Friday, May 31, 2013

31st May 2013

Victoria is home. Thank you to all who prayed for her and practically supported us during this past week.
After a 13 hour sleep on Wednesday night, Victoria woke up on Thursday morning with more energy and very well rested! Rested enough to start on a bit of school work. During the morning, Victoria kept asking about what her class would be doing, so with the help of her teacher we 'face-timed' the class. It was great, a real highlight of the day, and certainly made Victoria feel connected to what was happening at school.
We had a previously booked appointment with the occupational therapist, so being the wonderfully flexible people they are, they came down to the ward for the therapy session. The bed-sheets will not quite be the same, as the paint came out and went everywhere!
Whilst the therapy session was on, I had the opportunity to go to a morning tea for parents facilitated by Camp Quality and the paediatric oncology social worker. It was a good opportunity to meet some more parents and share stories, although it was a bit confronting and emotional at times.
Ken and his parents came up to visit again in the afternoon, when we got the good news that Victoria could come home, as long as she "laid low" for a while. The doctor's verdict was that it was indeed a virus, probably just the common cold, that was the cause of this week's drama!
Thank you again to everyone who helped us out or offered to help. Your assistance enabled our week to go as smoothly as possible. And it is another reminder of God's amazing provision for our family in this season.
Psalm 73v25-26 (AMP).  Whom have I in heaven but you? And I have no delight or desire on earth besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the Rock and firm strength of my heart and my Portion forever.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

29th May 2013

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Victoria over the past few days. Whilst she is still in hospital, her temperature is now in the normal range. She is washed out and tired, although we have had some bright spots during the day, such as doing this procedure on teddy!
Victoria also tested out all the bed controls just to make sure they worked correctly.
A big thank you too to our marvellous family and friends who have rallied around to help with the other children, especially Ken's parents who sat with Victoria for 5 hours today so I could have a break and pick up the other children from school.
So once again, despite our circumstances we can find plenty to be thankful for, as 1 Thessalonians 5v18 commands us, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Here is another testimony of God's grace ... Victoria first became unwell on Monday morning and by the afternoon her temperature was over 38 degrees, which is the trigger for a hospital visit! My wonderful neighbours answered my calls for help, looking after Marshall, Charlotte and Alexandra whilst I took Victoria to hospital.
I was supposed to be sharing some of our story regarding Victoria at a Biggest Morning Tea for the Cancer Council, at church on Tuesday morning. So I busily made phone calls to find someone to sit with Victoria in hospital so I could go to the morning tea. Another one of my beautiful neighbours graciously made herself available.
However, overnight Victoria's temperature returned to normal, so she was discharged on Tuesday morning.
This was fantastic as the early discharge meant both Victoria and I could attend the morning tea. It was such an unexpected blessing having Victoria with me, her presence added a whole other dimension to the talk. She was so well, radiating joy and hope. She 'worked the room' like a professional.
We got home just after midday for a rest. By 3pm, her temperature had risen again, so back to the hospital she went.
As I reflected on the days' activities from the hospital room last night, I was amazed that once again, a situation the enemy had tried to use to create anxiety and disappointment, had resulted in such an unexpected blessing. Romans 8v28 is so true, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been a called according to his purpose."
Thank you for your support, and please continue to pray that Victoria's temperature will stay down and that she will be infection free.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

21st May 2013

Yesterday we got a sniff of another victory regarding Victoria's health and well-being! Praise the Lord. In December last year at an appointment with Vision Australia, I asked if Victoria's loss of left field vision was permanent. The response took a while to come and was very considered, "You will have to ask the Ophthalmic surgeon that question."
Well, yesterday we had an appointment with the Ophthalmic surgeon. He conducted various tests on Victoria's eyes, and then said, "Her sight has potentially improved." I didn't have to ask THAT question.
I nearly fell off my chair, and I asked him, "Do you mean she can now see more things on the left?" He replied that, "some re-learning is possible in children, their brain can restore this function, unlike adults."
I give praise to our wonderful creator for the way He has created this amazing body we inhabit. Please pray that Victoria's left field vision will continue to improve until it is fully restored.

The doctor also observed, as have the hippotherapy people, that Victoria is compensating for the remaining loss by moving her eyes more, naturally scanning more to the left.

