Say a Little Prayer for Us…

“Prayer”:

1.       a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship

2.       an earnest hope or wish

3.       a communion

 

My dearest friends,

I have been absent from writing for a little while. My heart has been busy in another place. I am putting pen to paper now, to ask for your help.

2016 has been a difficult one for our family. My older sister Kate, has been off work for the past year dealing with complications of Crohn’s Disease. This past summer, her wonderful husband, Shane, underwent successful, but frightening, heart surgery. Two weeks after he returned home, their eldest daughter, my beautiful 9 year old niece, Neave, was diagnosed with bone cancer.

 

It is not a secret, though we have been somewhat private about this journey. Mostly because we were in shock. Treatment began quickly and we were thrust into survival mode. Neave is a shy girl and all the attention that comes with a diagnosis like this is overwhelming and anxiety producing for her. But the quiet around this is also because… we’ve been here before. More than once. We’re war weary soldiers who are being sent back into battle on the front lines once again. And sometimes, that can only be faced in silence, surrounded by your familiar platoon.

But I’m sharing this with you now because we need you.

Neave is the eldest of 3 girls. Her sisters, Tily (7) and Poppy (4), are spaced out exactly as my sisters and I. And they’re very similar to the 3 of us. It’s like watching old home movies of your own life play out in 3D! Neave is smart, beautiful, incredibly creative, empathetic and misses nothing. Her kindness, tenacity and mama bear spirit, remind me of my sister. Her focus, organization and desire to make others happy, remind me of my brother-in-law. She’s a delightful mix of both of them, with a little something all her own thrown in for good measure. I’m her godmother, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

The back story; this past spring she complained of a pain in her right leg. It persisted and finally at the end of July, a tumor was found in her right femur. This cancer is called Ewing’s Sarcoma. The good news is that it hasn’t spread and it’s treatable. The bad news is that it’s there in the first place.

Neave has been undergoing chemo treatments and it is responding in a positive way, meaning; it’s shrinking. The next step is surgery. They will remove the portion of her right femur where the cancer has taken up residence. If you look at your own leg right now, picture the section of the bone above the knee and below the hip. Now picture it gone. They will then remove a bone from her left lower leg, (don’t panic, we have 2 bones there and apparently we only need 1 to keep moving! It’s like God designed us with spare parts, just in case). They will replace the portion of her right femur with the bone from her left leg, along with some other manufactured bits to add support. The expectation is that she will walk and swim and live a long, happy, independently mobile life with both of her miraculous legs. Following her recovery from surgery, about 10 days later, she will begin another round of chemotherapy. These cycles will continue until next spring. The intention is to make sure they obliterate any little cells that may have stayed behind. She will be working through some intense rehab, but she comes from a stubborn lot, so we know she’s got it in her!

Her surgery is on Thursday November 3rd. Tomorrow. One scary sleepless sleep away.

Here’s where we need you. We need your love. We need your prayers. We need your meditations and your positive vibes. Initially when this happened, among the multitude of thoughts that looped through my head was this one, “No! Not again! Our family can’t be at the forefront again! I can’t ask for help again”. But here I am. And I’m asking. Because we need it. We need your love.

I believe in the power of love. I believe that positivity and prayer, in whatever form that takes for you, sends ripples through the universe. So I ask you to send strength to Neave’s body and spirit. Send her courage to face the journey ahead. Send strength and love to her exceptional parents. They will be pacing around a surgical waiting room for the duration of the 12 hour procedure. Carry them in your hearts so that their steps may be lighter. Wrap Tily and Poppy in virtual hugs so they feel the absence in their home less profoundly. Send focus and knowledge and steadiness to her team of surgeons, so that their hands may be guided as though they were the hands of God himself. Send love now, into the eye of the storm. And when it has passed, and the journey of rebuilding begins, when you think of them, from time to time, I ask you to bring them all into your heart again, and send them more. I read this quote somewhere, maybe on a card while wandering the hospital gift shop, I can’t remember….it said, “There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God’s finger on man’s shoulder”. Please put your hand on our shoulder now and walk with us.

I will keep you updated as things move forward. It is sometimes difficult for Kate and Shane to respond to your correspondence in a timely manner only because energy stores are so low and everything they’ve got is being poured into healing and battling. But please know that every message and act of kindness buoys our spirits and keeps our lifeboat from sinking. If you pass messages through me, I will ensure the entire family receives them.

