Abby Has relapsed
After 8 years of being cancer free, our granddaughter Abby has had a relapse of Leukemia. She is 14 now…that being, approaching her 14th after the Christmas season. Though we are confident that Abby will be OK in the long run and that the Leukemia will be "beat," it is still a personal and family "challenge" that we have to face. The backstory is extensive…for Abby's family had just moved to Japan to teach at an international school and follow Jesus in sharing the Kingdom in the city of Tokyo. This was a call from the Lord that we all affirmed! But now, after having the diagnosis a little over one week ago, Abby's family has returned to their former home in Colorado so that Abby can enter Leukemia treatments. This is a three-year journey and when Abby fought it years ago, she was three years old and needed assurance and love but was easily distracted. NOW, Abby is 14…she is intelligent, self-aware and knowledgable about what she has to face. She knows what is ahead in terms of treatment and is, justifiably, struggling. We ask for your prayers for the Lord's healing in her body and that (specifically) the treatment's demands will continue to be faced with courage but with the promise of God's comfort, peace and healing. In addition, that Abby would have the stamina to now consciously face these treatments with the miraculous presence of Jesus.
Below is a post from the abbyupdate.com blog that our family is resurrecting for this journey. Check it often as Abby's dad and mom (as well as myself) will give updates for prayer and support. In the meantime, let's give thanks to God for HE is good and HIS MERCY endures in every situation we face. This season of thanks needs a specific focus and even when we all face the challenges of life, we know for certain that Jesus is present, feeling what we are feeling and speaking peace and promise to our hearts and lives.
Here's Abby's dad, Mark Schreiber, in his own words describing the decision to come back to the USA and seek treatment for Abby. Like I said, follow the story on abbyupdate.com. The two pics above are Abby at 4 fighting Leukemia and Abby at 13 resuming the fight!
This week, we pulled the eject lever, and rapidly came back to Colorado to start treatment for Abby's Leukemia. Below are some excerpts of emails that I've sent this week to my friends and family from both sides of the globe. We leave in 30 minutes to the Children's Hospital in Denver and we will once again have a better view of what this journey will look like soon. From Wednesday night after diagnosis to some great guys in my life:
****** "Well, it looks like this will be our 2nd time that we get to walk down the road of Leukemia treatment. But right now I'm in Japan so I need your wisdom and I have about 2 days before I need to make preparations. Basically, our big fear came true today, when I took her downtown to St. Luke's (the International Hospital). They did another blood test that I requested and detected blast cells (they shouldn't be in your blood stream though). So to get the definitive answer, they asked to get a bone marrow sample. They got the sample and 90% of her marrow is blast cells (that means she has Leukemia again). They will know the specific type of Leukemia tomorrow. " **** And to our Colorado Friends once we had made the decision to fly home for a bit: ******
Colorado friends, I had lots of catchy subject lines for this email. Like, "Dusting Off the Old Abby Update Page" or "What are the Odds?" But, in the end I decided not to even do an executive summary and just put the news right in the subject line. Yes, Abby was just diagnosed again with Leukemia. 8 years off treatment she has relapsed. This is very very rare, kids don't normally relapse like this… but when has our family ever been normal. I will find out what type of Leukemia it is in a couple of hours when the results come back. So yes, we are dusting off the old "Abby Update" blog from 8 years ago and I'll be recording some new entries. Or maybe I'll do a Facebook page but those are kind of the least of my concerns right now because I'm still in Japan. I definitely didn't see this coming. So here is the nitty gritty. We are coming home for a bit. Abby is doing remarkably well. We caught this really early. She still has an ok immunity and we are praying for that to hold up for another week or 2. She has a bit of time before she has to get on treatment, probably a week. We've talked to a lot of people and prayed a bunch and both the people here in Japan and our doctors in Colorado agree that we should get treated in the USA, especially for the first month. So, we will be flying back to Colorado with 10 suitcases this weekend or early next week. I'll post info on Facebook as I know and send out links to other ways you can keep in the loop in the future soon. On to the heart stuff. This is hard. It's going to be a bumpy road again and we are already pretty worn out from all of this transitions that we have just gone through. I am optimistic that Abby will be cured again. And I also know what the treatment will look like. It will be long and tiring, there will be days again when I don't think I can do another day. And then I will do that day, and the next and the next. This time Abby is a teenager, she will also face this struggle much like Tiffany and I will. It will leave some marks on her, some more battle scars, some more physical scars too but we all need to continue to remember that our life is not our own and that we are not in control. That illusion of control has once again been stripped away for the Schreibers and I'm going to trust that we will experience God's freedom in new ways as we all walk this out together. ~The Schreibers