Friday, November 30, 2007

Proposed surgery

Hello Deqlans Army

Well, we met with Prof Beale today and got along very well with him. He seems very down to earth, honest, willing to answer all our questions and hear our concerns re previous surgeries.

He has consulted with his team of surgeons and his oncology department at Morningside Clinic, and they would agree that to remove doubt and to give us peace of mind, they would recommend they remove the residual tumor.

The date in mind is 11 Dec - he said it would be better to wait weeks, rather then months or years to do the procedure. It will be done by laporotomy, the abdominal cut , and not laparoscopy , the smaller cut with the camera.

He thinks it should be a relative simple procedure , as its small in size and not attached to any arteries, veins etc. The procedure should take around 45 minutes, and a bone marrow aspiration will be done at the same time. The residual tumor will be sent away to be examined and to check that hopefully, please Dear Lord, the cells are dead and mature . Possible radiation to the area might also be considered, but we will know more about that once Prof Beale has has a look inside.

We will probably be in the hospital for 3 or 4 days, and hopefully this will all be enough time for Deqlan to recover for Christmas!

Mark and I have provisionally booked the date and shall take the weekend to think about this very carefully and we ask that you pray very hard for us to make the right decision, FOR DEQLAN.

Wanted to also say thanks so much to Kathy and Vicky for the BEAUTIFUL angel Mobiles you lovingly had made for Deqlan! They are gorgeous and so special and meaningful, especially at this time of the year and to show that there are lots of angels watching over our soldier, thank you so so much and we hope you have a very Blessed Christmas and fantastic New Year

Have a wonderful weekend and please continue to pray very hard for our guidance and our soldier total and permanent healing

SACRED HEART OF JESUS WE PLACE OUR TRUST IN THEE ALL FOR THEE OH LORD OH MY JESUS ALL FOR THEE

All Our Love, God Bless
Mark, Samm & Deqlan

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FROM ONE MOTHER TO ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY MOTHER

My Darling Samm,

As you and Mark consider all the pro's and con's regarding the suggested surgery to completely remove our precious Deqlan's residual tumour, my prayer for you both is that you are guided ONLY by God's word, which you will find beautifully described and indicated in the Bible. Herein you will find ALL HIS PROMISES TO YOU, so read and reread HIS word until you have your answer.

The following tribute (by Erma Bombeck) is intended as "food for thought" and to remind you how special God knows you are and why YOU will make the best decision for Deqlan, My Treasured and Precious Samm:


THE CHOSEN MOTHERS

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become a mother by accident, some by choice and a few by habit. Did you ever wonder how mother's of children with life-threatening illness are chosen ? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger :

"To Armstrong, Beth, a son, patron saint Matthew,
To Forrest, Marjorie, a daughter, patron saint Cecilia,
To Rutledge, Carrie, twins, patron saint Gerard"

Finally, He passes a name to an angel and says,
"Give her a child with cancer"
The Angel is curious and asks "Why this one, God? She's so happy"

"Exactly", smiles God, "Could I give a child with cancer to a mother who does not know laughter ? That would be cruel"

"But does she have patience ?" asks the Angel,
"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wears off, she will handle it. I watcher her today" said God.
"She has that feeling of self-independence that is so rare and necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has its own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not going to be easy".
....................................

Yes, here is the woman I will BLESS with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. SHE WILL NEVER TAKE ANYTHING HER CHILD DOES FOR GRANTED. SHE WILL NEVER CONSIDER A SINGLE STEP ORDINARY. I WILL PERMIT HER TO SEE CLEARLY THE THINGS IS SEE .... IGNORANCE, CRUELTY, PREJUDICE.... AND ALLOW HER TO RISE ABOVE THEM"

"And what about her patron saint ?" asks the angel, his pen poised in mid-air.

God smiles and says ...........

"A MIRROR WILL SUFFICE"




My prayer is that you tackle this difficult decision with confidence, intuition, diligence, grace but above all, with COMPLETE RELIANCE ON GOD'S GUIDANCE. Together you and Mark WILL come to the right decision. "For I know the plans I have to you, Plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11.

With all my love,
Mom and Nanna to Deqlan

Some news and photos









































































































































Hi Deqlans Army
Mark has just spoken to Dr De Jager and Prof Beale. After consulting with his team of surgeons Prof Beale feels that it would be advisable to rather remove the tumor to remove any doubt of it waking up.
We are going to meet with him on Friday to discuss all options and suggestions and shall then take it from there.

