Thank you for your prayers! Ethan had not been on ANY form of medication since last Wednesday night and we didn't start chemo right away because they needed his immune system (his "ANC") to strengthen a little bit. While waiting, we were praying that the progress we had made with his blood counts wouldn't be lost. Praise the Lord, because when we were waiting to get admitted yesterday, his blood results showed that his good cells stayed high and the bad cells stayed low. AND his immune system level (ANC level) had jumped from 84 to 1300! So we were good to start his 4th round of chemo. It will be the same 3 chemo medications he got last time since that seemed to have worked well. The only difference will be that he will get chemo for 6 days as opposed to 7. This is because they want to ease up on his immune system a little bit. I like the idea of one less day of chemotherapy! Everyone here anticipates (as do we) that this will be his last round of chemo at the hospital here in Connecticut. I think everyone is thinking we will be in Boston preparing for the transplant before Ethan would need another round of medications. That's not to say that he won't get chemo anymore... it would just be given to him in Boston. I'm hoping that's the case. I'm ready to move into the next phase of this process.... well, as ready as I can be right now.
I was reading a devotional entry last night and was reading about the story of Peter walking on the water to Jesus:
Matthew 14:28-31: And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O ye of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"
I've heard this particular story in the Bible many times, and each time I think I have a different opinion about Peter's example to us... and what that whole experience means for my life. As I sat and wondered last night, I believe that Peter knew to believe that Jesus was who He said He was. I think that Peter did believe in the power of God. And I think Peter was brave (in the sense that we know "brave" to be) in taking the first step of faith. But, as we can see, the first step isn't enough. One step forward in faith... that first step is extremely important, but it isn't enough. Peter took the first step.... he believed.... he had faith.... but the winds blew and the storm raged - and - he - became - afraid. Where there is fear, there is doubt, and faith cannot thrive. Where there is faith, there is no doubt and fear has no power. That's the lesson the Lord continues to remind me lately.
Right now, though, I think what's more interesting to me, is that even when Peter started to sink, in the middle of his fear.... he still knew that only the Lord could save him. He called out to Jesus and asked Him to help him. Almost in a sense, in my opinion, asking God to forgive him for doubting. I've always thought this story to be an example of "not enough faith". But when you really break it down, it's an example of what a mixture of fear and doubt can do to faith.
I think Peter did have reason to be afraid, he was stepping out onto WATER and then after a step or two, all of a sudden winds were blowing all around him.... maybe even waves building next to him. It makes sense to me that he would lose focus. It makes sense to me that he would be afraid. It makes sense to me that he would panic...
And to me, that's the point of this example.
That's the point of this story.
In the midst of every fleshly reason to fear, to panic and to lose focus... God is standing there asking us for complete faith.
Asking us to "Come".
Asking us to know, to truly believe, that even the most howling of winds are at His command. The most violent of waves are in His control.
All we have to do is walk forward... not just one step, but step after step after step... steadily... faithfully... knowing He is, He was, and He will be.
p.s. - Sharon, who left me a comment about your son who was diagnosed with leukemia at 4 months and is now 6+ months post transplant, please email me your email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)... I'd love to ask you a few questions. Thank you!