When Grief Bubbles Over in the Cereal Aisle


We hit a few more bumps in the road over the weekend. I’m trying really, really hard to stay positive and focus on the blessings around us during such a dark and frustrating time in our lives.

Friday night Charlie started dry heaving really bad. We were up with him all night trying to comfort and calm him until the vet opened. It was truly a blessing that our vet allowed us to bring him in when they opened that morning even though there were no available appointments that day. After rounds of tests, scans and blood work the doctor informed us that Charlie has advanced lymphoma and the swollen lymph nodes in his throat are bringing him a great deal of discomfort. We are meeting with an oncologist early this week to find out our treatment options and next steps. In the meantime, we have him on some medicine to reduce his discomfort — another blessing.

The next morning I received a call from mom. She was in an ambulance with dad on the way to the hospital. Dad had taken another downhill turn. When the paramedics arrived for dad it was a ginormous blessing that they agreed to break the rules and take him to our preferred hospital which is way outside of their radius. Dad is stable for now and has the entire family there keeping him company, minus me. The rigors of chemo have deteriorated his brain significantly and there are a litany of additional health issues that we continue to uncover as tests, scans and blood work results come in. I don’t know what each day will bring from here on out but this does change our family trip down this weekend. For various reasons I can’t get down until Thursday night but am now flying out alone instead of bringing the entire family down. I would be remiss not to recognize the huge blessing this new job has been for me — my boss has been so flexible and understanding and my new salary has made extremely expensive last minute flights home a little less financially burdensome.

Lastly, I’m thankful that no one was in the cereal aisle this morning when I had a complete breakdown and had to abandon my shopping cart to run to my car. I need to step away from the blog the rest of this week but will return when I can with updates.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. And for those of you who have asked how you can tangibly help — you can send me your favorite praise & worship songs to add to my Spotify play list.

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108 Comments

  1. mallory cleary
    July 24, 2017 / 2:13 pm

    god Bless you. you are in my prayers..

  2. Erin Barnes
    July 24, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Saying extra prayers for you and your entire family. Xoxo

  3. Meredith
    July 24, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    So sorry to hear this, I am praying for you and your entire family!!!

  4. Shauna
    July 24, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Sending up prayers for your Dad. The song that helped me during a dark time (I lost my Dad in 2013) is Hillsong United's Oceans (Where Feet May Fail).

  5. Lanie W.
    July 24, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    All the prayers for you and your whole family. <3

  6. Kim Oliver
    July 24, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    I've been reading your blog for years but rarely comment. Saying a pray for you and your family this morning. Praying God's peace for all of you. Here's one of my favorite praise and worship songs…This Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

  7. Sarah C.
    July 24, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    Prayers for you and your family.

  8. Mari
    July 24, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Praying for you and your family.

  9. Aileen Johnston
    July 24, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    Sending you love and prayers. Take care of yourself as well as looking after everyone else. Much love xx

  10. Abby Lauer Roughton
    July 24, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Praying for you and your family – two of my favorite comforting songs are Let the Peace of God Reign (Hillsong Worship) and God of Wonders (Third Day)

  11. Sarah Kreger
    July 24, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    I am praying for your family <3

  12. Kate
    July 24, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    Thinking about and praying for you and your family. Though we don't know each other, your blog makes me feel like we are friends. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us, even the parts that aren't easy. Know that you have lots of people sending good vibes and virtual hugs your way!

  13. Lauren
    July 24, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    I'm so sorry, Christina. Your family is in my thoughts.The version of Be Thou My Vision from Pedro the Lion always brings me peace.

  14. Kara Johnson
    July 24, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Thinking of you and your family. God is watching over your Father and your sweet dog. <3

  15. Brooke
    July 24, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    Sending up prayers for you and your family. Also Ryan Stevenson's "Eye of the Storm" give it a listen. ((hugs))

  16. LHWinstead
    July 24, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    I am so sorry you & your family are going through such a difficult time. Praying for God to bring yall comfort!!

  17. Kelli Van Fossen
    July 24, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Praying for you – admiring your strength in finding the silver lining.

  18. Mandy
    July 24, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    Wow- you truly are amazing at finding the blessing among this. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Emily Watson
    July 24, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    You Are Mine by David Haas, this song was extremely meaningful when my day was suffering from and eventually passed away from cancer. Prayers going up for you and your family.

