This afternoon my dad saw the orthopedic surgeon for his broken arm. He's been in pretty much pain the past few days. When he went to the ER on Monday they put his arm in a straight brace and told him to keep his arm down. Well by last night he couldn't feel his hand and his arm was in a lot of pain. Any movement caused pain and at times the two bones shifted and required dad to shift or move them back so that they were aligned. Ouch! The surgeon didn't feel that the straight brace was the best option so now dad is in a tighter brace that bends his arm. This new brace is tighter so it holds the bones in place a lot better. He also was given a sling to keep it from moving. It's a good thing he got the sling because it looks like he may be in the brace and sling until December. Yep, that's right.. December! He will see the doctor again in six weeks, but the doctor does not think the bone will heal on it's own due to the cancer and chemotherapy. If that's the case (the bone does not heal on it's own) then dad will remain in the brace and sling until after he finishes chemotherapy in December. The doctor did not want to discuss options for the future because you never know what could happen, however, dad insisted on some sort of an answer. The doctor said that if the bone won't heal on it's own then surgery is an option (after chemotherapy) where they would place a long steal rod or plate in his arm. I know this was not the news dad was hoping for, however, he did say that his arm is feeling better already and he can move around without pain. Thank you Jesus! I'm sure the next few months will be a test to dad's patience, but I know God will stand by him and help him along the way. I'm sure Paige will do her part as well to help her grandpa stay positive and keep fighting. Please continue praying for good faith, positive strength and an attitude that will kick cancer's butt!
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
If you read my post last night you read the part that said that things don't always go as planned... well things didn't go as planned! Today while at work (yes, on chemo) my dad broke his right arm. He was simply moving a rolling chalkboard and it just snapped... the students in the room even heard it. The bone is very weak due to the tumor that has taken over his arm. Mom went and picked dad up and they headed to Barnes. They confirmed that his arm was broke and they put it in a brace. He will see his orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday. Ugh! Poor guy is in a lot of pain and feeling pretty discouraged. This was not something we anticipated and it's so frustrating because dad was handling the chemotherapy pretty well. We may have hit a road block, but we will find a way around it. Please pray for dad's continued strength and faith as he handles this new challenge. We are unsure of what the orthopedist will do on Wednesday... please pray that the doctors will have a plan to help take dad's pain away and heal is arm. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Friday proved to be a long day for my dad, my mom and my sister Marla. They arrived at the hospital around 7:15 in the morning and they headed back home around 5 pm. Long day! The doctors put dad's port in around 7:30 and then they had some waiting time. Back up a bit: Dad received a port because he is doing a medical trial where he will receive chemotherapy for four straight days. He goes in on Friday and gets hooked up. He then gets to come home with the chemotherapy... in a fanny pack. He will receive the chemo for 4 days and then he returns to the hospital to get it taken off. In the meantime, nurses come to the house once a day to change out the chemo and give him a new bag of medicine. Ths medical trial is the exact same dosage as the "regular" chemotherapy (with the addition of two other medicines) he's just receiving it over a 4 day period instead of in one day. Dad will also have to have several shots a week after his treatment until his white blood cell count is back up. As of now he is still scheduled to receive 6 treatments... one every three weeks. After he received his port dad had to be hooked up to a machine to receive a biotherapy medicine. This took about four hours. Once that concluded he then was hooked up to the chemotherapy (in his fanny pack). At this point, mom and Marla learned all about how to take care of dad and the medications. Marla will be giving dad shots at home for about 8 to 10 days after each chemotherapy threatment.
The first 24 hours on the chemotherapy have gone very well. Dad is feeling pretty good. The swelling in his right arm has decreased quite a bit. (Thank goodness) Dad said his arm now feels like it has a very bad sunburn on it. I guess that's from all the medication. So far, he has not felt sick to his stomach or anything like that. We are all well aware that this could still be coming. I think dad's prepared and I know mom is... she has a full pharmacy at their house full of medications. I've never seen so many medical supplies and medicines at one time (outside of the hospital).
