Our Finley….an update.

Here is a picture of our Finley McAllister!

Our Finley

Oh, that baby melts this mama’s heart!! As I previously mentioned he’s quite the mama’s boy and that is A OK with me.  He is the baby for sure.  The caboose of four boys, what could you expect.  This little boy’s days have been recently filled with doctor’s appointments as many of you know.  Two weeks ago we had a cardio scare with him and we are able to report that this boy has a healthy heart!! YAHOO!  We still were left undiagnosed at this point and brought our sick little boy home with a referral to an immunologist in Jackson the following week.

{Pause, Insert good news}

In the meantime last weekend was wonderful!!!  The boys and I headed to Brookhaven for the weekend to celebrate our sweet little Hayes’, (my precious nephew) birthday.  While we were there I was able to squeeze in some Art marketing time.  I ran to Natchez Saturday morning and showed my work to Amber & Ashley of A Gallerie.  They have a new home décor store and feature the artwork of a couple of Southern Artists.  After talking at great lengths and enjoying a much needed visit with two of my dearest friends, JoAnn Waycaster and Sarah Russ…..

The Girls

Amber & Ashley placed their large order!!! Holy Cheesecracker Crap!! Did that just really happen? OH. MY. GOSH. “It has happened I thought to myself.”   A lifetime of dreams had just come true! I was selling my art!  So, I hugged the girls {and precious Chandler Russ, our photographer} goodbye and hurried back to Brookhaven for sweet man’s Birthday Party.  Well, the day before I had contacted the owner of an awesome gift shoppe in Brookhaven and she told me her weekend was crazy busy but she really wanted to run by and see my work.  So, after the party I called her and she said, “let me run by and look real quick and then we will talk Monday.”  GREAT!! So, she came by my sister’s house and took a look at my work and by the time she left she placed a huge order too!!! {CARTWHEELS!} Let’s just say my feet are still not on the ground.  I am completely OVER THE MOON excited about my art being offered for sale in these two ahhhh-mazing shoppes!!!

{back to my precious sick baby}

Well, the weekend didn’t end there.  Lee, {my Prince Charming} and I had been talking about getting Finley a puppy and found one in Brookhaven of all places.  I know for the past two years Finley has been begging us for a puppy but I just could not commit to having something else that would need me.  You know, something else to keep alive.  But when your baby is REALLY sick you overlook the hard parts and just go with your heart.  So, we did it! We got him a puppy.

Finley and Ty

{Please meet Ty, yes boy number 5!}

When I gave the boys the surprise {eyes closed, SURPRISE!}, you would not believe Finley’s reaction.  Y’all, that baby sobbed.  I mean, shed tears! He thanked me over and over and told me how very much he loved me and his new puppy.  It honestly beats any “PRICELESS” commercial I have ever seen.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I re-watch the video (thank The Lord my precious sister videoed the moment to send to dad back at home).  Everything is going GREAT with our new pup. Finley is one happy lil’ boy!

{ok, now the bad news}

Following our visit to Dr. Braden for the cardio workup, he referred us to Dr. Haltom, an immunologist in Jackson.  I was so anxious to go see him and have him tell us this was all allergy related and hopefully he would eventually grow out of it, but sadly that was the not the news we received.  We drove home with a list of 4 possible diseases it could be.  Let me just say the list is so ugly, I could not {and still can’t} wrap my brain around it!  So here is the list in order of ruling out.

1.) Carcinoid

2.)  Mast Cell Activation

3.)  Vasointestinal Polypeptide Tumors

4.)  Medullary Carcinoma of the Thyroid

I assume with a list that full of ugly long words you have probably guessed it.  Yep, CANCER!  Three of the four are rare types of Cancer and the Mast Cell is a disorder/syndrome.  DENIAL is putting it very MILDLY.  I am pretty much numb I guess you could say.  I am not going to go into further detail at this point because I am refusing to acknowledge this horrible word until someone sees it and tells me.  In my mind we are still looking at something harmless that he will out grow.  I may be acting naive, but for the sake of my mental status and protection of my heart, I will just go with this until otherwise informed.  We go Tuesday to see Dr. Leavengood.  He is the immunologist located here on the Coast.  Dr. Haltom felt it necessary to put together a team of Physicians (thinkers as I like to call them) to hopefully put their heads together and get a diagnosis quickly.  Currently our awesome team consists of Dr. Haltom, Dr. Leavengood, Dr. Neal (my precious husband), Dr. Sigurnjak and possibly adding Dr. Liberman, a nationally recognized immunologist at the University of Tennessee.  I have full confidence in this awesome group of docs and complete faith that God will lead them to the answer.