  20. Stephanie
    July 24, 2017 / 4:33 pm

    I am so sorry for the darkness you and your family are walking through. I love "Ain't no grave" by David Crowder

  21. Kiri Longa
    July 24, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    Christina! You are one of the TOUGHEST mammas out there! Praying hard for you and your family.

  22. Haley
    July 24, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    I'm so sorry. I lost my dad two years ago after a long illness. Praying for strength for all of you, and peace for your dad.

  23. E
    July 24, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Praying for you and your beautiful family.

  24. Serah R
    July 24, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    I don't know why, but I just had a feeling something had happened when I opened up your blog today and saw no weekend update. Prayers are going up for you and your family. I'm sure you have this song on your Spotify list, but "It is well" from Bethel was on constant replay last year during my best friend's battle with cancer. And "Oceans" from Hillsong United.

  25. Jennifer M
    July 24, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Thinking of you and praying for your family.

  26. Gramspearls
    July 24, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Dear,dear Christina,I have never commented before, but I have followed your for the past few years. I have always been amazed at what a positive and strong little soul you are. Matt is amazing, too. When my husband and I discuss what you and your family have been through and how bravely you have handled it ALL, we are in awe. You always have a smile on your face and Plan B in the wings. You are inspirational to us all.It is not at all unusual to have what happened in the grocery store happen….and all the 'forgetfulness' you have noticed is no doubt, due to your father's illness and the move and your beloved pet's illness. You are, once again, having many significant things happen all at once. I will always see you as the determined mother standing at the doctor's office door before they even opened, without an appointment, with your new son. You are amazing. It makes me cry at your bravery. I can only say that you will, with all the support and love around you, get through this, too. You are special….I hope you know this.Sending prayers your way, Kathleen

    • kate24
      July 24, 2017 / 5:59 pm

      I 100% agree with this comment. I don't know you personally, but I have long admired the light you bring to the social media world. If I lived near you, I would have already stalked you into becoming a real life friend (or scared you off…haha). So very sorry for what you are going through. It sucks and its not fair. Praying for you and your family.This might be a little more random than some of the suggestion, but Randy Travis (who I'm not even really a fan of?) has done a few worship covers that I stumbled upon and they surprisingly meant a lot to me during some dark times. Something about hearing a deep voice man sing worship songs really touched my soul. The few I remember off the top of my head are The Heart of Worship, Here I am to Worship, Open the Eyes of My Heart, and Shout to the Lord. I know that it won't be for everybody but it's something different to try.

    • Alex M-S @ Whitehall & Rose
      July 24, 2017 / 7:12 pm

      Couldn't agree more with these comments. Your bravery and resilience is inspiring. What you're going through is unfair and I have no idea how you deal with it all on top of the stresses of daily life. Bless YOU for seeking the blessings in life especially when it is unfair and stormy. Only truly beautiful people seek the light when it is dark. Praying, praying for you and sending much love to you and your whole family. (and a million hugs to Charlie)

  27. Margot
    July 24, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    Sending so many prayers and hugs to you and your family, Christina. I'm so sorry you're all going through this.

  28. Natalie
    July 24, 2017 / 5:57 pm

    Thinking and praying for you this week! Now add Trust In You by Lauren Daigle to your Spotify…trust me!

  29. A Simple Southern Life
    July 24, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about these hard times you are going through. I will be praying for you and your family! The song Even If by Mercy Me is seriously amazing and comforting in hard times!

    • Simply LKJ
      July 24, 2017 / 7:35 pm

      I have to agree…Even If has gotten me through the past few months since losing my precious MIL. Continue to pray for your family!

  30. Jessi @ Jessi's Design
    July 24, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Prayers friend. Thinking of you!

  31. Angela
    July 24, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    I'm so sorry. I'll be keeping your family in my thoughts.

  32. Lindsay at Lindsay'sSweetWorld
    July 24, 2017 / 6:21 pm

    I am praying for you and your family, Christina.

  33. Heather Robinson
    July 24, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    I will praise you in this storm by casting crowns is incredible. Prayers for you friend.

    • Brandi
      July 24, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      This was my song recommendation. Also, "If You Want Me To" by Ginny Owens and "Blessings" by Laura Story. Many prayers for your family.

  34. Adelyn V
    July 24, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    I am so sorry you are facing so much hardship right now. I am praying for both your father and Charlie's healing. RE: playlist–I love the song "Redeemer" by Nicole C. Mullen.