Dad's spirits remain high and he still has his sense of humor. I received a text from him on Friday afternoon. It said, "So far I have not lost any hair. It's been two hours...." Last night many of us went over to my parents house... it was just another Godefroid family dinner, but grandpa was wearing his little pack of medicine. I don't even think the grandkids noticed. :) We are all so thankful for the great start to dad's treatment and we are praying that it will continue to go well. Because we know all too well that things don't always go as planned..... I ask that you pray that God gives my dad the strength and faith to face whatever comes his way.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path. Proverbs 3:5-6
I am now 24 weeks pregnant with our sweet little boy! Yippee! With each week that passes I get a little more excited... if that's even possible! This little guy is giving me some major movement at night when I lay down for bed. I just love it!!! I think my body is adjusting to being back to school... this week I held up a little better! :)
How Far Along: 24 weeks Size of baby: 11.8 inches and 1.7 lbs
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes for the most part!
Movement: It's the most amazing feeling ever! I love that little (sometimes big) reminder that he is inside of me!
Symptoms: Nothing to write home about.
What I miss: Not much-- just so super excited for him to get here.
Cravings: No cravings, I'm just eating a lot more. I've got a growing baby boy inside me;) Seriously though, at times I out eat Pat.
Best moment this week: Buying some fun things for his nursery. Hopefully daddy will start painting that soon (hint, hint daddy).
Here I am at 24 weeks!
LORD my GOD, You have done many things-Your wonderful works and Your plans for us; none can compare with You.
This is just a quick update on my dad and his road to beating cancer! Today dad spent his day down at Barnes. In his words, "they just poked and prodded at me". He had a series of things done, x-rays, MRI's (in which his nose itched the entire half hour and his arms were strapped down....brutal), CAT scan, and a lymphnode biopsy. After his long day he got in the car and barely made it out of the parking garage and they called him to come back to the hospital. They wanted to do an EKG. So poor dad had to turn around and head back to the hospital (he didn't get too far in the first place). I have a feeling the next few months will include many trips to and from the hospital. Dad is scheduled to start chemotherapy on Friday morning. Thank goodness! I'm just ready for some treatment to begin so that we can get that awful lymphoma out of his body. I know dad feels the same way... I wish I could take away the pain of the chemotherapy for him, but unfortunately, that's not how this works. He's a strong man and I know he will conquer. Please keep dad in your prayers on Friday as well as my mom and sister, Marla. They will be going with him and learning how to care for him and his port throughout his treatment. Luckily, Marla is an RN so she will understand all of the medical jargin. I know Friday will be the beginning to a long road, but it's a road we're going to dominate! Like my dad always says "A Godefroid can do anything!" My dad will beat this cancer!
Pat and I often discuss what Paige is doing in heaven. Obviously we don't know and we won't know until we are reunited with her again one day. However, it's a fun thing to think about. Is she playing? Is she sleeping? Is she having a party? Is she waiting in line? This is one I think about often... does my sweet girl wait in line to talk to Jesus? You're probably thinking... what? huh? that's a weird thing to think about? But, I do. There have been several times since Paige went to heaven that our family has really needed some answered prayers. For instance, when we had the scare with Landon's heart, with my dad's lymphoma, and several other occasions. I always talk to Paige and ask her to watch over us and to help guide us and to ask Jesus to take care of our family. Every time I talk to her about answering prayers I get this visual of my sweet little girl standing in a line and waiting to talk to God. She's always the shortest one in line:) I don't really know who else is in line with her, but I just see her standing there patiently waiting her turn. And then we joke that God says to her, "You're back?" and in a sweet little voice she responds, "Yep, I have a big family." This may seem strange to some, but anything to do with Paige brings me joy. Since I can't be there to experience heaven with her I can't help but to imagine what she's up to up there. Sometimes I feel guilty... how much pressure can one little girl take? But then I remember what a fighter she is and I know she's got it covered! I love my daughter to pieces and I am so proud of her continued work of watching over our family. I know it brings her joy to take care of all of us! We love you Paige!
