Please remember Andrew in prayer tomorrow (11/24) as he goes into surgery again around 10:00 a.m. est.
He has been in All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete since Saturday. All Children’s is 30 minutes from our home. We did not want to be separated from family and friends again.
He will have a debulking of the tumors. Following a short recovery, he will begin radiation and chemo. He began having excruciating headaches and vomiting last week.
There is no medical cure for this kind of brain cancer which is rare in children. BUT GOD.
We have put him over and again in God’s kind and capable hands. We have not given up on Andrew’s miracle. We still believe.
Please pray that God guides the hands of the surgeon and that there will not be an infection as was the case last time.
Pray that there are NO Ill Effects of the surgery.
Pray for us to have the wisdom of God on how to proceed with Andrew’s care and that we are led by His Spirit as we talk with our son.
And please include our other children in your prayers. Andrew’s big sister, Audra, is 20 and his big brother, Avery, is 15. Avery is not expressing his emotions and we are concerned about this.
Thank you for your prayers and your concern and your outpouring of love.
I’ll let you know how things go when I can.
Weeping endures for the night, but JOY comes in the morning. Tuesday night and Wednesday were very difficult days for us. I felt like I was losing my “fight.” But my husband was able to be strong when I was weak. After surgery I slept on the sleeper chair while my husband waited on Andrew through the night. Even though I heard every monitor beep and every exchange of words, just being able to lie still was refreshing.
My husband and I have a pact. No matter what we hear, no matter what someone else’s belief may be, we are taking our spiritual authority over our son. God gave him to us to steward his life and we intend to steward well while he is in our care.
(LET ME INSERT HERE THAT WE ARE SO THANKFUL AND BLESSED BY EVERY PRAYER YOU HAVE PRAYED FOR ANDREW. WE DO NOT DISCOUNT YOUR OUTPOURING OF LOVE AND SUPPORT. I HAVE FELT IT AND DEPENDED ON IT!PLEASE DON’T STOP PRAYING.)
We are the ones, who other than God, love Andrew the most in the world. We are the ones who conceived Andrew following a rough patch in our marriage. Andrew was our “miracle” child. He cemented our love and commitment to one another and to our family.
From the time Andrew was a little baby, he always had a smile. For a while, his dad called him “Smiley.”
We want that smiling boy back again and we KNOW we will have him.
Yesterday I thought about the Apostle Paul’s words, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor…”
In thinking of those words, I also thought about how we Christians believe that God has a purpose and a plan for each of us. I have asked God that Andrew fulfills the plan and purpose for his life. For Andrew to live is for the cause of Christ. I want our family’s purpose and the individual plan for each of us to go forth. It is the enemy of our souls who attempts to thwart God’s plan. He is the one who wants to take us out to keep us from fulfilling our purpose on this earth.
I want our family to go together (alive) in the rapture of the Body of Christ. This is what I am asking.
Again I am reminded of the scripture in Eph. 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine according to the POWER THAT WORKS IN US, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
God does the miracle and the healing…but he expects us to do the work of believing, praying and receiving. And if you have ever been in a position where with man, the “work” seemed impossible, then you know how much “work” is involved in keeping your faith built up, your fear down and your belief in the POWER of God to manifest the outward sign of an inward healing.
It was Jesus, the Son of God, who said that with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
Do we really believe that ALL things are possible with God? Do we REALLY believe that? Or is it just a comforting thought? Belief or thought? You must choose.
I choose to BELIEVE. I choose LIFE.
Our warrior, God’s newest recruit in HIS army, ate a little bit of a banana today. He sipped a little bit of Ensure and reported it to be “nasty.” Sergeant Mom had to get stern with him about eating real food because word has it that if he doesn’t eat today a feeding tube will be necessary.
If you could see Andrew’s shaved head, you would see he looks like he just got the “new recruit buzz.” Still handsome though…just waiting for that smile!
Be encouraged today that whatever you are facing, WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Don’t give up the good fight of faith! It really is a fight sometimes. Fight for your marriage, fight for joy and peace in your home, fight for your health, fight for your children’s spiritual growth, fight, fight, fight soldier. FIGHT! Yes, the battle is the Lord’s but he needs you to do your part. Why else would he tell us to put on the full armor? Because we have to fight.
Melanie, Dan, Audra, Avery & Andrew (Ted, too)
* All of our family and friends appreciate you sisters (and brothers) interceding and encouraging me…all of us. My husband has been so thankful for the support you have given me. It truly has kept me built up when I have needed it soooo much. And I am still praying for those of you who have needs.
Did you ever hear of God doing a 1/2 way miracle? Neither have I. What He begins, He is faithful to complete. And we KNOW that God began a MIRACLE for Andrew on 9/11. Before surgery, the surgeon warned us that Andrew might lose cognitive abilities, might be permanently paralyzed, might have a stroke, might not even wake up!
He woke up. He is Andrew. He remembers things from the past and things from this morning. He is walking as well as he was before surgery and we are believing that all loss of function WILL return.
And so we continue to persist in prayer. We continue to believe. We continue to watch our words.We are not giving up. We are not giving in. We are not settling for less than God’s best for Andrew and our family. God has been glorified, is being glorified and will continue to be glorified.
I understand that sometimes we have to go through a process. Of course I get that. I’ve been through some “stuff” that took some time. So have you.
But my mother’s heart is asking God for the completion of the MIRACLE and this week before treatment is scheduled would be fine with me!
Today I got to share with my personal doctor just where we stand on Andrew’s 100% recovery. I have been seeing this particular doctor for about 3 years now.
Today I had to go in so she would write a prescription for me. I knew she would need to see me. No calling this one in because I haven’t seen her in over a year!
