Wednesday, April 28, 2010

his eye is on the sparrow

some time ago, this past summer in the month of july, i was staying with melissa and family. jennifer had just been there for awhile and i came after her. it was during this time that i feel we experienced some of the darkest hours with melissa's illness. let me be clear, at no point, did any of us, including melissa, ever cease to feel the constant presence and strength of our heavenly father. however, she was the weakest she had ever been and was experiencing tremendous pain in the area of the cancer. she was basically bedridden. it was so difficult to see her like that. it was during this time that her doctor in indianapolis was not offering too many more options. (this was before she saw the oncologist in new york city and was offered the chance for some wonderful, possibly lifesaving options.)

i remember one night in particular, the children were playing with sparklers in the backyard. they would come up to the master bedroom window and peer in so that she could see them from her bed. she was so terribly sick. it was all i could do to fight back the tears. i am not sharing this with you for pity, but to celebrate the wonders of faith and true joy. i was in her bedroom when i noticed a book on her nightstand entitled "contagious joy." she was basically battling for her life and she was reading "contagious joy". oh, the irony.....but i wasn't surprised at all. she asked for her bible different times, a paper with her handwriting on it fell out and i picked it up. it was dated june 26, 1993. i choked back the tears as i read what she had written years ago, knowing full well that she was living her words out in a way that i am sure she had never imagined.....

matthew 7:24-27
1. true faith needs no feelings to rest upon.
2. especially in matters of greatest importance, human intellect and emotions cannot be trusted.
3. it isn't the sense of god's presence, but the fact of his presence that brings peace.
4. god is not interested in so much that we're comfortable, but that we'll allow him to comfort us.

2 corinthians 1:3
".....god of all comfort....."

"the will of god will never lead you where the grace of god cannot keep you."

i needed that at that moment. i was reminded in her own writing that god was in control though our situation felt so completely out of control. melissa is amazing, but it is only through the lord working in her life and her willingness to be used by him. after reading her words, i had no doubt that he had begun preparing her years ago for what she would face later down the road. i am moved daily by her faithfulness no matter her circumstances or how she is feeling at that moment. god is good!!!

now to bring you up to of this past tuesday, melissa was day 89 post transplant. she is doing well overall. the nausea has finally subsided and she is eating better. she has struggled some with neuropathy, a common side effect of the transplant. as a result, she recently has had severe pain in her right foot. this has caused difficulty in walking and simply wearing a shoe. please pray that this condition will improve. her numbers continue to look good. she goes back to see her oncologist on monday, may 3rd. at that time, her 100 day post transplant scan will be scheduled. this scan is critical.....this will allow the doctors to see just how much her cancer was impacted by the transplant. please pray, pray, pray, and pray some more that she will receive wonderful news!!! we appreciate it so very much. god has been so faithful to melissa and our entire family and we give him all the praise for that!!!

one more prayer request, doug and melissa are in need of a live-in nanny starting in june. kristen will be leaving then to get started back to college. we love her and she has been a tremendous help!!! melissa prefers that it be someone in their local area and perhaps, even within their home church. if you know of someone or have any ideas, let us know. it is a bit overwhelming, but we have a peace and know that god has the perfect person for this important job. we would appreciate your prayers as they begin the nanny search.

i want to close with melissa's latest facebook status update. it moved me. it just serves as a reminder to all of us that no matter what any of us may be facing, god is there. he cares. he is faithful. and, he is ever watching over you and me. melissa's words....."i sing because i'm happy. i sing because i'm FREE. for his eye is on the sparrow, and i know he watches me. LOVE THIS SONG! thank you, jesus."

blessings and love to each one of you!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stomach flu update

Well, as it turned out, Melissa did end up getting the stomach flu later Friday night. The good news is that even with her very low immunity, she was able to have a quick recovery. Her appetite has returned and she has been doing very well today.

Please pray for our cousin Kristen who has been living with them, taking care of the kids. She has been sick now. Her mother Charlene kindly offered to stay at the Rex household to help with the children while Kristen recovers now.

Hopefully everyone will be on the mend soon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Prayer Request

I just spoke with my sister. Her daughter Lauren had the stomach flu a day or so ago. Our Uncle Dan who has been graciously helping with the kids now has this sickness himself. I believe that Caleb also had this several days ago.

Please just pray that it passes quickly and no one else gets this. PLEASE pray especially that Miss does not get sick. Her immunity is still very low. She is planning to go to my parents house while everyone gets healthy at her home.

