This post is #180 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.
February 19, 2009
I'm not gonna lie ... When we got to the hospice center and found out there was no wifi, I may have freaked out just a little. The emails and messages we received daily from so many wonderful people had become such a part of our lifeline it was hard to imagine being cut off from them. And writing my daily emails was actually playing a role in keeping me sane. Leaving Hannah's side to go to Starbucks for wifi access was just not going to work.
What a wonderful blessing it was to receive an AirCard from some friends! It was a great comfort to once again be connected to the world outside of hospice.
A hospice center can be a pretty depressing place for a kid to hang out. Bethany was staying with us round the clock, and though she never complained, we knew it was not a very fun place for her to be. In an effort to make her stay more tolerable, a dear friend of mine took it upon herself to drive her daughter an hour each way to the hospice center every evening after school and on weekends as well. What a blessing it was for us to know that Bethany had the opportunity to spend time daily with her best friend and get a break from the difficult reality.
We can never adequately express how much these gifts (and so many others) meant to us.
My email from ten years ago today ...
Just wanted to touch base and let everyone know that we now have internet access, thanks to a wireless USB device that God provided for us through some wonderful people. What a blessing it has been to be able to communicate with everyone again...the emails we send and receive have really become such a huge part of our lives. We just got through reading all of our email from the last day or so, and we are overwhelmed and amazed at what God is up to simply as a result of what is happening in our lives....it's very humbling. To know that our precious child has touched so many lives is such a comfort!
Hannah has had a pretty good day today. She has slept almost all day long, but she woke up long enough to eat half of an orange this morning, and then to eat some fettuccine for supper. She has talked very little today, except for a little while just after eating supper, when she actively participated in a conversation about American Idol. Those of you who know Hannah know that she is a huge fan of that TV show, although she has really not been able to follow it this season. While we were talking about this year's contestants, she didn't have much to say, but when the conversation turned to previous years' contestants, she jumped right in. It was really nice to see a glimpse of "our" Hannah for a little while this evening. She did have a little bit of bleeding from her mouth again today, so they gave her two units of platelets, and she has been fine ever since.
We've been able to have some wonderful time with family over the last couple of days. The hospice center is wonderful and has been so accommodating to our rather large extended family. Because they are not full right now, they have graciously provided us two rooms, so Brad and Bethany are both able to stay here with Hannah and me. There is a very inexpensive meal program for families, so all our needs here are provided for. Again, we do welcome visitors, but wish to limit visitors to family only after 5:30 p.m., so we can have some private time in the evenings.
Again, we are so thankful that she is not in any pain. Our oncologist was so surprised that she did not have pain, because after looking at the scans, he said she really should be having severe headaches and nausea. She has had none of that, and what a blessing that is. We have so many things to be thankful for, but we are most thankful that Hannah's future is assured. Whether she is healed here on earth (which, at best, would only be a temporary healing...all earthly healings are temporary), or whether she is healed in Heaven (which would be a permanent healing), she is going to be just fine. As Bethany says, "Either way, Hannah wins." And that's why we can say that God is good, all the time!
Jill and Brad
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" I John 5:4-5