Friday, February 28, 2014

Iowa Trip & Prayers for Aunt Melissa

My dad and I took a trip to Iowa last weekend to be with family. My Aunt Melissa had surgery Monday to remove a large tumor on/in her kidney, thought to be cancerous. We (along with many of my aunts/uncles/cousins) were in waiting rooms all day Monday for her surgery - I think it was 14-15 hours at the hospital for most of us including her prep, the surgery, and a few hours in recovery. Since Nick and I have lived out of state since we got married, I haven't spent as much time as I would love to spend with family and I'm so glad my dad and I could be there. The surgery went well thankfully, though her cancer has spread farther than we had hoped.

Kaylee, Aunt Melissa and Jenny
These girls and I spent so much time together growing up and not nearly enough time together as grown ups (since I'm far away!). Our family is still very close and I loved spending quality time together. 


I love this one of my (left to right) Aunt Melinda and Melissa (they're triplets with my uncle Mark (not in the photo) but I didn't know until this weekend that these two are identical twins!), Aunt Michele and my dad

Aunt Melissa's cancer appears to be aggressive and it was caught in stage 4, so doctors are preparing our family for what seems like a fairly dim outlook, but we all agree God is the one in charge here and our trust is in Him. My Aunt Melissa's faith is inspiringly beautiful and it seems like she was the one reassuring many people that God's in charge here and she trusts Him. The victory is already hers since she has given her heart to the Lord. It doesn't make it easy on us, but this is where we really truly have to trust the Lord's plan. He doesn't want us to worry, fear, be anxious, etc. We can love hard, enjoy each day, the many blessings (family is such a blessing!) and carry thankfulness with us everywhere we go. If you wouldn't mind praying for my Aunt Melissa, I know she is feeling every prayer lifted up. She will likely be getting out of the hospital this weekend and will recover for a few weeks and I think will start chemo treatments in a month or so. My family also set up a Caring Bridge site for Aunt Melissa to keep everyone updated (it's amazing to see all of the love for her pouring in!) - feel free to click the link to get to the site.

I hope she won't mind:) but here's my Aunt Melissa, just a handful of hours after surgery (which spanned horizontally across her chest - left ribs to right ribs) walking. My cousins and I were back at the hotel room and were in awe when Uncle Tim (her husband) sent this photo. She has been pushing herself to do what the doctors ask of her even when it is SO hard. I can't imagine! We joined hands in prayer and praise when we saw this. Through Him, all things are possible. 

While in Iowa, I was also able to see Rachel, my step dad Joe (who many of you have prayed for after his accident), step sister Tisha and her daughter Kristen, and dad and I got to visit my grammy. Grammy fell the day after we saw her and needed surgery on her elbow. She could use a few prayers as well for her recovery after her surgery. 

I also got to see Maggie and get cuddles from sweet Addy (my friend Hannah's baby!). 

Addy has those cheeks everyone likes to kiss:)

Hudson (Maggie's youngest) loves Addy and I think this photo is so precious seeing my friends' babies love each other. 

Huddy boy. He looks SO grown up, and is so adorable. Remember him from my Mommy Assistant post?

I tried Sweet Rewards gluten & dairy free bakery in Waukee while we were in town. The cherry lemonade cupcake was my favorite!

I ran into my friend (and former roommate!) Dana at the DSM airport when we were headed back home and was so good to see her and catch up with her. I don't think I had seen her since our wedding day! She was my personal assistant and I love her so! 

Dad and I on the final leg of our trip. He hadn't flown in 20 years and I'm glad I let him take the window seat - he loved seeing the beautiful sights from the air. 

Though we're here, back into our day to day routines, our hearts are with Aunt Melissa and our families. I know the Lord is being glorified through her life. 

Today's Pinspiration:
I follow Caroline in Texas on Instagram (@carolineintexas) and she posted this (she made it!) this week. It hit home with me. We ARE healed. 

My cousin Jenny sent this to me this earlier this week. I like this - what cancer CANNOT do!

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