Wow. Has it really been nearly a week since my diagnosis? The last week of my life has felt as if it were months long. I have learned so much about myself, my family, my friends, and what it truly means to be a daughter of the King.
My parents and I walked out of the hospital on Tuesday afternoon completely devastated and broken. Never in my entire life had I ever felt so lost. But after many tears, my two biggest fans (the great Jay and Heidi York) began fighting for me down here on Earth, just as much as I know all of your prayers are fighting for me at the gates of Heaven. We began the process of determining where I would start receiving care, and what the next few days would look like. I am beyond grateful that my Mom’s cousin Kim is married to Dr. Steve Patierno, Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute. Steve began working for us immediately to determine where I would be receiving further medical care. In addition, my parent’s friend, Dr. Jenny Jacomides (Go Stingrays!) was consulting with us about why she felt it was important for me to be seeking out care at a facility with a seasoned Pediatric Oncology team. I am so grateful for both of them, as they fought along side my parents and I during the couple hours after receiving specific news regarding my diagnosis. I am happy to say I will be receiving care at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston starting Friday morning at 8:45 am.
Someone else who has been extremely present in the intense times of last Thursday night and yesterday afternoon, is my Youth Minister and my friend Brett Levy. Brett was the first person on the scene, both times, when bad news was delivered. Outside of my family, he is probably the one to have seen me at my most broken point. The levy family opened their home to the community last night, to host a prayer night for me after we had received the new news of my diagnosis. I cannot thank them enough for loving me so well.
Speaking Medically: In order for my care at Texas Children’s to begin I will have multiple tests done on my heart and lungs, followed by a procedure to surgically implant my Port, where I will be receiving Chemotherapy. During this procedure, the team of doctors will (hopefully) be conducting a Bilateral Bone Marrow Biopsy from both the left and right side of my Pelvis while I am under anesthesia. Some of these big words may seem scary, but I am anxious to start treatments and kick this thing in the butt. Though my situation is said to be “extremely advanced”, my body is otherwise strong and has been fighting this fight for a long time.
Thank you all for the continued prayers during the beginning of this process. I am looking forward to the opportunities that God has already presented to me, and will place in my path through the days, weeks, and months to come. I will share with you all something that I shared with a friend last night: This whole story, my whole story, is only the beginning of the lifelong “mission trip” that I have begun to embark on. Lord, lead me to those who are in need of encouragement and love. I pray that my story impacts people in ways that I may never come to know.