Sunday, February 5, 2012

Four months later

 In case you haven't noticed, Calli's hair is coming in :)  It is curling now too!  It is however, a totally different color!  It is an ashy blond now, whereas before it was a golden dirty blond.  When it was first coming in, it was GREY!  Now, just four months later, Calli who was bald, has hair.
Many people have asked if she is still on chemotherapy, and the answer is YES.  The two chemotherapy agents she is on, do not make you lose your hair.  She actually lost her hair from brain radiation!  That is also the reason that her hair changed color; you see, the follicle actually dies!  There was a chance that her hair would NEVER come back...but Mike and I always hoped for the best.  It is still thin on the top, but each week more and more hairs sprout up there.

So...yes, Calli gets chemotherapy once, every other week, and then  a second double chemotherapy each day for 5 days on the fourth week. She is holding up, very very tired, but strong.

Aidan, Josh, Master Cashatt, and Brianna

Doing Won Hyo Pattern






In four months, Aidan has gained confidence and sparring skills- he is determined and strong.  Aidan did very well in the tournament in January.  He placed first in his division for his pattern, then placed first for his ring- and battled two other guys for the "Best of the Best" title for the day for patterns.  He did so well and got second place in the Best of the Best contest.

Aidan also sparred and won the first match, tied the second, won the third and got first place!  He sparred BIG kids, and a black stripe- which is almost a black belt!  We are very proud of his attitude that day, and of his perseverance.

Grandmom, Calli and Grandpop- 1999
 The past few weeks have been so hectic, so emotional, so raw.  Linda, Mike's mom, went from The Birches, an assisted living community, back to the hospital.  She had to have a rod put in her other femur/hip before it broke- from the cancer.  She has been through so much.  The last two weeks, we have seen her go downhill, and several more scans have been done, and the cancer has spread like wildfire throughout her body.  It is heartbreaking, sad, and traumatic to see this all happening.  She will be moving Tuesday to a nursing home, under the care of hospice.

This is the strong-willed, vivacious, caring and strong grandmother that we know, that helped us whenever we needed it, this is the strong woman and wife that cared for her own husband as cancer ripped thru his body, and saw him move on to Heaven...this is the strong, loving  niece that cared for both of her elderly aunts in her own home, until they passed on to be with the Lord...this is the strong daughter that opened her home again to her own elderly mother and cared for her she herself could not stand.

Here we are just four months after Linda found out she had a cancer that was "contained and stage 1" ....Just four months later, it has invaded every inch of her body, every bone, her stomach, her lungs, and now her brain.... there are days she cannot hold a conversation at all there are days she cannot keep her eyes open,  at times, she twitches, and moans and writhes in pain...Four months later, she is unrecognizable as the strong, independent, stubborn, caring mom, Grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt, cousin, friend and woman that we all know her to be.

It is very difficult for Calli and Aidan, to see this happening and so quickly-.  For Mike, Jeff and Chris...they lost their dad at only 58, and are now facing losing their mom- she is only 63.  So many emotions are running wild, and we all need God to help us, to give us peace and understanding, wisdom, patience and self control,  It is easy to turn on each other, to take offense, to offend... when we are vulnerable, hurting, and raw.

Last week, Calli did not want to go and see Linda, she was just so different and frail, and Aidan  could not look at her, or talk to her, it just hurt too too much.  He is so angry, and hurt and confused.  So the last 3 times I have visited her alone.  This morning, Calli said,  "Mom, can we go to Grandmom's house today and get a few of the story books?  I always loved when Grandmom read to us and she always loved when I read to her, I want to see her in the hospital and read them to her- also can you give her this picture?"  It was the picture above, of Linda, Calli and Mark. 

So tonight, we went to see Linda, and she looked so well compared to Thursday, she was awake and in her wheelchair and was able to hold a conversation with us.  It was really good for Aidan to see Grandmom awake and smiling.  Calli jumped up in her bed and read her the storybooks that she had read to Calli so many times :)  It was good and comforting.

Please pray for Mike and Jeff and Chris, please pray for our precious children: Calli, Aidan, Amanda, Alyssa, Zack, Kayla and Tiffany....our hearts are breaking, longing for normalcy, longing for a familiar smile, longing to see Mom, Linda, Grandmom, whole again, in peace, and pain free.


  1. Will be praying for you all. I am sure it is hard to see Linda like that. It was hard for me and I am not related. I remember Linda's smile from when I would see her at Blooming Glen Sunday mornings as I was growing up. THanks for the updates.

  2. Linda looks so happy and cheerful with Calli reading to her :)
    She is a strong woman and is in Gods hands.
    Calli's hair IS growing and she is adorable too- always has been! <3
    Aidan, I pick him for my team! :D

    For the entire Derstine family- stay close to each other, accept what life gives you in peace, love each other unconditionally. If you do those 3 things you'll all be fine and happy too - even through the tears.
    Love the pic of Mark, Linda and Calli- it is a tresure. Thanks Calli for finding and sharing.

  3. I am so sad about Mrs. Derstine. Every day I pray and ask Jesus to please heal her and do a miracle. I love her very much.

    Congratulations to Aiden on his great achievement. I think he is magnificent.


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