Update on Keturah

Dear Friends,

I know many of you are still thinking of and praying for our little Keturah, so I just wanted to send an update and fill you in on how she is doing.

Keturah is actually doing exceptionally well, perhaps even better than anyone could have imagined. She has been officially “cancer-free” for several months now and is now in the “maintenance phase” of taking a milder daily oral chemo and only needing once-a-month in-hospital treatments. So we are happy for that. She has also already gained back most of the muscle she lost from chemo, her hair is coming in nicely, her energy levels are back to normal, and she has started gaining weight again, so we have a LOT to be thankful for!

The other day she came running up to me all excited to tell me that she had jumped 100 times on the trampoline! And another day she was all excited to tell her doctor that she had gone on a 2-1/2 mile walk!

She also had an exciting moment a couple weeks ago when she pulled out some of her old hair clips and was super excited to find that her hair was finally long enough to be able to put some hair clips in. And just last week we had to take her shopping for some bigger size clothes because all of a sudden she started putting on weight and all her old clothes were too tight.

She has also been really happy about our being able to do more regular and structured homeschooling again, especially since she had been growing discouraged about falling behind in school and not being able to read at her grade level yet. But in very little time at all she has been able to catch up and work her way back up to her normal grade level again, almost as if she hadn’t lost any time at all, so that has been a huge encouragement to her of late.

This maintenance phase that she is in now is one that we will continue in for another year and half, so there is still a long road ahead before she can completely stop the chemo treatments and reaches the point where we shouldn’t need to worry about the cancer coming back. But even as we look to another year and a half of treatments we are just really thankful that the chemo she is on right now is very mild and one that she is tolerating really well with very minimal side-effects.

I would say the most difficult part in this phase is the fact that Keturah still needs to be sedated for a lumber puncture every 3 months, which is definitely very difficult for her. She gets really nervous and scared in the days leading up to those, so prayers for peace and extra grace for those difficult appointments would be really appreciated. Her next lumber puncture is scheduled for April 11, so you can be praying for that.

But even for the lumber punctures, we are thankful, because we had originally been told that she would be getting those lumber punctures every month, but when she came through her initial treatments exceptionally well, her doctor decided that she wouldn’t need the lumber punctures as frequently as monthly, so being able to have them only every 3 months is really a huge blessing!

So yes, Keturah is doing very well, and even though it is still a long road ahead for us it has been really nice to be able to start working out a new routine for our family and to essentially be able to get our lives back as we transition out of the “emergency/survival mode” that we were in for most of last year and can actually start working at figuring out what our “new normal” is going to look like now.

And we are just really thankful that God has brought us through the most difficult part of Keturah’s illness, and so thankful for all of you who have been so supportive and faithful in praying for her though it all! Thank you!