Please can I ask you all to pray for clarity , for guidance and above all for Our Lord to lead us to make the correct decision. Mark and I are terrified and petrified of Deqlan having surgery after all the he went through at Kloof. We know that this is a different Doc and at a different hospital that has come highly recommended , but most of all, we know that God has Deqlan is his healing hands. We are praying that they can do a laparoscopy , a smaller incision, compared to what he has already had - three laparotomies..we are praying is small enough and in the best position to do the less invasive operation.


Preparing all our questions and continue to pray and ask Our Lord for his continued guidance and protection over Deqlan.

Attached please see new photos from our Christmas presents for the CHOC Christmas party and the handover of our CHOC boxes to Kalagong hospital

God Bless and please pray for our little soldier and for us as his parents to make the right decisions

SACRED HEART OF JESUS I PLACE MY TRUST IN THEE , ALL FOR THEE OH LORD, OH MY JESUS ALL FOR THEE
All our Love

Mark, Samm & Deqlan

Monday, November 26, 2007

Please visit these sites

Hello All

still no news from the doctors...i continue to be patient and remember the words IN GODS TIME

our little soldier is officially walking EVERYWHERE! im still a little concerned ove the areas of tiled floor as he still falls now and then and we are trying to protect him from bumping hs beautiful head, especially his left eye area, as the bone is still soft and remoulding

tried to past the video of our soldiers brave and very proud walk around his room but the blog doesnt accept the type of programme we used!

Meggie went to make a very special delivery to CHOC this afternoon. Between Grandpa and Nanna, Megs and Conrad, Mark and myself, we lovingly helped with some Christmas presents for the upcoming CHOC party this Sunday. Meggy meet Yolandie to hand over and she was so grateful and thankful. Yolandie herself, is fighting Cancer of the uterus and just finished a chemo session, which didnt leave her feeling well at all. We ask for all your prayers for this amazing family and lady.

We are hoping to attend the Christmas party, weather depending - we hear that it is out in the open and we can all take picnic blankets and have our own little picnic as a family! We are all in the same boat with children with little or no immune systems, so we know no one would take the chance of coming if a family member is sick. So hoping to arrange that as an outing for our busy soldier!

please visit the following new sites ( links pasted on our blog to the left)
BAND OF PARENTS
We are parents of children diagnosed with a cancer called neuroblastoma who want to help further the research and drug development desperately needed to save more children. Neuroblastoma is an “orphan” cancer; pharmaceutical companies are not developing new treatments because there is not a large enough patient base to make development profitable. Funding from the government is similarly limited. Time is running out for many of our children -- money stands between them and a cure.As parents, we have banded together to increase public awareness about neuroblastoma and to raise funds for the development of novel therapies. We are working in partnership with a talented and dedicated team of doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) who are fighting to save our children from this deadly disease.

LUNCH FOR LIFE
My name is Mark Dungan but, perhaps, I am better known as "Daddy" to a beautiful 6 year old little girl. Sydney, my daughter, was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma in June of 2003. She continues her struggle but serves as a constant reminder of how strong and resilient our little children are. Although she has received over 8 rounds of high dose induction chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, a stem cell transplant, 12 rounds of radiation and years and years of painful immunotherapy and maintenance chemotherapy there is no guarantee that she will survive. Neuroblastoma is an extremely difficult cancer to beat and she, like thousands of others, fight this battle with little guarantee of a future.

It was her inspiration and others that led hundreds of families to unite to try and fund the cure. We started "Lunch for Life" in an effort to save our children and the thousands that will follow. The concept is simple. We are asking everyone in the world to give up lunch for one day and donate the money to research. All funds raised through "Lunch for Life" go directly to neuroblastoma. It is an easy price to pay and, if we can get enough of the world to take a stand against childhood cancer, thousands and thousands of lives will be saved.

Please help us change the world. It is just one lunch out of your life and it will be the very gift that provides thousands of children with just that -- Life! Please donate your lunch money to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation and help us eradicate this monster. Give up a lunch. Spread the word. We will save lives.

Sincerely,
MARK

PLEASE DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO HELP RAISE THE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS, EVEN IF ITS JUST PASSING THE INFORMATION ON - IT SO IMPORTANT THAT WE CONTINUE TO RAISE AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING AND FUNDS TO FIND A CURE FOR OUR CHILDREN!

