Mom Talk

We mourn the loss of boundless energy, we mourn the loss of health, and we mourn the loss of hair, but we rejoice in hope!

Now that we have entered into the maintenance phase of treatment those seeds of hope that were planted in our hearts are starting to sprout on her head! Now when we rub our hands over Adelaine’s previous squeaky baldness, it’s like we are now feeling the skin of a fuzzy peach! As her hair continues to grow, she should never ever have a bald head again. Praise God!!! Seeing new fuzz grow in is like seeing seeds beginning to sprout, after a long, cold winter. Full of hope at seeing beautiful flowers in full bloom just around the corner. Seeing all that blond fuzz is like witnessing a miracle. Let’s all take that extra step and pray for the beautiful golden locks she once had, only this time even thicker and curlier! Her hair was beautiful before, but I suppose if it grows in new and improved, it might help make up for having to go without for so long!

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My life has changed so much since last year. I am a perfectionist by nature and now it feels like I walk around shattered pieces of glass all day trying to pick up the pieces. I no longer walk Mason to the door of his classroom; I drop him off myself at the carpool line, at best. I have not yet made it to lunch with him this year. I do still get out the Neosporin, but probably not as often as I used too. I was always the one who carted other people’s children around, my children rarely left my side.

Now I take one crazy day at the time. I must say that when the sun shines on those shattered pieces of glass each tiny little piece sparkles like a diamond. Thank you my friends for all you’ve done to help bring in the sunshine so I can see the beauty in that broken glass! Yesterday Laura, Wendy and Kristin played a very important roll in my surviving the day. Adelaine and I were due at the clinic at 9:00 am to begin her long day of port and spinal injections. I discovered that the keys were locked in the car just as Mason was leaving for school(to get out his backpack). Because the spare was with Doug at work and we are now sharing a car, this posed a big problem! Laura, who was taking Mason to school, stopped by Doug’s work and picked up the spare and then offered to take Mason his backpack. Wendy picked Bowen up for school so he wouldn’t be late due to our key incident and also offered to take him after school. Kristin took care of Bowen after school until Adelaine was done at the hospital. Laura brought Mason home after school. What would we do without friends???? So many people have done so much for us!

TWO BOYS?     1/10/07
Bowen is now studying the letter “M” this week and tomorrow he gets to bring something that starts with that letter to school for show and tell. He has decided that that something will be Mason, and Mason has decided that that is a great idea! Our two boys really are best friends. After all that arguing with God about giving me two boys back to back, all this proves that He really does know what’s best! I guess tomorrow Mason will have a little reunion with Mrs. Whipple in Pre-K!

MELT DOWN!     1/8/07
It used to be that everywhere we went people would tell me that I should put Adelaine, and the boys for that matter, into modeling. I never really considered it and just took it as a compliment. When I would look at my children I always thought they were beautiful, of course it was nice to have the unbiased opinion of strangers confirm it.

When Adelaine first got sick, I even had some people question if there was some mistake with her diagnosis. She just looked to beautiful and healthy for this to be true. Later their doubts were discounted by the sudden changes they saw in her. Some days she looked like walking death with no color in her skin and dark circles under her eyes, and eventually her hair started all falling out.

This past weekend we spent the day at the mall. Yes, I know, but her counts were up and we just needed to get out and do something different. We planned to spend the day there having lunch and seeing a movie with Barb, a good friend who has been sick herself with a chronic illness. Then it happened, during the middle of Charlotte’s Web, Adelaine developed a case of “hot mouth” so the two of us walked down to Chic Fil A for some fresh squeezed lemonade.

A few short hours earlier, as we sat in the food court for lunch and did a little window shopping, people noticed Adelaine. She was all dressed up in one of her CUTEST outfits and had on the perfect hat to accessorize, who wouldn’t notice, right? People smiled at her and made comments about what a beautiful little girl she was.

This time, as we rushed out to put out the fire in her mouth, we left her hat in the theatre. Now Adelaine enjoys wearing her hats and scarves. It isn’t like I make her to try and hide the fact that she doesn’t have any hair. If she takes it off, then that’s fine too. However, I was a little caught off guard as we quickly scooted out of the theater and left her hat behind. People looked at her and smiled; only this time it was with a sympathetic look. I could see by their faces the pity they had for this child who obviously had a medical condition.

