Friday, August 17, 2012

Day + 23

Praising God that Elena did not have to have platelets last night!! What a wonderful answered prayer!  Please continue to pray that Elena will be able to get the rest she needs at night.  Unfortunately, even without a transfusion, that didn't happen last night.  Itching, nausea, and beeping machines still caused problems.

Today, we caught up with Elena's Beads of Courage.

Beads of Courage is a non-profit organization out of Tucson that is designed to honor the challenging journeys kids with cancer have to take. The colorful beads are a way to visually represent the many challenges these kids overcome along their treatment journeys.

Working on Elena's tenth strand of beads.

You can earn 21 different treatment beads
and 6 different milestone beads.
Here are a few types: red = transfusions, black = any type of "poke", white = chemo, yellow = overnight stays at the hospital, glow in the dark beads = radiation, tests/scans = light green, rainbow = care team visits (OT, PT, RT, CLS) and weekly completion of jobs

Elena's second purple heart.
This bead recognizes the completion of treatment.
When Elena was looking at the selections of purple hearts, she decided to choose this one because it had a twisted hard vine on it and it was "ugly". She said having to go through treatment for cancer a second time was like this heart twisted and ugly.  We pointed out to her that this heart also had a glimmer and beauty underneath the vine. To us, this symbolizes Elena's beauty that always shines.

Elena earned 393 beads during her first battle with leukemia. During her second battle with leukemia at Scottish Rite, she earned 211 beads and since being here at Egleston for her bone marrow transplant, she has earned 188 beads. So far, through this program, Elena has been able to collect 792 beads that symbolize her courage and honors the milestones she has achieved along her journey.

We are so very proud of her and her strength and determination.  She has fought and fought hard for six months now and for 29 months  prior to her relapse.
She has persevered under terrible circumstances. She has done so with such grace.

Elena's story and battle are not over. Please continue to pray for continued strength, perseverance, and complete healing here on Earth. 

In Him,
The Tates

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


  1. Elena,
    YOU are amazing! YOU are the most courageous person I know. Seeing you with all those strands of beads puts into perspective how much you have gone through over the course of the last couple of years. My heart breaks when I think of how much you have had to endure at such a young age. YOU are my hero. I continue to pray daily for your full recovery.
    Love and prayers,

  2. I think that the beads are such a great visual way for people to get an idea of what Elena and our children go through - but so many beads ...well, it's just a lot ...too many, but you're getting there, and we are always praying and thinking of you guys, and can't wait to give Eleana a hug ..xoxo The Slaters

  3. Elena,

    You look fabulous :) While I was reading the blog Jackson was standing next to me. He waved at your picture,blew you a kiss, and said "get well soon" :) You are always in our prayers!!! Keep up the good work, you are doing great! Love and Hugs, Mrs. Peek :)

  4. Elena. I pray for your complete healing.

  5. You look wonderful sweet girl. Keep that beautiful smile. I continue to pray for you and think about you all the time. I love you, Aunt Beth

  6. You are in our prayers daily, Elena. We hope you can get some rest very soon. Most of us cannot imagine what all it is that you are dealing with. You are definitely a fighter! The way you still are able to smile after earning all those beads is proof of that! with love from the Atnips.

  7. No matter what Elena is going through, she can always manage to bring up that wonderful smile. To see you display your "trophy beads" in celebration of all you have gone through with that absolutely precious smile lets me know that you are going to be perfect when this is over. Whatever inner strength you have shows through, even when the going is at it's worst. I love you, Rainey