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, January 18, 2018

Not Feeling Heard

I posted the following in a Facebook group I'm in that is for holistic cancer parents.
Okay... I don't think Dempsey can handle steroids anymore. This round he's ended up with "itching" between his fingers (neurological), there are no physical/ outward indications. He seems more bipolar-ish with his emotions. I can't tell how much of that is steroids vs being a 6 yr old boy! He is starting to say more and more unkind things and that IS NOT who he is!
I am not on great terms with his primary ONC. I want to reach out to an NP I like and who I've talked to before.
I am worn out like your favorite pair of sweat pants... where the waist cord is gone so you roll them... where the thigh part is thin because you've never had a gap there... where there are stains feom cooking woes, baby woes, PMS woes... you catch my drift?
I don't think I (or my family) can handle the steroids anymore! WHAT DO I DO?

The responses I got are varied. Most are comforting and helpful. Some, despite being holistic-minded are still quick to defend allopathic ways.

I added this to that thread just now...
Just got off the phone with an NP I like. Anyone else feel like they jUST DON'T HEAR YOU?? Explaining to them that my son's personality is different and it's affecting his quality of life and I get the response "well, steroid psychosis is a known side effect... and the steroids are such an important part of treatment for the cancer he has..." Seriously? I'm shaking, the adrenaline is too much. I feel like they don't care that my son is changing!! They just care about their studies and protocol... none of which I've actually seen, let alone read.
I can see why people up and leave the country and go into hiding!
I was also told that the itchiness is more a side effect of vincristine than the steroids... um, we've NEVER had a problem with vincristine (21 months in now) but the steroids are an issue AND itchiness IS A LISTED SIDE EFFECT OF PREDNISONE!!!!!!!

I truly feel like the medical "professionals", who have legal access to my child, don't listen to me. They don't have to live my child 24/7 and feel the effects of their precious protocol treatment. I just can't. This is all too much and my son is suffering in the name of "health". It makes NO SENSE. None. When we know there are natural ways to deal with this.

Y'all need to pray for me because I can't pray. I feel like I've used all the words and felt all the feels possible and I'm nowhere. I don't even know what to pray for anymore because my words have run out.

Prayer requests:
pray against negative side effects
pray for miraculous healing
pray that the dr loses her mind and allows us to cease steroid use and end his treatment early
pray for medical eyes to be opened
pray for doctors to start seeing patients as PEOPLE instead of numbers and statistics
pray against the itchy sensations Dempsey has
pray away steroid psychosis
pray protection over every part and element of Dempsey (organs, emotions, mentality, psersonality, spiritual, etc)
pray for doors and options to open miraculously
pray for stregnth
pray for peace
pray for faith
pray for endurance
pray that we will have more supporters re/join us on this journey
pray as you feel led

Monday, January 15, 2018

God, You Are A Good God

Lord,

For the last few weeks you've really only heard me yelling. I want to apologize but you already know my heart. You know that I struggle every day in the war between my flesh and my spirit. You know that I'm physically worn out because I'm emotionally and mentally worn out... which means I'm spiritually worn out as well.

This cancer journey (and other areas of life) has me leveled. I know people see me and they see strength and wisdom and a mama bear attitude. I am thankful that I can portray those qualities but I'm really just me. Really just clammoring at anything that might help me help my boy lick this beast. I'm cramming my head so full of information chaos seems so insignificant a description.

But...

You have provided me with two clients. You have added another marathoner to our monthly support. You have given me an opportunity to work with people I have missed, people I love, my family once again - even if it's temporary. You have guided me to a church that I pray will help me heal and grow in the ways you need me to. You sent sweet words to my heart from a dear friend, who I respect deeply. You are moving in my loved ones in ways give me hope. You have provided a holistic mentor/ teacher who has even reached out to my son to connect and bring encouragement from new places. You have shown me how important simplicity is - doing things the "old fashioned way". You have reminded me how important face to face connection is and how much sweeter the relationship is with people I can go deep with, be messy with. You have pruned my friend tree and although there is pain there is also healing happening. You are allowing the seasons of my life to change and I am trying to be teachable. I am trying to force gratitude to break my selfishness into submission. I am trying to bench press positivity because anxiety has brought me low. I'm trying to exercise my voice because I feel fear has made me mute. I am trying to kick down doors within myself so the real me can feng shui energy right out of my very pores.

