orders that we are not allowed any visitors outside of immediate family at this time. It's a dangerous time and being outside of the hospital....we can't risk anything. Kari isn't allowed out of the house at all unless her counts come up so we are praying for some fun days inside! We don't have to go to clinic until next Monday for chemo! Yay!!!

We have had so many good days with Kari since we were in the hospital. Over the weekend, she played and had a great time with friends and family just like she always has. It's been hard to remember at times that she has leukemia. But the lady that helped get us ready to go yesterday gave me a reality check: this is only the beginning. After her 28-day induction month, things are going to get rough. While I was thankful for the warning, my heart is also full of dread for the days to come. Especially Kari losing her hair. It's a very obvious reminder that Kari is suffering. Kari has heard us talking about her hair falling out and, while I've discussed it with her already, she doesn't really understand and is starting to ask "Mommy, are you talking about MY hair falling out?" Shewee....lots of tears here.

So, here are some things that I'd like for you all to pray for if you would:

Kari is supposed to be the miniature bride in Latasha's wedding on August 13th. I'm also a bridesmaid in the wedding. Kari will have a bone marrow biopsy, a spinal tap and the surgery to insert her PORT on August 9th. Recovering from those 3 things could take several days. Her counts also have to be above 500 before we can even THINK about going to the wedding and even at 500, she will have to wear a mask walking up and down the aisle. Please pray that things will turn out good for Kari and I to be in the wedding. She has looked forward to this for six months and I want her to be able to enjoy it.

Also, please pray that her counts can come up enough for us to be able to go to church. Church services are important to us and we hate missing them!

Honestly, today I'm trying my best to rally but I'm struggling. Being home is awesome but there are also lots of reminders that my baby is very sick. Malachi will be home today and we are going to try to adjust the best way we know how. I pray that God gives us a smooth transition.

I love each and every one of you! Thank you for praying, caring and all that you've done for us. We are grateful and ask that God blesses you!
Please listen to the words of this's been a blessing to me since the first time I heard it. I'm thankful that as hard as this is, God will use it for His glory and for our good.

Monday, July 18, 2011



I will update later! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

He Believes In Me

Kari had her spinal tap and chemo today. Things went well! She had the "Magic Milk" as they call it here and was out in about 15 seconds. Magic Milk is the stuff they put in her IV to knock her out when they do procedures. I HATE seeing her put to sleep. Heavens to Betsy. It's even worse coming back in after the procedure and watching her come out of it. Kari couldn't eat all day and I didn't eat either so she wouldn't be alone. I'm so glad I didn't because, quite frankly, all that stuff puts me in the bathroom.

Kari did receive platelets before the procedure since her counts have to be at least 50 and hers were 20. She is beginning to help the nurses and techs do things like put her blood pressure cuff on and take her own temperature...they are loving it! The nurses and techs have really been good to Kari and tonight Kari and I made them cards and little bead thingies to attach to their badges.

We've also had a blast running around the hospital playing and letting Kari be a kid. Today, they actually took Kari back for her spinal a little sooner than planned and the doctor found us running around the lobby going in and out of the revolving glass doors. LOL!! He was pleased to see Kari so active though. They are slowly weaning Kari off of the antibiotics and fluids to make sure she holds her own without fevers and infections. We are praying that she does great with this because that means we get to go home for a while!!! We long for home but are honestly settling into a routine and I'm thankful for that. It's hard to settle into a hospital room but there are people in here that are in worse situations than us. Some have the same size room as we do and have the whole family staying. We are doing well in comparison!