Have a stunning evening
God Blessings and you all, please continue to pray for our friends fighting Nb and other cancers
Lots of love
Mark, Samm & Deqlan

Sunday, November 25, 2007

25 November 2007

Today marks exactly 6 months ago that Deqlan was diagnosed with stage 4s neuroblastoma

I cant believe that is has already been 6 months and i cant believe what a turn around our soldier has made. Our Lord has listened to, and granted our prayers and performed absolute miracles not only in Deqlan and our lives , but many others.

We are so proud of you my boy - you have tought us, and continue to teach us new things each day. The most important being our Faith and Trust and Hope in Our Healing Lord. Never give up hope, always look to The Lord for guidance, and protection, strength and courage. The things that we worried about before, are of little or no importance and not worth getting upset about. You have tought me a love I have never known - a love so deep - that it completely breaks my heart when you bump your head, let alone go through 3 surgeries. Our Healing Lord, Family and friends are our rocks and support and without them , we would not be able to remain so positive and focused. I dont know of anyone, nor will i meet anyone , that has the strength and courage you do - you blow me away with your smiles, and kisses and cuddles, and there is not better feeling in the world then having you in my arms. We love you our beautiful soldier - we are SO SO proud of you , you are our hero and inspiration and we promised to always be by your side and to continue fighting against this enemy with you. With Our Lord, you are victorious! We love you with our all and everything , Dada and Mama

Our little soldier continues to run around - he cant seem to go fast enough - especially when he hears or see's something that excites him! Big cook, little cook definitely gets Deqlan running to the tv, from wherever in the house he is, as well as the sound of the washing machine about to be loaded. He is definitely getting braver by the day and walks more and more without our hands and he seems to enjoy 'sneaking' a longer walk in when he thinks we not watching - Mark and I gleam with joy and pride when we peak around the corners to see him taking his 'giant steps for mankind'

Deqlans hair continues to grow beautifully, still very light , but more each day! We weighed our tough little guy on Friday and discovered he is up to 11kg, which i am so thrilled about. We are tasting more new foods and Deqlan is becoming more adventurous with textures, but he definitely still has his firm favourites - apple juice, cheese, chocolate, bread, peanut butter,chicken, pumpkin, milkshakes, chips, and some times even broccoli and cauli flower.

Nanna, Meggy and I went to watch the nativity play at our church last night, and it was so moving - all three of us where in tears as the first word of the first Christmas carol was sung - it was so moving - so special, and I cant wait to see Deqlan as part of the nativity play in the very near future.

We then attended mass and got terrible news, that one of the congregation, Frank, had a terrible car accident last week , and is in ICU with possible brain damage - he has three beautiful boys - we ask you all to please pray for Franks recovery and for strength for their family.

Happy Birthday Gaynor ! Hope you have a stunning day and a fantastic year ahead - may all your dreams turn into a reality!

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US - we hope you have a lovely celebration with your families, and as our friend Karen said, we hope so much to be celebrating this year and so much to be thankful for.

Today, also marks 1 month to Christmas! How exciting - for the first year ever, i have already started my Christmas shopping and have so many ideas - but this year , the emphasis is not on actual presents - the present this year and always will be, Deqlan and his health - our family and friends and loved ones - i an trying to put a lot of thought into the gifts i am putting together and thats the present i feel, not much or how big. The biggest gift anyone could recieve, is to know Our Lord and realising the enormity of the gift He gave us, His only Son, Jesus, that died for us , so we may live.

Have a stunning week , hoping to give you all more news on the possible sugery or not during this week.

Have a stunning week and be thankful for each other , and appreciate each moment you have together with your families, friends and loved ones.

EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE
MARK 9;23

God Bless
All our love
Mark , Samm and Deqlan

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thank you

Hello All

Just a quick update to let you know we havent heard anything re surgery as yet - Doctor De Jager says he will call Prof Beale on Monday to find out , so promise to let you know as soon as we know! Patience, patience, In Gods time not mine..

Deqlan is doing great , running around ,eating very well - Nanna has discovered Deqlan loves grated cheese and he so so chuffed he can eat it all by himself - he cant get the cheese in fast enough!

A HUGE thank you to Chris Knott and family and Naas and Ina Pieters for your HUGE Donation towards our CHOC project - thank you a thousand times over for opening your hearts and being so generous and giving for these needy CHOC families - you have made a huge difference to many many famillies, thank you very much!

Hope you all have a great weekend and hope to be in touch on Monday
God Bless and all our love
Mark, Samm & Deqlan

EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE! MARK 9:23

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A long awaited update




































































































































































































































































































































Hello Deqlans army
Hope you are very well!

