I continue to be amazed by the generosity of our friends, family and complete strangers.
While I would not wish childhood cancer on any family, I would want every family going through such a trial to experience the care, concern, love and support our family continues to receive along this long road of battling cancer with Shylah.
So many people have done some many things for us since Shylah’s diagnosis in October, that we’ve literally not been able to keep up or keep track. Personally, I struggle with this because ideally I would want to reach out and thank everyone of you. In fact, in the beginning, I was focused on repaying everyone until a good friend came alongside me to say (and I’m paraphrasing), “you can’t, don’t try, just let it be. Your feelings are a “guy thing,” but trust me you’ll get used. You have to.”
I’m still getting used to it.
So, I was overwhelmed again when I saw an event pop up on my Facebook feed called, “Helping Hands Fiesta for Shylah.”
A fundraiser is being organized in Shelton, WA, my hometown, for Shylah.
What is more amazing is that most of these caring people who are organizing and attending have yet to even meet Shylah. This makes it even more difficult for a father to express the sense of gratitude that wells up in you when you think about the sacrifice and selflessness involved in planning and organizing an event for a little girl you may only know through Facebook or a blog post. It is amazing, really.
I know not everyone will be able to attend this event, but this event is inspiring me to say thank you again, to everyone.
For the socks, the books, the meals, the gift cards, the donations, the mountain peaks, the game day peanut sales and bake sales; thank you. I can’t repay you all. I can’t even thank you all individually, but we are grateful. Every card, box, call, message and text has been a source of encouragement during such a difficult season in life.
As Shylah enters her 5th round of treatment, we are encouraged by all of you and we live with the hope that God will see us through this and that His grace and mercy will be extended to Shylah and our family and that her life will forever be an inspiration of the hope and peace we find in Jesus Christ.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ~ Romans 8:31:32
Check out the “Helping Hands Fiesta for Shylah” Facebook page:
I’ve been remiss in not updating everyone since Tarah and Shylah came home on Thursday night. Honestly, it was a pleasant surprise and totally unexpected. These hospital stay infusions have usually required extra time for Shylah’s body to recover and hit the numbers she needs to be released.
She is doing great and in great spirits. It is almost like she knows that this last stay in the hospital will be her last for these intensive infusions. The team at UC Davis Children’s Hospital was great. The staff gave her a warm birthday greeting when she arrived on Sunday, with fun gifts and then celebrated her release on Thursday. There are no more planned overnights for chemo treatments! The only foreseeable reason she would need to be admitted again will be if she fevers. Of course we’re still going to be looking at a long road of outpatient treatments, but this was a milestone moment on her journey.
We all said goodbye to Grammy on Friday and said good morning to Uncle Guy and Aunt Robin this morning. They arrived late last night and the kids were so excited to see them this morning. The extra help is such a blessing.
So, after almost a week in the hospital, Shylah seemed to be able to “Shake It Off” while she made cornbread for dinner and rocked out to Taylor Swift (I like how she stirs to the beat).
Thank you all for all of the birthday wishes. She had such a wonderful birthday, not one we expect her to forget. And thank you all for your continued prayers. We are blessed by so many of you who continue this journey with us through childhood cancer. Thank you.
Shylah turns 4 today!
She is so excited.
And so are we!
In fact, we all stayed up late last night preparing the house and few gifts for her Birthday morning. Kaden was so excited to be celebrating Shylah’s birthday that he insisted on staying up late last night to help us decorate. He was a big help.
The theme…Frozen, of course!
So, we’ve started celebrating this morning, but Shylah has another hospital stay that begins today. Once again, she and Tarah will spend the next three to four nights in the hospital for this scheduled treatment that requires 24hr care and attention to the infusion process. Not the best timing, but that means we’ll just have to make this “birthday week,” culminating with a birthday party on Sunday after she returns home (hopefully by Saturday).
Between Easter Sunday and her birthday today, we are filled with hope and gratitude. We are so grateful for these four years with Shylah. We are so grateful for God’s promise. This battle can be dark, scary and overwhelming, but to watch her sing, raise her hands and worship with us on Easter Sunday provides perspective on what is really going on here and who is in charge.
Today, we celebrate and thank God for Shylah. She is a blessing to us.
Happy Birthday Shylah!
“Give yourself to the Lord; trust in him, and he will help you.” ~ Psalm 37:5
“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever.” ~ Psalm 146:5-6