Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Candlelighter's/Kruse Way Rotary Miracle

Yes, this is a long post, but please read all the way through to the end for what we hope is as much of a blessing to you as it is to us. No peaking, read all the way through...

As many of you know, there is this great organization called Candlelighters that helps families with kiddos with cancer. It has meant so much to us that we have chosen to spend a lot of our time and effort in support of the organization. We are on a committee that puts together a free summer camp for kiddos AND their families every year, it is the organization that daddy spent 8 days driving all over Oregon in support of Bicycle Riders earning money for them, and it is an organization in which we spend one day a week putting on meals in the two local hospitals with kiddo oncology wards so the families stuck in the hospital can have a "real" meal. The meals meant SO much to us when we were in the hospital. The girls can both say (barely) Candlelighters and show off their T-Shirts or Sweatshirts from Candlelighter events and they smile anytime it is mentioned. Well today was Candlelighters Christmas party put on at a local hotel ballroom and sponsored mainly by Kruse Way Rotary. Thank you Candlelighters. THANK YOU Kruse Way Rotary.
There were MANY things going including clowns, face painting, entertainment, food and drink, and of course, visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause. Rebekah REALLY enjoyed petting some of the reptiles they had there: Yes, that is a VERY large snake and also a tortise. It was pretty cool. Sarah obviously enjoyed the punch:

While there we met up with good friend Josh, another Ewing's Kiddo. He and Rebekah were diagnosed at almost the same time and it is no minor miracle that they are both here with us today: Rebekah and Sarah got to sit with Santa and Mrs. Clause and received some presents from them: We were apparently bad parents for making the girls come home with their presents still unopened, but there were just too many things to try and carry without new parts and and pieces falling out of new toys. They did get to open them when they got home thought - I guess Christmas has come REAL early. Around here that is not big news as Christmas comes everyday we wake up with our little girl, even if we sometimes forget to remember that. After dinner there was a blow up bouncy house and slide. The slide was a good 8-10 feet high INSIDE where the kids got to slide down and as you can see Rebekah LOVED it: It is not suprising that Rebekah loved it so much as she loves slides. But what was so surprising is how she got there. As a reminder and to describe the situation for those new to the site. This is a little girl that, due to her Cancer treatments and Cerebral Palsy, still needs help climbing regular steps and can climb playground structures (with big steps) only with help as her balance and leg/arm/hand strenght frequently cause her to fall down/off backward so she obviously needs a CONSTANT assistant to stay safe on even the smallest of playground structures. With that said, let me show you how Rebekah got to the top of this slide:

Daddy was brought to tears, not just a slight hint of water but SOBBING tears right there in front of 100's of people as this miracle unfolded before his eyes. And she did it again, again, and again. After the first few times she kept repeating "No daddy no help, myself, myself." It may seem small to many of you, but this yet another Candlelighter's Miracle for us.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a quick post to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you all are able to enjoy it with family and friends.

Daddy and Rebekah are both sick. So far Mommy and Sarah seem to be doing ok. We postponed Rebekah's scans for two weeks, so hopefully she'll be feeling better by then. Now that Rebekah is in school and around all the germs, she does seem to get sick pretty often. I guess we can't avoid it. We just have to take it a day at a time.

Tonight was a Candlelighters dinner at one of the local hospitals and Mommy went to help out. (We try to help out when we can and since Daddy was sick he couldn't go, but he watched the girls so Mommy could.) Anyway, there are a number of families that expected to be in the hospital tomorrow, too. If you think of it, say a prayer for the families that have loved ones in the hospital over the holiday. They could use an extra thought or two. It can be difficult and isolating. They are on my heart tonight.

We are thankful for many things - family, friends, a loving and caring God who watches over us and provides for our needs, a child who has been cancer free for 21 months, dealing with everyday colds and flus and not having to make sure Rebekah doesn't get it, girls who like to have fun and play games, etc...


Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankfulness ...

Over Veteran's Day, we had a wonderful long weekend. Our friends - the Dunhams - loaned us their Sunriver home again. It has become a bit of a retreat for us. Thank you so much Dunham Family, you are awesome! We picked Rebekah up from school on Thursday and headed over (it is about a 4 hour drive over the mountain) to Sunriver. She always has Fridays off and she had Monday off for the holiday, so we got to stay through Monday and come home then.

The weather was good - cold but not too cold. We would have liked to have seen some snow, but it didn't happen. While we were there, we got to meet with some of Daddy's clients and their families. That was fun! And we got to have fun with Mommy's Uncle and Aunt, Cousins and all their families. That was fun, too! We had some friends who were supposed to come with us, but they got sick and couldn't make it. We missed them and are sorry they were sick.

Last week was a busy, but decent week for the most part. Rebekah and Sarah had school on Tuesday and then Rebekah had school on Wednesday and Thursday and both girls had speech on Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, while Rebekah was at school, I took Sarah for a hearing test with the school district. With the speech issues she has, we just wanted to rule out any possible hearing problems. Her hearing tested fine. There were a few areas that were outside of "normal", but not by much and not untypical. So it doesn't sound like there is anything to worry about.

Thursday at school, Rebekah started to get a runny nose and wasn't hungry. It was looking like she was coming down with something. Friday morning, she was still a bit out of sorts, but we went ahead with her Speech Therapy in the afternoon. By Saturday, she was running 101 temperatures and not feeling well. Her poor little nose is very tender. She doesn't want anything to do with having it wiped. Poor thing!

She is still running fevers, so no school today or tomorrow at this point and Wednesday is questionable. Not any fun. She's not eating much and wanting to rest much more than normal. And not sleeping well at night, so Mommy's not sleeping well either.

We are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with family. We have a lot to be thankful for. Rebekah is alive and happy. She has her difficulties, but she is loved and loves us back. She is a delight! Sarah is a joy, too!

November is scan month for Rebekah. We have her scheduled for Scans this Friday morning at 6:15 am. That is a bit early for us, but that is when we could get both the MRI and the CT together with one anesthesia. With her cold, I'm not sure we will end up keeping the appointment. We may need to check with Oncology and see what they think. Not what we want, but we have to take things as they come.

We hope that everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving and that you remember the things that you are thankful for. Family, friends, health, happiness, a loving God, a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards... Those are just a few of the things that we are thankful for.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Little Better

Rebekah finally made it back to school on Thursday. The antibiotics started to take effect and help get things under control. Wednesday, Mommy's throat was so sore that it hurt to swallow. She went to the doctor (with two sick kids in tow) and was diagnosed with Strep Throat and started on antibiotics, too. Rebekah had a spot on her face that looked like a strep infection (impetigo) and although it wasn't confirmed through cultures we suspect that is what it was. The antibiotic she started would help with it, so we continued it. Meanwhile, Sarah showed up with a similar spot, so we got an antibiotic cream for her spot. Three slightly different antibiotics for three girls... All the girls are improving and mostly better.

Mommy, her brother, her mother and one aunt spent much of the week planning for ther memorial service for her Aunt Lucile and taking care of the necessary details. The service was on Sunday and was a nice service, as far as memorial services go. Aunt TT kept the girls for us during the service, so we didn't need to take them with us or worry about them. Thanks Aunt TT! Three of Lucile's four kids made it to the services and it was good to see them, despite the circumstances. It has been a long, long time and we look forward to reconnecting with them.

Thank you for all the warm wishes last week. They do help lift us up, especially when we are down in the dumps for whatever reason - and last week was definitely one of those weeks.