Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prayer Request...

Four antibiotics and three bags of hydration!  All in the day for a courageous and amazing young man!

Andrew came Monday morning to Children's for a 5 day chemo admission. He was scheduled for a clinic visit this morning to access his port line, echocardiogram to make sure everything with his heart was ok, because of the cardiotoxicity of the chemo, and finally a spinal tap with chemo in it. After the procedure downstairs, Andrew admitted into his room and started shaking uncontrollably.  His temperature spiked.  The team of doctors and nurses came in thinking it may be some sort of infection, so they gave Andrew 4 broad spectrum antibiotics to cover the possible infection.  A side effect to all these antibiotics is blood pressure dropping dangerously low and that's what happened.  His shakes went away, but his blood pressure was getting lower and lower.  If his bp remained low for a period of time, they were considering taking him to the i.c.u. for closer observation.  They were ready to give a drug called dopamine to reverse his condition, but after several bags of hydration, Andrew's bp went up and he was upright in bed later that evening.

Thank you for those who knew already of Andrew's situation via Facebook and prayed for Andrew.
Thank you for those who prayed I would be able to handle the situation.  When going through a traumatic seen like what I experienced today and in other hospital visits, let alone witnessing the past 3 years of pain for Andrew, it is an utterly helpless situation.  Typically my solution would be to try to get in the middle of the situation and not sit back and watch the doctors do their job.  But I have learned, through many incidences,  to "let go" and let the physicians do their work.  I usually look at the situation and want so much to control and do things myself, but I realize the best thing is to stand back, even though the situation looks horrible, and have faith the Doctors, the experts, would help heal Andrew.
I think this example is metaphoric of our relationship with God. We desperately want to do things ourselves, control and manipulate things and be the expert when we are not, but it is only when we yield to God, the expert "doctor" and let him take control, "healing" (figuratively and literally) takes place.
You would think I would have learned by now, but I still fail in this area.  But slowly and surely God is showing I need to let go and let God and besides I think I am finally getting that trying to do everything by myself is so darn futile and draining!
So, this time I, literally and figuratively, stood back, even though Andrew was shaking uncontrollably and in immense pain, and let the Doctors do their job.  I had an unusual  peace it would be okay, regardless of how the outcome was.  It was an act of faith and trust in the Doctors and God that helped me to stay peaceful and focused.  Life would be so much "easier" if I just let go. So much easier!  So the verse I have recited many of time is so germane in these cases of "control":

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways submit to  Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

I ran into a couple named Shaun and Lisa who has a  daughter 17 year old daughter, Anna, who has been in the hospital for over 100 days since her bone marrow transplant!  I met Shaun and Lisa in January when Andrew was in the hospital constantly in January/February and found out they are born again Christians.  I would have conversations with Lisa talking about faith and how God has everything under control juxtaposed with the sadness and fear we have for our children's health.  Lisa has seen Anna go through severe Graph Versus Host Disease (gvhd) which had manifested in severe g.i. complications, severely painful skin sores and not being able to eat for three months.  I recall one short conversation I had with Lisa and how she tried to keep things in perspective in the midst of this horrible affliction put upon Anna.  She said she has been blessed to have Anna for 17 years and was able to spend quality time with her and if God chose to take her, she would be ok with it, because it not only meant it would mean the end of her pain but she would go home to be with Jesus.  She mentioned how blessed she was considering there have been parents on the floor who have not had many years to be with their children, as cancer has prematurely ended their children's lives.  Wow!  What perspective!  I also have heard the frustration and sadness Lisa has had during this ordeal.  I am thankful I have been able to meet parents who have been transparent and open in sharing their struggles and joy.  I been blessed to have connected with parents who are Christians, such as Connor's mom, Timothy's mom and Anna's parents who have shared their trials and struggles with their Children being critically sick.  It has been cathartic to also hear how God has sustained them in the midst of their storms.  This all reminds me of God's provision and what I have needed.  God knew I would need people in my life who were walking in the same shoes and that I was not alone.

Since my divorce, which I didn't see coming 7 years ago, and now Andrew's cancer, I often times have wondered the reason for all this pain.  I have realized my trials gives me a unique perspective on life, a perspective which can help others experiencing pain and trials.  It helps me to empathize and understand and allow me to just be there for them.  One valuable lesson I have learned from my grief and sadness is that when you go to be with the someone who is grieving, don't say much.  Don't preach or give long winded advice, rather just be there for the person.  Physically just be there.  My close friends Don, Dan and Pastor Michael, yes even a Pastor, have for the most part done exactly that.  They have sat there with me and just grieved with me.  So, who do you know that is grieving and in pain?  You might not have gone through what the person is going through, but don't let that stop you.  Just be there for them.  Quiet and still, grieving together telling them they are not alone

Remember to pray for the requests I made on the last post.  And to add on, pray Andrew would be healthy enough to start chemo tomorrow (Wed.) so he can go home soon.  We have family from out of town, who Andrew loves dearly, coming Friday and he was supposed to go home then, but since his fever and health he will get out at the very earliest on Sunday

Joe xoxoxoxox

1 comment:

  1. You have our prayers.

    Such a feeble recompense, it seems, as your fearless display of the light of His Grace butresses us, and renews our appreciation.

    May He magnify our small words and good intentions, and give you all Peace and Love.