God is good and faithful. He has been, is now and will always be faithful and good.
This is sort of a halfway point for us in this journey so I thought I would do a reflection post. We are postponing the next round until next Friday. We will start bone marrow transplant next Friday.
July 18, 2021, a day I will never forget. Grace had not been feeling well for a couple of weeks, tested positive for strep but some thing wasn’t adding up. Dave ended up taking her to the doctors and we thought it was a complication of strep. In the early hours of July 18 she woke up crying and screaming then she threw up. We took her to the ER, we could tell something wasn’t right. In the ER I told the doctor my concern and he listened. This is One of the miracles in this process. The doctor that was on that night was empathetic and kind. He knew what I was there for, and said absolutely. I asked him to do the CT scan and my hope was he would say I was an overbearing mother. That did not happen. Instead he said your concerns are valid and there is a mass. He immediately got on the phone with the neurosurgeons and nationwide. We requested nationwide over any other place because they’re taking care of us so well with Nate.
They talked to Dr. Sribnick Who got us life flighted to nationwide. The minute she got to nationwide it was like an immediate ability to exhale. We knew we were going to be taken care of and we were in the best hands. Our neurosurgeon, one of his interest is actually brain cancers. He came in on a Sunday and pulled strings and got us our MRI and put a drain in her head. God is our savior he uses these people to help us. Dr. Sribnick Was so kind that day and reassuring. July 19 Gracies tumor was removed. We spent the next week and a half in the hospital. Every step of the recovery was an added blessing. Nationwide happens to be one of the leaders in neuro oncology (brain cancers) and they’re writing the treatment protocols hospitals all over the world are using for this cancer. The little things I took for granted were suddenly huge blessings. I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I got to hold her for the first time in days because of all the surgeries and the drain she had in her head. I’ll never forget cheering because she wanted chocolate. I’ll never forget the relief of having her home again. God is so good.
Cycle one has been deemed the learning cycle. Dave and I both are in the medical field but oncology is a whole different ball game. From the medications she got For chemo and the potential side effects there were some really scary moments for us as parents. The first fever had us on our knees and in tears. God has provided so much and one thing he provided in the cycle is a friend from my schooling is now an oncologist up here and she came in and talked me off my ledge many times. She reassured me that all of this was normal and it was under control. Thank the Lord for her! At the end of cycle, when they had to collect stem cells for her bone marrow transplant which we are about to start right now, I met a nurse during apharesis (the process used to collect her stem cells). God knew what I needed. She sweetly shared that her son had leukemia or lymphoma at the age of three. Her empathy was palpable. She said mom I know and feel every poke, every fever, every tear. I just wanted to let you know I will be praying for you. While this was going on Nate had his first big surgery which was kind of stressful as well but the Lord was so gracious and gave both Nate and grace peace throughout that whole process. They both behaved like rock stars. Nate didn’t touch the leads that were in his head and sat in a bed without being able to get out of it for five days. He had multiple seizures, some of them over 12 minutes! We got the data we needed to do the big surgery that we’ve been waiting to do on him. God provided people, conversations, answers and peace. The verse for the cycle was Proverbs 3:5,6
Cycle two is deemed the puking cycle. All the same meds were used with Grace. She ended up puking almost nonstop until we found the right medication for her. She had to get an NG tube in which she did not like at all. They got the nausea and vomiting under control and Grace got to go home after her counts recovered. We had many great conversations with the nurses and other patients up on the floor during that time. God provided medicines and symptom relief. The verse for the cycle was Hebrews 12:1
Cycle three was deemed the never ending cycle. The same meds from the first two cycles are used again. This time was a little bit different. In the middle of it my grandma fell and ultimately passed away. My mom got sick and had to be hospitalized and have a surgery. Nate had his big surgery we had been waiting for. A lot happened in the cycle. For Grace it was an infection in her blood. She had fevers both her first two cycles but no infection, this was different and I could tell. By the grace of God the doctors got on it, got her the antibiotics and saved her life. God provided medication and treatment. He continues to give us another day with grace. The verse for the cycle is Philippians 4:6,7.
All this to say God is so good. Every Valley every mountain He is there. There have been some really low moments over these last three cycles but every time there’s a God ordained conversation or someone will text me at the right moment or a verse pops up or something. God is always there and His goodness is always present. Cancer doesn’t change who God is. Having God in my life changes what my thoughts are about cancer. Suffering doesn’t change who God is. Having God in my life changes my thoughts about suffering. This is not our home. God gives us the days that He sets before time began. I want to make sure I’m a good steward and enjoy every moment I get with my husband, my beautiful daughter and my wonderful sons. Our church family in the Christian community have been truly amazing along with all the other friends. Thank you all for being a part of our village!