Emily’s new phase of treatment has kept her quite busy. It has kept everyone busy! But while we are all tracking her journey by blood counts and number of appointments, Emily is keeping track with her beads of courage.
Emily’s beads are a marker of every procedure and milestone she undergoes throughout her treatment. They are a reminder of everything she has survived and the courage she has as she continues to fight. Christina keeps track of every chemo treatment, every needle poke, every x-ray, biopsy, and infusion so that Emily can get the beads she deserves. Her strand is continuing to grow, and is already much longer than the picture below shows. It grows so fast, it’s difficult to keep up!
Many people have expressed being moved by the beads of courage after our first post. The beads are, rightly so, becoming a symbol of courage for many of us. Emily is just ten days away from her 2nd birthday and already she has demonstrated a strength of body and spirit that is encouraging for all the adults around her. Friends and strangers are using Emily’s beads to share their own stories, to give support, and to remind us all to keep Emily in our prayers.
At the end of her strand of beads above are two new special beads. The first, a dragonfly, was given to Emily by a family friend, Marlene. The dragonfly means “believe” and reminds us all to believe in the 100% cure we are praying for daily.
The little kitty cat bead right after it was given to Emily by a woman who she has never met but who was touched by Emily’s courage. Calling herself the “Crazy Cat & Cancer Lady”, she sent Emily this bead along with a note that shared her own story of finding out she had a brain tumor and the many treatments and tests that came after. She told Emily the cat bead, “with her sunny smile and friendly wave, is to remind you that God and His people love you and see you, and that you have lots of friends all over the world!”
Some of those friends, students of a family friend, created their own strand of beads in Emily’s honor. Displayed in their classroom, these paper beads are a reminder for all the students to keep Emily in their prayers.
Emily’s Consolidation treatment has continued with a heavy stream of chemotherapy drugs and frequent trips to the hospital. Her blood counts have dropped, making her neutropenic, and a recent call from the doctor has raised concerns that something in her labs is not quite right. In the midst of this chaos and uncertainty, Emily has had good days. After whole blood and platelet transfusions yesterday, Emily had full color in her cheeks and was mobile and playful in a way that reminds us all of the little Stitch she used to be before Leukemia became a reality of our lives. It is amazing how a little healthy blood can transform this sick child.
As always, we share these happy times with all of you while asking you to keep Emily and her family in your prayers. As her beads symbolize, Emily is undergoing so much. But she is strong and spirited and in the arms of our Lord. We pray for a day her body can keep itself healthy and her smiles can warm our hearts every moment.
Please keep these requests in your prayers:
- Emily will go see her Oncologist on Monday to hear the results of recent lab work that we have been told was “not as expected”. Please pray this is not another setback and please pray the family has peace as they wait to receive the news.
- Please pray for Christina, that she gets rest and opportunities to relax. Please pray for a mother’s peace as she carries the heavy burden of wanting to protect her child and that she may trust in the Lord and the doctors to do everything they can to keep Emily safe.
- Please pray for Ethan, Adam, William, and Sophia – Emily’s older siblings. Pray that they continue to feel loved and safe and know how special they each are. Pray for understanding as they live with Emily’s disease and all the changes it has brought to their lives. Pray that they also have strength and courage. They are all four little Warriors alongside their sister.