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

Monday, April 9, 2018

Infusion Day

Friends, Team Dempsey needs your prayers- starting now. Tomorrow holds yet another infusion of chemotherapy. He has 16 more of these.

Thankfully, I was wrong recently... he has his procedure day NEXT MONTH- May 2018.

2018:

  • April - Infusion
  • May - Lumbar Puncture with injected chemo into his spinal fluid
  • June - Infusion
  • July - Infusion
  • Aug - Lumbar Puncture with injected chemo into his spinal fluid
  • Sept - Infusion
  • Oct - Infusion
  • Nov - Lumbar Puncture with injected chemo into his spinal fluid
  • Dec - Infusion
2019:
  • Jan - Infusion
  • Feb - Lumbar Puncture with injected chemo into his spinal fluid
  • Mar - Infusion
  • April - Infusion
  • May - Lumbar Puncture with injected chemo into his spinal fluid
  • June - Infusion
  • July - Infusion
  • August - END OF TREATMENT ON THE 5TH!!!!!
    This means he should not receive any infused chemo this month and will take his last pill on this day, a Monday.



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Two Years and Counting DOWN

Today marks the two year anniversary of the day our lives were turned upside down.

It's been two years since I spent the day with Dempsey trying to figure out why his ear wasn't healing and why his lips were losing their color. It's been two years since Jake and Dempsey drove off in an ambulance bound for CHOC. It's been two years since my PTSD was reactivated. It's been two years since cancer entered our world in a deeply personal way.

It's been two years we've seen miracles happen on the daily. It's been two years of learning how to live out Proverbs 3: 5-6. It's been two years since we started planting gospel seeds at and around CHOC. It's been two years of watching the Body of Christ step up to carry us through in ways we would never have expected. It's been two years of experiencing what it means to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:16-18). It's been two years of showing the staff at CHOC what a partnership of western medicine and holistic health practices can produce. It's been two years of sharing the success of Dempsey's journey with everyone who will listen. It's been two years of watching my son THRIVE and be #CANCERKIDFAMOUS!!

As we hit the TWO YEAR mark, we want to share with you the newest way to fund Dempsey's treatment/ protocol costs. Please allow me to introduce you to #CANCERKIDFAMOUS gear!! Here are a few options:


Aren't these incredible? The best part... you can choose the ribbon color that speaks to you. The items have a swatch of ribbon color options on their pages. Ex: orange is for leukemia, black if for melanoma, yellow is for Ewings sarcoma (and others).

I know, you're dying to know where you can grab these goodies. You can order them from my friends at

There are over a dozen items to choose from and they vary from youth to adults sizes. There are even some #TEAMDEMPSEYKENAGY options for those who want your Team Dempsey 2.0 shirt. *wink*

Who wouldn't love to see you with one or more of these pieces showing your love and support for their journey? How many of you have a journey of your own to showcase? Lets share our stories and the power of Christ in them with these gorgeous pieces of gear AND help us pay for Dempsey's treatment/ protocol. Help us keep the miracle going!!

More pics of Dempsey, our living, breathing miracle.
Silly boy.

Mommy-son snuggles.

So dapper. He loves his fancy duds.

Such an artist.

Helping with food bank at Grace EV Free (church).

Bouncing with brother.

Handling his nightly pill(s) like a BOSS.

Knott's Berry Farm fun.

Burger Day at the Habit.

Look at those guns!

He brought Mommy flowers from outside.

More art. Star Wars... of course.

A photo from the 2018 NEGU Gala at the Disneyland Hotel.

Chick fil-A lunch at a park with Saoirse (under the bench).

Headed to Easter at Grace EV Free.

The following are from an incredible VIP Tour of Disneyland we were blessed with.

He got to be a Jedi!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Some Fun Stuff from the Mouth of Dempsey... and Pics

This afternoon, Dempsey and Sawyer went to Farmer Boys with Granny and Granddad. After some amazing discussion yesterday, Dempsey decided he would NOT eat Farmer Boys food (he didn't want to "lose his strength"- as he flexed his guns) and would instead eat "home food" (food from home) at Farmer Boys while the others ate their FB lunch.

