And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Prayers, please!

Today I need to beg for prayers. I have lots of updating to do from the last few weeks, but I don't know that it will happen today.

I have been blessed this week, with four days of no seizures. It is such a relief and allows me to participate in life. My energy starts to return and B recognizes his wife again...

We are truly seeing the Lord use this diet to bring healing. I was on super high doses of two meds. Now that I'm on the diet, I've been able to completely stop one med and reduce my dose of the other med dramatically!

This month, on the diet & low doses of meds, I am having fewer seizures on average than I was when I was on high dose meds. However, yesterday was a rough day. I had five seizures that seemed to come out of nowhere. Today, it's almost 2:30p and I've already had six seizures.

It has seemed (while on this diet) that each time I start to have more seizures, it's time to reduce my meds (basically, it's like I'm overdosing since the diet works as a medication, too). I have seen a reduction in seizures as I've reduced the meds each time. So, I could be due for another reduction in meds. However, the doc doesn't want me to go below this current dose. The doc has also stated that he knows that I understand this diet better now than he could and so he's putting some of the treatment in my hands.

Point of all this, I'm torn with what to do.
a. I want the seizures to stop. They just wear me out and keep me from participating in life.
b. I don't know if I should try to reduce my meds and see what happens or do I just stay at this dose?
c. Could there be something that I ate in the last day or so that isn't compatible with the diet and I just don't know it?
d. Thank you all for being so faithful to pray.

We want God to be the hero in all of this, not the meds, not the diet, not anything else. It is just a weary-ing (don't know if that's a word) process. Thank you for your faithful prayers (don't forget to pray for poor B, having to put up with me).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Nate was on TV last night. Don't know if any of you were watching the Ranger game, but Nate & his Daddy were on there. You can tell that Nate doesn't feel that great! Wes was interviewed and got to share Nate's story, though! It was special! It looked like someone got some box seats for them and some other kiddos with cancer! Such a fun outing!

If you're local, come give blood on Friday! We want to so badly, but B can't because he's had a blood based cancer & chemo. I can't because of the meds I am on...So, please come give a little extra on our behalf!!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blood Drive for Nate THIS Friday July 31st

A note from Rhonda Mishler:

There is a Blood Drive for Nate Oxford THIS Friday, July 31st from 10:00 to 3:00 in the Rockwall Kroger parking lot. If anyone would be willing to donate please call me at 214-500-3093. Keller Williams Realty is sponsoring the event, I will be there the entire time. We really need more donors. Seems like I am always asking for Blood!!!!
Rhonda Mishler

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lemons into Lemonade

From the Cruse's friend, Nicole:

Hi Friends!

I Caught an article today about a family affected by Neuroblastoma and fund raising for pediatric cancer research. They did so through a collective effort of folks all across America doing "Lemonade Stands", donations raised have totalled $25 M in 4 years!! How about it friends and warriors?!! I am inspired to change pediatric cancer with our "change!"

Connor was pure sweetness, Joy, vivavacious, lively, inspiring, courageous, and Heroic! Pediatric Cancer is the Lemon! Ready to turn lemons into Lemonade and make a difference, ready to squeeze out childhood and pediatric cancer?!! Let's raise our lemonade glasses for pediatric cancer research in honor of Team Connor and make a Change through Team Connor! If you're interested in holding a lemonade stand, let's all do it this summer and see how much we can get in contributions to Team Connor (Remember, it is a 501 c3)! Be creative.

Message me at: NicoleinDallas1 (AIM) or on Facebook: Nicole Firebaugh Arenas or Email: You can easily send all the funds directly to Team Connor through online contributions, see their webpage at:; - You can also send funds through paypal (link is lower on the front page of pray for Connor Cruse on facebook) and all funds are and will be collected and given directly to The Cruse's for the use of Team Connor.

team connor . org

Loving The Cruse Family Along with You,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update from Joy Cruse

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My heart overflows with gratitude and love for all of you who have faithfully prayed for my son over the last 50 months, and now continue to pray for my family as it is now our turn to heal. The outpouring of love and support at the visitation and service was incredible. Thank you for honoring my son's life that way. Your words of encouragement and stories of how Connor has touched your lives has brought us such comfort as we walk through these difficult days. We can not thank you enough.

