Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 46

A Note From Kirk:
'Today Sarah feels the best she has felt since her 2nd chemo treatment began! The enemy had plans to keep her down by throwing uncontrollable nausea, a six hour stay at the Providence ER, and no sleep onto her already overwhelming plate. However, we all know our Sarah and who she prays to when she is in a time of need. God has really pulled her through. With her new burst of energy, Sarah was able to do some housework (which she loves doing, she is quite the little organizer) and go for a night out on the town with me. We went for dinner at Kafe Neo and had our absolute favorite: lamb gyros with feta and Greek fries. Thank you Lord for a much needed "date night".'

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 45

Approximately around 11:00 last night the on-call Dr. at the Cancer Partnership encouraged Sarah to go to the emergency room for IV hydration and anti-nausea meds. Unfortunately, as it can often go, she and Kirk were there until 6:00 a.m. along with Mom Hawkins and Mom Lien. As Kirk had to go to work, he was finally convinced to crawl up on the gurney beside Sarah for an hour’s sleep. Thankfully, after 4 different rounds of anti-nausea medicine, pain meds (for headache), and fluids Sarah was feeling much better. She spent the day at her mom’s and was able to get some much needed rest.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 44

Sarah went to her mother's doctor appointment in Seattle today and then went shoe shopping and out to lunch. Sarah needed more flats because she is not steady enough on her feet to wear heels anymore. Any excuse a girl can use to buy new shoes will work! Even though the day with her mom was fun-filled, there was a constant battle with nausea. However, it is important to Sarah to get out and have fun in spite of it all so that she doesn't feel like cancer is getting the better of her. To finish off the day (on a note of progress), Sarah and Kirk viewed two apartments and one of the buildings looks very promising!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 43

Kirk's Fun Fact About Sarah:

"One of the things I love about Sarah is her quirky side. This is just one of those quirks: 

Even though she has no hair, Sarah still likes to wrap the towel around her head after a shower. Is it because her head is cold or because she is a creature of habit? I guess the world will never know. Unless we ask her......."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 42

A Note From Kirk & Sarah: 
"Sarah is starting to feel better! Praise the Lord for He is good!!! She has backed down her pain medication and was able to go to her mother's house today. This is good news as she has not been able to leave the house since her Neulasta shot on Wednesday. We want to give a special shout out to Mom Hawkins for creating the best "home away from home" possible. Your continued prayers have been vital this week as the side effects of the second chemo treatment and Neulasta shot have been much worse than the first. We are constantly reminded that this cancer is not God's will for Sarah or His heart toward her, but His will will be done in the midst of this. Keep praying for us. We love you all!!!" 

K & S

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 41

A Note From Dad & Mom Lien:
"Today was again a challenging day—a day filled with discomfort and weakness, leaving Sarah wondering how she can make it through four more rounds of Chemo. The answer lies in what our pastor spoke on this morning. HOPE. God’s word says, ‘Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose HOPE the Lord is.’ (Jeremiah 17:7) ‘And I will give her, her vineyards from there. And the valley of Achor (trouble) for a door of HOPE.’ (Hosea 2:15a)

We spent the afternoon and early evening at Kirk and Sarah’s, eating, talking, sharing, but always wishing we could take their burden upon ourselves. In the midst of ‘Achor’ we, however, realize that God is growing them and raising them up to a purpose and in this we have hope, for God’s perfect plan will be accomplished in and through them.

Kirk and Sarah—we see God working in you—we’re proud of you—we’re praying for you."

-Dad and Mom Lien

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 40

A Note From Kirk:
"Once again today has been very difficult. Sarah has a very high pain tolerance, but days and days of pain is taking a heavy toll. She has been looking very hard to find anything that will bring her comfort. One of Sarah's favorite and most relaxing sounds is the sound of rain. In the moment of some of Sarah's worst pain, it has begun to rain almost as hard as I have ever seen. Inside the house, the sound is quite loud. I know that God has brought the rain to bring comfort to my Sarah in her time of great need. As I sit here and type I see her face cringe with every movement. However, I have to remember to give it up to God because He is the only one who can truly bring Sarah peace and comfort. We so value your prayers and wonderful words of encouragement."

" the light of morning at sunrise

on a cloudless morning
like the brightness after rain
that brings the grass from the earth." 

-2 Samuel 23:4

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 39

Sarah is having a very tough day physically. She feels like she is getting weaker and weaker. Please pray for physical and emotional strength.

