Friday, June 28, 2013

Clinic Update and More Summer Fun

The blessings continue to come this summer at the Tate house!

The girls had great clinic appointments this week. Both girls were seen by their primary oncologists. We have been seeing Liv's doctor for nine years and Elena's doctor for four years.  It is still hard to believe that we have been a part of the AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center for nine years.  As hard as these years have been, we are so very blessed to live so close to an amazing children's hospital and pediatric cancer center.  These doctors, nurses, and staff are like family to us and truly love our girls.

Both girls were given good reports from their doctors. They are so very pleased with their progress and accomplishments both medically and personally. Since this was Liv's fifth year having clear scans, she does not have an MRI or go back to the clinic until summer of 2015! Praise God!
Elena's counts were good and she's looking good. She will continue to be seen monthly for now. Elena has reached her 11th month post transplant. Praise God!

We continue to fill our summer days with as friends, family, and fun and count our blessings every day.

We spent a fun filled weekend with the Hankinsons!

a first for the girls



Thank you Phil, Cori, and Cooper for a fabulous 'staycation' weekend!
Can't wait til our next one together!
We also enjoyed a couple of days with
Grandma and Grandpa Tate, Aunt Natalie,
and cousin Sage from Louisiana.

Over the past year, Aunt Natalie has been hard at work on a very special prayer quilt for Elena. It was a huge surprise and is absolutely beautiful!
She had all of Mark's family contribute material to the project. It is an amazing work of art and love. It was fun to read all of the names and see how each person's fabric fit their personality or Elena's. We all LOVE it!

After time at the pool, getting yogurt and pedicures, going out to dinner, and watching a late night movie, they girls slept in!
Our summer fun continues next week with a trip to see our families in Louisiana. Thank you for continuing to surround our family with love and prayers! Thank you for rejoicing in all that God has given us this summer!
In Him,
The Tates
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Praises for Today and Prayers for Tomorrow

Praises for today:
Elena had a great week at Camp Sunshine. She was happy, made new friends, tried new things, and loved it all. Praises for answered prayers!

This morning we woke up at our dear friends Cori and Phil's house, thankful for their friendship and for all the fun we have when we are together! Right now, we are waiting for the craft project we are working on to dry and planning lunch. 

Today, we are also celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary!  We are spending our 8,401st day as husband and wife thanking God for all he has blessed us with and for how he makes himself known in our lives daily.

Prayers for tomorrow:
Tomorrow we will head to Scottish Rite at 10am for Liv's 11am appointment with her doctor. After her appointment, we will go over to the hospital to visit our fav inpatient nurses and get some lunch. Then, Elena's appt is at 2:30 pm. We are thankful that the We are thankful that the women in the scheduling department at Aflac were able to schedule both girls' appointments on the same day!

This is Liv's yearly appointment at Aflac Cancer Center and Elena's monthly appointment.

In case you missed our last post, Liv's MRI scans were clear! Praise God! 
Prayers for a good visit for Liv. We are looking forward to hearing what her next steps are in terms of clinic visits and scans now that she has had clear scans for FIVE years. Another huge praise!

Prayers for Elena to also have a good visit and for her counts to be great.

Thank you for continuing to join us in our praises and prayers!

In Him,
The Tate's

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, June 17, 2013

Liv's Day

Praise be to God for this day!
What a great day it has been!
We heard this evening that Liv's scans are clear!
God is good!

Today was Liv's 19th MRI in nine years. Today was also Liv's FIRST time to have the MRI without being sedated! Over the years, we have tried to get her to do it, but she's been afraid of the "unknown" and always wanted to be sedated. This year was different. After talking to her best friend, Laura, she decided to try it. She did it! No problems at all! Praise God!

Our only bump in the road today was when the nurse hit a valve in Liv's arm during her first attempt to put in the IV needed for the contrast. But Liv did her best to remain calm and breathe.  She's really good at deep breathing and the second IV attempt in her hand was easy.

We are so thankful for today and the wonderful news it brought!
We are also so very thankful for your prayers! They were felt!

