Background

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Miracle

*** This entry might seem strange here, but it has all been part of the journey. It is very emotional and the subject is dear to us so we ask that you respect it. It is hard to share, but we felt that we should share the witness of the Lord's goodness in our lives.


Through everything we have experienced we have had so much love and support. The many prayers on our behalf meant so much to us, and we would like to share a miracle with you. Let's go back:

In January last year, when all this began, I was told Kent was going to die on several occasions. Things calmed down a little and they said he shouldn't die for quite some time, but we were told things were still very serious and life altering. I held my breath and prayed, trying not to cry. As long as he wasn't going to die, we could handle whatever came our way, right? Right before leaving the doctors office an important conversation came up. "Just so you know, you will not ever, at least most likely never, have another baby." I can't begin to explain the pain that we felt hearing that. It was like I knife, straight to the heart. Nothing short of divine intervention would bring us the chance at being pregnant again. Some of you know the struggle we went through to have our little Kennedy. We waited anxiously (and possibly not very patiently on my part) for a sweet baby and after 2 1/2 years and 4 miscarriages later our prayers were answered. Kent and I had both dreamed of a big family for as long as we both can remember and the struggle we faced was going to make that hard, but we had faith that in God's timing things would all work out. We had our son to love and enjoy and would hopefully have another on the way in a year! Then, 6 short months after our Kennedy was born, we were told that was it. "At least you had 1 before all of this." Our hopes weren't just dashed, they were being crushed into oblivion. You will never, NEVER, have another baby. I cried for 2 weeks (and intermittently after that) and held Kennedy more then  my independent little guy wanted me to. First I was told I was losing my husband. When that was dispelled I was then told that my other great dream of a big family couldn't be. We prayed and fasted and read the scriptures and received Priesthood blessings, seeking answers. We saw multiple doctors who offered no hope. "We're sorry. There is nothing to be done." "There is always a slight chance in this kind of circumstance, but realistically there is no hope given the cancer, chemotherapy, and past fertility history." Yet something kept telling us not to lose hope. That with God, nothing is impossible, that through Him, miracles can happen. We continued praying, hoping, and dreaming that someday another angel would come into our home, for Kennedy to get to be a big brother. Several new doctors later we finally found one doctor who had hope. Not a lot, but there was a glimmer. We latched onto that glimmer with everything we had. It meant more intense fertility therapies and treatments, but it was worth it.

And now, our miracle is on it's way. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY! We can't even begin to express our gratitude to our loving Heavenly Father who has answered our prayers. Fertility treatment is a wild roller coaster ride, and we are so grateful that our prayers were answered in this way. Not everyone gets that answer, and my heart breaks for them. I am so truly grateful that our part in the Father's plan includes this sweet spirit coming into our home. He/she will be loved so greatly! They will be our little miracle forever. We would normally wait longer than this to tell, but couldn't contain the excitement. We are 9 weeks! :)

We have also witnessed another, bitter sweet, miracle. Our beautiful angel had a sweet little twin. Our hearts broke yesterday as we learned that our second little miracle returned to our Father in Heaven's loving arms after only 9 short weeks with us. Our hearts are broken for the loss of our child, but are overjoyed at the joy of the miracle of the second life within me. The doctors started to worry about our little one last week, saying the sweet little one's heart just wasn't strong enough. The worry continued though because the loss of one looked like a guarantee that our second angel would also be called back to Heaven. Our Heavenly Father intervened again and we are witnessing the miracle of the second baby surviving and thriving! They said he/she is doing VERY well, for which we are grateful.

God works in mysterious ways. I wish both of my babies were coming, but the miracles we have witnessed have touched my heart. We are so thrilled for Kennedy to have a little sibling, and he loves to talk about the "bebe", and we can't wait for the wonderful day when I can get to hold all 5 of my angels that have already passed through the veil. In the meantime I will mourn the loss of one child and celebrate the life of the other. I can't wait to hold this little one!


Our cute little miracle! His/her little head is on the left and you can see 2 little white circles right by the head that are little hands. He/she was waving at us during the ultrasound and dancing like crazy! It was super adorable. :)


love


Gordon B Hinckley

This one and more free printables.


Patience...

All Things Bright and Beautiful: Come Follow Me: How Can The Atonement Help Me Through My Trials?

general conference 2013 ~ LOVE this!


This is a sculpture in Slovakia sculpted by Martin Hudáčeka.  I think it is so beautiful and expresses the love and emotion of those who experience the loss of a child, at any stage. I think it also shows the emotion of those who struggle with infertility, whether the inability to become pregnant or to carry a child to term. The love is real, and so is the pain, although most people usually try not to let others know their struggle.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

1 Year

Wow! Has it really been a year? Sunday marked 1 year since his appendectomy where they removed his cancer without even knowing it! This marks 1 year since they told me Kent was going to die. They told me that for any 1 of 5 reasons, if not a combination of them, he had at most a year, but more likely he had weeks, maybe a few months. They said to say goodbye. Yet, here we are! I know that it is nothing, short of a miracle sent from a loving Heavenly Father, that has brought us to this point. They told us to say goodbye and as I watched him get weaker and weaker the worry became greater and greater. Now everyday I see him getting stronger and stronger and I can't even believe it! As silly as it I still worried that something would change and he would not recover, but the Lord has strengthened our hearts and bodies to get to this point. I am so very grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who never forgot us, who led us by the hand and encouraged us. We did the impossible and made it this far. Everyday is a gift and such an incredible blessing. We now have our whole lives ahead of us, and through the love of our Savior, we have the promise of forever after that! Every moment is a blessing I will cherish.

