Biggest Need


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

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2019 - Day 15

I know I don't post here often anymore. In truth, there just isn't much I feel is worth sharing and most people follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

Regardless, I felt the following important to share... as it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September) and I want to continue educating people on ALL facets of childhood cancer.

A mother's perspective...

It has been 1,260 days since our journey with childhood cancer began. In that time an estimated 54,180 children have been diagnosed. Roughly that many families have had their worlds turned upside down. These families have joined a brotherhood they NEVER imagined they would be a part of.

Last night we watched some family videos. The kind that depicted our children when they were small, had a scant vocabulary, and were wildly curious about life and their boundaries. They were precious videos packed with wonderful memories and priceless imagery.

However, for me, cancer has tainted these videos retroactively. Did you know it could do that? Well, it can. As I watched these clips I just kept thinking about how we didn't know what was coming. Did I soak up those moments enough? Did I place enough value on that time with my children? Did I wring out every ounce of joy I could from those seasons?
I can feel the tears coming as I type this.

I look at some videos of Sawyer at 4... 5... 6...7 and how his life changed when we brought Dempsey home. He was almost 4 1/2 when Dempsey came. Sawyer had a normal childhood. Rather uneventful, other than adding a sibling, two cats, and accumulating 3 addresses. He went to birthday parties with no regard for sugar or germs. He played at parks with no hesitation. He never spent a day in the hospital... let alone a month. He went to preschool and Friday School (homeschool) without a care in the world. The worst thing was when he split his eyebrow open on a door jam and needed to have it glued at Urgent Care.

I watched videos of Dempsey at almost 3 years old. Vocabulary growing, wheels you could see turning in his head as he processed an answer to your question. My dear boy with those toddler teeth that I adore and miss so very much. His sweet little voice that would say words with exclamation because he KNEW the answer or wanted so desperately for you to see what he saw. So many clips of him in MOTION. Running, triking, Jeeping, etc. He has always loved to go fast. Those laughable moments when he can see himself in Daddy's camera (view finder) and he'd rather make faces than continue with his activity.

I watched and just kept thinking... we had no clue what was coming. We had no clue that the rug would be YANKED out from beneath our feet. We had no clue the kind of advocating that would be necessary to keep him healthy. We had no clue the things we would say "no" to that others would take for granted. We had no clue that it would take leaving CA to give us control of the journey and, ultimately, the rights every parent should have over their child.

A rush of sadness washed over me. My laughter and enjoyment of these sweet times captured on film turned to grief, and sadness, and anger. I resent cancer. I resent what it has stolen from me. I resent that it has tainted precious moments in the past that were perfect, real, and untarnished. I resent that grief still comes as I look back over Dempsey's childhood. He deserved more! He deserved what Sawyer was afforded.

I try to grieve when the waves come. I know it is wise to do it in its time so that suppressed grief doesn't explode out in an unexpected or awful way. I try to fight back the tarnishing of my memories and our sweet life pre cancer like people try to water a lava flow to stop it from advancing. I feel robbed. Cancer robbed my joy and it continues to try an keep joy at bay. Sometimes, when I'm in this state, praying is hard. I spend too much time trying to preserve things.

I am grateful for those videos. It is my heart's deep desire that I will be able to watch them one day without grief being attached... or at least without grief stealing the joy those moments held.

Cancer retroactively impacts a mother's memories.

Visual aide... from the movie Inside Out:
So, now some of my memories look more like this.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Puzzle Pieces

This is a prayer I prayed FOUR YEARS AGO.

Today I ask for increased discernment. In a world where we are bombarded with information, PLEASE help me to see that which is true and share it. Help me to share in loving ways and not ways wrapped in condescencion. I pray that my mind will be open to logical dialogue and my flesh will not be prone to emotional reaction, which can alter significant impact. I pray that you place before my eyes that which you want me to see so I may learn and grow in wisdom and conviction.
I pray for the hearts, minds, eyes, and voices of my fellow Christians. I pray that we will embark on meaningful discussion knowing full well our opinions and views will not be shared or even welcomed by all we encounter. I pray that you will give us courage to stand strong in our convictions and do so with love and the utmost level of integrity.
Forgive when I fail and fall into sin. I pray that you would rescue me from myself and allow others to be positively impacted by my life.