What’s next?  Today we are completing a second 24hr urine.  Tomorrow we go for extensive lab work. Tuesday Dr. Leavengood and Thursday an abdominal ultrasound and anything else Dr. Leavengood may add.  As you can imagine Finley is missing A LOT of school.  I met with his teachers Friday morning, and let’s just say God knew exactly who to place Finley with this year.  Mrs. Rachel Deroche and Sara Finn are nothing short of Angels!  First of all they love our Finley to pieces.  They both are staying in close contact with me every step of the way.   I was assured Friday to not give school a second thought.  At this point Finley is making straight A’s and they told me they were both going to do whatever necessary to keep him on track.  Even coming to our house if needed.  You have no idea what pressure is lifted from me knowing that school is ok for now.

Finley Beach

I will go for now.  I am asking once again for prayers for our Finley and our family.  Mom and Dad need strength and hope.  Brothers need understanding.  Finley needs strength, patience and healing.  I will hopefully be able to post again Tuesday  after seeing Dr. Leavengood with encouraging news.  Until then, thank you in advance to all of you who love our family and will be praying for us.

Here is an old song that has walked me through many a trials before and I am claiming it once again now.   Please take a second to listen.

{Jeremy Camp-Walk by Faith}


Cherish your day- g

38 Responses to Our Finley….an update.

  1. Rhonda Posey October 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    I will be praying for you and your family. Much love to you.

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Rhonda, Thank you for thinking about us and your much needed prayers!!! love ya

  2. Lauren@SimplyLKJ October 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I will continue to keep all in prayer. The doctors thought there was a chance that our oldest had carcinoid a couple years ago. I remember all the tests, the waiting. I couldn’t get through a day without crying, yet trying to put on a brave front when she called (she was already living on her own at the time). There was a particularly popular song that was on the radio that year, and they played it over and over…it was about cancer. I bawled every time I heard it. We were blessed, Elie did not have Carcinoid nor any form of cancer. I pray that is the news you receive for Finley as well.

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Oh Lauren! You know my anguish!! Praise God your child was spared this terrible, terrible word. I find hope in your words of comfort!! Praying I am told the same thing you were. Thank you for praying for and thinking about us!!

  3. Christy Rounsaville October 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Just read about sweet Finley!!! Just wanted to let you know we are praying for him and your precious family!! Love you!

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Christy, thank you so very much!! We need as many prayers as we can get. Love yall

  4. Anna Peavey October 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    Praying for you and your family!

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Anna thank you so very much! you have no idea how much I cherish everyone’s prayers!!!

  5. Nancy Harris October 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Reid showed me the video of the pup’s arrival this morning…then……He drove me to church ! We almost lost Reid before he was even born….Remember that and hold on to the Faith that Finley will one day drive you to church too! Reid and Harris love their baby brother and pray for him ……..xo

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

      How sweet that he shared the video. I just love watching it. I certainly am looking forward to the day this baby drives me church. We are so very blessed with all of these precious boys!!!

  6. Michelle smith October 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    We are praying for y’all!!! We love you and your sweet family very much!!!!

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      Thank you my precious friend. I can not believe this is all happening. Love you so!!!

  7. Liv Lane October 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    Gretchen, you are a superhero mom. It takes so much strength to keep it all together for your family and be so positively proactive for your Finley. I, too, would not let cancer creep into my thoughts until something definitive is named; once you know for sure what you’re dealing with, you can use that knowledge to empower you to make the best decisions for your baby boy.

    I think it’s wonderful you got a puppy to give him and all of you a (super cute) distraction! And I love that your art sold, too – a perfectly timed Godwink to remind you that you have a great gift and need to continue nurturing it. You are in my prayers (and know that the BBTL content and community will be there for you whenever the time is right).

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      Oh Liv how precious of you. Thank you for those comforting words. Yes, the puppy has been good for all of us. So glad I gave in. I was enjoying the course content so much. I was spinning my wheels on my blogs purpose. I just started it I think 4 weeks ago. I never dreamed it would be a journal. I had so many visions for it. But for now I think I will use it as a personal journal. Emotions to get out, info to share. A journal to look back on of a time where I walked by FAITH!!

  8. Macie October 6, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Oh Gretchen I will be praying for sweet Finley!!!!! I can’t imagine the amount of burden you are attempting to lay down before Jesus. May peace that surpasses understanding shower over your home day and night until we all rejoice in Finleys healing!!!

    • G@patina October 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

      Macie thank you so much! I truly cant explain how I am feeling. Its really difficult to put into words. I honestly believe it is a Peace like I have never experienced before. God is holding us tightly! Love you

  9. Susie October 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Oh ♡Gretchen, what a huge big Mama’s heart you have. What a gi-normous job to feel the pain and fear of your little darling ♡Finley being sick and being given and having to face ‘the ugly list’ of what might be happening for him….
    I feel for you and your family right now
    May all ♡LOVE and ♡JOY and Healing surround you and cocoon you at this special challenging time.
    And YES – CONGRATULATIONS for the orders for your art and for nurturing yourself in this way………and how wonderful to bring the little bundle of puppy-aliveness to your son and family…..heaps of ♡LOVE and healing prayers♡♡

    • G@patina October 7, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      Susie thank you for everything you said. It’s crazy that my art is happening at this very same time. Maybe Goo is using it for therapy for me. I get lost in the piece and don’t really think about anything else when I’m creating. They puppy has been good for all of us. Such a joy in the midst of these uncertain times. Thank you for your prayers we truly need them.