So, the trip to FB led to Dempsey eating a PB&J, cheese crackers, and strawberries. But he didn't eat those items. Nope. He ate (aka imagined) them to be other foods. Ex: PB&J = burger; cheese crackers = french fries; strawberries = ketchup.

His mind is always spinning with such creativity. I often wonder what excess is splattered against his brain walls and the creativity whirls around in there like the drum of a washer.
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At the dinner table, amid conversation, Dempsey says... "I'm 2 couch cushions tall."

For reference, he means he is two couch cushions from Granny and Granddad's house tall. LOL
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A few days ago, Jake asked Dempsey to put his shoes on. Dempsey's retort was, "On one condition... why do I have to put shoes on?"
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He really does keep us on our toes. The way he's picking up American idioms is quite surprising and fun because we never know when they will pop out.

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Trampoline fun!
Best. Investment. Ever.


Talias. Always Talias.

That hair! 

Dempsey-doo all snuggled up with one of the most awesomest blankets we were blessed with by Mommy's friend Raichel at Fur Accents. Go, check them out!
  

Dempsey helped make Strawberry Shortcake.



The boys had an incredible opportunity with our homeschool co-op to release doves.




Dempsey's ready to head to CHOC for his procedure day.
This kid LOVES his procedure days. I wish I did.



One of our favorite Child Life peeps- Ashley. This lovely lady is brewing TWINS!
Send some prayers and love her way, will ya.

Dr. Cherrin! Our favorite anesthesiologist.

We are STILL at it. Supplementing this kid like you would not believe- morning and night.
Holistic care (at-home protocols) costs us at least $1,000 per month!!
We still need your help.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Relentless.

Wave after wave... they keep coming. Relentless. An almost daily reminder that we cannot afford this journey on our own. We depend on the Body. We depend on God's economy to see us through.

If you have been a part of this journey in a financial way, I pray the Lord blesses you tenfold.

It often feels like I am the woman who is asked for her lasts... the very thing that will leave her with nothing. But she gives in faith. So, in faith we pour out the monies that God has provided and our bills are met. Our needs are met.

It is a tightrope walk- the managing of Dempsey's funds while working to take care of all of us in a self-care manner. We need the fun stuff too, otherwise this journey grows dim. The emotions of this journey are as varied as the humans that have joined us on it.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

January's Beads of Courage

Dempsey's January set from Beads of Courage at CHOC.

This is one way we can find beauty amidst an ugly journey. Each bead tells a story.
Black beads symbolize pokes (needle through skin for any reason).
Blue symbolizes a clinic visit.
White symbolizes chemo.
There are 31 white beads. Why? Because he gets chemo EVERY DAY.

Dempsey doesn't care about the beads. "I" care about the beads! This journey is about each one of us, not just the patient. Each one of us- father,mother, brother- have given something, have had something robbed from us, and have also been blessed beyond measure.

God is so kind. He allows pain, suffering, trials and always offers fresh dew to our parched souls through words of encouragement... stitches across our broken hearts with each financial gift we receive... nourishment to our weary bodies in the form of time with good, intentional friends... hope through His Word.

I challenge you to find the beauty amidst your yuck today.





Monday, February 5, 2018

Avoided Admission - AMA

Saturday, Feb 3rd was hands down one of the hardest days of this mom's life. In the 21 months Dempsey has been in treatment for Very High Risk Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, we have kept him OUT of the hosptial. By God's grace, with continuous prayer support, holistic methods, and an concerted effort to avoid as many toxic/ synthetic substances Dempsey has been healthy and strong the whole time.

That changed slightly on Saturday. Dempsey ended up having a fever of 103. Now, the difference between your child and my leukemia child is that we have "protocol" that states we "must" go to the ER if Dempsey has a fever of 100.4 for longer than a hour or a fever over 101. Well, 103 is over 101. So, against my gut, I took him to CHOC's ER. What a petri dish!





He was given antibiotics BEFORE they even knew what he had! Turns out he has Influenza A. What good are antibiotics for a virus? The answer - none whatsoever.
He had labs drawn.
He was given fluids.