I wasn’t emotionally prepared to take all this in at the time. These nice people were looking at me as if to say, I’m so sorry for you that your daughter’s sick”. They did nothing wrong, it’s just that it struck a cord in my heart, a cord of mourning. I mourned for what we had lost. Yes, I mourned over her hair, but not just that, I mourned over how things could have been, should have been.

As I stood at the counted to order our drinks, I couldn’t say a word. Tears started streaming down my face and I couldn’t speak. The lady behind the counter waiting to take my order leaned over and hugged me. She held me long enough to gather myself and place the order. Yea she looked at Adelaine and knew it must have something to do with her. She said she would pray for her and asked me a little about her.

While all those thoughts were swirling through my head, I thought about all the other Moms who have experienced something similar. The good news is that when Adelaine is about 4 ½ she will have her long blond hair back and her health! Also, I have become much more aware of all the pain and suffering that is all around us. It’s at the mall, in the grocery, everywhere. I am thankful for all those sympathetic looks we got at the mall. I know that people care and that helps so much. What if as we walked down the mall and nobody noticed or even cared. Just by being alive we have the ability to touch people’s lives and show people we care even if it’s just by giving a sympathetic look. I love this city and I love these people. So many of them have shown us the heart of God!

I was on the phone with a friend and she brought up that age old question, “What is your New Year’s resolution”? I honestly haven’t even thought about it. In years past, I’ve given up chocolate, and French fries, and meat for an entire year(each different years). So, what did that really accomplish? Well it didn’t do any thing to make a significant difference in my life or anybody else’s for that matter. So what really is the point? But this age old question did continue to ring in my ears…

For several years the children had asked for a pet. Because of their allergies and us not needing or wanting one more thing to take care of, we thought it may be ok to get a fish. I was a little intimidated by the idea, and we just kept putting it off.

Then it happened, I was at the Walk for Life (an organization which offers support for troubled pregnant women) leas son meeting and it happened. There was a beautiful vase of Lilies on the table with a Beta fish swimming around inside. I immediately fell in love with that silly fish. It turned out that the table decoration was a door prize and I won!!! Ironically it was right around Adelaine’s birthday, so I brought “Sabby” our new fish home to her and the family as a present.

Sabby moved out of the vase and into a six gallon tank which was strategically placed on the desk right beside our bed, which turned out to be very therapeutic for me. At night the trickle of water would lull us to sleep and it was fun watching Sabby and the other creatures gracefully swim around and interact with one another. I’m not sure how a person can fall in love with a fish, but I sure did.

After Adelaine’s week stay at the hospital I came home to find Sabby doing the back float. (I’m not sure what exactly Doug did or didn’t do to him, but it made me even more concerned about leaving him alone with the boys. Ha! Ha!) We had said good bye to Padding Frog 1 and 2, but somehow loosing Sabby was different. We said our goodbyes and had a little funeral and that was that. Until now…

On Friday, when Adelaine and I returned home from the hospital there was a new Beta swimming around in the tank. At first, I must admit I was a little upset and caught off guard by the idea of another Beta. How could Sabby just be replaced by another fish? But by the next day I had really warmed up to the idea and to the new fish. Now our new Beta, Sabby, our new spotted dwarf frog, Paddington, our old sucker fish, Elvis, and our new shrimp, Flower, all live peacefully together in our tank! Elvis did a good job keeping our tank clean for all those months that our tank laid dormant. All this to say, I didn’t realize how much I missed watching all those little creatures swimming around the tank, and interacting at night as I fell asleep. Somehow, our fish tank had become my therapy.

So back to that age old question, “What’s my New Years resolution?” My News’s Years resolution is to try and bring our Father as much joy, peace and contentment with how I live my life, as those creatures in our tank give to me. Can you just imagine knowing that every time God looks down at you He is pleased with what He saw? A tough order to fill I’m sure. I know in a lot of ways I’ve set my self up to fail, but what an awesome goal to work towards. I definitely have my work cut out for me. If God hadn’t continuously been with us and made Himself known throughout 2006, I know that I probably wouldn’t have survived it, and Adelaine definitely would’nt have. The very least I could do in return is to try and live my life in a way that is pleasing to Him.