Of course she asked me how things had been going for me. Now I hate telling what is going on right now but it is necessary in order to tell someone what we are believing!
So I gave her a brief explanation. Being a doctor, she wants to know the cancer type. I REALLY HATE THAT PART. But you know what? At the NAME OF JESUS, every thing that has a name has to bow to the NAME OF JESUS.
I have noticed that when I tell the diagnosed cancer, my voice is low and quiet. BUT WHEN I TELL THAT WE ARE BELIEVING FOR A MIRACLE MY VOICE IS STRONG AND AUTHORITATIVE!
I told my doctor: “We are Christians and 1000′s of people are praying for Andrew. We believe that God healed, God heals, and God WILL heal!
She responded that miracles do happen. At the end of the appointment she hugged me and said she would pray for my son. I don’t know what her belief is but she knows what we believe. God is a healer.
We live in a fallen world. The enemy is the author of sin, sickness and disease.
God is the creator, sustainer, redeemer and healer. What the enemy intends for our harm, God turns to our good and HIS glory!
Salvation was provided for in the death of Christ on the cross. Healing was provided for in the stripes on his back. Jesus went about preaching, teaching and healing the sick. There were so many miracles that He performed that if they were all recorded there would not be enough books! And He’s just about to complete the one He began on 9/11.
Cancer is a terrorist. I declare war on cancer. Cancer…every kind…has to bow to Jesus!
And so we worship. We praise. We pray. We groan. The Holy Spirit intercedes and prays for us when we don’t know how. Jesus is at the Father’s right hand making intercession for Andrew…for YOU.
Makes you love HIM more, doesn’t it? Makes you want to know HIM better, doesn’t it?
He longs for more intimacy with you. He’s calling out for you. He loves you so much if there had been only YOU, He would have given His life for YOU alone. In fact, HE did.
We had a good night! Praise God for that and so MUCH MORE. “Home” is a beautiful word.
We are home.
As we are awaiting the lab report on the fluid that was drained yesterday, we are believing that God has already gone ahead of us and we will get a good report ~ no infection.
Yesterday as we left our home to return to Shands in Gainesville, Andrew told us he was hungry. His appetite has been very good, maybe a side effect of the steroid he is on. So we stopped at our favorite place for quick food: ChickFilA. The drive thru line was looooong so I went in to order. The young man who took my order was Rob. He had such a gentle manner and I almost asked him if he believed in the power of prayer. I had a feeling he did. He offered to help me take the bags and drink holder to the car. Normally I would have refused, feeling that I could manage it. But through all of this we’ve gone through, any offer of help is welcome.
As we walked out the door, he asked me if I was on my way back to work. I told him no, that we were on our way back to Gainesville because our son needed to return to the hospital. Rob is from Gainesville and asked if we were going to Shands. I briefly told him what was going on and he asked for the name of our son. I knew what was coming. Rob offered to pray for Andrew. I opened the side door so Rob and Andrew could meet. I told Andrew he had one more person praying for him. Rob was very friendly to Andrew and got a smile from him. Just a quick little blessing that God gave us as we drove back not knowing what the next few hours would hold.
As I have said before, “We don’t know what is in our tomorrow but we know God has already been there.”
Following the CT scan, we went back into the surgeon’s clinic where his PA drew the fluid from Andrew’s head. The PA told me that there was a woman in the room next door who had mentioned Andrew and me and said we had been communicating online! Then she said the woman’s name was CELESTE WELCH.
Celeste left a comment on my blog a few days ago. She was so encouraging and let me know that the same surgeon and oncologist had treated her 5 year old who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 10 months. PLEASE PRAY FOR VALERIE GRACE!
So right next door was Celeste and Valerie Grace. I walked out and Celeste and I hugged one another (3 or 4 times!). I got to thank her for her encourgaging comments and emails. Celeste had also contacted friends from her home church in Gainesville who emailed me offering their support. One of her friends was actually working on the PICU floor while we were still there and she came in to meet us!
Amazingly, Celeste and her family had just arrived from Ecuador yesterday morning and needed to have Valerie Grace seen that day by Dr. Pincus. Valerie Grace is beautiful and told me she would miss me! I got to hug her, too!
Can’t you see how AMAZING our GOD is! “He makes; who can unmake?”
Celeste and I marveled at how we met yesterday. Who could have arranged that but God?!
Andrew is asleep now. I prayed over him this morning that he would fulfill the plan that God has for his life. I prayed that he would be a living testament and testimony for the glory of God. I prayed that many would come to know the beauty of Christ because of Andrew.
I continue to pray for those of you who have made a request. I am interceding on your behalf. God is a God of multiplication. I pray that as Andrew receives his MIRACLE that you will receive YOURS.
If you have stopped praying because you have grown weary or been disappointed, begin praying again! Ask God to give you direction from His Word that will reignite your “prayer fire.” This is a SEASON OF MIRACLES.
Later today I plan to upload some pictures so you can see Andrew, crooked smile and all. As I blow dried his shampooed hair (per doctor’s orders) I told him to let me know if it was too hot on the incision. He said since it was itchy, the heat felt good, like it was scratching it. I reminded him that when I had a bad case of poison ivy a few years ago, the hottest water in the shower felt good on my arms because if felt like they were being scratched.
That’s when Andrew said, “I felt bad for you then, Mom. Is that how you feel now for me?”
I said, “Yes, son, I feel bad for you.”
Andrew responded with this: “Don’t feel bad for me, Mom.”
He answered, “Because it’s not that bad.”
My precious son, how I love you! And how I love your dad who has shown how tender he can be in his care for you. And how I love the Lord who is the Good Shepherd and watches over you, tender little lamb.