Friday, July 24, 2015

Lafayette Proud

Like so many, I was in shock at the news last night. It couldn't be. I would've never imagined a shooter in our own sweet hometown, in the very theatre where most of us go with our family and friends on a regular basis.

It just didn't seem real. It didn't make sense.

I sat with my little family, all cuddled up together in our bed, as we all watched the news until late in the evening. We discussed the horrific event and then before we all went to sleep, we prayed as a family for the victims and for our city.

As I woke this morning, I turned on the news to hear more of the details discovered overnight. Again, I was sickened by such an evil act of a stranger to our wonderful city. Why would someone come into our state, into our city to harm us? Because, you see ... in Lafayette, we are one. We are united. We go out and meet our neighbors. We wave to people on the street who we don't even know. We've survived multiple hurricanes and storms. We help one another out. We love one another. We love our culture and there's no doubt, we love to have fun. We were even named one of the happiest cities in the country.

I put on my running shoes, plugged in my earphones, and went for a run in our peaceful, little neighborhood. I spent the time praying and thinking about this place I call home.

You see ... I was born in the very hospital where the victims were taken. My life began at Lafayette General Hospital forty-something (let's not get specific here) years ago.

I know this town like the back of my hand. It's home. It's always felt like home.

I grew up on Doc Duhon Rd (now known as Duhon). I climbed the oak trees and played "Charlie's Angels" with the neighborhood kids. I rode the bus to Judice Elementary School, after a short stint at Plantation Elementary.

My mom would take me school shopping at JC Penney when it was in the Northgate Mall, the only mall there was at the time. How thrilled we all were when we got the new mall, Acadiana Mall, on the south side. It's where I got my ears double-pierced (only on one ear ... that was the thing then). And, I ended up spending many years at the mall, working in retail at Brother's (yes, it was in the mall), Maison Blanche, Lerner (NY & Co., now), and JC Penney.

We would go to the Westwood Theatre when I was young. That's where I saw Grease and some of the Star Wars' movies. 

I would go to the skating rink on some Friday nights and skate around with my friends to "Super Freak", "No Parking on the Dance Floor", and the like.

I learned to dance in this city. I danced for 11 years. I was a member of the Lafayette Ballet Theatre and performed at the Heymann Performing Arts Center for years. I danced with some amazing dancers and even met Mikhail Baryshnikov, while ushering for one of his performances.

Let's not forget I saw my first concert, Bon Jovi, at the Cajundome. That was huge for a teenage girl during those days. I actually saw them twice there.

The churches in this city taught me about Jesus. One of these churches is where I met my husband. We spent our dating years in so many spots around this lovely town. He went to USL. I went to USL for a short time.

I was married here. And, my precious La Petite Belle was born here in the same hospital where she has been receiving so much care and treatment in the last few months.

The six years that we didn't live here were some great years for us, but we couldn't shake the feeling of Lafayette being our "home". Any time we mentioned Lafayette to anyone when we lived in another state, we always referred to it as "home". Someone called that to our attention and we knew that we were going to return.

So many of us here, especially as young people, couldn't wait to get out of this city ... to move on to bigger and better things. But, the things that I had a disdain for when I was young, I find so endearing about our hometown. I think most people feel that way across the country about their own hometown.

As I ran this morning and just remembered how much this city has meant to me and helped to mold me into who I am today, I thanked God for the great people here.

Lafayette truly is filled with wonderful people. I have no doubt that this tragedy will make a city, which is already so strong, even stronger. People from Lafayette are very protective over their city and very proud of their city. So, this crazy idea of picketers coming to victims' funerals and all that mess, will definitely not sit well with the natives. I pray that this is not the case and they do not step foot into Louisiana for their own safety. It would not be good, but that's a whole other post.

If you're not from Lafayette, please know that this city is special. Those of us who live here know it, and those who visit experience it.

One of the victims was a local business owner and artist. I had visited each of her shops multiple times. She truly captured the spirit of our great city in her designs. I wore one of her shirts for my first half-marathon, trying to represent our city while we were there. Her stores have some pretty great LA merchandise - Parish Ink and Red Arrow Workshop.

