Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Latest & The Greatest

Does anyone notice anything different about this picture?

That's right!!! Somebody got a haircut!!

I usually get one every three weeks, but since I've been a bit tied up of late, I didn't get to my favorite $10 haircut joint ("I love you Hair Snips!") until a few days ago. I know exactly what you're thinking:  "Peter! That doesn't look like your normal haircut!" Well, Karina usually cuts my hair but since I went in on a weekday morning (unusual for me), another lady, Christina (the nicest Polish lady you will ever meet) cut my hair instead. I'm sure you've already noticed that she used a 2 guard on the sides this time instead of a 1.5. (I told her I was shaving my head in a couple weeks - so no need to go that short.) Okay. So you're probably not interested in reading the rest of this post since I have already unlocked for you the "riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma" that is my hair....

Let's see....what else is there to talk about? Oh, in other news, Kim also got a haircut too. In our 10+ years of marriage she has never gotten her hair cut this short - not even close, but we thought if her hair is going to be falling out in large clumps soon, it might as well be more gradual. Doesn't she look fantastic? That said, as soon as Kim came home our 3 yo daughter (Selah) freaked. I mean she literally started bawling inconsolably. Selah has been trying to grow out her hair ever since we cut it into a bob a few months ago (Duh! Which Disney princess wears a bob?!?) Please pray that Selah would not scream like a banshee and experience long term trauma when Kim's hair falls out.

Okay, I know some of you are eager for a Kim Health update so here it is: In case you missed it on an older post - we got another echocardiogram done and the fluid around her heart was at the same level as when we left the hospital. While that wasn't what he had hoped for (complete drainage) it was enough for the doctors to say no surgery was yet needed and come back on Wed (tomorrow) for another echo. This whole ordeal has been about daily dependence on the Lord and so really this comes with no reason for surprise or to complain. We spent much of yesterday meeting with the oncologist and then got a PET scan. This is full-body scan which stages the cancer and will be the base-line measure for the her treatment and it's effectiveness going forward. Due to the PET scan she had to fast and by the time we were done (around 2pm) she was STARVING. She also got some blood work done and fortunately, her white blood cell count looked great and so the doctor gave the OK on eating sushi! So I got her a few of her favorite maki rolls and she ate all three without taking a single breath. I just ate the tasty and hearty ginger slices that came on the side (just kidding-sort of). Please pray with us that tomorrow's echo would show improvement in terms of pericardial fluid around her heart. Since coming home, she's had good days and bad days and they are somewhat unpredictable. On Saturday she felt really fatigued, sore all over, and nauseous - and no meds really helped. But the last two days have been much better.

These days, I feel like Caleb has had it the hardest. He is the oldest so I expect more from him, but I have to often remind myself that he is only 9 years old and is processing a lot of things in his young mind. I've had little patience with him these past few days (especially when he talks back to mom). Please pray for both me and for him. I need more patience and wisdom in dealing with him and I pray that the Lord would bring peace into his little heart.

As far as Timothy is concerned. He is having the time of his life. He is as happy as a clam playing Monopoly 9 times a day with whoever is in the house helping (Sorry Grace!). Our dear fellow cancer friend, Andrew, brought Kim a large Ty Ballz named "Bonsai" when he visited us at the hospital and Timothy immediately claimed it as his own (the boy loves stuffed animals). Please pray that he will love God more than stuffed animals.


In other (and more important) news, Calvary English Chapel, (704 McHenry Road, Wheeling, IL) is hosting a bone marrow drive at their church this coming Sunday from 11am-1pm. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE if you are in the Chicagoland area come by and participate. By now, you are well aware of Andrew Park's story (read his dad Joe's blog here). So many are needlessly dying (especially Koreans) because so many of us are quite simply sitting on our hands and looking the other way. Through this blog, I became aware of another young boy named Connor (one of my sister's good friend's nephew). It turns out he only lives 10 minutes from me and his dad and I both ride the same train line into the city for work. I spoke at length with his parents yesterday, and it will just break your heart. His story especially moves me because he is only 7 years old (just older than my Timmy), and has a very rare disease called X link Hyper IgM syndrome which is a one in a million disease. Sadly, his window for a transplant is quickly closing. Of the +7 million people on the national Bone Marrow Donor Registry, less than 1% (68,000) are Korean (even though 7% are Asian). Caucasians have an 80% chance of finding a match, which is more than 10x the chance of a Korean boy like Connor or Andrew finding a match. We cannot stand by and let this continue. We have to get the word out and the Church especially needs to rise up and help these men, women and children, for such a time as this.

