Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ella's last softball game was tonight.  My sweet cousin Casey, who is expecting her first child, and her husband kept Jack so that I could go and enjoy the game.  Casey and Keith have been a big part of my children's lives for a long time.  They are our go-to babysitters and my kids adore them.  I can't believe they are actually going to be parents themselves.  They are going to be GREAT parents. 

Ella has improved so much as this season has progressed.  She hits the ball almost every time she gets up to bat and can really field the ball well.  Most importantly she has the best attitude.  She is a great cheerleader for her teammates and I am so proud of her. 

On the way home, Lucy was sitting in the back of the van talking, singing and being silly.  She was talking in funny voices and making me laugh.  I closed my eyes (at a red light) and just allowed myself to think about her being well.  I dreamed of what it would be like for her to be carefree with no talks of sickness or the hospital.  I envisioned her running with her friends at the softball field instead of being confined to a chair playing her DSi.  And then all of a sudden I was consumed with the "what-ifs" again.  Those horrible, nasty what-ifs.  Moments of hope are often overshadowed by the worst-case scenarios that so many children with cancer often face.  I try not to let it happen, but I just can't help it.  I'm only human.  And a mom that loves her child to pieces. 

Dangit!  I hate this.  I hate this stupid, evil cancer that is ripping my baby's childhood away.  I can't hold back the tears tonight.  I am SICK of this.  Tonight is a punch-a-hole-in-the-wall kind of night.  Dare I say it...tonight I'm just pissed off. 

"Lord Jesus, please give me a little extra strength tonight.  I need it.  I'm not doing so well these days.  This burden you are allowing us to carry is too much for me right now.  I know you have never left my side, but tonight I just can't do it.  I hurt for Lucy.  I hurt for Ella and Jack.  I don't want to face the next 4 months.  I don't want to put Lucy through this hell.  I am still claiming victory in your name, and begging for mercy the whole way through.  Please Lord, please, grant her grace during chemo.  She has suffered so much already.  Her body and my heart can only take so much.  Oh, Lord.  Hear my plea."
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Weekend Update


Well, I wouldn't necessarily call this weekend a bust but it sure wasn't what I had hoped it might be.  We were all excited about going to the lake.  Lucy knew that she would not be able to swim, but wanted to go anyway.  I think she wanted to be out of the house as much as we did.  It was our first road trip (2.5) hours since she has been sick and since Jack was 3 months old.  Getting packed took an act of Congress as I was packing for a baby and a sick child.  But none the less, we did it and were on the road early Saturday morning.  The kids did great traveling and we were there before you knew it. 

As we approached the cabin I began to feel the emotions welling up in my chest.  I fought back tears as we drove down the long, winding road to the house.  As you pull up you can see the lake in the background.  It was beautiful with the sun shining off of it.  Once we got inside I started unpacking.  When my mom greeted me I just lost it.  All those emotions came flooding out with sobs of tears.  It was so hard to put into words what I was feeling but luckily for me my whole family feels what I feel.  I didn't have to explain anything.  My mom just held me while I cried. 

The weather was really nice.  The wind was blowing so it was not too uncomfortable.  We thought Lucy would enjoy a boat ride but every time we took her out she almost instantly shut down.  It was like turning off a switch.  Sensory overload in an extreme state.  She slept the whole time we were on the water both days. 









It was hard knowing what to do.  She wanted to be with everyone, even asked to go on the boat.  But we still struggled with making the right decision.  Ella deserved to be out having fun, but Lucy needed to take it easy.  I think all in all it worked out fine, as Lucy didn't seem to mind sleeping on the boat and was in a great mood once we got back to the cabin.  She asked to come home Sunday night, so we made a mad dash to pack up the truck (and the truck load of stuff we brought with us) and came home.  We got home late, but it was so worth it to be home this morning and for Lucy to be in her house all day.  Home is safe to her and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

We did manage to have a little but of fun at the lake though...






And the tonight we were able to eat dinner with our friends while the kiddos swam.  Again, I worried how Lucy would do but she did great.  She took her water gun and shot all the kids while they swam.  I've said it before but God has given her such a wonderful spirit throughout this whole ordeal.  I pray that her understanding lasts longer than her illness.  As God is healing her in a mighty way I believe that she will grow to be wise beyond her years.  She already is actually. 


Tonight I am so thankful for a wonderful weekend with my family and friends.  The countdown has begun for the start of Chemo.  The dread grows stronger each and every day but I am constantly reminded of how very blessed we have been throughout this whole ordeal.  Lucy has had a rough go of it with many touch and go moments but through it all God has been our rock.  Our very present help in trouble.  So many kids have not had the turn arounds that Lucy has had.  So many children are suffering yet today.  Praise God for His blessings.  Praise God for His mercies. 

