Sunday, March 24, 2013

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!!!

What a wonderful week it has been!! Zev and I are still smiling (and a bit in disbelief!) from the awesome, encouraging news we received regarding the shrinkage of my brain tumor last Monday. We still have a long way to go as the tumor remaining is still large, but I do appreciate your prayers for me to glorify The Lord and for that tumor to continue shrinking! Praise God that the chemo is working! THANK you to all who have prayed and supported us through this crazy journey! This week, a sweet friend, Sue, sent us a some Brain Cancer Awareness t-shirts and a onesie for Zachary! Thank you Sue!!

Out sweet friends from Germany, Philipp and his wonderful girlfriend, Laura arrived on Wednesday! I met them when I was studying my Masters of Laws at the University of Tuebingen. We hit it off immediately and this trip to America was the first time that Philipp has been and the second time for Laura (she worked here as an Au Pair when she was 19.) Philipp completed his Staatsexam (Bar exam) in December and Laura completed hers just a few days before flying to the US! We had fun showing them historic Williamsburg and Virginia Beach as well as taking then to eat some traditional southern BBQ :-)) We also took them to the amazing Easter Praise presentation at our church on Friday night. We were impressed by the talent!

This weekend we spent with our former neighbors, Bill and Debbie at their gorgeous condo in Duck, which is located on the North Carolina Outer Banks. Although the weather was a little chilly, it was sunny and that made it so lovely! What a great part of the world that is! Zachary was an angel baby as always (although he did have to sleep in between Zev and I!!) and said "dog" quite a few times when he saw a dog from the balcony!! He is getting so big!! I felt so relaxed in the Outer Banks. Zev says that I am solar and water powered because I love the beach :-)

It is snowing outside now! We've had such a beautiful week. I am trying to appreciate each day and to thank The Lord for the blessings each day brings: perhaps it is the human, fallible side of me that thinks in the back of my mind that "something bad will happen" in the future. Isn't that crazy?! Thankfully, I remember each time that such thoughts come into my brain that NO MATTER WHAT, God will be there to guide me and protect me and my beautiful family. Thank You, God!

Have a beautiful Easter week!


Monday, March 18, 2013

God is GOOD!! The tumor is SHRINKING!

The tumor is SHRINKING!!! Y'all, this is huge, awesome news! My neuro-oncologist, Dr. Schiff, who is a lovely but serious man by nature and actually said "I don't say these things lightly" showed us on the computer how my tumor has SHRUNK since the last MRI in December! When I first started chemo back in October, I was told that the best outcome would be for the tumor to stop growing. Well, not only had it stopped but it is shrinking! Thank you, Jesus. The tumor remaining is still large (7cm across and about 4cm tall) but this shows that the chemo is WORKING!! God is working a miracle here, no doubt about it. Thank you ALL for your fervent prayers. Zev and I turned to each other after the visit and just hugged. This is not the path that I would have chosen but God is being glorified here and I just wanted to share this with all our family and friends! Dr. Schiff wants me to remain on chemo for 18 months. Next MRI is in 3 months. Encouraging news such as today's report motivate me to get through the hard days.

Here are some pics of our eventful day! After the visit with the neuro-oncologist, we went and had some brekky at a local diner. It's sort of become a regular thing for us every time we come to Charlottesville for my scans.

Have a great day!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Spring is well and truly in the air! I love seeing all the daffodils pop up. I think we even have a cherry blossom in our backyard!

Daffodils are the American and the Australian Cancer Council symbol of hope because they are a hardy flower, pushing its way through the frozen earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth. As one of the first flowers of spring, daffodils symbolize rebirth and a new future. To me, seeing a daffodil gives me hope for a cancer-free future :-)

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Zachary is 11 months and spring is in the air!

Little man turned 11 months today! We got home late last night and slept in until 2pm today! I would have kept sleeping had Zev not woken me up! Zachary was a champ on the flight over; I was so proud of him. He slept most of the way and didn't fuss too much. Wish I could say that the United Airlines folks were all nice, but I can't. I can however say that random strangers helped me greatly during transits, especially when timings were tight like in LA.

Zachary officially turned 11 months today!! Our little big boy really is getting so big!! I can't believe my baby will be a year old in just 4 weeks!! Zev and I are so thankful for Zachary; for the love, light and laughter he has filled our lives with and for the beautiful, good little boy he is. We can't wait to watch him grow up.

This afternoon, after I had a shower and have Zachary a bath, I took him out for a walk to the park. Daddy stayed home and put the baby gates up (thanks baby cakes!!) The sun was out and it wasn't too cold! I could definitely see spring in the air: the darling buds in the trees and the squirrels chirping around gave away the hints of spring time.

My family in Australia came to the airport to farewell Zachary and I. We started the day off with brekkie with dad and Ceci and then auntie Charo took mum, Zachary and I to the airport where we were met by uncle Phil, auntie Fabi and auntie Gladys.

THANK YOU so much to all our family and friends for truly giving us a beautiful holiday! It was lovely to spend time in the sun and to relax and "reset" a little! We really had a good time.

These past few weeks have shown me how precious life is. I already knew that of course, but to consciously realize that every day is something special. Jesus preached about loving EVERYBODY, regardless of race, sex, status, disability . Just seeing the interactions on the places: in the airports (have you ever noticed that you do see a true cross section of society in major airport terminals. Just sayin). Today was a beautiful day. Being well rested helps a lot.

Hope you enjoy the pictures from the last few days!!

And since little man has developed in leaps and bounds this past month, here is an update on what Zachary has been up to this month!

- crawling everywhere, standing up and reaching for things, opening up cupboards and drawers and taking stuff out...a true little boy toddler to be!!
- clapping his hands on cue ("if you're happy and you know it" and "patty cake") as well as clapping on cue ("bravo Zachary!!") and clapping whenever he eats (mealtime is fun)
- cruising on furniture
- climbing up stairs (can't go down stairs yet)
- playing peek a boo
- waving to "hello" and "goodbye". This new talent endeared him to the fellow passengers on the plane
- saying "baba", "mama" and "dada"
- still loves Cookie Monster
- fake coughing
- ticklish when tickled or I squeeze his thighs like mama Lola used to do to me (she knew just the right area too!)

We love you Zachary and pray for you every day. Have a good day, little one!

Mummy and daddy