But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of GOD, to those who believe in His name...
Today I am 23 weeks with Landon! Another week closer to meeting our sweet boy! I can hardly wait for him to get here! This week has gone by fairly quickly with school starting. His movement becomes more and more noticable everyday and Pat has felt him a few times this week as well. Very fun!
How Far Along: 23 weeks
Size of baby: 11.4 inches and 1.5 lbs
Gender: A Boy!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes for the most part!
Movement: Feeling him move every day!
Symptoms: Nothing I can't handle!
What I miss: Lazy summer days with naps at 2:00. :)
Cravings: It's more that things don't sound good than actually having cravings!
What I am looking forward to: Getting the nursery painted so I can start getting it all set up.
Sorry I never posted a picture last week.. it totally slipped my mind! Prego brain!
Here I am at 23 weeks! It's a little blurry, but it should work! Wow! I'm getting big!
Update on my Dad:
Today my mom and dad had a long day at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes Jewish Hospital. On my dad's agenda today was a PET scan, some blood work, a bone marrow biopsy and a meeting with his doctor. I believe they got to the hospital around noon today and they did not get home until a little after 7:00pm. My poor dad had not ate since midnight last night... I'm sure he was starving!
Here is what we found out today:
1. The lymphoma is in both arms, above and below his diaphragm, in his 10th rib and (one more place that I can't think of right now). It is stage 4 lymphoma.
2. There is a type A and type B of lymphoma and type A is much more curable. Thankfully, Dad has type A.
3. Dad's lymphoma is non-hodgkins, which is good.
4. With lymphoma there is aggressive and slow-growing. Aggressive is curable and slow-growing is not as curable. Dad's lymphoma is aggressive.
Where we go from here...
Dad's chemotherapy should start next week. He will receive treatments every three weeks for the next 18 weeks with a total of 6 treatments.
My thoughts on all of this:
We knew today would be full of information we didn't want to hear, however, our prayers are being answered. We asked for this to be curable and it is. We asked for a treatment plan and we got one. We asked for strong spirits and my parents are the strongest there are! I just know my dad will beat this thing! I continue to put my faith in God that he will watch over my dad and heal his body of this awful illness. I continue to be so proud of my daughter in heaven, Paige, I know she is watching out for her grandpa and doing her part to make him all better. It's a road I wish we didn't have to go down. It's a fight I wish my dad didn't have to fight. This is what has been laid before us and I know God is going to carry us through to the very end! Please continue to pray for my dad. Pray that his spirits stay high, his doctors make the best choices for his treatments and that our family can be a strong support system for him. We truly appreciate your love and support!
I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be restrained.
Here was the post I started last night. I stopped because my complaining was getting ridiculous. I'm even quite embarrassed I'm sharing it now, however, please read until the end.
Believe me I can't stand hearing people complain just as much as the next person. So take this as a fair warning... I'm about to complain just a bit.
So school started on Monday and so as of today I have officially taught three full days. Yes, just three days. Three doesn't seem so bad, yet I can't even begin to describe the pain I have in my feet after the past three days. Now I realize it's probably due to the fact that I'm wearing flip flops with absolutely no arch support or any comfort. My fault? Definitely. But still, the pain is unreal. Seriously, does Dr. Scholl's make cute shoes? If so, I so need to get a pair. Besides my feet feeling like they could fall off... I am exhausted. Not just tired... exhausted!
Thankfully I stopped there. On the way home from school today I was thinking about all the "chores" I needed to do. Our house needed cleaning badly, laundry needed to get done, groceries needed to be bought, dusting, vaccuuming, mopping the kitchen floor.... the list could go on and on. I was once again complaining! I got half way home and wanted to slap myself. How did I get in this slump? This was ridiculous. I had to remind myself how blessed I am to have a house to clean, clothes to wash, money to buy food and our blessings go on and on. I was even more angry disappointed with myself for the post I started yesterday. How dare I complain about my feet hurting or being tired!! For one, I should be thankful to have a job. Second and a lot more important... I'm pregnant! I am so unbelievably blessed to be carrying a sweet baby boy inside of me. How dare I complain about the aches and pains that come along with pregnancy! I needed a good talking to and luckily (probably with Paige's help) I was able to give that talk to myself. So in the past 2 hours that I have been home from school groceries have been bought, laundry is in the washer, the family room got dusted, windexed and vaccuumed, dishes got cleaned and the kitchen floor got mopped. Seriously, I don't know what came over me yesterday or today, but I'm glad I snapped out of it. Life is too short and precious to complain about it!
