Saturday, May 30, 2009

Where is the Baby Going to Go?

For those of you that have asked one of these questions:
  • "Where are you going to put the baby?"
  • "Are you going to hang him from the ceiling?
  • "What are you going to do, put him in a drawer?

I thought I would give you some peace of mind that we do have a place to put him. Ryan, Christina and Joshua will all have their own bed. Though it may not be the standard bed, it is one their very own.



This is Joshua's little area. Complete with shelves and a closet. : ) The only thing we have to worry about is his big sister!


Of course, this must be Christina's. She is the only one who would stand for pink. : ) Snuggled right up next to her soon to be little brother. We are going to have some major training to do though. I caught her standing in his bed today!



I'd show you a picture of Ryan's area but it needs a bit of work right now. He just had his birthday yesterday and we haven't recovered. I am in the process of that today. Finding room is sometimes hard to do, but we usually get it done. I'll post some of his half of the room along with some birthday pictures in the next day or so.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Faith of a Child

I have had this video uploaded to my drafts for quite some time now. I kept thinking of posting it on my blog but never had peace that the timing was right and never knew what to say. I have decided it is time to post it today though I know some of you have already seen this video clip. I don't feel there is anything I can write at this time to add to this video, it speaks for itself. Though very simple, it is at the same time profound. I pray that you will just listen to the words of this young boy and that the Lord will use it in some ones life. All we need to remember is to always run to "Him".


video

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Silas at Graduation!


I didn't want to do an update until it actually came to pass, so I waited patiently.

Silas was able to come home for a visit until his next round of treatments starting June 1st. Of course that is as long as he stays healthy and there are no complications.

Our graduation for the boys academy was this weekend and he was able to come. We had an area set up for him in the back where he could watch, but not everyone could get close to him. His immune system is low, so extra precautions were necessary. His big brother Hunter graduated from Kindergarten though and he didn't want to miss it. : )

It sure was good seeing him home! The Lord worked it out wonderfully for him to be able to come home and everyone was able to make it to graduation. The Lord is sooo good!
He had a little snack before it all got started. He did very well. The doctors have been in amazement at how well he has been doing. We pray the Lord continues to marvel them with his miraculous healing.
As I mentioned above, Silas will be returning to Shand's for his next treatments June 1st. Please continue to pray as the side effects of the chemo therapy are very grievous. As you can imagine a second round is only going to add to that, but we know that the Lord is able.
Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Silas Blackburn Fund

Our church will be starting a fund for all the expenses that will be acquired due to Silas' illness.

Below are some portions of an e-mail that our pastor sent out today:

Since May 5th, Silas has been a patient at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. The treatment thus far has been Chemotherapy to try to stop the cancer, and reduce the tumors. The chemotherapy has awful side effects, and Silas is in much pain, and he is already losing his hair. There has been contact with a doctor who was trained at Shands Hospital as an oncologist who is now practicing a lot of natural treatments on his patients, and they have been very successful. Please pray that God would give direction concerning these alternative treatments that have proven to work.

Bro. Nick is still on deputation. He just returned from a meeting in Texas this weekend. We are going to fly him to far away meetings whenever possible so that he can be with his wife most of the time. As you know, deputation yields the funds necessary to barely make it for a family of 10. The Blackburn's have not asked for anything. But I know as their pastor that they are not eating well, and are struggling to take care of the family in two different locations. Gainesville is 4 hours away. They have secured lodging in the Ronald McDonald house near the hospital. It is 10.00 a day. While this is very reasonable at 300.00 a month, it is still a lot when you don't have it. The church here is doing all it can to help, but our church is not a large one. We have a fund that we have set up for the Blackburn family and Silas. They will be incurring more expenses when we begin the alternative treatments. If you can or would like to help in any way, money is what is needed. These monies will be used to provide treatment for Silas, and to sustain the basic necessities for the Blackburn family. Thank you for any help that you can give them at this time. These can be sent to the following address:

Make checks payable to:

Truth Baptist Church (memo the check for: Silas Blackburn Fund)

4015 Maynard Dr.
Panama City, Florida 32404

Any questions can be directed to me at (850) 774-0300.