Many of you requested that I continue my blog. As always, these updates help me to heal and help me to work through the understanding of what God is teaching me. I will continue to update weekly to share how God is carrying us through this dark valley and how he is redeeming this situation. That is what He does, isn't it? Bring good out of something bad. Bring water to the desert and bring joy to our sadness. Our eyes and hearts are open to what He is accomplishing in our lives.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Here's a letter I wrote to Connor for the service. One paragraph was read during the service, but here is the letter in its entirety.

Dear Connor, My valiant warrior,

I know as a mother, I am supposed to be the one who teaches her children; who imparts wisdom and insight for life. How is it then, that you were the one who taught me? You taught me how to enjoy life, with your radiant smile, your silly ways and your happy dance. You were always looking for an adventure, whether it was dodge ball in the back yard with your family, or sword-fighting with your friends in our fort or races in the halls of the hospital. Nothing could contain your love of life.

You taught me how to love. No one could pass by you without a hug from ConCon. You had a love that was irrepressible, it overflowed and was passed out to others as easily as you breathed. It was as if you knew you only had a short time with us, so you had to send out all your love in just 8 ½ years. Oh, how you made us feel special.

You taught me how to fight valiantly. How many times have I watched you suffer bravely through pain that would have caused most people to quit? How many times were you knocked down, only to rise again stronger the next time? You were so tenacious, never giving up. Even in the end, your body gave up before your fighting spirit did. You had the heart of a lion. You amazed the doctors from Dallas, to Boston, New York, Houston and even Guatemala. How many times was your prognosis not good, yet you continued your battle without a falter in your step. What a brave warrior you were. How could I not fight so hard for you, when your spirit was so strong?

You taught me how to dance in the rain. Although half of your life was spent battling this disease cancer, you never let it stop you from enjoying life. You never made room for complaining. You would be healing from surgery or recovering from chemotherapy and you would still show up at baseball practice. You wanted to experience it all. Nothing stopped you from absorbing all the joy possible. Even your last week with us, you went to Gatti town, the movie Ice Age, the bookstore, Lego store, the mall and your favorite restaurants. Live, enjoy, cherish! was your motto!

You taught me about faith and loving your Heavenly Father. You never once questioned God’s goodness during this journey. You always expected healing to come. You knew your Father would never leave you, nor forsake you. You wanted to tell the world about Jesus. Your words of encouragement to others battling cancer were, “Have courage and believe in Jesus.” That says it all. And that's what you did. You walked your talk.

I know that we have all said that you lost your battle with cancer last Friday. But, as I think about it, I realize you actually won the battle. We often think it is a tragedy when one so young passes away, but maybe we are looking at this all wrong. I think your REWARD, my sweet son, for your faithful, brave battle is that you are now dancing on golden streets in Heaven, holding Jesus’ hand. You have shed the pain and struggles that accompany a life on this earth and you are now rejoicing with the angels and feeling love like you’ve never known. How can that be any kind of battle lost?

Well done, my good and faithful son. We love you and will miss you. Enjoy your well-earned reward!

Always believing,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hickman Family Reunion-Last Day

Finally, time to post about the last day of the Family Reunion.

We had such a wonderful time getting to just hang with B's family! It was special!
I had hoped to see lots of wild animals while we were there, but it just didn't happen. However, the last day we saw one!

B & me with Nana & Grandpa about to leave
Finally, "wild" (not really) animals. There was an alpaca
farm down the street from the place we stayed.
We also passed this sign each day as we left the resort.
As Aggies, we don't agree that they are "trouble free cattle."
Finally, a real "wild" animal, a deer!
However, it seems to have been domesticated
since it is laying on the front porch of this house.
So, not many wild animals on this trip to Colorado. However, we had a wonderful time!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Nate Update

Wes provided this latest update on Nate below.

