OK, so I tried to tell the story concisely but it didn't work out. As I wrote and the memories kept pouring out and the feelings flowed, I realized I'm pretty much going to have to write a book to convey our cancer experience properly. Maybe I will . . .
For now . . . for here, I'll just give you the gist.
On September 26, 2012 our (then) 4 year-old son Daniel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Rats! The timing and the way he was diagnosed were completely miraculous and we praise God for this. Daniel began chemotherapy and steroid treatments immediately and a nightmare ensued. He got sick. He got fat. He got mean. He was in pain. We were in pain. Ultimately he lost all of his hair. Cancer is hard.
But God is good - ALL the time. We praise Him for this too.
Throughout the whole process God was so gentle and kind to us. Meals were provided, gifts were given, arrangements were made, lessons were learned. The Lord met us in ways only He ever could and we are different for it and we praise Him for that.
Daniel went into remission right "on schedule" after a horrific first month of treatments - and we praise God for that. The treatment for cancer is terrible - worse than the disease, I'm tempted to think - but we have good doctors and medicine is readily available and we praise God for that.
Daniel having a hard chemo day at clinic
During the following year and a half we have run the gauntlet of cancer and surrender and relationship pain and cancer and career challenges and anger and cancer and amazing growth, and our best year of homeschooling, and I'm living the God-given dream of writing a blog . But also cancer. Always the cancer . . . God has blessed us in ways we could never have dreamed of, often as a direct result of the cancer. Bittersweet . . . everything! Bitter. But also sweet. And we praise God for that.
We have had intense conversations with our children about why God allows kids to have cancer and why some of them die and I didn't want my boys to grow up this fast this way but I can always, always come back to, "God is good, all the time!" and we praise Him for that. What He allows is for our good and His glory and we can always, always trust Him and I praise Him for that.
Daniel (and Gracie) in 2014
So you can see that our cancer experience is about so much more than cancer and chemo and clinic: It's about Christ ~ our Wellspring of Grace. I'll share more through the blog and maybe one day I'll go ahead and write that book, but for now let me say from the bottom of my often-broken mother-heart: Cancer has made everything more about Jesus.
And oh, how we praise Him for that.
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