Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Louisiana

Sorry it's been over two weeks since we posted our last entry....the Tates are all happy and well with our families in Louisiana.

We did all go to Elena's appointment on the 23rd with the car packed ready to hit the road. Elena's counts were still strong and she received two types of chemo. After a great visit, we were on the road to Louisiana by 10:30 am.

Since then, we have spent our time traveling across southeast Louisiana visiting family. It has been fun spending time with our parents, all of the girls grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Each stop has brought much laughter and joy. It's hard to believe that we haven't been here since last Christmas.

We have been enjoying all of the good food as well. The girls have had gumbo, fried shrimp, and crawfish. Neither one wanted to try the alligator. During today's visit to the French Quarter, we enjoyed pralines, beignets and more seafood. In Louisiana, they do say food is about culture, family, comfort, and life. We have certainly been enjoying all of these things!!

We hope that you all have also been able to take some time to enjoy the simpler things in life and to focus on the things that are really important! We will be traveling back to Georgia tomorrow to rest and recuperate from this nice break in our daily routines, and to get ready to see what excitement the New Year will bring!

Please pray for safe travel for us and for Elena's next appointment on January 4th. Thank you!

In Him,
The Tates

"May you be strengthened with all the power, according to his glorious might , for all endurance and patience with joy." Colossians 1:11

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14th Update

Good Afternoon Everyone!

After three weeks of rest and recovery, Elena has jumped back into treatment with both feet! Maybe if I said her whole body it would be more appropriate. This morning she received shots in both legs, her spine, her right arm and had her port accessed. She would have felt like a pin cushion with those five needle sticks had she not been sedated for all of them, and she said she still hurts all over! Praise God that they were able to get everything done during sedation and prayers for the affected areas to heal quickly.

Elena feels good otherwise and was back at school in time for lunch. She is amazing! Her doctors say that it is good for her to stay active after treatment to get the chemo flowing throughout her body, so it is a good thing that she is a social butterfly!

She is scheduled for her next appointment on the morning of Dec.23rd. We are hopeful to be leaving after this appointment to travel to Louisiana for the holidays. It will be nice to visit with family and friends, some of whom we haven't seen since before Elena was diagnosed. She is so excited to see everyone in person and to show them how well she is doing. We are all excited for the chance to take a "mini" vacation and get away for a while. We love the people at the Aflac Cancer Center and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, but a change of scenery, and a trip back home, will be a welcomed reprieve. Please pray that all goes well next week and in the weeks to come as we travel. We can't say thanks enough for all of the love and support we continue to receive from all of you. Thank you for taking the time to spend with us.

In Him,
The Tates

"...I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty." John 6:35

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ready. Set. Go!!

We are singing God's praises this morning for the good news that we received yesterday! All of Elena's counts have rebounded and she is ready to start her next phase of treatment! We are also praising Him for keeping her healthy during this time of low immunity and for continuing to lift her spirits during this time of tribulation in her life. What an awesome God we serve!!

And what awesome daughters we have been blessed to raise!! Elena actually cheered when we told her that her counts were good and she can start her chemo again, and Olivia is so sweet and supportive to all of us during these trying times! It is amazing to witness the hands and feet of Jesus working right here in these two wonderful girls!

Thank you for your prayers and your love and for taking time out of your day to spend with us!

In Him,
The Tates

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 5:10-11

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weekend Fun

As we have said before, no news is good news ....that being said, all is well at the Tate house. Elena's counts last Friday were again too low to begin her new phase of treatment this week. So, tomorrow we will go have Elena's counts checked again. Hopefully, we will be telling you on Friday that she is good to go and will begin treatment on Monday. Please pray that Elena's body has recovered and she will not be delayed any further. While the break from chemo and all medication is nice, we want to stay on track with Elena's treatment plan so her cancer will be completely defeated.

This weekend, we were blessed with lots of Christmas fun.

Saturday, we enjoyed our yearly Breakfast with Santa at our neighborhood clubhouse. The morning was cold and beautiful. The girls had a great time with their friends and were able to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas.

Here are some pictures from Saturday morning:

Mrs. Claus was there too!
She told us wonderful stories about the North Pole and the reindeer.

All aboard!

After church on Sunday, we were able to attend the CURE Childhood Cancer Family Christmas Party. We had so much fun visiting with families we knew from the Aflfac Cancer Center, as well as, meeting new friends. The girls painted tiles, made gingerbread houses and spin art, and listened to the Christmas Story. It was a very special event, hosted by a very special group of volunteers. Through their actions, we were reminded that the joy of serving is one of the best gifts we can give to others. The girls left that evening ready to go back next year....not as a cancer family, but as volunteers! Wow!

Monday night we decorated our Christmas tree.

As we enjoy this time together during Advent, we are counting our blessings and remembering that the greatest gift is the one that was given to us thousands of years ago, Jesus himself.

In Him,
The Tates

"And they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." Matthew 1:23