We choose to believe that we will see many more physical victories for Victoria, and we choose to continue to claim 2 Timothy 4v18 over her life ...[And indeed] the Lord will certainly deliver and draw me to Himself from every assault of evil. He will preserve and bring me safe unto His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen


Thursday, May 16, 2013

16th May 2013

Victoria is loving the hippotherapy and enjoying riding on Wedge. Here she is getting ready to give him a kiss! If you would like to know a bit more about hippotherapy, check out this website: Hippotherapy YouTube video.
Victoria has been well enough to have chemotherapy both last week and this week. Even though her neutrophils are a bit low, she was allowed to attend a school excursion today to Oakvale Farm and had a great day.
Please pray that Victoria continues to be well, despite the flu season commencing.
A couple of weeks ago when we were having a session with the psychologist in the paediatric oncology department, I noticed this poem by Dorothy Law Nolte on the wall. You may have read this poem before, but I had not seen it before, and thought it was worth sharing.
Children learn what they live
If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with fear,
he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with pity,
he learns to feel sorry for  himself.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with jealousy,
he learns what envy is.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns to be confident.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to be appreciative.
If a child lives with acceptance,
he learns to love.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself,
If a child lives with recognition,
he learns that it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with sharing,
he learns about generosity.
If a child lives with honesty and fairness,
he learns what truth and justice are.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith in himself and in those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness,
he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.
If you live with serenity,
your child will live with peace of mind
With what is your child living?
That poem is very thought-provoking, and certainly prompted me to think about some of the less than desirable behaviours I sometimes demonstrate to our children!
And whilst I know I am very much less than perfect, I thank God for His grace that is readily available to us as parents, and know that this scripture is true for our lives ...
And the grace (unmerited favour and blessing) of our Lord (actually) flowed out superabundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are (to be realised) in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 12 v14 (AMP)
Thank you again for your continued prayers, support and encouragement. It is hard to believe that Victoria has now completed 45 weeks of treatment! We thank God that he has our precious daughter in the palm of His hand.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

7th May 2013

On Sunday Victoria gave me a stark reminder of the thoughts that are in her head and that all she has had to cope with, especially during the chemotherapy treatment. She was sitting in the kitchen, holding her dolly Sophie. There was a pile of Sophie's hair on the floor. I inquired as to why she had cut Sophie's hair. The response was, 'Now she looks like me'.

I turned away as I felt the tears start to come. Wow, because Victoria is coping so well, it is easy to forget that she still has to face many things each day, such as the fact that all the girls around her, including me, her sisters and friends have long hair. Whilst her hair is growing, for which we are very grateful to God, on Monday morning before school, Victoria informed me that it wasn't growing fast enough!
Please pray that Victoria will have patience as she waits for her hair to grow and continues to live with the left side weakness.

Friday morning was the first session of hippotherapy. What a wonderful way to finish the week, seeing Victoria so enjoying herself, surrounding by such loving, caring people, all working together to help her.

Victoria herself was thrilled to be there again, and couldn't wait to give Wedge a pat.

Please continue to pray that she will be able to attend each hippotherapy session and that there will be improvements in her walking.

The rest of today's blog entry it a photo essay of the awesome day we had on Sunday at Stockton Beach. The day is organised by Camp Quality, with everything (cars, lunch, sand boarding etc) provided by local four wheel driving clubs. We all had a fantastic day. A special thanks to Chris and Ken Hall who made arrangements so we could all travel in their car together, rather than being split by 2 cars. It was a very memorable day!
 Marshall starts the day off with a tree climb, whilst we wait for the car to be set up.
Ken and Chris had tea and coffee on hand when we stopped for a break at the Sigma wreck.
Alexandra strikes a pose in front of the Sigma.
Victoria does some digging on the beautiful Stockton beach.
The next stop was one of the lagoons back in the sand-dunes, part of the Worimi conservation lands.
A member of the Worimi mob gave a talk about various things made from the bush, bush food and playing the didgeridoo.
Marshall volunteered to try some bush tucker. When asked what it tasted like, he tactfully said, "Mum's cooking."
After lunch it was time for some sand-boarding. Marshall and Alexandra teamed up.
And down they went!
Charlotte and Victoria teamed up.
And off they went, Charlotte had the breaks on!
Then there was the mighty climb back up the dune!
Marshall finished the day with one final leap off the dune!
We had a great family day, out enjoying this magnificent country we are so blessed to live in. We are so blessed to be part of an organisation like Camp Quality, who know exactly what families in our situation need to help make it through each day.
Please pray that Victoria will continue to be well despite the chemotherapy treatment, and that her immunity will remain high. And most importantly that she will know the truth of this scripture, no matter where she is or who she is with, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." 1 Joshua 1v9