We have all started praying that chemo will not be bad for Lucy.  Some kids actually do really well with chemo.  Many aren't sick like you imagine being while undergoing such harsh therapy.  I pray that she is one of those children.  I pray every single day, many times a day.  Will you do the same?  Our thanks in advance. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Taking a much needed vacation from the computer. Lucy is doing great and enjoying her break as well. I'll be back with lots to report on Monday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Super Quick Update

I've got my hands full of sweet, precious children this morning.  We are spending lots of time in the floor playing today (Jack is helping me type..).  I just wanted to say that Lucy got the best checkup ever yesterday.  We are free until June 8th!!  We have lots of fun things planned as we have to fit 8 weeks of summer into 2! 

I'll post more later but right now duty calls......
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jack is 8 Months!


Last week, Jack turned 8 months old.  I'd like to wonder where the time is going, but unfortunately I know.  I get sad when I think about how much time of Jack's infancy I have missed and how much more I will miss over the next few months.  Honestly, it's just not fair.  To either of us.  I told Erik the other day that if our fate had been different I would want another baby.  It would be very hard to make that decision now though.  The threat of Lucy's cancer will be with us for the rest of our lives.  I beg God daily that she will go into complete and total remission for the rest of her long, long life.  And while I believe that will be the case, there are no guarantees.  I could not risk having another child and dealing with the "what ifs." 

So, with that being said, we are just loving this baby to bits every single day.  His cheeks are bound to be raw from all the kissing I do!  And believe me when I say he is into everything.  I am exhausted by the day's end from just chasing him around the house.  He moves constantly.  His toes, his fingers.  Everything moves, all the time! 





I am so grateful for this time I have at home with him.  I truly cherish every minute with him.  Look at how he's grown...


I love you my sweet Jon Keller!  You are the light of my life.



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Found her

Or at least I think I have.  Thanks everyone for helping me search for this lady!
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Looking for a Friend

Dear Blog Readers,

I am trying to find a dear lady that I have never met.  Her name is Vivian McCall and she is from the Nashville area.  If anyone know how I can get in touch with her, please comment below.  Thanks so much!!  If you can't comment, please email me at k8krull@gmail.com
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life on the Home Front

Well, I'm quite happy to report that life continues to be very boring at our house.  Isn't boring just great?  It is for us!  As I think about "what's next" I have to admit that I become a bit emotional.  I've cried every day this week.  Once I was just having a normal conversation and mentioned chemo and started bawling.  Now that I think about it though, when did chemo ever pop up in a normal conversation of mine before Feb 23rd?

I'm trying not to dwell on it and we have some fun things planned for the next few weeks.  We might even make it to the lake for Memorial Day weekend!  We'll have to see how our doctor's appointment goes tomorrow.  Praying for good lab reports and a tiny weight gain. 

Ella's last day of school was today.  She is not officially a 2nd grader.  Wow!  How time really flies.  Monday her class celebrated by have a fishing day at the pond in front of their school.



Ella and her friend Carson


 Lucy and Ms. Beverly.  She will be her Kindergarten teacher next year.



Tonight we kept vigil as the storms that have wrecked havoc on the Midwestern states moved our way.  My heart just breaks as I hear the stories and see the pictures of the devastation in OK and MO.  Especially the city of Joplin.  My prayers go out to those familes who have lost everything.  During a lull in the rain, we stepped out on our front porch and saw this rainbow.  I don't care how old I get or how many I've seen in my life, a rainbow just fills me with such emotion.  What a tangible proof of God's love for us and His faithfulness. 


And the kids, of course, kept it real...


 Lucy, meanwhile, is making huge strides in her mobility.  She can now go from room to room unassisted (including the bathroom.)  As long as she is not attached to her TPN pump, she is pretty much free to go where she wants.  She still needs a good bit of help climbing the stairs, but we are working diligently on that.  Leigh, our friend and PT, provided some steps that help her get in and out of bed.  Lucy's bed was made for Erik and I when we got married by a friend, and it is taller than an average bed.  I am so proud of the progress she has made.  I think Lucy is too! 


Leigh and Lucy after PT (or PE as Lucy calls it!)


Leigh's son Benjamin was in Lucy's preschool class.  He insisted on letting Lucy borrow his bicycle game.  I'm so glad he did.  She has logged many a mile peddling her little heart out on this bike!


Leigh, thank you for what you are doing for us.  You will never know what this means to us.  We love you.

