Friday, February 8, 2008

This week

Will, Joe, Holly a little blurry, but you can see the smiles

After wresling

Okay, so it's been a while since we've posted. Sorry. Last week I was out with the flu and Gillian, Jennifer, and Nana took care of everything. Then I passed some of my sickness on to both Holly and Joe. Everyone is pretty much better except for some coughing which occasionally makes Joseph throw up, so we need that to stop. We went to Nashville for Holly's birthday and saw our families and our friends the Slotkins from Atlanta came up to visit with us too. It was a little rough with Joe being sick (joseph and I had to miss the party) but it turned out to be a good weekend overall. Holly got a lot of presents and had a great time at her party. We left her with Mimi and Big Daddy for a few days but she is now back with us.

Joseph has about 2 weeks left of radiation after which I guess we get to go home. We have been so focused on getting through each day we realized that we haven't even asked when his last day is or started preparing to leave. The house here has been such a blessing and we are so thankful to Jennifer and Matt for letting us stay here. It has made this so much easier. Joe is doing well with his radiation, but this week the doctors were concerned with his weight loss. He had ballooned so much after two months of steroids that we weren't really concerened with his loss of appetite. But now they say that he really needs to maintain his weight. This has added another level of stress because we basically have to force feed him since he has no appetite. And since he can't eat all morning and an hour after his chemo, we have about 6-7 hours a day to shovel in 1200 calories. If he doesn't keep his weight next week then they're talking about putting in a feeding tube which I don't think he would tolerate. So please pray that he will have an interest in eating and that he will not throw up anymore.

I have talked with my program director who has been extremely helpful in keeping my salary and benefits going for so long, but they have done all that they can do and that will end this month. Our insurance will continue, we just have to pay the premiums so that is good. She also told me that I have as much time as I need and that I have a spot there whenever I am ready to return. We are so thankful for all the support that she and everyone in my program has given us.

Gillian's sister Lynn and her husband and cousin Will are here this weekend. Joseph loves Will and finds new energy to play with him. We have big plans to play this weekend. Last night I wrestled with Will and Joe and Holly was in the other room. Gillian said that when Holly heard us she got a huge smile and wanted to watch us. She was so happy just to see Joseph acting like his old self.

Please keep praying for Joseph that he will eat, that he will stop throwing up, for complete miraculous healing, and for continued strength and hope for Gillian and I. We are so thankful for all of our support and for everyone who is helping us get through this.


randibisme said...

My family will pray for yours. We will pray.
Randi Booth

Janice said...

Just wanted to let you know that our women's Bible study group at Old Peachtree Pres. in Duluth, GA have been praying over your updates about little Joseph since December. Ps 124:8 "Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth."

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Praying that he will shock you all with his voracious food requests.

Peace and love from Texas.

Anonymous said...

Loved the pictures. How great to see Joseph playing and laughing. So glad cousin Will, Aunt Lynn, and Uncle Matt are there to fill the house with laughter! Love, Mimi

Jody (atlanta) said...

Thanks for another informative and honest update Allen. I am glad you feeling better and hope you all enjoy the weekend with family. I know Memphis has been good for you all, but I personally cannot wait for your return to Atlanta in a few weeks. Abigail and I miss you all terribly. I will be praying that Joseph stays healthy, hungry and eats well.

Gill - Sorry for emotional voice mail, but the Kicks 101.5 St. Jude's radio-thon is just hitting so close to home this year and my heart goes out to Joseph and you all.

Sending you ALL many HUGS and SMILES and PRAYERS! Jody

Anonymous said...

Wow, they look GREAT! I'm so sad I didn't get to see you guys last weekend. I'm glad Matt, Lynn and Will are there. I know they are loving playing with you guys. We will be praying for all the specifics you mentioned. We love you guys!

Christy said...

Continued prayers going up for your family. The pictures are great!

BJ and Beth said...

So glad to hear that Joseph is feeling better. =)
Thanks for being honest and open with your prayer requests. We'll be praying for you all.
Miss you already.
Give Joseph and Holly a hug from us.
Love, The Slotkins'

Ingrid said...