For God's Glory,

Buddy Maynard


As most of you know, Silas does better some days than others. Overall his days are still filled with pain and trials. I know I say this often, but we can't thank you enough for all your prayers and support. I know the Blackburn's are especially grateful. We couldn't imagine what it would be like without your constant prayer. We have seen many prayers answered already and hope that you will continue to pray and share the need for prayer for Silas with others.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Silas Doing a Better

Silas is doing better this morning. He had two episodes of high fever last night, but Ms. Karen was able to bundle him up on her chest for him to be able to sweat them off. That in and of itself is a blessing because he doesn't always want to be held because it can be uncomfortable. His platelet level went up on its own, which is a huge answer to prayer. Bro. Rob's platelets are there and ready for when he needs them. Ms. Karen wrote us a text saying she asked the nurse if platelets ever go up on their own and the nurse said "No" and she said they were all surprised. She also wrote that "My God is Mighty!". She sure is right, we know He is and we know that prayer works. We witnessed it last night and have continually throughout his illness thus far.

They have had may problems with the blood and platelets that have been donated being used and processed properly. Please pray that these problems will not continue. That will make the process a lot smoother when the time comes for them to be needed.

They have decided to keep Silas at Shand's in Gainesville and not try and transfer him to Pensacola. Though Pensacola is closer, it does not have the cancer ward that Shand's has. Please pray for the doctor's wisdom and the Blackburn's wisdom when dealing with the doctors during this time. It is just a difficult situation.

They are going to try and bring the rest of the children over for visits regularly so that Ms. Karen can see them. Bro. Nick is going to be in and out trying to continue his deputation so he will need much prayer. Paige, Aaron and Ms. Chris are staying with Ms. Karen to help, so they all need much prayer.

Please pray especially that Silas has a good week this week. Our graduation is this weekend and Hunter will be graduating from Kindergarten. We are praying that he does well so that Ms. Karen will feel at liberty to be able to come and see him graduate. Even if she comes right before and leaves right after, that would be an encouragement for Hunter and Ms. Karen.

Thank you for all your prayers!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Please Help Pray Silas Through the Night

I know that it is very late and many are in bed, but I pray that there are some that get this and are able to help pray for Silas tonight.

Ms. Karen has asked for prayer. Silas has a fever and his platelets are very low. Ms. Karen said he is very restless and acting in a way she has never seen before. They are asking for us to pray him through the night.

Please help pray that Bro. Rob's platelets arrive EARLY in the morning for them to be able to give them to Silas. We have had quite a few people already that have given whole blood and platelets on behalf of Silas and will continue to need more people to give as time goes on.

Pray the Lord gives peace and comfort to Silas and the family tonight. Thank you for all who were able to pray. I will try and give an update in the morning when one is given.

Thank You!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Kids in Action

I haven't done any posts on the kids recently so I thought I would do that today.

Like most kids would, Ryan wanted me to video him in action on his bike. He can catch a little air on our little speed bump out front if he gets going good enough.


video

Of course he likes to pose for the camera also. Not really actually. He usually puts on a fake cheesy smile.

As I mentioned before he likes bikes and bb guns. We were able to spend a little time at the pond the other day so he was able to get out his bb gun. Let's just say Big Daddy doesn't like turtles in the pond, they eat his fish.


Now on to Christina. I was gone for a couple of days to a ladies retreat a couple of months ago and Christina spent a good bit of time at the Maynard's because Steve had to work. If you want to know what kind of influence Russell has on children, below is an example of what he taught Christina.

video



She is quite a regular goof ball. She gives us laughs on a regular basis, as you can see by her cheesy little grin.



Did I mention the fact that she is all girl. She likes all the little frilly things any little girl should. Perfume, lotion, necklaces and more! She just thinks she is too cute.

Fever and Blood Count Still Dropping

Silas is in need of much prayer this morning. He has a fever and his blood counts are dropping rapidly still. They are giving him the remainder of Aaron's blood this morning, but will not have Russell and Clay's blood until tomorrow. They are hoping that will hold him off before more is needed. Please pray that his blood counts stay stable until the other blood arrives.

