Tuesday, February 26, 2013

No Kidding

Anthony shared this on twitter a few days ago. As the words entered my mind, my heart quickened and a dry "no kidding" came out of my lips.

Some days navigating this life is just normal (whatever that means). It's our day and I go about it, try to be faithful in the tasks for that day, and just live. Other days I am completely broken. Broken apart. Recently there have been a lot more of those broken apart days.

Now that Esther's transplant is complete, we are past the outwardly, most ugly portion of this wreck. The last 8 months have certainly brought brokenness, and the last several weeks have revealed the "apart." Pieces are everywhere. Our family, our home, our marriage, school, everything just feels out of sorts.  

While Esther will be back at home in less than two weeks.  I want to look forward to a happy reunion and that everything will just be all over, but the truth is that there is more work ahead, a lot more.  It will take time and a lot of effort for the pieces to evolve into a recreated, unified life.  I'm just too tired.  

A friend described to me feeling like she just wanted to curl up in her bed while dealing with her own child's cancer, the needs of the rest of her family, and just living in general. I am at that point and feel so fragile. Over the last several days even small tasks have felt like too much. I am so, indescribably, tired.  Weary.
"God shields us from most of the things we fear, but when He chooses not to shield us, He unfailingly allots grace in the measure needed. It is for us to choose to receive or refuse it. Our joy or our misery will depend on that choice."  Elizabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms
I have been flipping around in this book the last several weeks. I have been living in misery these last few weeks, my joy has depended upon this choice: to refuse or receive the grace I need. I think I've been refusing the grace. How quickly we forget the mercies showered over us.
"To re-read a journal that one wrote decades ago is a surprisingly faith-strengthening experience. There amid all the exigencies and vicissitudes of life, one can trace the unbroken thread of the utter faithfulness of God--the measure of grace to help in time of need, unexpected kindness and help of many whom one knew, the physical strength needed to do what needed to be done, the spiritual renewal that came from the Father's continual pouring out of those mercies which He promised "endure forever," great mercies, and also some so small, so heartbreakingly sweet...." Elizabeth Elliot, Secure in the Everlasting Arms
I have re-read many of the blog posts we, and other families we know, shared a cancer journey. The thread of an utterly faithful God screams out, as does the misery of my choosing to dwell in what is hard or not going my way.  

I want to choose differently; to strive to see, and hold onto, the mercies.  God did not choose to shield us from Esther's diagnosis of cancer.  We have not been shielded from the shrapnel of a life uprooted.   Now there is a choice, I can continue to refuse promised grace and live in misery or to receive it and once again find joy in the midst of this suffering.  

Esther is two days into a long week of scans and test.  Monday she had a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy.  She is pretty sore still...the procedure required a needle to be stuck into your pelvis.  The aspirate is to retrieve the liquid marrow (it looks just like blood) and the biopsy draws out a mechanical pencil sized portion of the solid core.  She was sedated for the procedure and handled it well.  Her attending oncologist, Dr. Garrington, was the one to do the procedure.  She was very excited to see him.  He asked her about her radiation oncologist, Dr. Lui, and if she liked him.  She smiled, pointed to him, and then said, "I like you."    

The kindness of the caregivers in our path are a mercy I hope to never forget or overlook.  As much as our friends and family has held us up along this weary road, they have loved and cared for Esther well.  I can't imagine better doctors, nurses, and caregivers from Brent's Place.  

Esther drinking her CT scan contrast.  She did great
despite the volume being nearly double what she's
had to drink in the past. 
Tuesday Esther had a CT scan, a pulmonary function test, an EKG and  Echo cardiogram (heart functioning), and an injection for an MIBG scan Wednesday.  On Thursday she has an appointment with the audiologist where we will see if the transplant chemo did any further damage to her hearing.

Please hold us up, pray for us.  Please hold up our family, our transition back to home.  Pray that I would not refuse the grace He has promised to me and that I would actively search for and see the mercies strewn about my life. 

Please pray for Esther's scans to result in good news.  Pray for her to never relapse.  Pray for her complete healing and that her body will not sustain any further damage from the rest of her treatment.


  1. Praying for God's strength and love to continue to cover you and your family. Praying God's mercies are clearly more tempting than your misery. Praying, as always, for Esther's recovery and the testimony her life is.

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have been trying for two days to write an update on Andy and I can see similar feelings in the novel I have started to write and what you wrote here. Sometimes there are too many emotions and they catch me by surprise. I'm praying that all Esther's tests come out better than expected and for her to be healed permanently from her cancer.

  3. Your ability to journal your journey is a gift now in helping you express and sort through your feelings. It will be a gift in the future as you look back and see how God carried you through an extremely difficult time. And we are blessed to read how God holds you! As I grieve the loss of my Dad right now, I appreciate the range of feelings God put in our hearts so that we can move through pain.
    We will continue to pray for your family. Love, DD

  4. Thank you for letting us know how we can pray in this new phase - for Esther, for you, for your family and for your marriage. We're holding you up in prayer from afar!