Help me, Lord. Help me.

I know Dempsey is thriving but every day I worry. You tell me 365 times to worry but 365 x 365 times I worry still. I know you love him more than I do but my heart is afraid of what it imagines. I am so weak. So very weak. Humanity is so frail and so many take it for granted as though they are Superman but even impervious to kryptonite. Praise be to you that they have not glimpsed or felt the fragility of human health.

I fight so hard, Lord. As hard as I can. I fight with my own strength. Forgive me. It's what I know. It's what my limited mind can comprehend. But I am broken. Leaking life day by day.

Help me, Lord. Help me.

Whisper to my heart. Hold me steady so I can't run away to control things in my own way and in my own time. Hold me until I break so that I can finally hear your words and see your path before me. Linger with me so I don't doubt. Break my walls so I can feel... even if it hurts. I spend so much effort holding back the feelings... mainly because I'm tired of feeling.

Amen

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Steroids Again


If you have never experienced steroids for yourself, or dealt with a child on them, consider yourself blessed. You have been spared an emotional upheaval.


For those who understand this particular hell, please pray protection and peace over Dempsey and our family. These 5 day pulses are BRUTAL and this mama is already weary.


#prayfordempseykenagy #leukemia #steroids #childhoodcancer #cancersucks #thrivorship #prayer #westillneedyou

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A World Vision Christmas


Our family decided to do something different this Christmas. Instead of spending money on our loved ones who have access to everything they need and much, much more... we are taking our "Christmas fund" and shopping the World Vision catalog.

So, in your honor, this year we are buying the following:
1 goat
2 ducks
3 rabbits
4 chickens
&
​a share in a fish pond

 

We had a lovely family discussion about this idea and the boys were totally on board. They love the idea that a small gift/ investment from us can end up impacting a whole village of people.

See, chickens aren't just chickens. They are food - eggs, meat. They can provide income - selling of excess eggs and offspring. The income they generate helps pay for other necessities the family has.
The same goes for ducks and rabbits (well, not the egg part).
A goat is similar to the others except that the milk it provides can be turned into cheese, yogurt, and other food items for consumption or for selling. Their offspring can also be sold for profit.

You can see how impactful this investment will be in the lives of one or more who have so little. We have prayed over this investment/ gift and are believing that the Lord will multiply this gift like only He can.

World Vision has many items in their catalog to choose from - not just agriculture. I'm sure you would find something that speaks to you for your next gift-giving opportunity.


If you want to support Dempsey, here are two active links.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Positive Post

In an effort to share more positive things, I give you this post...

Dempsey is:
THRIVING through treatment. He still maintains the no negative side effects stemming from treatment. This is miraculous!
DEFYING the "norm" the CHOC employees talk about. 😀

Enjoying 1st grade. He LOVES art. I swear, we need to be planting SO MANY trees to replace the ones needed to create all the pieces of paper he's used. His medium doesn't matter that much to him but he tends to use markers most.

Growing in his understanding of Scripture and spiritual matters. His questions about the topic show an uncanny awareness of this arena and it encourages me. He is eager to participate in Sunday School at the Warehouse OC and works to memorize those verses to earn Bible Bucks. He enjoyed participating in the kids Christmas choir at the Warehouse OC as well. It was a wonderful first experience for him and I am thankful for the opportunity he had, along with Sawyer, so sing, dance, and glorify God in this manner.

Active. Running, jumping, playing soccer, and some new break dancing or mixed martial art-ish moves - we're not quite sure which distinction is more accurate.