"Thank you God! Thank you prayer warriors! Nate has had a much better day. After radiation today, he did have two long naps and still gets worn out easy, but when he has been awake he has been very playful and has been laughing and smiling and telling jokes. He seems to feel much better. I know we still have a long road, but at least today we got to see the old Nate again. Keep praying, do not lose heart, God is good and He is listening. Cry out to HIM for miracles, cry out to HIM with all of your hopes, fears, and anxieties. HE will deliver us from everything that harms us. Take comfort in Psalm 18:1-36 READ IT ALL and share it with others who need encouragement. It is so encouraging to know that my God listens to our cries. May you feel close to your LORD at this moment, may you take peace in HIS love for you. Thank you again for praying for my little Nate."

Monday, July 20, 2009


Wes just provided the following update.

"Nate has been trying to participate and play with the other boys around the house and has been fighting to smile and stay alert. He is very exhausted, the cancer is straining his energy. He has moments during the day where he will get a burst of energy and then the rest of the day he just wants to sit there or go to sleep. Please pray that the cancer will go away quickly, it is trying to overtake him in so any ways. He has sharp pains in the top of his head and behind his right eye, most likely due to the tumors. We know so many are praying, please stick with Nate, he needs it now more than ever. Keep spreading the word about Nate for God to get the glory. God is good and HE does hear our prayers. Please be encouraged by Psalm 103. Thank you."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nate update

Update from 7/17 on Nate:

Wes called and wanted to let everyone know how much they appreaciate the prayers that have been lifted up for Nate. He said that everything has gone as planned today and that Nate received about an hour's treatment of radiation. He said that Nate was exhausted from the day and that this will continue for 6 weeks. Please continue your prayers asking for God's sustaining help and that Nate would be protected through this and the treatment would be successful. God has truly been the one who has sustained them through this and continues to be by their side. He is faithful.

Many have asked about how to order iPray for Little Nate T-Shirts.

The email to order these is now Erica Brown at please email her your size and quantity and she will answer any questions.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hickman Family Reunion-Picture Day

At some point, I want to finish all of the posts from Family Reunion. I'm almost done.

These are some of the pics from "Picture Day!" We all have our Hickman Family Reunion 2009 shirts on for these pics!!

The whole fam!
All the grandkids with Nana & Grandpa!!
The Fox Fam-with all of the Fox items
that could be found in the place...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prayer Request for Nate - 07/16/2009

Psalm 103: 13-14 "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."

Let's all be in prayer for Nate tomorrow morning. Wes provided this update, "Nate begins the 6 weeks of full brain and spine radiation in the morning. Pray that it kills only the cancer and spares his good cells. He is in God's hands, we know that HE is guiding the procedure."

Celebrating Connor's Life Part 2

Sorry about the delay in much went on with Nate today, I wanted you to each be able to focus on prayer for him.

So, we learned Connor's answer to all of life's questions is, "believe in Jesus...and be brave." We were all challenged to take on that attitude.

We then made it to the graveside. Connor had a girlfriend. They were the same age (about 3 wks apart) and have known each other since birth. She wrote a poem for him and read it to everyone.
Such a poised young woman and she did a beautiful job!

After the graveside, we went back to the church for a "reception." Many of the items that were set out for display Monday night were available to view at this point.

These are actually the patches from the astronauts who prayed for Connor from space.

Such a sweet frame. "There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on the world."

As you may have read, they asked everyone to wear bright colors and no black since this was a celebration of his life. We got a quick picture together in our bright colors (yes, my baby wears pink) on our way out at the end of the day.

Please continue to lift Connor's family up in prayer over the next many weeks. Especially lift up his sister and brothers. They have clearly endured quite a bit over the last many years, too. I don't want them to be forgotten...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Wes let us know that Nate is at home now. He is on steriods and as long as he doesn't lose consciousness, all radiation will be done outpatient at UT Southwestern Mon-Fri beginning this Friday. Everyone has been so faithful to pray the Lord on behalf of Nate. Let's all continue in prayer asking God for His sustaining help for Nate and the Oxford's". "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me." Psalm 54:4


Please pray for their family's wisdom in making decisions for sweet little Nate.