We appreciate prayer for that and will keep you posted!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

quick answer to prayer!!!

just got another phone call from melissa.....she was on her way home from the hospital!!! the medical team felt that she did not need to stay at the hospital after all. they felt her situation could be monitored even with her being at home. she is supposed to take in a lot of fluids this evening and then return to the hospital in the morning.

this is great news as i had just been on the phone with a weepy lauren grace who was already missing her momma. i am so happy for melissa and family!!! praise the lord that she can go back home to her family. god is good.

continue to pray that her condition will improve and that her appointment will go well in the morning. if you haven't already, check out the pictures from easter weekend that jenn posted below. it was such a blessing to share that time together as family.


prayer request.....

melissa just called me from the hospital. she was there for one of her blood work appointments. all of her numbers are good, meaning that she does not need blood or platelets. however, she is being admitted to the hospital. she has been passing blood clots in her urine. while it has not been too painful or bothersome for her, the medical staff wants to give her fluids and keep a watchful eye on the situation. this is most likely a result of the bk virus, which she was found to have had during her earlier hospital stay.

please keep her in your prayers. pray that she will continue to stay encouraged as she is in the hospital and away from home once again. she was taking the news very well. she told me that she realizes thst this is just a small setback and she will be home quickly. pray for doug and the kids as this was totally unexpected. caleb is on spring break this week and doug had taken off the week to be with the family. it works out really well that doug can be home at this time.

we will keep you posted.....thank you so much for your prayers. we know there is power in prayer!!!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our Easter: Celebrating Life

Hi everyone! I have to say that I have missed posting on this blog, but Michelle has been doing an awesome job keeping everyone updated on our sister's progress. Over Easter weekend, my husband and daughter and I were able to visit with my sister Miss and her family. We had such a WONDERFUL time!!! It just flew by way too fast!

I have seen prayer requests posted here, and have heard long-distance how they have been answered....but this past weekend, I was able to see one answered before my eyes. Melissa had been extremely weak and nauseous for days. She was feeling so sick, that food didn't sound so good to her. And she was feeling so weak, that she stayed horizontal in her room much of the time. One evening, we sent out a text requesting prayer about this. As she rested in her bed, we heard a recurring sound. It was the signal of incoming messages on her cell phone, letting her know that the encouragement was rolling in. By the next day, she was out in the living room feeding her neice (my daughter) Lexi a bottle. See the pictures below of the difference! Thanks to the prayers and our Heavenly Father who hears our most simple requests!

Also, I was able to go with my sister to the IU hospital on Monday for her routine bloodwork. They found that her hemoglobin was extremely low at 6.8. (They do not like for it to go below 8.) She received fluids and more blood, and was a new person by the time we left! I can honestly say that I had a blast with her while we were at the hospital! We always manage to have fun, and find the silliest things to laugh about.

As we were at the cancer center at the hospital, I was once again reminded how anyone can fall into this position. There were the young and the old walking nearby who also had this disease. I saw my sister interacting with a friend there, a fellow traveler on this road that I'm sure they would rather not travel. But still, there are here....and they are making the most of it.

Again during this visit, I saw so much grace and peace demonstrated in my sister. I know she would not want me to go on about this as if I am bragging about her...but it is a true testament to that unconditional peace that passes all understanding that our Lord has given her. At one point, I told her that I would trade places with her if I could. She just gave a slight smile and quickly replied, "I wouldn't let ya." That's my Sis.

So this weekend, this past Easter, was about celebrating life...

The life of a risen Savior...

The life of a young baby whose cord blood is giving my sister another chance at life...

The life and breath that we all have, and to not take a moment for granted!!

So grab each moment with those you love! Do not waste a one! We have lots of pictures to share of the many fun moments we shared this weekend. Hope you enjoy them!

Know how much each of you and your prayers are appreciated!!
Love to each of you~ Jenn

We missed you in this picture, Michelle!!!

Caleb James holding his cousin, Alexis Faith

Aunt Miss feeding Lexi early in the visit.

Aunt Miss feeding Lexi in the living room, and feeling much better!

All dressed up for the Easter service!

Little Lexi

Us? Fight? Never!


Never a dull moment!

Easter baskets, and Audrey not wasting time!

Grandma and Lexi watching the Easter egg hunt
with Miss from the inside, looking out.

Ready, set, GO!!!

On the run

Anything in my basket yet?

Are we getting warm yet?

They say I'm getting warmer...

Our Lauren Gracie

Movin' in for the snatch!

Do we see some half-eaten eggs in Audrey's basket? Yes, we do!

Someone discovered how that yummy yolk slips right out of the egg!