Our little friend, Liam (age 6), is getting an MRI today to show how quickly his brain cancer is spreading. This MRI will determine his next treatment plan. He has already had three brain surgeries and one 6-week round of radiation. Those didn't work. Chemo is not a good option, but it might be the only option left. Besides a miracle, of course. And we know miracles do happen. Please pray for him and his remarkable family. His mom has been one of my closest friends for a few years and it's really hard to watch this situation unfold. However, I've never met a family with more faith and hope. I have noticed that tragedies bring out the best or worst of people. This family was good to the core before the cancer, and they have become even better through it. They have shown me what it really means to have hope. You can read about their entire experience on their blog. Don't worry, it's not depressing, it's actually extremely inspiring. You will be so glad you did!
Update: This item should be moved to VERY Best. Liam's MRI came up clean. The third surgery to remove the cancer a few months ago worked. That third surgery was to remove the cancer that grew in the face of radiation. At that point the cancer was termed very aggressive. But it is gone. The surgery got it all. A few months ago Liam's dad said they have come to expect miracles in their family. Go read their blog. Do it!
I went to my weights class for the first time in SIX months yesterday! I had been to that class at least once a week for 4 years before I broke my foot, so it's really exciting to be back. I have been working out the past few months, but nothing kicks me into shape better than that class. I've lost a lot of muscle, but not as much as I expected. And I'm sore today (really sore), but not as much as I expected. I actually wasn't supposed to do that class until my foot felt great and my plantar fasciitis was under control. That was all happening until we went to Seattle this last weekend and my feet have been killing me ever since. For the rest of my well-being I had to get back to that class and I had set February as a goal when I started physical therapy. So I went to the class with my feet taped and made sure to go light on my squats. My feet are sore today. Maybe if I am vigilant about my PT exercises and taping, I will be OK? This whole thing has been so frustrating!
I'm in love with Sambo's speech class. It has done something really remarkable for him. It's helped his speech, obviously. But it's interesting how getting some words has really helped his personality develop as well. Six months ago he couldn't talk in sentences and he was extremely shy. He was the world's easiest child. That's all changed! G and I went to a training yesterday at his little school to learn how to further his progress at home. First of all, when I dropped him off at his class, his teacher made a comment about how "silly" he acts in circle time and how "independent" he is. Then during the training she made several other comments about "Sambo this" and "Sambo that." "When you read books with your children, ask them to 'read' a page of the story. It gives them control and it encourages them to talk to you. Sambo would sure enjoy having that control!" "To encourage your children to talk, pause a lot and let them fill words in. But Sambo doesn't have a problem getting a word in edgewise and sharing his opinion!" She didn't do that with any other kids. Not once. So apparently we have two precocious children who act silly during circle time, are independent, crave control, talk nonstop, are opinionated, and love to blurt things out. Cool.
Speaking of speech... Sambo learned to ask "why." So adorable. And now when I ask him why, he says, "I dunno!" Even cuter. Seriously. I keep asking him questions he doesn't know the answer to, just so he'll say that.
When we were in Seattle this last weekend we saw a man begging for money on the corner by the bus station. His sign said, "Need money for bus home." Buddy was extremely distressed about that man and talked about him for the rest of the night. Then he saw the same man walking (without his sign) near our hotel the next day. Honestly, I didn't even notice the man. But Buddy is extremely compassionate and started to get really anxious about how we could help him. Because clearly he didn't get enough money to get "home" if he was still wandering around the streets of Seattle. We talked about some ways we could help, mostly talking in generalities since at this point we were several blocks away from the man. And I wasn't willing to take Buddy up on any of his solutions (put Buddy in the hatch of our car so the man could ride in our backseat.) I talked to him about how and when we give to others, and how we can avoid the same homeless/money-less fate by saving our money, getting a good education, and staying close with our families so they can help if needed. I told him that we donate fast offerings to help other people who need a little extra help. It's been a few days now and he has mentioned that man every day since. This morning he asked me when fast Sunday is, so he can fast for him.
Buddy's birthmom donated a kidney to her sister yesterday. Her sister has been on dialysis for a couple of years now plus she also lost her hands and legs to sepsis. It's a really tragic story, but all along the way there have been blessings. Now culminating in this sacrifice. Apparently her sister is doing great and the kidney started producing urine even before it was completely implanted. Buddy's birthmom is doing well but in a lot of pain, which is typical for the donor. Have you ever met anyone to give their baby to complete strangers and donate a kidney? Talk about an angel and a hero. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, now does it...