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." -Psalm 18:32

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 38 - The Interview

The Interview: 3rd Time's a Charm

What is your most favorite memory of each other? (Dawn Watson - Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: That’s a hard one. I guess my favorite memory is…seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day from the stage.
Sarah (to Kirk): How are you going to top that?
Kirk: I can’t.
Sarah: And you can’t say ‘ditto’.
Kirk: When we were leaving the church after our wedding, Sarah stuffed her whole wedding dress in the car, and it was like up to the window on the passenger side because she had such a big train.
Kirk (to Sarah): You were loving every minute of it.

If you could be any animal, what would it be? (Brianna Rachinski - Ferndale, WA)
Kirk: Good thing she didn’t ask why.
Sarah: Now you’re going to have to answer that
Kirk: Probably a tiger – I have no reason why.
Sarah: Umm…I would be...a pretty bird. Okay, a tropical bird. Technically, I’m in a bad mood, so the first animal I thought of was a bald eagle because I’m bald.

Until now, did either of you really have any idea how cold the top of my head really is? (Dad Lien – Arlington, WA)
Sarah: I had no idea what Dad goes though every day.
Sarah (to Dad Lien): I could let you borrow my blonde wig.
Dad Lien interjects: I’ll pray about it.
Kirk: I would say ‘yes’. I’ve been this way before - at birth and when I was 11 - but it’s probably not really the same thing.

What is your favorite color(s)? (Anonymous)
Sarah: Well, pink is my favorite color but now it’s just starting to remind me of breast cancer all the time. So maybe I’ll change my color to “hot pink”…because I’m a hot chick, right?
Ellice Lien (blog administrator): That’s still pink.
Sarah: But it’s a whole different shade/classification and you’ve got to watch out for the “hot pink” girls.
Kirk: I don’t know. I don’t really have one.
Sarah: Yes you do. Stop it.
Kirk (to Sarah): What do you think my favorite color is?
Sarah (to Kirk): You like neutral colors.
Dad Lien interjects (with a guitar-related comment): ‘Sunburst’ is your favorite color.
Kirk: My favorite color for guitars is ‘lake placid blue’.
Ellice: Is that your final answer?
Kirk: Mm hmm.

For Kirk: Does your head itch since you shaved it? (Liz Woolms - Arlington, WA)
Kirk: Does mine? No.
Ellice: Sarah, do you want to answer this question? What’s your answer?
Sarah: ‘No’…but it’s getting smoother since I’m losing my hair.

If you had to choose only one country to visit, which would it be? (Anonymous)
Sarah: Mmm…“visit” is hard. It would be South Africa for me. I want to visit…and then commit a crime so I can’t leave.
Ellice: Do you want me to put that on the blog?!
Sarah: Well you said “visit”! I don’t want to leave!
[brief pause]
Sarah: Maybe say I want to lose my passport.
Kirk: Am I supposed to answer that one too?
Ellice: Yes.
Sarah interjects: It’s kind of like saying what flavor ice cream you would like to have just one bite of one time.
Kirk: I would say that I’m on the fence - - England and South Africa.
[brief pause]
Kirk: Actually, I should say Germany, but that’s okay.
Ellice: Why Germany?
Kirk: Great auto-making...
Ellice: I would agree.
Kirk: ...and they have the cool versions of everything that we don’t get over here…because they don’t export them.

For Kirk: If you dyed your hair, what color would it be? (Nathaniel Rachinski - Ferndale, WA)
Kirk: I don’t know…the same color as yours [Nathaniel’s] probably.

If you were a Winnie-the-Pooh character, which would you be and why? (Diana Breon – Arlington, WA)
Kirk (quickly and with confidence): Oh, I’ve got it. I’d be Christopher Robin. He’s the only human in that whole story.
[brief pause]
Kirk: I mean, like how weird…it’s like one child…and a whole bunch of…
Sarah: It’s his imagination…that’s why he’s the only human.
Kirk: Either that or I’d be one of the “heffalumps”. I hear they’re very confusal.
[brief pause]
Kirk (to Sarah): I didn’t know that was his imagination.
Kirk: I should have said I’d be ‘Mister Rogers’. In other words, I don’t want to be any of the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh.
Kirk (to Sarah): Who would you be?
Sarah: I would be piglet, because piglet is small and a very worried creature…just like me.
[brief pause]
Sarah: Kirk, you could have been the gopher.

