Five Treatments to Go (Emily Whiting Update #25: 7/25/18)

Last week I had asked you to pray that Emily would be able to go through 3 treatments in a row. Since so many of you have told me you are praying for that specifically, I thought I’d update you more often in this 3-week run.

What Has Happened Since Our Last Update:

  • Last Tuesday, Emily needed a blood transfusion before she could receive her chemo. Her numbers were too low. That wasn’t a good start to a chemo week.
  • Before starting chemo, Emily was able to spend a couple of hours with Logan and her mom. Logan lives about 20 minutes from us and has gone through the exact same cancer treatments about nine months ahead of Emily. She was coming in for her 3-month check up.
  • She finally got in her room at 3:30 PM and went through 8 hours of fluids before chemo began.
  • On Wednesday, Emily slept all day because of her meds. She wakes up to go to the bathroom and falls back asleep. The first day after chemo is always the worst. She feels nauseous and terrible in a way that is impossible to describe. It is painful to watch as her parents.
  • Friday, she just felt “off” but took a couple of long walks and was able to eat.
  • Friday night, Morgan stayed with Emily – so that Sue and I could head home and get some things done. I had to fly out Saturday to work with a pastor in Detroit on Sunday.
  • On Saturday, she was finally discharged at 6:00 PM! It was her third methotrexate treatment in a row that was five days (instead of the typical six).
  • Before getting discharged, she needed another blood transfusion. That helps explain why she was feeling pretty badly all the way through her stay. Typically, the last day or two, she feels somewhat “normal.”
  • Many of you have been praying that Emily would be able to go through three weeks of chemo in a row. The good news is this treatment was only delayed one day. Instead of starting Tuesday, she will begin treatment tonight (Wednesday). It was delayed one day because of her need for blood transfusions. They want to keep moving but wanted to give her body another 24 hours to recover.

What’s Next:

  • Emily had to be at the hospital at 7:45 AM for lab tests (to be sure her blood count was ok). Then she met with the oncologist at 9:00 AM. Emily has one mouth ulcer on her tongue. They almost postponed chemo as they don’t like to start with ulcers, but they let Emily choose, and she decided to go ahead with the treatment. She is tired of delays.
  • So she is going through her 8 hours of fluids now. We anticipate chemo will begin sometime after midnight tonight.

What you could pray for:

Our recent praises:

  • We are thankful that Emily was able to start this round with only a 1-day delay.
  • We are thankful that Morgan was offered a job at Second Baptist (where she is doing her internship). They would like her to finish college online and work for the church. Whether or not she accepts the job, we are thankful for the option, and for a daughter who has made such a positive impression on such a great church!
  • We are thankful that Emily was admitted to the pediatric wing. One time she was in the adult section and it wasn’t a positive experience. But the peds wing is often full, so we always are praying that she can get in the peds wing. Thankfully, she is!
  • We are SO thankful for that she has some of her favorite nurses and her favorite Doctor is on call this week (their pictures below)
  • We continue to thank God for Emily’s growth and attitude.
  • Emily still hasn’t thrown up for the last four or five treatments now!! That is a huge praise for Emily!

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 – whether in life or death and whether the news is good or bad.
  • 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.

Our short-term requests:

  • Probably the most urgent request is to pray Emily’s mouth ulcers do not become overwhelming. To start with one before chemo begins isn’t great. Please pray that they don’t get as bad as they did a few weeks ago. That was a lot of pain Emily went through.
  • As you might remember, we often meet people who come to MD Anderson as their last hope. They don’t live locally but are sent here as a final option for some experimental treatments or just to receive the world-class care here. We are so thankful that MD Anderson was our first option, not our last hope. But today Sue talked to a mom she has been communicating with at the hospital. They were told they and their 3-year old daughter, Kelly, were being sent home (to Miami) because there is nothing else they can do for her. It is so heartbreaking. Pray for Kelly and her family.
  • Please pray that Emily can start her next treatment next week. That would mean we only have three treatments left after that. After that treatment is a two-week break and Emily comes close to feeling “normal” after two weeks off.
  • Pray for Emily’s body to stay strong. The further she has gotten into treatments, her body is weakening. Pray her blood numbers to stay high.
  • The last few methotrexate treatments, Emly was able to go home after 5 day and 4 nights, instead of the typical 6 days and 5 nights. Pray that happens again this week. The hospital gets old to Emily pretty quickly.
  • Pray that Emily would be able to walk without a limp within six months from surgery (mid-September). She has been walking more often without a crutch, but with a very strong limp. She is getting closer!
  • Pray that Emily can restart college this fall. It looks like it will need to be online because she won’t be done by the time college starts.
  • In the statement I gave her this week (pictured below) is the reminder from Philippians 3:30 that we are not home yet. Pray that God will continue to grow in all of us our longing for heaven.