He was in a room for almost EIGHT HOURS.



The nurses tried to give him Tylenol. I refused. Tylenol is murder on your liver and his is already compromised. No thanks.
The nurses tried to give him Tamiflu. I refused. That crap is gnarly and, again, murder on the liver. No thanks.

I kept a cold compress on him and allowed him to sleep as much as he needed, which was a lot. He ate a NeoLife Bar and drank some NeoLife Shake. He kept drinking water as well and I "treated" him to some orange juice.




His fever hovered at 102.4.









It's strange. I'm not nearly as worried about a fever or the flu as every medical person we came in contact with, even with my cancer kid. It's like they have forgotten what defense mechanisms the body was built with and how they work. Dempsey had only had a fever since about 10am... a mere 4 hrs by the time we went to the ER. From the moment we got there they were trying to break his fever. Why? A fever is a good thing. His body has a virus and the fever is what will put the virus in its place or out of commission. The body needs a little time to do its job. I understand that Dempsey's immune system is being intentionally compromised by chemo... however, his labs have been perfect and he's been otherwise strong and healthy.

The doctors planned to admit Dempsey to the 5th floor. I refused. His labs were great! He had ZERO OTHER SYMPTOMS.
His ANC was 2,940! His platelets were 244! His Hgb was good. His bp was good. His liver enzymes are elevated, not dangerous, but higher than this momma wants them. No "medically necessary" reason to admit him other than observation... which means him staying accessed, people constantly coming into his room to draw labs or take vitals, other hospital activities that make sleeping difficult - and sleep is what he needed most, not to mention who knows what bugs the staff and other patients have brought in the doors. *shudder*

So, the admission? I refused. Then came all the repetition of all the bad, horrible, awful things that could happen to him if we left the hospital... coinfections, respiratory issues... even death. They forgot to mention that all of that could also happen if we stayed in the hospital. Last I checked, medical errors are still the 3rd leading cause of death. I'll take my chances thank you.
Man! The looks I got from all the medial staff. Enough to make you begin to doubt yourself.

It was scary, not gonna lie. I was shaking. I KNOW that I am a smart, educated, loving mother who knows MY CHILD, not to mention I have been helping him THRIVE through forced treatment. I know I have all the good things to care for Dempsey AT HOME. I know I have the right to refuse this admission, especially since it wasn't medically necessary. I was still freaking out. It is HARD to go against the system. They make you feel like you're putting your child in danger, like you don't know what you're doing, like you are not smart, and a bunch of other self-questioning cues. That doesn't include the non-verbal messages they send. Plus, parents of kids in treatment have also had the conversation of basically "do treatment or we'll get CPS involved"... so that's always a thought in the back of my mind.

I was texting cancer moms, nurse friends, friends, family... all for moral support and counsel. I am blessed to have a host of incredible people in my life! Thank you, Jesus!!! All the messages came back the same, it's not necessary for him to stay - take him home.

After I refused the admission, that started a flurry of doctors trying to get me to reconsider. It even meant Dempsey's primary oncologist, who we've not spoken to in almost a year, called me to give me her two cents. She told me "I just worry about Dempsey." Um, thanks? I mean, you worry so much that we haven't heard from you in a year?! Get away from me. Until you can tell me you worry about MY CHILD with every breath you take, you have no ground to stand on with that comment.

I reluctantly agreed to a 2nd antibiotic being given to Dempsey. It felt like the path of least resistance. It shut the doctors up, maybe gave him a little extra support against potential invaders, and I know how to heal his gut and clear him of the drug. I JUST WANTED TO GET HIM HOME. This decision makes me feel weak but I have to give myself grace (so hard to do) because I've never been in this situation before. Now, however, I cannot say that! I have come and conquered this crazy expereince and I am more confident for the future!!

Regardless of my emotions, my baby went home!


He felt so good he told me, "Lets take the stairs... it will feel good to get some energy out." So, up three flights of stairs we went. Take that, people who wanted him admitted.





A few photos from Sunday...














THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND OTHER METHODS OF SUPPORT!!