In January of 2016, while I was pregnant with my third little girl, and taking care of our two other sweet Princesses who were 4 &2, we started noticing some bruising on my two year old, Alayna Hope aka Laney Bug. And it was bruising in weird places. We had gone to Disney, and she bumped into a wall, and immediately, within barely two minutes, she had a huge bruise on her forehead. I honestly didn’t think much about it and thought, “Oh she’s probably just a little anemic”…but when I finally got in to take her to the doctor we found out within 10 minutes that Our sweet beautiful innocent little girl had leukemia. Maybe it’s a dance party. Maybe it’s a good cup of coffee or a cute pair of comfy legging, maybe it’s just a laugh in the middle of our hot mess…no matter how big or small, we choose joy.
In the first nine months of treatment we spent over 100 days in the hospital. We’ve been to clinic more times then we have not. Chemo, fevers, medicine, infection… They’ve all become a part of who we are, and a part our story. Praise the Lord, Alayna is in remission, but treatment for leukemia has to continue on for 2 1/2 years. I always like to say I would have never chosen cancer for us or for anyone, but I also wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s made us stronger and more thankful. Perspective sometimes slaps you in the face. And on those days when I want to complain and think that my life is hard, the Lord reminds me that this is only my journey and not anyone else’s, and that there’s so many other people that are going through so many worse things than we are. They always say that the Lord won’t give you anything you can’t handle, but I don’t think that’s true. I think the Lord chooses to gives you what you can’t handle so that your only real option is to depend on Him.
Alayna is truly amazing. She is such a joy to be around. She laughs, she always has something silly to say, and she very rarely complains about anything. She has more energy than anyone I know, even with leukemia. She loves anything and everything Disney, especially the Disney Princesses, and her love for people is noticed as soon as you meet her! She loves to sing and dance, is crazy about her two sisters, and dreams of one day being a doctor so she can help people.
Even though we now are not having to go to the hospital overnight quite as much lately, the steroids that Laney Bug has to take truly make life a challenge. This last January Alayna also had a port infection which put us in the hospital over a week. Just when you think you are close to the finish line, sometimes the Lord keeps you in this season a little longer and we still have to find a way to choose joy. She also has required 2 additional surgeries in the last two months where we had to miss work
Our journey is our journey, and we’re learning from it even on the hardest of days, but I think the real reason that we have joy in the middle of this crazy storm is that we have a Hope that is far greater than cancer, death, or this world….no matter what happens we know Laney will be OK and that the Lord will show up, and show off in the situation, and for that reason we just choose joy……