Weekly Photo Challenge 12: Renewal 3

I actually tried to post this with the others, but thanks to the wonders of technology, my internet went down right in the middle. So, not only did I not get it posted, I apparently lost my draft that I had saved. I guess I will start over. Does anyone know how to retrieve a saved draft? Anyway, here is my missing part three.

Belle and Bekah about a year before Bekah got sick

When thinking about renewal, I can’t help but think of both my eldest daughter, Rebekah, and my granddaughter, Isabelle.

Just a couple weeks before Bekah got sick, her family took a trip of a lifetime. We think the exposure to so much sun is what brought on the sudden flare up of Sarc.

Both have had a horrible couple of years, and both have come out on the other side -for lack of a better term – alive. I would call that renewal.

At Easter, she had her second eye infection in two months. We didn’t think anything about it – just allergies.

Playing carefree with her cousin. This was about three weeks before Isabelle’s diagnosis and the horror that ensued.

About two years ago, Rebekah or Bekah as we call her, started having horrible (and I mean HORRIBLE) pain. After months of tests, she was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease called Sarcoidosis. There is literally very little research, no successful treatment plan and no cure (the only thing they know is that you either get over it in about two years or you have it for life). Needless to say she spent nearly a year trapped in her body wracked with pain, unimaginable swelling and breathing problems. Oh and she is apparently allergic to Vit. D, so sunshine intensifies the symptoms, and she can no longer sing because of the pressure around her ribs and lungs – this part breaks my heart, because she sings like an angel.

Ever since she could talk, Bekah sang. She was leading worship when she started having trouble breathing.

Just when she was beginning to get a handle on this plague that had fallen upon her body, her baby girl, Isabelle, developed a high fever. It lasted over a week even on treatment. I don’t know how, but her doctor suspected something – maybe it was the two eye infections and two cases of strep throat in the previous six months – but whatever it was, he sent her to a hospital for “more” tests. We later learned that he believed what he suspected and even noted it in her chart – Leukemia.

Her first round of chemo caused several severe reactions including mucusitis, which caused her not to be able to talk, swallow, breath, horrible pain and ate big holes in her mouth. This was her first trip to the ICU and the morphine induced stupor for over three weeks.

Her first smile after the waking up from the morphine.

The doctors at Children’s told us this man was a genius, saint, fill in your own adjective, because they never see patients this soon. Isabelle did in fact have Leukemia, and one of the most rare childhood strains. So began HORRIBLE treatment, two near death close calls and days of sickness, pain and baldness. In spite of it all, Belle never lost her smile – except when she was in a morphine induced coma of sorts or in ICU. She also never lost her will to live, and live she did. She gave the nurses heck, played like there was no tomorrow and beat the odds to come home to us in remission six months later. She still has two years of maintenance drugs and about five years of clean health before they will call her cured, but I’m claiming it now. And although Bekah still has her malady, I’m praying for complete healing for her as well.

My dear friend Rick Carr, Carr Portrait Arts, took this image as part of his Portraits of Hope project. I love the orange scarf, which is for Leukemia.

Rebekah and Isabelle both feeling much better. Just over a month after Belle’s last chemo treatment at the Art With A Heart Fundraiser for childhood cancer.

Just a few weeks ago, I think she likes the shorter hair.

These two beautiful girls have taught me so much about life, about never giving in to death, about RENEWAL.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lifeofaministermom
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 13:30:47

    I love this post Darla. Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of my father’s passing, and I spent surrounded by my mom, stepdad, aunts, cousins, husband, and baby, I was full of peace thinking of the renewing power of Christ! Bekah and Belle are beautiful inspirations, and I stand in agreement with you for their full and complete healing in Jesus’ name!!

    God bless you and your family my friend, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


    P.S. On Tues. night I also published a post only to forefinger nothing saved and nothing showed up. I too had to re-write it. Let’s keep each other posted with any possible solutions to this problem!


  2. lifeofaministermom
    Nov 17, 2012 @ 13:33:00

    *forefinger was supposed to be discovered; sorry, using my phone and autocorrect got me! 😉


  3. stuffitellmysister
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 00:49:05

    Darla…first….I love your family. They are strong and survivors and beautiful in every way. Belle is adorable with the short hair!

    As for the lost draft…I don’t know the answer to that one either. It has happened to me as well. Now, I always copy first, preview, and then, if it is not there, paste. Then preview again…and it’s always there. A process…but beats totally losing it. I have MUCH to learn! 🙂

    Wonderful post!!!! ♥


    • Darla Welchel
      Nov 30, 2012 @ 16:05:07

      Paula, I usually go the copy and paste route to, to be on the safe side. I think I was having computer issues is why I went this route the first time. I didn’t have much written anyway. I am accustomed to losing my first draft, happened to me more than once in the newspaper business. :-0
      We love you guys too! Is Marvin surviving the holiday madness?


      • stuffitellmysister
        Nov 30, 2012 @ 19:19:54

        You are much more patient than I!

        Marvin….only Sundays off now…80 plus hr weeks and they want more…undo pressure. I could rant for hours….so I will stop!

  4. eof737
    Dec 16, 2012 @ 06:28:34

    What a beautiful post… TY for sharing it. 🙂


  5. Trackback: Awesome Prayers for Trey! | Through The Lens

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