Holy Week

Today is good Friday. The day we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It’s also Passover. The day we celebrate the angel of death passing over us. Holy week. Holy. Weak.

Mom: we have been entering into a place of worship and prayer that is familiar to us. The battle waged in the middle of a song of praise. We lift our hands up, we lift our eyes up, we take our eyes off of symptoms and the physical and blood test results, and we place our eyes on our God. We draw near to Him, and He draws near to us, and He comforts us.
I have to remember that this walk of faith is not an easy one. Just because I believe God is our healer, and He is above our circumstances…does not make it easy. Sometimes the challenge is just in keeping my eyes fixed on him. So many other things jump up and down and compete for our attention. But we will keep our eyes above it all, and on Him.

Bob: we saw Dr. M yesterday. Bob’s platelets are starting to increase…he’s making his own again. Still low, but going up. His Red cells are still really low, he got a growth factor shot to help boost them. We will see the doc again Tuesday and if he’s still low he will get blood. Dr. M told us that the cancer marker test was not completely accurate. Said that he would still wait until 3 months from now to test for most accurate results. Just makes me laugh. Even when you get good news….they buffer it with “don’t get too excited yet”. But it’s okay, we weren’t celebrating yet anyway.

But we will. Yes, we will.

Aunt Julie died today. Mom is sad that she can’t be there to bury her.

Blow-by-Blow

Bob has kept food down for two days in a row now!!!! He’s still exhausted, sleeps most of the day…but not puking every day is a huge step forward.

Our neighbor has been fighting cancer too…he just told me that he’s in remission! He took his wife to Hawaii for a week to celebrate. I told Bob, “no pressure here, but Hawaii sounds like a good place to celebrate.”

Mom: I’m going to stop looking at blood results every day and keep my eyes on God. If He says all things are possible, just believe…I will keep my eyes on Him. I will not fear bad news. I will not listen to anything that does not line up with Gods word. I just wish dad would stop living by the numbers. I need off of this roller coaster. She’s not healed one day, sick the next….she’s healed period. It doesn’t matter what she feels, sees or even thinks. It only matter what God says. We walk by faith and not sight. We don’t use our five senses to see healing….we use our faith. We can’t touch it, feel it, see it, smell it or taste it. Faith. We JUST believe.

Pastor Pat from church went to visit mom and dad today, took them communion. Very encouraging for them.

I’ve been texting my siblings and daughters every day with updates from mom. Sometimes I think it may be too much. Maybe they don’t need the blow-by-blow details. Maybe they do. I don’t know. Blow-by-blow; very appropriate.

Communion

Mom called this morning, said she didn’t sleep well.  Very vivid dreams that she was preparing communion wine all night.  Communion wine represents the blood of Jesus.  He poured out that blood for us, for her.  He sacrificed his life that she may live.   We call upon that blood, that sacrifice, and we beseech you Lord to heal.

Amen

Tuesday…I think

After being so acutely aware of what day it was, even following a calendar from day -3 to day + 18; it seems strange that I feel I’ve missed a few days and had to be told yesterday by Paula, “Kim, it’s Monday not Tuesday.”

Okay Shannon, here’s the update.

Saturday and Sunday we were at the hospital both days with mom. Fever, high white cells, high blasts (cancer cells), not feeling well, etc. The doctors were not entirely familiar with mom so they reacted appropriately and sent her through all the proper tests, and sent all of us through hell.

We haven’t left her and dad alone since the fevers on Saturday. We’ve gathered together around them every day and prayed for her. We’ve pleaded with God to take this cancer away. We’ve spoken to her body and anointed her with oil, telling cancer to leave. We’ve read aloud from the bible and sent the Word of God into her telling her body to line up with the promises that it contains. We’ve kept worship music streaming through the house and praised God in the midst of this storm. We keep telling God we trust Him….we trust Him.

We are trying to keep everyone else updated…but maybe we’re not doing so well at that. Mike summed it up, “Kim I know you don’t want to speak negatively, but can you tell me if this is bad news?” (or something to that affect). Here’s what struck me in that moment: how do I tell them that this is very serious and could be very bad news…and still keep my eyes focused on God and believe whole-heatedly for this miracle? How do I separate the nurse in me and the crazy-faith-miracle-believing woman? As an oncology nurse I keep listening to the numbers and percentages and projecting a prognosis….NO. I will trust God. He is above cancer. His word tells me to believe in Him.

