Tuesday, June 23, 2009

memorial day...















Some photos from a glorious Memorial Day weekend. The weather was spectacular, we spent the whole weekend frolicking with cousins and friends. We attended the local parade with my sister and sister-in-law and the fourteen children we have combined! All the children are around the same ages, spanning from my Pinky at 3-months old to my brother's oldest daughter at 11-years old.

















It truly is a joy to have so many cousins nearby. Between The Husband's family and mine, our children have 25 cousins and only 6 that we don't get to see regularly (and miss dearly). So many people to love and be loved by, such a blessing.

Anyway, it was a lovely weekend. Everyone left on Monday evening to return to their regularly scheduled lives. Fast forward to four days later, Friday. My brother's youngest son, Spencer, a happy busy 2-year old went to the pediatrician for his regular checkup where they found a lump in his abdomen. He was immediately sent for an ultrasound and two grapefruit sized tumors were found in his tiny body. Long story short, he was admitted to the nearest children's hospital that night and has been there basically ever since. So far the diagnosis is Stage-4 Clear Cell Sarcoma. It's fairly rare as only about 20 new cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Spencer's treatment has had to be rather aggressive as it appears to have metastasized to his skull.

I'm still reeling from the realization of how quickly the world can be turned upside down. One weekend this sweet little toddler is wandering around exploring the world and roughhousing with his siblings and cousins and such a short time later he's living in a hospital room being poked, prodded and enduring the ugliness that is cancer and chemotherapy. It's very scary.

I've been away from the blog all this time as I've hesitated to tell you this story that isn't really mine. But at the same time I've been conflicted about coming here to write about trivial whatnot's while my brother and his wife endure this extreme hardship. The difficulties they've encountered in just these few weeks are things I've never imagined. They are an inspiration to me as they struggle through this trial with humbling faith.

Anyway, I'm here now because life does go on. As I speak, my children are happily playing with my brother's other five children. And as I renew my resolve to spend quality time with my family I realize I would still like to document the fun times here. I also recognize that acknowledging and appreciating some of the pretty incidentals in life isn't a bad thing. I am thankful to have the luxury of sitting here with my peacefully slumbering baby on my lap, writing about the good and the bad.

Thanks for being there and for listening and if you would send a few prayers Spencer's way...

7 comments:

Kim H. said...

Those pictures are so cute, and I feel so bad for your brother. Let can change on a dime that is for sure. We'll keep them in our prayers.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

That is so devastating. I'm so sorry for your family. I pray that he gets well soon.

april said...

beautifully written, laina!! it is humbling. i've been getting the caring bridge notifications for spencer and a six year old i know with kidney cancer that has gone to his lungs. it's hard to read sometimes and as you say, always humbling. i guess it's good to be reminded to hug your kids closer although i wish it was done in another way.

we'll keep spencer in our prayers. i remember your brother and his wife (natalie, right?) from the brief time they were in our ward years ago. my heart aches for them right now.

Leslie said...

oh goodness, what an ordeal for such a little guy. he'll be in my prayers.

PerkinsClan said...

We think about him often. I hope and pray he pulls through.

Alissa Nicolau said...

That really was a beautiful post Laina. I enjoyed reading it and learning a bit more about you through it. I am so very sorry for your brother's family. It must be frightening as a parent to witness this happening to your young child with such complete surprise and sneakiness that is cancer. The news has helped me to look at my own son with new appreciation and love. Spencer is in our prayers.

LaughAtMe-Laurel said...

Hey Laina...I've recently made my return to blogging as well...and actually just did a similar post this morning. I felt so much relief after I finally put my feelings down in print. It felt too weird to have blogging life just happening with this always lingering in my mind. But I had been holding off telling it wondering, as you did, if it was my story to tell. I just finally decided it can't hurt to have more faith and prayers heading in their direction, right.