Three weeks ago the girls had just enjoyed a fabulous tea party for Lydia & Frannie's 6th birthday.
Two weeks ago, Sam and the kids were in the thick of VBS week, we were thoroughly enjoying our new windows, and just had a little MRI that coming Friday that we were barely concerned about. It's probably just a lipoma or maybe a hemangioma at worst.
One week ago, we were preparing for our Esther to have a likely benign tumor and part of her skull removed in major surgery. She would have some metal in her head but it would be done and they'd do a biopsy just to be sure the tumor wasn't bad.
Today, we're spending our first night in Children's hospital as they determine how far the neuroblastoma cancer has spread throughout her body and how to treat this deadly disease. Esther had no symptoms but now she can't keep any food or water down because of her third round of anesthesia in a week and a half.
Esther was patient and brave today and did very well, has "good veins" and they were able to easily place her port and take bone marrow samples from her hips. We still do not have a final, conclusive verification that the cancer is neuroblastoma but they are very sure that's what it is. Tomorrow will bring a CT scan, a PET scan, an MRI, and blood work. The concern is that neuroblastoma usually starts around the adrenal glands, in the abdomen, and that the tumor in Esther's skull is not where it began. Pray the tumor would be abnormally isolated. We should have initial pathology results from her bone marrow biopsy tomorrow.
In less than a week our lives have been completely flipped upside down. Completely rerouted. Likely to never be the same ever again. It's still hard to believe this is all real sitting here in this hospital room with Esther and Sam. I'm frustrated and angry. Esther is getting irritable and this is only the beginning. She has been so brave and patient but she can only handle so much. Why sweet little Esther? Why not one of us? Why her? I have no idea. I have no clue how to handle this.
But the truth is that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is good and his love through Christ has not changed. I don't know what He's doing but I know he is in control and will work all things for the good of those who love him. Am I struggling to believe that right now? Definitely.
But I also know that God willingly gave his own child who suffered that we might be free from sin, that we would know him and trust him. God willingly did this. Jesus willingly went to the cross for us. The greatest threat to us was never sickness or cancer or forest fires or even death. The biggest threat has always been our separation from Jesus and our inability to get back to him. God sent his own son to suffer and die to change that. He made a statement once and for all that he loves us and wants us to be with him.
We don't know why God is doing this (and doubt it not, he is over all this), but we know that he is with us. He is no stranger to suffering and tears. He understands. He grieves with us. He has not deserted us or forgot about us.
If the LORD had not been my help,my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.When I thought, "My foot slips,"your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.When the cares of my heart are many,your consolations cheer my soul.Psalm 95:17-19