Patient

I’ve tried to write this entry at least a half a dozen times but my thoughts are so non-cohesive that it always turns out as hopeless ramblings of darkness. Needless to say this eleven day hospital stay has been difficult. In my mind I had prepared to write about how the doctor’s warning about this chemo round was wrong. I envisioned this entry being a testimony of God’s faithfulness to Israelle, another story that amazed modern medicine. Not so much. Not only did everything play out just as they had warned, it actually lasted longer.

Some time over the weekend the nausea hit and at one point she was dry heaving almost every hour. Her body was so weak that she would fall over onto mine afterwards, waiting for the strength to sit up. She handled it with more grace and dignity than I have ever seen, never crying, just reaching for her bucket and moving on.

There were a couple days where it seemed we were on the upward swing and then yesterday she began vomiting again. We aren’t able to leave until her stomach can keep down a certain volume of formula that she’s receiving through the feeding tube. So far we aren’t even one fourth of the way there. To say I’m discouraged would be a significant understatement considering we have to be back here in ten days for the next round of chemo.

My little Izzy is a fighter. She’s an overcomer. She is able to endure what must be endured and still do the things she longs to do. For Izzy, the thing she always longs to do is take a ride in the little pink “school bus” as she calls it. We take a ride every single day in that car. I walk behind her with her pole and all her cords and she pulls ahead with excitement. This week she has been too tired and sick to go at her normal speed. She’d go herself a few steps and then stop to lay her head on the steering wheel for a couple minutes. Then I’d push for a while. It usually takes us about twenty minutes to go to the main lobby and back. Yesterday I think it took us about an hour. The point is, she did what she set out to do. Every single day she goes on a ride downstairs no matter how sick she is. I just pack up the bucket and a towel and we go. Cancer will not stop her.

But it’s stopping me. I know the things that are in store for us in the weeks and months ahead. I can see the dates on the calendar where she won’t be able to leave the room for “school bus” rides. And I know that after the next round of chemo we’ll have a scan. Then we’ll know how the cancer is reacting to treatment. And that same week they’ll do surgery to remove the primary mass. How much of that mass they are able to remove will give them a new statistic for her chances of survival. In a month I’ll have a new number staring me in the face. Once again, I am left to wait.

It occured to me this week that it seems the Lord is calling me to a season of patience during all of this. That in and of itself seems horrendous to me. I am not, nor have I ever been, patient. But now I have two choices. I can either learn to be, or I can continue being miserable in this waiting. Initially I was stuck, not liking either of the two options at hand and then it struck me, “I am to be patient.” Then I looked over at Izzy and realized that she is “a patient.” She was the exact thing that it seemed I was being called to be, but they were different words, right? Maybe not.

Intrigued I start doing some research and I was amazed at what I found. The definition for patient as a verb, in other words what I could be during this season, means “bearing or enduring pain or difficulty with calmness.” The definiton for patient as a noun, as in what Izzy is, is “a person undergoing medical treatment.” But both words come from the same Latin verb, patior, which means “to suffer.” Is it really so hard for me to consider being the same thing that she already is? The thing she has no choice but to be?

Suddenly my perspective changed. Was I willing to let go of all control and allow myself to suffer graciously too, just as she already is? Perhaps that’s why Izzy suffers so beautifully. She isn’t fighting against her suffering, she’s fighting through it. Wow. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

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22 thoughts on “Patient

  1. This post has me in tears. I’m continuing to pray for you, Kendrick, Izzy & Carter. Once again, thank you for your honesty & allowing us to see/know not only what’s happening medically, but in your heart as well.

  2. You are more amazing than you think you are, after all, Izzy learned to be so patient and gracious from somewhere right?

  3. I want to be like her too. Her strength is amazing, as is yours. Thank you so much for sharing, Molly. Your entries are so thought provoking and humbling. Your family has not left my daily thoughts and prayers and they will continue to stay there. So much healing energy is being sent your way!

  4. I have always said you have the patience of a saint! Even though you feel you are letting go and learning to be patient……you already are! As an outsider looking in, I see you in Izzy and Izzy in you. Everything she is, she has gotten from you, so be assured that you are just like her. You both are so beautiful!

    I love you Molly and Izzy and am praying for you.

  5. I ditto what Kim says! You ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN! I have never met you, only read this blog and you and Kendrick have made Izzy who she is today. In four short years, the two of you have raised and guided this beautiful, sweet, “patient”. And, ditto, I want to be like Izzy when I grow up too!!!

  6. While I so wish to be walking this with you in a very real and helpful way, I am so thankful to hear your heart through this blog. Praying all the time- your family is on my heart.

  7. What an example you both are setting for those of us who are watching, waiting and praying. May God bless you all and continue to watch over you. You are in my prayers.

  8. I read every post….I pray, I cry, and I pray some more. And yet through the pain and suffering you are both are ministering to me. I too, can only hope to be just like Izzy when I grow up.

  9. Amazing…I think all of us want to be like Izzy, who learned so much from her wonderful parents. The silver lining that you seem to always find on such a dark gray cloud is a blessing – to all of your family. Hold on to the good, know matter how small it seems. I pray for your “patient”, and for you to be “patient”. God’s not finished yet.

  10. Thank you for being willing to be real and honest. The why surely can never be answered. But maybe the how. And you have answered the how. Moment by moment, learning the lessons we are taught. Schoolmates with your daughter sometimes and teacher’s assistant at others. May you continue to bless others with your journey. Prayers are covering you.

  11. Nothing like a good etymological study to give you a renewed perspective. I think you all are being incredibly patient in the difficulty and suffering you are encountering. God IS pleased by your faith. May He bring this season of difficulty to a quick and permanent end with HEALING!!
    Peace,
    Randy

  12. A stunning reflection! This, for sure, is the refining fire-no way out–just through it. ‘The task ahead of us is never as great as the power behind us.’ May your faith be strengthened and your hope endure.

  13. We love you Molly! So thankful for the “patient” Mommy you are to your little “patient”. God is giving you both the strength you need, so hold on to Him!! We pray for you guys everyday. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. Kendrick, Carter, Molly and Izzy, we love you all so much!!

  14. I love you, Molly, and your reflections are powerful and challenging to all of us! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We continue to pray without ceasing.

  15. Praying for you at every chance. One of the things I may never understand about life is children stricken with illness. I think about Izzy all the time…a little crusader against cancer. Love the pink bus…

  16. School bus! I have a power wheels, its a little yellow school bus! All she has to do is push a button on the steering wheel and it drives! If she wants it for the hospital when she’s too weak to manually drive the other, its hers! Please…if Izzy would want it, please say yes! I would LOVE for her to have it! I will bring it to you!

    I was getting ready to post this video on Izzy’s Facebook page, but I figured I would post it for you here also. Every night when I tuck my 3 year old into bed, we pray for Izzy along with our other prayers. Tonight, when she said her prayers, it was the first time she automatically prayed for Izzy, so I ran and grabbed my camera and had her do it again.

    Please let me know if Izzy would like the school bus. Here is an old video I took when my daughter first got the bus so you can see what it looks like…

    My email is aubreighsmommy@aol.com

    God bless,
    Kristi

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