Jesus said, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   John 13:35

I can think of no easier and more tangible way to demonstrate God's love then to open yourself up to giving a small sacrifice - like bone marrow donation - to save the life of another. This is the essence of gospel love.

You can read all about Connor's story HERE (a bit dated) and watch the video below. I know so many people that want to help Andrew (I do too!) but he is one face and story among many. If you register, and you find a match with someone - please DO NOT BACK OUT. God has given you a very special opportunity to save a life (only about 1 in 10,000 will actually be a match with a person in need). Please have the courage to finish what the Lord has started in your heart. Connor's parents found a match just before this past Christmas with a woman in Japan and they were elated. Everything was going great and she was very responsive but in the last hour she backed out. For some reason this is very typical among Asians - only about 50% of matches will result in the donor carrying through on their commitment (compared to +80% of Caucasian matches) Why we so dang flaky!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE If you commit to wanting to help Andrew, please know that there are literally thousands of others (like Connor) who are faceless victims of an insidious disease who also need your help and please follow through on your commitment. Also, please pray for these families - they are walking through an unspeakable fire of intense heat - that we cannot even possibly fathom.

Connor and family
Imagine if you were in their position. Imagine if your child was simply waiting to die, while everyone else goes about the daily routine of their lives worrying about their next raise, how their hair looks, or whether their favorite TV show was tivoed. Imagine interacting with people on a daily basis who are either oblivious or uncaring to the fact that they might be holding the very DNA to cure your dying child. You cannot imagine this because you have not lived it. But if your heart is moved in any way - register, donate (if matched) or even better start a registration/donation drive. If you want to find out more about donating bone marrow (regardless of where you live or even if you can't make it to a local drive) please see the tab above called "Bone Marrow Donation" or check out Connor's site at www.savingconnor.com and read through it. It has tons of great info and will walk you through how to get a simple kit to send in your cotton swab sample by mail. Thank you and God bless!

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Saving Connor from Saving Connor on Vimeo.


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  2. Thanks for the update. Also, for those who can't physically get to the bone marrow donor drive, one can request the swab kit from them directly. They'll mail it out to you and you can do the swab at one's convenience.

  3. you guys are beautiful inside and out! short hair, long hair, no hair - 100% beautiful!

  4. Hi, Peter & Kim! I agree with above: you are beautiful inside and out! =) Praying for you; may the Lord continue to encourage you and lift you up in the valley moments. Our God is an awesome God! Btw, I think I did that swab kit by mail that was mentioned above. I registered with the bone marrow registry 1.5-2 yrs ago when God prompted me after reading the story of a family I did not know. What a blessing you are to advocate for others, too. Hugs!

  5. Hi Peter & Kim,

    Thanks so much for posting & taking on Connor's fight while going through your own trials. You are doing amazing things and affecting each and every one of us who are lucky to read your blog.

    Kim - You look beautiful. I told Lydia that you have the face to pull off the short hairdo. I started chemo right around the same time of the year as you and by my birthday that year (October) I had another short hairdo to show off =) Recently, we were about to get rid of one of those kid cameras that my oldest Kristin had in her possession during my cancer days. Steve was going to just toss it in the garbage but I told him to at least check & delete the pictures that were on it. Little did I know that she had pics of me looking like Mr. Clean. All a distant memory now ... I am praying that you will be quickly reaching this point too.

  6. Psalm 37:25-"I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread."
    My oldest (5 at the time) had the same reaction to my haircut (short, too)before I started chemo. Children are so honest about their feelings! By the time it was gone, I had a wig just like my "old look" but by then, it was no big deal to her...

  7. Snow white wears a bob! remember??