From Connor's Daddy...

A letter from Connor's Dad is below. However, please make sure you read down about Nate and pray actively for Nate and his family. Pray that the Lord will give them wisdom & peace.

Wednesday, July 15

Good afternoon. As the father of Connor Cruse, I buried my son yesterday. A little over 24 hours ago I said goodbye to my son, who started his fight against stage four neuroblastoma cancer 50 months ago today. As you can imagine, Joy and I and the kids are having tremendous grief with the loss of our son, the loss of a friend. I lost my hero last Friday.

There has been a tremendous outpouring of support. There was estimated to be between 3,500 and 4,500 people at his funeral. Over five police departments in the Dallas and Collin County area participated in one of the longest funeral processions they've ever seen. Over eight limousines and over 500 vehicles were in Connor's funeral procession. As we buried my son yesterday, I could not help but see all of the friends and family that came in from as far as Boston and California, the well-wishers who sent e-mails from over 70 countries, people standing in the Texas heat to see a little eight year old boy laid to rest. There was a two hour wait on Monday night for those at the church to say hello to us and to wish the family well.

To all our friends and family:

You are the glue that God uses to keep families together during such difficult times. You have allowed us to thrive and not just survive, and again I thank you. Connor continues to have an impact. His Team Connor website crashed over the last several days because of the incredible amount of activity on his website. In fact, Apple computers said we exceeded their own capacity! Connor Cruse continues to have impact by crashing the system from people going to We have been given a one year exception for unlimited capacity, so please go to to learn about Team Connor and become a warrior for pediatric cancer research. Join our fight, help keep Connor's legacy alive, and may we all join together and not allow another child to have pediatric cancer.

Yes, this is the dream and the vision for Connor. The dream is to raise enough money for pediatric cancer research; that the child we help may be one of your nephews or nieces, maybe your child or your grandchild or neighbor or friend in the future. Weve had hundreds of thousands of emails and hits on the website. With all of you out there in the community reading this, Joy and I have a goal, and that is to help you and your neighbors and your families not go through what we've had to go through. May God bless all of you. Thank you for loving my son. Thank you for honoring him. Thank you for being a Team Connor warrior. Again, please go to to learn about and join the fight!

Tait Cruse

Update on Nate

Update from Wes on Nate 7/15/09

We are back at Children's after being transported to UT Southwestern's Medical Center at 7 am to meet with the radiation oncologist. He prepared us for what would happen over the next 7 weeks. Nate will get 30 treatments (30 mins a day for 6 weeks Mon-Fri) of high dosage/high intensity radiation to his total brain and spine. He begins on Friday. According to all doctors involved, this will most certainly result in severe cognitive loss. We were told to expect many learning problems throughout his life. This is hard to hear. On one hand, without a doubt, we want our child. On the other, we know if he has any medical hope of survival it is through something that is going to cause him to be much less intelligent that what he is now. On top of all of this, the radiation's success rate is not high at all due to the aggressiveness of his cancer.

We know that God is bigger than all of this. God determines how intelligent He wants us to be. God determines how long He wants us to live. God is in control here during uncomprehensible times. We have just resolved to trust Him because we know that He is doing what He must do to protect Nate. We tried chemo and it did not work. We were told that he is so bad off that at his current rate he would be dead in 4 to 6 weeks without a very aggressive treatment. It is what it is and only God can change it. Please pray that He does change it. Pray that Nate is healed and that Nate maintains his intelligence level. Pray that God will turn him into a man of God to be used by Him for many years to come into his olden years. Pray for God to get all of the glory through our little Nate.

Here's a photo slide show of Nate & his fam!

Keep praying for Nate

The MRI results came back last night and revealed that Nate's cancer had returned again and larger than before. The Dr's outlook was that it would be best to move forward with radiation at this point. Please continue your prayers for Nate. Wes and Jackie are both moving forward with the new treatment plan for Nate and are still believing and hopeful in God's power to heal. Please remember them all today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrating Connor's Life

Did any of you see the story on the news last night about Connor? His parents were interviewed and they showed many pics of Connor. It was awesome to hear his parents give God the glory on the news!!!
Today was an unbelievable day. It was a beautiful celebration of Connor Cruse's life.

