three boys (and their families) have filled my thoughts and prayers the past few months.
and james were born on august 28, 2010. they made the mcgregor clan equal 5! they were over 9 weeks early, and spent a little over 6 weeks in hospital growing and getting strong enough to be in this big old world on their own. i prayed for these little guys and john and janna (their mom and dad) and alana (their AWESOME big sister) since before we even knew their were two, and before we knew they were boys. there were some pretty hectic days for them in the hospital and i was ecstatic to get the news that they would be coming home - and even more excited to finally hold them in my arms, and be able to love on them in person.
james and thomas spent about 5 weeks at home until janna and john had to take thomas to vanderbilt with breathing problems. he was diagnosed with a heart defect, spent a month in the PICU, had several surgeries, touched many, many lives, and went home to be with his Heavenly Father on december 10, 2010. janna and john chronicled this time on their blog, here. they did a wonderful job of putting into words a near impossible journey and inspired everyone who read with their faith. if you haven't read it, take some time to, it's totally worth it.
james has had some issues with choking while he's eating and even spent a couple of nights in the hospital with the croup a couple of weeks ago, but he is just growing and getting stronger every day. this is him a week and half ago:
and this boy,oh, this boy ... this is my precious clinton. this picture is from when he was at st.jude the first half of last year undergoing radiation and chemo treatments for medulloblastoma. medullo is the most common kind of brain tumors in children, and these tumors can do what they call "seed", where little parts of it are let out into the brain fluid, which then travels to the spine. when clinton left st.jude in august, he was all clear. no more cancer! i was so thankful that God had answered the prayers of so many people!
when clinton and his mom, kim went back to memphis to have his first 3 month check-up, they were devastated to find out that the cancer had returned. i think it's safe to say that everyone who knows and loves clinton and his family (kim and jeremy, big brother jordan, and little brother max) was devastated by this news. the doctor told them that with oral chemo medication (full-blown chemo is not an option because his system is still too weak) they are looking at less than a year.
after consulting a doctor in los angeles, a new course of treatment was decided on and administered by vanderbilt. this was a very high dose chemo that really knocked clinton's immune system down. after two rounds of that treatment another scan showed that the cancer was still spreading. with that news, kim and the doctors decided that a continual low dose chemo would be the best plan. this would not make clinton as sick and allow him to get out and about to do fun things. after doing this treatment for a couple of months, a recent mri showed that clinton's cancer is stable! that is incredible news ... the first not negative thing that's been reported since coming home from st. jude. maybe the cancer cells are giving up ... who knows, but we'll take it. and give thanks for this nugget of hope.
this is the cancer-ninja himself, last friday night, when i got the distinct pleasure of helping him and max make bugs, and then squish them. i don't know, must be a boy thing! but they had fun.
i know that the bible says we are not guaranteed tomorrow. i know that God has a plan. i trust that God's plan is the right plan, even when we can't see that. i truly believe that no matter what happens in the world, God intends to work through it, even in ways we may never know. He is just that big and mighty and wise.
He has absolutely worked in my life (and the lives of many others) through these three boys, and i am so thankful for that!