News fit for a King
Hannah’s doctor, Dr. Celeste Hollands, came to tell us that our little girl is “Cancer Free!” The MIBG test (where they inject her with a dye that acts as a tracer for clusters of cancer cells) has come back negative. There were no spots that showed on the test except around the incision. The doctors said irritation in the surgical area could make it light up, consequently it was even less than what they estimated! Dr. Hollands said that with the bone scan and the bone marrow biopsy and the MIBG test all coming back negative, she is certain that the surgery is all the treatment needed.
I asked her about the lymph node testing positive and about the fatty tissue on the back that she had previously missed. She explained that with only one node testing positive (the one that was adjacent to the tumor) there is no threat especially now that the tumor has been removed. The tissue near the back, she says, is something we need to keep an eye on but not treat. We further learned that the gene makeup of the tumor was “non-aggressive” and more than likely would not spread, which was later confirmed by the MIBG test. After affirming that there are only small spots to watch, she then tells us that these tissues are prone to dissipate on their own without the presence of the tumor, especially due to the non-aggressive gene. She understood our being cautious to hear this good news, and our questions. She explained that since they have further information they can make a much better judgment! She commented that after talking to the oncologist, the radiologists, and other doctors, they all were pretty amazed at how well things turned out. She went on to say that Hannah’s visit here was really “a best case scenario of events.” Of course we know that it is because of God’s good and sovereign grace, wielded through the prayers of His saints.
Where do we go from here?
It looks like the next step is to go home. We are discharged as of tomorrow! We have one more treatment for Hannah’s salmonella poisoning (which is doing great) then we are out of here. We will follow up with a visit to Dr. Hollands office in two weeks, then have a CT scan and urinalysis in one month. After this, we come once a month for six months, then once a quarter, then every six months and eventually once a year for quite some time! We went from life-threatening, to routine check-ups in almost a week. Nonetheless, we are nothing but grateful & relieved! However, there is an aspect to all of this that has left us wondering what is normal? Truth be told, we will never look at my children the same again. This has brought a completely new resolve to our family, and I thank God for it!
How do we say thank you?
seem to convey the emotions found in our hearts. We’ve had visits, phone calls, and e-mails from all over the world from people sharing with us how they and their churches are praying for us. We had family members stop everything and stay with us to help. Many churches, especially in the Mobile area, have prayed for us and helped us get the word out to pray for Hannah. Another encouraging thing was our friends Thad Key, Kyle Claunch, and Jonathan Hill taking initiative along with Saraland Baptist Church to start the Hannah Taylor Fund! Our hearts melted at such a thoughtful step. Some have asked for our mailing address, its 155B Davitt St. Mobile AL 36604, for those who asked. In addition to all the support, there was an outpouring of godly bloggers who helped by asking for prayer.
If I missed others please forgive me. We have been very blessed to have so many help us along the way. Even here at Children’s and Women’s Hospital the staff have been very kind. We have had some great doctors who have been in constant communication with us. They have taken the time to make sure we understand everything as it unfolds. We were truly blessed with excellent care from Hannah’s nurses as well. Here is a picture of some who cared for her.
Heartache, pain, trust, joy!
In the end, it has been a hard and trying time for us. We have been very encouraged by the LORD! Through this He sent you all to us, and by Him we have kept a steady foot amidst life’s horrors and fought hard not to lose heart!
“LORD, I thank you for Your Holiness! And I thank you for not delivering our little Hannah over to the disease of cancer! I don’t know what Your many thousands of purposes were in all of this, but I thank you that You are first in everything. We thank you for Your supremacy, love, compassion, sovereignty, mercy, and grace. Thank you for caring for us so deeply. We bless You who causes all things, by Your Decrees, because of Your Nature, and for Your Glory! Amen!”
Things I love about my little girl… in no particular order!
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD.
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them
Thank you so much! Thank you for your prayers, calls, visits, helping us get the word out, helping us with Hannah’s fund, and everything! You have been so good to us and we just can’t thank you enough… may the Lord bless you beyond measure for your kindness! Please forgive me for not getting this update posted sooner!
The last couple of days…Sunday night and Monday night were both bad nights for her (fever, stomach issues, etc). Everyday she is getting better. Tuesday she began to show some real signs of feeling well, i.e. playing and talking more! Until then she just laid there with her eyes open! It is hard to watch your little girl just lay around. I often would let the side of the crib down and just lay my head in there with her! She has gotten better yesterday and today. Most of the time she wants out of the crib to be held, and I don’t blame her! I took some photos of her just lying in the crib. They took many tests during the last couple of days. They took a bone marrow test and a bone scan to see if the cancer spread to her bones at all (in or on the bone). Today we got some test results!