When we arrived at the funeral, as expected there were so many people. They had a viewing which was difficult. It was the first time that it was evident how this disease has affected Connor. Though the make-up jobs are never great, you could clearly see that his last few days were difficult.

Once we sat down, B shared with me that an entire agency (from the co. B works for, Northwestern Mutual) came from St. Louis, made the trip in today to be there for the family. As well, many others were there representing many other agencies (offices) within the company. Even the upcoming President of Northwestern and others in leadership from home office flew in from Milwaukee. Through all of my health stuff, we have seen how B's office pulls together and is like a family. This was just more representation of the beautiful family that is, Northwestern Mutual.

Connor was dressed in his baseball uniform. As well, his entire baseball team arrived in their uniforms. It was precious to see his entire baseball team sitting together in their little orange uniforms.
Here is one of his little buddies.

The service had a beautiful focus and that focus was Jesus! We actually learned that at one point, Connor turned to his family and said, "I'm ready to go to my new home." They clarified what he meant and he meant it's time to go meet Jesus!!! So, each of his family members and close friends that were there, prayed over him, releasing him to the Lord.

I will have to finish this post in the morning. I keep falling asleep while trying to type it....

Monday, July 13, 2009

prayers for our other little buddy fighting cancer

Please keep praying. Tell everyone you know to keep praying. Nate just woke up amazingly out of his sleep. He has been answering questions in complete sentences with Jackie. They have not done the MRI yet, just a CAt scan, please pray that the MRI showed the CAt scan to be wrong. We have faith. Prayer to our good and loving Lord has gotten Nate this far. Prayer to our LORD will get Nate through this also. Jackie and I dedicated him to the LORD to do great things here on earth for HIM and we know that he has big plans for him. Please do not give up, the LORD is listening. Thanks. He is leaving to go into his MRI as I am typing. PRAY.
Please no visitors at this time.

"Please be in prayer for Nate. He was found unresponsive this morning and is currently back at Children's Medical center. Dr's have confirmed that the cancer has returned in a larger form that is causing Nate's response. They are discussing what to do and how to treat from here. Please pray for Nate and the Oxfords."

Add'l info on Connor

Here are a few additional details regarding the service for Connor tomorrow.

As you heard last Friday, the service for Connor will be Tuesday at 10 am in the Prestonwood Worship Center. Following the service, the burial will take place at Ridgeview Memorial Park located at 75 & 121 When you go to it is the first Memorial Park listed. After the burial, there will be a reception for everyone at Prestonwood in the Commons area. It’s hard to pin down an exact time, but the reception will probably begin around 1:30 pm.

Also, Tait and Joy have requested that everyone limit the amount of black clothing at the service for Connor. Ladies wear brightly colored dresses; gentlemen wear brightly colored ties or sports coats; children wear brightly colored t-shirts. The Cruse family intends to celebrate the life Connor lived in his brief time with us, and pay tribute to his incredible spirit of joy and perseverance in the race he ran so well for the past four years.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Flowers or Donations

In Lieu of Flowers, Contributions can be made to: Team Connor - You can donate directly online. The primary mission of Team Connor is to support families and to help find a cure for Childhood Cancer.

Flowers can be sent to:

Prestonwood Baptist Church
C/O Connor Cruse Service
6801 W. Park Blvd.
Plano, TX 75093

Connor's Visitation Service Monday Evening

Dear Prayer Warriors and Friends,

Below are the specifics for Connor’s visitation and funeral this next week:

The visitation will be Monday July 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Prestonwood Baptist Church . The Funeral Services will be Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Center .

The family does still ask that you not contact them through phone calls, text or by trying to visit them at the house. Instead of contacting them these next few days please take time to lift them up in prayer as this is what they need most right now and the best way that you can help them through this time of grieving. Feel free to send the notes of favorite Connor memories as I will be putting together a book. Send to :

All of their needs for food and help with the kids are taken care of for the next few days. We are working on some details as to how we can help them starting next week.