Please pray much for Bro. Nick, Ms. Karen, Ms. Chris, Paige and Aaron as they are all there with Silas. It is one thing to be afar and another to be right there watching all the ups and downs. I know the Lord's grace is sufficient.

Thank you for your earnest prayers!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Silas' Blood Count Dropping

We received word early this morning that Silas' blood counts have been dropping. He will be in need of blood again in the next couple of days. He will also need to be put back on a morphine drip for his pain. He is not ready to leave the hospital yet and will be staying there for now. The Lord is in control of it all. Please keep Silas and his family in your prayers. Ms. Karen has been updating her blog fairly regularly also with updates. You can read her latest blog there and see some pictures of Silas that she has been posting. Her blog is www.kdforthecongo.blogspot.com .

Thank you for all your support and prayers!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

News Regarding Silas

It came to my attention last night that some of my initial blogs were inaccurate regarding the locations of Silas' tumors. I have already went and edited my posts for those who have not already read them and wanted to clarify the locations of his cancer for those who already had. With emotions high and everyone on edge some of the information was not passed correctly.

To sum it up here are the locations of Silas's tumors:
  • He has 4 spots on his head, only one of them is growing into the bone of his skull, they are not on the brain.
  • He has one soft tissue tumor under his right arm. (It is not in his lymph nodes, Praise the Lord!)
  • The cancer is in the bone of the right arm and left leg.
  • The cancer originated in his adrenal gland, which is the tumor that spans his abdomen.

I am sorry for the confusion, I wanted to make sure that all of the information was presented accurately.

As of today, they are looking for Silas to possibly be able to come home for a small visit this weekend before hopefully being transferred to Sacred Heart in Pensacola. He ran a fever last night, but the fever has since gone away today. To be transferred he needs to be able to keep his food down and not have any more fevers.

Please pray that all goes well over the next few days so that these events will come to pass. It would be a huge blessing to have him closer to home. We know that the Lord will direct where he wants him to be. It is in His hands.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Prayer Requests for Silas - May 11th, 2009

Though Silas has shown signs of improvement since given chemotherapy, there are still many trials ahead. Bro. Buddy and Aaron Maynard donated blood for times when it was needed. We also have many others that are able to give and have it designated for him. He was in need of blood this morning and they were going to give him blood from an unknown donor. Ms. Karen requested that they did not do so, but they have given her a hard time. Bro. Buddy's blood was ready and available, it was just going to take 30 minutes to make it to where it needed to go. Please pray that they are cooperative in giving him the blood that is designated for him and not just any blood from the blood bank.

They also need much prayer regarding getting him transferred to Sacred Heart in Pensacola. They have a good cancer ward there as well. He would be much closer and it would give all of us easier access to them and Ms. Karen to the other children. They just need prayers that Shand's would be cooperative in allowing him to transfer and that Sacred Heart has a Pediatric Oncologist willing to take him on.

Right now his treatment plan is for him to have chemo 3 days in a row and take a break for 3 weeks to build his immune system back up. After that he may be able to come home for a visit. It just all has to do with how well he has handled the chemotherapy and what effect it had on the cancer. They have a long term treatment plan for him, but to begin they plan on going through that cycle a few times to get the cancer in remission Lord willing.

Bro. Buddy had a conversation with the ladies while he was donating blood that I thought would be good to share. I have copied and pasted that portion of his e-mail below.

I had an interesting conversation with a nurse at the Blood Bank there in Gainesville on Saturday morning. She told me how that when these cancer patients need new blood, they will take the contaminated blood (due to the cancer and the chemotherapy) and replace it with the donor's healthy blood. She said that they trade the sick, diseased blood with healthy, pure blood. I put a big smile on my face and told the nurse that I had that done years ago. She responded, "you had a blood transfusion?" I said to her, "yes Ma'am." I continued, "Years ago, I had sick blood that was contaminated by sin. Jesus Christ replaced that 'bad blood' with his, and since then I have been a picture of perfect spiritual health, and I have eternal life!" This black nurse smiled really big and said, "Honey chile, you shore did!" Glory to God!! As a result of this conversation and others, I preached a message Sunday morning at church on "the Blood". Praise God for the salvation, sin-cleansing, sonship, sancitification, strength, and security found in the "Blood of Jesus Christ". (Hebrews 10:19-23)

Praise the Lord for His Blood!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Silas is Eating!