I write this post to say simply this: Lafayette will not simply survive this, but thrive through this. What was meant for evil, will ultimately lead to the good of our city by uniting us ... drawing us closer ... creating an even stronger sense of community than ever before.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ready or not ... (and yet another post about crying that I never intended on writing)

Here we go!

Today was our last appointment for transfusions in our hometown. We leave for Houston Sunday.

Here are La Petite Belle's awesome nurses who we'll miss as we get cozy with new nurses, new doctors, and a new environment. 

I have waited for what seems like forever for the day we leave for the long haul. It couldn't come fast enough.

And, now I don't feel ready.

My week here at home has flown by! I've been getting settled in our new house. My parents have left and we'll be in their home for three years. I've mainly been stuffing all the awkward pictures of me in drawers. I mean there are Glamour shots still up from my early years and there's all those horrible eighties ginormous-glasses pictures too. My mom forbid me to take them down. Good thing she's not here.

So, we've been trying to get settled and get all our ducks in a row in this short time that we are back before we have to leave again. 

Our original plan was to leave Sunday and come back for a couple of more days, but our plans have changed. La Petite Belle has another bone marrow biopsy on Monday afternoon, so she and I will go ahead and stay through the week until her appointment again on Friday. The doctors at Texas Children's Hospital actually request that you stay in town the week before admittance so that you are close-by if other appointments need to happen at the last minute. And, because she is now off her Neupogen shots, her ANC is low again, meaning her risk of infection or catching any type of little bug is great. We think it's best she stay pretty isolated next week in the apartment with me to keep her safe and ready for transplant. We don't want anything to postpone this.

The one reason I was coming home for those few days was because it was K Belle's 18th birthday on Wednesday. Eh? Where did the time go? I'm going to have a little adult on my hands.

She is pretty lackadaisical about the whole thing. Her birthday already consists of a dentist appointment and leading worship that evening. When I nag her about doing something special to celebrate her, she just says she doesn't really want to do anything. I honestly think she's just trying to not be what she sees as a burden or simply another thing we have to do or worry about. She doesn't understand that we, as her parents, want to celebrate her and be with her. She'll get it one day. Right now, we're respecting her wishes and going to have a simple birthday lunch before we leave on Sunday.

I cry when I talk to her about not being here for her birthday. She doesn't seem to think it's a big deal. It's one of the things I do ... I make big deals out of birthdays. Always have, always will. So, this is hard for this mom.

The last few days I have been sad. Like crying sad. Like nursing- a- broken- heart sad.

I thought I was done with all that, but it does come and go like waves.

I cried on the way to the grocery store yesterday. And, as I cried, I told the Lord that I was just sad. That's all. Sad.

I told Him that I wasn't crying or sad because I didn't trust Him because I did and still do. I wasn't crying because I thought He wasn't with us because I know He is. I wasn't crying because I thought He wasn't going to heal our girl because I know He will. His Word says He already has.

I was crying simply because I was sad. Sad to leave my home, my family, my friends and sad to even have to walk this path.

As I told Beau just this morning when he asked me why I was crying again, I'm just sad. It's just my emotions. And, it's crazy how alone you can feel even when you're surrounded by loving people. I never knew what that felt like until now. There really is no one who can understand what you're going through in your own walk and circumstances. That goes for everyone. Even within my own little family, each of us can only somewhat relate to what the other person is feeling and experiencing.

When our hearts are sensitive and we go through trials, our emotions actually provide a release and a closeness with God that can't really be explained. I told a friend that it was like a peace in the middle of chaos. There's still a peace. But, there's also our own humanity we have to deal with.

I kid you not ... After a good cry, you always feel better. It is definitely a way to release stress and just helps you breathe in the peace of God. Crying is part of our makeup for a reason. God wouldn't have put it in us if it wasn't meant to be used. I'm just getting a lot of use out of these tears and they are definitely bringing me closer to Him.

Sometimes, our tears speak for themselves. We don't have to say a word, especially when we don't know even what to say. God knows. He sees our tears and hears our cries.