Your Fellow Prayer Partner,
Nicole Arenas

Connor Cruse Services

The most recent update from his facebook page:

Connor Tait Cruse, the sweet and brave, heroic son of Tait & Joy Cruse and brother to Mackenzie, Carson and Mason, took a turn for the worse about 10pm last night (Thursday night) and was admitted to Children's Hospital in Plano. In True Connor style, he held on through 4:47pm this evening, Friday, June 10th and went to be with his Lord and Savior in heaven.

Many family, church and work friends, and close loved ones were there at the hospital today. Tait and Joy alongside with Connor always courageously glorified God in all things with Connor and their walk.

Today Jesus welcomed Connor into his loving arms, healing him completely. Though we cry and we will miss the sweet boy Connor was, we can cry with tears of hope, as we know we will one day be joined with him again for all of eternity. The number of lives Connor touched are countless, along with those affected by Joy & Tait's courageous and faithful walk glorifying God through these last 4 years during Connor's Heroic fight against cancer.

The Cruse family appreciates all of your prayers, support, and love. At this time they have specifically asked and request that they be allowed time to themselves and are asking for no phone calls, no text messages and no visitors. Thanks for respecting this request at this time.

Please do continue to life them up in prayer as you have been.

Funeral Services for Connor Cruse are scheduled for10am Tuesday at Prestonwood Church at Park & Midway in Plano, TX.

Our love and prayers are with the Cruse family and the special friends of Conlnor who will truly miss the sweet boy we all came to love!

One last note, let's continue to meet to pray for the Cruse family as they begin life with Mackenzie, Carson & Mason. Also, if you would like to email a page or less story, poem, scripture, thought or favorite memory - I will put a book together to present to the family in the next few weeks and would love to include your favorite memory or funny story.

In His Grace,
Nicole Arenas

Friday, July 10, 2009


4:47pm...The moment that Connor took His savior's hand this evening and experienced eternal healing!!

Please pray for Tait & Joy. Also, keep his siblings, McKinzie, Carson, & Mason in your prayers. As well as, their entire extended family.

More on Connor

We just received the most recent update on Connor. He is stable in his room at the hospital. However, in the words of his father, "He is going Home, not back to the house, Home to be with Jesus."

The hospital is giving him medicine for the pain and; otherwise, they are waiting for him to take His Savior's hand.

Please beg the Lord for protection for his family and anything else that you can think of to pray on their have all been such amazing prayer warriors! Keep it up...may many come to know Connor's Savior through this trying time.

We are about to get in the car and head back to Dallas. So, as soon as I have updates and am able to post, I will.


We just got word that Ben is still Cancer FREE!!!!!

Praise Jesus!!!

Please scroll down and begin praying fervently for Connor!!

URGENT URGENT pray...............

Okay, we just received this update on Connor:

Last night Connor was taken to Children's Legacy at 10 pm. He was unresponsive at home and although he was breathing they could not get him to wake up and his heart beat was very slow.

At the hospital they were able to stabilize him and make him comfortable. The doctors told us that he could hang on for a couple of hours at the most. At 3am there had been no change. In true Connor fashion he has done what the doctors said he could not do! As of 10:30 am he is still about the same. His heart is slowing down. He is not in any pain.


This is the update we received from yesterday on Connor. However, please scroll down to get a more recent update and get on your knees for him right now.

Connor braved his (awake) surgical procedure bravely and the surgeon was able to insert a 16" tube to replace the former 18" feeding tube in Connor's stomach. Because of the size difference, there is a leak still. The surgeon is hopeful the leak will correct itself in time or will reschedule to redo it next week with an 18" tube. Please remember to pray, Connor has lost weight, pray he can gain weight. Also, for those of you who can join us, please come to Joy's home to pray over Connor next Wednesday, July 15th at 11:30am in Frisco! Here is Joy's Update!
WE got a new tube placed. Praise God! The doctor was very competent. He checked the new tube with fluoroscopy dye and felt confident that it was in the right location. Unfortunately, it is still leaking. I don't think it is leaking as much. The doctor said that could happen for a little while. The previous tube was an 18" and the "pathway" for the tube had already started to close up. The doctor felt he couldn't get the same size tube in, so he had to go with a 16". The smaller tube is not blocking the leaking as much as the larger size would. He said hopefully the leaking will subside over the weekend and eventually the leaking will stop. If not, they can put in a larger tube first of next week. Please pray for this leaking to subside and finally quit. At least, we are one step closer to a solution. Thanks for your prayers. Connor did great during the procedure. All of this was done while he was awake on the table. God has surrounded him with a supernatural peace, that is for sure.

