30 June 2009

The Goodbye Girls

Today is a big day.

Today our sweet Mama is getting a mastectomy.

We had thought, and had reported with rejoicing in April, that she was in remission, but the last MRI showed that her breast cancer is a vicious beast that wouldn't die even after very aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

So, without any other options, Mother the Cheerfully Stalwart said, "Alright, let's do this thing!"

Right before they heard that surprising news, Poppy's doctor told him that he'd have to have open heart surgery... like NOW!.. to replace a bicuspid aortic valve that has deteriorated very quickly and possibly for a bipass. He had an angioplasty last week that hopefully did the trick. We'll see. We've known for years that Poppy would probably need to have this surgery at some point in the future, but it was a big shock for everyone to find out that it had become an emergency.

So, Mother's surgery is today followed by 6 weeks of radiation and Poppy's surgery will likely be in 2-3 weeks.

I know what you're thinkin'... DUH-ANG!!! And, you're right! This is a crazy, crazy time for our dear, sweet parents. Please, pray with us for both of our folks for their complete healing. They continue to have amazing, grateful, faithful, happy, uplifting, other-centered hearts and attitudes throughout this entire ordeal. Both are completely at peace and trusting in Jesus. They bless my soul.

Today, in particular, please prayer for Mother. Losing "the girls" is tough for any woman...

even Mother The Cheerfully Stalwart.

(I'm sorry for being a bad blogger this month and I promise to update about Jack's radical summer camp, our Minnesota trip, the Ethiopian Mehaber, and a fabulous time with our brother, sister, and nephews whom we had not seen in way, way, way too long. I should share about a couple of funny mishaps, too, and also about The Haus Remodel That Ate Summer. I promise to get to it soon. Thanks, friends, for your prayers!)

08 June 2009

Mehaber 2009

Are you going to the Ethiopian Kids Community Summer Mehaber 2009?

For the last two years, more than 700 people from 17 states and 3 countries have attended! Look what's happening this year.

Ethiopian cultural demonstrations and traditional music
Coffee ceremony
Ethiopian cooking lesson by Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
Family portraits in traditional Ethiopian clothing by Getachew Yadette Portraits
Ethiopian food and snacks for purchase (also American sandwiches)
Ethiopian traditional children's games
Hair braiding instruction by Biftu Merdassa from Global Braids Salon
(including free hair braiding during the event)
Performance by The Andenet Dance Group
Ethiopian dance classes
Face painting and tattoos by Malerich Arts
As well as inflatable bouncers, wii sports, carnival games, etc.

There will also be a large Merkato (market) including nonprofit organizations, adoption information, and vendors selling Ethiopian merchandise:

Everything from hambasha to Amharic Bean Bag sets
Amharic Kids will be releasing - "Explore Ethiopia: a coloring book"
Cultural items, clothing, coffee, cookbooks, spices, children's books and DVDs, card games, hair products and accessories, and more!

It's going to be GREAT! Who else is going?

02 June 2009

Last Poison

Many kisses to our precious mama, the Maternal Person, today.

Today she goes in for her very last chemotherapy session, what she has dubbed "The Last Poison". Praise the Lord it's almost OVER!

I'm sure you know that chemo has a cumulative effect, so each infusion has had a greater impact. Round one is a doozy, but seems pretty bearable, but they get tougher and more sickening every time. This last round was exceptionally difficult, so she's not looking forward to an even worse couple of weeks after today's treatment. It's the pits.

But, God has been incredibly gracious through this whole season. She is in remission. Her life is not in danger. We get to keep her, and for that we are so grateful to God.

What's next? In three weeks, we think, mother will have surgery to remove the formerly cancerous tissue. Thankfully, it will be an outpatient procedure and she will likely not need reconstructive surgery! After that, she will go through 6 weeks of daily radiation. Yikes!

But first she's got to get through this last round of chemo. So, please pray for our mother today and over these next few weeks when she'll be feeling the worst she has since the beginning of her treatment. She's tough. She doesn't complain. But, I know she's feeling horrid and that it's only going to get worse for a little while. It breaks my heart.

Lord Jesus, be with Mama.