As I spend the next few days packing and preparing, it will be emotional for all of us. I will miss K Belle. I will miss Beau when he's not there. He's kinda like my secondary rock. I've got Jesus and I've got my husband. Beau is a physical manifestation of Jesus' presence and protection in my life and in the lives of our girls. Don't get me wrong ... he doesn't always look like Jesus. Not even close. But, neither do I. So, having him not there to lean on all the time is gonna be hard. I know he'll be doing his best to be with us as much as possible, but life and work must go on.

Funny because I feel like my life has stopped while everyone else's lives are just going by at warp speed. It's surreal. Time seems to literally be standing still. I want to tell everyone, "wait .. hold up ... wait for us." Again, life goes on.

So, I'm sad and thrilled at the same time that we are finally leaving. La Petite Belle is beyond ready.

It's awesome to see how the Church has risen up and simply been the Church in our lives through this journey. It's amazing witnessing others be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are beyond grateful for everything. Saying "thank you" is not enough. I will continue to post updates through my blog and Facebook page. Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers and support!

If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: All money goes toward medical bills and expenses.

Friday, July 17, 2015

I haven't been a good friend.

In light of yesterday's post about friendship, let me share what God's been showing me about myself through this process: I have not been a good friend.

I know that I pointed out that I had some people who have dumped me as a friend.
But, know that I have not been the friend that I expect everyone else to be.

Talking on the phone to one of my dearest friends a few days ago, I confessed to her that God had shown me that I should've been there more for her when she was going through a similar situation. I apologized for not doing more. I am embarrassed to say that I did not even drive out to this friend's house one time. Sure, I called. Sure, I texted. But, that was not enough.

Sometimes when friends go through serious stuff, we think we should back off. We think we should give them time and space. We think maybe it's none of our business. We think they'll let us know when they want us to come around, when they need us. I'm here to tell you that NO they won't.

Now being smack dab in the middle of the same kinda thing as this friend, I KNOW I could've and should've done more. I should've texted or called more (even though she's a slow texter and doesn't usually answer her phone ... ;)).

I was so consumed with my own life and used busyness as an excuse not to be a good friend. That's appalling.

Friendship takes sacrifice.

You know what that friend said after I apologized through tears? She said, "You were there." I think that was a pity "you were there". I was not there nearly enough, y'all ... not at all. What kind of person ... what kind of friend doesn't drive out to someone's house to visit them during hard times?! A sucky friend. A friend who is going around with blinders on and only sees her own life, her own stuff. A selfish friend. So, really not a friend at all. What's the point in having a friend if she's going to be absent when times get tough?

Not only am I learning to recognize what a good friend is, but I'm learning what it is to be one.

I'm committing to be a better friend, even more when times are hard than when they're not. Sure, it's easy to be there when things are easy ... dinners, parties, trips, girls' nights, lunches, etc. Those are easy to be there for. Duh. In fact, I'd like to have some of those easy friendship times right now. To all my friends here ... I'm booking reservations now for some good, easy friend time by winter!

But, friendship isn't always cute and pretty. Sometimes it's messy and not-so-cute. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes we need to give more of ourselves even when we don't think we have anything to give. Sometimes the fear of not knowing what to do keeps us from doing anything. Let's face it none of us want to be in a situation where we don't know what to say or do. It's awkward. It's uncomfortable.

I know now that I have not done enough in many friendships. I have not been there during hard times. I have been a fair-weather friend at times. But, God is changing me to be the friend that I expect my friends to be.

I want to be there for my friends so much, but even more now than before.

You know what else that friend said to me after she lied through her teeth to pity-tell me I was there for her, she made this statement: "God allowed me to go through that, so that I can be there for you."

Ding! {light-bulb moment} Geez. She's got such much more insight than me into some of these spiritual things.

It's so true that we just don't know about stuff until we experience it ourselves.
We don't understand what it feels like until we're in it. We don't understand how true compassion feels until we see it from the perspective of the one who needs it. And, we don't know what it's like to be a good friend until we need one so much and have it shown to us by others.

