We have been home from our second trip to the hospital for a full 24 hours now, and all I can think about is how joyful this past week was. This is mostly the reason why I have not posted anything on the blog. We have just been so busy enjoying our little Hazelnut and soaking up the time we have finally had together as a whole family unit! But let me thank you for your continued prayer an support, especially for the other children. The conversations we have been having are going extremely well, and they all seem to be adapting and showing resilience in ways that I never expected! God is so good! Now for the updates:
What we thought would be a 48 hour stay at the hospital, became a 6 day endeavor. And although it was terribly hard to be away from the family, this week turned out to be such a blessing! This was an entirely different hospital visit than the weeks previously. During our first encounter with the oncology floor, we saw a little girl struggling in pain, drifting in and out of sleep, fighting fevers, being diagnosed with cancer, undergoing surgery, receiving all types of new medications and a round of chemo, refusing food/drink, and only getting out of bed twice in 11 days. This was absolutely excruciating. But this past week saw a completely different girl! I felt like I had my little Hazelnut back! She was hardly ever in bed, running through the halls, eating several meals a day, spending hours in the oncology floor's playroom, making tons of new friends and had all of us (nurses, friends, family, etc...) in stitches! We had to stay so much longer than anticipated because her blood counts were not high enough for them to allow us to return home, and they took a while to reach the numbers they needed to be at. Here are a few pictures:
That being said, this week did come with it's challenges. First, Hazel began losing her hair. We knew that this was coming, but it was, nonetheless, hard to see. Second, Aaron had a adjust to a new normal, holding down the fort at home, while still going to work for several hours in the day. He had to get 3 kids dressed, ready and out the door by 7:30 AM; and then drop Micah off at school and the other kids at a grandparent's house. Then after working hard for several hours, he had to pick up the kids, make sure they were fed, spend some quality time together(trying to keep a sense of normalcy), talk to Hazel and I on a video chat, then get everybody in bed! What a day for him! I know how stressful this must be for him, so please keep him in your prayers so that he may feel the Lord lifting him up and guiding him through each of these kinds of days. Let me say this though: I HAVE AN AMAZING HUSBAND!!! I thought I knew how blessed I was before, but seeing the leader of our family step up the way that he has, has just blown me away. I adore you Aaron, our children are so blessed to have you as a father, and I am so excited for the day when they can look back on this time and truly appreciate your sacrifice, love and devotion for them. Lastly, this week made Aaron and I realize that we will be spending a tremendous amount of time apart. We spent several day mourning the loss of the way our family used to function and realizing how much we took for granted. Monday night, for the first time in weeks, our whole family sat around the table for dinner; and this was the greatest gift of all. So please, hold your family close, and savor those everyday moments in a way we wished we had.
Next week Hazel will begin her next round of Chemo, will be facing a small surgery to place a new line in her chest (similar to the PICC line she now has in her arm), and will be doing all of this outpatient (assuming she handles it well). That means, in between treatments, we will be coming home!! We don't quite know how to navigate this next week, so pray specifically for God to guide us through it and for everything to run smoothly. Thank you all again for your prayer and support! I can't wait to share, in an upcoming post, how much it has truly affected and blessed us!