Thank you everyone for being there for all 3 of us! Quite often you were the Lord's hands in our lives and gave us great strength. You prayers for us mean more than we can ever express.

Where there is great love, there are always miracles - Willa Cather

1PT5:10:  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.


Hope, Faith and Miracles 10x20 Religous Fine Art Print - Gorgeous Colors


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Quick Update and #ShareTheGift

HELLO! It has been a while since we posted! Hurray for that! :) That means the scariness is behind us. :)

Kent has been doing quite well. He still has a long ways to go in recovery, but he is making progress. He still can't feel his hands and feet most of the time, he still gets so easily exhausted by the smallest thing, and he still has pain from his last surgery. There are some side effects that are permanent, but we are simply grateful for his life! But he feels SO SO SO much better than during chemo. He says he almost feels "normal" again. We are so grateful the Lord has strengthened all of us in various ways to handle this situation.

With Thanksgiving here and Christmas on its way we have realized that the holidays will have a very special place in the Barker home this year. In January we were originally told Kent had at most 6 months - 1 year. We read the statistics online and they report almost NO survivors for Appendiceal Cancer by the 5 year mark. We were stunned and I vividly remember thinking, "He has to be here to take Kennedy trick-or-treating, to have Thanksgiving, to watch Kennedy on Christmas morning, for his birthday, for our 4 year anniversary, ...." The list went on and on! I couldn't believe I might be a widow by this time of the year.With treatment we were given the hope of more time, and now, just a few short weeks ago Kent was declared cancer free and told he should have many more years ahead of him! The relief that brought us I can't even express! I admit, I still worry. February 1st 2015 will be a celebration day when we have officially passed the 1 year mark. In truth I am probably still going to worry until February 1st 2019 when we have passed the 5 year mark, and probably even a little bit for the rest of his life. However, I know the only reason we have gotten through this year is through the help of our Lord and Savior. We have been strengthened greatly as we have been pushed beyond what we thought was possible. Everyday we could feel the Savior's loving hand in our lives.

So, I know nothing about hashtags/#. They REALLY confuse me. However, mormon.org is sponsoring a big campaign that is #ShareTheGift. I don't Twitter or whatever you are supposed to do with hash tags (I sound like a little old lady!) but I thought I would share that here. Share the Gift of our Savior. Christmas is a time to remember the goodness of the Lord in sending us His Only Begotten Son. He came in humble circumstances, which I think is part of why we remember Him most when life humbles us. Although He started in such humble circumstances, He grew to the incredible example we learn of in the scriptures. He atoned for our sins and was crucified for us so that we can always turn to Him for strength and courage and guidance and comfort, and for EVERYTHING! I know the Barkers have truly been grateful for the gift of our Savior this year and how He strengthened us and guided us through what seemed impossible. I know several individuals, including my sweet Great-Aunt, who are facing their own fear of a cancer diagnosis right now. Just remember, so many people will ask you what you need during this time but the greatest Gift you will need through this trial has been given. He came as a little babe in Bethlehem and is mindful of you every moment of every day. He WILL strengthen you and your loved ones, I promise.


Share the Gift of Christmas - #ShareTheGift

"God's light is real, it is available to all. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference, April 2013 (and more printables)

Friday, September 26, 2014

FABULOUS NEWS!

We have some FABULOUS NEWS! Today we got the pathology report and, if I understood it correctly, Kent is officially CANCER FREE!!!!!!! Wow! Those words just sound so incredible! It was shocking to hear. We didn't exactly hear those words but pathology said there was no residual adenocarcinoma and no metastatic tumors in the lymph nodes. The surgeon said "Basically, it is really good news." That is all he said. Our interpretation of the "no cancer found" means, NO MORE CANCER!!!! We are SO unbelievable excited! I think we were pretty much in shock for the first several minutes after hearing that news, and then I just wanted to cry. What a blessing it is in our family. We are so grateful that the Lord blessed us in this. Our prayers were heard and answered.

Ok... here is a quote overload, but I feel they are ALL so appropriate! I am just so grateful to witness this miracle in our lives!

Sister Jean A. Stevens | Popular quotes from April 2014 LDS general conference | Deseret News

Thomas S. Monson LDS Prayer Quote #passporttopeace #spiritualstrength http://sprinklesonmyicecream.blogspot.com/

Elder Jeffery R. Holland | More viral quotes from LDS general conference | Deseret News

"Believe in miracles. ... Hope is never lost."  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

SO TRUE. Gratitude can change not only your day, but your life. Tried this the past two weeks!! It was a miracle how different my life was. We have been given SOO much, it's the least we can do to express sincere gratitude for what we have!!





Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Surgery

It is done! Kent had his surgery and all is well. We really don't know a whole lot, but we do know that they said surgery went very smoothly. He had minimal blood loss and they removed everything they had planned and a little bit more. He had some adhesions and "bands" that needed to be removed. They said they could have resulted in another emergency surgery had they been left alone, but they were glad that they were able to remove them safely. :) They also removed his port, which Kent is glad to see the end of. No more chemo!!! :D So, including his port location he has 5 incisions. The other 4 are, obviously, in his belly. He has 3 small and one "larger" whatever that means. We will probably get to see them tomorrow and will know more once talking to the surgeon again.

He is recovering decently. He is in a lot of pain unfortunately, very dizzy, nauseous, and it is very hard to move. He has had a few complications regarding the sum of everything (the medicine, the anesthesia, the surgery itself, etc) but they have been able to resolve everything so far. Such a blessing! Through it all, his spirits are high though. He already wants to walk, eat, drink, etc. so he can leave! He definitely isn't able to do it all yet, but he certainly wants to. He wants to come home to recover and be with all of us again.

They sent some stuff away to pathology so we just wait for that now, and we are waiting to hear about other blood tests, but we are hoping all comes back normal. No more cancer! We refuse to participate! :) We really just have so much to be grateful for. The Lord has blessed us immensely. There has been a lot of praying and fasting today on our behalf, and we are truly grateful. The Lord has answered our prayers and got Kent safely through surgery, without complications. We know that the Lord guided the hands of the surgeon and all who assisted him. We are grateful for all the kindness the nurses and staff have shown. Now, we continue to wait and pray for continued success and blessings in Kent's recovery. Thanks to all of you for the support, love, and prayers!


my goal for this week...an attitude of gratitude.


Tender mercies we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ

I just have to say how much I love this quote. The Lord truly has blessed us in very personal and individualized ways. We have witnessed all of the blessings mentioned. Although it has been a trying journey, we know the Lord is always mindful of us and has NEVER left us alone. The blessing of knowing that our Savior Jesus Christ knows what we are experiencing and how to comfort us is such a tremendous blessing we are eternally grateful for.







Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's a Date

We officially set a date! Or, a tentative date? We were told it will be this day and then the surgeon told his secretary he will decide officially later... oh well. We are planning on it now, so the surgery is set for September 24th. Yikes! It is coming up so quickly. Kent is starting to feel a little bit better, finally able to do more, and we are going to flatten him again. However, this time will be the last time! Then we are done!

So if we understood everything, and truthfully we left quite confused, the following is taking place during the surgery:
- The right third of his colon is coming out.
- The tissue and lymph nodes in that area are coming out.
- The section of colon they previously had removed a piece of is also coming out.
- They are going to "explore" and check the exterior of the rest of his colon for any new lesions, tumors, etc.
- They are going to continue exploring and check his liver to make sure there are no visible tumors. (If there are a second surgery will be planned, and maybe more chemo? Pray there aren't any!)

So that is the plan. He also mentioned checking Kent's lungs for any tumors but I think he just meant in the pre-surgery CT scan. In the mean time, the CT scan and some blood work will take place, and then we wait.

Yikes! It is all rather daunting, but we are anxious to be done for good! No more worrying, just moving on. :)

We wanted to thank everyone again for all the love and support! You helped us get through this! We love you all so much! We also know the Lord has strengthened us. He has guided us in every step and continues to do so, for which we are truly grateful.

* The likelihood of there being any tumors in his colon, liver, or lungs is "very small". Doesn't mean the cancer hasn't spread, doesn't mean there won't be any at a later date, but they think that since his cancer was slow growing that it won't have formed any noticeable tumors at this point. We are just planning on the chemo having taken care of everything though.

"God rarely moves the mountains in front of us but He always helps us climb them." Sheri Dew


Friday, August 15, 2014

OFFICIALLY DONE!!

We are OFFICIALLY DONE!!!!! It was such a wonderful feeling to go and know we won't be going back in 2 weeks for another treatment. It is just time to start feeling better now. What a blessing. In some ways it is a little bitter sweet. The nurses and other staff members there have become very dear to us, and to say goodbye was hard. It is wonderful though that we are just DONE! YAY!!!! Kennedy came with us and awed everyone. They all just love him. He was acting pretty shy, but still was glad to wave at everyone. :)

We both came home and cried. Kennedy just kept staring at us like we were crazy. It is just so surreal! It is hard to believe we won't be back for another infusion. It is such a relief though. If we could make it through all that happened, then we must be able to make it through whatever comes next.

Thank you all again for loving us and supporting us!

video


Waiting for the disconnect!


We are DONE!!! :)


This comic made Kent laugh really hard. :)

When woman is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for breast cancer or other cancers, they need many things: support, encouragement, and plenty...

Finished Chemo Treatment party invite