Hi Gillian and Allen
Great to see the photos of the kids
they obviously loved having Will to stay. looked like they were having great fun. Glad to hear you are coming near the end of the treatment sessions. Hopefully your days will be easier then. You are doing an amazing job coping with everything. Joseph is a lucky fellow with such a family surrounding him. Please know that we are thinking of you all the time and send you all our love. Take care Ingrid xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lizzi said...

So glad to hear that the birthday party was fun for those who could participate and that everyone's recovering from illness.

We'll pray for a big appetite for Joseph and, of course, healing.

Miss you guys!

Tony & Lizzi

Sandi said...

I found your blog through Booth's blog and just wanted you to know that I have been praying for all of you.

Storme and Hol said...

Hi Gillian, Allen and family,

Love and prayers from us in Ireland. The pictures of Joe and Holly on your blog are great, they look so happy! Hol and I are amazed at how strong you both are and will be praying for Joseph`s improved appetite and good health.

Storme and Hol xxx

Anonymous said...

Seeing these pictures are so uplifting! We're praying that Joseph's appetite will allow him to eat enough. Hope that these next 2 weeks of treatments go well and that God will be glorified in Joseph's healing. Love Martha and Karl

Nana said...

Sheriff thanks for the great update!!We are praying and believing God for a miracle.We serve a great God.The photos are wonderful we are soo glad Matt and Lynn and Will are there what is it with boys and wrestling!!I think I know where Joseph gets it from his Daddy Bear.Enjoy your time together.We love y'all tons and tons and miss you even more.Joe P. Doctor Nick will be soo proud of you for eating a lot.Love and Hugs and kisses,Sleep sound in Jesus.Nana Grandad and Dave the rave

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Our prayers continue for you daily.
love, vann & norma

Wrights said...

We have not stopped praying for you guys. We will add Joseph's appetite to our prayers. Still praying for a miracle.
Nathaniel, Rebekah, Anna Walton and Olivia

Boothe Farley said...

we are praying... i know you are often weary, but seeing the smiles on those kiddos' faces makes me smile. sellers remembers joseph - and asks for "a piece" of him, meaning a peace for him - in every prayer. please know that i know God uses her to stir you to mind frequently. we pray for a sudden return to that pesky absent appetite. may joseph decide a platter of moe's cookies sounds delicious!!

we love you-
conor and boothe

Anonymous said...

Goodmorning from Mimi everybody! I bet you have a full day of fun activities planned. I'm praying for Joe to have an appetite like the "Hungry, Hungry, Caterpillar"!We are praying for you and with you in all your requests.
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14
"Surly God is my slavation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my slavation.:
isaiah 12:2

Laurie said...

Checking in on Joseph today and great to see your update. Prayers for him continue here and asking God for a miracle healing. Maybe Will could help to get Josephs appetite jump started? Kids have such a way with other kids. I pray he really starts putting the weight back on and good to hear the treatments are over in a couple of weeks. Praying for peace and hope for both of you too.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys. Just wanted you to know that we are thinking about you and praying for you. Love, Christie Hunt

Christy said...

Thinking of you all this morning. It's hard for me to imagine Jofus without an appetite. He's always astounded me with his ability to consume! I will pray.

Anonymous said...

It's great to see pics of Joseph enjoying himself with friends and family. We are so thankful to hear about your position being held for you Allen - we'll pray that the Lord will continue to guide you & Gil and give you wisdom, as the treatment there at St. Jude's draws to an end and you head back to Atlanta, that you will have direction and peace.
We'll pray that Joe eats well this weekend - I know the thought of one more procedure and another thing put in Joseph at this time must be so hard.
We are praying that you have a keen sense of God's presence and a lively perception of His activity - you are not alone in this - "...the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles..." (IICor.1:3) is with you - cling to this.
We love you,
Scott & Linda

courtney said...

