Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 2. This is a long one.

Last night Watts gifted us a fantastic night of rest by sleeping from 9:30pm to 6:30am with only one wake-up to nurse. This would be considered an amazing night of sleep at home, at the hospital it seems like a small miracle. Of course the good sleep was made possible by our ninja night nurses and many prayers, I'm sure!

Today we will start chemo again around 11am. [Updated to add: chemo now done!] Until then we will continue chasing Watts around the halls (with IV pole in tow) and pulling out all the tricks out of our proverbial hat to entertain this crazy toddler. He is an absolute hoot these days and I think is enjoying having an even larger audience up here with the nurses and doctors. Last night he put on quite the show before bed by "singing," shaking his hips, and doing some hilarious head shakes that had the whole room in stitches. Kids are so resilient.

It has been interesting coming back to the hospital after nine (or so) weeks at home. In so many ways, the hospital is our second home. We return and fall back into our hospital routines easily and we love being surrounded by our nurses and doctors and so many people who have been with us since the very beginning. They "get" cancer and have been with us through some very hard days and long nights. It is also comforting to have Watts  monitored closely and to have so much medical support at our finger tips. In other ways, however, coming back to an inpatient stay is agony after so many weeks at home. I get flashbacks to harder hospital stays and it is a reminder that this leukemia journey is very real and very serious. It is crazy to think that this, Lord-willing, is it...

This is our last scheduled hospital stay. It feels weird to even type that. I am a mix of emotions when I think about it... there is excitement, nervousness, fear, and probably a lot more complex emotions that have yet to surface. We have a year more of outpatient treatment but this is the last big assault against the leukemia. After this, we wait and keep trucking along with at-home chemo and Brenner appts and pray.

Cancer is ripe field for gleaning character-building lessons and encountering one's sinful nature, let me tell you. I can wallow in the fears of tomorrow (and I do a lot)... I can read the statistics, stalk other Infant ALL stories, and literally work myself into a frenzy of worry and fear about the days ahead. But to what purpose? Somewhere I read that worry is the thief of joys and I'm finding that to be true. Seems like a no-brainer, but when it comes to my child and the future, worry seems to be second-nature to me. Add cancer into the mix and my grip becomes a white-knuckle one. As the old song says:

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
 I will ever love and trust Him
 In His presence daily live
 All to Jesus I surrender
 Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
 Take me, Jesus, take me now
 I surrender all

 I sing that but I don't really mean it... my lyrics would say, "I surrender all except the health of my kids, Lord." Because really, how is one suppose to muster up the strength or maybe have enough faith and trust to offer up one's kids? I could never be Abraham and freely offer up Isaac. And yet, somehow, I am called to do that. Not literally to put my child on an altar and (be willing to) drive a knife in his heart, but to simply let go of pretending I'm in control of my children's lives and stories and to trust that He is... even if/when their stories go in directions that I wouldn't choose.

This stuff is hard and I fail at it 5 million times a day.

What I do know and what I keep reminding myself is of those early horrific PICU days... when Watty was so close to not making it and our life felt like a living nightmare: He was there. His grace was truly sufficient for those days and His peace surpassed understanding. Remembering His faithfulness in the past encourages me to trust Him with the future. With my babies. With this cancer. And lastly and most importantly, I have to keep looking to the cross. As I remember His death and resurrection, I am reminded of his undying love for me and His desire for my good. And remember that, in due time, all shall be made new.

I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.


  1. I'm so proud of you Hannah!\

    1. Thank you, Carolyn! We love and miss you guys!


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