There are some days that I long for answers.
After being re-admitted to the hospital in Sunday’s early hours, Chase is driving me to that place. Why are the fevers so high when he still had white blood cells? Why is he so visibly ill when his tests are coming back negative? Why is his blood pressure so low ….does he need platelets …does he vomit even after anti-nausea drugs …why, why, why??
It’s days like today that I hear Tennyson in my head:
“Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die…”
Is that the reality? To do and die?
Even as I question, I am reminded of the verse in Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
If this life is full of God’s plans for me that give both a future and a hope, and I’d prefer not to face it like one of the six hundred riding silently to death, I ask myself…how should I respond to weary days with no answers?
Give thanks even when it hurts. …when it aches …when there is no human reason for the pain and suffering.
“Give thanks in ALL things…” (1 Thess 5:18)
So this is my answer for today. I may not get the answers I crave for the child lying in the bed, but believing that whatever my God ordains is right and for His glory and my good can free my burdened heart for thankfulness.
Moment by moment.
We have had the most wonderful break over the holidays! In truth, the longest break Chase has had since being diagnosed. We’ve completed 14-16 cycles of chemo and 30 days of radiation.
So, now what …?
At the end of January, there will be an official evaluation to determine whether this treatment is working. Right now, Chase’s brain is still too swollen from radiation to be able to get a good “read” on how things look. However, we will have a small preview of the direction things are headed…
On Monday, Chase will be admitted to the hospital for three days of chemo which get started with a spinal tap and interthecal chemo (they inject it into his spine). When they inject the chemo into the spine, they also remove a small amount of his spinal fluid and test it for abnormal or cancerous cells. So, even before the big scans and tests at the end of the month, we will probably have an idea of what’s worked based on the content of the spinal fluid.
These evaluation sessions are …I can’t even think of an appropriate word to describe them… important to say the least. These are the times where we will sit down and talk through all of this working…if we will continue on with the 54 week chemo protocol, or try something else. These are the times that we will confront this ugly and stubborn cancer in the face and begin to know who is going to win. As you can imagine, these are the times we simultaneously hasten and dread with the question of which is worse – the knowing or the not knowing?
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.” Psalm 130:5
And so, we wait with hope…
Moment by moment.
Most days, the fact of Chase’s cancer is recessed behind the reality of simply caring for him and the rest of my family. However, there are some days when the cancer is heavy on me. Days where no matter how I think, pray, reason, or verbalize, my heart and mind are unshakably heavy with the weight of this awful disease and it’s toll on the ones I love.
This last week, I had a bad cancer day. On Tuesday, we found out the results of Monday’s spinal tap – that there were still cancer cells in the fluid. We had not expected them to be gone, but we had hoped. There was no status change in Chase or his treatment, but that news put the cancer back on me.
The heaviness stayed with me for some time and when I was finally able to escape the room, I took a walk and sat by the cloudy, windy lake – which seemed to mirror my mood.
As I sat, I opened the Bible app in my phone to Psalm 27 and read verses 13 and 14…
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. Wait for the Lord!”
What incredible words in a moment for which there was no explanation! Yes, I can wait…I WILL wait….why? Because I believe that I will see God’s goodness. Whether His goodness manifests in healing my son is for His mind alone at this time, but I know that He is good, and so I wait …
Moment by moment …