The Blaines

The Blaines
For more information about current fundraisers and walks, please click on the picture!

Buggin' For a Cure

Buggin' For a Cure
Learn more about Noah's fundraising goals for 2017

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who Cares?

I sometimes wonder if people get tired of seeing my continual post about our fundraising efforts.  So I thought I would share why I care so much about these upcoming walks and all the fundraisers we are doing?

Because my child was diagnosed at the age of 2 with a brain tumor that has almost no chance of survival for children under the age of 2. 
Ellie, day she was diagnosed, February 18th, 2013


Because I know how it feels to wonder whether or not my child will live.

Because I've said the prayer where I begged God to heal her because the doctors couldn't.

Because I've spent hours googling my child's cancer hoping and praying to read something encouraging.

Because I've been in a hospital where children fight every day for just one more day.

Because I will never forgot the day the little girl across the hall from us passed away and I watched the pain on her family's face from inside my daughter's hospital room.

Because I've witnessed first hand the effects of these medicines. I've watched children get sick while desperately trying to eat something so they don't have to have their feeding tube connected.

Because I've been told "your daughter has 4 weeks to live."

Because I watched my family try to be strong while they were scared to death.

Because the scene of the last night of my daughter's life is permanently stuck in my brain and there are days I would love to turn it off.

Because cancer isn't just about cute kids with bald heads, 7 children loose their life everyday due to this disease!

Because before Ellie got cancer I was completely unaware. I knew nothing about pediatric cancer or the prevalence.

Because today 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer, and one could easily be another one of mine, my family's or my friends.

Because now I know and I want to be a part of the cure, not just hope someone else does. 

I know these aren't the pretty facts of cancer or our experience with it, but these are the realities. 

Last picture I have of Ellie on my phone, December 18th, 2013.  You can see the cancer has taken over, you can see how tired she is, but how much she still wanted to paint with Mrs. Kelly. 

There's my reasons for caring and why this is so important to me. If you'd like to join us in our efforts, below are some important links.

CureSearch Walk Team

St. Jude Walk Team
http://walk.stjude.org/princessstrong2014

Current ThirtyOne Fundraiser for CureSearch

For more fundraising updates, visit Team Princess Strong's Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamprincessstrong

Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly 









Friday, September 12, 2014

Reality

Tomorrow we walk again....well don't think I will be, this 34 week prego lady is trying to keep this baby in! But this walk is different, and honestly I'm struggling. September is hard. If you weren't already aware, it's Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and I'm surrounded by things gold and yellow, the color of childhood cancer. And while it's nice to see so many people tuning in and supporting, it's heart breaking all the same.  Heartbreaking because in a few weeks the gold will be gone, but there still won't be a cure, my child will still be gone, the month will change and so will everyone's focus and the reality of childhood cancer for many people will turn off until next September. But not for my family. 
The reality is that 46 children everyday will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and 7 children will die from cancer. The reality is that these walks we do just aren't for fun. They mean something to me, and to all those whose lives have been forever altered due to this disease. When all these people join my team, people I don't even personally know, my heart is encouraged that we are brining awareness to others lives, we are supporting those still battling, and we are honoring those whose lives we're taken.

Tomorrow's walk means so much to me for so many different reasons, and is probably also the main reason for my emotions being all over the place tonight. This race is being organized by someone who fell into my life when her own cancer journey started. After making her a hat to cover her beautiful bald head, who knew what was to come of our relationship...God sure did. As she says, little drops of honey along the way.  Tomorrow, there will be pink fire trucks with pink firemen. The same pink trucks that pulled into my driveway a year ago, and made Ellie's feet dance. Tomorrow people will wear her name across their shirts, and read a beautiful bible verse about letting God's light shine through you. Tomorrow we will wear tiaras in her honor and get really messy.  Tomorrow lots of money (I'm hoping) will be raised for two charities that support pediatric cancer.  One of those charities is starting a fund, in honor of her. Tomorrow Ellie's Elves will make a big impact on the community around it.  Tomorrow toys will be donated to create toy closets in her name, but tomorrow, she won't be there. Tomorrow my heart will swell with pride, but the hole will be big.  



Richard often makes these pictures. I saw where someone shared it on Facebook, and someone else commented, "if he can heal cancer, why doesn't he?" When I read this I can easily see why someone would ask that. I've asked it myself, multiple times. But He does heal cancer, a lot, just not always the ones we want Him to. I don't know how He picks and chooses, but that's not really for me to know at the moment. I do know that because I am saved, I can one day be Christ like and I can know the answers to all my "whys", not that I'm sure that I will even care anymore once I get to heaven.  I truly feel that because Jesus lives in my heart, he gives me His eyes at times to see what he's doing. He let me see the lives we have touched.  He encourages me with the words of others.  He didn't heal here on this earth, but he gave her the gift of everlasting life, which is way better than any other gift, and as her mother you can be sure that I will be there with her, that's my reality.  
God used my family to be a reality to others, he made people pay attention to cancer, through her.  He knew that once this touched my life, I would forever be changed. I will always talk about my daughter, the struggles that she and so many other children face dealing with an incurable disease. The choices we had to make, and the beautiful things that happened. He choose us because we would make this reality known to many, we would share the amazing things God can do and will do, once you make the choice to let him in your life. No, he didn't heal my daughter and the pain is still raw, but he made sure that I would get to spend eternity with her. When you really, really think about it, He gave us something better than a cure on earth, he gave us forever. And yes I have to suffer now, and yes I have to cry and long to squeeze her, but I have faith that it is all going to be worth it.
I remember when we first started going to church again, I heard my preacher say he would rather God take his new baby granddaughter now, then to let her live her life not accepting The Lord in her heart and going to hell. I was shocked....why would any one want God to take their baby or grandbaby. I can't say I understood what he was saying until my own daughter was taken from this earth. My daughter was given a place in heaven because of her age, I don't have to wonder if she will be there or hope that she made that choice, or worry about it. I get it now. 

