This post is the most difficult I have had to write and the most personal.
Our dear, sweet and beloved granddaughter, Julianna “Nina” was recently diagnosed with aggressive, non-operable brain cancer.
There aren’t words to describe how quickly our lives became a whirlwind of consultations, tests, disbelief and devastation. How could this be happening? Suddenly we are faced with the prospect of saying goodbye to one of the greatest joys and lights of our life.
I wasn’t sure I was going to share this so publicly but the more I thought about it I knew I had to. I couldn’t let her just simply disappear from the blog – I need to talk about her and share this story with those of you that have been watching her grow up.
Nina is going to be very familiar with many of you. She has been the “face” of many of my designs. She has always loved modeling my projects and always knew there was a really good chance she was going to receive the item she was modeling. She knows me so well 😉.
This past fall/winter Nina suddenly developed what was thought to be a “lazy eye”. She had an appointment with the eye doctor who prescribed glasses to help and then scheduled a follow up for a few months later to check her progress. At her follow up the eye doctor suggested a pediatric eye specialist for possible corrective surgery since her eye wasn’t improving.
The eye specialist was concerned that she couldn’t bring her eye out of the corner and scheduled an MRI of her brain to rule out a tumor. Her MRI was just a few weeks ago. We received the world-crashing news of her diagnosis that same day.
Then came the consults with oncology, radiation oncology & neurosurgery. Her cancer is very advanced, inoperable and aggressive. Her parents, after much prayer and consultation with specialists, have decided to give her as normal as a life as possible without treatment for the time she has remaining. She has been given just a few weeks to a couple of months to live. Her cancer is extremely rare – only a few hundred people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year.
Julianna would have begun first grade in the Fall and will turn 7 at the end of August. I don’t have the words to describe the pain our family is currently experiencing. She is the light of our lives. So sweet, gentle and loving. So full of hugs & little girl giggles 💕
Some days the pain is crushing but we are making every effort to forget ourselves for her sake as well as her 5 siblings. Being part of giving them this news was the hardest day of my life.
At this point Nina seems so normal – her eye is the only indication that she has something more going on. She acts just like a little girl would act – playing, swimming, drawing, running & roller skating. We pray that continues for as long as possible.
We are spending as much time as possible with her – enjoying every moment and holding fast to each smile and hug in our hearts. I have been a little more absent from work than normal and I expect that to continue for the next few months.
We haven’t given up hope that a miracle can still happen and our baby can be cured. So many people all over the world are praying for her return to good health if that be God’s will. If you would like to pray with us I will provide our prayer below.
If it is God’s Will we are meant to let her go, we are praying for the strength to carry and endure this cross we have been given.
What does this mean for Nana’s Crafty Home? I will continue to design but the frequency of my design releases will certainly be less than you are accustomed to. I have hired my niece part-time this summer to help with some of the day-to-day operations that don’t necessarily need my personal touch.
This might also mean that I may not respond as quickly as you are accustomed to. I will respond eventually, it may just take a little bit longer for me to get to emails or messages on social media.
This also means that I will not be obligating myself beyond that which I have already done so. I will forgo designing and releasing a crochet a long pattern this year as well. I haven’t decided about hosting the Holly Jolly Blog Hop at Christmas time – I will have to make that decision later.
You are so wonderful – I really appreciate your support and I just ask for your grace and patience during this time. We are heartbroken but are consoled by all of the love and support we are receiving.
I will keep you updated as I can. I am keeping a journal of her words – she has been teaching us how to let go as she starts to think about her life in Heaven. Yesterday she told me, “Don’t be sad Nana – you can talk to me any time you want to. I will always be there to listen.”
I am thankful for every moment and breath we have left with her – I am praying for so many more.
For those of you that that feel led to do so and would like to help her family financially there is a Go Fund Me account set up to help with expenses.
Thank you all so much for your support 💕🌸