Wednesday, July 3, 2013

An Encouragement

    Our little Hazelnut had a fantastic week at the hospital!  Despite having 3 different Chemo drugs pumped through her veins (one of which was a continuous flow for 72 hours!), she continued to be a ray of sunshine.  She hardly spent any time in her room; but instead roamed the halls, making friends with all of the nurses along the way, spent hours in the playroom, read books, did drawings and so much more.  You prayers definitely carried us through last week!
     I was also reminded of something that I am not sure I have shared with all of you (I would look back on my first few posts if I could, but honestly, it's just too painful). When Aaron and I were first at the hospital with Hazel, it was an extremely dark and fearful time.  We still have many hard days, but it has been no where near as intense as I thought it would be.  God has truly been so faithful to us!  That being said, those first days are something I would never wish upon anyone.  We were trying to find hope anywhere that we could, but everywhere we turned was just full of hopelessness.  We kept receiving bad news after bad news, and we had no idea what this world of Cancer was going to be like; so we felt incredibly hopeless.  But one of the very first signs of hope, that I firmly believe God orchestrated for us right when we needed it, appeared in the form of a five-year-old girl.  As we were being taken to one of the countless first tests Hazel was having, we were wheeled in our wheelchair into an elevator.  In this wonderful elevator, we were joined by this young lady, who had obviously been through the treatment we were fearing so much.  This bald beauty was the most chipper and bubbly young thing I have ever seen walking through a hospital.  She was bouncing up and down, singing and making conversations with everyone around her.  We were able to talk with her during our short elevator ride together, and this interaction is something I will never forget.  She gave us hope that the world we were thrust into was not all dark and depressing, but could be full of energy and joy.  I longed to have a moment like that with Hazel, but it just felt so far off.
    During this last hospital stay, Hazel and I were roaming the halls as usual.  We had just stopped to play a quick pick-up game of Hide-And-Seek when I saw a young family in the exact same place as we were only a short two months ago.  Their young, beautiful daughter was being wheeled in her wheel-chair, looking like Hazel did in those first weeks, and Mom and Dad looked as though they had just been in a car-wreck.  Hazel smiled, ran over to them and chatted them up as they walked by, and I saw a smile come to their faces.  As I settled into bed, I broke down in tears because I realized that Hazel might be to that family, what that little girl in the elevator was to us.  I felt their despair, their hopelessness and confusion, and spent many tears praying for them.  
    The next morning I went to find that family so I could reach out a friendly hand and to offer some hope and encouragement.  I can see how God has used Hazel's story so much already, and I felt He was leading me to do that for this family.  We spoke through tears and shared one another's burdens in a way that I have never experienced.  And it soon became clear to me, through many of the things being said, that God wanted to bring us together.  For example, they live in Moorpark (which is the next town over from where we live, for those of you who don't know), they have 3 young children and were also diagnosed in a matter of days (which hardly ever happens!).  Their beautiful daughter who Hazel and I had the pleasure of seeing is named Hannah.  She is 3 years old and has been diagnosed with Leukemia.  This family needs your prayers!  Please rally around them as you have around us, so they may feel the power of His hope!  
    Since coming home, Hazel has been doing fairly well.  The first few days were fantastic, and we even spent one of them swimming!  However, her counts have dropped pretty quickly and she's feeling a bit nauseous and run down.  I also think I see some small mouth sores beginning to form.  PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!!!  We are scheduled for a blood transfusion on Friday, which should definitely help, but please pray for quick healing!
    There is a verse that continues to encourage me, and if I have written it before, I'm sorry for repeating myself. It is Psalm 34:17-18: "The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit".  Please pray that our family continues to seek Him and allow Him to be near us.  If we let Him lead us and put our faith and trust in Him, I am confident He will carry us through this time.  And continue to pray that we works a miracle in our little Hazelnut's body and that He uses our story to show His glory!  




  1. Hazel is such an inspiration to me. Again, I want to thank your family for everything!!!! The inspiration, kind words, hard work, dedication, HELP,ETC. You all are helping bring back my faith. And when I see Hazel and how beautiful and strong she is, I feel HOPE. Prayers and blessings to your entire family. As always, THANKS.

  2. Lauren we are praying for sweet little Hazelnut. Please tell Hannah's family about Here to Serve! Give them my number. I would love to help them too! Blessings, Katie

  3. God has given you this gift, who happens to be Hazel. She is truly a blessings. Though it is so hard and she is such a fighter, He would never bless someone who was not strong enough to take care of such a bundle of joy, like your daughter Hazel. She is absolutely adorable and I will be praying for you and your family, for the strength to carry through this process, for your precious daughter Hazel and her fight to battle this cancer, for God to speak through you and your family to be disciples among the hospital and also for God to provide wisdom to the doctors and nurses in the hospital that are under intensive care and time with Hazel.


  4. Hi,

    I came across your story on Yahoo and wanted to share a story of hope with you. My daughter was dx with stage IV, high risk NB May 3, 2010 at the age of 22 months. It sounds like she went through a similar protocol as Miss Hazel although my daughter also went through an autologous stem cell transplant. She went through absolute hell. But as someone told me during her treatment, when you're going through hell, just keep going. So we did. My daughter just turned 5 last month and has been NED for two years. She is now scanned every 6 months and has her next round the end of August. She has no memory of her treatment, just scars from where her primary tumor was removed from her abdomen and from where her central line was above her heart. She also has high frequency hearing loss from the rounds of platinum based chemo. I know we will never be able to relax knowing the beast that is NB but when I was where you are now, I craved stories like this. Listen to your mommy instincts throughout her treatment and never lose hope.

    Happy to share more as well as her journal with you if you are so inclined.

    NB Mom in Boston