  35. Sara
    July 24, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Sending you and your family many prayers for comfort, peace, healing and patience as you find your way during this time. My favorites are (as mentioned above) Oceans by Hillsong United, My Hope Is In You by April Geesbreght and Chris Tomlin's Here I Am To Worship.

  36. Traci
    July 24, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Praying for you guys. I am so sorry. I have been enjoying In Christ Alone, the one my Kristian Stanfill. It's so good. Hang in there <3

  37. Maggie
    July 24, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    Praying for you and your family.

  38. Alexis Fetterman
    July 24, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    Prayers to you and your family Christina. I pray God will give you peace and comfort. Tremble by Mosaic and Oh My Soul by Casting Crowns come to mind. 😙

  39. Unknown
    July 24, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    Praying for you and your family! "Come to the Altar" by Elevation Worship; "Thy Will Be Done" Hillary Scott; "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns; "Because He Lives" by Matt Maher are a few of my favorites.

    • Alexis Fetterman
      July 25, 2017 / 12:16 am

      Come to the altar ❤

  40. BG by Christina
    July 24, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Aw praying for you!!! <3I really love your blog, following now + on socials :)http://www.bgbychristina.blogspot.com

  41. A Gal Named Al
    July 24, 2017 / 8:02 pm

    Oh Christina- I'm so sorry to hear all of this. Thinking of you all during this time.

  42. Meghan
    July 24, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    I'm really sorry to hear this. Praying for you and your family.

  43. Katie
    July 24, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Your strength is admirable, but I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this.

  44. Hanging with the Hirsts
    July 24, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Christina, I am so sorry to hear this!! Y'all are dealing with some VERY hard times right now and I will definitely be praying. You are doing such a good job trying to stay positive. Keep your eyes on Jesus – He won't let you down!

  45. Lauren
    July 24, 2017 / 8:05 pm

    Blessings, prayers, happy thoughts and good juju, all of everything to your sweet family, Charlie, dad, everyone. So sorry to hear this.

  46. Bekah Walsh
    July 24, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    It's the worst when everything hits at once like this. So glad you are still able to recognize the blessings, but I know how hard this is and am praying for your peace whatever the outcome may be.

  47. Annie
    July 24, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    Y'all are in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs friend. Xoxo

  48. Sara
    July 24, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    I have always admired how you see the positive in really tough sitiations. You have such a strong faith that can help you get through anything. I found the song Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship helped me when my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. You when your family are in my prayers.

  49. shelleystursma
    July 24, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Say the Word, Hillsong United. Fullness, Here as in Heaven, both by Elevation Worship. I lost a really good friend unexpectedly last month, and I have found great comfort in these songs.

  50. Allison Hemer
    July 24, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Sending you all the grace, prayers, blessings and safe travels! As another commenter said "Oceans" by Hillsong United is a song I turn to often. I find it calming, strengthening, and powerful! On a completely other note a random single from Katy Perry "Rise" always speaks to me. I mean it opens "I won't just survive, oh you will see me thrive" – everyone needs to know that!

  51. Cate
    July 24, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Praying for you and your family.

  52. Laura W
    July 24, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this 🙁 We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

  53. Caitlin Moses
    July 24, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Even If by Mercy Me. It's carried me through my mom's breast cancer, my miscarriages, infertility, and more over the past few months. Everything always happens at once, it seems. The song challenges me to rely on my faith in ways I never knew I was capable of. I cry, I resist it's message, I feel hope in Jesus, then my heart softens and I accept the message. Same emotions, every single time I put it on. Praying for you. Truly.

  54. Elizabeth [Chasin' Mason]
    July 24, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Thinking of you and your family. xo

  55. Lindsey Lynch
    July 24, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    Prayers and hugs to you and your family.

  56. Unknown
    July 24, 2017 / 11:47 pm

    A favorite of mine is "It is well with my soul". Read the history behind the song …and stay in God's Word itself. Praying for you. ❤

  57. Brittany Healthy Slice
    July 24, 2017 / 11:56 pm

    It breaks my heart to hear everything you are going through. I wish I had more to offer you beyond my thoughts and prayers. One of my favorite songs is Come to the Altar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYQ5yXCc_CAI'm hoping you can find moments of peace as you travel down this road knowing that so many of us out here are supporting you from afar.

