Joel will officially be checking into the hospital on Monday for his first day of chemo. The way I feel about this is the same way I have felt about many parts of this journey. You push & push to get all of your ducks in a row & are sometimes frustrated with how long it's taking. Then, once it is finally here you don't want it to be here. Once it is all said & done we will have stayed 22 weeks in the hospital with 9 return trips to Houston. I remember after Joel's surgery when we stayed in the hospital for a week. I remember how difficult & challenging that week was. I cannot imagine doing that 22 more times. We are under no false pretenses that this is going to be a cake walk. BUT that being said, even though there will be many difficult moments in the next year we know there will be many incredible ones as well. We know that when times are dark that is when our Saviors light will shine the brightest. We know that the testing of our faith will produce unshakable strength in us. We know that as a couple these will be some of the most difficult times but also some of the sweetest as well. It will challenge us physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially-just about every way we can be challenged. I will not lie & say that given a choice of an easier route we wouldn't have preferred it but this is the road we are on. And we will walk it together & I believe that we will be better for it. We made the decision to go ahead & shave Joel's head tonight. It's kind of mental thing. We didn't want to have to watch Joel's hair come out in clumps. To us, thats watching cancer win a little. So we are taking the joy away from the cancer & making our own hair decisions :) Still the moment was a little difficult. I just had to tell myself-he will have hair again in a year.

Joel's schedule will be a full week of chemo in the hospital then 2 weeks of recovery at home. Every 6 weeks we will fly back to Houston. I will take off the entire week that Joel does his chemo, as well as go with him on the return trips to Houston. When I am not with him I will be working. We are both so thankful to work for a company & co-workers that have supported us & allowed us to concentrate on the most important thing in our life right now-Joel's full recovery.

Please keep Joel & I both in your prayers. For Joel to move through the chemo with no bad symptoms or reactions to the medicines. For him to be able to be strong physically & mentally. And prayers for me as his caretaker. For me to have an extreme amount of grace & strength. For me to stay healthy & strong to take care of my husband. For us both to not allow the circumstances to overwhelm us but strengthen us.

Thank you so much for checking in on us. I will continue to blog through the entire chemo process throughout the next year. We thank you for your continual support & encouragement to us.