It was prayed amid my Holistic Nutritionist certification process.
It was prayed 10 months prior to Dempsey's diagnosis.
It was prayed before God showed us our new  mission field - CHOC & the cancer realm.
It was prayed from a genuine heart space and it was answered continuously as we walked Dempsey's journey.
It is even being answered as we march on post treatment.
It was prayed in the past but is still very true in the present.

Have you ever prayed a prayer that is years old but still applies to your life today? Isn't it wonderful how God is faithful to answer our prayers - even if his answers come in ways and times we would not choose? He is ALWAYS WITH US and continues to surprise me, although I shouldn't be surprised by him - he is the only true constant.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It's Been 3 Years

Today, April 3, 2019, marks three years since Dempsey's cancer journey started.

When I think about this journey, I feel like it's a dream and I should be waking up any minute. But the waking up never happens. Then comes the waves of grief.

But, Coral, how can you be grieving when Dempsey is thriving and done with treatment?

That's a fair question. The answer is multi-faceted.

I grieve the loss of the childhood (and life) I envisioned for him. You know, the one every parent prays for - fun in the sun, playdates, birthday parties full of cake and ice cream, eating all the things, going all the places, etc.

I grieve the loss of medical freedom. What I mean is that we will always be leary of things others never give a second thought to - a random bruise, minor leg pain, skin blemishes, low grade fevers, etc. We will always wonder if it's something simple or just the thing that is signaling another life-altering war.

I grieve my physical wellness. Stress has taken a toll on my body and it's like peeling an onion to try and regain what I had once upon a time.

I grieve "normal". Sure, our life can look normal to most. It's what you don't see about our life that shows the difference. The anxiety. The routine clinic visits. The fear. The worry. The sadness. The frustration. The anger. The emotions that rise and fall in the blink of an eye.

I grieve the years we "lost" with Dempsey. He was forced to fight for his life when most kids are fighting for first place in line at school. He was doing school in a hospital instead of a classroom. He was restricted to a handful of "safe places" he could visit while other kids have no limitations. He endured more pokes and prods than his normal peers will face in their lifetime.

It still hurts.

However, is there is great JOY in this life we live now.
We see the sun shining brighter. Laughter boils over more than tears now.
We have seen the Body of Christ act as the hands and feet of Jesus.
We have seen prayers answered in ways we don't deserve.
We have experienced God's provision for us as we took a huge leap of faith.
We have met incredible people that we would never have known if not for cancer.
I would not have Reimagine Healing if not for this journey we walked.
I would not be working toward becoming a Momma Mentor with an amazing organization to help close the community gap between hospitals and cancer families.
I would not have warrior mamas texting/ calling me to share their hearts, fears, struggles, joys, achievements, prayer requests, questions.
We have met sweet Make A Wish volunteers/ employees. We are looking at receiving a blessing (through MAW) that will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity.
We were extremely blessed by a business owner who showered our family with a VIP trip to Disneyland.
It felt like Christmas everyday for months when Amazon packages kept arriving at our home.
We moved to Idaho and found freedom and relief.
We know what real struggle is - the kind that puts your life on the line - and therefore understand the depths of joy that exist.
We have deeper and stronger faith and understanding of God's Word because we spent more time in it.
We have reordered priorities.
We have had 7 months of 24/7 family time - like a mid-life retirement when our kids are still young. SO MUCH JOY!

I want you to know this...

Despite Dempsey being done with treatment, healing is just beginning. January 24th is when the healing really began. That's the day the daily/ weekly/ monthly poison stopped. That's the day we stopped protecting again side effects and began protecting his body from secondary effects! (60% of children who survive will suffer late effects!!) This will continue for YEARS while his body detoxes the chemotherapy and works to stay strong. We will be warding off late effects like cognitive impairment, cardiac issues, hormone imbalances, kidney trouble, social issues, respiratory complications, infertility, etc.

It still costs us about $1,000 per month to supply the necessary alternative support for Dempsey. If you are feeling generous, you can click the link above "we still need you" and it will take you to my PayPal account. I promise that your money will go into the account we have dedicated for Dempsey's health needs. We have made it this far only because of the generosity of others.

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."


Q: what is he sharing?


"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."



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.


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.