Great pics!!.... We will be praying for an increased appetite for Joe P. That's great news about your job, Allen. Praise God for those who walk with us in places where mercy is not expected. I know that you all have had a rough couple of weeks with the flu, so, I am praying for healthy bodies and strengthened spirits!


Jiggs said...

Great photos ... but then I have something of a shameless bias. I'm just wondering where the Grinnell sweatshirt is ... I've seen photos of it on Will and on Joe P. ... and I sure don't want Holly to miss HER turn at sartorial excellence!

It truly is great to see the touch of God on the faces of the kids and to be able to feel ... all the way up here in Kansas City ... how close to His heart He is holding all three of them. I share your fear and your worry (Matt'll tell you that I am the Northern Hemisphere Champion in the Worry Relays ...) regarding that which none of us can see that might just be lurking around any of the upcoming bends in the road ... and I invite you to try to share my continued absolute conviction that God is healing - and will continue healing - Joseph in the absolute best possible way.

... with continued prayers and love from Kansas City ...

amberhess said...

So glad to see those sweet pictures and that you are all feeling better. We will be praying for his appetite this week and for the Lord to continue to meet all your needs.
The Hess Family

scott cunningham said...

We'll be praying for his healing and his appetite. I know this is so hard for all of you. I'm so glad to hear Emory are good people, though. This is such a perfect storm, and it breaks my heart for you guys.

Tracey said...

Hi friends -- We continue to pray for you and think of you so often. We are really looking forward to your Atlanta return and pray that the next two weeks will go smoothly for Joseph and the whole family.

So Blessed said...

Praying for your family...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Allen. We pray every night for you all when we put Salem to bed. You are an amazing man, and your wife an amazing woman as you seek to lead your family through profoundly difficult times. Bless you as you continue to walk this hard road.

Josh, Keely, and Salem

Kimberly said...

Pray without ceasing - what a wonderful command! I pray for Joseph & your whole family throughout each day. We have an awesome God, & He has an incredible Plan for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11

In His Healing Arms,
Kimberly Rollman

Anonymous said...

Praying for a high calorie day for Joseph and praying for you all to feed on the Bread of Life as you trust Him more and more, knowing He is your source of life.
We love you and miss you,
Mel and family

sj said...

hey guys,
praying for appetite!!! PeanutButter and chocolate...lots of fat and calories...mmmmmm I'll think of all the calorie chocked food I can think of.
miss you all
see you Saturday...with Bella if that is ok with you guys:)

Nana said...

Sheriff Sally Mac and Lightening,we are earnestly praying for Joe P. to feel hungry all this week and for all his food to taste like manna from heaven.Jiggs I agree with your prayers .Ifirmly believe God is healing Joseph minute by minute.My good friend in Nashville had a vision of Joseph as a grandfather with a bald patch on the top of his head she even saw that he was wearing a white shirt and a grey vest and Joseph was sharing telling about the time when he was three years old when he had a brain tumor!!May Jesus wrap you all in his arms tonight.We love you dearly.Sleep sound in Jesus.Nana Grandad and Dave.......Happy Birthday Sam!!!

Margaret said...

Hi everyone,
I hope this week starts fresh with everyone having had a fun weekend, feeling better and hungry!
I had to laugh to see Holly with one thumb in her mouth and one thumb at her belly button. I just adore seeing their BIG smiles!! Let us know when your plans solidfy coming back to Atl so we can spiff up the house and stock the fridge.

Chas and Catherine said...

Still praying for all of you.

Much love, grace, and peace to you!

Laurie said...

Starting this new week out praying for sweet Joseph and for your family.
The pictures and the smiles are so precious. Praying that your hope remains high and that Joseph will be healed.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Abbie said...

I love the top picture in this post!
Praying for you--

Lisa Allen said...

We are praying for "COMPLETE MIRACULOUS HEALING" and will continue to do so.

Bill, Lisa, and Tripp Allen

Jaime said...

Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
I love the pictures! I pray that Joseph will have a ravenous appetite, and that there will be little protest to food. Great to hear the news about Allen's job. Praying daily for you guys.