A plan and a purpose

We have always known that Joel is a tough guy, but the past few days have really illustrated that to us. You know that crazy saying, “He’s all boy!” Well it has been said many a times in reference to Joel.

Anyway one who knows Joel knows that he is not the easiest child to parent. I have had people who barely know me suggest different parenting books, ask if I have ever tried this or that in reference to his, um, well, STRONG WILL.

I have often thought that Joel’s strong will was placed in Him by God for a time when he would have to stand firm.

I have always set the Lord before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:8-11).

I always figured Joel would be able to say I will not be shaken. I had no idea that his strong will would be seen as a blessing this early in his life. The last few days have been the most difficult of my life, but also the most glorious. I just want to recap a few things that to me shows God’s amazing sovereign hand in our lives!

-Almost 3 years ago Dave made a career change that brought us to where we are right now only 1 hour away from this amazing hospital I am currently sitting in.

-Tuesday our GP said Joel’s headaches were just migraines had she thought they were something more and ordered a C.T. scan we would still be waiting.

-Many wonderful friends real life and online encouraged us to follow our gut and get a second opinion.

-Even though Joel was grinning from ear to ear when we arrived at the hospital we followed our gut feelings and prayed that we would find favor with the medical staff and that they would take our concerns seriously and hear us. Dr. Chan the resident who saw him said they don’t normally do C.T. Scans for headaches but because he was having early morning headaches and vomiting they would do one anyway.

-We all know what they found… Friday was leading into the weekend and our neurosurgeon was worried that the MRI would not be okayed because of how good Joel looked. A child with a tumor that size should have been presenting with a whole host of issues Joel was not. Miraculously Joel was okayed for the MRI. (Which if we followed our other guts he would not have qualified for the MRI but as Joel had not eaten anything since shortly after 10 in the morning he qualified.)

-MRI confirmed things and surgery was set for the next day. It could have been deeply embedded in the brain stem but was only pushing on it. Had the surgery been scheduled for a week or two away I would have been a basket case.

-Around 3 o’clock on Friday Joel went non-verbal, on Saturday morning between 6-7 am Joel talked my ear off and then went non verbal again. He was totally compliant just not speaking. Joel could have easily kicked and screamed, instead he had a peace about him.

-Forgot to mention they had to get special permission from administration to do this scale of a surgery on the weekend.

-Surgery was a complete success. With MRI to follow Sunday or Monday.

-MRI called and said that they would take him at 9am Sunday. Our ICU nurse told us not to hold our breathe it was Sunday and nothing goes smoothly on a Sunday and implied it could be hours. Joel got his MRI promptly on Sunday morning.

-Saturday night with Joel was extremely difficult he was confused, mad, in pain, hallucinating, crying, screaming etc. At about 3 am the head nurse told me she had never seen a child with so much fit in him.

-Great news the tumor is completely gone.

-He is moved from ICU to surgery recovery wing. Monday morning we meet more of the neurology team. One of them remarked on how quickly he was moved from ICU. I made a comment oh is this quick they all started to smile and laugh and said it is extremely fast for someone to leave ICU after such a surgery.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!
I don’t think any of these things are coincidence, I believe God had His hand in all the steps. I don’t think Joel is just a hyper active kid, or that these tests or surgeons just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I believe God orchestrated all of these different things for such a time as this.

God isn’t finished with Joel yet, nor is He finished with you or I. The last couple of days have been a blur. It has been heart breaking watching Joel struggle so. He isn’t finished fighting, he can’t sit up on his own yet, he can’t move his arms and legs with complete control yet, he has double vision currently, and will need some sort of follow up care, chemo or radiation. The swelling can continue for 72 hours after which time it begins to decrease. At that time we could begin to see his vision and balance return or he may need physio to correct those things.

When we look at all the ‘could haves’ we shudder, at the same time we realise that there is tremendous power in the prayers of the thousands of people who prayed for our sweet little Joel. We are humbled and amazed!!

I’m exhausted… I still can’t believe that my child HAD a tumor in his BRAIN and has already had it removed! A total resection of posterier fossa tumor to be exact.

According to emedince..A brain tumor is one of the most devastating forms of human illness, especially when occurring in the posterior fossa. Brainstem compression, herniation, and death are all risks in tumors which occur in this critical location.

You know God has a plan and a purpose that we can’t always see or comprehend but that doesn’t mean that He doesn’t care or isn’t moved by His peoples prayers. As much as Dave and I stood there in a daze Friday afternoon shocked at what was being said none of this was a surprise to God. We know whether or not Joel requires months of therapy or days of it that none of this happens with out God’s knowledge of it.

I would not wish this experience on anyone….yet in whatever situation you find yourself in if you look to Him, He will care you.

Being carried!!!

PS. Dave has been gracious enough to fill in for me here as I hadn`t figured out the wireless connection here at the hospital. Which he set up for me and honestly until know I really haven`t had much time…oh and I am using my laptop… which is what, a couple of weeks old I think that is another God thing!!!

About Dave he loves to correct my grammar etc. so on a lighter note I felt the need to point out that in his last post he says something about Cheryl a big the surgeon, that would be Cheryl gave a big hug to the surgeon!

My friend emailed the picture of Joel and his donut unfortunately I can`t figure out how to make it any bigger it was priceless to watch him tying into to it!

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