Since you’ve been thrown this curve, what are your dreams/wishes for 5 years from now? (Mary Wilson - Arlington, WA)
Sarah: I’d like to be alive and have good surgery results, because I don’t want my body to look like a war zone that I have to pack around with me every day.
Kirk: I want all that stuff for Sarah, but then also kids and I would say promises that God has given us to come to pass.

What attribute of God has helped you the most in recent days? (Wendi Hansen – Arlington, WA)
Sarah: I think courage. I think it’s amazing that Jesus knew exactly what he had to do and he still had to keep on walking forward. And in order for me to live I know what’s to come and I still have to walk forward to the surgeries and sickness and nausea and all of that. I think just courage…’cause it’s hard to take steps forward.

You’ve been through a lot in 5 short weeks. If you were to have opportunity to speak with someone today who was just given the same news you were 5 weeks ago, what would you say to them? (Dad Lien – Arlington, WA)
Kirk: Get ready for a lot of information really fast.
Sarah: Bring a tape recorder and have your sister-in-law start a blog.
Ellice: Is that everything?
Sarah: The more people are in your support system, the better you feel.

For Sarah: Of all the food I cook for you what is your favorite? (Dad Hawkins – Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: My favorite is curry.
Kirk: Curry chicken…is that what it is?
Sarah: He puts too much meat in it…I’m not a meat eater. But I know everything’s good that my daddy makes.

For Sarah: How has the Chemo changed your taste of food? (Dad Hawkins – Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: Well, when you eat something, it tastes different; not bad but just different…but it’s the aftertaste that makes you not want to drink anything else or eat anything else. It’s not the actual eating that’s horrible, it’s the aftermath of taste.

For Sarah: When doing your Chemo treatment is there anything you want as a special treat (cards, candy, lotions, etc)? The days after Chemo do you like calls, cards, back rubs, cleaning to make you feel better? (Bethany Hawkins – Everett, WA)
Sarah: During Chemo I just like company but the days after I like flowers…but not the kind that will just die in a week. It’s the potted plants, but I’ll probably just kill them…I have a black thumb…but it’s the thought that counts. I would always take Victoria’s Secret gift cards…or…massages.
[brief pause]
Sarah: Oh…and clothing certificates or gift cards, because a new outfit just makes you feel pretty.

I know your heart is towards missions and service. Both of you have done short term mission for Katrina relief. If you could go on another short term mission, where would you go? (Mom Hawkins – Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: Definitely Africa…
Kirk: Mmm hmm.
Sarah: …to build wells and bring water to villages that don’t have water…and orphanages that need help.
Kirk: I would want to be alongside Sarah doing all the same things.
Sarah: Do you want to travel around with a wild recon guy?
Kirk: Kind of.
Kirk: That guy’s so cool [the host of the show: ‘Wild Recon’].
Sarah: You would not have your wife’s consent.

As you walk this very difficult road, what are some of the encouraging moments? (Mom Hawkins – Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: The rally of family and friends that are supporting us and even the people that don’t really know us are jumping on board and saying ‘we support you and we love you’. I think that gives me a really big boost of adrenaline that I have so many people praying for me and that they’re on my side.
Kirk: The news of Sarah’s largest lump being now virtually non-existent after only one dose of Chemo. I’m excited to see how well everything else responds.

[Side Note: Sarah is planning on having an additional PET scan done before her 3rd Chemo treatment to confirm the size change of the lumps.]

Ellice: C’est fini! Bonne nuit!
Reader Participation: 
Would you like to ask Kirk & Sarah a question? Send your query (along with your name, city and state) to and maybe it will be featured in their next interview! Feel free to have fun and get creative! Serious or random – it’s up to you!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 37

Today Sarah had her Neulasta shot. Please pray that the pain is minimal this time.

Praise Report!
Sarah's new anti-nausea drug Emend is working! She has had almost no nausea this time around. Please pray that continues for the rest of the week.  

