Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 107

Kids Are Awesome!!!

At Valley View Middle School (Papa Hawk’s Work) there were two students who all on their own decided to do a school project that would raise cancer awareness! As part of their project these two guys decided to sell root beer floats and breast cancer ribbons during one day’s school lunches. They called the project “Hope Floats” and much to our surprise wanted to donate all the proceeds to Sarah. Upon hearing of this project, I had my guesses and ballpark dollar figures that I assumed a lunchtime event like this might bring in, but the result, I was completely floored by! In one lunch time consisting of two half hour lunches all 7th and 8th graders, these two boys raised almost $1500!!! This, of course, blew all of our minds that two middle school boys and all of their fellow classmates could do something so completely amazing. Sarah and I were anxious to show our gratitude to the staff and students of Valley View, and on the last day of school we had just that chance. The whole entire student body, as well as all staff members, were all packed in the gymnasium for the “Last Day of School Talent Show.” With some fancy coordination by Papa Hawk and those in charge of the talent show, we were able appear before everyone, explain to the students what effect this had on our lives, and give our thanks for everything they had done.

If this time is for nothing else….I could only hope that Sarah could inspire people to look past their own daily lives and if not for us…spend some time thinking about those that are truly in need. That is exactly what Valley View Middle School has done for us!

Thanks Valley View!!!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Month of June 'Ribbon Campaign' at Alfy's! 

The Alfy's Pizza Corporation has graciously decided to partner with Sarah's Hope during the month of June in a 5,000-ribbon-strong fundraising event! Visit any of the great Alfy's locations listed below to donate a dollar to Sarah's Hope:
  • Broadway/Everett
  • Smokey Point
  • Silverlake
  • Lynnwood
  • Marysville
  • Snohomish
  • Monroe
  • Granite Falls
  • Evergreen Express

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 100

A quick note from Kirk: 
We are so thrilled for the great news of Sarah’s CT scan results! We are thanking God for this amazing outcome of Chemo treatments. Because the fifth Chemo treatment is knocking her strength and energy down once again, it is a little hard for the full impact of a clean scan to sink in. However, all the comments on the blog and text messages have really helped Sarah feel the joy of all her supporters. It really makes me smile when she gets a message on her phone because I know that even though she doesn’t feel that great at the moment, she knows that she is in the hearts of those who truly love her. I sincerely appreciate all the love that everyone has showed my Sarah through the hardest time in her life. You guys make all the difference!!!
Alfy’s Ribbon Campaign: 
Last week we went up to Granite Falls Alfy’s Pizza to see all the ribbons they had sold for Sarah in their “Ribbon Campaign.”  As of today our friends Bob and Sherri who own the Granite Falls location said they had sold over 600 ribbons to their walk-in and delivery customers! Isn’t that incredible? They are having a store wide competition to see who can sell the most ribbons for Sarah. The whole staff is so excited to do anything that can help us out in any way. We really owe a great Thank You to Sherri for organizing the campaign as well as getting Sarah’s Hope donation jars at all the Alfy’s locations. Even I was kind of shocked when I walked into Snohomish Alfy’s down the street from our new house and saw a flyer about us next to a donation jar. It is neat to see how Sarah’s story has touched so many people and brought on such compassion and generosity even in these tougher economical times. We are truly amazed at all the miraculous ways that God has provided for us financially. We want to say “Thank You” to anyone who has donated to the “Ribbon Campaign” or the donation jars. A special shout out is in order to our good friends Bob and Sherri for all they do and have done. You guys really go the extra mile for us. We love you guys!!!
Kirk and Sarah
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 99

A note from Mom Lien:
A song by Matt Redman has these words…..‘Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise’. Today was CT Scan results day and the report? The scan was clean!! We take the time right now, Father, to thank You that the chemo has worked in Sarah’s body; the tumors are gone and lymph nodes are all normal in size. Thank You that You are good and are always faithful.

In the midst of this wonderful news, Sarah was hoping/praying/believing for a release from surgery and radiation, but this was not presented as an option. We will not give up our hope, but will continue to lean on and trust in the One who has the final say.

Rejoice with us today for this blessing and continue to pray with us for complete healing, strength, and, most of all, victory through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 98

Chemo Day #5 - Just One More To Go…
Sarah had lots of support today at her treatment. Her visitors included Grandpa and Grandma Hawkins, Momma and Papa Hawk, Grandpa Lien (bearing gifts from Grandma Lien), Momma Lien and Sister Lien. Her chemo treatment started off well, but about ¼ of the way through she began to have some pretty bad nausea. This was kind of odd as Sarah had one pill form and one drip form of anti-nausea medication before she even began the treatment. However, this did not stop the nurse from bringing out “The Big Guns.” She promptly ordered Sarah some heftier drugs and after awhile Sarah began to feel some relief. The heftier drugs did cause drowsiness though and have made Sarah fairly sleepy for the rest of the day. I don’t know about you guys…but I would much rather have Sarah sleepy than nauseated. Sarah did muster up the consciousness to have one more good meal out before her taste buds stopped working for a week. At the restaurant, she comically added that she felt as though she had kicked back three strong margaritas. Slurred speech, droopy eyelids, and occasional clumsiness were all part of the package today. Sarah is home now and is passed out next to me on the couch. A cuter sight I could not imagine. Please pray that the nausea stays under control, that the results of her CT scan would be fantastic, and that God would bring miracles into our situation.