Thanks Paige for reminding me of that today! I love you baby girl!
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Today was my first day of school with students for this school year. The best way I can describe it right now is... EXHAUSTION! I am worn out! I'm not sure my feet have ever hurt so bad (I'm sure they did last year during my pregnancy with Paige, but how easily we forget). It's always an exciting time... starting with a new group of kids, trying new teaching strategies, and just getting a clean slate to work with. I really do enjoy the challenges my job brings along with the fun stuff. It's fun to watch kids grow so much in just a school year. It's rewarding to watch the "lightbulb" go on when they get it! It's hilarious to listen to the innocent things they say...here's an example... today a little girl came up to me and asked, "Are you having a baby?" I replied, "No sweetie, I just ate too many cookies this summer." She smiled at me akwardly and said "That's what I thought." Haha! Don't worry I did tell her I was expecting a baby boy! I tell anyone who will listen to me:) Overall, today was a great day! I think I'll go back tomorrow! ;)
Update on my dad:
Many of you have been asking about my dad and wondering what's going on with his treatment plan. We found out today that he will be going to the Siteman Cancer Center on Friday. He will have a fullbody scan (PET scan), x-rays, some other lab tests done and a bone marrow biopsy. He will then meet with his doctor and hopefully get a plan of action to begin his treatment. I can't even begin to imagine how my dad is feeling. I know he's anxious to get treatment started and to get the cancer out of his body. Who can blame him? Unfortunately, his arm where the lymphoma is located is starting to really hurt and it continues to grow. My hope is that on Friday they will have a plan of action ready and treatment (most likely chemotherapy) will start soon after. It is my understanding that with lymphoma there is no surgery involved, however, the chemotherapy usually is very effective in shrinking the cancer. I pray this gives my dad some relief from the pain and gets rid of his cancer. I am asking for these specific prayers:
1. Please pray that the doctors/nursing staff prepare a plan of action quickly so that the waiting game can be over.
2. Please pray that when my dad has his PET scan on Friday that doctors DO NOT find anymore cancer in his body.
3. Please pray that God continues to give my dad strength, faith and a positive attitude to fight this cancer inside of him.
I truly appreciate every single prayer for my dad. Prayer has become a big part of my life in the past seven months and I truly believe that God listens to every single one. Thank you for your love and support! Please keep praying!
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
I am now 22 weeks pregnant with our little man. There are days when I just can't believe it! I think about our lives the past seven and a half months and can't believe the crazy ride we have been on. Pat and I are both so thrilled about Landon's arrival in December and we count our blessings everyday!
How Far Along: 22 weeks
Size of baby: 10.9 inches long and around 1lb 1 ounce
Maternity Clothes: Yes, I can still squeeze into a few of my regular shirts and dresses.
Gender: It's a BOY! Landon Jordan
Movement: Well after being woken up a few nights this week around 4 am, I have realized my little boy has his nights and days mixed up! He was wiggling and kicking all throughout the night. Those sweet little kicks are amazing and I love every single one.
Symptoms: My feet are beginning to hurt and I anticipate that to get worse with school starting next week. Every ache and pain is just another wonderful sign of the life inside of me!
What I miss: Bending over with ease. :) I forgot how difficult it can get.
Cravings: I feel like I have been eating a lot lately, maybe Landon is having a growth spurt.
What I am looking forward to: Holding this little guy in my arms!
No picture yet, I'll try to get one taken today and post it tonight. I'm slackin!
