Friday, December 16, 2011

One Month

This morning exactly one month ago today I was in this very classroom teaching this precious group of children. As I was in the process of dismissing children from preschool I got a call from David's school nurse that prompted me to go get him and later take him to the emergency room for stomach pain. Little did I know that the nightmare had just begun.

But today one month later I am back in this classroom as a visitor to hug their sweet little necks and hear all their tall tales. Hope, David, and I visited this morning for just a little bit during their party. It was so good to see them, but it was also hard to be back in the place where I got the call that started the nightmare.

These two certainly enjoyed visiting the classroom, but soon after Mike came and got David and took him to his school for a little bit.

Both of my babes are ultra clingy right now. David is clingy because Mike and I have been inseperable with him since the nightmare began. Hope is clingy because she has missed me and I think she is afraid we are going to leave her again.

I still cannot believe that exactly one month ago I had yet to hear the words cancer and DAvid in the same sentence. God love him, though, in the last month he has had a major surgery to remove the tumor-infested kidney and adrenal gland, three chemotherapy treatments, seven radiation sessions, and numerous tests and procedures. He is one brave Rock Star and we are so proud to be his parents.

The last month has been a blur of emotions. Those first few days we were at UVA were horrendous because bad news about David's condition just kept coming. We first heard mass in kidney that was then confirmed to be cancer. Then the cancer was determined to have already metasticized into his lungs, and oh by the way that makes it stage four. Then lastly we heard that a small tumor was found near his stomach that was taken out during surgery but he will now need radiation.

I am not retelling all of this to have a pity party. It was just unqiue that David's condition and bad news came at us in waves. There is a such thing as "white coat syndrome" because I have it. I tense up and panic everytime a team of doctors enters our room. I caught myself googling the conditions of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the other day because I feel like I have whiplash.

I so admire Mike. Mike has made the transition from hospital life to Superintendent beautifully. He is doing a great job balancing work and home and frankly I am not doing such a great job. I love going out to visit but I am like David in that I am too ready to come home after a bit.

When I look at all that David has been through in the last month I am in awe. I am in awe that this little trooper is still smiling and singing. I am also in awe of our Lord who truly sustained us during the last month of our lives. Never have we needed Him more and never have we felt His peace and mercy so strongly as we have in the last month.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you"

Deuteronomy 31:6

This is what our God has done for us in the past month:

He was with us at Smyth County ER when we heard that awful news.

He sustained me and DAvid during that long and scary ambulance ride.

He paced UVA hospital with Mike while he waited for us to arrive via ambulance.

He held our hand and wiped our tears those first few days at UVA when the bad news kept coming.

He put some amazing professionals in our path at UVA that will always be special to us.

He sustained us through you, our family and friends, with encouragement and love when we desperately needed it.

He agonized every minute with us while we waited during that surgery. David was scheduled to be in surgery for only four hours, but ultimately it was a nine hour wait that we had to be away from our Rock Star wondering what the surgery team found when we was opened up. He also put some amazing friends in that room with us to wait:)

He has helped David heal beautifully from that major surgery.

He has wrapped his peace and love around us when we needed it the most.

He has met us around David's throw-up bucket as we have tried to soothe the Rock Star through his sickness and nausea from chemo. It is so awful to watch your child heave over a throw up bucket.

And looking at all He has done for us in the last month He has proven how faithful he is to us. Just like Deuteronomy says, he will never leave me, or Mike, or David or you. He is not a whimsical God that gets bored and walks away from us. He is so faithful and we are walking testimonies of his unfailing love and mercy.

So today, one month ago I never imagined that our lives would take this detour. I wish it all away except the faith journey our whole family has gone through. We will never be the same again and that is not at all a bad thing. We are closer as a family and closer to our Lord because of the nightmare.

Just yesterday I received a video from the Thomas Musser walk. I am going to try to upload it to Youtube and then link it to the blog it is that wonderful! One of the songs on the video is Praise you In This Storm by Casting Crowns. I have always loved it but it has more meaning to me now because of the nightmare.

Google the song and enjoy it, but I love the chorus:

And I'll praise You in this storm

And I will lift my hands

For You are who You are

No matter where I am

And every tear I've cried

You hold in Your hand

You never left my side

And though my heart is torn

I will praise You in this storm

Lord Jesus knows that we are in a storm right now called the nightmare, but He is ever faithful and He will never leave our side.

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