Ethan and I spent the day (about 7 hours) at the hospital today because he needed a couple of transfusions. It ended up being a fun day because as he's getting blood and platelets, I'm sitting in a giant recliner and we both get to watch TV, play, eat, and whatever else we feel like doing. Ethan was GREAT during the whole thing and I was pretty relaxed too. As we were there, I met two ladies that left me feeling a bit inspired. They each, like me, were there in the oncology area of Children's Hospital because their child has cancer.
The first lady I met has a little girl, 13 months old, that had a rare cancer develop in the form of a tumor in her chest wall at 3 weeks of age. That little girl (cute as a button by the way!) has had to have 4 ribs removed, and many other surgeries as a result of her cancer. But to look at her running around this morning, you'd never know. And her mom was so full of energy and friendliness that if you were to bump into her in a grocery store, you'd never know the pain I'm sure she's had to bear a long time. The second mom I met had a son getting ready for his next round of chemo and I think he was about 18 years old. I didn't officially meet him, but he crossed my path a few times and I could hear him talk with the nurses. He had such an upbeat personality. I don't know how long he's had to suffer with his (also rare) cancer, but he wasn't held captive by it. It was a normal part of his life and he came in for his treatments, but was making plans to play in a baseball game when this round of chemo was over for him. His whole demeanor was an inspiration to me. His mom was the same way. She was very friendly and moved around with such ease, living life as it came to her and not blinking an eye.
Each of these women and their children showed me something today. I was inspired by their acceptance of the curve ball life had thrown them, and their ability to not let it overcome them. I'm sure there are difficult times, but there was an inner strength that each of them had - as did their children - and I felt as though God was showing me, yet again, living examples of how possible it is to allow this terrible sickness in Ethan become a part of our lives without it consuming our lives. The young man was planning to go play baseball this weekend as if nothing was wrong with him. That 13 month old girl was running around playing as if she hadn't been through the ringer over the last year. And each of the mom's accepted that at this point in their lives, this is the road they needed to travel. But life does go on as well.
I don't know if I'm saying any of this in a way that makes sense, but the bottom line is that after leaving the hospital this evening, I, for once, didn't feel trapped by the fact that my baby son has cancer. For the first time, it felt okay to accept this disease that has happened upon our little boy and even feel comfortable with it. I thank God for the opportunity to see all of this in a completely different way. My prayer is that I have the strength to maintain the clearer vision.
Be in prayer for Ethan the next few days. We go back for our next outpatient visit on Friday. The days in between need to be really good days. We need to see a difference in the size of his liver and spleen (we have seen a slight decrease so far!) and we need his red blood cells and platelets to go UP in number! That trend needs to be consistent in order for the doctor to feel comfortable that Ethan responded well to this last chemo session. If you remember, we tried a different approach to Ethan's chemo - giving him 3 different kinds of medication as opposed to only 1 - with the hopes that his good cells and his spleen respond better than they did before. Please be in prayer that his good cells daily rise in number, that his spleen and liver shrink, and that his white cells (the cancer cells) stay very LOW in number.
I also have another very important prayer request that I'd like to share with you. Our friends, Mike and Amy Lee, are pregnant with their second child. They found out today via an ultrasound that their little baby girl has a cyst on her brain. The doctor indicated that this was fairly common, but that it sometimes indicates Down's Syndrome. The doctor told them that they will do another ultrasound in 8 weeks to see if the cyst has disappeared. If the cyst remains then it could be a strong indicator that the baby would be in danger of having Down's. I asked their permission to bring this prayer need to your attention and they have allowed us to do so. There are thousands of people that read this blog and many prayer warriors that plead to our Father on behalf of Ethan every day. I know you will also be in prayer for baby Micaiah Lee that over the next 2 months this cyst will disappear, never to surface again, and that on the day of the ultrasound Mike and Amy will have the peaceful proof that their little girl is going to be perfectly healthy. Pray that they can feel God's peace and strength during the next several weeks of "waiting".
Thank you for taking to heart all of these requests for our babies.... whether in the womb as baby Micaiah is, or out in the world like my sweet Ethan. They are each in God's tender hands and each in need of your prayer for His intervention.
We love you all.... whether we know you or not.... we love you all.
p.s. - If you'd like to leave Mike and Amy an encouraging message via my "comment" section, PLEASE feel free as I know they will read them and be blessed by your words.