I'm of course excited, but I'm also not putting all my eggs in one basket. I'm resigned to the Lord's will and if that means we are discharged this week then Woo Hoo! But if his counts dropped to 400 tomorrow, then that's okay too... it just means there's a little bit more of God's purpose that He hasn't quite finished yet. Either way, Ethan's new cells are engrafting and we are closer (much closer) to being able to go home.
Be in prayer about a few things for me, if you don't mind. I see them as slightly critical prayers right now, as we make preparations for discharge.
1. Please pray that Ethan remains fever-free... indefinitely would be fantastic! But at least fever free for these next couple of weeks until his care is fully transitioned back to Childrens Hospital in Connecticut.
2. Please pray for healing of Ethan's rash. He is still scratching himself quite a bit, all over his body. The attempts at controlling the rash with various meds, etc. have not been effective. Please pray for his discomfort.
3. Pray against a chronic form of GVHD from entering into his body.
4. Pray for full engraftment of his new cells, and that he remains in remission!
5. Pray for wisdom to those who make the decision about the medicines that will stop, and the meds that will continue, and for how long....
6. Pray against ANY type of infection as though we will be able to be discharged, his immune system will take about a year to rebuild and be fully functional again. He's susceptible to any type of virus at any time, and it could be quite dangerous for him.
(also be in prayer for safety for my husband, Adam, as he is traveling
on business - flying out today and returning on Wednesday)
I was thinking overnight about a promise I made to the Lord. I didn't make the promise in return for a "favor" from Him, but more a personal commitment that I would not forget all that He has done in Ethan's life and that I would tell of His wonders.
( This was the day I made this personal commitment/promise to the Lord.... http://ethankrawiec.blogspot.com/2008/07/hello-rubber-my-name-is-road.html )
Anyway, last night into this morning, I was thinking about the Old Testament story in the Bible describing when the Israelites set up a memorial (made up of 12 stones) to serve as a reminder to them and their children of all that God had done for them (see Joshua 4). To ensure they never forgot the miracles and wonders He had done in their lives as they moved into the Promise Land. I was thinking about how applicable such a memorial would be in my own life. On a side note, it the irony was not lost on me that their memorial consisted of 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel... and Ethan had 12 initial donor matches, and his actual transplant took place on the 12th. Interesting??
But, back to what I was saying...
I have been thinking of what the Lord would have me do to mark this Spiritual Journey we've had to walk through. And then it hit me.... Ethan's very life. His first steps. His first words. His first day of school. His first t-ball game. His first jr. high basketball game. The day he gets his driver's license. His highschool graduation. The first day of college. The day he brings that first "special" girl home for the holidays. The day he exchanges vows with her. The day he tells us they are expecting a child of their own, despite the radiation treatments he received during his cancer treatments many years before. That. All of that. Is and will be the testimony, the on-going reminder of all that God has done. I'm crying just thinking about it. What better memorial than that?
Ethan, your life will always be the picture of God's handiwork and power. And every milestone you encounter. Every set back that you overcome. Every limitation that you exceed. I will know. Your dad will know. And we will tell you that it's God's love, protection, mercy, power and favor that has graciously given you... life... abundant life.
I encourage you to find your own visual memorial. Something that you can't help but stumble upon in years to come, that will cause you to pause and remember a particular miracle God did in your life and His goodness in your life. Big ones, small ones. He gives graciously. Let us not forget.