Scanxiety, It’s a Thing

by Alison on April 21, 2014 · 4 comments


It doesn’t go away.

It ebbs and flows, but it doesn’t go away.

It’s been 2 years, 8 1/2 months, so scan day is nothing new, and I keep feeling like this should be getting easier. In some ways it does, but then it doesn’t, and it hits me like a sucker punch to the gut. Those are the moments when it’s hard to breathe…

I was standing in the kitchen, looking out the window, watching the younger kids play on the jungle gym, and suddenly it hit. Tomorrow is scan day. My chest felt as tight as my throat, tears welled up in my eyes until there was one too many and they began to spill down my cheeks, and there I was, sniffling and sobbing, a living and breathing bundle of anxiety. I know I should be trusting the Lord, and ultimately I do, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have those moments where the worries and the fears just storm in and it all seems so much bigger than I can handle.

That’s where I was yesterday evening.

The what if’s whirled around and around. I’d push one away, and another one would come crashing in.

What if there’s a “new area of concern” in the brain?
Or along the spine?

What if there’s a problem with his ventricles?
Would that mean there’s a problem with his shunt?

Just when I’d think all was quiet and calm in my heart, the worst-case-scenarios would start playing out in my head. The memories of every time we heard “this is extremely rare” and “we don’t really know why this is happening” come back and play out like movies that I can’t control. There is no off button. I can’t even turn down the volume.

My mom-heart worries. He’s my son, and I just want to make this all go away for him. For almost 3 years, I’ve just wanted to make it all go away, to fix it and make it better, but I can’t.

There’s nothing I can do but wait, and keep loving my son with all of my heart.

So, that’s what I’ll do.

It’s scan day today.

We should know more later.

We appreciate your prayers!


Scans are stable, no new enhancements!! Boring, just the way we like them!!

Now we breathe a sigh of relief, and he doesn’t have to go back for 6 months, which will officially be the longest Ian has gone without an MRI in the last 3 years!


SendThemToNationalsArchery is one of the things we’ve wanted to try for a while, that we finally decided to just do in an effort to try to get back into some semblance of a normal life after the over 2 years of chaos we have all been living in ever since our oldest son, Ian, was diagnosed with brain cancer.

When the season started, we knew they were enjoying the sport, but we had no idea how far they would go…

Our kids have only been shooting for a year, but it didn’t take long to see that a couple of them have a real knack for it!

Jaron, Liberty, Grace, Hope, and Mercy have all taken classes and signed on to shoot for one of the local public schools. Mercy, recently turned 7, was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by the whole team-practice-including-up-through-high-schoolers thing, and decided to wait and try again next year, but the other 4 have enjoyed the chance to meet new people and hone their skills.

Their scores have steadily improved all season long. It has been so rewarding watching them work hard at practice, push through some slumps, and learn from their mistakes to improve their technique!


By the time the Minnesota state tournament had ended, Jaron had finished 11th out of over 300 middle school boys, and both Princeton archery teams represented by our children (middle school & elementary) had qualified for Nationals for the first time in Princeton Tigers Archery history!! Jaron and Liberty are shooting for the middle school team, and Grace and Hope are shooting for the elementary team, and they are all officially scheduled to compete in the national tournament in Louisville, KY, on May 9th & 10th.

Kentucky, here we come!

At least, we hope so.

This is a big thing. It’s HUGE for them, and for the entire team.

It’s also a bit unexpected, and therefore entirely unbudgeted.

What We Need & What You Get

We are a homeschooling family of 11 (yes, that means 9 children!) We love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. We get by, we always have, and we have faith that we always will.

But a trip like this is an unexpected, and therefore unbudgeted, big expense!

It’s big extras like this, that many (perhaps most) families wouldn’t be able to do without the help of a network of loving and supportive friends.

  • We need two hotel homes, which we’ve reserved already (in faith) for 3 nights for just under $800.
  • We estimate around $500 for gas (we drive a 12-passenger van)
  • The archers’ registration fees are $120
  • We also need to eat along the way :)

If we are able to raise some quick funds to make this trip happen (we are hoping to bring the whole family), you can follow along with our adventures on the Facebook page I’m setting up –

You can also follow along on my blog’s Facebook page at –

We’re looking forward to sharing the adventure!!

(from our page)

The more we talked about it and tried to plan out our trip, the more we realized that we really don’t have the money to make this happen.

We’re a big family, living and homeschooling on a single income, and we’re doing ok. I’m not complaining at all. I’m so thankful for my husband’s ability to provide, and for the way the Lord has blessed his business. Things are always tight, and we pretty much never have that mysterious thing known as extra money, but we always have enough. For ordinary living.

This trip is out of the ordinary, in fact, it’s quite extraordinary! I mean, NATIONALS!!

We put together an online fundraiser at –

Every $5 helps, thank you!!

The Impact

Our children have always been homeschooled, and have had chances to try several extra-curricular activities, like violin lessons, children’s theater experiences, tae kwon do classes, dance lessons, homeschool co-op fun, and now archery.

They have had a taste of many things, but qualifying for Nationals is HUGE for them! For all of us!

We don’t get the chance to travel much (at all). In fact, the only other time our children have been farther than Wisconsin was in the fall of 2011, when we moved the family to Bloomington, Indiana for 8 weeks while our oldest son, Ian, underwent proton radiation treatment for brain cancer.

A multi-state trip, for an exciting and good reason, will be such a great experience, for our whole family. We want to make it an adventure filled with good memories!

(more from indiegogo)



So Long, Winter!

by Alison on April 1, 2014 · 0 comments

goodbyewinter-5307webWe did it!

goodbyewinter-5295webWe made it through another Minnesota winter!

goodbyewinter-5270webIt was long, like usual.

goodbyewinter-5298webIt was cold, like usual. Well, maybe a little colder than usual.

goodbyewinter-5272web There was snow, like usual, well, maybe a little more than usual.

goodbyewinter-5273web We saw the handwriting on the wall (I checked out the forecast on my weather app).

goodbyewinter-5275web We knew it would probably be our last chance to go snowmobiling with Grandpa.

goodbyewinter-5278webSo we took it!

It had actually been a couple of years since I had been on a sled (of the large and motorized variety). It was pretty much as thrilling-and-at-the-same-time-terrifying as I remembered it.


We awoke to another coating of freshly-fallen snow, and I giggled to myself as I remembered the time my mom got me with a “We had a blizzard overnight” April Fool’s Day joke. I remember being momentarily distraught at the thought of more snow, in April, but it only lasted a moment as my mom started laughing as I lunged for the window to see.

This morning was no joke, or maybe it was, I don’t know anymore. I’m just so ready for SPRING!

Move over snow, I wanna see some green!


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