Biggest Need

MONEY

It's not glamorous. It's not pretty. It's not fun. It's not creative. It's not ingenious. It's not smart. It's not comical.

It is endearing. It is powerful. It is helpful. It is necessary. It is provision. It is humbling. It is impactful. It is peace-providing.

You have two ways you can give: YouCaring & PayPal

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Park Wisdom






Post-grocery shopping with Daddy at a local park. Here's what Daddy said about Dempsey... "...being social, sharing about his cancer journey."

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Q: what is he sharing?

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"They've been asking about his eye, so he explains that he was on a cancer journey, and that his port is out now, so the thing with his eye is his body getting rid of stuff.

He knows his stuff! And not afraid to talk with others about it."

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I love that my boy is knowledgeable about his body and his journey. I love that my boy is confident about sharing his life experiences and wisdom. ❤️💪❤️🙏❤️

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Another Milestone

Good day, lovely supporters!
Over 24 hours post-surgery and Dempsey is doing Great! We give thanks to God for the positive ways he answered so many prayers.


I wish I could make everyone understand God is still in the business of miracles... although, the miracles may not look like Dempsey’s set of miracles. Some miracles are hard for us to swallow or accept. Some miracles don’t come when we want or come the way we want.

Here is Dempsey doing devotions with his dad as they watch What’s in the Bible. He just exclaimed “That’s better than my port coming out!” He explained that the thing better than his port removal was - Jesus’ resurrection. Amen, Dempsey, amen!


In celebration of this milestone for Dempsey (all of us, really), we wanted you to know you could celebrate with us from afar. As many of you know, the boys have Amazon Wish Lists. If you feel like you want to show your love and support tangibly, the links are provided below.

God bless. ❤️

Dempsey’s Amazon List

Sawyer’s Amazon List

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What Happens Now?

So, we are almost TWO WEEKS post treatment for Dempsey. However, the cancer journey doesn't end simply because treatment does. You see, all of treatment Dempsey was being pumped full of toxins  - compounds known to cause cancer, and a plethora of other awful side effects.

While we were constantly working hard to protect his body from those negative effects, we just never know for certain what effects these toxic substances have had or will have on his little body. The impact of his treatment, the very thing doctors say saved his life, is the very thing that has the potential to hold him captive in NEW ways into his future. The following stats are shared from MaxLove Project (one of my favorite organizations in the childhood cancer realm).



Yet, an image MaxLove Project used to have on their site showed some other not-so-great statistics for childhood cancer survivors. Here it is:
Take a look at the PINK circle. 1,400% increased risk for congestive heart failure?! Does that alarm you? As the mother of a victorious warrior this statistic tugs on my fear thread, repeatedly. The lowest of these percentages is 250% increase in risk for metabolic dysfunction. Yes, this even covers a secondary cancer.

So, you can see why it is VITAL that we continue to fight for Dempsey's body. WE STILL NEED YOU. This marathon hasn't ended despite his treatment being over. The real healing is just beginning. Not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well... especially for me. This mama has PTSD and carries the weight of Dempsey's health as her responsibility. Believe me, I know the Lord is good. Just look at the journey we have walked. If you haven't read the posts from April 2016 (started April 4th), I encourage you to go read them. They are raw, real, honest, and powerful.

I was rereading my posts from back then. All. The. Emotions. Like a flood of the most mixed-up collection of emotions that I can't make heads or tales of. I'm sure I need to have another breakdown but it's just not quite ready yet. You might be wondering why on earth I would need a breakdown when we were just able to cease the toxin flow through Dempsey's body. Well, simply put... I have to adjust to another "new normal". This isn't the first time I have had to do this. It's just this time is to fight for my child's health in a different way. A way that uses the natural... the good... that which has been created by God, not man. However, this time the fear is slightly different. Rather than fighting current side effects of toxic drugs (which Dempsey didn't experience, praise God!) we are fighting the potential secondary issues - of which there are many.

Prayer requests:
For wisdom
For peace
For faith
For financial resources to continue fighting holistically
For purpose
For protection of Dempsey
For emotional healing
For psychological healing
For miraculous health
For thorough detoxification
For greater attention to diet
For blessings along Dempsey's life
For protection of his fertility
Pray against secondary issues
Pray against fear
Pray against PTSD
Pray against anxiety
Pray against second-guessing
Pray against doubt

Friday, January 25, 2019

1st Day of FREEDOM

For those of you not on social media, I wanted to share the BIG news from yesterday.