  10. Erin Likens October 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Art & I are praying for your sweet son and your family!

    • G@patina October 7, 2013 at 5:30 am #

      Art and Erin we cherish your prayers. Thank you!

  11. Hollie and Terry Pappas October 7, 2013 at 12:18 am #

    Terry read your post and them handed the phone to me and said you need to read this… Please know we love you, your family and of course Finnie Mac! We will be sending up prayers -many prayers! Love from your cousins – both of us!

    • G@patina October 7, 2013 at 5:29 am #

      I love you two!! Sure could use a hug. Tell Terry there isn’t a Third Day song that comes on when Finley doesn’t say that sounds like Terry! Ha. I want to sit down with yall one day and share the testimony of just what all has happened from yall bugging me to put my radio on Klove!! Love you both so very much. Please don’t stop praying.

  12. Penni Tilton October 7, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Hi Gretchen, this is Penni Tilton. I don’t know if you remember us or not but my son, Nate, was a good friend of your son a few years ago. I am sorry but I can’t remember your older son’s name but I remember his face. My Nate is a sophomore at MTSU this year in Tennessee. We are praying for your Finley. Jesus is enough to help you make it through this very difficult trial. We can trust Him to be faithful in the good and the bad. He never changes and is always there for us. Praying for clear direction as to the next step. With love, Penni

    • G@patina October 7, 2013 at 5:26 am #

      Oh Penni of course I remember you. You are sweet Ms. Tish’s sister. Yes I remember the time our boys spent together. His name is Harris. He too is Sophomore and attending the University of Alabama. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. The prayers are very much needed!

  13. Margaret Ann October 7, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Hey Gretchen! I am so sorry to hear you are walking through this trial, but I am joining you in praying for healing for Finley, and supernatural peace and courage from The Lord. he doesn’t give us enough for the week or day-but each moment, so we lean hard upon him. I am lifting you all up!!

    • G@patina October 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      Margaret Ann I love how you said that. Yes, He supplies all we need. Thank you for lifting us up!!!

  14. Cathe Knott October 7, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Gretchen, praying so hard for that sweet Finley! Trey still misses him and speaks of him often. I know God will wrap his arms around him, you and the rest of the family. Please tell Dr. Neal hello for me, miss seeing y’all. Again we are thinking of you and praying for healing that only God can give. Love, cathe ❤❤

    • G@patina October 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Cathe, Lee says Hello. Thank you so much for your sweet message. I would love for the boys to play sometime when we come for a weekend visit! Thank you for the prayers. So many are needed.

  15. Nancy October 7, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    So sorry to hear about Finley’s illness. Please know that we are praying for Finley and all of your family.

    • G@patina October 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

      Nancy Thank you so very much! I appreciate all the prayers we can get!

  16. Amanda Ballard October 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Just sat down and read your post. So saddened to know what your Finley and your family are going through right now. I’m praying so hard for all involved and boldly for Finley to be healed. I love you so much.amanda

    • G@patina October 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

      Hey my precious cousin. Thank you so much! I can not get over how big Jake has gotten. Amanda he is too cute!!! Love you bunches and thank you so much for the prayers!!

  17. vicky swalm October 8, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Praying for healing for Finley, strength for your family and divine wisdom for the doctors who are involved with his medical diagnosis. Have experienced the fear and uncertainty of cancer diagnosis with one of my children. His name will be lifted up at bible study today and shared with others for prayer. God is in control.

    • G@patina October 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Oh Ms Vicky then you know the emotional rollercoaster we are on. Thank you for mentioning him at bible study. We need as many prayers as we can get.

  18. Poozie Swink October 10, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Gretchen,
    I do not get on facebook or even e-mail much as David and I live with Mom and Dad now and take care of them. I had not heard of your trials with Finley’s health and will pray that the Lord give’s you all an answer soon to help your precious child! Praying!!!!

    • G@patina October 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      Poozie, Thank you so very much!! I hope to post an update tomorrow about some results we got today!! Keep the prayers coming!!

  19. Wanda Laird Griffin October 11, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Just reading your posts at the suggestion of your sweet sister. Didn’t realize the problems with your precious baby but will be keeping in touch with your blog to keep updated. I have begun to pray and will continue. So glad we all know The Great Physician and that He is our Creator so knows every part and parcel of us. Will also be praying for your entire family. We all know these types of illness affect you all. Please give Lee a huge hug from Nell Laird, Howard and Wanda and kiss those precious boys. I know they are your joy. Hope today is a great one for you all.

  20. christy November 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Just hopped on here via edie/life in grace for the first time ever. Was going to say your pinterest link is not working (wanting to see your work). BUT, I went to “home” and realized your world does not need to be bothered with link reminders. Just prayed for you and Finley and doctor wisdom. In ps 59 the psalmist actually calls God, “My Strength.” May He be that for you today.

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