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I have realized what an important job I have as a mother especially when Adelaine is at the hospital. When we are there we always share her bed, as most of the mothers I’ve seen do. Not only because of the obvious lack of options, but because I sleep very comfortable with her by my side, and maybe it helps the both of us get through it. Since she sleeps in her own bed at home, I’m hoping that she sees this as a special time together. Often when a nurse enters the room, Adelaine laces her arm through mine just as a way to give herself a little extra comfort. It’s bad enough that she has to go through this, but have you ever stopped to think about those children who are unable to receive that same compassion, care and love from their parents?

As I stroll down two southwest at All Children’s, it can be a rather social place. After spending so much time there, you do get to know other families pretty well. Some times when we go it’s like a reunion, we see so many friends. Like at Thanksgiving when Adelaine and Peyton were there at the same time. Anissa and I had a great time sneaking off and having hot chocolate together. When the girls were watching a movie or sleeping, we would camp out in the hall way and have a great time! The girls knew what we were up to and didn’t seem to mind.

But what about those children whose parents are divorced, or have to travel long distances to get to the hospital and who have other children to care for, or both hold down full-time jobs? Not to mention those children who are orphaned or in the foster-care system. As we walk down the hall we see these children, some Adelaine’s age, some younger, some older in their rooms alone. It’s bad enough for these children to battle cancer, but to go through it without a parent there to offer support is so unimaginable to me. I am so thankful that I am able to be here for Adelaine as she goes through this. Please remember to pray for all the children at All Children’s Hospital, and across the world who may be battling cancer alone right now.

Since you are visiting our website, please remember to sign our guest book. Many of our friends and family have passed on our site info to others that we may not know, and that’s ok too. We would really like to know that you were here. This will one day be Adelaine’s documentary, and we want YOU to be a part of it. Please show your support for her and sign you name, city and state.

So what happened, how did we wind up in this place? We sometimes went to All Children’s Hospital clinic just for the boys to have their eyes checked. As we walked down the hallway, and saw all those little children I remember praying for those children and thrie families, and thanking and praising God that it wasn’t us.

Now here we are, hours of our week are spent at the oncology clinic, with so many others battling childhood cancers. So did I not pray enough for my children, did I not pray a tall enough hedge around my children? I can honestly say that I did pray and specifically against Adelaine having cancer.

I know God loves my children more than I am even capable of. However, Satan had his scope on our family and Adelaine was his target. God allowed him to fire his shot, leaving us with a critically ill child and a broken heart.

Jokingly a friend pointed out, how my being a “germ a phobic” was like waving a red flag saying “pick me, pick me”. As now we have to be so careful with Adelaine any little germ is potentially life threatening. Also we do live about five miles from All Children’s Hospital, and Doug did get a job with a “benefits” company! So was it our destiny, I really don’t think so, but at least these things do make this disease a little more doable!

I found this sweet poem by Robert Loveman, in a book that was copyrighted in 1912. It really seems to express how I’ve been feeling through all of this…

It’s Raining Violets

It is not raining rain to me,
It’s raining daffodils;
In every dimpled drop I see
Wild flowers on the hills.

The clouds of grey engulf the day,
And overwhelm the town;
It is not raining rain to me,
It’s raining roses down.

It is not raining rain to me,
But fields of clover bloom,
Where any buccaneering bee
May find a bed and room.

A health unto the happy!
A fig for him who frets;
It is not raining rain to me,
It’s raining violets.

The rain does fall hard at times, but through all this rain sometimes when I look around, I see more than just a wet ground, I see God using this to create little blessings, little blessings scattering all around us. Here are some good things that have come out of this….

When Adelaine was first diagnosed, I will never forget the paralyzing blow those words left us with. But there was God right in the midst of us, comforting us and giving us hope.

The elders of our church came to the hospital and prayed over her with us. We all felt God move in a way that is indescribable.

So many people across the nation have prayed for our little girl. How can God ignore the cries of so many people? Believe me God heard and hears them all and He has answered. Thank you all, thank you God.

Two weeks after Adelaine was diagnosed, I was at the hospital and met the Mayhews. Peyton is a 2 1/2 year old precious little girl who had just been diagnosed with Leukemia. Our families have become very good friends. Getting to know them has been a huge blessing. They also have Nathaniel who is 8 and Rachael who is 5. All of our children play so well together. We are so thankful for our new friendship.

