When we picked out names for our children, I never really gave much thought to what each name meant. Chuck and I picked out names we liked and that was that. Each child has a bit of family heritage in their name, but I didn’t learn until after the fact, that we should be mindful when choosing a name because they might actually live up to what it means. Not mentioning any names here.
While I know what all their names mean since I included that in each child’s baby book, I hadn’t really given much thought to what any of them meant for quite some time. However, at our first Friday school co-op meeting of the school year, all that changed when I was reminded during a Chapel lesson what the name Andrew means. As our co-op coordinator was sharing what different names mean, she shared that Andrew means “strong, manly, brave”. Then she looked at Andy and said to him that he sure has lived up to the meaning of his name. It was at that moment that I realized how his name really does fit him. Before he was even conceived, I knew we’d name him Andrew if we were blessed with another son. I love that his name fits him so well, tho I wish that the brave part was because he scales to the top of trees while he’s outside playing or that he’s a little dare devil when he’s riding his bike. And while he is brave to do many things, he’s also forced to be brave while fighting for his precious life.
Summer has gone by in a snap. We had many fun times, but honestly not as many as I had hoped for. Yes, we camped, but not nearly enough. Yes, we went to the beach to play in the sand, but not nearly enough. Yes, we ate ice cream and roasted smores, but here again, it wasn’t nearly enough. I adore summer. Summer equals long, carefree days with nothing too pressing on your plate. I am coming to sense that I just need the “life season” of summer to stay and maybe that is why I’m trying so hard to cling to summer. With all that we’ve gone through with Andy, I want to hang onto that summer feeling through the whole year. I have no reason to think we’re not through the worst of things, but I still yearn for summer to stay.
While most everything about summer was wonderful, one part was not. On August 25, we lost our beloved dog of 12 years, Pepper. She had been on the downhill for quite some time, but how she died wasn’t how I really anticipated it to happen. The Lord is so good because of how he orchestrated her death. I know He knew we couldn’t handle it any other way. While she had been declining in her health and having trouble in many aspects, she really seemed happy still, so we had no reason to think that she was actually going to just die. It was really a “here today, gone tomorrow” type of death. She had wanted out in the middle of the night (typical for her) and the next morning we found her dead under the front porch, her very favorite place outside. While it was very difficult for the kids to see their beloved Pepper dead, it was also a relief that she died at home and we didn’t have to make the decision of when to have her put to sleep. We were so blessed to be able to bury her in our backyard where the kids can go visit her gravesite whenever they want to. She loved her home and I know it is most healing for our family to be able to keep her here. Losing a pet is so hard and we still miss her so very much.
Andy’s had three appointments since I last updated. They were all very uneventful and we’re so thankful he continues to respond so well to his treatment.
His first appointment was on August 5. That day he had a spinal tap with Methotrexate and a push of Vincristine in his port. He weighed in at 82 lbs and had an ANC of 1310. His doctor was very pleased with all his labs and how he’s tracking with his progress.
His second appointment was on September 2 where he had a push of Vincristine in his port and his typical labs ran. Again, all looked perfect and it was pretty short and sweet. He weighed 83.5 lbs and had an ANC of 1230.
His most recent appointment was on September 30. This was another appointment with just Vincristine in his port and labs. His ANC was down to 820 this time, but still well within normal for him on treatment and he weighed 83 lbs.
All his medicines have remained the same these past three appointments. Just because I like to keep track of it, his steroid pulse is 50 mg/day of Prednisone, he then takes 10 tabs of Methotrexate each Tuesday, 2.5 tabs of 6MP four days per week and 2 tabs the other three days per week, and his Septra antibiotic twice daily for three days each week.
We continue to be so very thankful to our gracious God who is walking with our family through this valley. We’re so blessed to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel off in the distance and pray for smooth and easy days ahead. As always, we covet your prayers for Andy’s protection from long-term side effects from his medicines and also for complete healing of his precious body.
“The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” ~ Proverbs 20:24