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Dec 24, 2009

Love this one!

While looking through photographs for Andrew's service, we found this one taken about 2 years ago. I had not remembered it. I LOVE IT. I LOVE HIM.
To try to tell you how difficult it is to know Andrew is no longer in our presence would be such a shallow expression to convey deep pain.
On the rare occasions that I was sick or had a migraine, Andrew would check on me. He would offer me water or whatever I might need. He often paused, closed his eyes and then would say, "I prayed for you, Mommy." When he was little he called me "mommy" which was eventually replaced with "mom." But over the past few months, he had started calling me "mama."
Just a few days before he went to heaven, he was eating his breakfast and he told me, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
We talked about some things we could do together despite the paralysis of his left arm.
Since he went to heaven, I keep hearing him say, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
We were determined that Andrew's service would be an expression of worship to the Lord as well as a way to share who Andrew really IS to those who don't know him like we do.
As my friends on the praise & worship team sang, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of our God...," we raised our hands in worship to our Lord and Savior who is ALWAYS HOLY AND ALWAYS WORTHY OF WORSHIP.
During our time of worship, I could "hear" Andrew's words again, "I want to spend some time with you today, Mama."
It was then that I knew in worshipping the Lord, I WAS spending time with Andrew for I knew that he was also worshipping the Lord. And so in worshipping God, I am able to actively participate in Andrew's life in Heaven. And some day I will see Andrew's hands raised in praise...both the right and the left.
More pictures and more words later...

Dec 23, 2009

Just a few glimpses of one of my favorite faces!

Summer '08
I took Andrew to the skate park. I love this picture.

(Click on pics to enlarge.)

Ski Trip '07
Such a sweet smile.

Summer Trip of white water rafting '07
We stopped at a national park for a picnic and Andrew ran and jumped and when he landed this one, he fell and tumbled down the slope. My mother's heart jumped out of my body! He was ok...just a little scraped up.

In a little while, I will share the beauty of his service on Saturday, 12/19. For now, just know that we worshipped the Lord.
We were led in triumphal procession and the fragrance of Christ was spread.

Dec 16, 2009

Andrew smiles in heaven now

Our beautiful, precious Andrew passed from this earth to heaven yesterday. He was scheduled to start treatment yesterday, Dec. 15, but the aggressive tumors grew too fast. He had been sleeping next to me for weeks and he woke up around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning complaining of a terrible headache. He vomited and asked to go to the hospital, knowing it was the only way to get the pain relief that he needed. A cat scan revealed that his brain was full of the cancer and there was nothing medically to be done for him. Soon he was unaware of anything, although we believe his spirit was aware of our presence.

We stayed beside him and soon family and friends gathered in his room. We prayed, cried, loved on him and told him everything we wanted him to know. We were privileged to have him in our family for 12 years.

We sang and we kissed him. He was not able to breathe on his own. After removing the breathing tube, he never even tried to breathe. Soon he was no longer with us. I lay beside him in the bed and loved him. The nurse and I bathed his body. I gave him his first bath and wanted to give him his last.

Thank you so much for your outpouring of prayer, love and support in so many ways. I will be posting pictures of Andrew at some point. They are pictures to celebrate his precious life with us. I told our children yesterday that we will always be a family of 5. Andrew just made it to heaven ahead of us but I know it won't be long until we join him there. This life is just a breath. God is good.

Dec 3, 2009

Edited/Rizpah here...

Edited: Treatment with Temodar first then a resting phase followed by the phase 1 study using Avastin, Irinotecan and Temodar.

Yesterday we were all in church together. The Christmas program was wonderful! Our pastor asked our church to be in prayer and fasting for Andrew on December 17.
We pray for a miracle of healing to take place in Andrew's body.
He told me again this morning that he needs to get better, that he wants to get better.

Andrew had his simulation today. That is preparation for radiation. He should be starting within 10 days. They will call.

I think we have decided to go with a phase 1 study being conducted at All Children's Hospital here in St. Pete.
The combination of drugs has shown some promise. This is a hard decision because the potential side effects are greater than standard protocol. But after lots of research I am leaning toward the phase 1 study. My husband and I are going to give it a few days and pray about the treatment path.

Andrew is going through a lot right now. As you can imagine, this is very hard on a 12 yr. old.
He is on a wait list for physical and occupational therapy. That is very frustrating. We are limited in what we know to do with him as far as improving his function. In the meantime, his left arm dangles at his side and he walks crookedly and slowly. And the left side of his face does not cooperate with his right side.

Meanwhile I am...
Persisting in prayer despite the medical prognosis...BECAUSE of the medical prognosis.
Trying to make these days "normal" for all of our sakes.
Hoping Christmas will bring a miracle for Andrew and many others.
Keeping two words in my mind...BUT GOD.

Prayer requests for Andrew:
healing, of course
improved function on left side
no more headaches
restful sleep at night
hope and happy days
no negative side effects from treatment
a cure

I love you all for your continued prayers and sweet encouragements. God is Good and trustworthy.
"By His stripes, Andrew is healed..."