  58. Melissa Joy
    July 25, 2017 / 12:05 am

    "There Will Be a Day" by Jeremy Camp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHh58d9W4ZQ <— Please watch this YouTube Video It is Jeremy Camp and his wife singing that song and the short sermon before they sing is everything. I watch this video anytime life gets hard. It's helped me so much and I hope it helps you too!

  59. Amanda
    July 25, 2017 / 1:02 am

    Praying for you & your family- so sorry you are going through such a difficult time.

  60. Lindsay Narcisso
    July 25, 2017 / 1:20 am

    Praying for y'all! And I always lean on Praise you in this storm by casting crowns. Sending lots of hugs and love ❤️

  61. Jessica
    July 25, 2017 / 1:25 am

    Praying for you and your family in these difficult times.

  62. Grace Massey
    July 25, 2017 / 1:38 am

    Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb. I have had it on repeat during a very difficult time. Really anything by Ellie is amazing!

  63. jen
    July 25, 2017 / 2:14 am

    Sweet Christina..you had been on my heart as I was reading blogs over the weekend. You are such a light and I agree wholeheartedly with many above that you inspire to keep walking on in life with an attitude of preseverence and faith. I am in awe of you and in prayer for all you are facing. Our family has had a very hard few years in similar ways as well. Your blog has always given me a great perspective and outlook. I'm fromMt holly and have many times wanted to bring dinner and a card and just give you a big hug to remind you you're not alone. You are precious. I'm praying for you, your family, Charlie. My songs are older, but good…Lover of My Soul by Amy Grant and Heal the Wound by Point of Grace

  64. Christi
    July 25, 2017 / 2:23 am

    Praying for all of you. Walk by Faith by Jeremy Camp got me through a really scary medical timeIf Even by Mercy Me…actually a few of them but this song was written by the main singer after leaving one of his son's type 1 diabetes appointments. I share that because it makes the words have powerful meaning. In Heaven is another favorite of mine

  65. Hailey Lee
    July 25, 2017 / 4:27 am

    After reading thru some of these comments, it's obvious that we all feel the same way about you. You truly are one in a million. Praying over you and your family, that you all will feel Gods arms around you and give you peace. I pray you are able to get down and spend time loving on your Dad. Also praying for sweet Charlie!! All the songs suggestions are great!! I will Sing & I am not alone -Kari Jobe. Xo.

  66. Rachel Emily
    July 25, 2017 / 10:34 am

    Sweet Christina, lifting you up right now! I'm so sorry you are going through this. There isn't much else to say, just know that you have people who are praying for you and hurting for you and your sweet family. Two worship songs I love for hard times are Even When It Hurts and Broken Vessels, both by Hillsong United. Praying He gives your soul peace and comfort even if it's just for a second through these songs!!

  67. ABS
    July 25, 2017 / 11:13 am

    I have been a longtime reader, rare commenter. My heart breaks for the struggles you have endured these past years. You are the picture of grace, resilience and strength. I am sending so many prayers out into the world for you. You deserve every happiness and blessing.

  68. plegalmom
    July 25, 2017 / 11:55 am

    I am praying for you and your family. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago when I was facing a bilateral mastectomy. I was feeling very sorry for myself this morning when I read your post. That really put things into perspective for me. You have faced so many hardships during your young life, and have done so with grace and dignity. My hope is that you are able to continue to find moments of peace, gratitude, and love.

  69. Emma Charlotte
    July 25, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    I wish you always feel better. My prayers are always with you.Emma Charlotte | TheAcademicPapers.co.uk

  70. Toni :O)
    July 25, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Big big hugs! I'm so sorry for the road you are traveling. So sad and difficult. I love Oceans by Hillsong. Many thoughts and prayers with you and your entire family. 🙏🏻💜😔

  71. Raven
    July 25, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Praying for you and your family and sweet Charlie. "Even When It Hurts" – Hillsong

  72. Owen Davis @ Davis Duo
    July 25, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    Girl I am so so sorry. When there are no words, just know that you are being prayed for <3

  73. Sherry Tahquette
    July 25, 2017 / 12:57 pm

    I am so sorry. I walked this road with my dad and it is so very very difficult. Listen to. MATT Maher Lord I Need You. It's amazing. Praying for your family.

  74. Confessions of a Glamour Junkie
    July 25, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Praying for you, your family, your dad, and sweet Charlie.

