1 day down 391 to go!!! Today was Joel’s first official day of cancer treatment. Now he doesn’t have treatment everyday for that long, but those last few days will be when he receives his last chemo. Today began his 6 weeks of radiation. He will receive radiation Monday till Friday for a total of 30 days. Starting on next Monday Joel will receive Vincristine, a chemo drug, for 6 weeks just on Mondays.

Today was a hard day, for some unknown reason our night nurse decided to wake Joel up at 6:45 to do vitals. On the one day I was praying he would sleep in. He then had his vitals checked again around 8:30. Normally Joel’s vitals get checked at about 8, and sometimes 8:30, so I really am scratching my head about the 6:45 thing. I didn’t question her about it because I was woken up by her trying to check Joel’s vitals. Saying he was less than cooperative would be an understatement. As Joel was screaming, she was telling him to be quiet because other children were sleeping. On this one I, once again, have to side with Joel.

We had about 6 hours to kill before he went for treatment. I don’t think I really need to tell you it was a long 6 hours. We watched some TV, walked laps around the floor, played a game and went to his speech session. Finally, it was time to go for radiation. What happens is, we pick
up an anesthetic team from the OR, here at the children’s hospital, and then go through a labyrinth of corridors and make our way over to the General hospital for radiation, but it is the team from the children’s hospital that puts him under and monitors him. Oh, I neglected to tell you that as we make our way through the corridors they are going at a near sprint pace. I literally (no exaggeration) had to run to keep up with them. We all know how in shape I am, it will be interesting to see me at the end of 6 weeks. As a side note I would love to see a study done on the affects of having a child in cancer treatment, on the parents. Could be interesting.

Joel was really good about going off to radiation and going to sleep….however it was a different story when he woke up. Joel doesn’t cry, he screams very intensely, for a very long time; if any hospital staff comes within 5 feet of him, it escalates. I feel like the wost parent in the world when I can’t calm him down when he gets like that. I almost have to just ride it out. It is emotionally draining. I couldn’t help but think 29 more days of this. I am hoping it will lessen over time.

Joel calmed down and settled nicely in his room. We had a good evening together I told him several times that what we did today, we would have to do again tomorrow. He smiled and said,”Okay.” I really am not to sure how much he understands.

I got back to our room totally exhausted from our day, and at 3:30 in the afternoon I didn’t know how I was going to get through the rest of the day. I was reminded of some verses in Isaiah…

Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Honestly, with how well I have been taking care of myself …no sleep, food lacking in nutrients etc., the only thing keeping me going has got to be God. I have no other explanation for how I can run after gurneys, get up at 6:45 after another restless night, lift Joel countless times throughout the day, and that is just the physical endurance, not the emotional.

Interestingly that verse says, “those that wait for the Lord”, I am sure whole books could be written about what it means to wait for Him. In my simple words, my explanation is not meant as theology, just my experience. I am completely poured out, there is nothing left in me, so I wait on God in total dependence, and He meets me in this. Oh I may not feel like I am soaring like an eagle all of the time or even some of the time, but I have had glimpses of it. I feel that I am more than just surviving this. I am content to wait for Him, His timing is not the same as mine, but it is sufficient. Remember how I was hoping for an earlier time… well we didn’t get it… in fact radiation was canceled last Friday, so the little girl whose time slot we will be taking over does not become available until Thursday. That means 3 days of fasting until 1pm (in reality by the time his procedure is over and he wakes up, it is closer to 4pm). Not at all what I would have picked, yet in it I am the one that has no might, yet by God’s grace I walk in strength. (and to him who has no might he increases strength)

Not sure what kind of things you might be going through, but whatever it is, try waiting for the Lord.

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