The good news… Both the bone scan and the bone marrow test were negative! Praise the LORD! If this would have come back as positive then we would have automatically been in stage 4. This is good news! Also, her salmonella poisoning recovery has been great! She only lacks a few more treatments (via I.V.). However, there is bad news!
The bad news… One of the lymph node samples came back positive. This is bad news, but there is some good here, too. The one that came back positive was on the same side as the tumor. The other ones, on the other side, came back negative! This is good. It means that the cancer hasn’t spread that far. But the bad news is that it has spread some. In addition to this, it puts us in to stage 2 (the oncologist said “stage 2a,” which is low risk). If it is going to be stage 2, then I vote 2a! That is all we have on results, but there is pending news!
The pending news… We’ve got a big test both on Thursday and Friday (same test given twice). It is called a Metaiodobenzylguanidine (where do they get these terms???), “M.I.B.G.” for short! This test is a tracer. It is a test specifically for neuro blastoma tumors. They inject Hannah with some dye and it acts as a tracer. Then they give her a nuclear scan, and any cluster of cancerous cells will “light up” for the doctors to see. This is a big test for us. In fact, it is the final determining factor for the type of treatment plan we will execute! Please pray for a clear, cancer free report.
Praying for big brother… Just a note, please pray for Noah. Things are hard for him right now. He doesn’t know what is going on, but is certainly aware that everyone is upset and just not themselves. Aunt Kim was helping him say his prayers the other night and she said, “Let’s pray for Hannah.” He said, “No, I pray for mommy! Mommy cry!” The next day we went walking around the hospital campus. There are these statues everywhere of different people (mostly women and children). He walked up to this one with a mom reading a book to a little girl. He said to us, “This is mommy and sissy.” It was very sad. Kelli and I both burst into tears. Among the sweet and sad events there are the bad ones. He is acting out and not listening very well to what we tell him to do. I know that this is normal in cases like this but we need your prayers!
I have many more thoughts, but I will write later! Again thank you for your prayers! God Bless!
This post is by some of Yogi’s friends. Below are a couple of letters detailing the establishment of a fund at Saraland Baptist Church, where Yogi currently serves as Pastor.
As most of you know, Hannah Taylor, Yogi and Kelli Taylor’s daughter, underwent serious surgery on Friday to remove a neuroblastoma tumor from her body as well as bone marrow from both hips, and samples from the lymph nodes to see if the cancer had spread. She will be in the hospital at least ten days.
Although Yogi and Kelli have health insurance, the costs of deductibles and their part of the medical bills will be substantial (20% of the total cost). Also with this are the costs of staying at the hospital, eating out, etc. With this in mind, a fund has been set up at Saraland Baptist Church in Saraland, Alabama where Yogi is Pastor. You can contribute to the Hannah Taylor Fund and have a real part in helping Yogi and Kelli provide the best possible care for Hannah. Below is a letter from the Chairman of Deacons at Saraland Baptist Church giving details as to how this can be done. Please join us in bringing glory to God by sacrificially giving to help Yogi, Kelli and Hannah in their time of need.
Most Sincerely in Christ,
Thad L. Key
Saraland Baptist Church has established the Hannah Taylor Fund to allow our members as well as friends of Yogi to contribute to the expenses this unfortunate cancer surgery has caused.
Contributions may be made to Saraland Baptist Church with the “for” line of the check reading “Hannah Taylor Fund.”
Our church’s mailing address is:
Saraland Baptist Church
P.O. Box 749
Saraland, Alabama 36571
The members of our church covet your prayers for our loved ones and praise Jesus for your sympathy in our Pastor’s time of need.
Autrey D. Key
Chairman of Deacons
Saraland Baptist Church
Many of you already know about baby Hannah and the tumor, but I would like to share how it all transpired, and give an update. The first thing I would like to do is thank all of you for your prayers, as well as your e-mails, phone calls, and blogs, which helped get the word out about our little girl! We ask you to please accept our gratitude for your prayers and support …1Thess. 1:2-4!
