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We are stronger than cancer.

“Call me when you have a minute”

Those words popped up on my phone late yesterday afternoon from Chris. We had switched off and I had come home to spend some time with the other kiddos.

I called him immediately.

Brady’s doctor had just left the room. “So, the lumbar puncture they did last week just came back positive for leukemia blasts in his spinal fluid.”

Long pause.

I felt like I was going to throw up. Again.

Brady’s spinal fluid has always been clear. Always. Until now.

So now his leukemia has infiltrated his spinal fluid.

Insert one completely heartbroken mom here.

Chris quickly tried to reassure me as I started blurting out questions, “she feels there is a chance the chemo he received last week into his spine may have already eradicated it.” He continued, “so now our only real step forward is to give him chemo into his spine every week until he has two consecutive clear lumbar punctures.”

An LP every week until the leukemia is wiped out from his spinal fluid.

That is coming into the surgery center every week for anesthesia while they insert a needle into his spine to administer the chemo and remove a sample of fluid.

That most likely means multiple infusions of platelets to get his number high enough that he is stable to go under anesthesia.

That means the need for so so many platelets. Platelets that are already so hard to come by.

I went outside and sat down.

I just had to try to breathe.

Last night and this morning felt hard and heavy.

Blake asked me point blank about Brady’s cancer, this new treatment, and the likelihood he was going to make it after we prayed at bedtime.

He asked me why his cells, “were too stupid to know how to fight this leukemia and save Brady?”

My heart broke.

I stroked Blake’s head, “buddy it isn’t that your cells have failed. In fact, your cells are what made Brady so strong so fast and able to play all the sports that you guys love. Your cells are what is giving him the strength to fight this again.” He seemed content as we continued to talk but was still too scared and sad to sleep alone so he came and crawled into bed with me.

This morning I tried to get things organized before heading back to the hospital today to be there for Brady’s new port placement surgery and chemo for the lumbar puncture.

I was so full of emotions the entire drive back. I cried most of the way.

I cried because everything feels harder than it has to be.

I cried because I’m not ready to walk into our house and not see his shoes sitting at the door.

I cried because I’m not ready to not have his laundry that needs to be cleaned.

I cried because I know how scared he is to get another port.

I cried because we just have so many unknowns.

I cried because it feels like there is no real end.

I parked the car and wiped my tears. I rode the elevator up and just kept breathing. When I walked through the door I heard the news.

They were trying to get his platelets up but weren’t sure if they had enough.

They hung another bag.

It ran for an hour and they redrew his blood and ran the labs stat.

We were out of time.

His platelets were too low to be stable enough for surgery.

The blood bank is in such severe shortage that they have to approve that quantity of bags to be released for a patient and we couldn’t make it happen in time.

After much advocating by his doctor, we got approval from the blood bank for multiple bags to be released until he reaches as close to 50,000 as possible. She also got the interventional radiology team to make a spot for to start his port surgery and lumbar puncture tomorrow right at 8am.

Tonight Brady was smiling and a goof ball. Being here puts my heart at peace seeing how strong and healthy he looks despite what is happening within him.

Tonight my heart settles a bit after a great conversation with his doctor and being able to find laughter within these walls.

Tonight we watch the food network and forget about the cancer that has brought us back here.

Tonight we ask for help.

Friends please please continue to fill up those blood drives. Please make time to donate platelets whenever you can make time (did you know you can donate platelets every seven days??). Please pray for a perfectly placed and pain free port that brings ease to Brady’s treatments. Please pray that the trauma he feels from his last port is diminished. Please pray that his lumbar puncture tomorrow shows that the cancer has been eliminated from his spinal fluid. Eliminated. Zero. Please pray for each of our other kids that are also carrying the burden of cancer upon their shoulders as well. Please pray for each and every family battling such hard things as we sleep on hospital couches instead of in our homes. Please pray that all of the doctors on Brady’s case are going to be able to pave a brand new road in treating the cancer that is trying to consume our son as he overcomes round two.

We are stronger than cancer.

We are stronger than cancer.

We are stronger than cancer.

Because we have been armed with strength for the battle.

Shields up.

Swords out.

Believing and breathing,


“There is no fear 'cause I believe

There is no doubt 'cause I have seen

Your faithfulness, my fortress

Over and over

I have a hope found in Your name

I have a strength found in Your grace

Your faithfulness, my fortress

Over and over

Make way through the waters

Walk me through the fire

Do what You are famous for

What You are famous for

Shut the mouths of lions

Bring dry bones to life and

Do what You are famous for

What You are famous for

I believe in You, God

I believe in You

Release Your love inside of me

Unleash Your power for all to see

Spirit, come, and fall on us

Over and over, oh Lord”


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