Now that this good friend has gone through her experience, she's there for me in my own situation like no one else can be. Because she lived it.

My prayer is that I can do the same. My prayer is that I come out of this a better friend. My prayer is that I can be the one who is lifting up those who are going through similar circumstances.

To all of you who I haven't been a good friend to, I'm sorry. Now, get ready for me to smother you. {just kidding ... maybe} And, to all of you who think I'm already there for you too much and I need to back off, too bad.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Let me explain myself.

I posted a statement on Facebook yesterday which apparently ruffled maybe a feather or two. I don't see how, but I'll go ahead and explain myself.

This was my statement:
'I am amazed at the compassion & love shown by people these days, but more amazed by the lack of it shown by some "friends".'

Ok, so maybe after reading it again, I can see where some people may misinterpret its meaning.

You know how you could have a million people say, "you're pretty," but have one person say, "you got hit with the ugly stick" ... you only remember the ugly stick comment, but forget about all the pretty comments. This statement was said out of something like that.

The statement literally popped in my head and woke me up in the middle of the night.

It had NOTHING to do with what people are "doing" or "not doing." It had nothing to do with "doing" at all.

People are FANTASTIC! They are AMAZING!

I am overwhelmed daily by the generosity, love, and support of people. Really, I am. So, please don't misunderstand me. My family and I are extremely grateful. We have seen Jesus through so many people. And, people may not even realize how God used them at just the right time.

So ... again, I hope you see my heart and know I'm grateful.

I didn't take the statement down or delete it, because right now, I'm all about being transparent. I'm not going to post only about how things are hunky-dory and fabulous as we go through this, because they're not. That would make me a phony. I want people to see me ... a real Christ-follower who loves Jesus with all her heart, and is just trying to live out her faith as much as she can, as hard as it is, while being a regular mom/wife/woman (and friend herself) going through the hardest thing she's ever been faced with.

That's the only way you can help others going through their own difficulties. Nobody wants to hear from somebody who has it all together. None of us do have it all together, but gosh, some people sure do look like it, don't they? How can we learn from each other if we're not allowed to show the deeper places in our hearts when we go through trials? I learn from reading about how other people got through hard circumstances. I LOVE to know that they had real feelings. It helps me to know I'm normal and not crazy or the worst person in the world for having the feelings I do.

So, back to the statement ...

The word I am focusing on here is "compassion".

When situations arise in your life, a lot of times, people, even friends, don't know how to respond or what to do. I get that.

But, it's important to realize during times like this, you WILL be disappointed by the lack of response or sensitivity of people you thought were your friends. Be prepared for that. I wasn't.

I realize that this situation with our family will and already has changed some of our friendships. It's ok. But, at the same time ... disheartening. That's probably been one of the hardest things to understand and deal with during this time.

The good thing is God gives us grace each day.
He gives us grace to get through each moment.
And, He gives us new friendships to replace those we may lose.

I heard someone say this a long time ago and it stuck ...

This is so true, and I have never seen it more evident in my life before now.

I just have to learn to be ok with it because I am one of those life-timer friends. I go into every friendship like that and I expect everyone else to be like me, but that's not how life works. People are different.

So, I may be guarding my heart a little bit more now. Kinda stinks because I got over all that guarded-heart business so many years ago, and put myself out there full-force for new friendships. I have some GREAT ones because of it. But, I know me. I'll be a little more withdrawn and a little more suspicious. I don't like that.

I was mentioning to a few friends just the other day that I didn't want this whole isolation thing to change me. I know you won't believe this, but I'm secretly an introvert. So, when I get into introvert habits, it makes me MORE introverted. I'm an introvert who PUSHES herself to be an extravert, because that's what Jesus calls us to be. It's hard at times, but has become easier because I have put myself out there for so long. So, it makes me question what's going to happen to my "wonderful" personality when I'm forced to be an introvert for so long. Yeah ... don't laugh. It's a fear. One of those friends did laugh and said, "That'll NEVER happen." I hope not.

