We had a good day today. She had a bit more energy and spunk today and enjoyed seeing her brothers and sisters over FaceTime for breakfast. She was out of her bed most of the morning once again and again, her appetite was pretty limited.
This afternoon, her Manga (Sam's mom, their nickname for her) came to visit for a couple of hours while I got out for a bit to grab a decent meal and a nice cold beer. Esther napped for over 2 hours this afternoon.
Her red blood counts are up over 12 after the transfusion yesterday but her platelets starting dipping, down to 230 today. Below 30, they'll start to look at transfusions for those but we likely have a few days to a week for that dip to hit. Her ANC is holding about 3000 still. But remember, Esther doesn't do gradual declines but cliffs! When her ANC drops, it'll happen fast.
Tomorrow, Sam and the kids will come back up to Brent's Place and she'll get to switch out with me to be with Esther. Everybody has been healthy and Z has shown no other signs so we think we're in the clear. Praise Jesus!
Yesterday or today, I read this article, "8 Helps For Coping With Affliction" by Joel Beeke (an very helpful author I've read and highly respect) and thought the 8 tips were very good. They actually come from a Puritan author named Arthur Hilidersham. Don't worry, I've never heard of him either! Here are the 8 helps that he lists:
The first one is very helpful as long as you can be trusting God to not be overwhelmed with anxiety as you prepare! The most difficult step is #2. Weaning your heart from an earthly thing sounds simple enough when it comes to even food or certain comforts. But when it comes to giving yourself a heart check to see if you're making your kids an idol, too much the center and your hope, that's quite a bit more challenging!
1. Think about affliction, expect it, and prepare for it before it comes.
2. Wean your heart from loving earthly things so that when losses and crosses come, you will be able to bow under them in sweet submission.
3. Acquaint yourself thoroughly with the Scriptures, for they prepare people for affliction, and teach us patience and comfort in affliction, like no other book can.
4. Labor to realize how sinful you really are, so that you will understand that what you are enduring is nothing compared to what you deserve.
5. Before the trial comes, make sure you get a true and living faith, and a comfortable assurance of your reconciliation with God through Christ, for faith in Christ and assurance of your soul’s well-being in Him will enable you to drink “the bitterest potion from His hand.”
6. Remember that you possess the hope of eternal glory if and when you die.
7. Before affliction comes, be careful “to lead a godly life, and to get a good conscience.”
8. Let prayer strengthen you in every trial.
I confess that I have struggled to be in the Word while here. Between morning routines, constant distraction, and fatigue at the end of the day, it's been hard. But I have been encouraged even though I can miss God at times. One reason is with tip #3 above. The Word you have read over the years will not leave you.
Oh, how I wish I could fully express the importance of being immersed in and satisfied by the Word over years and habit and being with others who speak what the Bible speaks. You don't know what you're storing up and how God will bring refreshment when the crap hits the fan. So much of what I have looked to and grasped hold of over the past 6 months is not necessarily what was in my reading plan lately (because I'm 2 months behind!) but what I remember and where I know to go in the Bible. I'm not a big memorizer either. I've had a spurt here or there of memorization but I've just simply read the entirety of the Bible most every year since I've been a believer.
I'm not trying to brag, really! My personality is definitely more discipline and habitually inclined. I can easily get in a rut with my habitualness and miss things emotionally (especially in my marriage - how thankful I am for my sweet and patient wife!). But what I've done is simply set a habit and keep it simple with regard to reading the whole of the Bible and trusting God to speak to me through it. And God is faithful to reap what you sow and beyond.
Thank you for praying for us and for your continued support. You all are truly the hand of God. Pray for us to be prepared for the storm ahead and, at the same time, pray that the storm would be lesser than expected. Pray for Esther to be discharged by the end of the year. It would be quite amazing yet not impossible if that happened. But it wouldn't shock me given the fight and peace in her that God has given her.
Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
O LORD, God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)