Another answered prayer is from yesterday when we brought Elena to Camp Sunshine. At first, she was feeling both excitement and nervousness. After we got to her cabin, we got her unpacked and her bed ready. She meet her counselors and started talking to the girls in her cabin. She became more settled and relaxed. After about an hour, she said we could go. : )

Please keep Elena in your prayers this week - for her physical stamina and for her to enjoy her time away.

Thank you for being with us today in prayer and praise!

In Him,
The Tates

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His."
Psalm 100:1-3

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What We've Been Up To and Upcoming Plans

We can't believe we have let so much time go by in between posts. We have been enjoying every minute of summer. We are sorry we have not stopped to share with you how much this summer means to us. This time has not come to us without great appreciation and reflection. At this time last year, we were headed into the summer filled with fear, dread, apprehension of the unknown, and sadness. As school was ending last year,  Elena was in the hospital. In the weeks that followed, doctors tried without success to get Elena into remission. Her bone marrow transplant was delayed, again and again. We awaited test results and prayed for clinical trials to open. Liv was lost in the storm of it all. Summer was lost. Joy was hard to find.

Now, a year later, a new summer, new joy, new appreciation. We entered this season of summer filled with great excitement and thanksgiving. We are so happy to be together as a family and are enjoying all that life brings. Last summer, we didn't know if it would be Elena's last one.
We know God brought us through last summer, through these past 11 months since Elena's transplant, to today. We are so very grateful to Him and to you. You have been the hands and feet of the Lord here on earth every day to us. There are no words to completely express our appreciation to you for your prayers and your love. Thank you!

Sunday afternoon, we will be bringing Elena to Camp Sunshine. She hasn't been since 2009 and decided a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to go this year. It is a wonderfully, amazing week long camp for kids who have or have had cancer. Please pray for Elena to be safe, physically strong, and happy. Pray for her to enjoy her time away, to make new friends, and be honest about how she feels. Pray for peace of mind for us while Elena is away.
On Monday, June 17th, Liv will be having her yearly MRI at 10 am. She is already anxious. She cried about it on Friday and Saturday. It breaks our heart for her to already be distraught about it. Please pray for all anxiety to go away, for Liv to be strong in spirit and calm in her heart and mind. Please pray for CLEAR scans and NO evidence of a recurrent tumor. Pray for Liv to be completely comfortable in her decision to be sedated for the MRI or not. Pray for her to be calm when she gets her IV to receive the contrast liquid. Pray for no negative side effects from contrast or anesthesia.
Thank you for praying for us and with us. Thank you Lord for going before us!
In Him,
The Tates
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
Here's a little glimpse of what we have been up to so far this summer.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Swimming for a CURE

Boy it has been a really long time since our last post!!  Yes, we are doing well and loving every minute of this summer!! 

This post is to tell you about a really great event happening in our neighborhood this Thursday.

Thursday, June 13, our neighborhood swim team is having an ORANGE OUT at their swim meet. 

The team is raising money for CURE Childhood Cancer in honor of Abby, Cole, and Elena, all kids in our neighborhood who are either survivors or who are currently fighting leukemia. Through an orange rubber duck raffle, a bake sale, bracelet sales, a “Leukemia Blows Morning View Manta Rays Swimming for a CURE” t-shirt sale, and donations, the team will be raising much needed funds in the fight against childhood cancer.

Event organizers have already sold 90 shirts, 144 ducks for the duck raffle, and have some YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY treats lined up for the bake sale.   50 AMAZING prizes have been donated for the duck raffle and there will be newspaper reporters and photographers at the event. The donation buckets are ready and there are some FUN, FUN, FUN additional surprises in store for the evening! 

The evening will be kicked off at 5:55 with Abby, Elena, and Cole ‘swimming for a cure’ with a lap of courage across the pool!  

Please come help us raise money to find a CURE for childhood cancer! No one fights alone!

Thanks for continuing to fight this fight with us, pray for us and cheer us on!

Our next post this week will be a 'What's Been Happening' and 'What's Ahead for Us' post.

In Him,
The Tates

"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Matthew 18:20