Could I (Amy) ask for you to pray (or continue to pray) for us? I'll try not to go into more boring details than necessary, but here's the situation:
Caroline continues to lose hair, and she has now completely lost all her eyelashes under one eye. (that is so heart-breaking) The rest of her eyelashes and her eyebrows are extremely thinned out. This started in mid-November, so we are on month number 3 of this, and I think it's natural that Marc and I are fighting against feelings of anxiety, discouragement, depression, etc. as each day we watch our daughter begin to resemble a cancer patient more than the healthy, thriving & active 2 yr. old that she is. (Bloodwork has shown us that this is not an internal health issue thankfully.)
Right now the doctors (we've got the top dermatologist at UVa) have it narrowed down to 2 options. In either option, from what I read online, it seems like Caroline's case is rare and severe. In option #1- the hair will probably all grow back at some point (could be several months, whenever her little system decides to start growing) and all of this is over. Option #2- the hair will probably grow back at some point, but this would likely be a life-long condition with cycles of hair loss and growth. This hair-loss could also potentially be permanent. If it's a particular type of this hair loss, she could lose all of the hair on her body and never have it again. The main thing is that with either option, there are varying degrees of severity and the course of the conditions can take a NUMBER of courses, mild or severe. So this could all be over in a year, or this could just be the beginning of a life-long journey, or somewhere in between.
And so we just have to wait and watch. There is no treatment for either option on someone so young. And waiting on hair to start growing is not easy on Mom & Dad, especially when you see a strand of hair left on her chair or an eyelash fallen on her cheek after her bath.
And the internet is a great thing, but I gotta tell you, sometimes it is simply NOT a help. I made the mistake last night of doing some more research on these two health conditions. I must confess-- I saw the pictures and burst into tears.
It's at times like these that I'm so thankful I'm a believer. If all I had was the internet to "comfort" me and tell me the probable course of Caroline's hairloss, I would be even MORE of a wreck than I already am! (sometimes I can't imagine that...ha!) But I have a BIG God. He is in control, and He loves me and my daughter. He could heal her, or He could choose to use this suffering in our family's life as part of His ultimate plan. My God is no stranger to suffering, as He watched His own SON suffer on a cross for us. And Jesus told us clearly, "In this life you WILL have trouble. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." Someday all these things that aren't the way they're supposed to be WILL be made right, and I can rejoice in that.
But right now doesn't feel like the time to rejoice. Nevertheless, I'll put my trust not in how I feel or what I see. (especially because what I SEE is a balding head) Like Abraham, I live by faith, not by sight. But I put my trust in a God who tells me in His word:
"Why, even the hairs of Caroline's head are numbered. Fear not; she is of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12.7)
"For I know the plans I have for Caroline" declares the LORD, "plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future." (Jer. 29.11)
So no matter how many (or few) hairs the Lord has planned for Caroline's precious little head, pray that He would give us the comfort, grace and strength to endure through it all and trust in His ways. Thank you, sweet friends & family, for praying.