Friday, February 14, 2014

Final Entry

Hi all.

I have been waiting to write this entry for a long time, and the day has finally arrived!  We are done*, Hannah is cancer free!!!  (* still blood test once a month for the next year, then once a year for the rest of her life).

I have been writing this entry in my mind since my last entry just over a year ago.  There were times I wanted to just post it, but held off, even though I knew the day would come, I didn't want to jinx it.

Yesterday, was filled with hundreds of "likes" on Facebook as the last dosage of medication was taken and announced to the world.  

Fighting cancer never goes away.  Over the last year, we laid low, not saying a lot, just waiting for this day. During silence things are forgotten, people move on, totally understandable.  But for those in the inner circle, cancer is like the "elephant in the room".  Always there.  Not a day has gone by in the last 2 1/2 years where I have not said to myself, "My kid has cancer".  A very hard thing to say to yourself.

This battle can not be fought alone.  Friends, our Church, people that we do not even know have been praying and pulling for Hannah.

As a family, we have grown closer than I ever thought we could.  Our Faith, one word, unshakable.

Selfishly, this blog was for me.  I needed it. It was my therapy, my comfort.  Thank you all for indulging me.

Only one question remains for Hannah. 

What lies ahead?

Her life.

Live it well Hannah, you deserve it.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Hi all.   Well it has been awhile.  All is well.  Hannah is attending school and taking online classes.  And oh, I almost forgot, she is in her final 11 months of maintenance.  There will be a major party next January.

This blog has pretty much run its course.  Keeping you updated, and helping us as a family (mostly me) cope with what we were going through.  I have said it many times, but I don't think that I can say it enough,  words can not express the appreciation that we have for all of you that followed along, prayed and supported us.  We truly are a blessed family.

The blogging will not stop however, both Hannah and I have started new blogs if you care to take a look.


Again, thank you so much..


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update Time.

The easiest way for me to share the latest Cobley family news is to quote Hannah -

"After being down at school for a week, I decided it was too much too soon. My chemo meds I take everyday have been increased and I'm just not physically ready for all this yet. I spent the past 6 months waiting to go down to college, just wanting to move on but once I finally did I realized I couldn't. So I'm gon
na come home, get a job and start classes then transfer out of state as a junior. This
is a really hard decision for me and I'm having trouble with it. I don't think I've really dealt with everything and it's time for me to. Its hard cause I wanna be starting over so badly it's just that my body isn't ready for it all. Sleeping 16 hours every day and then feeling like I'm gonna pass out while I'm walking to class is not the college experience I want."
Also,  Hannah has started Team Cobley. We will be out in full force walking so raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If you wish to donate to help cure cancer please click the link below.

Friday, August 3, 2012


I am writing tonight with a heavy heart.  In fact, my heart hurts.

Not for Hannah, she is doing great.  Flew past her one year diagnosis, and leaves for the UofA on the 16th of this month.  We are all very excited.

Tonight is different. 

Things are happening.  The Olympics!! I can't get enough of them.  Chick-fil-A, freedom of speech/choice issues.  Unemployment, the economy, elections, the world is spinning very fast, and we seem to focus on issues that we can not control.

 From a global standpoint, I saw a great post this week.  Please think about this.  "Don't hate me because my sin is different than yours."

This past week, we have had two issues that put life into perspective....again.

First, a young family that we are friends with, that has had trials this year, has been hit hard.  They have a child that has been diagnosed with a life altering condition.   While this condition is not life threatening it is life changing on a major scale. 

Please pray for them.

News number two came today.  We have friends that have lost a child suddenly.  I do not know what to say, I only pray that God would use us to help minister to the family.

With what is going on in our world, many people may ask, "Where has your God gone?"  Why does your God allow suffering?"

I am here to say that our God is firmly planted in our lives.

Our God has gone no where.

Why are these things happening?  I don't know.  I may never know. In fact I do not know if I would like to have that knowledge.

What I do know is this.  God promises to take care of us.  God promises to have all things work together for good for those that love Him. 

While what is happening in the world may seem as a contradiction to God's promises, we have to remember this.  God has given us a free will, and because of this, we live in a world of sin and are separated from God, and because of this, we experience pain and hurt.

It is not because God has moved, it is because we move away.  I am in no way saying that these things have happened to these two families because they have moved away from God.  What I am saying is that we as people have moved away from God.

We need to refocus. 

What is important?

Please take a moment to answer that question. 

I think your answer may put things into perspective.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Destination NYC... Make A Wish

As I said in the last post, any kid under the age of 18 that is diagnosed with cancer is eligible for a Make A Wish.

The process started in the hospital, letting Hannah know that she could have a Make A Wish.  That was before all the bad chemo and drugs hit.  So a moment of excitement went to not even a thought over the next 30 days. 

Once Hannah came home after her first hospital visit, we were visited by two Make A Wish reps, Raheem, and Erica.  Both of them are volunteers, and put so much time in that it is really wonderful and amazing, their passion for helping grant wishes is amazing.

After much thought, Hannah said that she wanted to see the Broadway show, "Anything Goes" and to meet the lead, Sutton Foster (Google her).