Thank you for the stunning Birthday wishes - i had the best Birthday ever and I recieved the best gifts ever - Deqlan and his health!I couldnt ask for anything more!

I had a spectacular day - it started off with Mark and Deqlan waking me up with pressies and hugs and balloons and streamers and oreos - yes oreos! I was spoilt rotten with cds and dvds of two of my favourite artists - Cold Play and Corine Baley Rae.
We then arrived at Nannas house where Nanna and Meggy greated us with Happy Birthday to me! The table was decorated beautiful with balloons and streamers delicous cake,cards and presents! I was given the most stunning and meaningful gifts , including a beautiful Bible from my Mom and Derek, with book marks with all the versus that have been with us on this journey - like - I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU DECLARES THE LORD and - EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE. I was also spoilt with an appointment at the hair dresser and vouchers to go shopping! Meggy also spoilt me rotten with gorgeous sunglasses, pjs and a cd that means so much to me - snow patrol - chasing cars - this song reminds me so much of Deqlan when he was having all of his ops at Kloof - and the words - IF I LAY HERE, IF I JUST LAY HERE, WOULD YOU LIE WITH ME AND JUST FORGET THE WORLD - thats all i wanted to do - just be with Deqlan and forget about all the stress and worry around us.
We where then wizzed off to Irene Dairy Farm for the most unforgettable surprise breakfast! Meggy and Nanna had made special arrangements for us to sit at an outside table in the corner away from everyone else and away from smoke or children -to make it possible for Deqlan to also be with us! He was in his element being in the open watching and hearing the cows - he had an absolute Ball and it was an amazing feeling that all of us could be out together on this very very special day!
I was then dropped off at the hair dresser and decided to cut A LOT of my hair off for a change and a new start! She wouldnt cut it as short as i asked for but its on my soldiers now much lighter to in this heat!


We then came home for a little rest and to pack the bags for our next stop, My Gran , Great Nanna - I am priviliged and honored to share my Birthday with hers! I havent seen her in 6 months as we feared Deqlan or I picking up a bug at the old age home. We made special arrangements to meet Nan and Grandpa outside in the garden away from people . Nan was in here element to say the least- she was so taken with Deqlan and continued to say how big he had grown. Nan laughed and laughed at Deqlan and all the expressions on his face . Was lovely to see Nan and to spend some time with her - she was so appreciative of all the gifts - no matter how little or large - she loved every single one of them. I thank Our Lord every day that I still have both my grand parents and that Deqlan still has both his Great Grandparents! Cant wait for Nan and Grandpa to meet Keaton, their second great grandchild in Feb!
We returned to let Deqlan have a little nap - he hasnt been out and about in 6 months so was tired from all the excitement! We then went home and I was told that Mark would be taking me out for dinner and Meggy would be watching our soldier for an hour or so. As we got to Meggys house I was greated by a surprise Birthday party that Mark had arranged with Megs and Conrad, Nanna and Grandpa and Great Grandpa - what a HUGE surprise! We had a lovely braai and i was totally blown away at how they kept this such big surprise from me. Thank you to you all for the most stunning Birthday I could have ever imagined - I love you all so so very much!
Deqlan had us in stitches of laughter - he was amazed at my mom pretending to be a blue police light - those of you who have seen the Leon Schuster you must be joking movies might know what i am speaking about - well Nanna kept Deqlan laughing for about 20 minutes ! It was wonderful to watch!


Then on Saturday we went to CHOC to hand over our CHOC Boxes to Yolandie at the Pretoria House. She was delighted at the amount of boxes and the beautiful stickers that Dada and Nanna created for the top of the boxes, to wish each Family a Merry Christmas from us all! We walked through the house and where delighted to see how beautifully it was done - three seperate family rooms, a dining room area, bathrooms, kitchen, laundry area, tv room and a lovely big pool and garden area to play in at the back of the house.We where amazed to see the amount of groceries collected from the CHOC Wizards bike run - the packets covered the entire Kitchen floor - wow - we where so delighted and so excited - thank you again to Elriza and Jo and all at Wizards - what a succesful day and how kind and generous you all are. Yolandie is so grateful and thanks you all for your donations and huge help in putting this project together. Especially to you Megs, for asking what you could do to help and putting this huge project together and for so succesfully finishing it off - i am so proud of you and i know Keaton is going to inherit your huge heart and generosity. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this for Deqlan and all the other families who desperately need our help - they are going to have the best Christmas ever!