Reading more and more. He is interested in learning to read, therefore he is picking it up quickly and we can tell he is having fun getting smarter in this way.

Taking on more responsibility - on his own. It is precious... I just watched him walk from the kitchen to our dining table, a spoonful of water in hand, gingerly stepping toward and slowly watering Sawyer's new "pet"... a Venus Fly Trap plant. 😉  He helps with trash cans, bringing those big ol' things in from the street on trash days. Helping Sawyer do the laundry (I am completely removed from this entire process).
Tonight he even took his pill by himself, mostly. I cut it and put it in the banana but he took the pieces and bites all on his own (I had to leave to pee).

Working on his writing ability. He works in a workbook to train those little fingers to write and recognize letters and words. This also helps with his reading.

Hitting every milestone/ marker just like a normal 6 year old would. He is growing in height and weight just as he should. ALL of his baby teeth are still tightly fixed in his mouth... which is surprising to me considering at his age Sawyer had already lost at least 4. (I know, kids start losing their baby teeth between 6-7 generally speaking.)

Eating so well. He eats whatever we put in front of him. Even if he doesn't love it he eats it because he knows it's good for him. I love that my 6 year old is taking such ownership of his own health. He has surpassed my by like 20 years!

Opening doors like the little gentleman he is. Not only for me, as he tells Sawyer, "Ladies first", but also for others... and not only ladies but other men as well.

Still enjoying his technology time. It has been limited for quite some time and only recently have we (I) let up a little to allow a bit more screen time. Since he's not reading on his own it makes no sense to force him to stare at book while I visit the chiropractor or whatnot. So, a little iPhone playtime is allowed. He gets annoyed with me because I tell him "You can watch something... but it has to be educational." [insert Dempsey's eye roll here]

Deepening his brother bond with Sawyer. The relationship and respect they have for each other is awesome, in every sense of the word. They play together well. They even argue well. The communicate well 90% of the time. The really don't like being apart for too long. Each gets sad when the other is away for longer than they think they should be. It really is the best brother bond I've seen in children their age. Blessed.

Developing his own personality more and more. He is a bonafide knucklehead and goofball. He is becoming a master of sass and sometimes pushes the envelope a hair too far and gets called out for it. He is funny! His jokes aren't always that great but I think they will just get better as his vocabulary increases. He's a stinker and a jokester. This kid definitely adds so much laughter to our home.

Increasing his holistic health knowledge. He usually knows which essential oil he needs for whatever is ailing him. He is so oil-aware that when Sawyer is struggling in some way he will go fetch the appropriate oil to support Sawyer. Precious. He is articulate when it comes to nutrition as well. At stores he knows what labels to look for and what words to avoid. He rarely asks for anything that is processed much or contains a ton of ingredients with words that are long and foreign.

Cultivating a deeply sensitive heart. Out of the steroid stresses we can still see that he cares about relationships and when the steroids breakdown the communication he FEELS that. He doesn't like when people are not okay.

Constantly brave beyond what any of us can imagine. The way he handles his cancer journey is incredible and inspiring. I hope to be as brave as he is when I grow up.

Ever-growing in his love and knowledge of all things Star Wars. Much to my dismay, Star Wars is a HUGE part of life in my home. My boys LIVE it daily. Music. Legos. Costumes. Pretend play. Conversation. Art/ drawings. Home videos. Clothes/ pajamas. You name it.


There you have it, friends. A delightful list of positivity regarding Dempsey and his journey with cancer and CHOC. Don't you wish every cancer patient could have this kind of success on their journey?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas
Here is our 2017 Christmas card. Hope you enjoy it.
Please accept this digital version as we cannot afford to send cards to everyone we value.



Photo credit goes to Mrs. Keriann Converse of Keriann Converse Photography.