DEMPSEY ENDED TREATMENT!!

We were able to end SIX MONTHS early, praise God. Moving to Idaho was the single most significant variable to change about our circumstances. Now we get to adjust to yet another new normal. One we are most eager to embrace.

What next? A follow-up appointment next week for blood work. A referral to surgery to schedule his port removal. A set of tests (EKG, TSH (thyroid), and one other I can't remember) to create a baseline for post treatment. Then, a myriad of follow-up appointments for the next few years, should we choose to follow St Luke's "standard" protocol (we might, we might not).

We wanted to shout a huge, heart-felt THANK YOU to each of you. Your support, prayers, and encouragement along this marathon have been orchestrally instrumental for the journey. I am sad that I cannot be there in person to share this celebratory milestone with you... but I know we share the same Spirit.

Enjoy the photos.








Also, February first marks the launch of my business - Reimagine Healing (.com). I will be a tour guide of sorts, available for hire to walk alongside whoever wants a bigger picture for their cancer journey.


Saturday, December 1, 2018

"I miss CHOC"

Dempsey, out of the blue, states "I miss CHOC."

So, I asked him what he misses.

He said "Well, they had that TV section..."

The Infusionarium? "Yes"

"And how nice they were."

They were really nice to him. They treated him well at OPI.

It makes me happy that he remembers the good things and not the things that caused my PTSD to go off the rails. That is God's faithfulness and provision and the multitude of answered prayers.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Change in the Wind

I don't quite know how to share what has transpired since my last post just 5 days ago. Let me give it a shot.

Dempsey had his monthly infusion/ lab appointment on Monday (11/26). Routine.

The way it works at St. Luke's is vastly different than it works at CHOC. Each visit at SL goes like this:
Check-in, waiting room
Port-in (needle in his chest), waiting room
Vitals, waiting room
Meet with the Dr (ONC) and a nurse

The Dr examined Dempsey and asked all the routine questions. Then he asked if we had any questions or concerns.

That's when Jake and I looked at each other and I stated "I would like to have a serious discussion about dropping the remaining lumbar punctures and steroids." Dr nodded, smiled, and said "Lets talk about that." So, we did. I mentioned how steroid psychosis is real and that I feel it's more damaging to Dempsey as a WHOLE PERSON than the perceived benefit. I went on to mention that I want to drop the 3 remaining lumbar punctures because I'm concerned about continuing to inject cancer-causing drugs into a cancer-free space.

To my surprise, the Dr was completely okay with granting my request. He even went so far as to say "Well, you're the parents... it's ultimately your call." He seemed almost eager to drop the steroid pulses. He feels that element is the weakest link in this phase of treatment because they are forced to forego the steroids with kids who develop osteopenia (or other bone compromising issues) and their treatment outcomes don't differ from those kids who took the steroids. Our ONC is a fan of not doing drugs if we don't have to. He has even conceded that we are probably overmedicating these kids... but we just don't know. He knows childhood cancer treatment is a guessing game and is willing to talk about that. He is well read and versed in the studies that are available and he is well read on the drugs they use.

So, as of Monday, November 26th, Dempsey will not be scheduled for any more lumbar punctures and will not receive any more steroids. THREE LPs and EIGHT rounds of steroids that will not be administered!! Praise God. This is a big deal, folks.

That was Step #1, and it was successful.

Step #2 will probably be getting his monthly infusions of Vincristine dropped. That would mean there would be no need for his port and we could consider getting that foreign body removed from his chest. One step closer.

Maybe Step #3 is ending treatment altogether - removing the remaining two chemo drugs he takes orally and a daily/ weekly basis.

If Step #3 is met, then we would hope to continue with this ONC for all of Dempsey's follow up appointments. I think they go somewhat like this: monthly for six months, quarterly for a year, semi annually for a year, yearly for a few years. We won't hear "cure" until 2024 (5 yrs post EOT, end of treatment).

Please continue to pray for us through this journey. There are so many variables and what ifs wrapped up in it, I cannot even begin to convey the weight of this journey. However, there are victories being had and healing is a day to day choice that requires intention and action. Dempsey's journey continues to impact others and bring cancer warriors to us. I am honored to be the sounding board, listening ear, encourager to warrior mamas who feel this close to losing there ever-loving minds.

This journey is a lonely one. It's isolating. It's scary. It's challenging on levels you can't fathom unless you've walked it. It can be so beautiful as well... but that takes some effort to see most days. The fear is deep and wide and the glimmers of blessing of joy flicker in the darkness for a short time. So, we run fast and hard to that shimmering in the distance and hope we run fast enough to catch it and hold it for even a moment.