One realization during this particular odyssey with Neave, has been the importance of available blood for transfusions. Especially for these little ones, often blood transfusions mean the difference between getting their blood counts high enough to receive their very necessary chemotherapy or having to miss a treatment. So far, Neave has had to receive three blood transfusions and we are not yet half way through her required chemo cycles.  So, thank you to any of you who have ever given blood. The Red Cross motto rings very true for us right now – it’s in you to give!

And so, onward we march. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Armed with optimism and gratitude. Keep us in your hearts.  You remain in ours.

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Say a Little Prayer for Us…

  1. Sending much love, prayers and warmest wishes to the beautiful Neave Alderson. Love to the Murphy/Alderson family and all who love her. All of Immaculate Conception ES is behind you Neave ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Thank you, thank you for reaching out. ALL you ask is being sent and will continue in the time ahead. Stay strong soldiers. Stay strong… I know you can do it. Collapse when you need to and know we are all helping you get back up. You have love all around and the love you have always given Megs is being returned a million fold. Good think you’re such a loving, caring chick…. xxx

  3. Sending love, strength and courage to all of you. I will keep you in my prayers and I look forward to hearing good news in the very near future. xoxo

  4. This hits home…in many ways…prayers and positive energy being sent…for these challenges..it’s hard
    When children are involved…the support of family and friends is key…from looking at the pictures..lots of love
    And support are there…the power of prayers will keep them strong..please keep us updated..I have forwarded
    To help gather more support ..which has its special magic…

  5. Obviously you are a couragous, stubborn bunch! You keep that up!! My hope is you get through all of this and talk about it when you are very old!!
    Sending you all the hope, strength and love I can!!

  6. I can imagine how difficult this is for your entire family. My rosary prayers are all for you tonight and the following night that follow. My whole heart is with you all as you see God work His will upon all of you. For the strength you all face today and the days ahead. I have seen God world a miracle in my niece and was able to survive a horrific accident and many many hard recovering days. And prayer does work. I have seen it.

    I know your family will receive many many blessing if you put trust in God like I know I did. I believe from the strength it took to ride through Ireland she will build her strength from watch you achieve your goal. She has seen that in you. She will show you all the same strength in a different way for now. Also, I want to say from a mom who has a daughter with severe Crohns I know Nieves mom is always fighting and keeping strong also. Finally I would like to say what a beautiful, kind, loving family. It shows on all the pictures! I hope they know I would love to hug each and every one of you so I can transfer my love and strength to each for you.

    Stay strong with all my love and more. Rosie Cromlish. Xoxo

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. Beautifully written Meg. Tears continue to flow. We have the shoulders, backs, hearts of all of you carried so so deeply in my own now and moving forward. I send constant prayers and healing energy to all.
    Sonja

  8. This story has touched so many people. The story of a brave courageous little human, so inspiring that most of us can only imagine fighting the battle she is winning. Much love light and strength to Naeve and her entire family now and in the days ahead on the road to recovery.

  9. Dear Meg,

    I am sorry for taking so long to respond to you but I was totally overwhelmed by all that your family are going through – thank you for the update – little Neave is a real trooper and my heart goes out to all of you especially Kate and Shane. My initial response was to get in touch with my closest friends and ask that we all storm the heavens with prayers and positive thoughts for Neave and her family. I thought of Mary Anne and Marty and how unfair it all is – they should be here to support you through this and then I said to myself – of course they are there with arms wrapped around all of you and especially keeping watch over Neave. I worried about Tilly and Poppy – who is looking after them while Neave is in the hospital. I’m sure it is all under control. I cannot imagine the wait that you had to endure while she underwent such a lengthy surgery. As a family you have endured more than many of us will in a lifetime – as you said you have been down this road twice before. I pray that Neave will grow stronger every day and that all of you will stay strong in the face of this painful journey. Thank you for the wonderful photos – a real portrayal of a family united – strength and humour shone through and it’s easy to pick up on Neave’s delightful personality. I think there is a lot of spunk there. With much love to Kate, Shane, Neave, Tilly and Poppy and to yourself and Kerry.

    Hugs, love, positive thoughts and prayers

    Rosaleen

    On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 8:55 PM, Murphy’s Law – A Documentary Film wrote:

    > Meg Murphy posted: ““Prayer”: 1. a solemn request for help or > expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship 2. an > earnest hope or wish 3. a communion My dearest friends, I have been > absent from writing for a little while. My heart h” >

  10. I have a class of 9 and 10 year olds who would love to send Neave a care package. If you think this is something that would give her a boost, please email or private message me an address. Your family is in my prayers, Meg XO

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