I've been told that my recollecting on the beginning of our journey has brought up quite a few bad memories for other members of our family. That was not my intention at all. My purpose is to remind and be reminded of just exactly how God has helped us through!
After July 4th when we returned to our "normal" lives, Kari remained very tired, our of breath and just overall not well. For 3 days I was concerned but tried to leave it alone. However, when I went to work Thursday, I dropped the kids off at aunt Lacey's house; they were going to play there that day and have a great time. Lacey called me shortly after I arrived at work and said that Kari was burning up with fever and was screaming for me. I assumed she hadn't rested enough and was simply tired and needed me. But there was an odd feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I picked her up at Lacey's where she had dropped into an exhausted sleep. She woke up quickly and immediately began crying. By the time we reached our house, she was rolling in the floor in pain. Pappy and Gammy came over and we prayed for bout 30 minutes. When it didn't ease up, we took her into the emergency room and left Malachi with Lacey. I was prepared to force whatever doctor was there to do blood work and tests. What I wasn't prepared for was a young medical intern who listened intently and immediately ran tests and began blood work. After 3 different nurses came in to get blood work, we knew something wasnt right.
To shorten this down, that doctor sent us to UK to the children's hospital where we were met by our wonderful friends and family who were praying and were there to encourage us. I was so thankful to have them there. I'm not a loner, I prefer people by my side when times are tough! After an official bone marrow biopsy the next day, our greatest fear was confirmed. Kari had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
I rarely forget anything in times like those. It usually plays over in my mind quite often and little bits and pieces of the details come back to me. One thing I remember is that I was a WRECK that first night. I thought when they told us her diagnosis that I would totally lose it. However, such a peace came over me when we found out that I ended up being the one to comfort the rest of our family! God was merciful and gracious to all of us and we quickly came together as a family to get things done. Malachi needed taken care of, we needed clothes and things from our house, I needed bills paid and "life" taken care of while we stayed at the hospital. Chris and Lacey kept Malachi the majority of the time. Lacey decided she wanted to be a "stay at home aunt" for a few weeks. LOL! Malachi was taken care of so well and I am very appreciative. My mom, Gammy, and Pappy also took turns with him when they weren't at the hospital with Kari and I. I invite you to go back to last July's posts and read how God kept his hand on us through that first very terrible month.
When I think back to what all God has done for us and how He has encouraged in the darkest times, provided financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually...it overwhelms me. God has truly kept his hand on our family and most of all, Kari. I've watched my little girl (still a baby, really) blossom into this fantastic little fireball of courage, faith, hope, and confidence. She touches people's hearts just by sitting and talking to them. She sings with such a confidence and assurance of who she's singing to...I cry just talking about it. If she has been chosen to go through this, I'm thankful that God will someday make her a great testimony for HIM!
I also have to commend Malachi. He has adjusted so well to everything that has happened. He's learned to pray for his sister and be protective over her and I. He is such a big help to me and was always very gentle with Kari when she was at her worst. I remember thinking that it was gonna be a nightmare when I brought her home from the hospital and to take care of both of them by myself with Kari so sick...I couldn't have been more wrong. We have had ROUGH days but God has truly helped us come together and make it work here at home. Not everyday has been awesome, that's a given. But our good days outweigh the bad thanks to a great and mighty God!
Thanks to all of you that have helped us through this past year. I can honestly say that I have added MANY friends to our list in the past 12 months. It blows me away that God has placed such awesome people in our lives. My family (ALL of you) is amazing. Pappy, Gammy, Sissy Bran, Memaw, Aunt Lacey, and Uncle Chris...you all have pulled together like none other to make everything easier for us to handle. We love you with all our hearts!
Most of all...thank you, Jesus for being there and for making it possible to get through the tough times of life and survive! But not only survive, but also to have joy and peace and happiness in the middle of it!
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