Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 16

Today Sarah met with Kristi Vitale, a licensed massage therapist who will be working on Sarah twice a week. Massage goes a long way to help lessen the pain of the Neulasta shot (something Sarah will be receiving after every Chemo treatment). Kristi prays for Sarah's body before she even starts, and Sarah feels like God moves through her hands. Thank you Kristi - you are such a blessing!!!

A co-worker of Kirk's (someone he has only met a couple of times!) sent this gift for Sarah today. This "Strength In A Jar" contains scripture verses for Sarah to unwrap and read for encouragement each day.

For some reason all Sarah seems to want to eat is Mexican food. :-) Her nutritionist would say: 'Eat away!'. With Chemotherapy, and especially in Sarah's case, one of the most important things is to eat, eat, eat (and drink all those fluids)! Mexican food it is!

A Note From Kirk & Sarah:
"We are feeling very blessed by the support that has come even from people we don't know or hardly know. Sarah is touching a lot of people. The love of God's hand stretches farther than we ever realized until now."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 15

1:30pm: Sarah got her Neulasta shot today, which helps to increase her white blood cell count. Neulasta can cause alot of bone and joint pain, and Sarah has been experiencing quite a bit of discomfort. Please pray that her pain will decrease!

4:30pm: Sarah & Kirk, along with their family and friends, had another meeting with Joy Knox at the Providence Breast Center. Sarah's BRCA test results came in today, and she definitely carries the BRCA 2 cancer gene. According to results, she has a fifty percent chance of developing ovarian cancer at some point. God is bigger than this! Pray for peace in Kirk & Sarah's hearts and for wisdom as they look towards the possibility of making more difficult decisions.

Prayer Request:
After receiving the news about the BRCA testing today, Kirk was set to leave the hospital only to discover that his car quit working! Please pray for a covering for Kirk & Sarah during this time and for God's intervening hand.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 14

11:30am: Sarah's first Chemotherapy treatment! There was a room full (and then some) of family and friends supporting Sarah & Kirk on this big day with hugs, smiles and laughter. Sarah's treatment was shorter than expected (less than five hours) and she had no major initial reactions to the Chemo! God is so good!

Laughter Hour:
With all those embryos awaiting, it was decided today that Kirk & Sarah may have a good shot at becoming future candidates for a show entitled '17 Kids & Counting' the event that TLC is looking for more material of the same kind. :-) K&S will definitely have their arms full one day with all those precious 'Babies-To-Be'!

Inspiring Moments:
During the course of Sarah's treatment, her mom, Barb, paid a visit to the Critical Care floor where she (Barb) works as a nurse. A patient and his wife overheard the nurses discussing Sarah's situation and they insisted that they wanted to donate some money to help out "that girl". This man had just undergone open-heart surgery! It continues to be incredible to see the generosity that comes pouring out of people's hearts - whether close friends or complete strangers!

(click on image below to enlarge)
(click on image below to enlarge)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 13

Prayer Request!:
Sarah is experiencing quite a bit of pain from Saturday's fertility procedure. Please pray that her pain will be gone/significantly reduced and that she will have the stamina needed for her first Chemo treatment Monday morning!

The final fertility results came in today: Kirk & Sarah have 17 embryos! Exceptional! Although Sarah has been in some pain today, her desire to help others still continues. She has been crocheting more baby hats to donate to the hospital (albeit while wearing Kirk's sweatpants and 2 heat packs). :-)  Mom and Dad Lien came over later in the day to help them sort out all of the meds in preparation for Monday's Chemo treatment - one of the hardest things Sarah's body will have to go through.

(click on image below to enlarge)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 12

7:30am: It's egg retrieval day at Seattle Reproductive Medicine. They were able to retrieve a total of 21 eggs this morning - what a great result and 'Happy Early Easter' present! Soon Sarah & Kirk's 'Babies-To-Be', as Grandma Lien calls them, will be off to Nevada for safekeeping. Many heartfelt thanks to the entire staff at SRM who helped to make a challenging situation such a positive experience!

(click on image below to enlarge)
(click on image below to enlarge) 

10:30am: Sarah & Kirk's post-procedure breakfast with their entourage of family and friends @ Dick's Drive In in Seattle. Yum, yum!

(click on image below to enlarge) 

Praise Report!: 
We did a little quick morning-math today and realized that around $12,000 came into Sarah & Kirk's cancer fund in just one week! The response has been astounding!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 11

Wig Day! Sarah had a consultation this afternoon with Anton's Hair Company. Anton's will be making a gorgeous wig from Sarah's own hair (plus a little extra tress-contribution from her sister Bethany) in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Sarah thought she would try on a few wigs for size and she even took a couple home for free thanks to the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership Resource Center! Who knew hair could be such an adventure - from a-la-Doris-Day to Sharon-Osbourne-esque. You better keep a look out, or you won't know her when she's coming!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 10

7:00am: It's off to radiology for Sarah's first MUGA scan. This scan shows the baseline of her heart function and measures her left ventrical - a necessary prep for chemo treatments.

Sarah's Quote-of-the-Day: 
"It makes me feel like more of a woman to be wearing high-heels during my heart scan." :-)

Warrior Woman
One Hot Lab...
...For One Hot & Radio Active Mama!
It's All About the Shoes
Sarah's Date With "Phil"
A Perfect Heart

9:15am: Sarah & Kirk head back to Seattle Reproductive Medicine for another ultrasound. Great news! Sarah is all ready to go! Her egg retrieval surgery is now set for Saturday. Right on time! The staff at SRM have been so great throughout this whole process!