  75. Kate
    July 25, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers <3

  76. Traci Hutton
    July 25, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Thoughts & Prayers <3

  77. Traci
    July 25, 2017 / 4:08 pm

    Praying really hard for you & your family. My most favorite religious song is How Beautiful. Be Not Afraid is a really good one too.

  78. Michele McFadden
    July 25, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    May God hold you and your family in his strong arms and bring you comfort. My prayers are with you.

  79. Amanda Goins
    July 25, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Sending you lots of prayers, hugs, and healing for all.

  80. Ashley Capehart
    July 25, 2017 / 9:36 pm

    Sending positive thoughts to you, Matt, Charlie, Caroline, Thomas and the entire Sandroni family 🙂

  81. edie3
    July 25, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    Love and prayers to you and your family

  82. Laura Darling
    July 25, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. Prayers for you and your family.

  83. Deanna
    July 26, 2017 / 1:22 am

    🙁 I'm so sorry to hear this! My favorite worship song would be "amazing love (you are my king)" by Hillsong. Praying for Charlie & your family!

  84. Janet
    July 26, 2017 / 3:11 am

    Praying for you, Charlie, your family, your dad, and just having the strength to make it through all of this.God Bless.

  85. Sam Randall
    July 26, 2017 / 6:44 am

    Oh Christina, my heart breaks for you. I know your pain.. I often think of you and I was so sorry when I saw this post.. Poor Charlie boy. Sending so much love for your Daddy. Cancer is from the devil and it takes so much. Love and prayers and hugs and kisses for you all.. Sam in Australia xoxo

  86. Brandi
    July 26, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Sending you positive vibes!!!

  87. Gina Grimes
    July 27, 2017 / 4:10 am

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Trust in You by Lauren Daigle and Your Great Name by Natalie Grant.

  88. Amy
    July 27, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Oh I'm so, so sorry. Praying for all of you.

  89. Erin (No Bohns About It)
    July 27, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Sending you lots of prayers. There is just something about grocery stores man. I think it's walking the aisles alone and reflecting. I had a breakdown myself over oranges once. Thinking of you <3

  90. Caley-Jade Rosenberg
    July 27, 2017 / 6:11 pm

    Sending you endless love and prayers my special friend, I am so so sorry xEver Be – Kalley HeiligenthalNo Longer a Slave – Melissa Helserx

  91. Paige Viollt
    July 27, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Praying for you, your dad, and all of your family! Download Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)/You Make Me Brave mashup by Caleb and Kelsey.

  92. Micah
    July 28, 2017 / 11:47 am

    It is well by bethel music and Kristine DemarcoPraying for your family

  93. Laura at Fantastically Four
    July 28, 2017 / 12:19 pm

    Just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you and your family. 💛

  94. Melinda Rosenboom
    July 28, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Thinking of you lots this week! Hope you're hanging in there <3

  95. Nikki
    July 29, 2017 / 5:43 am

    Praying for healing for all of your loved ones. My favorite hymn which brings me strength and peace is "Lord of all hopefulness." I hope if you look it up, that it brings you some comfort ❤️

  96. sara [at] journey of doing
    July 30, 2017 / 1:08 am

    Praying for all of you Christina. Favorite P&W songs: Light of Mine, Addison Road; Grace like Rain, Todd Agnew.

  97. rox
    July 30, 2017 / 2:16 am

    Hugs, sweet lady. You are going through so many trials and tribulations right now. Prayers for all.

  98. Lindsey
    August 3, 2017 / 3:19 am

    I'll be praying for your dad and your whole family as you navigate through this very difficult time. One of my favorite worship songs is amazing grace (my chains are gone) by chris tomlin, the words just speak to me during difficult times and remind me of God's love and grace.

  99. Lisa
    August 4, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Bless your precious little heart. I'm so sorry you are in such a valley. Prayers for peace, strength and comfort. XOXO

  100. violinista
    August 6, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    I am so sorry you have had soo much happen to you and your family. I can empathize with the heart break as my mother has terminal brain cancer. She got the diagnosis a month after my grandmother died. Sometimes it just seems like life is too much to bear…but that is when I know I HAVE to focus on the good things that life and God give me, like my energetic 2 year old (only 10 days older than Thomas I believe!), my wonderful husband and a great church family. I am thinking and praying for you and your family.

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