Thank you so much for praying. Your prayers continue to be heard by the Father and answered in abundance. Ethan's breathing and heart rate has slowed back down to normal, he never acquired a fever, and we believe the fluid has left his lungs! I am so thankful. And so thankful for you. When God's people pray, amazing things happen. I strongly believe we could not do this piece of Ethan's Journey with the success that we've been blessed enough to experience, without your gracious help in voicing prayers to the Lord on our behalf. I really cannot thank you enough for that gift. God is truly blessing Ethan's life through answered prayer. You (yes you, reading these words right this minute) are more special to me than you even know. Whether I know who you are or not. Whether I know that you read this blog, or not. I feel you. I know you're out there. I know that when I don't have the strength to even muster up a word of prayer to the Lord... God puts us on your heart, and you speak the words for me. "Thank you" continues to seem like an insignificant way to repay your ongoing kindness....
Speaking again of your kindness, I was in shock to see this morning that our total money raised in support of Ethan for the Jimmy Fund Walk was $1733 OVER mine and Adam's combined goal of $1062. In just a matter of days we have received a total of $2,795 in support of our walk for Ethan in September. Adam and I are extremely honored and touched by your support of the Jimmy Fund Clinic at Dana-Farber & Boston Children's Hospital - where Ethan is currently being treated and monitored and where his transplant protocol was designed. Thank you for honoring our son in such a generous way. Your names continue to be sent to us via email and we want YOU to know how much your support has meant.
Several have asked whether or not Ethan will continue receiving actual "treatments" now that his transplant has been completed, or whether or not he will get another transplant in addition to his first one...
The actual "treatment" phase of Ethan's transplant has been completed. His treatment plan included the 4 rounds of chemo he received in Connecticut, the 8 rounds of radiation and the 2 round of chemo he received here in Boston. All of that (plus a few other medications) were used in order to suppress his immune system and bone marrow from creating new cancer cells and kill off any lingering cells that may have been hiding out in some of his organs - bottom line - getting him ready for the transplant. Now that he has had the transplant, we just wait. We have to wait for the new donor cells to start to grow (engraft) into Ethan's bone marrow and bring new cancer-free life into his cells again. This phase of the process takes several weeks. Once Ethan's blood counts start to go up in number, and stay at a certain level for a few days in a row, then we are able to be discharged. He's not receiving any more chemo or anything that would be used to treat "cancer", because the assumption is that he is cancer free at this point and will continue to remain that way after the new donor cells engraft.
If for some reason the cells didn't engraft, or complications of relapse happened in a few months, we are not sure what would happen (though I believe this is not a bridge we will have to cross), because his body would not be able to handle another transplant regimen again. They do occasionally do a 2nd transplant with leukemia kids if needed, however with Ethan's situation, it's not really an option... at least not right away... because his diseases is so complicated, finding another match would likely not be close enough to help him and the conditioning his body has to endure before hand would be too hard on him the 2nd time around. But again, pay no mind to any of this, because I'm confident that the Lord has us enduring this situation for this point in time.
I just don't believe that any of this is about "cancer". Which is why I don't put a lot of stock into many of the concerns or fears that the disease invites. I do not believe Ethan's cancer is the focus of, nor will it be the final definition of the life he was created to live. I believe his having cancer is to serve the Lord in a greater effort than Ethan being healthy would have done. Which is the ONLY reason this disease was allowed to enter our lives. I believe God is using our little cutie pie to bring more people to Him, to show us His power, and to teach us to really believe. And I'm confident that after this short season of having to sacrifice certain desires... the Lord will restore. And we will be changed. Maybe you will be changed, I don't know. And I don't know the full purpose of Ethan being chosen for this - however, I do know - that the purpose is not unto death, but unto the glory of God. And not just physical death... but death of hope, death of dreams, death of joy.... No. The purpose of Ethan's cancer is not unto death of any of those things, but solely and only for the glory of God. That I might know Him better. And maybe even that you might know Him better.
Lord, I believe Ethan has been chosen to be Your tool - Your open door - to work in our lives and to show us more of You.... continue to protect Ethan's body from all harm as You do your work in us. Help us to watch and wait in excitement.