Thanks again! We'll keep you posted.

This morning's update we received at 9:15am:

Connor had to be taken to the hospital late last night in very serious condition. Details are very sketchy, but by God’s grace he stabilized early this morning. Pray his organs will receive enough blood to keep active and for wisdom and course of treatment for the glory of God. More details as we learn them.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update from Houston

Just wanted to post a quick update.

I received a call yesterday that my neurosurgeon wanted to add an MRI to our list of things to do while here. We got a very late start to Houston. B always changes his own oil on his truck. However, we were so pressed for time this week, he gave in for the first time ever and let a store change it. The store is owned by an old neighbor of ours and they let B get the oil he likes and used that. I walked out to the garage yesterday to pack the puppies food and there was oil all over our garage floor. I would post a pic, but don't have the ability to download the pic right now. Anyway, B was in an appt. and so I called the shop he went to and let them know and asked them to stay late, if necessary. In the meantime, I was trying to reach B so that he could at least check his oil before he started driving.

Our intention was to leave around 6p. We didn't leave until 9p. We arrived in Houston a little after 1a. My MRI was scheduled for 7am and B's PET scan was scheduled for 7p. So, this morning, he dropped me off for my scan and went to his. Right about now, they should be scanning his body and finding absolutely no cancer (please, LORD)!! My appt. didn't take nearly as long. So, I am sitting in a little restaurant waiting for him.

While sitting in here, my neurologist came walking in to get his morning coffee. He told me I was a bit too early for my appt. He came over and said hello before he left to go see patients. He is such a sweet doctor!

Thank you all for your prayers!


A new update on Connor...

Connor has started fluids at home and the TPN (nutrition thru his iv). Yeah! We all did a happy dance when it started. Finally, Connor will get some nutrition. He really needs to gain some weight. He's SO thin.

His sodium levels continue to rise. They were 121, now 128 and needs to be 135 and above. His breathing and oxygen is good, and the swelling on his legs continue to decrease. Praise God.

Now, for the hole in his abdomen. Surgery is not a good option for him right now, mainly because his sodium is low. He will not metabolize the anesthesia well and would possibly be at risk for seizure and not waking up. WE are looking at two other options that would be less invasive and don't involve anesthesia.

The best option is to use a fibrin glue to close the hole. It is used often in adults and has an 80% success rate to close the hole. It is kind of like "fix- a-flat
." They would use local anesthesia and just use a needle to put the glue on the hole. The doctor who could do this at Children's has not done this before. She's consulting an adult doctor who does this frequently - our friend who gave us the idea - to get the information and decide whether or not she will do this. Please pray that she will decide to do the procedure and she can schedule it soon.

The second option is to put another type of feeding tube in (one that is larger than the old one) that would plug the hole. We wouldn't use the feeding tube, it would just be used as a stopper. The fluoroscopy department has to be used to guide the tube to the exact spot of the hole, otherwise it won't work correctly . This would also take a couple days to schedule.

Neither one of these are guaranteed to work. There could be other issues that make these options less viable. PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY THAT WE CAN GET SOMETHING SCHEDULED THIS WEEK AND THAT IT WILL WORK. Doctors always prepare you for the what ifs, which leave my head swimming with doubts. W
e really need God to resolve this issue. Connor eats and drinks constantly (even thru the night) because he never feels satisfied. We can't be sure that Dr. Rodriguez's medicine is absorbing completely.