There is a time for everything...a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance...
Today my dad was given the devastating news that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma. Ugh! It's been a tough year on my family and this is just another bump in the road. My dad is one of the strongest people I know and I know that he will overcome this with flying colors. He will not do this alone. He is loved by many and he will have the prayers of thousands behind him. Not only does he have my mom, his children and grandchildren walking this path with him... he also has his brothers, his friends, extended family, his coworkers, his students and the support of so many others! My family and I are asking for your prayers! We truly believe that God and our Paige will get my dad/grandpa through this trying time. We know the road may be long and not so easy on dad, but we believe in the power of prayer. I am askng for this specific prayers:
1. That God gives my dad strength throughout this entire process and helps keep his spirit high!
2. That God gives my dad's doctors the wisdom and knowledge they need to rid his body of this cancer and make him healthy again.
3. That my family's faith will continue to be strong so that we can be a positive support team for my dad!
Thank you so much for your prayers..... my family truly appreciates each and every one!
I can hardly believe I am typing those words! Today is Pat's first day back to school with students. I have meetings tomorrow and Friday and then students start on Monday. Pat and I agree that we are eager to get back to school for a few reasons... one it will make our time go by quickly. You can kind of get caught in a rut just sitting around everyday. Two, we have to start school in order for December to get here so we can meet Landon..so we are ready to dive in. And finally after a few months off, I start to miss the kids at school. It's always exciting to start a new year with a new classroom full of new kids, but it's also nice to see the kids from years prior. Those kiddos helped me through a tough year (even though they probably don't realize how much they helped me)! So, although our lazy days of summer are over... we gladly take on this new school year in hopes for what is to come.
I mentioned a week or two ago that I would share how we planned to keep Paige within our home and family forever. The most obvious, Paige will live in our hearts forever! There's no question about that, but we also wanted to incorporate her memory into our daily lives. If you've ever been inside our house in the past 7 months you would know that pictures of Paige pretty much wallpaper our family room. We have pictures everywhere. Who wouldn't love seeing that precious face? I know we love it! We've now cleaned out Paige's room... it's pretty bare in there right now. It still has pink walls, but those will soon change. Although our family room remains full of pictures of Paige I know in my heart that it won't be like this forever. We have Landon on the way and hopefully we will be blessed with even more children after him. The space Paige fills now will one day be shared with her siblings. Pat and I both wanted to make sure that Paige would always be "among" our family. We decided to buy a trunk that would hold all of Paige's belongings inside. Pictures of her, items from the hospital, clothes she wore, her hand and foot prints, stuffed animals that were in her hospital bed and so much more. The trunk now sits in our family room and it will remain there forever. Even if we move houses one day, the trunk will be placed in the family room... in the room our family will gather... our whole family, including Paige. It's important for us that we have all of these things that belonged to Paige so that one day her siblings can learn all about their big sister. These items will always be available to them so that they can feel close to her. So that if they want to hold her stuffed animals to feel close to her they can. That's important to us. Paige will always be part of our family and home!
So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.
This week was a pretty uneventful week in Mr. Landon's world. I did have a doctor appointment on Monday and we heard his little heart beat--- the most beautiful noise ever! He seems to be growing just fine and seems content inside of me! He needs to stay there for about 18 more weeks! It's amazing the amount of love you can have for someone you have never seen. Pat and I just love this little man to pieces and we are so excited for his arrival in December!
How Far Along: 21 weeks
Size of baby: 10.5 inches long and around 13 ounces Maternity Clothes: Maternity pants and shorts are a must and even some shirts.
Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!
Movement: I'm still not feeling him as much as I would like to. I'm sure he's saving all his energy for when he gets out:) I'm being patient and trying not to panic. Symptoms: I'm feeling great!
What I miss: No complaints!
Cravings: Of course, ice cream and then anything I see. My appetite has increased big time this week. What I am looking forward to: Feeling him more and more and December!