I can't give the perfect answer as to why he doesn't heal cancer the way we think he should. All I can say is he heals it according to his will.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this [thorn], that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:8–9

He can heal cancer. 


 I warned you my emotions were all over tonight. I feel pride and nerves (which is nothing new to me), excitement and a heavy burden. Pride for my family and all we have done. Nerves because my name is Carly and I always get nervous. Excitement to do something fun with a lot of wonderful people tomorrow. And a heavy burden to remind you that life isn't always going to be what you want it to be. Things aren't always going to go your ways even close to it, but God has an amazing gift to give you that guarantees you will not suffer or feel pain any longer. God has the gift of eternal life, but you have to accept the gift. Will you?

Prayers, Praise and Pink
Carly

Monday, September 8, 2014

Are you smarter than a first grader?

Lately, I'm not!
I've had so many ideas running through my crazy head about what to write about, and as I was sharing this story with a friend today, I realized, this is what I needed to share!

As I near the end of my pregnancy, the doctor's appointments get more and more frequent.  I have the extra special challenge of gestational diabetes, so I get monitored by a few different sets of doctors. And in typical Blaine style, I don't go to the doctor in the same county where I live or work :) so the back and forth does get old after a while. I have Noah with me at school too, so I usually have to tote him along...he's probably the only 6 year old that knows that you pee in a cup when you go to the OB.  
So at my last doctor appointments, I was so stressed.  I had to leave early, pull Noah out of school because the specialist I see closes earlier than other doctors offices.  Luckily I can see both my doctors in one day, but I hate pulling him out.  The dreaded conversation came up about weekly heart monitoring...not because anything is wrong with the baby, just because that's protocol.  Of course, I'm going to do what the doctors feel is best, but the little girl in me (not the no named baby) just wanted someone to give in a little to what would make my life easier!  My doctor suggested I call the hospital in the town where I work and see if they could do the weekly tests.  Again I'm ready to cry...I don't even order pizza on the phone, much less call some random hospital and ask about a test.  After we left the doctor's office, I think I cried half the way home, I let Noah watch a movie in the car because I didn't want him to hear me venting all my frustrations to Richard on the phone.  Not only were the doctors not giving in to what I wanted, SG was also getting sick.  And once you've had one child with cancer, I don't think you can ever look at your kids "coming down with something" the same again.  My nerves were shot.  I got home, and took our little feverish lump from Richard so he and Noah could go to church and I could sit on the couch cuddling my girl, figuring out how I was going to get out of making this phone call!

After Richard and Noah got back from church that night we put Noah to bed and I was crying some more, Richard was doing his best to fix my problems, but I was non consolable, I was convinced nothing he said would work! Noah comes out of his room and crawls up in my lap and hugs me (just what I needed in that moment).  We tried to explain to him everything was fine, the doctors just wanted me to come a lot and I couldn't keep taking him out of school early every week.  He finally headed to bed.

The next morning Noah asked me if I felt better and what made me feel better. I told him his hug really helped me.  Then he said, "well I also prayed for you after I went back to bed", I giggled and told him it was a good thing he did because Mommy forgets to sometimes because I'm too busy trying to fix the problem myself.  In the car on the way to school, we were thinking of things to pray about and he said we should ask God to help me find a way to go to the doctor and not have Noah miss too much school.  Such a simple prayer, but its what we needed.  I immediately thought of a sweet friend who is so faithful to ask God to help her with the small things, like papers she can't find.  I always smile when she asks me to pray for those things, but it always works.  I never think about praying for simple things like that.  I don't know why, is it because I think He doesn't care about the small things, or I just think I can fix it all.  If he knows how many hairs are on my head, I think he probably cares enough to help with every detail of my life, if its in his will.   

So that's what we prayed for, I sent Noah off to class, proud of the child he is and his new found awareness of prayer!  I put my big girl pants on and called the hospital.  While I was waiting for a call back from the hospital, my doctor's office called to let me know that my doctor had ended up calling too to see if the local hospital could do my weekly testing (I'm thinking he saw the look of fear on my face and wasn't exactly sure I would follow through!)  God answered a prayer, they can do my weekly tests, and they can see me at 4:00.  I was so excited that I went and found Noah at lunch to let him know that his prayer was perfect and that God had answered it...he was also very excited!  

"And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:2-4

I was so stressed out about how "I" was going to solve this dilemma, I was forgetting to ask the One who has lead us through every valley and helped us climb back up the mountain.  It took my 6 year old to open my eyes and remind me I don't have to solve it all myself.  I am so grateful God gave me Noah!



Prayers, Praise and Pink
~Carly