I can't believe that God would bring us so far, to have this obstacle be impossible to overcome. I will let you know when something gets scheduled. Thanks for your prayers in this matter. Greatly needed. W
e just need to trust God to bring us past this new obstacle. Trusting Him is the only thing that gets us through.

'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
and to take him at his word;
just to rest upon his promise,
and to know, "Thus saith the Lord."

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him!
How I've proved him o'er and o'er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust him more!

I'm so glad I learned to trust thee,
precious Jesus, Savior, friend;
and I know that thou art with me,
wilt be with me to the end.

Recognize that old hymn?

Always believing,
Joy Cruse

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hickman Family Reunion-Sight Seeing

There were so man beautiful things to see. More than anything, I wanted to see wild animals!!!

It's hard to see, but this is a pic of Air Force Football Stadium!

Our first stop was Pikes Peak!
We drove to the top and it was amazing!
Do you see the snow (in JUNE!!)?
The beautiful mountain view on the way to the top.
More beautiful scenery...still no wild animals.
We made it to the top of Pikes Peak!
A view from the top!
Uncle P, cuddling up with his new friend in the gift shop!
There's the wild animal I was looking for...Grrrrr!
We decided to snuggle up with the only "animal" we could find!
This is our pic at the TOP of the Peak!!
Trying to get to a spot where I can take pics in the snow.
Being a Texas girl made it hard to understand how there
was so much snow, this late in the year.
My own lady bug from Pikes Peak.
Do you see what I see?
A marmot!
My first wild animal to see on the trip.
Later we went to the Cliff Dwellings. They, sadly, were very commercialized. Not like the time Mom took me to New Mexico & I got to meet the Indians she used to work with and go in their homes, etc. However, this is a pic of Ben's brother, T, showing us how small they were!
At the end of this day, I only had one seizure! So, it was nice getting to spend time with B's family without having to worry about feeling so yucky!

The next day, we did more sight seeing. This is Glen Eyrie, run by the Navigators, and once the home of General Palmer. It was beautiful, but I don't remember much about it as I started to have a lot of seizures this day. I had one in the middle of the tour and just had to lay on the floor. After that, B and I went downstairs and just rested while everyone else finished the tour. So, we probably missed some of the fun facts.
Next, we all went to Garden of the Gods.

Here is the family pic of those that went...
A wild animal!! ; )
Aren't these amazing?
This is called Balanced Rock.
Wasn't it nice of B to help them balance it?
Can you see what looks like a heart in the rock?
I thought that was so fun!
By the end of this day, we were all exhausted. I had five seizures and was past the point of having any energy. However, it was amazing to see God's beautiful creations!
The Beginning
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

Genesis 1:1-3

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Prayers, Please!

Just want to quickly beg for your prayers! We leave Wednesday evening to go to Houston. We both have doc visits.

B has all of his follow-ups at MD Anderson to make sure he is, Lord willing, still cancer FREE!!! Please pray with us that he's clean as a whistle, no cancer at all!!!

I have my follow up with the epileptologist and the neurosurgeon. The epi mentioned in a recent e-mail to me that he wanted to talk about other treatments, such as another surgery, since I wasn't completely seizure free on the diet yet. One of the surgeries is a Vagus Nerve Stimulator. They implant it beneath your collar bone and it is like a pacemaker for your brain.

Our prayer is that the diet will work (we've learned it takes time), but we need the doc to agree to be patient, too. Please may the seizures disappear!!! Thank you for your prayers!!!

Hickman Family Reunion-Play Day

After the exciting game of Volleyball the night before, everyone wanted to keep the spirit alive...So, we all went to a local park and played softball (I say 'we' as if I played-I took pictures)!

Can you see in the background of this picture? That is Grandpa & he stopped a little boy riding his bike and just struck up a conversation with him. It was just precious.

My baby (I mean slugger) up to bat!!!
It's good!!! Run....
Nana watching so sweetly!
Who are we kidding? She got up to bat!!!
So, Grandpa had to join in the fun, too!!
Nice Swing...
The Hickman Family Softball Team!!!
Uncle L...strong, huh?