I know I refer to songs a lot but various songs come to mind at different times when I need them I think. This one helped today during Kari's treatment: (I'll only do a brief part of it)

There's not a problem He doesn't know about
And before He allows me to go in
He's already made a way for me to come out
Everything that we go through has a purpose and a plan
And before I get discouraged I'll just place it in his hand
When I'm up on a mountain or through the world below
I must believe He's got it all in control

And if He thought it was too much
He would have never let me go through this trial
If He didn't think I could take it
He would have stopped me long before I walked this mile
But the thing that keeps me going while the wind and rain is blowing
He approved this long before it happened
He believes in me and that's enough for me to make it all the way

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday (Day 6)

Friends, today is day 6 of our new journey. I will say that today has been the best day yet. Last night was so rough on both Kari and I. Kari had a little breakdown and so did I. We sat in bed and cried together until we got it all out. This morning Kari was very down and out and totally not like herself.

But we got some cheer when Aunt Lacey and Malachi showed up!! I was so excited to see my baby boy. Kari still seemed down though and I made her get up, put some clothes on and I fixed her hair. She resisted the entire time but after we stepped out of this room to go play, she was the little Kari we all know! She played from around 9:00 this morning until now. It's 11:45 and she's sitting on her bed eating macaroni and cheese and we have a bed full of crayons, markers and coloring books. Also a baby doll that needs doctored, and two princess card games to play. Shewee!! We will be up all night!

Tomorrow Kari will have a spinal tap and a more intense chemo treatment. Several of you have asked why she is having a spinal tap. This is a simple way that they explained it to me: leukemia cells are in her blood but they are not in her spinal fluid which is great! However, when the leukemia starts getting blasted out with the chemo treatments, they look for places to hide like the spine and around the brain. They give her chemo in her spinal fluid to prevent them from hiding in there. Tomorrow will be rough since after 8:00am she is on clear liquids only and after 12:00, nothing. The steroids make her very hungry (tonight she has already had 3 bowls of chicken noodle and a bowl of mac and cheese)so she will not be a happy camper tomorrow!!

We have the best nurses here EVER!! I'm so thankful for them. They never fail to ask if we need something and it means so much to me.
I'm also thankful to everyone that has done ANYTHING for us. I can't keep track of it all but I don't want to be unthankful!! Also, thank you for reading our blog and commenting. Your words mean so much to me. I check it when I can throughout the day just to read your kind and encouraging things you say....I'm grateful. A special thank you to my pal, Tonya! Thank you for explaining things to me, telling me what to expect, what to be careful and paranoid about and what not to be! You are truly a blessing and I love you dearly!

Thank God for a great day with Kari. He's continuing to just bless on every side. I know God has a plan through this though it's certainly hard to see it now. So I don't try to. I just want Him to get the glory from it! I don't say that trying to pretend that I'm all spiritual and strong because I'm far from either of those. But I want our lives to glorify God and if He will get the glory from this trial, I'll leave it in His hands. That doesn't mean I won't go kicking and screaming sometimes (lol!) but He will provide the strength to get through it all.

I do ask you to pray for all the others that are here. We've met some great people facing some awful things. One little boy has a rare type of cancer that is hard to treat, one 15 year old girl relapsed recently and is losing her hair again (a teenage girl losing her hair? how sad is that?), a 16 year old boy next to us has AML leukemia, and a little boy Kari's age has the same as Kari but has heart problems on top of it. There are so many more cases here that are heartbreaking but I've seen a strength in these people that amaze me. We lean on each other. The father of the 15 year old girl comforted me last night as I cried and I was able to comfort another mother as she cried about her son in pain. It makes you think outside of your own little world and I encourage each and every one of you to make it a matter of prayer the lives of these children. What if it was your child or your grandchild or your niece/nephew?

I want to encourage you to listen to this song.
I want to draw closer to the Lord through this and have a relationship with Him that goes so deep that I never draw away from it. My baby girl is sick and our world has forever changed and I hate it... but none of this has surprised God. He is in control and I pray that He uses it to make Himself more real than ever to myself, Kari and anyone who is part of our journey.

I apologize for all the rambling. Little Cinderella just fell asleep on my leg and I can't move so I kept typing. I will update as soon as I can tomorrow after Kari's procedure.
Love y'all!