A Note from Kirk & Sarah:
"For the past month, Sarah and I have been looking for a new home. This evening we spent a couple of hours actually driving around Lake Stevens and Snohomish looking for a place to rent. Don't get the wrong idea, we love our current home. It has vaulted ceilings, a gas fireplace, and wood floors throughout. However, it is ten minutes north of town Arlington. Looking into moving has been a difficult decision for us. Our landlords are some of the nicest people we know. With multiple appointments per week and Sarah's body hurting, the drive home has been putting further strain on our already strenuous situation. To be close to work in Snohomish, the hospital in Everett, our pharmacy and Sarah's parent's house in Lake Stevens, moving to that area would be so beneficial for us. We wanted to ask for your prayers and support in this area. With Sarah not being able to work, we really need to see God move in our situation. Keep your eyes and ears open for us as we search for our new home." 
"Great is thy faithfulness! Great is your faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed your hand has provided; Great is your faithfulness, Lord, unto me!" -Chorus of the hymn: 'Great Is Thy Faithfulness' 

Reader Participation: 
Would you like to ask Kirk & Sarah a question? Send your query (along with your name, city and state) to and maybe it will be featured in their next interview! Feel free to have fun and get creative! Serious or random – it’s up to you!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 36

11:30am: Today Sarah & Kirk were at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for a second opinion on Sarah's case. The day started off with a vitals check with Tiana, a brief meeting with Nurse Leslie Irving, and then a discussion and exam with radiation oncology resident, Christine.
1:30pm: A break for lunch while SCCA's doctor/surgical team hold a conference to discuss the details of Sarah's case.
2:30pm: Back for more exams by the team of doctors. Great news: the doctors could not find the largest lump in Sarah's breast! The Chemo is doing its job!
3:20pm: Meeting with medical oncologist Dr. Larissa Korde - the first round of recommendations begin! Sarah's current treatment was discussed, as well as options for each future stage of treatment.
4:30pm: Meeting with surgeon Dr. Kristine Calhoun and breast radiation oncologist Dr. Janice Kim.
5:30pm: The meetings are finished! It has been an overwhelming day, but the team of doctors at SCCA have been extremely helpful, caring and informative! Thank you!

(click on image below to enlarge)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 35

9:45am: Sarah checks in for her 2nd Chemotherapy treatment. Two sessions down; four to go!
12:45pm: Sarah began to experience a burning sensation in her arm and then around her port. There was some concern that her port could be leaking, so Sarah's Chemo session was brought to a halt and she was quickly sent to the campus next door for an "interventional radiology flow scan". The results showed that her port was not leaking (thank you, Lord!) but the discomfort continued. However, after a consultation with the Physician's Assistant, it was decided that her treatment for the day could continue.
2:45pm: Chemo session resumes!
4:45pm: Finally done! What a long day!

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

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 34

A Note From Kirk:
'Sarah has been having a rough weekend. With hair loss and her second Chemo treatment looming just around the corner, her spirits were quite low. "Momma Hawk" came to the rescue with the idea to get Sarah out of the house (and by house I mean Sarah's green recliner). We went to Deception Pass to bask in the Northwest beauty! Sarah loved being a blonde beach babe walking in the sand barefoot, but no matter what hair color she has, she always makes it fun. All that we are going through has given me a new kind of love for Sarah. I can see that no matter how rough the water gets, with God's strength she rises above and keeps on smiling. We couldn't have asked for a nicer and more relaxing day. Thanks "Momma and Poppa Hawk!"' -Kirk

(click on image below to enlarge)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 33

The little hair that Sarah still has is coming out. It is a constant reminder that she is sick and her body is changing. Please pray for beauty in the midst of the enemy taking it away.

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." -Romans 5:2-5

"I am storing up energy for the week to come!" (Chemo Therapy on Monday; second opinion in Seattle on Tuesday; Neulasta shot on Wednesday; nausea to follow.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 32

Massage Day: 
"I am so enormously blessed by Kristi! She is such a special lady to me. Kristi is having surgery on Monday and will have a six week recovery. Please keep her in your prayers as well, for she is such a blessing to me." -Sarah

The Shaving of the Heads:
Kirk and Jim (Sarah's dad) show their support!
(click on image below to enlarge)

An update on Day 30:
While Sarah was participating in the 'Look Good, Feel Better' program at The Cancer Partnership Resource Center, Jonelle Cornwall and Ali Mohsenian from Arc Media Solutions interviewed Sarah for an upcoming American Cancer Society benefit dinner. Sarah will be featured in some video clips at this event. Only two days after getting her head shaved, Sarah was brave enough to bear it all on camera. Isn't she amazing?

Chemotherapy on Monday!
Sarah's next Chemotherapy session is scheduled for Monday morning. Please lift her up in prayer as she prepares for treatment number two!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 31 - The Interview

The Interview: Round 2

How are you holding up? (Grandma Lien - Lake Stevens, WA)
Sarah: Um…I don’t know…Kirk you go first.
Kirk: Tired; overwhelmed; 101 things to do; no down time.
Sarah: Can I just say ‘ditto’?
[brief pause]
Sarah: ‘Ditto’ plus ‘I’m hormonal’; apparently I can blame that on Chemotherapy. Isn’t that what P.A. Mark said?

