It’s growing harder and harder for me to write very straightforward updates about Jacob’s status and what is going on…not because I don’t want to do it, but because I feel like Sofia and the whole Schaub family are becoming such a part of my heart, and simply writing the facts and events leaves me feeling like I’m writing only half the story. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love much and feel deeply, so I hope you’ll forgive me for taking a little detour to pour a little more into this update than usual.
Who knew that entering a new year would mean seeing life differently from this point forward? Of course we all now know that Jacob is very sick. The surprise is over, and reality is here. This is going to be a long journey, and it is going to take the efforts of many diligent doctors, the prayers of many faithful intercessors, the help of many selfless friends, and the favor of God to rid Jacob’s body of leukemia and help the Schaubs get through this challenging time. When horrific news hits, it’s easy to be caught up in the wave of compassion that pours out in the first weeks, but as time passes, those of us who aren’t face-to-face with this condition might forget how challenging this journey will be for them. Some days will be good. Most days will be very hard. And while they do all they can to restore Jacob’s health, they’ll be sorting through emotions of grief, loss, heartache, longing, powerlessness, exhaustion, discouragement, frustration, and more.
I know David and Sofia (and Jacob and Simon and Lucas) are loved by many, and I want to humbly ask you to continue loving in all the ways you can…with encouraging words, with practical help, with generous donations to help with costs, and with prayer. For the local friends who want to help in the most practical ways, we are going to be setting up sustainable systems/teams for specific areas they may need help in during the months to come. If you would like to be part of the crew that helps them on an ongoing basis throughout this year, please be sure to fill out the Help Signup form that is on the “Opportunities to Help” page, and we will keep you informed about the teams that are being organized on their behalf. If you’ve already filled it out, we have all your info, so you don’t need to re-submit. A date has not yet been set, but I do hope to have a “Helper’s Meeting” to gather as many people together who want to be part of these efforts to communicate in person what their ongoing needs are, and how we can provide consistent support over a long period of time without any individuals feeling too great a burden on themselves. More on that soon. Thanks for reading…. – Emily
And now for the update:
Today has been a really tough day. Jacob had an early appointment at the clinic for blood work, and time in the clinic is often exhausting and drawn-out. This morning Jacob felt really angry and did not want to go to the doctor. That is hard for Sofia, because she understands, but they still had to go. Sofia said they didn’t actually do the spinal procedure (that will be next Friday), but there was a super long wait to get results from the blood work. She said when they got home, she, Jacob, and Lucas all fell asleep for several hours, cuddled close together.
Treatment Plan & What to Expect:
Today the doctors gave them a detailed treatment plan for Jacob as well as information about what to expect. What I have to share right now is very generalized information, but we’ll soon have more specifics to share. Doctors said to prepare for nine difficult months ahead that will include really aggressive treatments. Jacob has been in the first phase of treatment thus far, and after next week, he will be in a recovery phase for a few weeks so that he can stabilize and hopefully his white blood cells will increase. These weeks should be reasonably good/normal for him because he will not be subject to the hard chemo. After that, he will begin the second phase, which will be very tough, and he may have to be hospitalized for the first few days when they start him on a new/different type of chemo. She said that sometime in the second phase he will have radiation treatments in addition to the chemo he receives.
- For Jacob to have more really good days. Sofia says yesterday it was nice to see him feel good, and she wants more of those days for him, especially if things are going to get much tougher.
- For Jacob to not be in pain all the time. Sofia hopes to see him smile more and be able to do some normal things
- For all of them to be able to work through their emotions in a healthy way as this journey continues