Hard stuff like this changes you. It also changes your relationships within your family and your relationships outside your family. Some are changes for the better. Actually, ALL are changes for the better, even if some relationships fall by the wayside. 

I continue to pray that God will not only "get us" through this but that we will "thrive" through this.

As you're reading this post today, we will be traveling to Houston for those preliminary appointments for La Petite Belle. She is anxious. She wants to stay in Houston and just get moving on the transplant. I feel the same way. We will return home on Monday and be here close to a week before returning again for her 3rd bone marrow biopsy. That's all the latest news as of now.

Thanks again for your prayers and support.
I pray you always see my heart in my posts and that you get some insight for your own battles and circumstances. My prayer will always be "God, use me" even in a time like this.

If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: All money goes toward medical bills and expenses.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Counting Sleeps.

Our family has always counted sleeps instead of days. We taught our children this at a young age. It always seemed to make the time go by faster.

We're now at six more sleeps to our preliminary appointment at Texas Children's in Houston and the days seem even longer than ever. Even saying "six more sleeps" to La Petite Belle doesn't make it shorter. 

However, I am beyond thankful for answers and actual confirmed dates and appointments.

Let's start with where I last left off. A lot has happened since I last posted.

We sold our house.
We moved.
We are living with my parents in a three-bedroom house, where one of us has to get the couch or floor or go to a friend's house. {y'all ... it's snug in this house with six people. And four dogs, mind you ... FOUR dogs ... that's a post for another day.}
We got a confirmed hospital admittance date and transplant date.

There have been many emotions throughout the week as we've tried to get semi-settled in before we leave again. Beau was more emotional than I was about the house. I thought I would be more of a crybaby about it, but I didn't shed a tear. Not even one. I just didn't have time. I didn't allow the thought of leaving and the sentiments of the home occupy a spot in my brain. There's just no time nor space left. I know ... I'll probably need therapy later, but, for now I won't be thinking about it.

The best news of the week was that the donor was medically cleared for the transplant, which allowed us to have our dates set. 

We do have six more sleeps until we leave for a few days. On this visit, La Petite Belle will have all her preliminary doctors' visits ... cardiologist, pulmonologist, and other office visits and scans.

We will return home for another week before having to head back for a third bone marrow biopsy. For this, we'll only be gone two days.

Then, return home again for just a couple more days before, once again, heading back for one last appointment before admittance. With that said, our official "last day" here at home will be Thursday, July 30th, and our official admittance date is Sunday, August 2nd.

In between all these dates, we'll be seeing our doctor here and ... you guessed it ... getting counts checked and getting transfusions.

This whole waiting period is similar to that of when I was 9 months pregnant (actually more pregnant than that ... late babies, ya' know) and people kept asking me when I was going to have "that baby". Just so happened that "that baby" was La Petite Belle. Doctors gave me a due date of September 16th and she came October 6th. Uh .... yeah. So OVER 9 months pregnant and ginormous! All you late-delivering moms know how that feels ... you hate to disappoint everyone. You just want to stay home so you don't have to answer any more questions about when that baby is due or how you're feeling.

I feel like I'm disappointing people when they see us still here. I think many people don't understand the complexity of this process nor the time frame.

If all the dates go as planned, the EARLIEST we should be home will be some time around Thanksgiving. That's, of course, what we're hoping for. I'd like nothing better than to be home for Thanksgiving with so many things to be thankful for.

We're spending the days we have here prepping for our stay there.

My brave girl decided she would go ahead and chop her hair off. She's also been doing some reading herself about her treatment and knows that she's faced with losing her hair. She read that it was easier to cope with hair loss if you cut it beforehand.

Her hair has always been important to her. It's always been long and beautiful. So, to see her take the initiative to cut it and not just hold onto it for dear life made me proud. 

And, she wanted to donate it. We looked into several options and choose the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program because they give (a.k.a. ... free wigs) wigs to women battling cancer. Some organizations make people pay for their wigs. Pantene also takes shorter lengths. La Petite Belle cut off eight inches. Some others require twelve. Knowing that the hair is going to some woman who will have lost her hair helps with the loss of her own.

Two eight-inch ponytails ready for action ...

