Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Last Night on the Seventh Floor

I have to confess, I'm very thankful we've been able to communicate everything that has happened over the last year through this blog and not face to face. Just know, most of the posts involve tears to some degree. Some happy tears, some sad tears, but lots of tears. Today was one big lump-in-my-throat kind of day.

Last night as I was falling asleep, I surveyed the curves of the ceiling, the light peeking through the slits of the blinds on the door and windows to the hallway, and the glow of the screen reporting Esther's vital signs. I thought of how many nights we've spent in a room similar to this, how my daughter's life was fought for and Lord willing, saved, in rooms like this. Some describe hospital rooms as cold and depressing, but I just don't see it that way. Last night I was just thankful to be in a place where a horrible, aggressive cancer can be met with stronger prayer, medicine, and the caring hands and feet of strangers who clean up the vomit and blood and guts of a child whose body has to die to survive. It is a truly remarkable place.

As I awoke and examined the lines of the room in the daylight, that lump started to grow. I looked around at the notes and cards that have hung in Esther's hospital rooms. Many of those cards have been following us from the very beginning. I can hardly believe this day is here.

Before Esther's transplant, I had to laminate the cards so they could be cleaned.

She has a lot more cards and notes at home that I wasn't able to laminate.

Today was Esther's last infusion, the last time cancer fighting drugs will flow through the lines in her chest. This is a big, big deal. A year ago, we didn't know if this day would come, and we were doing our best to hold our trembling hands open to the will of the God whose trustworthiness does not change in life or death. Today, my hands still tremble, but often it's more out of the unbelievable kindness we've been shown over the last year and the mercy shown for the life of a sweet little girl who was named for such a time as this.

Today held many mercies and lots of grace. We were awoken to a third day of care from our sweet Miss Rebecca.

A volunteer came to do a craft project with Esther. This young 17 year old girl fought neuroblastoma when she was a baby, and she has been cancer free for 15 years. The oncologist who cared for her is still around, in fact, he is the attending physician on the floor this week, and they were able to catch up today.

Esther and Madi, a 17 year old NB survivor

Tonight, Allen, from Brent's Place, delivered us the third meal this week. We'd still love to have you join Esther's team at the Kids Cure for Cancer, July 28th. It will be a privilege to support this incredible organization with you either the day of the 5k or in spirit as a homerunner. This was the last night I'll eat a meal from a place that will always feel like home.

We said good bye to many of the nurses who have cared for Esther. I nearly fell apart when Esther said in a sleepy sweet voice, "I love you, Miss Rebecca" as she walked out the door. Esther still has about 6 weeks of treatment. We are expectantly hopeful these last weeks will be the final nails in Esther's journey as a cancer patient, and can't wait for her to be cared for in the future as a cancer survivor. Here's to the last night we're hoping to ever sleep on the seventh floor.

Esther's bunny she named Rebecca Rabbit


  1. Tears for you, happy tears. Such a journey to walk. We praise God with you for how well Esther has and is doing.

  2. Lynnda at Brent's PlaceJuly 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I'm so glad that Brent's Place will always feel like home to you, because you all will always be family to us! Prayers for you all.

  3. I too am glad that you've communicated your journey on this blog. Even though I don't know you personally, we are part of the same family and I've prayed along with you - and cried along with you - all throughout this last year. I have to admit, we were visiting Summitview last month and we ended up sitting one pew section away from you and your sweet family, but I couldn't introduce myself because I knew I would cry. Seeing sweet little Esther for the first time since I held her as a baby in the church nursery felt unreal. She has been SO brave - and not just Esther, but your entire family! You've trusted God as He's walked you through this INCREDIBLY difficult journey and you haven't let your hearts get hard with bitterness, and that is no small feat. It takes everything you've got! Praise God for all that He has done!! May He allow Esther to be a cancer-free survivor for all the rest of her days. Continuing to pray from afar!

  4. Unbelievable kindness indeed. :)