Hannah had followed Sutton's work for awhile, saw her in the show in the Spring, and had a role in a local production of the play when she was diagnosed.

Needless to say, she was unable to perform in the play, and one of the very worst nights in her first hospital stay was when she wanted so badly to see the play.  Tough night.

Over the next several months, Hannah battled, while Raheem and Erica worked to grant her wish.  Honestly, with the holiday's and trying to get Hannah home in time for them, we did not think much about the wish.

After Hannah's second hospital stay, we were told the wish would happen and when it would happen.  When dealing with a wish that involves meeting a "celebrity", schedules have to be very flexible to make the wish happen.

So this last weekend, we went off to NYC to meet Sutton Foster.

It was an incredible trip, with lots of photos to follow.

Being picked up by driver "Mogi", and riding to the airport in a stretch Excursion Limo. Sarah is missing from this picture and the trip because of work conflicts - we missed having her along.

Walking to dinner on Friday evening we see that one of the greatest guitar players in the world (in my personal opinion) is playing.  Phil Keaggy (Google him).

Friday's dinner destination, Shake Shack, OMG.

Meeting friends and shopping after dinner on Friday

 Good morning NYC Saturday morning.

Hanging out at Grand Central Station before the show on Saturday
Another Limo, We must be important.

Meeting Sutton Foster after, the show.  Her first Make a Wish.  She was great!! This was her last weekend of Anything Goes before she is off to Hollywood to be a part of a new series, we were told that she may only be able to spend 5 to 10 minutes with Hannah, well, she spent 45+ minutes with her/us and was so amazing and gracious - we could not have asked for more. Truly a wonderful experience.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Central Park Sunday

The trip was amazing.  The Make A Wish team did an incredible job and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Cobley's Take Manhattan

It has been quite awhile since the last update, so time to bring everyone up to speed.

First, Hannah's health.  She is great!!!  Her numbers are very good, and she is getting stronger everyday.  She is now having to deal with a little boredom, however she is babysitting more, and has actually started working back at church.

Mentally she is doing great, it's as if she has said, "OK, cancer is done, lets move on!"

This weekend is going to be very exciting!  Hannah's Make A Wish has been granted, and we will experience it this weekend.  Just to clarify, anyone under the age of 18 that has a diagnosis of cancer is eligible for a Make A Wish.  It does not have to be terminal cancer, just cancer.  So with that, we are headed to New York.

As many of  you know, Hannah LOVES Broadway shows, and that is her wish.  Sharon, Jessie, Hannah and I (unfortunately, Sarah can not go due to work obligations) will be leaving for New York.  I am the only one of the four of us that has never been to New York, so I will be the ultimate tourist.

We are staying at the Grand Hyatt on Park Avenue in midtown, which looks wonderful and very fancy.  We have 2 scheduled events.  On Saturday, we will be seeing "Anything Goes" and afterwards we will be meeting the star of the show Sutton Foster.

Sunday, we will be going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Between those two events, we will be taking in as much as NYC has to offer before we head back home Monday night.  Personally I am really looking forward to a New York deli style pastrami sandwich.

We will post pictures throughout the weekend.

Thanks again for your continued prayer and support.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cancer...What I have learned..

Hi all, update time again.  It has been a while, and Sharon posted yesterday on Facebook that she and Hannah were at the clinic and some people freaked out.  No more freaking out, here is where we go from here.

As you know, Hannah made it out of the hospital before Christmas.  Her Doctor is amazed by that, she had fully expected her to be in PCH until after Christmas.  She had one week of outpatient chemo the week before Christmas and tolerated it pretty well and was able to get out and do a few things with friends.

She was at PCH yesterday to have a bone marrow aspiration and a lumbar puncture with a small amount of chemo injected in to her spine,  this is normal and part of the protocol.  The chemo injected into the spine is an extra precaution to fight against leukemia. Most leukemia patients with the other types –AML or ALL have 30 lumbar punctures so Hannah has been very lucky to only have to have 3, especially since it took 3 tries yesterday to get it.  The bone marrow aspiration was pulled from the front hip area this time which was new, and painful.

Provided that the bone marrow and spinal fluid are clear, there is no reason to believe that they will not be, she will begin her monthly maintenance.  Starting next Friday she will start new oral medication and to to clinic once a month.  The following week she will have her broviac catheter removed from her chest.  And oh yeah, because she is finished with chemo her hair should start to grow back.

To say that I have learned from this experience would be an understatement.  While I would never wish anyone to ever go through this, while I can not call it a blessing, I can say that we have been truly blessed.

Below is a list of things that I have learned or have been reaffirmed during the last 6 months. (no particular order, and not all of them)

The big things in life help us to focus on the little things.

God is in control

Tears, generated by fear, being scared, anger, joy or gratitude are a good thing.

Laughter truly is the best medicine

I love my family more than I ever thought I could.

My wife is a stud!

Watching "Big Bang Theory" with your kids is fun.

Each moment is precious, savor it.

Toughness is not measured by how many hits you can take, it is measured by how you move forward after each hit.

Friends are truly a gift.

My kids are the second most important gift that I have, being second only to the Gift of Salvation that I have received through Jesus.  I need to cherish both of these gifts more.