The new do ... So cute! 

Six more sleeps ... six more sleeps ... and then on to the next countdown.

Thanks for the continued prayers and support.
If you would like to support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing financially, you can find more information here - All money goes toward medical bills and expenses.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


The word "temporary" has been in my brain for a couple of months now. It still rings out loud and clear each day and I find myself uttering the word itself a couple of times each day, either to myself or my family ... "this is temporary ... it's only temporary ... temporary, temporary".

But, actually EVERYTHING is temporary.

When I look back just a few months, I remember feeling like we were on top of the world. Everything was falling in line for us as a family. Everything. I thanked God for His blessings over our lives.

And, within a few weeks our lives drastically changed.

As we navigate this process, I am reminded that we should never get too comfortable with the conditions of our lives when things are going great. Life can turn on a dime. Even the good things in our lives are temporary. There will be harder times.

But, we should also not worry or agonize about our current circumstance when things aren't going so great because again ... it's temporary. Life can turn around and will.

There is truly on one thing that is permanent: God.
He is permanent. His love is permanent.
His Word is permanent. The truth of His Word is permanent.
Who He is through His Word is permanent.

You've heard not to sweat the small stuff, but actually, we shouldn't sweat the big stuff either. That too is temporary.

Now, that's a lot easier said than done.

I am no Mrs. Perfect Christian Super Woman {I mean ... I know you thought I was}, never worrying about a thing, never falling short, never questioning. I do all those things, but I am learning each day to trust more. I'm learning that all of the things we think are big deals and problems are really nothing to God. 

Healing is really nothing for God. He can do it ... no problem. He will do it ... no problem.

But, the question is what will we do as He heals? What will we do as we wait?

Same question goes for everyone who's waiting on God for an answer ... What will you do as you wait on God? Will you worry? Will you question? Will you trust?

Let's be honest here ... you will worry; you will question. But, you will also trust.

There will be roller coaster days, sometimes weeks. I know this. This will be hard. I'm not going to act like it won't be. It will. But, we will push through ... we will pray; we will trust; we will hope; we will lean on one another.

And, most of all, we will remember this is only temporary. 
It may be what seems like the longest temporary ever, but it will end.

We can be comforted in knowing, for the Christ-follower, on the other side of our circumstance or our problem, God always has something good for us.

This song is one of my anthem songs these days ... an oldie, but a goodie ...

LATEST UPDATE: Really not much different from last week. We're still waiting on official donor clearance, which we are supposed to hear about by Friday. Katie (aka La Petite Belle) will be getting another round of transfusions on Wednesday. We were hoping for only platelets, but her red blood count has gotten lower more quickly than before and she will need more of that too. She will also be getting an ultrasound today just to check out that everything's swell with her female parts. This is just precautionary. She was put on pills to stop her cycle, which seem to be working well. Extra bleeding ... ain't nobody got time for that! She is also continuing with Neupogen shots every other day. They are really working well at boosting her ANC, keeping her healthy all the way to transplant. I hope to have a more specific update by Friday with confirmed dates and details.
Thanks for praying for us and all your support!

If you would like to support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing financially, you can find more information here - All money goes toward medical bills and expenses.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Someone made that very statement to me a while back. It stuck with me. 

This whole journey which we are embarking on is a marathon, not a sprint.

People need to know that this is not a quick fix or process. Not only is the waiting long, but the recovery can also be long. I know people get anxious and then just get bored with the whole thing. They get tired of asking questions and again, like I've said in the past, don't know how to act around us. It's just gonna take time, guys. We'll get through it, but it's gonna take time.

Now, don't get me wrong ... I still remain hopeful. La Petite Belle is a very strong kid, always has been. She was strong-willed and anyone who knows her has witnessed all this child is capable of, both good and bad. She has always been the picture of health. Her claim to fame ... as she tells others, "I've only thrown up twice in my lifetime." It's true. This child had no ear infections, no hospitalizations, no major viruses, no sicknesses at all ... until now. I know that she can beat any odds, especially with God on her side.

