One Year Later…

What a difference a year makes!
What a difference a year makes! Shylah is winning her battle against cancer.

IMG_6165

Today marks the one year anniversary of that fateful visit to the Emergency Room.

Technically, Tarah and Shylah arrived at the E.R. on October 6th, but it wasn’t until the 7th that we actually knew what was causing her to have such a hard time breathing.

Shylah and Tarah in Oct. 2014.
Photo of Shylah and Tarah on October 5, 2014.

This image of Shylah and Tarah is from some family photos that we took just before I left to Washington DC has been the wallpaper on my phone for the past year. This was the last picture of Shylah before we would understand what was causing her labored breathing. Shylah wasn’t feeling well in this photo, but we could not have imagined that in less than 48 hours later she would be diagnosed with lymphoma.

We would spend the rest of October at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

One year later and Shylah is doing great!

Untitled design (1)
Shylah being her spirited self this week during Kaden’s soccer practice.

Our faith, family and friends have helped lighten a very heavy load over the past year. For that, we are forever grateful.  Shylah continues to respond to her treatment protocol. In fact, at Shylah’s most recent meeting with Dr. Pawar, her primary oncologist, Pawar asked Shylah if she was braiding her hair yet. She’s not quite there yet, but we loved hearing that sense of optimism and confidence.

She is on her way.

I love this video that Tarah captured of Shylah brushing her hair. Now that Shylah has entered her “maintenance phase” of her treatment, we’ve seen her hair, her energy and her mischievous ways return. With more energy, she’s off the couch, feeling better and we’ve even found ourselves saying, “where’s Shylah?” a lot lately.  That, ironically, is a great feeling.

Facepainting with Shylah in 2014 before diagnosis and then during this year's trip to Apple Hill.
Facepainting with Shylah in 2014 before diagnosis and then during this year’s trip to Apple Hill.
Shylah invited me to join her for Daddy's and Donuts at her pre-school last week. A wonderful moment. A celebration really.
Shylah invited me to join her for Daddy’s and Donuts at her pre-school last week. A wonderful moment. A celebration really.

While I can’t imagine repeating a year like our last year, in many ways this next year will be an intense one. A year of “wait, watch and see.” While we want to believe the progress we’re seeing is indicative of an ensured outcome, we realize this isn’t the case. So, we continue to pray and are grateful for all of yours. It is more than we could ask for and has meant a lot to us throughout the past year.

Tarah, Shylah and Lance on Shylah's first day of pre-school this year.
Tarah, Shylah and Lance on Shylah’s first day of pre-school this year. She was super excited and loves her class.

Shylah’s maintenance phase consists of almost daily chemo from home and just once a month outpatient infusions at the cancer clinic. If everything goes according to plan, we should be staying out of the hospital during this phase.

Dancing, running and singing, her energy and spirit is returning.
Dancing, running and singing, her energy and spirit is returning.

In the meantime, Shylah’s enjoying her preschool, gaining more and more strength everyday and looking forward to braiding her hair. In fact, her new thing right now is her scooter. She’s scootering around the house like a crazy and we love it.

“You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.” ~ Psalm‬ ‭16‬:‭5‬

Thank you all for joining us on this journey with Shylah. She is winning this battle.

  • Grammy Goodwin

    From those dark days in October last year to this celebration of her progress., God has held it all in His hand. How we Praise Him for His love over your family and to see the smiles on Shylah’s face makes me happier than I can express. Give her a big hug from Grammy. Tell her I miss hanging out with her. Love to all.

  • Megan Spears

    God really is so good. It’s truly an amazing expression of goodness and strength. I love seeing the photos and transformation of Shylahs spirit!