On December 6, 2015, our family set out on an adventure. We left Grass Valley, California to spend a week in southern California on a work trip. On December 11, we started our trek across the country to visit many family members over the course of a month. We hash-tagged our way across as #4MooresInAVan.
The trip was not easy, but we made it to Shannon, Illinois in four 8-hour(ish) days. From there we ventured to Cincinnati, Ohio for a couple days, and then on to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a week with Jon’s family over Christmas. Our last stop would be in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a week with my family.
The day after we arrived in Chattanooga, Ellie was acting very unlike herself – extremely fussy and lethargic. She also appeared to be running a fever as she was an extra furnace on anyone she cuddled with throughout the day. On Monday morning she woke up very early and I got to enjoy some extra cuddles with her – she even fell asleep while I was holding her, which is something she never does anymore. She still wasn’t herself, though, and I was suspecting something like constipation based on her firm tummy.
We celebrated a late Christmas that day with my folks in the morning, and then Jon and I headed in to a local urgent care clinic due to her fever returning. After being unsatisfied with their care, we went back to my parents’ house. We called the children’s hospital (T.C. Thompson’s) to check if they would take our insurance which is a state insurance through California. They said they would, so we ate dinner and then headed that way.
After a blood panel, we were told more blood tests were requested. We were then told we needed to get a chest x-ray, and, “Has the doctor talked with you yet?” All of this was done with care for us, but we were in a double room. The ER doctor came to talk the moment the family beside us was discharged. “It’s not good news. Ellie has a very serious problem. The blood tests are showing it’s leukemia. The oncologist is on her way to talk with you now.” A lot more was said, but not much of it was remembered.
Ellie has been diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). ALL is the more common type of leukemia. Her type of ALL is T-Cell, which is the more aggressive of the two types of ALL. (I believe it is referred to as T-ALL.) It is treated with steroids and chemotherapy. Our complete treatment time will probably last 2 years, with the first 6 months being the most intense and the last 18 months being maintenance to make sure the disease doesn’t return. The first month of treatment will be in Chattanooga and after that we will reassess to see if we can take her back home to finish the first 6 months.
Our specific prayers through this time:
- For Ellie’s body to deal well with the chemotherapy.
It will kill all of the abnormal (leukemia) white blood cells and that could be a lot for her kidneys to deal with. We are praying that we can avoid dialysis.Answered!
- For the leukemia to stay gone FOREVER.
- For Jon and I to be able to be good parents to both of our girls during this time and for our marriage to become sweeter due to this crisis.
- For wisdom as we decide what is best for our family about where to finish treatment. Our family support base is wonderful in Tennessee, and Jon’s family is within driving distance, but it could mean many miles of travel and a bit of separation for our family.
- For God to be glorified through our interactions and in our thoughts. We are trying to soak up God’s truths so that we leave no room for the “what-ifs” or “whys.”