Aside

“I’m sorry”

When your child has a life threatening disease there are two words you never want to hear in regards to test results, “I’m sorry.” Who knew two words that have always brought comfort and warmth could suddenly instill fear. Those two words finally brought me to my breaking point this week as I heard them over and over again in regards to pathology reports we got back on the tumor. 90% of the cancer cells were still alive. That means that the chemo didn’t actually kill most of the cancer, it just shrank it. In neuroblastoma that information is not a predictor of how things will continue to go, but it wasn’t what our team was expecting. A report that said the cancer was almost completely dead would have, in the words of our doctor, made everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Instead we got results that made people say, “I’m sorry. That’s not what we had hoped.”

Our doctor (the expert) still believes things will continue as planned for Izzy. He still says that all the important stuff you need to see at this point to keep moving towards a cure we have seen. A clear MIBG scan and practically 100% of the primary mass removed. He’s still hopeful. Atleast someone is. I managed to lose my hope in a puddle of tears as I wept on our bathroom floor one day This past week. “Please save her, Lord,” I pleaded over and over again in desperation. “Please.” 

I don’t walk around everyday in the reality that this is life and death. I see a child who is suffering and my heart breaks, but I don’t think about the unknown possibilities of tomorrow. I can’t live in that reality everyday but this week I got a brutal reminder of it. 35% of Stage IV Neuroblastoma patients find a cure. If they can make it to cell the stem cell transplant those odds jump to 65%. We have to be cancer free to make it to the transplant. In six weeks we’ll have more tests to see where we are. 

Most days along this journey I feel like we’re climbing up a mountain of gravel on our hands and knees. The gravel just continues to slide underneath us trying to take us down and steal every inch of victory we’ve claimed. That’s the thing about climbing up a mountain of gravel. There’s nothing sturdy enough to hold onto, no ground firm enough to regain your grip. There is nothing, nothing but the grace of God that can help us find our way to the top. I don’t know why we’re on this mountain. I’d give anything in my life to have another mountain, any mountain but this one. But this is the mountain He has allowed for us. So I am left with two choices each morning. I can wake up with the new mercy He has deposited in me and keep climbing or I can roll over and go back to bed. God forbid I ever go back to bed. God forbid I ever stop climbing. I will climb this mountain until He reaches down from the heavens to pick us up ever so gently, only to set us down on the other side.  

Yesterday Izzy began her fifth round of chemo. There was no break after surgery, no quick trip home, we need to keep on schedule. Last night she woke up every twenty minutes or so gagging on vomit in her sleep. She would sit up momentarily and then collapse on my lap. She was exhausted from the anti-nause meds. As she lay on my lap and I listened to her breathing I was reminded of simpler times. Times when I had rocked her in my arms and felt her breathing just the same. Times when Tylenol and Motrin could cure her ailments and I could keep her safe. But even that was just an illusion. I know now that even then the cells were there. There was a lethal weapon sitting idle deep within her aiting to explode and destroy our lives. And all the while I rocked her to sleep singing lullabys none the wiser. Please pray that it will die, this deadly weapon that keeps trying to steal from us. 10% of it dead is not enough. All of it needs to die. Either it dies or…. Pray with me so I don’t ever have to complete that sentence. I believe my daughter has a destiny that goes beyond Neuroblastoma. Join me in asking for it. 

20 thoughts on ““I’m sorry”

  1. I am praying with you & standing beside you as you walk through this journey. Please know that as you climb this mountain I and so many others are climbing with you. We all love you and are praying each and every day for Izzy’s healing.

  2. A friend has been sharing your journey. We are praying with you as you climb your mountain one step at time. Don’t know you but love you just the same.

  3. I know I have already commented but this song came to mind as I read your post:

    When something seems too hard to handle
    Too big to conquer, too far away to touch
    When all your dreams begin to shatter
    And deep inside you you’re hurting oh so much
    That’s when it’s time to say…

    I’m climbing my mountain, step by step
    I’m climbing my mountain, day by day
    I’m climbing my mountain, all the way
    I’m climbing my mountain, I’m gonna make it!

    One step at a time, one step at a time
    One step at a time, with Jesus by my side
    One step at a time, one step at a time
    I’m climbing my mountain one step at a time

    Even though you might grow weary
    Don’t be discouraged – in our weakness God is strong
    Remember this, He’ll never leave you
    He won’t forsake you, He’s your strength and He’s your song
    So sing and start to say…

    I’m climbing my mountain, step by step
    I’m climbing my mountain, day by day
    I’m climbing my mountain, all the way
    I’m climbing my mountain, I’m gonna make it!

