“The prognosis for AT/RT has been very poor, although there are some indications that an IRSIII-based therapy can produce long-term survival (60 to 72 months). Two-year survival is less than 20%, average survival postoperatively is 11 months, and doctors often recommend palliative care, especially with younger children because of the poor outcomes.” -Wikipedia on Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor
Tomorrow, February 6th, is Chase’s first truly post-treatment MRI. The first real chemo-is-all-out-of-your-system, three-months-without-a-single-drug-to-guard-against-relapse, have-your-sleep-patterns-changed, why-did-you-forget-that-word, you-fell-twice-yesterday… MRI.
Tomorrow, there will be two doors. Behind Door #1 is the clear scan and the sigh of relief and the three month wait until next time. Behind Door #2 is relapse and all the possibilities that it brings. Writing that thought down leaves me sick to my stomach, but the truth is, we’ve known about Door #2 since the early days of August 2012. So, even if it comes to that horror, there will likely be few surprises.
People say in mistaken comfort “Yes, but what are the chances…?” For a parent of a child that only ever had a hairs-breadth percentage of getting cancer and this cancer and surviving this cancer, the chances hold no comfort at all.
The only comfort is in knowing that I am invited to bring my worry to God, and then not worry about it anymore, because He will guard my heart and my mind. The only comfort is knowing that all of our days were counted and known before we ever breathed, that we were fearfully and wonderfully created, and our very souls cry out with that thought. The only comfort is knowing that all our pain and suffering is but an earth-moment, and then we’ll stand in the presence of our Savior, understanding the promises and knowing no more pain or sorrow or tears–only closeness to Him forever.
I know those truths. I believe those truths. But as I stand in front of these two doors, my heart is still heavy… what now?
“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14
Silence? My make-it-better, make-it-stop, never-give-in heart wants no part of that. Silence is accepting defeat. Silence is acquiescing… isn’t it? Being silent is one of the hardest things for me to do, yet I’m called to do it in this moment. And as I obey, not speaking becomes speaking. The quiet becomes loud. We will watch and see what unfolds as we remember how far we’ve come, and know beyond a shadow of doubt that the same grace that covered all waits always, ahead of us, behind any door.
The doors are in place as they always have been and will be… The right thoughts are known and remembered time and again… and now?
We wait for what He will show us in His time.
We are silent… Moment by moment.