Friday, March 29, 2013

A Very Good 'Good Friday'

Last year on Good Friday, Elena was in the hospital. It was day 24 of what would turn out to be a 29 day stay in the hospital. Elena had just begun her treatment for her relapse of leukemia. 

Last year, we couldn't imagine what our next hour would hold, let alone a year from then.

It has been a year.
Today is Good Friday.

At Elena's clinic visit we were given very good news.  Elena looks great. She is showing no signs of GVHD and her counts are holding steady!  And the good news didn't end there.  We also found out that we can start relaxing Elena's restrictions with regards to social interacting and diet.  While we know that it will take some time to get back to "normal", Elena is ecstatic with the idea of "finally being free".  We certainly share in her enthusiasm and were so excited to see and hear the sheer joy in her voice when she said earlier today that "this was the best day ever".

This was the best news we could expect to hear today and we give all of the glory to God! He has brought us through a terrible storm. He has brought us to today. He has used you to remind us that we would make it, no matter what!

A year ago, on a very dark day, our friend Stacee reminded us that even on the darkest of days, we can experience the hope and joy His promises bring. Because Jesus died and rose again, we know this life is not all there is. We have the hope of heaven! 

So many years ago, this day was the darkest of days, Jesus' crucifixion.
But, in the bible, Jesus says  "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26

We are grateful for this reassurance.
We are grateful for God's sacrifice for us.
We are grateful for His promises, grace, and steadfast love.
We are grateful to each of you for your prayers and for being the hands and feet of Christ to us.

We are so very grateful for this good day!!

In Him,
The Tates

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 14:27

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More Praises and Prayers

Today we celebrate more good news!  Elena took her last cyclosporine pill this morning!!  Praise God!!  Hopefully we will find out tomorrow that her counts are spectacular and that she can also stop taking her magnesium supplement as well.  This will leave her with just bactrim, the antibiotic she will take only on the weekends until her 1-year anniversary in July.  What a welcomed relief, especially after the 42 pills/day she was taking in the hospital right after transplant and the multitudes that have followed these past 8 months.  We pray that all of these pills have done what they were designed to do and that Elena's body will now take over and continue to strengthen and heal itself.

Please pray specifically for Elena's clinic visit tomorrow.  Pray for wonderful news with regards to her counts and physical condition and pray for clear direction as to what Elena's next steps will be with regards to school, food, and being out and about.   

Please also continue to pray for the girls colds to go away.  They are both still bothered by coughing, congestion, and stuffiness.

In Him,
The Tates

"Be still, and know that I am God;"  Psalm 46:10a

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Praises and Prayers

Yesterday we celebrated a BIG praise -- Elena's 8 month anniversary of her Bone Marrow Transplant!  What a wonderful 8 months it has been!  We have seen Elena grow and mature during this time into a beautiful young lady and we couldn't be more proud of her!

This week also holds another milestone for Elena.  She is scheduled to take her last cyclosporine capsule on Thursday.  This is the anti-rejection medicine that she has been on since transplant.  She is so excited about no more pills!

Elena is also scheduled for her once a month visit on Friday to get a check on her well being and her counts.  This is where part of the prayers come in.  Last night Elena said that her ear felt like it had water in it and was stopped up.  Later in the evening she was complaining of a headache.  Thankfully she has remained fever free!  Praise God!  We will be calling the clinic this morning however, to make sure of our next course of action.  Please pray for Elena's head and ear to stop hurting and for clear direction from her doctors on how to treat these symptoms should they persist.

Please also pray for Olivia as she went to the doctor yesterday with a bad cold and was put on an oral steroid and breathing treatments to help open her lungs.  She has a bad cough which in turn gives her a bad headache as well.  Pray for the cough and headaches to subside and for the medications to take care of Liv's respiratory problems.

We give thanks to God for where we are today and ask for His continued blessings on our family.  We also continue to pray for the complete and total healing of Elena's body and for patience and peace in the waiting.

In Him,
The Tates

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  Romans 8:28

Monday, March 18, 2013

What a Weekend!

We are continuing to enjoy every moment we can together.  The weeks are still crazy with the busyness of work and school, so when the weekends come, we try to fill them with as much fun as we can.

Last weekend, we enjoyed our first weekend getaway since last June!  We were so happy to be able to go spend time with our friends Cori and Phil and their son, Cooper. We were able to relax, spend time outside, eat lots of yummy food, and simply enjoy being together.

We first met Cori and Phil in July 2009 at the Lighthouse Family Retreat. They took care of us for one fabulous week in Florida. We formed a close bond that week. Cori and Phil are like family to us and have brought us so much joy, laughter, and love over years. A true blessing!

July 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend 2009

 September 2010

September 2010 - Cooper arrived on October 10, 2010!

June 2012 Horseback Riding 

Last weekend March 2013

I think it took 20 shots to get this one!

This is what most of the shots looked like!

We are SO very thankful for such a wonderful weekend with amazing friends!

Thank you to all for continuing to pray for us and be a part of our journey.

In Him,
The Tates

"A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fun in the Sun

Over the past several weeks, whenever we have gotten a break from the cold, rainy days of winter, we have taken full advantage of these beautiful, sunny days!

We hope you enjoy these pictures
from our days at the park,in the backyard
and on the trails at the nearby nature center with some friends!

Enjoy this weekend!