Justin shows he can still bear up on this 3ooth day of cancer treatment. Three hundred days.
I reflected on the biting-cold January dawn when I first heard mention of leukemia, standing alone beside Justin in an eerily quiet emergency room, as I drove to clinic this rainy Wednesday morning; in the wake of a historical presidential election, which had me choking on my chicken cutlet more than once over topics raised at our dinner table. Thinking about the parenting challenges I’ve faced this year sent my head spinning. (Or maybe that was too much coffee.)
Yet, time and time again, in His still, quiet grace, God shows me that He is in control. And He is mercifully establishing, in me, a heart of patience.
Somewhere in between one seemingly chaotic step to another, I have developed a calm forbearance. Or, rather, it has been developed in me.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:7-11
Three hundred days and we are not yet one-third of the way through treatment. But Justin’s white and red blood counts are strong and he shows no clear signs of being unhealthy, save some stubborn residual chest congestion and a profusely runny nose. (Our doctor explained that some childhood cancer patients have cold symptoms throughout the entire cold and flu season.)
As we left the clinic today, our nurse explained that we would return in thirty days for a spinal tap and chemo infusion. Justin said, “Mom, maybe sometime we can leave and not come back for thirty YEARS!”
Yes. Someday, we will leave and hope to never go back. That is our prayer. But, for now, we wait and bear up under our burden with hope in a Kingdom that is without pain and sorrow and death. Grace be with you, my friends.