We are deeply thankful and grateful to all of you who are with us on this journey. We know that many have dropped off over the last 20 months, but you are still here!! YOU are still with us and that is such a blessing. I realize it is a sacrifice to stay with us and trudge this epic journey. Your sacrifice is not in vain. It IS acknowledged. It IS felt. It IS appreciated. We pray that it is returned tenfold.

This Christmas season, please don't lose sight of the real reason we celebrate. We celebrate because our Redeemer came into this world to bring us hope... to bring us reconciliation with our Creator. He came to live the only spotless life ever lived so that it could be offered as a sacrifice of atonement for our sinfulness. What an amazing truth!

Lets remember that we are messengers of HIS message. We are to behave in ways that reflect Christ and are a stark contrast to the behvior of the world - those apart from Christ. Lets keep our minds in the Word, our hearts in worship, and our will in line with the Spirit. This will ensure our ability to be light in the darkness - what an honor. Care less for the trappings that distract and care more for the people who need a message of hope eternal. This is the prayer for my family as well.

We pray blessings over you. We pray for you: peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness. We pray that your roots grow deeper in Him so that your branches and fruit may reach farther and farther for the Kingdom.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Update: Thanksgiving and a Look at December

I shared about Dempsey's recent procedure day (click here) and I caught you up on photos (click here). Now, let me share about Thanksgiving and give you a look at what December holds for Dempsey.

THANKSGIVING
A time of year dedicated to intentional thankfulness. At times this feels like an absolute crock... why do people wait to be thankful until this season is upon us? Wouldn't it be healthier, on all fronts, if we were thankful every single day? Just a thought.

Anywho... Thanksgiving Day was simple. We purchased the meal from Sprout's (next year we'll try Lucille's) and my parents hosted us at their house. I made apple crisp for dessert to round out the festive meal.
We went around the table, each sharing something we were thankful for. Sawyer started... and then also finished because he wanted a redo. Bless his heart. Then... wii. The boys and Jake played some Nintendo wii. A favorite past time that gets little attention since our family entered a season of "tech fasting".

Personally, this time of year is hard. I have to actively and intentionally WORK to remain thankful. This is our second Thanksgiving since Dempsey's diagnosis and it is still such a stress to overcome.

DECEMBER
December holds my birthday (12/2), two co-op days (12/1 & 12/8), a visit with Gram, an infusion day (12/12), a Christmas performance at the The Warehouse OC (12/9 & 12/10), and Christmas.
Such a busy time of year. Such a wonderful, holy time of year.


NEW ITEMS TO MENTION
Cancer Kid Famous is coming to Instagram! It is a store that will only offer a handful of unique items for one week each month. Something for Mom. Something for Dad. Something for Kid. Something for the Fans. Be sure to check back each month to see what items are available! Click here to follow Cancer Kid Famous on Instagram.
Cancer Kid Famous will eventually be more than a store. 😃

I, Coral, became a Wildtree Independent Representative. Why? Simply because it completes the holistic lifestyle my family and I embody and promote. Clean ingredients, no GMOs, largely allergen-free, no MSG, no dyes, no additives, no trans fats, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, low sodium, low sugar, and no high fructose corn syrup! How could I not do this?!


WE STILL NEED YOU!

PRAYER REQUESTS:
pray against negative side effects
pray for peace
pray for wisdom
pray for protection
pray for miraculous healing
pray for strength
pray for love
pray for faith
pray for thankfulness
pray for obedience
pray for endurance
pray against the enemy's attacks
pray for our marriage
pray for Sawyer
pray for Dempsey's emotional heart
pray for the medical team
pray for CHOC
pray for those involved in Dempsey's treatment
pray over the future
pray that we can remain present in the now
pray for normalcy
pray for understanding from those watching this journey
pray for grace
pray for the Fruits of the Spirit to ripen
pray for our mission field (the cancer world)
pray that we don't waste one moment or opportunity within this journey
pray that finances would multiply and extend beyond us to others
pray God is always glorified through this
pray as you feel led