Five days into the new cycle. Nausea, fatigue, foot pain, generally drained. Justin’s white blood cell counts, which were once too high, are now too low.
He made it through one and a half games of baseball. Opening day. Justin hit hard and ran his best. He also helped to entertain the elderly at Piman Manor. The boys occasionally take on this service project. Yes, I make them do it. Justin drummed his way through Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, along with Nicky on guitar and Michael the piano.
I know that several times throughout the weekend, Justin felt like giving up and going to bed. He said as much. But he just didn’t. I supported. I encouraged. I pushed.
Cancer does not get to take baseball and drums and normalcy. Or leave us lying under a relentless pressing down and holding you there kind of weight. This is childhood cancer. But, in measures of unexplainable grace, God lifts us beyond the gnarled snatch of defeat.
“Mommy, that needle felt like a thousand forks stabbing my hand.” Can’t make it stop.
“Mom, I’m afraid to get cancer like Justin. I’m afraid to get the kind of cancer that makes you die. I don’t want to die at seven-years-old.” Despair lurks.
The beating persists for now. But we still rise. Justin even handled the cheek-pinching with dignity (pictured below). Grace be with you, my friends.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39