 Sarah & Brit have blood drawn for the 2nd time today!
Checking On Those Future Babies!
One Last Fertility Shot
K&S with SRM's Sarah Sullivan

1:50pm: Sarah has a meeting with a Physician's Assistant at the Providence Regional Cancer Partnership.
2:50pm: The official tour of the Chemotherapy area.
This meeting & walk-through was set up to discuss her chemotherapy treatments and the potential side effects, how these treatments will go and what to expect. Sarah will be on a tough regimen of Chemo during the next 18 weeks, and this can be a very difficult road to walk. Please pray that she will be filled with strength, that the side effects will be limited and that her immune system will stay up! Her first treatment is scheduled for Monday morning at 11:30. This will be a long and potentially challenging day, and prayer support will make all the difference in the world!

Praise Report!
Another $1600 has come in towards the cancer fund. What incredible provision!

A Note From Sarah:
"Thank you for all the prayers and support. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be dealing with cancer at 24, but God is making lemonade out of these lemons! If you would like to keep up with me and my roller coaster ride, please sign up as a follower!" 
Blessings to All,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 9

Today is a much needed day of rest for Sarah and a day of work for Kirk. Tomorrow there are more appointments waiting, including a visit to Seattle Reproductive Medicine for another ultrasound. They are hoping to be able to move ahead with the fertility procedures this weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 8

9:00am: Week 2 begins at Seattle Reproductive Medicine! It's a beautiful morning in Seattle. God has blessed Sarah with sunshine for her first appointment of the day - what a positive start! 
9:45am: Everything on the ultrasound is looking good, but Sarah's eggs are not quite ready for retrieval; another ultrasound will be required later this week. Please pray that things will move along so that Sarah is able to begin her Chemotherapy.

Sarah's Quote-of-the-Day:
'I feel like the Easter Bunny with all the "gathering of eggs!"' :-)

12:30pm: Sarah's first Oncology appointment with Dr. Oliver Batson at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership. It has been decided that Sarah will be receiving three kinds of Chemo per treatment and will be going through Chemotherapy 6 times over the course of 18 weeks. Doctors are also recommending radiation once Chemotherapy is completed, as it decreases the chance of local recurrence of cancer, but both Sarah & Kirk would like to avoid this. We are believing that this will not be a necessary part of Sarah's journey - radiation can negatively affect reconstruction results! Pray with us that this will not be needed! Great news during the meeting: Sarah was told that, because she is young and healthy, her ovaries have a good chance of bouncing back after Chemo. Hope, hope, hope!!!

3:00pm: Sarah arrives at The Trask Surgical Center for her Chemotherapy port operation. 
6:00pm: The port has been successfully inserted, and Sarah is now ready for Chemo next week. Sarah & 'Brit' made it through their first surgery together and came out smiling!

Praise Report!
The calculations are in! $8,410 came into the cancer fund in three days! That completely pays for this week's fertility procedures AND a wig for Sarah (she will be having a wig made from her own hair). So amazing!!!

Prayer Requests:
There will still be many medical costs in the days to come that will not be covered by insurance. Pray with us that God will continue to meet Kirk & Sarah's financial needs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 7

Please pray that Tuesday morning's ultrasound (at the fertility clinic) will show that Sarah's eggs are ready to retrieve. This is a very necessary step before chemo-therapy begins!

Praise Report!
Sarah & Kirk now have all the monies needed for their Tuesday morning fertility appointment! Many thanks to all the generous hearts who gave! You have been a vital part of God's miracle-in-the-making! 

'What Cancer Cannot Do!'
Cancer is so limited - it cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith, it cannot destroy peace, it cannot kill friendship, it cannot suppress memories, it cannot silence courage, it cannot invade the soul, it cannot steal eternal life, it cannot conquer the spirit!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 6

Sarah & Kirk's last full day in Maui! It has been such a blessing. They will be arriving back in Seattle late Monday night. Please pray that their hearts are filled with God's peace as they look towards a very busy week.

Meet 'Brit':
This little guy has been with Sarah from 'Day 1'. He has already seen quite a bit of the world...and endured a lot of squeezing!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 5

More than $2,600 was given today towards their fertility appointment on Tuesday! They are currently only about $600 away from the $7000 mark - and this in just two days! God has overwhelmed us with his goodness!

Note: For those who do not know, Sarah will need to go through intense rounds of chemo that will likely eliminate their future options for children. As a result, they have had to meet with fertility doctors and plan ahead. It is an expensive endeavor, requiring up-front funding...which makes God's quick provision all the more amazing!

A Note From Kirk & Sarah:
"Aloha! We are having the time of our lives. This trip has been like a second honeymoon and we are basking in all the wonders of paradise. God is so good! He has given us wonderful surprises around every corner. We are so grateful to be able to have this fantastic weekend before we start the hardest year of our lives. Thank you for your prayers and support. We love you all!"

Hot Mama in a Hot Convertible
 Best Pizza on the Planet
The Swimsuit that Spurred the Trip
Our Second Honeymoon
What a View. The Girl and the Ocean.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 4

8:30am: Kirk & Sarah got through airport security with no challenges and are off to Maui! Many thanks to the friends and family who so generously sent them on this trip!

10:00am: Sarah's PET scan results came in. There is no cancer in her brain, bones, or liver! There is one small "undefined" spot in the lining of one of her lungs, but the doctor thinks it is just scar tissue from Sarah's asthma. However, they will be looking into that when K&S return from their weekend trip.

Miracle! Another $1,000 came in towards their Tuesday fertility appointment. They are now more than halfway to their need of $7,000. God is so good!

Kirk called later in the evening - they arrived safe & sound at their destination. Big praise report: Sarah was able to sleep during the whole five hour flight! There have been blessings from the start, including: a free upgrade to a red, convertible Mustang and a room with a fantastic view. They are very grateful & excited to be there!