Thanks for All Your Prayers and Support!!!

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 97 - Father’s Day

Father’s Day was great for both sides. In the afternoon we had lunch with Dad Lien, Momma Lien, and Ellice(Sis) at Boston’s and had a nice time, fun conversation and great food! Afterwards we went over to their house and spent some more quality time together. In the evening, we went over to Papa Hawk’s house and had a family barbecue with Momma Hawk, Bethany, Jonny, and Roman. We ate entirely too much food in one day but what else are family days for? We finished off by watching the movie RV which is completely hilarious. This Father’s Day was relaxing for us and we hope it was just as relaxing for our Dads!

We Love You Dads!

Kirk & Sarah

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 96

A note from out of town: 
We flew the coop! Our life was getting the best of us and we were on the edge of going crazy so we got out of town for a seriously needed break. One of our favorite places to go for day trips and spur of the moment over nighters is Leavenworth. Because I haven’t been able to drive much since March, I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. (For those of you who read the last post, don’t worry…no happy couples on the side of the road were injured!) It is so beautiful in Leavenworth and the stress just melts away….usually. However, this time when we checked into our hotel and decided to take a nap after the long drive, I started reacting to the sheets and my arms and face were itching like mad. Kirk called housekeeping to try and get the bedding changed and we took a drive to Wenatchee while they switched things out for us. What a scenic drive it turned out to be. All the valleys and hills go on forever with the river gracefully nestled in between. As we returned to our room with a freshly made bed we are hopeful for an allergic free night. We are now settling down with a movie and some popcorn and on that note we say good night.

P.S. I am trying out wearing a scarf on my head. I feel so self conscience about it but it is so comfortable that it is worth the trial. I hope you like it!

Love Always,
(click on image below to enlarge)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 95

A note from Sarah:
I think I am in my angry phase of grief. Okay, I know I am in my angry phase of grief. Everything seems to bother me so badly that it boils my blood. I am taking out my frustration on the people that I love the most and I think they are getting ready to take me on a cruise through unprotected waters to sell me to Somali pirates. My doctor says my hormones are being affected by the chemo so maybe I can blame all my misbehaving on just that…my out of control, terrible hormones. I mean is it that strange that when I see a couple walking the down the sidewalk I want to grab the wheel from Kirk and run them down because they are happy and I am not? Now that I have that thought out of my head and on record it does sound a little crazy and I should probably stay in the passenger seat for a bit longer.

As I am writing this I am feeling a little out of control and angry but that might have something to do with how my day started. Please let me tell you about it.

This morning I had to start prepping for my CT scan so no eating for 4 hours prior and I had to drink 2 bottles of contrast liquid. About ¾ of the way through the first bottle I knew there was going to be trouble. The oh so familiar feeling of nausea came swiftly over my body so I took a break and took a shower hoping to settle things down. The moment I got out of the shower my day took a turn for the worst and I was hanging my head over the toilet bowl frustrated that all the contrast that I did get down was wasted and I would have to start all over again. I called Kirk in a panic struck moment crying and asking him to make everything better and he started making phone calls to see what else we could do. When I was waiting for Kirk to call me back with details, I was feeling so defeated and very frustrated that something as simple as contrast liquid was beating me. I tried but couldn’t get any more of the contrast down. However, we went ahead with the appointment anyways and I had to try a different type of contrast that is mixed with apple juice. I won’t go as far as to say it was good but it was tolerable…I did however stand outside a bathroom while drinking it just in case. After I got all the new contrast down I was promptly taken back for my scan and after a whirlwind of hospital gowns, IV in the arm, holding my breath, then breathing…whoosh I was out the door. I am anxious to hear the results because when I had my second opinion the tumor had shrunk to virtually nothing and I have had two more chemo treatments to better my odds. Again I am anxious but deep down I am afraid of bad news. I have my 5th chemo treatment on Monday and on Tuesday I have an appointment to hear the results of the CT scan and to start receiving my Neupogen shots. Please keep me in your prayers as I impatiently wait. I know God has good things for me but there are some moments when I feel as if my life is falling apart.

Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I would not have gotten this far without you.

Love Always,
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God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. -Psalm 46

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 89

A Prayer Request from Kirk and Sarah:
Grandma Lien gave me a magazine with a quote on the back that is sitting very heavily with me. ‘If you don’t know which way to turn, stand still.’ I have been toiling over upcoming decisions for my cancer treatment. The biggest decision I have to make is what kind of surgery to have. This is a question I can ask God over and over and I still don’t feel like He is giving me an answer. I have reached the point where like the quote, I don’t know which way to turn and feel very much like I am standing still. This Friday I have a CAT scan to show how the cancer is responding to my chemotherapy treatments. It is my hope that the scan will show no cancer. I know God does miracles every day and I know He has the power to heal me completely.

Please pray with us for two things:

First, that Friday’s scan will be clear of any and all cancer.