Monday morning she had another blood draw at her doctors office. The lab tech drew blood and told us to wait for results. She came out to us wide-eyed and said, “You’re going to have to wait here until the doctor sees those results. My machine won’t count it…it’s really wacky…I think your white count is really, really high.”

We ask how high. 40ish.

We say, ” Better than this weekend, we’ll take it”. Then we wait for instruction from the doctor. Is he going to send us to the hospital? Is he going to want to change chemo? We wait, and we pray. The RN comes out and tells us this is very serious, lots of blast cells, high white count, but if she’s feeling okay go home and come see the doc Tuesday at ten. Ok, back home. Everyone comes over and we pray again. We praise God for good news and we pray. We thank God that cancer is leaving her body.

Mom gets a call. Her 94 year old aunt that lives in St. Louis is dying. Mom and dad are the care-takers, but they can’t go home to be with her. Mom cries the rest of the afternoon….we call Mike to go support Aunt Julie and pray with her.

Tuesday…see doctor. He says, “what the heck?”. He doesn’t have any definitive answers about what is going on in her blood. He asks how mom feels. She tells him that she’s much better than this weekend. He tells her to come back tomorrow, since the blood counts seem to be coming down we’ll draw again tomorrow and hope for better results.

So again we wait. We wait and pray for better results, we trust God. They’re coming.

Oh, and Bob (cancer free Bob) is still recovering. Slowly, ever so slowly but he’s recovering. For the past two days laying on mom’s couch recovering.

Hold on

As soon as we take a deep breath and feel that we’re starting to see an end to this crap….hold on. It’s not over yet.

Dad called yesterday morning from the clinic. Mom was on day 6 of 7 of chemo, and she had a fever of 101. Dad was nervous, scared, wanted us to come. Paula and I went to the hospital to meet them. Mom didn’t look great. Very flushed, breathing rapidly, just not good. The nurse had talked to the on-call doc (remember mom’s doc is in Cancun), the on-call doc says to draw blood cultures, urine cultures and start chemo then send to the ER for evaluation. I know that God is in control, I know because it feels like no one else is. I will hold on to God.

After some pretty emotional conversation with the nurse…and then some pretty serious praying and anointing mom with oil….we left the infusion center for the ER. Mom went in a wheel chair. The ER doc starts with, “we think she’s in blast crisis” then says he’ll talk to the oncologist on-call and decide what to do. After a chest X-ray, a flu swab, some Tylenol, and a bag of fluids….we wait. Dad cried a bit, so did mom. We all did. But hold on……

Thank you God, we pulled ourselves out of the tailspin the doctors words had just put us into…we started speaking faith. Why do we have to believe what this doctor says? Why do we have to believe blood tests? Why can’t we believe what God says instead? We can! We can believe God. We were going to choose to believe God. Gods word is true. Gods word is true. Gods word is filled with promises for his children. We are his children. We will choose to believe him. Faith, rise up. We will claim his promise of healing. Mom be healed.  Hold on, it’s not over…

One small miracle…my cell phone rings and it’s our dear friend Pastor Marilyn. She called to pray. We put the phone on speaker (the phone that had no reception minutes ago) and we gathered around mom. Stan, Teresa, Paula, dad and I prayed with Marilyn. We laid our hands on moms body and spoke the word of God to her. Cancer be gone. We declared her healed, and we are believing God will heal her.

The doctor returned, “well that was encouraging…the oncologist says it may not be blast crisis because she has a lot of good white cells too…blast cells only about 20%. So he said if she had responsible family with her we could send her home. Come back tomorrow for blood draw, this may be a bad reaction to the transfusion she had Thursday. If counts are worse we have to admit her.”

Some call us responsible…we took her home. Aimie came over and read the bible aloud. We cried, we prayed, we laid our hands on her and prayed again. We are choosing to believe God and not man, God and not bad test results, good news not bad news. We encouraged each other with the word of God. Faith rise up!

I talked to Michele (oncology nurse cousin) she says by today it will declare itself. Yes….we declare her healed. So today total white blood cells down a bit, all else unchanged. Not in blast crisis. Stalled. We will take stalled…now we will pray again and call for healing. Cancer be gone. Go away. We rebuke you in the name of Jesus. Mom is a child of God. His promises won’t let go of her.

We will hold on to God.