Some Photos to Get a Glimpse of Our Last Week (and Today):

We are thankful for technology! Last week Emily was able to FaceTime with her sister, Ali, and some of her Rochester friends.

Friday nights are pizza night at the hospital. The Ronald McDonald house provides Papa Johns pizza to all families in the pediatric wing. Morgan and Abby were visiting and able to enjoy it with us this time.

Last night – Emily’s last night before chemo, we decided to enjoy a “last supper” before Emily won’t feel like eating for a while. I had a $20 certificate to Outback. And this was the first time I went out with Emily where she didn’t use a crutch! It was awesome! 🙂

We are thankful that our friends, Tim and Faith, are able to take Daisy to their home on occasion when we are at the hospital and Abby and Morgan are at work. They have a Goldendoodle (Jonesy). They are best friends and can play for hours, but eventually, they collapse and rest.

On Sunday, my uncle Paul and his wife, True, stopped by to visit. They live in Dallas and went 90 minutes out of their way to stop by our house for a couple of hours to see Emily.

I mentioned Logan in the post above. This is her. She walks without a limp and it is good to see her doing so well.

These are four of Emily’s favorite nurses. Kami (top left), Hannah (top right), Megan (bottom right), and Riley (bottom left). Nurses can make Emily’s experience so much better and these are four of the best.

Dr. Gill is doing rounds this week, and he is Emily’s absolute favorite. Today he spent an hour with Emily – answering questions about osteosarcoma and the future. He was joking about how Emily can get him to do anything (she’s talked him into discharging her early more than once). They talked about what we all miss from NY (he just moved here 2 years ago from NYC). He misses the pizza and bagels. Emily also had a lot of questions about him. He is so kind to her. We are very thankful for him.

This is Brooke, Emily’s friend, who is going through brain cancer. Brooke has her final round of chemo next week! CONGRATS BROOKE!!! She is a Disney fan like Emily and was at the hospital for tests today. She brought Emily this shirt.

This morning before heading to the hospital, I gave Emily this decoration. Thanks So Little Time Design! (find them here:


  1. Thank you again for helping us be informed of the magnitude our prayers have. I loved the pictures ! Those nurses look like youngsters!! Heres to no limps, healed mouth sores and staying on track for treatments! God Bless!

  2. Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing grace and love that You pour out on Your kids every day of our lives! Today we come before Your holiness adding our affirmation to all the Prayer Requests that Emiky’s father has requested! Above all we ask for strength for her and her family as she goes through the last few chemo treatments that are so very difficult and cause such adverse reactions for her! Touch her body and make her response miraculous without sores in her mouth and the rest of the reactions that cause her to feel nauseous to the point of vomiting. May the testimony of her life for the last of these treatments reap a harvest of souls for Your Kingdom through her joyful spirit and through the power we ask that You would give her to endure victoriously! Fulfill the desires of this family’s hearts for all the things listed and lift the burden and any fear of recurrences of the evil disease anywhere in her body. Please give Emily direction for her future which will enable her to use this journey to bring You the glory and honor ofmwhich You are worthy, Abba, dear Abba, Father, for it is in the magnificent name of our Savior and Lord, Jesus the Christ, Amen and amen!

    Please note: For soe reason, I am receiving two emails with every update. Please remove one of “me” from your mailing list! Thank you so much! Looking forward to His Glorious Appearing…SOON! ❤️

    • Just unsubscribe from one of them. I don’t know how to do it at this end. I didn’t set it up so I’m pretty clueless. 🙂

  3. Emily, Sue and David-

    I’m praying ALL of your praises and requests frequently! I love Emily’s smile in picture after picture! Your individual and collective trust and faith are an encouragement to me (and MANY others)!
    Praying for and love you all!!


  4. Thanks for the update. There is much to rejoice about; so many graces and good gifts in this. And, still continuing to pray for God to sustain and fully heal.

    Bless you all in this. Thanks for giving me a window into your life.

    We are not home yet. Amen.

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