So, that's the scope on the Krulls.  We continue to covet your prayers for Lucy and the other children who are suffering from life threatening illnesses.  The stories are, unfortunately, endless.  God continues to bless us and we are so very grateful yet undeserving. 

I leave you with this parting verse....

"This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God's glory so that God's son may be glorified through it."  John 11:4

I am claiming this tonight as our victory verse.  I continue to pray that God will heal Lucy and make her whole.  But may His name be glorified through this season in our lives and may Lucy live to sing of His praises forever!


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Monday, May 23, 2011

First Race....Check!

Well, it's official.  The First Annual Go Lucy Go 5k was a HUGE success.  Over 500 people registered and more than 400 showed up to walk.  Erik and I are so full of gratitude we don't know where to start or even what to say.  Clearly, there are a few people that deserve a special "thank you."

First to my 5 friends who organized the event.  Kudos on a job well done.  For first time race organizers, I'd say you did a darn good job! Also to my other friends who worked behind the scenes helping the day of doing all sorts of tasks.  I know you did this all from your heart and that's what makes it so special. 
Secondly, our hats are off to the sponsors who graciously gave to the LeBonheur Children's Hospital and the Lucy fund.  My hope is that next year we will be able to raise even more money for LeBonheur and that Lucy will be cured of her cancer and we will give 100% of the funds raised to the children of the hospital.  The businesses that supported this race deserve a big round of applause.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thirdly, we just want to say thank you to YOU!  Oh my gosh, people!  Some of you traveled from Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia and all parts of Tennessee.  Wow!  I think my jaw stayed open all day as I looked over the sea of people there to support Lucy and our family.  Many friends from college, past co-workers, family members from out of town and friends from home.  But what amazed me the most were the people I had never seen before.  The smiling faces who seemed honored to be running for Lucy when they had never even met her before.  What beautiful selfless acts of kindness. 

For those of you who were running in spirit, we thank you and hope to see you next year.  Lucy Hannah was so happy Saturday.  She knew that all the people there were there for her.  She thought that was pretty cool.  Once again our debt load of gratitude continues to pile up.  We pray that we have a lifetime to pay it forward, teaching Lucy, Ella and Jack along the way about the graciousness of a small town and a lot of strangers in this seemingly small world.  Our hearts are full.

And without further ado......here is the slide show from the race.  (Be sure to go to the bottom of the screen and turn off the music from the blog.)


video


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

oops

Technical difficulties!  Slideshow  and a great update tomorrow.

For tonight i just wanted to share my favorite moment of the day.  After we returned from church tonight, where Ella had her first Communion, I prepared dinner while the girls watched TV and Erik bathed Jack.  I heard footsteps and turned to see Lucy had walked in the kitchen without any help and she said "Mommy, what smells so good?  I'm starving!"

Isn't God good???

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Music to My Ears



Ella had her Spring violin recital this past weekend.  I was so proud of her and could not believe the improvements she had made this session.  With all that we've had going on with Lucy, her grandmother receives all the credit for taking her to lessons and making her practice. 


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Friday, May 20, 2011

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!!!!!

Not really, but we ARE getting ready to run and walk. 

The Go Lucy Go 5k is tomorrow, benefitting our LeBonheur Children's Hospital and our family.  Lucy will be helping with some of the opening festivities while myself and one or more of my family members will be walking.  I'd love to think I could run it, but that's just not happening.  I've been doing a LOT of sitting lately. 

My heart just explodes when I think about the number of partipants expected to show up.  Over 400 in our first year!  The walk organizers deserve more thanks than I can give and our family feels overwhelmed with gratitude to the sponsors who are supporting the event. 

See you in the morning.  And oh, all you prayer partners out there.  Would you mind sending one up for good weather?  Thanks :)



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Love from Wisconsin


Hi Uncle Allan and Aunt Connie!  Your family looks great in your Go Lucy Go shirts.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Day of Doctors

Life continues to move along at a steady pace for us these days.  PRAISE GOD!!  I love this boring life we are leading right now.  I'd be lying if I said thoughts of Lucy's impending Chemo don't haunt me everyday.  I get a sick feeling in my tummy every time I think about it.  I quickly put them behind me though when I see how happy our family is when we are at home together.  Each day I am getting extra things done around the house, but mainly spending a lot of time on the floor with Jack.  Lucy is enjoying picking Ella up from school each day and then they spend a lot of time playing in the afternoon. 

