Sometimes we struggle.
We think about how much we have lost over the past several years.
We have lost time - time together, time with our children, time with our families.
Our girls have lost time too - time to do what they want, time to go where they want, time to grow up slowly.
Sometimes we lose our joy.
We remember when the joy outshined the pain.
There is still joy in our lives. Sometimes it is easy to see.
Sometimes we have to stop and find it.
Sometimes simply surviving the day is a struggle.
But, we have not lost sight of the fact that we still have days to live.
Others do not.
Our girls have reached great milestones:
In June, Liv had her fifth consecutive MRI showing no signs of a recurrent tumor.
In August, Elena completed her treatment for leukemia.
We are so thankful that they reached these milestones!
Others do not.
Our battle is not over. We all are now fighting the cognitive late term effects on a daily basis.
Our battle is not over. Children die from cancer every day.
Nine days ago we attended our first memorial service for a child. Abby lost her battle against cancer on August 17, 2011. We first met Abby on a Tuesday several years ago. It was a brain tumor clinic day for Liv. Our girls looked forward to the days they would see Abby.
Abby was a beautiful seven year old, who always had a smile to share. Many times Abby's parents reminded us to cherish every moment, hold our girls close, and remember that God is always near.
At the service to celebrate Abby's life, Abby's parents provided everyone cards with bible verses on them. They said that God had used these verses to bring them comfort and peace throughout Abby's journey and then continued to provide them reassurance in their loss. Their hope was that the verses would speak to others too.
This is one of the verses:
"My life is an example to many, because You have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising You; I declare Your glory all day long. Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with You, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth."
Psalm 71: 7,8,19-20
These verses give us hope, comfort, peace, and reassurance that no matter how large our battles may seem, God has protected us, strengthened us and He will restore us.
Even though sometimes the battles seem too great, we always know that God is here.
We hope our journey has made you want to join the fight to find a cure for childhood cancer.