cycle two

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Sometimes we just need a reminder that Jesus loves us and that is enough.

But in our flesh, it feels like we need so much more...

that job

that baby

that house

that number on the scale

that mate

those shoes...

I can add so many items to the list, but ultimately He needs to be enough for me and that reminder was painted on the window to Colby's room for cycle one.

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We have successfully completed one cycle and started cycle two yesterday.  Just like with radiation, we are taking some notes about what works best for him. He stays at Duke for a week to get all toxined up and a stem cell transplant.   Then he receives follow-up care with his oncology group back home.  Being in the hospital is a good thing for him--He sleeps, has cute attentive nurses who make sure he feels no pain while basically dosing on and off to sleep watching Sports Center (hello "textinggate" this time around) or old Fresh Prince of Bell Air episodes. The iPhone has been his connection to the outside world of siblings and friends (and also the bleacher report and trivia crack...) but he has had a furry visitor, Duffy, who almost refused to leave his bed.

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We still try to have lots of laughter and routine even in the valley.  I've come to realize that being in the valley doesn't mean that you can't look for the slivers of sunshine that might peek through the clouds.  I intensely dislike cancer and the destruction that it leaves behind.  However, without cancer, I would not have learned

to give it to Him...all of it...and experience His peace

what is really the stupid stuff in life and truly love each other through it

that simply being kind and thoughtful is an underrated and underestimated blessing

that a wise person graciously and humbly and gratefully accepts help when offered and reaches out when overwhelmed

that there can be a lot to learn about life from walking through chemotherapy...those things which feel like they are killing you are actually allowing you to live fully and abundantly.

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Coming home has had its challenges even though we are happy to be back in our beds.  His normal mode of operation once home includes nausea, tiredness, low cell counts and dehydration while going back and forth to the oncology clinic to get fluids and check his cell counts. Colby continues to amaze me as he goes along with whatever we tell him to do...Eat this. Drink that. Lay down. Put on your mask...all the while, tossing his cookies and trying to maintain a positive attitude.  His "Yeah sure, Mom" comes out in a squeaky Stuart Little voice as he tries to be agreeable. His mostly passive countenance and mild demeanor while he is feeling down is what usually breaks my heart for him.

He is such a good kid, I think.

God, please use his burden in a mighty way for him and us and You, I pray.

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All of that is followed by a week and half of sheer boredom since he cannot return to school until the full chemotherapy treatment is over.  That means lots of Doc McStuffin and Curious George with the Littles sprinkled with math work when he is feeling well.  I am secretly...ok, maybe not so secretly...thankful for the time that the Littles have with him.  Having so many siblings running around, it is hard to connect with all of them.  It's been incredibly sweet to see them enjoy being with each other.  When you are thick in the childbearing and toddler chasing years, you think they will never grow up. Then they do...and they get big...and they have friends who they would rather see...and you wish you can turn back the time.  So, I am counting this time as a cancer blessing.

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His baby fine hair that was regrowing after the radiation started falling out again this week. But now we are dusting his eyebrows off his face as well.  Even with that, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with Colby's treatment. Let's just get to May.  He will be done with the toxins. But then there will be the waiting and wondering if it will come back, if the treatment worked.  It is all just a huge weight that you can be buried under if you choose.  It is bondage to fear.  So I keep going back to that quote...

THE KEY TO FEAR : LOVE GOD'S GLORY MORE

Our prayer requests continue to be the same...

Colby staying healthy so that his cycles can start on time since his therapy depends on aggressive treatment.

The other kiddos do not get lost in the shuffle of caring for Colby.  They all have been super troopers in making sacrifices right now but we see the stress come out in various ways depending on the child.

And obviously, God healing Colby on this side of heaven.