Other than the obvious of healing, what would you like God to do in your life? (Mom Lien – Arlington, WA)
Kirk (to Sarah): That one’s directed at you.
Mom Lien (to Kirk): No, it’s not.
Sarah: I think I have two. # 1 - Since I have to go through the walk of breast cancer then I’d like to get to touch as many lives as possible. #2 - I want healthy babies who do not have the cancer gene.
Kirk (positively interjects): It can skip generations!
Sarah: I want the cancer to end with me.

Where you thought you would be right now in your life three years ago when you guys got married. How has it changed? (Chris Hite – Marysville, WA)
Kirk: I thought we would be just like everybody else: house and kids.
Sarah: NO.
Kirk: What do you mean ‘NO’?
Sarah: We were going to wait 3 ½ years.
Kirk: 5 years.
Sarah: No, 3 ½ years and go on missions trips before kids.
Kirk: You know, all of what you’re saying is going on the blog!
Sarah: Well I want to be real!
Kirk: That’s going on the blog too.

For Kirk: Did you kiss Sarah's head after it got shaved? (Chris Hite – Marysville, WA)
Kirk: Yes…Sarah didn’t like it though.
Sarah (with attitude/irritation): Yes, and he rubbed my head like a Chia Pet!

For Sarah: I know you have such a kind and loving heart. What do you wish people could or would do for you to help spread the love you have for other people in your situation? (Chris Hite – Marysville, WA)
Sarah: Since I can’t visit people while I’m receiving chemotherapy treatment, I would like my visitors on chemo day to visit with the other patients and ask them their story…because they have amazing stories to share and it would brighten their day. It breaks my heart to see men and women there facing a 3-5 hour treatment alone. I am so blessed to always have more than 5 people in the room with me.

For Kirk: Other than Sarah’s smile, what attracted you to her? (Laurie Breon – Arlington, WA)
Sarah interjects: My blonde hair (waiving her hands over her wigged head).
Kirk: She likes to have fun.
Sarah interjects again: Was it me stalking you?
Kirk: She’s always thinking about what she can do for other people; I admire that. And, it’s nice to be needed – that’s always attractive.

When you were little, what was your favorite cartoon? (Ronnett Rachinski – Ferndale, WA)
Kirk (incredulously): Me???
Kirk: Probably ‘Wiley Coyote’.
Sarah: What’s mine? I don’t remember.
[long pause]
Kirk: ‘Talespin’.
Sarah: Ahh! ‘Talespin’. Thank you, Honey.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? (Ronnett Rachinski – Ferndale, WA)
Kirk: Albertson’s Denali Caramel Caribou (any store-bought brand has it, and it’s the best)!
Sarah: Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough…and their Strawberry Cheesecake. Apparently I have higher taste in ice cream than my husband.
Ellice Lien (blog administrator): You have a sophisticated palate…
Sarah: …that’s being ruined by this chemotherapy.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you? (Diana Breon – Arlington, WA)
Sarah: Well, I don’t know. I actually feel more comfortable with my wig off than with it on.
Kirk: Didn’t you say that you feel liberated?
Sarah: I actually feel free.
Ellice: Kirk, how about you?
[long pause]
Mom Lien interjects: I was surprised that you like molasses cookies.
Kirk: I’m an open book. I like long walks on the beach, long meandering bike rides...
[laughter follows]
Kirk: I’ve got it. I HATE gloves. I barely tolerate wearing them, will not hold hands with Sarah if she is, and come close to puking if someone touches me with gloves. It’s literally true.
Kirk (emphatically): It’s because you [pointing at Mom Lien] used yellow, rubber gloves my whole growing up! I hate gloves!

How did you know Kirk/Sarah was the ONE? (Mom Lien – Arlington, WA)
Kirk: There’s never any reason. You just know.
Sarah: Well, you didn’t know the first time you saw me.
Sarah: I knew that Kirk was the one because I had a very strong feeling that I needed to be with him the moment I saw him…playing up there [in a school chapel service] with his little drum set…he was so cute. Everybody thought I was crazy for picking him out to be my date for the end of the year dance.
Sarah: Kirk, how did you know?
Kirk: I just looked into those green eyes…no, just kidding! [There’s an inside story to this one. Sarah’s eyes are actually brown.]
Kirk: I think you just reach a point when you go “yeah”. It’s like this point of no return…but in a romantic way. Like there’s no return from the romance…uh, never mind.

