I never thought that as 2012 approaches that I would have to re-experience the pain and fear that coincides with this journey. This past year we felt blessed as Gabriel was beginning to live the “normal” life of a little boy. He was playing soccer, swimming, playing with friends, and school. He was full of life. He smiled. He played. He was living. Now… life feels unfair, as my son’s life is ripped apart. He no longer gets to be a little boy. He has to understand this complex journey with a mind of a child, but with the strength that most adults cannot conceive. I cannot conceive this strength and bravery that one must have to conquer cancer. How do I help my son be happy and feel normal during this adversity? How do I be a mom to all three of my children providing a balanced amount of time to each child so they all can grow with greatness, love, and a beautiful spirit during a journey with cancer?
I am reminded that my answers can only come from the one above-our Father in Heaven. My greatest strength has been my faith in God. This journey tests my faith everyday, and some days I fail. I am reminded during this time when fear and worry overtake me that I must trust the one whom carves my footpath. Romans 8:6 states, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” I need peace at this time so that I can be a mom that encourages, listens, and teaches what is honorable and glorifies our Heavenly Father. I want to dream great things for my children. This life causes one to live in the moment. I don’t want to always live in the moment. I want to dream big dreams again for my children. My dreams sometimes feel like nightmares.
I need to keep looking up. It is up that reminds me there is life when we pray, read the word, and look for the blessings amongst the pain. I believe there are blessings. I just feel tired of this pain. I want this pain to end. I want to know that I will be able to hold my son in my arms until I go to be with our Heavenly Father. I don’t want to fear the reverse. I need to have Faith amongst the unknown. The greatest tool that overcomes all is faith in God.
I pray for the strength that only comes from you. I pray that I exemplify you and your humble spirit. I pray that I can hold my son close for years to come until I am old and come to live with you. I pray that the doctors are wrong when they tell me that he will never have children of his own. In spite of all the pain that goes with this journey I would never change the gift that you have given me in Gabriel, Simone, and Yasmine. I pray, Dear Jesus, that Gabriel is given this same gift of the greatest gift in life of all-children. I pray that he is given freedom to live his life to the fullest without long-term harm to his body, mind or spirit. I pray that this journey will be used to glorify you and bring people to know you. I pray for healing.
Amen (Let is be So).
First Week of Relapse
This journey has been a difficult time as I never fathomed I would hear the words “relapse.” However, I have and I need to regain my composure to begin treatment in a different and renewed way than previous years. I am not sure what this will look like, but I know it has to be different.
A summary thus far during our first week of relapse Gabriel has undergone two LP’s to decrease the leukemia blasts in his central nervous system (CNS). This treatment has worked, and has reduced the blasts. He also received a second round of a triple dose of chemotherapy where three different types of chemotherapy were injected into his CNS. He had his bone marrow tested to determine whether the cancer spread. It has not, which is great news. However, our treatment course is based upon two possible paths because he does have cancer in his CNS. One path is chemotherapy for two years based upon a German protocol that is new to our Outpatient clinic, but known for better results for a CNS relapse so close to completion. The second path is for a bone marrow transplant if Simone and Yasmine match Gabriel. The treatment path will be based upon Mike and I deciding upon the best for our son, which will take much research, questions to the transplant team and lots of prayer. We are advised that bone marrow transplant would be a more curable prognosis, but there is much risk. Please pray for Mike and I to have clarity, wisdom and to make the right decision.
I will continue to post so that I can share our journey with you. I do appreciate that you all take some time to read my posts. It helps me, and I hope it helps you understand our journey too.