Today we head to UCLA for an appointment with Dr. Antoni Ribas to discuss some clinical trials that UCLA has to offer. These are different options than the ones we found out about at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) last Thursday. Between these two appointments, we hope to come away with a good sense of direction and long term plan for Kevin's treatment. Because all of the treatments offer 50% or less “success” rates and success is relative, it is reasonable to believe that he will end up doing more than one of them, so it is important to have a strategy that will leave him with the most options and give him the best chance for success at the end of the day.
We arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday evening, and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to reunite with the kids. I just can't stop looking at them. I can't stop playing with Jude and I can't stop holding Evie. Oh my word I have missed them so much. And yet at the same time I instantly remembered how exhausting children can be at this age, and I was even more overwhelmed with gratitude for Paul and Lila keeping the kids for these past nine weeks. I cannot imagine how we would have made it through this summer with the kids at home. It was a blessing that can never be repaid.
The kids have grown so much! Evie is so much taller and she's slimmed out. She is speaking in short sentences and using all kinds of words that I'd never heard her use before. Jude is a regular chatter box and the emotional and intellectual depth of his conversations and play is just stunning to me. I simply can't believe we lost these past two months with them. It is just one more of the many things that cancer has robbed us of. Yet, I still come back to the fact that while Kevin and I endured the worst summer of our live, our kids really did have the best summer of their little lives. Even if I didn't get to share in it, I rest in joy knowing how much fun they had and how well cared for they were. But now it is time to hold them close to us and treasure each day as we slowly venture forward into the next chapter.
Yesterday we went to our home church here in Los Angeles, Village Church. It was such a joy to see and touch all of the wonderful people who have made up our church family for so many years. We quickly realized that, while we have moved across the country, Village will still always be our home. The highlight of my trip so far has been having Evie dedicated in the same church, with the same body of believers that dedicated Jude. This was also the same church where Kevin and I were married and the same church where we said goodbye to his mother. This is a special place, and it meant more than I even realized it would to have her dedicated here. I am so grateful for all of the friends and family who came to pray for her and for our whole family.