WE STILL NEED YOU... in more ways than prayer! We still need monies to support the holistic methods we have employed, with great success, for Dempsey's thrivability. NeoLife continues to be the major element of need as that lays a more solid nutritional foundation for his body that keeps getting challenged by these drugs. doTERRA is the next major element of his holistic care as we do our nightly regimen of oils over his whole precious body. We have people who have chosen to pick one product and supply it each month... this is a wonderful option and I am happy to discuss how you can do that. Others have chosen to give money to us so that we can purchase the supplements and oils we need to maintain his regimens. Whatever money we are given via Venmo, PayPal, or checks - we deposit it all into Dempsey's Health (savings) account. Then, as we place orders and have to pay bills, we take money from the account. It has been a HUGE blessing to have funds readily available. We are still quite far behind, though. Dempsey's at-home protocol costs us about $1,000 per month.

All this to say, when you see Dempsey THRIVING, as he is, this is a direct reflection of the holistic health modalities we have employed for him alongside allopathic/ conventional treatment. When families ask for financial support, it's not because we are stealing from you (although, there are those fraudulent persons out there)... it's because insurance doesn't cover ANY of what we need to help our children survive and thrive through and after treatment. THIS is an atrocity. We are paying for healthcare... we should be able to get the treatment methods we desire covered! Consider this when you vote. Read up on health related propositions. It may not impact you directly, but someone you love needs to be educated, aware, and active.

WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOU! We are deeply appreciative of you who have continued on this marathon with us. It doesn't end when his treatment does. We will be walking a version of this journey forever. We hope you will hang with us.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Still Running this Marathon

Friends and readers,

I'm so sorry it's been so long between posts. Maintenance really is a time when things get "easier" from a medical/ schedule standpoint. We are down to nightly pills (mercaptopurine - 6MP), weekly addition of second chemotherapy pill (methotrexate - MTX), monthly infusions of a third chemotherapy drug (vincristine) and steroid pulses (prednisone), and quarterly lumbar punctures with IT MTX.

Beyond that, nothing is changing treatment wise. We are praising God still for His continuous protection of our boy. It is indescribable, the way that Dempsey is thriving and managing to "sail" through this treatment that is totally compromised of carcinogenic toxins being repeatedly ingested or injected into his precious little body.

Forgive me if I don't sing the praises of doctors and medical people... I believe the system is broken (despite the people in it having good hearts and honorable intentions) and the way my child is being treated makes zero sense to me. Yeah, I've read the studies that the docs get their protocol from. As any student who has taken statistics knows, data can be manipulated and lead to prove whatever outcome you're looking for. Lets not also forget that these medical professionals do not talk at all about the need to build up the body's immune system, feed it well with nutrient-dense foods, exercise it to help it detox/ process out all the toxins... No. Instead I have been told "The liver is a resilient organ... we are comfortable with pushing it to its limits and then backing off because it recovers well." What?! Continuing to push an organ to its limits is insanity, especially when that organ is already weakened by the presence of the MTHFR mutation - as is Dempsey's.

With all the research I have read, the experience we've had with Dempsey, the learning from others who have chosen other paths to heal their children... my goal is to end Demspey's treatment early. I don't know what that means, exactly, or how that's going to play out. He has 9 months left and that is just too many. He has another infusion this coming Monday and we will discuss the process of beginning his follow-up care early, meaning putting an end to treatment and really focusing on detoxing his body, building up his gut microbiome, and strengthening his immune system that has been beat down since April of 2016.

Please be in prayer over this situation. We need prayer for the following:

  • wisdom for ourselves
  • peace for all parties
  • grace from me to whoever speaks to me
  • calm discussions
  • an open heart and mind from the oncologist
  • agreement to end treatment early
  • a willingness from the doc to listen to our hearts about ending treatment
  • we need God to continue leading us along this journey
  • if the Lord chooses to keep doors closed then we ask that he provide peace for us (me)
  • that any negative effects of this journey on Dempsey are mitigated and removed
  • that we can open medical eyes to the power of holistic modalities that are currenlty ignored or lacking education
  • strength for Jake and I to stand our ground, no matter what may come from a system created by man
  • that God will be glorified
  • for me to keep my gun-blazing mouth appropriate and gracious
  • even tempers for all
  • articulate presentation of our stance and desires
  • the Holy Spirit leads