UPDATE – July 11, 2006

Emily returned home Monday, July 10, from the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center. It is not Emily’s time to be there. We are so very grateful to all the staff at the Hospice Center for their care and compassion. It is obvious that the staff choose to be there. We thank Michelle (Dr. Clancy, but we’re not supposed to call her that), Susie, Judy, Tish, Nicole, Nancy, Emily, Bridgette, Deborah, Wanda and many others for accommodating our needs. We appreciate our Pediatrician, Mary Forehand, for her many visits and cooperation with UNC and Hospice to speak for our needs. We appreciate our friends and family that continue to do so much for us. Thanks to our church family for the wonderful meals you have brought. Thanks for the letters and cards Emily continues to receive. They really lift our spirits. Thanks, also, for thinking of big brother, Jake. This is a difficult time for him. He is rolling with the punches. Although our light hope has diminished, it has never gone out. Emily is more alert now than she was a little over a week ago. She cannot walk, but can put a little weight on her legs to help us move her around. Her speech is not intelligible, but she has created her own version of sign language, which at times is rather comical. She still laughs and shows frustration if she doesn’t get to do something she wants. She’s got the “eye roll” down to a science and even a little “growl” if she’s really unhappy, usually with Mom. She cannot use her left side much at all. Her right arm has weakened, but she can still lift a drink and draw or write. She loves to paint and draw, and she has especially enjoyed the artwork sent from her friends! Emily understands that her tumor is getting bigger. She knows from last October that the tumor is what causes her to have trouble walking and talking. We think that maybe she thinks this is just another “bump” like before, and with time she’ll get better. That’s what we pray for, but we are not able to be as aggressive with her therapy as we were the first time around. She has maxed out on radiation, right now. She is taking a different chemo, medication. We focus on keeping Emily as comfortable and happy as possible. Her kitten, Caroline, is doing well. Caroline is the perfect lap cat. She loves Emily and rarely leaves her side. Her playfulness gives us much laughter. Our big dog, Toby, is very curious about the new addition. We know he would never hurt her, but can’t help wondering if he thinks she’s a new toy. Caroline is almost too little to hiss, but she gets the point across. Our 15 year old cat, Baby, is “tolerating” the kitten. She has her space and made that clear to the kitten. It’s good to be home. Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and messages of love. Our faith carries us and our hope continues. We still pray for God to heal Emily. We also pray for strength and courage. Our love to you all!