Today my Mom kept Jack, I took Ella to the dentist and Erik took Lucy to the Jude for a check-up.  Ella had her upper orthodonics installed and then we ran errands while we were in the "big city."  It was nice spending time with just Ella.  We didn't get to do that very often before Lucy was sick and now our time alone together is almost nonexsistent.  Erik took Lucy and they were able to spend some time alone themselves.  Lucy had a repeat EKG, which was great, and had a visit with Dr. W.  Everyone is so pleased with the progress she has made.  Her eyes are getting better each day and her walking seems to be improving.  We have noticed that when she gets tired she seems to struggle seeing close up.  We were a bit concerned, but Dr. W reassured us that patients suffering from Thiamine defeciency often take months to recuperate.  So, with that being said, we are very, very pleased with where she is now. 

And on another note, not a day passes that I don't stop at some point during the day and thank God that Lucy is not vomiting.  It might seem like a minor detail to some, but to us this has changed the whole ballgame.  It hurts me to say that I had gotten used to carrying Eme-Bags in my purse, diaper bag, the car, her bed, the kitchen table....you get the picture.  We couldn't leave her alone for even a minute for fear she might vomit and choke.  Right now I am happy to report that Erik and I are watching TV and the kids are asleep.  She still won't sleep alone for a long, long time.  She will have one of us with her until this whole deal is over with. 

Last night Ella performed in our church's children's musical.  She had a wonderful time and did so good.  I was so proud of her.  I think that performing suits her well!  She was a dandelion but you would have thought she was Cosette herself from Les Miserables.  The musical was entitled Sermon on the Mound and was about a baseball team and how they, along with their unifroms, put on the full armor of God when playing. 





Praising God for good days.  Continually praying for His healing mercy.


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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Update

First of all, I want to say thank you for all the encouraging comments left here on the blog and on Facebook regarding my post about you, my friends.  I was very apprehensive about writing it, but I am so glad I did.  The point I was trying to convey was that as a family of relatives, friends and strangers alike, we are all championing on Lucy's behalf to God. 

Today's update is going to be short because, well, I'm exhausted.  The stress of last week has finally caught up with me.  I also think I've been away from the job for so long, I quite literally forgot what it was like to be a full time stay-at-home mommy.  This time, however, its like I have an infant (who is now pulling upon everything and crawling at the speed of light) and a toddler.  Not really, but Lucy's self sufficiency is about that of a toddler's. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'd gladly trade a lifetime of the worse Mommy days for Lucy's health to be restored.  I look forward to the days when all I have to worry about is whether or not dinner is ready when Erik gets home from work. 

We spent most of the morning catching up on a lot of snuggle time...


Then after we picked Ella up from school (at which we were greeted with squeals of excitement from a little girl who has missed the normalcy of us getting her every afternoon) we did a little art project on the driveway with sidewalk chalk...



And then, for kicks, Jack got a faux-hawk after his bath, courtesy of his Daddy...


Lucy's eyes continue to improve a little more each day.  I am pleased with her progress and can only imagine how her whole body is going to start improving now that she is not malnurished.  We are still trying to come to grips with that whole situation.  It is so frustrating to think about how far she could have been in her recovery. Ugh!  We have lined up for a friend to come to the house 3 times a week to do Lucy's physical therapy.  Our goal is to allow Lucy to be as independent as possible in the house.  The simple things that we take for granted like walking to the bathroom, washing her hands, getting out of bed.  Those are all examples of skills that she has to relearn.  It's a daunting task ahead of us, but she is tough.  She can do it.  God can do it through her.

Never stop praying.....
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Monday, May 16, 2011

This Post is for You

I want to share an email with all of you who have been prayer warriors on Lucy's behalf.  I received it from a family friend and as I read it I was amazed and taken aback by her ability to convey such an incredible message.  God truly must have been working in her heart (and fingers) as she wrote in painstaking details what He has laid on her heart. 

I share this to receive no accolades on my part, but rather to prove to you what a critical role each of you plays in Lucy's fight to beat her cancer.  You can never stop praying.  Not because I selfishly want your prayers, but because I NEED them.  We need them.  Lucy needs them.  Please read the following with an open heart and I hope that you will be impacted the way I was. 


*****Kate, I try not to write very often b/c I know you are inundated w/ emails and everything else, but I just had to let you know again that I am still holding my arms up with Lucy in them to the Lord!!! It reminds me of the passage in the Bible where, as long as Moses kept his arms held up with the staff of God in his hand, the Israelites prevailed. But when he got so tired of holding them up, his friends, Aaron and Hur, held them up for him! WOW!!! That's you Kate, and Lucy, and Erik! We are all holding Lucy up to the Lord, and you and Erik as well! But we know you and Erik are holding her up too, so when your arms "get tired", we are there for you holding, propping and doing whatever it takes to bring that precious baby thru this!!!!!!!!