Second, that God will give us very clear direction on what kind of surgery and treatment to do after my chemotherapy ends.

We appreciate all your support along our journey to recovery.

Love Always,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 85

A Little Note from Sarah:
I am sick. Not from anything to do with my cancer treatment but just plain strep throat. It is kind of refreshing! I feel like I’m normal and my body has gotten a boost of confidence saying “hey wait a second…we know how to fight off this kind of infection…let’s rock and roll!” There is a battle being fought inside me right now between the strep bug and my immune system but it is a normal everyday fight that somehow I can smile about. I have shared in the past that it is very difficult for me to ask for help but now that I’m "normal sick" all I want to do is be babied. I have asked Kirk to make our living room into the perfect recovery room all set up with everything that makes me feel pampered. Hopefully, this will be the worst day of my round with strep and now that I am on antibiotics I should start to feel better. Thanks for keeping me in your prayers.

Love Always,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 84

An Update From Kirk:
Praise Report!

We have finally gotten a washer and dryer! It is so convenient. You never realize how much time something like a washer and dryer saves you until you go a few weeks without. We would like to thank our friend Karen for making it possible for us to get a Brand New washer and dryer. It was an incredible gift!!! We no longer have to pack all our clothes to Mama and Papa Hawk’s (or as we refer to it: “Our Personal Laundromat”.) However, we will miss the free dryer sheets. It makes us feel all grown up to own major appliances! Even if that seems silly to everyone, it makes Sarah happy. She wants to make wallet size pictures of “The Kenmore Twins” to show all of her friends because she is so proud! If this is how nuts Sarah is getting over major appliances, I can’t even imagine what she is going to do when we have kids. “Please Help Me!!!!!!!!”

This has been the worst 1st week of treatment so far. Her level of exhaustion has hit a new high. Spending more hours a day in bed than out is never what a husband wants for his wife. I just think if she can sleep then that must mean her body needs the rest and her body is healing. She tells me, “Kirk, I can lay down, not using any muscles, and my body still feels like I could collapse.” It is a strange feeling for her and creates some worry about actually being up and walking around. Today was her last day of the Neupogen shots, and her body has handled them much better than the Neulasta shots. So, for the next two treatments we will be continuing with the Neupogen 5-day shots. Her physical energy level is finally starting to come up which is great but there is something of concern starting to rear it’s ugly head. Since Friday, Sarah has been starting to have a very sore throat, which now has led to strep throat. Finally, the doctors at the Cancer Center gave her some antibiotics to help her body fight the infection. With Sarah’s immune system somewhat suppressed we are going to be watching her progress very carefully. Please pray that the symptoms will lessen so that she will not have to do another hospital stay on her good weeks.

We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers as we strap in daily for our wild and crazy roller coaster ride!


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 81

A Note From Kirk:
I am so incredibly proud of my wife. She is so strong and tries so hard to fight what is going on in her body. The doctors have said that she is doing much better than they expected and I know that is truly because of the fight that she has within her. The fact that things like cancer and chemo therapy are trying to strip her of her independence gives her even more resolve to fight and not let this be who she is; merely what she is going through. I love Sarah more than I can even express with words and watching her go through this is extremely difficult, especially when there is nothing I as a husband can physically do. I find myself thinking only about the one thing I can do: to make sure that she taken care of to the highest level. Thankfully, I have all of my family to help! Without them Sarah and I would be in shambles physically and emotionally. Sarah is not only fighting for herself right now, but she is fighting for me, her family, our future children, and for all the dreams that she has - none of which she will allow cancer to steal away from her. Sarah has such incredible resolve and is completely unwilling to accept defeat. It is these traits perfectly blended with her faith in her God that I know will see her all the way through. My wife is a fighter.....and I love her for it!

 "This is the Sarah that I still see. To me she is unchanged."

Thanks for following our journey,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 79

A Note From Ellice:
I spent the day with my beautiful sister or, rather, I spent the day "with" her apartment. :-) Sarah got some much needed post-chemo rest, and I settled in with a cup of coffee and a couple of films that I had been meaning to watch. Mid-afternoon we both had a momentary "break in the action" for a visit to the hospital for Sarah's first Neupogen shot (one of several she will be receiving to help increase her white blood cell count). Sarah held my hand tightly during the ordeal but came through with a smile on her face. (Many thanks to the kind nurse who thought to warm up the shot first in order to reduce the stinging effect!) The short hospital visit was tiring for Sarah but thankfully she is feeling well today, low energy aside. We will take each and every blessing as they come - large or small!

" quietness and trust is your strength..." -Isaiah 30:15

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 78

Chemo went well today. The only hiccup for the day was that Sarah's body had built a sheath of tissue over the port site. However, that was easily remedied by medicine given to dissolve the tissue. I know Sarah was blessed by her and Kirk's grandparents coming once again for a nice long visit. Grandpa Hawkins, having walked through this road recently, has a lot of love and compassion for his dear Sarah. Afterward, Dad and Mom Hawkins went with Kirk and Sarah for seafood dinner for Sarah's "final" good meal for the next few days as she will just want to get her beauty sleep!

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