WARNING! Pat was already up and out the door before I got out of bed this morning. This picture is a bit rough because I had to use a timer to take it. It's the best I can do for now :)
21 Weeks! I feel like I grew a lot this week!
From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.
I'm not quite sure I have the words to write this post. I am in utter disbelief right now and I'm trying to make sense of it all. We have just returned from Paige's autopsy report and I am in complete shock of how very sick my baby was. Yes, obviously knowing that she was born with leukimia I knew she was very sick.... but today I think I realized just how sick she was. I couldn't even cry because of the complete shock I was in. The doctors revealed to us this evening that cancer had taken over our baby's entire body. Paige had AML leukimia which is cancer of the blood. We knew this. When Paige was born she had a "blueberry" looking rash on her torso and left arm. We thought it was a rash, but no it was actually cancer in her skin. Paige also had cancer in her heart, trachea, lungs, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, spleen, adrenals, thymus, pituitary, thoracic lymph nodes and bone marrow. SERIOUSLY? My poor baby! Not only did the cancer take over my daughter's body it also caused her poor brain to shift and bleed which caused a stroke. The stroke in turn paralyzed her right side of her body. SERIOUSLY? How are we supposed to process this? Really, I don't know if I ever will completely process all of this. We could scream at the top of our lungs about how unfair this is. How can all of this be dealt to one little baby? Instead we choose to think this... Paige is 100% MIRACLE! How in the heck does a poor little baby make it 9 months inside of me with cancer that has taken over her entire body? It's a MIRACLE! Our MIRACLE! Pat and I walked away tonight with this thought... we are so blessed! So blessed that our baby girl fought her little toosh off to make it into this world. Yes, it was 3 VERY SHORT days, but 3 of the best days of our lives. For those three days we got to hold and love on our precious child, our miracle. Although we miss her like crazy and hate that she is not here with us... we will forever be grateful for the fight she put up to meet us! What a strong little girl!
On a side note: To the nurse/nurses in the NICU that had the bracelet made and sent to the autopsy meeting--- THANK YOU SO MUCH! It is absolutely beautiful and I will cherish it always! Thank you for loving our Paige and for being so good to Pat and I. We are forever grateful!
Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. The sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it, an infant who lives but a few days...
Today is my sweet angel's 7 month birthday! I can't believe it has already been 7 months since my sweet girl came into my life. I'll never forget hearing that first little cry when she was born. Sadly, that was the only cry we ever heard come from our precious daughter. It's amazing how much a brand new life can change your whole world. I know that if we were able to bring Paige home our world would of been turned upside down with sleepless nights, feedings around the clock, endless diaper changes, etc... these changes we would of gladly accepted. Noboy prepared us for the changes we did encounter. The heart ache, the questions, funeral arrangements, choosing a headstone for our daughter. But these were all little things to the powerful lessons our daughter taught us. Paige taught Pat and I how to love hard. The love I have for Paige, Pat and Landon is a love that I didn't know existed. It's a love so powerful and so real. Paige taught us to make everyday count. In the beginning this was difficult. It seemed our days just came and went and we were still left grieving. Now, this brings a whole new meaning to our lives. Paige helped remind us what is important in life. We no longer sweat the small stuff. Life's too short and too precious for that. We thank God everyday for the blessings in our lives and we have hope for a bright future.
My Sweet Paige,
I can't believe it's been 7 months since I last held you in my arms. It just doesn't seem like that long ago. Daddy and I miss you so much and would give anything to have you here with us. We are confident that you are in a much better place where you are healthy and strong. We know you watch over us each and eveyday. We can feel your presence. Although we are having to take down your nursery in order to prepare it for your little brother, please know that you will never be forgotten. You will always be our first love, our first miracle, our first breath of life. Paige, you will always be a part of us and we can't wait to tell Landon all about you. We love you sweet girl!
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
My name is Marissa. I have an amazing husband named Patrick. We have a beautiful baby girl named Paige who is in Heaven with Jesus. We've been blessed with two healthy children, Landon and Mya. This blog is all about our sweet angel and the lasting impact she will forever have on our hearts.