When the American Cancer Society sent families across Florida to Disney World the families we met and the stories they shared will forever change us. One of the families we met is the Perkins. Their daughter Kate is about Adelaine’s age and has a brain tumor. She and Adelaine played together and Kate really melted my heart. I instantly fell in love with her. Hope is abundant among these families and their children. God has performed such miraculous healings and we met many children who have been touched by His healing hand.

Anissa Mayhew and I, along with Adelaine and Peyton are starting an outreach for families who are newly diagnosed with Leukemia. We take our girls in to meet theses families. Already Adelaine is able to use this disease to touch people and offer them hope and proof of God’s love.

So many people have come together and shown support for our family. They have blessed us and touched our hearts so much by their love.

One of the things I enjoy most about being a mother is watching my children play and enjoy life. Now when they are happy and playing it means even more than it did before, if that’s possible!

Adelaine and I were close before, but now were even closer. She really counts on me to be there for her especially during those tough times. We really pray together a lot. She even sometimes prays for herself!

Our friends have been so supportive and understanding through all this. Sometimes I am really able to stay in touch with everyone, and other times we are so caught up with all that’s going on that time just slips away. I hope they know that even when they don’t hear from me that I still love them and am really not taking their friendship for granted. I suppose that being friends with me takes some extra grace right now. To all my friends, thank you for extending that grace to me.

I must admit that I carry a lot of guilt. I have not been good at getting thank you notes out. I keep thinking that things will slow down, but the opposite happens. I am so thankful for the love that you all have shown to me and Adelaine. Thank you my dear sweet friends, from the bottom of my heart.

Sometimes Adelaine is comforted by little gifts from the heart that caring people deliver to the clinic. In particular, sweet ladies crochet and knit blankets to pass out to sick children. When Adelaine has one of these blankets placed over her lap, she is so comforted by it. They sometimes have a sticker on it saying something like, “Were praying for you”. We honestly can feel the love that has gone into them. I know that these people have God in their hearts and pray to Him on my child’s behalf. It means the world to us. These people are God’s special helpers! Adelaine has these beautiful blankets in her bed at home, when I see them I think of how God was there with us on those gloomy days and how caring people have been through all of this!


  1. K Gonzalez on February 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I came across your website through countless clicks & links courtesy of the internet. As I’ve just started reading your site I haven’t quite the understanding of your family’s journey just yet. That being said I wanted to share that today I needed to be here. Recently I was diagnosed with Multiple or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a 17 year journey looking for an answer in a medical world that doesn’t provide many. To make a long story short (at least the catalyst of a life before & a life after the following trauma plus many…) I was hospitalized at 17 years old in OICU with a platelet count of less than 3,000. It turns out that I didn’t have cancer, but neither was an answer forthcoming. And I became stuck & haunted by a past I can’t remember. What I do remember is my first of many trips back for blood/cell/etc monitoring. My mom struck up a conversation with another mother, while I noticed her daughter. This beautiful 3 foot tall child was all smiles & the most amazing healing energy, not to mention a glorious bald head (in truth my memories make her more of an angel with a halo). Her story – she had leukemia since infancy & was then 4 years old after being told she wouldn’t survive. I was terrified & for me at 17 it’s a bit hard to crawl onto mom’s lap & just be a child… As we navigated the underground tunnels to travel from one testing field to another I could barely breath & this beautiful angel looked up at me, smiled & slipped her hand into mine. I could never imagine the fear would be curbed & comfort would come from the source that it did but that was the actuality. Every day since then I have remembered her & the strength she gave me plus the love that came without condition. Children are the most precious of God’s gifts & in all that we go through, I have to believe that it is those children who lived through the dark to walk the sun golden meadows that make the best of the world around them & give the gift of love with each individual they meet. They are the special ones & we are the lucky ones for having been witness. I pray your family & your dear little one have reached the end of the difficult journey & will now walk in the light of the sun. God Bless.

  2. Katherina Crowder on May 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Angela I am so happy for your family to having overcome such a huge obstacle. I frequently lift you all up in prayer and now I know that our prayers have been answered in a powerful way. I am in love with your Anika as well, she is a gorgeous angel just like the rest of you. Wow! It is amazing to watch Adelaine grow so healthy and strong and ever so beautiful, it makes my heart feel so great. I miss crazy ol’dug and his stories. I continue to praise God for your family and His miracles. Be blessed always. God loves you and so do I, Katherina

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