I am grateful for a morning spent hanging out with a family I love, for homemade pizza for lunch (I even made some yummy gf pizza for me), and for laughter. I have known these kiddos pretty much their whole lives and it’s fun that they’re old enough now that I just get to hang out with them (and make sure the house doesn’t burn down). it’s definitely a blessing to have people in my life that I have known for so long and who know me so well. 🙂
I am so grateful for my sweet husband who tells me throughout the day that he misses me and loves me, and who makes me peanut butter sandwiches when I’m running late and haven’t eaten. I am blessed to be loved so well.
I am sorry for my absence (which I, again, forgot to warn you about…oops), but I was at Young Life camp with my sweet high school friends having an amazing time and not spending time on my phone (and therefore, not updating the blog…)
A week at young life camp is chock-full of things to be grateful for, so I’ll give you some highlights.
Just some of the things I am grateful for:
getting to know a cabin of high school girls I didn’t know very well,
lots and lots and lots of laughter,
tears of joy,
sweet friends realizing how precious they are,
Jesus changing hearts and lives,
friends being real about hard things,
beachfront & parasailing,
and being reminded of who I was created to be.
Castaway is my favorite Young Life camp and I love the way God seems to use that specific place to meet my high school friends (and me). I feel so blessed to be a part of such an amazing ministry.
My mom posted the above photo with the caption “warrior at rest.” I love it. Harlow is such a fighter. I am honored and blessed to know a girl so strong.
As many of you know, today was Harlow’s big surgery. If you haven’t already, you may want to read this post to better understand what they were doing today.
Harlow was out of surgery much more quickly than expected, and (in my opinion) surgery went as well as they possibly could have. They had to remove Harlow’s uterus and Fallopian tubes (which they pretty much knew going in), which contained the tumor. The other tissues and organs surrounding the tumor appear to be healthy and completely cancer free. While I can’t imagine how difficult of a conversation Ben and Jamie will have on their hands, in the future, explaining to Harlow what the repercussions are of having your uterus removed, they are fairly certain (and the surgeon confirmed the likelihood today) that the chemo she had as an infant would have made it very unlikely that she would be able to birth her own children. So with that in mind, that is why I say surgery went as well as it possibly could.
Harlow’s fight isn’t over yet, but today was a huge step towards a healthy and cancer free life for my precious friend Harlow. She has had some pain since waking up, but they have been able to control much of it with meds. She is unable to speak because they had to put a tube in her nose, but she did give Jamie a smile when Jamie told her that they took the cancer out.
I am so grateful for the good news today, for a team of doctors who know and love Harlow and are fighting alongside her, and for all the people who have been following her story, donating towards her medical expenses, and lifting our little fighter and her amazing parents up in prayer.
Today my sweet friend Harlow is having surgery to remove her tumor. The great news is that Harlow’s tumor has become small enough that they believe they can remove it. The hard thing is that they do not know what they are going to find when they get her opened up. They are pretty much positive that they will have to remove Harlow’s uterus and at least one ovary. They are trying to protect her other ovary, but they aren’t sure whether that will be possible. There is a chance, depending on what the tumor is attached to, that they may need to remove part of her colon (which could possibly lead to a colostomy bag). They believe that there are probably cancer cells in the tissue around some of these organs, but because they are just individual cells and not masses, they are not going to be able to remove those. We have to pray that the remaining chemo and radiation will kill those off so that the cancer does not start growing again. There are a lot of complications that are possible (as is always true), so please join me in praying for those involved today.I am praying for the doctors, that they would be wise, that they would find everything that they need to take out, that they would aggressively remove the affected areas while protecting her healthy organs and tissues so Harlow’s life can be as close to normal as possible but with as little chance as possible of recurrence. I am praying for Harlow, that she’d be strong and that they’d be able to explain what she needs to know in a way that her five-year-old brain would be able to process. And I am praying for Jamie and Ben, that they would have peace (even though it makes way more sense to be terrified), that they would have a strong support system to help them deal with whatever complications come after this surgery (although we are certainly hoping that they are minimal), and that they would have unnatural strength to help Harlow deal with the physical and emotional complications of the surgery.
Thank you for joining me in loving and praying for this family that I love so much.
I am grateful for a day of rest after a very busy week and weekend. I needed it and am very grateful to have the time in my schedule to actual rest when I need to.
I would like to just reiterate how grateful I am for the amazing people who donated to, volunteered at, and attended Hugs for Harlow. I am sore and exhausted, but can’t help feeling like my heart is so full. I can’t even begin to thank every person and company that it took to make the night possible. Ben of Dance Flow Control donated his whole afternoon and night and kept the party hopping all night, and even made sure to play some of Harlow’s favorites. Jim and his wife Ashley also donated their time and took amazing photographs of the evening. My sweet hubby and dad spent all evening and night grilling hundreds of burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings to keep the masses full and happy (even though it was HOT). My mom collected tons of auction and raffle prizes, brought bracelets to help raise money, and was a busy bee all night helping out wherever we needed. And none of this would have been possible without Harlow’s dance teacher Miss Mickey and friends Dora and Chris who dreamed this whole event up and worked really hard to get it all together. There were tons more volunteers, more generous donors, and sweet friends who love and pray for Harlow, Jamie and Ben. I am amazed by the generous spirits of so many.