Please pardon my paraphrase of Exodus 17:8-5: but in verse 9 it starts out w/, "So Moses said to Joshua, 'Go out and choose men for us'...Kate, you and Erik have been "choosing your men"...(friends, prayer warriors)...all your lives leading up to this event!!! And now it is our turn to do what the Lord has called us to do!It is my privilege to be a part of praying and holding my arms up, w/ Lucy in them, to the Lord!

This passage goes on to say in verse 12, "but Moses' (you and Erik) hands were heavy, so Joshua and Hur supported his arms, one on one side and one on the other, thus his hands were steady". That's why the Lord has put in your lives so many strong, grounded, good Christian friends and family! Some new friends as we all know, and praise God for that, and some old friends, who had no idea that when she prayed you through high school, I'd be praying your daughter through the absolute toughest time of her little life!
And then there's verse 13 "So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people (we both know who the Bible is referring to there) with the edge of the sword!  Girl we are just gonna overwhelm that cancer in Jesus Name!

Now, the one that really is crazy is what verse 14 says; "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Write out a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heaven" in Jesus name girl, God's got this!! I took out the word "Amalek" in that last verse and put "cancer" and we're just gonna claim it in Jesus Name!

AND THEN...Write out a BOOK!  That's what you are doing on your blog! ****

So, that's the paraphrase of her email.  I have to stop and say that I am in NO way comparing myself or any member of my family to the amazing men in the Bible.  I do ask that you take these words at face value and think about how they apply to our lives and the role you play in it.  Do you even understand how important you all are to us?  To the plan God has laid before us?  We are grateful for each of you, those we have met and those around the world that have become champions for Lucy even though you don't know her personally. 

I am making a promise to continue to do my part.  I will keep writing on my blog, allowing each of you to be a part of Lucy's journey, the good and the bad.  Our lives are an open book right now.  We are just asking for you to do your part and continue to lift her and us up in prayer as we go along. 

We are so thankful and humbled that you would want to pray for Lucy and our family.  Many of you will never, ever know us personally but have chosen to love us and pray for us none the less.  What an amazing lesson in humility this has been for us.  There are days when we are too tired, too weak and too full of fear and doubt to pray for ourselves.  Some days the words just won't come.  On those days we are grateful for the prayers of our friends who are filling in the gaps for us.   Together, we make a mighty team.  A force to reckon with.  Our God can and will do mighty things as long as we never take our eyes off of him. 

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Week Comes to an End and iCarly

We're outta here!

That's what we were saying around 1:30 today.  Hasta la vista! 

We were pleasantly surprised by Dr. W's decision to let Lucy go home today.  We found out that she could take her vitamin supplement by pill, so we did not have to stick around to receive IV meds.  It is wonderful to be back in our own home tonight.  We spent 4 long, heart-wrenching nights in the hospital during our first week of treatment break.  Not exactly how we had planned things.  Lucy continues to recover, but still has a ways to go. 

I don't know if anyone can fully appreciate how sick she was.  A few more days at the rate she was going and she could have been in a coma, completely without vision.  Seeing your child slowly lose their eyesight, while being fully aware of it, is agonizing.  I told Erik that while we have been dealing with Lucy's inability to walk well over the past 2 months, this was scarier to me than anything.  There are a lot of things you can do to accomodate a child who has trouble walking.  A child, or adult, who loses their eyesight is a different story.  I have to stop thinking about it right now.  It just breaks my heart.  Thank you dear God for continually laying your healing hand on Lucy. 



Lucy seems to improve about 10% everyday.  That means that since we were starting at about 0, it will take roughly 2 weeks (give or take a few days) until she is back to 100% with her vision.  That's ok though.  While we'd love an overnight healing, just seeing the gradual improvement is assurance enough.  Another thing we have noticed is that her walking is starting to improve as well.  There is no way to ever know how much damage her body received while she was depleted from all vitamins.  We are optimistic that her overall health is going to take off once she is replenished with the vitamins and calories she has been without for so long. 

As a great send off from the hosptial, Lucy got to meet the cast of iCarly.  The cast of VicTORIous was also visiting St. Jude.  She was so excited and I was surprised that she knew so many of the characters. 



Before we left we also had a surprise visit from my uncle and his wife from Middle Tennessee. 


Erik and I just want to thank you all for again for your prayers this week.  We are convinced that we witnessed a true miracle in the life of our daugther.  Heaven itself was being stormed with the prayers of believers all over the world.  God heard his children and answered in a mighty way.  We ask that you continue to pray for Lucy and all the other children suffering from childhood illnesses.  My heart is heavy tonight for the families who are in the same, or similar, situation as we are. 


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