But, as I've learned in recent weeks, recovery can take a while. We're talking months here. Actually, the medical field doesn't say a transplant patient is fully recovered and their immune system back to where it should be until after a year post-transplant. A YEAR!

Even more, there's more evidence for her and I to be away from home longer than expected. As another person told me ... "no one goes home 100 days post-transplant." No one.

That was hard to hear. Not just because I want my baby home, but I want us to be home with our family. I know that she could be the one ... the one who has an amazing recovery and goes home early, but if she isn't, I need to be prepared for that, too. God will heal her either way and that's all we desire.

There were tears from La Petite Belle just the other night as we got rid of our couch. She's emotional enough as it is right now, but she just wanted to lay on our couch (which we got rid of because we're moving in just a couple of weeks ... currently sitting around on patio furniture). She loves our house. She doesn't do well with change. Never has. And, her life is about to get flipped upside down more than it even has been the last few months.

I still cry. Not as much, but I cry.

When I think about being away from my husband and oldest daughter (who's about to leave the country), I get sad. I cry when I think about all that I will have to be for my daughter, thinking I may not be strong enough to do it. I realize I have to do it. I don't have a choice. But, I wonder if I can be all that she needs me to be. I have to be strong. I have to be positive. 

I get sad when I think of the possibility of us not being home for Thanksgiving, and let's not even think about Christmas. I can't bear that thought.

The thoughts that enter your mind when you're going through stuff like this span from the best, positive thing to the worst-case scenario. I constantly have to take those darn thoughts captive ... even crying my eyes out, I still take them captive and move on. You just can't allow your mind to stay in a hopeless spot. It wasn't meant to be there.

I have to keep expecting and hoping for the best, because that's what my God, my Father, would want me to do.

When I tell my girls I'm going to give them a gift, I would hope that they think that it's something good and not something harmful to them. When my girls think about me as a mom, I would hope that they know that I would always want good things for them and their lives. And, of course, they know I want them well ... I'm the one who takes care of them and always looks out for them, begging them to stay healthy.

It's the same with our God. He loves us even more than our parents, or we, as parents, can love our own children.

I know it will be a long time. I'm preparing mentally for that ... crying all the same, but I'm preparing. I'm preparing for the marathon.

I see how people have been so loving and supportive and just plain old wonderful through this. But, as time goes by, the calls and texts become less and less, the meals don't come anymore, the money stops, people just start to forget. Now, I'm not blaming anyone. People have their own lives. I get it.

But, just know ... running a marathon takes a lot of training ... weeks of training, sometimes months. There are those who are with you at the beginning ... the sprint. In fact, there are SO many people who will be there for the sprint. But, thank God, there will be those who are with you through the long haul, through the whole marathon, all the way to the finish line ... those who will run right beside you, pushing you and saying "you can do it". 

Those people will be few and so extremely valuable.

I do worry that this experience will change me. I worry that I will become more introverted (don't even snicker ... I'm being serious here), that I won't want people around anymore, that I'll start to feel uncomfortable in groups, because I will be mostly alone for so long. I pray that this changes me for the better and not cause me to be something God never intended me to be. I pray that God will sustain me and just make me stronger so that I can be a better servant ...  a better wife, and a better mom.

As far as the latest update goes ...

The donor had her physical yesterday. We have tentative admittance and transplant dates. We also have a tentative appointment date in mid-July for all testing that will need to be done before admittance. As soon as we know the donor is cleared, we will get confirmation on all the dates. As of right now, my girl continues with her weekly appointments to check counts and get transfusions. Yesterday, she had two units of platelets and two units of red blood. She is also getting her Neupogen shots to boost her white blood count every other day. We see a OBGYN today to discuss what we can do to stop her cycle due to the fact that the previous attempts have failed. She needs to keep as much of her blood as possible. Being a girl is just tough sometimes, isn't it? We hope to have everything confirmed on dates by the end of next week and be able to let all of you know exactly when we're leaving. 

Again, thanks for the prayers and support.
If you would like to support La Petite Belle's journey to healing financially, you can find more information here - All money goes toward medical bills and expenses.