Afterwards, My Dear Husband took my shopping for my Birthday and i was spoilt by choosing some lovely clothes that i cant wait to wear! Thank you my love you spoil me rotten, thanks for an unforgettable Birthday !

Our little soldier is doing great - his hair is growing by the day- gorgeous blonde and curling slightly - cant wait to see him with a full head of hair - he has never had one. He seems to be teething again and pulling on his ear - the two definitely go together so we will just watch him carefully. His appetite is great and we see lots more colour in his beautiful cheeks. Deqlan is keeping us all very busy as he doesnt want to sit still for to long - he just wants to walk and explore and discover! And he is growing taller ! So wonderful to see Deqlan thriving it really is - thank you Dear Lord for the greatest gift of Deqlan and for the mircales you have performed in him, around him , through him and all the miracles to still come!
We went to collect the pack of scans, letters, information, tests etc from Doctor De Jager on Saturday, that he had prepared for the surgeon to review. I took it through to Morningside hospital yesterday and expect to hear from the Doctors by today or tommorow re surgery or not - the measurements are smaller then what we thought - the remainder of the tumor is 1.16 cm by 2.48 cm according to these enlarged scans so thats great news, and I continue to Praise and Thank Our Lord for this each moment i possibly can.We are a bit anxious to hear what they suggest and ask you for your prayers that together with the doctors we make the right decision.

Enjoy the photos of the past few days, let us know how all of you are and please continue to pray for all of our friends battling neuroblastoma and other cancers


We got great news from our friend Keira - her port has been taken out and she did great! What wonderful news!

Even more good news, our dear friend Ruan , with leukimia, had a bone marrow aspiration done last week and its now totally clear! He had 98% involvement when first diagnosed - so another miracle right in front of us, thank You Dear Lord!


Scared Heart of Jesus we place our trust in Thee, all for Thee Oh Lord, Oh My Jesus all for Thee!

God Bless and lots of love and hope and Blessings
Mark , Samm & Deqlan

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR PRECIOUS SAMM

We wish you a most blessed and gloriously Happy 29th birthday for 16th November 2007, darling Samm.

The Great Lord, Healer and Physician has provided you with a very special birthday present this year in the form of the miracle of our Deqlan's healing. It is a precious and priceless gift from Him because He loves you so very much darling Samm and "knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

May your very special day be truly memorable as you deserve only the very best in life. You are an extraordinary and exceptional woman on every level and are a true inspiration to your family. We are indeed honoured and privileged to be your parents.

May all the days of your life be abundantly blessed with great health, immeasurable happiness, peace, joy, success, prosperity, but above all, LOVE. May God bless you and forever hold you in the palm of His hand, enfold you with His peace, embrace you with His joy and envelope you with His love.

CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!!

ALL OUR LOVE,

MOM AND DEE

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Mia!

Happy 6th Birthday Mia! And many many more!
We hope you have a stunning Birthday!
Wish we could be there with you to celebrate!
6 Means you are such a big girl and you are going to be the best big sister in the world! Give your Mom and Dad hugs and kisses from us!
Lots and lots and lots of love! We miss you
Mark, Samm, Deqlan and Logs
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wizards/CHOC Biker rally





































Yolandie and Miluska!











































The Yolandie's from CHOC
We where totally blown away as we arrived at Route 66 at Hartebeespoort Dam for the Wizards/CHOC Biker rally - inspired by our soldier Deqlan!
We where totally over whelmed at the huge turn out - each Biker had to bring food/toiletries etc or pay a donation as entrance fee and I must say every biker i saw had a packet in their hands with numerous goodies in ! They also sold badges - they had 200 made and within 1 hour of the rally starting they where old sold out and people where begging for more!
The master of ceremonies did a quick speech to thank everyone for coming and then he gave a quik run down on Deqlan and mentioned that he was the inspiration for the rally. He then very proudly anounced that our scans on Thursday showed that no cancer cells lit up! He then asked us to say a few words and I just thanked everyone for coming and expressed my sincere thanks for them not only helping Deqlan but numerous other CHOC families in need. I then said that I hoped they would all get the oppurtunity one day to meet our brave soldier!
Thank you to Elriza and Jo and all at Wizards and Route 66 for arranging this - it was a fantastic day and hoping the donations kept pouring in for our friends at CHOC! We are amazed at the love and effort put into this day and cant wait to attend the next one! You are such amazing people and we are so grateful to have you on this journey with this and the families of CHOC, thank you!
Have a stunning evening everyone! Please let us know how you are!
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE
MARK 9:23
God Bless , and all our love
Mark, Samm & Deqlan