Your all-time favorite movie? (Mom Lien – Arlington, WA)
Kirk: Ooo. We’ll let Sarah answer first.
[very brief pause]
Kirk: What if you have different ones for different occasions? For falling asleep, ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. All I have to hear is the first line: “Mommy - got - sick.” But overall, the “Ocean’s” series: ‘Ocean’s 11, 12 & 13’.
Kirk (to Sarah): What’s your favorite movie?
Sarah: I like the “Ocean’s” movies too…but for when I’m sick, ‘My Fair Lady’. Another one of my favorites that makes me laugh is ‘Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day’.

Is it true that blondes have more fun? (Mom Lien – Arlington, WA)
Sarah: [laughs] Well, since this is the first day of being a blonde and I went over to Mom and Dad Lien’s and ate dinner, I can’t say that it was more fun than being a brunette. Nobody broke out into dancing, so I don’t believe in the myth…
[Mom Lien stands up and starts dancing]
Sarah: …but that won’t stop me from wearing my blonde wig to other places.

If you could have dinner with any 5 people (famous or otherwise, past or present), who would they be…and why? (Diana Breon – Arlington, WA)
Sarah: Audrey Hepburn - because she had a tremendous heart for people and I would just like to emulate that aspect of her life. I would love to meet…
[long pause]
Kirk interjects: Billy Ray Cyrus.
Sarah: He will not be at my table.
[more laughter]
Sarah: George W. and Laura Bush. My slight attraction to George W. aside, I would like to talk to him about all of his world travels. I think it’s super cool that he gets to meet everybody – all the world leaders…and all the countries that he’s visited and everything. Laura, I think she has a tremendous heart for people, as well as her family and country; plus she’s just adorable.
Sarah: Let’s take a break and talk about Kirk’s choices.
Ellice: Kirk, have you thought about all of yours?
Sarah interjects: Oh, I have another one! I’d like to meet Beth Moore and her husband, because Beth is so inspiring and I bet her husband is just as inspiring. I want to be their friends so we can go on double dates or something. You hear about their marriage in books and stories, and they sound so cool!
Ellice (to Kirk): Now it’s your turn.
Kirk: I would say, The Edge [guitar player of U2], Brian Eno [producer/recording engineer], Tom Hanks, Martin Smith [of Delirious?] and Paul McCartney.
Ellice: Why these five individuals?
Kirk: The musicians and recording people because all of them are extremely intelligent and creative…and I would just want to be around it so it would rub off. Tom Hanks, I just like his acting and it seems like he would be fun to joke around with, and Martin Smith because he is a Christian artist who has achieved extreme notoriety in the secular world in the UK. He’s got a lot of integrity.
Ellice: On to the next question?
Kirk (interjects with a 6th individual): Chris Martin [of Coldplay], because he’s so famous and talented but so humble about his skills. That would be a nice take on fame to be around…
Sarah: I guess we’ll have to put a leaf in the table.

What have you found to do in your free time to help take your mind off of the tough stuff? (Lindsey Norton – Arlington, WA)
Kirk: What free time?
Sarah: With my free time I’m making baby hats to donate to the hospital. It takes my mind off of the tough stuff and helps me give back to all the people who have been giving to me.

If you could go back in time and show your spouse one moment in your life that you experienced and wanted them to see or experience it with you, what would it be? (Vanessa Anderson – Granite Falls, WA)
Sarah: I would want Kirk to see me in 7th grade on top of our cheer-leading pyramid. Go Badgers! That’s what I want…at a basketball game. It was the very top.
Sarah (to Kirk): You would have been proud of me.
Kirk: My senior year of basketball. I scored my career high of 31 points; the same as my jersey number.

