Week #2 of Chemo (Emily Whiting: Update #12)


Here is an update on Emily. If this is all new to you – there are a list of links to all the updates at the bottom of this post.

  • Emily had a great time in Rochester and at Passion. We still are praising God that He allowed her to go (with high enough blood counts and a chemo calendar that fit perfectly with her being home for Christmas and able to travel a week later).
  • Someone at Passion heard about Emily and they went out of their way to care for her. They took her backstage and prayed for her, let her into the arena early instead of waiting outside in the cold, let her save seats for her two sisters and four other friends, paid for two Ubers to take her back to her hotel, and even Louie Giglio mentioned her during his message. They gave her water to help keep her hydrated and snacks to keep her eating. We are thankful they spoiled her a bit, and she loved the worship and teaching she heard.
  • Ali called us Tuesday during Passion to tell us Emily’s hair was falling out fast. So we decided to get to Rochester to be there with her when she cut it off. Sue arrived in town just in time to be there with Emily. It was a surprise. Emily didn’t know she was coming. You can see that 11-second video HERE (not sure a video can make me smile, laugh then cry all in 11 seconds, but that video does). I arrived in Rochester Thursday night to surprise Emily.
  • We were able to spend the weekend with old friends and at Northridge Church. On Sunday, we were able to see Ali’s campus (Henrietta) and Morgan was asked to sing at the Irondequoit campus. What a great weekend for us! (And bonus – I was able to take their boyfriends to breakfast 1-on-1 and get to know them a bit better.)
  • Cory, Morgan’s boyfriend, came down to Houston with us. He had Ewing Sarcoma about three years ago (how crazy is that?). The chemo treatment is very similar to Emily’s. His parents offered to send him down so he can hang out with Emily (oh… and Morgan) this week. On Monday, he took Emily to lunch – just the two of them –  to share what he learned through his cancer and treatment, and he shared what he would do differently if he had to do it over. We are thankful he is here and thankful
    for his parents who sent him down to hang out with our family. Both Sue and I wish we could trade places with Emily, but only Cory knows what that feels like.
  • Today (Tuesday), it was appointments all day and chemo begins tonight. After meeting with the oncologist, we had nothing to do for four hours. That isn’t enough time to make it worth driving home and back – so we walked to the Houston zoo. One day a month, it is free and that day was today (Thank you, Lord). It was about a mile walk and we were able to take a hospital wheelchair so Emily didn’t have to crutch it all the way there.
  • We checked in at about 7:30 PM and around midnight, they will put the chemo into her body. That will only last one day and then they will spend 3 to 5 days flushing it out of her system. The sooner it gets out of her system, the sooner she can go home. This is supposed to be a milder form of chemo than the first. We are praying that is true. Week one was a tough one.
  • This week, Sue will stay in the room with Emily each night. Morgan, Cory and I will head back home each night. They allow one person to stay in the room overnight. Last time, I stayed in an apartment nearby. Since there are three of us – we will head home each night.


How can you pray? Here are some long-term and short-term prayers for this week:

Our long-term requests are the same:

  • That God would be glorified in and through Emily and her Osteosarcoma, and that we all would submit to His glory being our priority.
  • That Emily and our entire family would grow through this (we believe God is always out for our good – which ultimately is to become more like Jesus).
  • That God would heal Emily and she would live a full, long life serving and pleasing Him.
  • That Emily (and all of us) would have peace and joy. This did not take God by surprise and He is for us.
  • That we would be sensitive to how God wants to use this in all of our lives.
  • That the cancer has not spread at all. And that the surgery would be successful in removing all the cancer.

Our short-term requests include the following:

  • Could you pray Romans 15:13 for Emily this week? “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Pray that the chemo with flush out of her body quickly. She would LOVE to go home Friday and only spend three nights in the hospital.
  • Pray that the chemo would be potent in killing cancer and weak in its side effects. Emily was miserable during week #1, but she didn’t throw up. She would love to not throw up this week.
  • This particular med causes painful mouth sours. There is some prevention she can do. Pray that her mouth sores are managable.
  • Pray that Cory will continue to be an encouragement to Emily this week, and thank God he was able to visit.
  • I had someone create some wood-framed sayings that I wanted to use to help Emily focus on during each of her chemo weeks. One is a verse that she can embrace. The other contains three words that our family focused on during our transition to Houston. I thought they were still three good words to focus on through cancer. (Since Christ is always a good focus.) So could you pray for both of these to be true for Emily this week?
    • Pray for Psalm 145:18 – That the Lord would be near to Emily
    • Pray for Emily to have courage, be kind, and focus on Christ

Sometimes, today, we felt like this… just waiting around for something to happen…

  1. Thank you once again for such an amazing update… My prayers are with you and you seek God’s wonderful Grace, Glory and Power.

  2. So glad that Cory has been able to be there with you all and able to share with Emily from his perspective of similar circumstances. We also cannot say that we can fully understand what facing cancer is like for Cory & Emily, but we can certainly empathize with you & Sue, watching your child go through chemo, surgery, and uncertainty of what is to come & wishing that you could just take their place. However, Matt & I just like Cory, now can look back & testify that God was & is always good and so many good things came from that time of our lives that would not have happened if God had not allowed us to go through that storm. Wish we lived closer so we could be of more support. Emily has the most important things to get her through this season of her life: Strong faith, close & supportive family and friends, the best medical care (we actually considered MD Anderson as a possibility when Cory was 1st diagnosed). Here’s some advice we would give you & Sue: Treat Emily as normal as possible & allow her to do as much of her normal activities as she is able to (so glad she got to go to DC & NY). Don’t take it personal when she is grumpy or not talkative (like during chemo & just prior to surgery). Encourage visits from friends who will do normal things with her or just sit & watch movies (Cory & I did lots binge watching in the hospital… old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Lost & Friday Night Lights). Let Emily voice her questions & concerns with the oncologist before you ask any that she doesn’t think of (I was really bad about that one). This is an age where they are craving to be independent & cancer makes that hard for both the parents & child. Be good about accepting help (physical, emotional & financial)…another one that sounds a lot easier than it is when you’re used to be the one giving the help. Allow people to make meals, clean your house, run chores, visit with Emily to allow both you & her a break….it is a blessing for them to be able to help in some way, as well as the 2 of you. Also don’t forget to take time for each other (date night) & your other children who are also dealing with emotions. Get to know your caregivers (nurses, doctors, other parents on the pediatric floor…some will become life long friends). Many of the nurses are on Facebook & love to watch what God is doing in your family’s life during & after treatments. Spend quality time with the family. Plan day trips or weekends away if she’s up to it and enjoy every moment of this time. And please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to help you guys! Prayers, hugs & blessings to you all! Matt & Michele Owens

    • Thanks so much! We appreciate the advice, and we are thankful you had Cory come down here. He was a great blessing to Emily and our entire family.

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