    One step at a time, one step at a time
    One step at a time, with Jesus by my side
    One step at a time, one step at a time
    I’m climbing my mountain one step at a time

  4. We love you guys Molly. Your sweet Izzy is in my prayers everyday, and so are all of you! 10% is NOT the “complete healing” I’ve been praying for. So I’ll keep on praying. None of us can complete that sentence and we won’t. Our God is with all of us, hears all our prayers, ALL the time. We are all climbing the mountain with you, honey. Love you so much.

  5. I shared this on facebook asking for prayer. One of the sisters that responded said this song came to mind when she read, I hope you are able to see and hear it!

  6. Also on our hands and knees tonight … Believing with you for Izzy’s destiny, Molly and Kendrick, and standing against the enemy’s plan, asking for LIFE to the full for her!

  7. I’m a friend of Bonnie’s from college. I was in tears reading this. You are absolutely incredible. I’m not a religious person but I am praying for sweet, strong Izzy and your family. I wish I could give you a hug.

  8. Lord, we are praying fervently for Izzy’s complete healing. Father God, bring your Kingdom here, right now to Izzy. Please bring health and wholeness to her. Set Izzy free from cancer, Lord, for your glory. We pray in the name of your son, Jesus.

  9. Hold fast sweet sister. I do not know you but your words touch me all the same. I have a daughter Izzy’s age and this stings so much more as I sit here in tears. I cannot imagine the terror you feel but please know that there are strangers out there praying earnestly for you and your little one.

  10. I learned about your precious Izzy through 2 different friends of mine via Facebook and they don’t even know each other! 🙂 I am believing for her full healing and this is how I will be praying. If God one day decides her wants her to be in His presence, then I will change my prayer—but I am using violent faith on this one every day.

    “We see little so we believe little and we then believe little and so we see little.” (Beth Moore)

    No more! Let’s BELIEVE BIG for 100% healing and thus SEE a HUGE miracle at the hand of our Great God!

  11. Read your message and I am inspired by your strength and courage. I hate that any family has to experience this journey. May you continue to get up every morning and feel God’s grace and mercy. People who have never met you, like myself, are praying for Izzy and you. Your writing made me hug my kids a litte tighter tonight and thank God for the blessing of their health. God bless your family!

  12. I know the pain and suffering, cancer myself, losing a younger sister to a cancer and losing my husband of 30 yrs to lung cancer, but a wee one on this journey of pain and suffering just does not compute. My heart aches for you and your family. Your faith is keeping u strong. God knows and He will never leave you or forsake you. Hold on, many, many ate praying.

  13. OH my! Of course we will pray with you. God has a plan….I just know it! Keep climbing…..God send your army of angels to be with this family. Let them look back and see no footprints as you carried them through to better days. Send your comfort and peace through divine intervention. Thank you God for loving us! Thank you for loving Izzy!

  14. I pray you never have to complete that sentence either! I pray that the 10% turns into 100%! And you keep climbing, keep your faith…God does have a plan for your Izzy!!!

  15. I am a friend of Joyce Bales and grandma of 8 year old Rylee who was diagnosed with Stage 4 NB at the age of 3. Focus on the percent that win and be determined to be in that group. My heart breaks, as I know your journey, but I also know the power of prayer. Rylee is about 5 months away from 5 years NED. Every moment is a blessing never taken for granted.NB is never far from our thoughts and the fear is always there, but a hug from Rylee makes the sun shine, regardless of the weather outside. Joyce was going to give you Rylee’s Mom’s name if you ever need to talk. They live in Winamac You have been in my thoughts and prayers since I heard about Izzy. I read your posts and remember the pain, the fears, and the road-but I see Rylee and I see hope for tomorrow. If there is anything a family who has traveled your road can do to help, please please contact us. Childhood cancer makes us all family and families help one another. Prayers continue for all of you every day

  16. My dear Molly, as I read and weep feelings I thought were put to rest decades ago surface so real as if it were today. It is good that you are able to express your innermost feelings about the horror you are going through. What an emotional roller coaster you must be on. I will continue to pray for Izzy to be totally healed and for continued strength for you and the family. Izzy is on the prayer list at our church.

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