Ellice: That’s all folks! Until next time…
Reader Participation:
Would you like to ask Kirk & Sarah a question? Send your query (along with your name, city and state) to and maybe it will be featured in the next interview! Feel free to have fun and get creative! Serious or random – it’s up to you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 30

This afternoon Sarah went to the hospital for a one-on-one 'Look Good, Feel Better' appointment with Volunteer Kathleen, as she had to miss the last group session in favor of her first Chemo treatment. (The 'Look Good, Feel Better' program is a great resource that provides free make-up, lotion, info about sunscreen and cancer-specific make-up consultations - i.e. how to pencil in your eyebrows once they fall out.) Before Sarah & Kathleen got started, the American Cancer Society representative in the Cancer Resource Center asked Sarah if she would mind being interviewed on camera. The local ACS chapter is filming survivors and current patients for their upcoming fund-raising event on the 24th. Sarah agreed to the interview and even let them film her without her wig! ACS will be sending us the video in the near future, so check back to see this exciting moment!

Tonight Sarah hit the town for a fun night out! Seattle's 5th Avenue Theater always promises a great show and tonight's musical experience was 'On The Town'. What a day!

(click on image below to enlarge)
Dinner at The Purple Cafe with Mamma Hawk's Ladies

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 29

Today Sarah babysat her precious little nephew, Roman. What a cutie!
(click on image below to enlarge)

Reader's Corner:
Sarah & Kirk's friend, Chris Hite, is really going to great lengths to show his support!
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 28 - The Wig

Sarah had a wig made out of her own hair today, thanks to the skilled hands of Anton Schoenbacher of 'Anton's Hair Company' in Bellevue, WA, and the results were astounding! There were tears, there was laughter and by the end of the day there was a lingering sense of hope. Mountains were conquered, fears were faced, and love shone through stronger than death!

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
-Winston Churchill, 'The Bright Gleam of Victory', 10 November 1942

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Memorable Quotes:
Anton (when asked how he got into the wig-making business): "I was too short to be a cop."

Sarah: "This is looking like a really bad haircut." (Said though tears and laughter as Anton shaved off one section of her hair at a time.)

Anton: "You have a beautiful head. Looks like you had no brother."

Sarah: "I don't know if I could go out like this."
Anton: "Oh, baby, they love you. You start something new."

Sarah (touching her now shaved head): "It's coming out all over my hands."
Mom Hawkins: "Boys' hair does that all the time."
Sarah: "What?!"

Anton (while inspecting the wealth of hair donated by Sarah's sister, Bethany): "We might not have needed to take your hair. We could have taken all of hers!"

Anton (while Sarah adjusted her wig): "You can trim those [the bangs], but they grow very slowly."

Sarah: "I feel beautiful again!"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 27 - Fundraiser Part 1

Thank you to all of Sarah & Kirk's friends and family members who so generously poured love into their lives tonight at the Alfy's fundraiser dinner. What an incredible time of blessing and encouragement! Over $5,000 was given towards their cancer fund this evening! AMAZING!!!

Check back soon for more highlights of this special night!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 26

Sarah has begun losing hair today, so her wig appointment has been moved up to Monday. Anton's Hair Company in Bellevue, WA will be making a wig for Sarah out of her own hair (necessitating the need for this to happen sooner rather than later). Please pray for encouragement for Sarah and for God's peace to flood her heart and her mind. The reality of losing her hair, along with the knowledge that her body is being affected by Chemo, is very difficult to process.

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Hair preservation begins! Those tresses have to make it 'til Monday!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 25

A Note From Sarah:
"My Auntie Jan brought me my "Lambie", and I forgot how comforting a stuffed animal could be. When every muscle and bone hurts, it's soothing to hear my little lamb sing 'Jesus Loves Me'. I feel a little childish but, hey, when Percocet doesn't work 'Jesus Loves Me' does the trick."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 24

Blood testing day at the Cancer Center! Sarah learned about her 'platelets' and was happy to find out that they're right where they need to be! (For those of you who don't know, your platelet count affects your body's blood clotting process.) She also found out today that the first Neulasta shot has done its job! In her original blood-work, Sarah's Neutraphil (white blood cell) count was 5,800. The current count is now at 13,000!!!

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Sarah's Quote-of-the-Day:
Physician's Assistant: "You really are looking very good at this point."
Sarah: "Makeup helps!"


"When I look back on the perils which have been overcome, upon the great mountain waves through which the gallant ship has driven, when I remember all that has gone wrong, and remember also all that has gone right, I feel sure we have no need to fear the tempest. Let it roar, and let it rage. We shall come through."
-Winston Churchill, 'Vote of Confidence', 7 May 1941 

"Those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever." 
-Psalm 125:1

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 23

Massage day arrives again!

