Thursday, November 3, 2011

Healing, Halloween and Hope

Hmmmmm. Where do I begin? I looked back at my last posting and realized that so much has happened since the last time I wrote anything. Almost a whole week, a whole week of healing, trials, smiles, miles and elation which was quickly followed by emotional upheaval. Since last Friday Christian has come a long, long way. In fact as I am typing this blog we are laying together in our bed – his bed he will tell you! This is after a celebratory dinner out and an hour long bathtub complete with bubbles and star wars figurines. His first night back in our home in almost four weeks, his first bath as well. He is drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face – I am not kidding you – a complete look of contentment as he rubs his feet against my legs.
He is eating well and drinking even better. He moves a little slow and is cautious about his stomach and legs. Tonight as he stood waiting naked for his tub, he turned around and I was shocked at how skinny he was. He could be a poster child for starvation – except he turns around and has a beautiful full and pink face with a gorgeous smile – the anticipation of his first bath in a month is tremendous.  His bowels are starting to work themselves out and he is asking to go to the bathroom on his own. These are the small little victories that make Chris and mine’s heart swell – things ARE actually going to get better. In the three hours that we have been home tonight his behavior has been consistent and content. Over the past week he has really struggled with frustration, anger, fatigue, confusion and all emotions in between. He truly has fought so hard this past month and I am in awe that he is even doing as well as he is. I can honestly say that he inspires me as much as any other person that I admire and look up to.
Thanks for the awesome card!
Christian’s great Aunty Janice also came out to help for a week and brought some amazing get well treats from the folks out east (the REAL east – not Toronto as I have been told more than once!)
Halloween happened to fall right in the middle of all of this turmoil with Christian’s emotions and healing but we did our best to celebrate and dress up. The Oncology unit at the hospital put on a special party for the kids staying there. It was fun to dress up all three kids together and parade them around the unit with Uncle Peder and Grammy - getting candy and not freezing their but off!
Trick or Treating on the unit with our fav nurses!

Ryan and our favorite child life specialist - Cindy
We have been going on daily passes since last Saturday so we were definitely ready to be at home and helping him to heal. Chris’ mom had to leave yesterday and Chris’ dad will follow on Saturday. It will feel odd to have a quiet house and I know that Evelyn and Ryan and going to desperately miss their full attention. Evan’s favorite thing to do right now is dance downstairs with Papa Norm while they watch Diego and Wonder Pets.
Why don't the kids looks happy?????

We have been so busy focusing on getting Christian ‘back to normal’ that neither Chris nor I had any desire to speak with our oncologist to find out what the plan was for Christian’s next round of chemotherapy. So imagine our elation when we were told by a staff of the HOT clinic that he was going to get a rest for a couple of months to heal before he had to go through his high dose chemo and stem cell transplant in January 2012. We immediately began planning where we would take Christian – where was the closest and nicest golf course? Could we do Florida? Seattle? I cannot express my feelings of relief as I pictured us throwing our bags in our van and just driving off into the west coast sunset. As far as I was concerned we were gone and golf, calm weather, relaxation and good times were in our near future.
Awesome family dinner - so nice to sit down together for the first time in a month
Fast-forward 24 hours and one conversation with our Oncologist were reality was slammed down in our faces. Chemotherapy treatments would begin this Tuesday and there would be no break. It took me a good 8 hours to accept our new fate and begin to develop a new plan. I spent the whole day asking God to give me strength to face this new chapter with optimism and hopefulness. I asked Him to show me the positive aspects of what we were going to be faced with. I mean Christian is barely able to walk around without looking like Benjamin Button and his emotions are only just in check. How are we going to get through starting high dose chemotherapy in five days? With God – that’s how. It seemed like small little signs inched their way into my day. Like driving home from the hospital today with Chris, still in shock with our new revelation and we were asking ourselves – how are we going to do this? I looked at the car in front of me and his license plate said, “BELIEVE”.  An hour or so later Christian wanted to listen to music on my phone and the first song that came on was Matthew West, “strong enough”. Messages of hope from my friends on Facebook reminding me that it is good to get this over with now and give Christian a chance to heal for next spring.  Phone calls and texts from friends and family reminding me that we are not alone. And I know we are not alone. God is still guiding us, He is still hoisting Christian and providing strength and courage for the rest of our family. Their will be positive things to come out of this change and I pray to God that they come to light and we can focus on these things.
So the Crowell family will make the all to familiar trek back to the clinic next Tuesday when Christian will begin his next round of therapy. Different chemo drugs for relapse cancer – much stronger and in higher doses. We will go every three, maybe two weeks and stay for a week each time. This will continue until our surgeon is confident that Christian’s new vessels can withstand the effects of extremely high doses of chemotherapy. He will then have one final blast of chemo (think Hiroshima on an ant) to completely ‘wash’ his body and then he will have a stem cell ‘rescue’ transplant using his own stem cells (which will be harvested before this all begins). It is all very new to Chris and I and as we learn more I will try to keep you more informed. I know that Christian WILL need many more blood and platelet transfusions. So if you have never donated blood – now is the time. What are you waiting for? You could literally be the person to save Christians life. There is a blood donor clinic on Friday November 4th at the Genesis Place from 3 to 8pm. Honor Christian tomorrow and go and donate – please.
Where did he get those eyes?

