Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

.Whatever happened to Addison....

I am often asked, what happened your sister's daughter?? A long overdue update... she is doing amazing! Her last appointment with her cardiologist said that she was doing perfectly well. She is getting bigger and bigger, and a joy to my sister. She came up to MD for a visit a few months ago, and I snapped a few pictures of her. So for those of you who have asked, here she is!


A week ago, we asked my sister-in-law, the very talented Megan Russell, at the very last minute, if she could come over and take a few pictures of our little family. With the third phase of Jack's treatment, we are seeing more and more hair come out each day, and I just wanted to have some good pictures of all of us together before it all came out. She was so willing to come, and took some amazing photos. Here is a slide show she made for us of the pictures she took.

.for jack. from megan russell on Vimeo.

.Phase 3.

It is hard for me to believe that we are about to begin phase 3 of this whole crazy thing! Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 3 year mark that we can expect for Jack to be in treatment. So 3 years from tomorrow, he should, Lord willing, be done!!! Let the countdown begin!

This past phase he just finished, called Consolidation, has been easy compared to the first phase. I feel like we have finally gotten our Jackers back, after being so food obsessed the first phase. He is running around chasing his brother, talking all the time, singing and dancing, and overall just so happy. It has been so wonderful to have these days, even when he has had to undergo many procedures at the clinic.

So tomorrow we begin phase three, called Interim Maintenance 1. This phase will last 56 days, and we go in for treatments every 10 days. He has to have blood drawn prior to these visits, to ensure that his liver and kidney are functioning well with the increased dose of a certain Chemo he will be getting.

Jordan is going to Louisville KY tomorrow for 4 days, so we are on our own. I am praying that Jack does not experience many harsh side effects from this new treatment plan. He will be getting a chemo drug he has already gotten, but instead of it being put into his spine, it will be given to him in his IV.

Please pray that this week the boys all sleep well. I am very aware of my weakness and weariness when they are up at night and crazy all day! Also, please pray for minimal side effects during this new phase of treatment!

.hats, hats, hats.

“Bless the Lord, and forget not all his benefits.” Psalm 103

(the hats Jack has been given so far)

There are certain ages that are optimal if someone is going to get cancer and undergo chemo, and Jack’s age is one of those. We are very grateful for this, and thank God that if he was to get cancer during his life that he got cancer when he did.

Since he is so young, he also has the added benefit of most likely not remembering the early and most intense phases of his treatment, and will hopefully be able to look back on his childhood without having needle pokes, chemotherapy rounds and no hair in the forefront of his mind! We are so grateful for this. I am consistently amazed at all he endures with little to no complaint.

However, we do want him to remember some things about this trial we are walking through. One of the things we do want him to remember though is the faithfulness of God to him through this time. I wouldn’t want him to be unaware of how people prayed for him, supported him, and how God sustained him throughout. It has truly been amazing and humbling to be carried by so many. We want him to see this multitude as an extension of the love of God for him and God's church in action. One of our friends suggested an idea to achieve this that Tali and I loved and wanted to do.

So here it is: we want people to send Jack hats. That’s right, hats.

This idea has a threefold purpose. One, is so that Jack can have a collection of hats to choose from once he loses his hair (which will probably happen in the next few months). Two, and most importantly, we want to have a physical reminder of God’s love for him, specifically through people that have prayed for him. We figured a tangible thing like a hat would be a great way for him to see the love of God in a very real way. Finally, we figured down the road we could donate these hats to leukemic societies for other little boys with cancer so they can benefit to (we will probably keep the teams we actually like though!).

You must know that there is absolutely not pressure to do this; we are overwhelmed simply to have people praying for us at all! We could not ask for a better gift from anyone than this. Your love and prayers for us will not be lessened in value in any way if you do not send a hat. We hope you hear that and know we are grateful beyond words for the lavish outpouring already demonstrated on our little family.

If you would like to participate, here are a couple ideas we had:

- The hats could be from whatever sport team you want (college teams would be ideal because they’re generally state schools and easily represent a location, but seriously, we’re not picky!), and we were thinking it would be great to be a team in your area so that Jack can see people are praying for him all over country.

- Feel free to send one on behalf of multiple families or people, this would also help in not getting 10 hats from the same team, and save money!

- You could write on the underside of the bill who it’s from, but it would probably good to not make this too obvious (ie. small letters in a corner), because we’ll eventually give them to other kids.

If this is something you’d like to do, email Tali (tkauflin@gmail.com) or me (jkauflin@gmail.com) and we’ll send you our address.

Thank you to everyone who is praying for our little boy, God is definitely hearing and blessing our prayers in so many ways!



.little trip to the ER.

We just had a quick trip in and out of the ER the past two days. Jack spiked a fever yesterday of 101.2 and so, since whenever he has a fever we have to take him in to the hospital right away, we packed our bags and prepared to be admitted. Gratefully, his fever went down upon arrive at the ER last night. They went ahead and started him on antibiotics last night, and released him to come home. Jordan had taken Jack, and they got home around 10 pm. Little boy had a really hard time sleeping last night. Jordan and I were up at all hours, uncertain as to why he wouldn't sleep. When I was up with him at 5 am, I had the thought to bring him to our bed, or even start the day.... but he finally fell asleep at 5:30am. Thankfully, both Tyler and Dylan slept through all of that!

Jack, Dylan and I went to the ER again today to get his second dose of antibiotics. I spent the better part of the morning trying to get in touch with our Dr. or Nurse Practitioner to find out where I was to take him (either the clinic at shady grove or down town). After talking to several voice mails and people who were not very helpful, I finally got a hold of our NP and although it was her day off, called me from her home to explain everything we needed to know and do in detail. She is great and I feel very cared for by her.

By the time I got the go ahead, it was almost lunch time, and I wanted to try t be back in time for Jack t get a good nap. I should have known that would not happen at the ER. It took an hour to get in a room and another 45 minutes for a Dr. to come see us. We have been spoiled in the Oncology dept of Children's where they take SUCH good care of you. In any case, we were out of there is a little over 4 hours and Jack is now fast asleep in his bed. Dylan is a trooper and although there were a few moments when both boys were falling apart, there was also much grace.

For some reason, Jack has gotten very protective of his IV- we call them his "tubies".... he wont even let me look at them some times, so that makes it pretty difficult for the staff and me to clean it and give him his meds. I am hoping this is just a "phase" he is in for now, as he had gotten so good at letting me do a heparin push each day and cleaning the line. All in all, we will take two 4 hour visits to the ER over a 48 hour stay any day!

here are two pictures I took with my phone! Thank goodness for TV's and all his cars! It made the time pass pretty quickly!