One hour after Silas' chemotherapy yesterday he not only ate some fries, but devoured them Ms. Karen said. He had not been able to keep any food down for about five days prior to that, so it is a huge blessing. This morning he ate a banana and fed himself yogurt. Not just a little cup either from what I understand. Now they can't keep enough food in him! She also said that today he has played some. He has mainly slept this past week so that is another encouragement.

I will keep updating my blog even if it is just small tidbits like today.

The Lord is good! Thank you for all your prayers!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Answer to Pray on Silas - 5/8/09

Silas' bone marrow tests came back last night and his marrow is cancer free! Praise the Lord! We know that Silas still has challenges ahead, but his marrow being cancer free makes the process that much easier.

This is a short update for now, but I wanted to share the good news. If you have not read all my previous posts regarding Silas, please do so. My first post has a link where you can send a message to them at the hospital. They could use much support and encouragement during this time.

Thank you again for all your prayers!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Update on Silas - May 7th, 2009


As of today they will be starting chemotherapy on Silas. They were relieved to know that only one of the tumors on Silas's head are growing into his skull and are not attached to his brain. Silas does have a tumor in the bone of one leg and the bone of one of his arms. They have not received the results yet regarding his bone marrow, but their earnest prayer is that his marrow is cancer free. It would be a great anwer to prayer!
Bro. Nick will be returning home for the weekend and spending some time with the other children. He will be taking them with him to a meeting that he has this Sunday and then down to Gainesville also to see Silas.
We thank you all for your prayers and support. We know that the Lord's is in control and he has a purpose for all that he does.
"God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend."
Job 37:5

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prayer Needed For Silas



Silas Blackburn is the 8th child born to Nick and Karen Blackburn, missionaries on deputation to the Congo. He is their youngest child and recently just turned 2 years old.

Silas has just been diagnosed with a Stage 4 form of cancer called Neuroblastoma. It is a form of cancer that attacks the nervous system in children. At this time they have recommended aggressive chemotherapy and only give him a 20-30% survival rate.

In recent weeks his parents had noticed that his lymph node under his arm was swollen. It began to grow so they took him to the doctor. The doctors first reaction was to give him an antibiotic, stating that is was probably an infection of the gland. They returned to the doctor days later with Silas because a bump had began to form on his head while sleeping. The doctor ran some tests last Thursday and Friday with another bump occurring over the weekend. By Monday Silas could not keep down any food, the tests showed abnormal blood work and he was given a CAT scan. They then found tumors on his head and he was immediately released from Panama City to be taken to Shands Children's Hospital in Gainesville, FL.

Since his arrival there, he has undergone much testing. They have found tumors all throughout his body. He has some on his head with one growing into his skull. The cancer is in his adrenal gland. He has a major tumor spanning across his stomach that originated from his adrenal gland. This afternoon he underwent surgery to check his bone marrow, do some biopsies in various areas and put in a port for easier access to his veins. He came through all of that well.

Currently they have him on a morphine drip to control his pain. Within the next day or so they are looking to have a plan of action on how to attack the cancer. They have had a hard time because it is a very aggressive cancer and he is very small.

We ask for your earnest prayers for Silas and the whole Blackburn family. They have been fervently on the road since January seeking support to make it to the Congo. Bro. Nick will need much prayer as he tries to continue deputation and minister to his family. Mrs. Chris Maynard, our pastor's wife is with them and plans to stay for as long as she needs to help. She also has health problems and could use much prayer. It is very tiring and taxing on their bodies. Bro. Buddy, our pastor, plans to make trips back and forth to be supportive also.

For those who would like to contact the Blackburn family or send a message of support you can contact them by going to http://www.shands.org/. You then click on "For Patients and Public", next you click on "Send a Patient a Message". Once there you put in Silas' name and room number, which is 4528. They are very tired and have received a volume of phone calls, this will help them rest a bit more and still receive messages from everyone.

I will post updates on my blog as I receive them. We thank you all for your prayers and support during this time.