So here goes again, and again I ask each of you to hold Christian up in your prayers. As well as a few other children who are in Unit 1 right –some members of our oncology family are struggling with healing and health and I ask you to pray for strength and courage for them as well.  I ask that you pray for strength for Christian to stay well during his intense chemo –that he is able to eat and feel well. That we don’t end up in the hospital with too many fevers. I ask that you pray for courage for Chris and I to lead our family with faithfulness, hope and kindness.  If there is a silver lining in all that is going on right, it is that the Christmas season is upon us. Not a time to shop and go crazy but a time to show love and peace and good will for those people around you. I challenge each of you to try and seek some peace this holiday season and remember to keep Christ the focus of your holiday.  Thanks for reading.

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Red Lobster all you can eat shrimp
2.     Christian’s first bath in a month
3.     De-cluttering my life
4.     Getting the Christmas movies out!
Cutest elephant ever!

He can walk!!!!!


  1. Seems to me that your family motto is `With God - that`s how` ! :-)
    The song that came to mind as I read your blog entry is Be Bold, Be Strong - and I found some children singing it:
    with love and Every Blessing,
    Patricia (Antigonish)

  2. Your family back east (the REAL east) is still holding you and the rest of the family close in prayer. Christian has been such an encouragement to each of us. He is already 'preaching' the love of God through his day to day life to the hundreds (maybe more) who are following his story. Thank you for sharing the journey with us. God is so amazing and I know it is His plan to hoist Christian on His shoulders and carry him through this battle. Our God isn't one to stop halfway or leave things undone. : )

  3. Oh Megan
    It is so hard to read this latest news and my heart grieves for you in the midst of the struggle. But one thing I know is how your words encourage me. The Lord is building "never give up" strength in you and Chris. It is beautiful to see this, my soul rejoices. It is not beautiful to watch the struggle for dear litle Christian, for you and Chris, and the rest of your family. I stand with you in prayer, praying for His strength for all of you as you set foot on this new pathway. Remember you are strong when you are on His shoulders! And I will continue to pray fervently for seasons of refreshing. Love you Megan and Chris Crowell, your strength blesses me.

  4. Stay strong. Keep faith. We're all here for you. Your story has touched even those who have never met you and we all pray for you and your family Megan.

    I can't even imagine what the chemo would be like and I pray that everything will go as smoothly as it can.

    Thank you for writing for us. I check often on my friend's wall for the link to see if you've updated anything. I hope writing gives you a sense of peace.

    Take care. Sending you love and peace and hope.

  5. This journey that you and your family are going through is such an encouragement to me to keep my eyes on Jesus, to keep thanking Him and praising Him for every little glimpse of grace.
    I pray that you would experience God's rest in this turmoil. The Divine Healer is working in Christian through the prayers of many.

  6. Our family is praying for your family. Your words inspire. And yes, always remember, you are NEVER alone.
    Nancy Friesen and Family

  7. Flora & Art MacDonaldNovember 7, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    My husband and myself are friends of Norman and Margie. We along with our whole church and many friends have been standing in prayer and in agreement for Christian's total restoration to good health. The Lord did it for my niece's son when he had cancer at 18 months. He is now a 10 year old health robust little boy. We have been seeing many miracles lately, even a lady HIV positive and close to death got healed and the Doctors can find no trace of it in her blood. The Lord be With You all as you go through this next phase ...He will give you strength and we will again stand with you. Bless you all and you are so Loved. Flora and Art MacDonald