Friday, 29 June 2012


We're writing with Lisa-Jo this morning for 5 minute Friday and her prompt today is


Click the button or the link and join in!

This word brings an instant smile to my face and stirs an array of memories and emotion.
Dance is a red dress swirling when my youth meant I would wear a shorter length skirt - I caught my husband's eye dancing in that dress.
It's a tight arm locked circle with my best friends jumping and stomping in doc martins to an Irish beat so fast we could scarce draw breath to keep time.
It's being spun laps round a dance floor by a man who was a strong leader - how elegant a girl can feel and the synchronized steps of two moving in unison as one.
It's my Dad finding time to teach a teenager how to foxtrot in the kitchen and how she wishes she remembers now. 
It's cranking the music and dancing round my living room or kitchen when a favourite song comes on the radio.
It's taking part in a group of 8 to form a fluid beautiful rhythm of a Scottish country dance.
It's dancing on the beach on my wedding day to a steel drum band 
It's watching my 9 year old son busting his moves to so many different styles of music with a facial expression which just shouts he knows how cool he looks
It's my daughter practising ballet with her turns and spins, it's her skipping across the room.  And the common factor across all these is joy - because you can't skip with sorrow in your heart.  The very act of dance will lift your spirits and make your soul sing.  I pray I always find time to dance.

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Jasmine's Journey

Jasmine's Journey continues....

As June approaches it's close, it is hard to believe that we have been back from Boston for a whole month.  It is so good to be home, though this period of time has taken some adjusting back in to - just as arriving in Boston did.

Both Finn and Jasmine are doing well, though Finn is often too quiet and thoughtful for my liking and I wonder how a 9 year old processes all that has happened in these last few months.  I don't know how to process it myself most days, and thinking about it all stirs up such a melting pot of different feelings that I struggle to find the words, ways and courage to help him through all of this.  I find I hug him and tell him I love him often and hope for now it carries him and relieves some of the weight.

Jasmine seems the most unscathed from the whole experience in many ways.  She has just booted back in to life - there are differences but they are subtle.  Throughout treatment, Jasmine felt well.  Her appetite and energy were low but she didn't suffer some of the other side effects that were a possibility.  She was excited to be home and it was an absolute joy to have her home for her birthday :-)  The following couple of weeks saw a dip in her energy and she needed to rest often.  She tired easily but would bounce back.  She continued to re-introduce some foods back in to her diet as they began to taste "normal" again though this is still an area with slow progress and takes ongoing effort to encourage her to eat.  Ironic as we're now full speed ahead with Rick's cooking business!  I pray she grows stronger in health in every way, daily, and I try not to fret and worry when she doesn't eat or has a tired day - I have to keep perspective of how far we've come and really, how amazingly well she is doing.

As we find our new "normal" with all the considerations it now brings, I notice Jasmine also being quiet and thoughtful at times.  She LOVES being at home and I think it is where she wants to be right now.  She has been going to school for some half days and has enjoyed them but has been too tired to attend a full day.  I think she also is trying to process all of the additional attention she has been receiving and for a normally quiet and relatively shy girl, I think it has been tricky for her sometimes.   Sometimes she shares with me her thoughts - her  VAD (Ventricular Access Device - permanent IV access) which she had surgically implanted bothers her.  She worries it will get bumped or knocked when she's playing with her friends at recess and I feel it is a psychological stumbling block for both her and me.  When in Boston they said she could have it removed and wouldn't need it anymore.  In Vancouver, policy is to wait until the results of the first MRI are in.  I like their optimism and good faith in Boston.  It wasn't spoken but the unspoken is louder - they don't want to remove it yet in case the cancer is still there and she needs chemo administered.  Of course this is sensible, but as mentioned, I prefer the optimism of her Boston team and I feel the weight of the waiting.  I think Jasmine will be so much happier once we have the port removed too.

That said, this mama is so happy to see Jasmine skipping across the playground humming to herself, because I think its impossible to skip when you're feeling unhappy!  So I pray you always keep that skip in your step little girl and we continue to give thanks for it.

We're moving in to the next phase of the journey.  This week sees our return to Children's Hospital for a check up and to have her VAD flushed (prevents infection).  Jasmine knows whats coming.  She woke this morning and said "is it emla cream day?"  and I whispered, "not yet baby girl, one more sleep."  It may be another mascara monday even though its a Thursday.  The memory and emotion may be stirred somewhat tomorrow after this temporary reprieve we've had in June.  But again - perspective - it is what it is and I'll be grateful for the care taken of her.

We now have a date for her first post - treatment MRI.  She will have this on Monday 9th July.  For now, I'm grateful for the day I'm in, for the good health my family have, and might I ask for your prayers for continued healing, hope and health for Jasmine.  God is good all of the time and there have been and continue to be so many gifts within this journey.  We are so very grateful for all your kind words and prayers and know the power they have.  Thank you for your continued support for our whole family on Jasmine's journey.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


I'm joining up with the community writing with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday today.

Her prompt is :-


Risk - even typing the word sets a shiver down my spine.  It's a thrill of exhilaration, a rush of adrenalin and a chill of fear.  All wrapped up in to that one word.

There are risks I have looked in the eye these past months.  Risks I have agreed to take, when a daughter most beloved was sick and I had to make choices to see her return to health.  Sometimes running the risk of treatment damaging her as much as the disease she fights so bravely.

I sometimes don't like to hear the risks involved - it means we have to make an informed decision and assess the course to be taken.

But I learn something within these risks.

I am not in control.  There is one who is far greater and all knowing who holds all in the palm of his hand.  And risk doesn't even touch the sides of the great I AM.  I learn to lean a little harder, press a little closer, trust a little more, step in faith for this day prepared for me.  And yes - I will risk it all in this one day, for one day has been given to me.  It has been lovingly set before me and prepared and He beckons and asks me to take a risk and leap in to the living of it, joining Him in this harmonious existence.  Dare I?  Oh yes - risk it all and be fully ALIVE and find JOY today.