Prayer Request:
Both Sarah and Kirk are feeling very under-the-weather today. Please pray for continued health and strength for them and that Sarah's nausea would settle down.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 22 - The Interview

The Interview: (almost) Unfiltered
Ellice Lien (blog administrator): What has been your greatest blessing so far?
Sarah: Our Hawaii trip. It really gave us time to process.

Ellice: Your favorite moment?
Kirk: Seeing the sun touch down on the horizon in Maui.
Sarah: The sunset [in Hawaii].

Ellice: What is something you have experienced through this that you never want to do ever again?
Sarah: Having fertility shots – 2 every single night from the one that you’re supposed to love…even when  you’re in Hawaii.
Kirk: Giving Sarah the injections.

Ellice: Sarah, what has been your favorite food since starting Chemo?
Sarah: Velveeta Instant Mac & Cheese.

Ellice: In one word, what are you feeling today?
Sarah: Overwhelmed.
Kirk: Helpless.

Ellice: Over the last 22 days, what has been the hardest thing thus far?
Sarah: Feeling like everything is being stripped from me – my independence, my beauty, my worth, my choice to start a family, my filter...I say everything and anything at any time & it usually comes out mean. Cancer is so obnoxious! I feel like I’m a child that needs so much care and like I can’t give back to people.
Kirk: Having to go to work and not being able to be with Sarah all the time.

Ellice: What has God been speaking into your heart/how has this impacted you?
Sarah: How much we are loved & blessed. There is an overwhelming sense of God’s love/hand coming out of people blessing us. God’s provision is just everywhere.
Kirk: It restores your faith in people...that even people I don’t know are moved and doing things for us.

Ellice: What are you the most thankful for?
Sarah: Anti-nausea IV’s.
Kirk: Family & friends.
Kirk (in response to Sarah’s answer): Not particularly in that order! [laughing]

Ellice: If you could name one hope for the future, what would that be?
Sarah: It’s plural. Children.
Ellice: Kirk, what is your one hope for the future?
Sarah interjects: Nice breasts for me! -- See! No filter!
Kirk: I want Sarah to come out of this with a positive outlook and for her to be able to see herself how other people see her and know that she will always be as beautiful as she felt before this started.

Ellice: What is your wildest dream?
Sarah: It’s to be a mother and make lunches for my kids on little animal face plates.
Sarah: I didn’t tell you I was thinking about twins!
Ellice: Kirk, how about you?
Kirk (hesitantly): To be honest, I just want a car that doesn’t leak water all over the floor.
Sarah interjects: You know what it is! You want to own a recording studio!
Kirk: Oh yeah, I forgot.
[Sarah laughs]

Ellice: What makes you smile?
Sarah: Flowers.
Ellice: Kirk, what makes you smile?
Mom Lien interjects: Mother fixing you food. :-)
Kirk: When Sarah goes from crying to laughing in one moment.
Kirk (one minute later): I should have said watching TV in HD.
[K&S’s laughter follows]

Ellice: It's a wrap! Check back in a week for the next exciting installment!

Reader Participation:
Do you have a question you would like to ask Sarah & Kirk?  Send your query (along with your name, city and state) to and maybe it will be featured in the next interview! Feel free to have fun and get creative! Serious or random – it’s up to you!

Sarah's mom, Barb, came over to her house and hung out for the afternoon. Later, Kirk & Sarah did a little apartment shopping - the housing search continues!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 21

Massage day! This continues to be an incredible blessing for Sarah!

"Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace."
-Luke 1:78-79

Reader's Corner:
"Life has its tough, dark moments...your blog is the bright spot in my life each day. I cannot define it but there is such an encouraging and victorious tone. It lets me know God is so powerful." 
Sarah & Shelli

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 20 - Happy Easter!

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
-John 11:25-26
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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 19

Sarah has been feeling MUCH better today. Thank you, Lord! She was able to do a little shopping, spend time with family in celebration of the Easter weekend and she even crocheted 3 hats for the hospital (that makes 11 this week!). Keep those prayers coming!
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 18

Urgent Prayer Request!:
Sarah was extremely ill all during the night and was not able to get more than an hour of sleep. Please pray with us for God's help and strengthening power!

1:30pm: Sarah paid a necessary visit to the Cancer Center this afternoon for IV hydration & anti-nausea medication. After two hours of treatment and a much needed nap, she was looking better (and was able to keep down some cranberry juice and cheese & crackers)!
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Laughter Hour:
Mom Lien: "Your port site is looking really good!"
Sarah: "I kind of feel like a yacht when you talk about my port side."