Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May: Summer is Coming & Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Summer is upon us. I am rejoicing in the beautiful weather and the laid back schedule. We have been busy packing, deep cleaning the house, decluttering, and reorganizing. I've put away all the school work for this last year and started organizing our bins for next year. I decided this year that I would do that project now at the beginning of summer, rather then at the end. The more I can do now, the less I have to do later. I want to enjoy this summer with my kids and focus on God's goodness as we embark on some fun adventures.

I have to get back to my huge to-do list, but I wanted to post a few pictures and update my blog since I've been MIA.

On our last day of school, we spent the day cooking, baking, and doing art. We had a Greek feast. It was fun to make some traditional recipes with the girls. The girls enjoyed making art projects and dressing the part. We invited our friends over to celebrate with us since they did My Father's World this year as well. It was a great evening of fun and fellowship (and lots of yummy food).

Last week we enjoyed a homeschool field day in Indiana. It was fun to hang out with other homeschool parents and kids for the day. We had almost 300 people participate! It was very well organized and we had a beautiful day!

Where's the Harder girls??

Micaela enjoying her snack during a break from the games.

Although "school" is over, I love seeing that my girls love to read. They decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and read books outside.

The whole family has been taking advantage of the great weather. We've been taking a lot of family walks and bike rides. It's so much easier to stay fit when the weather is nice.

Every time we take a walk or bike ride, I'm amazed by God's work in Wayne's life. God is truly Jehovah Rapha (our great healer). I'm also thrilled to report that a little boy that we've been praying for got results from his MRI last week and his tumor has shrunk by 16%!!! God is good! We continue to pray for those with brain cancer (and other cancer). May is Brain Cancer awareness month. I choose to focus on today and how God has brought Wayne healing, but there is always a lingering "fear" that it will return. That is where daily surrender to God comes in...I can't worry about tomorrow, but trust Him and His sovereign plan. 

Here are a few statistics to make you aware of brain cancer (source: ABTA)

Brain tumors are the:

- most common cancer among those age 0-19 (leukemia is the second).

- second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20 (leukemia is the first).

Brain Tumor Statistics:

- Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors are expected to be diagnosed this year. This figure includes nearly 25,000 primary malignant and 53,000 non-malignant brain tumors.

- It is estimated that more than 4,600 individuals between the ages of 0-19 will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor this year.

- Malignant brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in adolescents and young adults aged 15-39 and the most common cancer occurring among 15-19 year olds.

- There are nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor.

- This year, nearly 17,000 people will lose their battle with a primary malignant and central nervous system brain tumor.

- There are more than 100 histologically distinct types of primary brain and central nervous system tumors.

- Survival after diagnosis with a primary brain tumor varies significantly by age, histology, molecular markers and tumor behavior.

- The median age at diagnosis for all primary brain tumors is 59 years.

- Gliomas, a broad term which includes all tumors arising from the gluey or supportive tissue of the brain, represent 27% of all brain tumors and 80% of all malignant tumors.

- Glioblastomas represent 15.1% of all primary brain tumors, and 55.1% of all gliomas.

- Glioblastoma has the highest number of cases of all malignant tumors, with an estimated 12,120 new cases predicted in 2016.

- Astrocytomas, including glioblastoma, represent approximately 75% of all gliomas.

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