How we found out that our baby has a tumor…
Wednesday night Hannah’s fever was not going down with the normal Motrin or Tylenol and her diarrhea wasn’t getting any better. Kelli and I thought it best to take her to the ER. They ran many tests, such as blood work, a stool sample, a urine sample and X-Rays, but couldn’t determine what the problem was. The next morning we took Hannah to her Pediatrician, Dr. Harrell, where he told us that this was more than likely a viral infection. He then pulled out one of the X-Rays from the ER. He said that something completely unrelated came up on the X-Ray and showed us what it was. He said that it could be nothing, but might be something. He told us to go to Mobile Infirmary and get an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech told us to go back to Dr. Harrell’s office for the results. There in his office he told us that our little girl had a tumor. He said that he talked to an oncologist at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and they said we needed to admit Hannah right away! So we went home in tears, grabbed some clothes, made some calls, and drove to the hospital.
Hurry up and wait…
We have been in the ICU yesterday, last night, and all day today (Saturday). It is very painful seeing her with all these tubes in her and hearing her moan in pain! But we try to comfort her the best we can. She is doing great! I am so proud of her! She is so weak that instead of smiling at us when we say something to her, she has started doing a long blink. In fact she has been doing so well in her recovery that tonight they took her out of ICU and placed her back in our regular room. The only thing now is waiting for the results from pathology, running another CT scan, and praying for continued good recovery. We were told just hours ago that upon testing her stool they discovered that she has Salmonella, and this would be the cause of her diarrhea and fever to begin with. I have never been so thankful for Salmonella in all my life ! Here is picture of her in our room, Kelli is holding her.
She is tough, but tired and hurting! She is still running a fever but other than that she is doing very well. She will be mpo for a few days, which means no eating or drinking, because her bowels have temporary paralysis from the surgery. Because of that, she has an IV and she has an NG tube leading out of her nose from her tummy that drains the gastric juices in order to relieve the pressure. If all things go well we will be home in about 10 days! I will make frequent updates as we know more.
Many people have asked how they can help us. At this point, we just need your prayers. My concern is that many people will pray but then forget, however we are asking for your prayers for weeks to come! Please! Here is a prayer list…
Again we thank the many of you, some we have never met, who have prayed for our Hannah! God Bless you all!
“The righteous cry and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the LORD delivers him out of them all!”
I had the pleasure to find a resource that has continued to bless me. I am not sure that I would have bought it, but under some unique circumstances I found The MacArthur Bible Handbook. I’m about five years behind its publication date, and no doubt many have discovered this treasure. However, for those of you who have not, you might want to get a copy! I normally don’t read, or reference Bible handbooks. And even though this handbook is by John MacArthur, I still didn’t think much of it. I typically don’t pick up every book he writes.
But when I looked at this book it seemed promising. When I began using it in study, it became very profitable! I have been using it for about 4 or so months, especially when I use it to cover whole Letters & Epistles of the Bible. I did a study called Helicopter Tours, where we covered entire divisions of the Bible, and it was one of my primary sources! It gives details to places, people, and events. But mainly gives an overview. As most handbooks go, it covers the Bible book-by-book.
I can’t recommend it high enough. It will not replace commentaries (it’s a handbook) but it does offer a flavor that most commentaries don’t. When you are used to preaching verse by verse, phrase by phrase, and sometimes word by word, this is a resource that will help you communicate the bigger picture within the text. This is a great layman’s help, but is a great tool for pastors as well!
Grace to You has this for $24
CBD has it for $19.99
Amazon.com has it for $19.79
No matter where you pick it up, it is worth having near by for some good use!
I found this quote very encouraging and I hope that you will as well!
“Be much alone with God. Do not put Him off with a quarter of an hour morning and evening. Take time to get thoroughly acquainted. Converse over everything with Him. Unbosom yourself wholly – every thought, feeling, wish, plan, doubt, – to Him. He wants [to] converse with His creatures; shall His creatures not want [to] converse with Him? He wants, not merely to be on ‘good terms’ with you, if one may use man’s phrase, but to be intimate; shall you decline the intimacy, and be satisfied with mere acquaintance? What! intimate with the world, with friends, with neighbours, with politicians, with philosophers, with naturalists, or with poets; but not with God! That would look ill indeed. Folly, to prefer the clay to the potter, the marble to the sculptor, this little earth and its lesser creatures to the mighty Maker of the universe, the great ‘All and in all!’”
Edwards, Jonathan Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol.16; New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998), 789-790.