This post is #128 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.
I'm so thankful God did not give us a road map ten years ago. If we had known the destination, I'm not sure we could have kept on walking. As it was, He gave us just enough grace for each step.
My email explains ...
Hannah finally had her MRI about 11:30 this morning, and we just spoke to a resident who was with the doctor when he reviewed the results. The resident told us that all of the tumors have decreased in size, and that there are no new tumors! This is the best news we could have received (other than all of the tumors being completely gone, of course!) and we are so thankful. Our oncologist had told us back before starting this latest round of radiation that the goal of the radiation treatments was to shrink the tumors so that the chemotherapy can be maximally effective, and that appears to be exactly what has happened. We were told that the on-call doctor (not our regular oncologist) will be by later this afternoon or probably tomorrow morning to further discuss the results and answer any questions. Hannah continues to improve and has not needed any blood or platelets today, and we've been told that if her immunity numbers increase enough, and if they feel that oral antibiotics will be adequate to finish knocking out the infection, we could be going home tomorrow. So, we have had a day of good news, and we are very thankful! Once again, we thank you so much for your prayers!
We wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts with the many people who receive these emails about Hannah. Many of you have given us a form of "praise"... complimenting our faith, telling us you could never "do" what we are "doing", or similar types of comments. While these types of statements are nice to hear, and are definitely an encouragement to us, we would never want to give the impression that we have this whole "faith thing" figured out or that we never have times of struggle or doubt. Our prayer is that, through these emails, you will see that it is not our strength, but the power of God alone, that carries us along on a day-by-day basis.
Several of the people who receive these emails have gone through unbelievable trials in recent years, and we have witnessed firsthand the power and grace of God in their lives as they walked their own journeys. Now that we are experiencing a trial of our own, we remember how God was faithful to them, and that also gives us confidence to know that He will be faithful to us as well. While we do not know what the future holds, or even what the next day or hour may hold, we can trust Him because He is good.
When we lived in Fort Smith, we had a wonderful pastor (who reads these emails) who once said that God doesn't give us a road map of our lives. If He did, our eyes would always be on the map, and never on Him. And to tell the truth, I'm really glad we don't have a map, because sometimes it would be hard to keep taking steps if we knew exactly where the map was leading. So, we continue to walk the path, with our eyes on Him, trusting Him to meet our every need, not because we are anything special or some kind of super-Christians, but because we know that He is good, all the time. Thank you for walking this journey with us and for keeping us encouraged every step of the way.
Jill and Brad