On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

50 Cents

This experience of having a child with cancer has brought upon us beautiful blessings and a more sincere understanding of our Savior and His Atonement.  Along with that, it has also brought along pain and heart wrenching feelings. 

In the back of our minds we are constantly wondering if these beautiful moments with Erin will come to a short end.  The feeling of having her leave us comes and goes.  Some days I think, "I could do it.  I could survive this life knowing she is somewhere else doing far greater things."  And then other days, I think it would break my heart to not see her smiling face and hear her sweet melodious voice.

These are the feelings that we are constantly battling. 

It is something amazing to look at your child and see their inner beauty, their sweet spirit that you love so much.  To see them and to love them is a blessed gift from God.  It makes life so much more sweet knowing that we have been a part of Heavenly Father's plan in providing a body for our little girl.  He is so trusting of us to let us provide and teach His beautiful little girl.

These feelings and new understandings are a burden and a blessing to us.  The burden is the sorrowful feeling, but the blessing is seeing and understanding the greater picture of what life is all about. 

Brian, our 12 year old neighbor and friend, was listening to the quiet whispering of the spirit one day.  His brother gave him 50 cents.  He knew that he needed to give it to someone else.  There was one Sunday recently when our emotions and feelings were deep and tender.  Singing the hymns in church about our Savior and His sacrifice for us brought more and more feelings to the surface.  John and I were in tears.  Tears of grateful understanding of our Savior and tears of sorrow for the unknown.  At the end of our church meeting Brian gave us his 50 cents.  He said, "it isn't much, but it is something." 

It was way more than just something.  It was everything to us that day.  It wasn't the money that mattered, it was the number that mattered.

Erin is in remission of her cancer.  We are so thankful for that sweet blessing!  The next 5 years will be a big trial for us because with her type of Leukemia 50% of kids will relapse within 5 years.  The other 50% will stay cancer free for the rest of their lives. 

It is difficult to live with the feeling of wonder and the unknown.  But, we know that the Lord is mindful of us.  The 50 cents that Brian gave us was a little miracle for two tired worrisome parents.  We believe that Brian giving us the 50 cents was the Lords way of telling us that He knows what we are feeling.

We are grateful for the little miracles in our lives.  They make all things more bearable.  There must be opposition in all things.  We wouldn't know and be grateful for the miracles and blessings if we didn't have to feel the sorrow and grief for the trial.


  1. Just like the widow's mite. What a sweet experience to see it and know it first hand. A tender mercy moment to treasure forever.

    I didn't know about the 50% chance of relapse. What a sobering thing to consider.... Thinking of you and always praying for you.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. What a wonferful experience. It is so nice to know that the Lord is out there somewhere and he is mindful of our thoughts. Love you guys.

  3. I miss you guys so much! Glad that you have time at home, but we are anxious to have you just around the corner in ICS. We fasted with you today praying that Erin's cellulitis will improve so that she can start her last round of chemo! I tell everyone I meet about sweet little Erin. She and Rachel may be years apart, but they share the same disease and we treasure your friendship. We'll continue to pray for you.

  4. What a sweet experience! The Lord truly is mindful of us. It is an amazing, humbling thing to see. I loved how you put it - that the new knowledge and feelings that cancer have brought are both a blessing and a burden to you. We have never quite been able to express that before - but we feel that way too sometimes.

    I think I understand in part your feelings about hating the unknown - it's scary to have to just sit back and see what time will bring. But, I feel like your family's unknown is even more scary - 50% is a very sobering number. Erin has such a special sweet spirit - I hope and pray that she gets to stay with you guys for a very, very long time. We pray for her every night.

  5. I admire your faith and testimony.

  6. JIll,

    You probably do not remember me but I served in your Dad's mission. I am so happy to hear that your little one is in remission. Thank you for your faith and testimony. I can feel it while reading your blog. Your family and your precious daughter will be a part of our family prayer going forward. Thanks so much for sharing on this blog.

    With faith and Love

    Justin Robinson and Family.

  7. My 8 month old son has AML and is just finishing his 4th and final round of chemo, he is low risk. I asked the oncologist about rates of relapse and she said it was 10-15%. Is the 50% number just for m7?

    1. I am sorry about your 8 month old son. I'm glad you're nearly done with treatment! In 2010 the relapse rate was 50% for all classifications of AML (rounded together). Each subtype does have a different prognosis, as does the translocation. Erin was classified as medium risk. I have heard that since 2010 that relapse rates have diminished somewhat and that it was more like 40% for all subtypes averaged together. I have never heard it at 10-15%, but I'd go with what your Oncologist says, especially with your son being low risk. Treatment has changed in the last 6 years, and I've been so happy to see the improvements made in the treatment and how the outcomes are getting better. God bless your family.