Izzy sits next to me staring off at the tv with a haze over her eyes from the morphine drip. She holds a bucket in her lap and wears a wet wash cloth on her head, both because of the nausea she feels. Every vital on her monitor is flashing red because they are all too high, the beeping has not stopped in hours. This is our second round of antibody and it is getting more intense as the hours pass but when I look at her I keep thinking, “she has been through much worse than this.”
A year ago today we got the dreaded news that threw us completely off the course of life we were on and sent us spinning down another path, this journey through Neuroblastoma. I could have never imagined what was in store for us. It is a journey that has thickened my skin while bruisng it. A journey that has unwoven the borders of my faith completely, leaving only a ball of yarn where the tapestry once was. It has taught me that faith isn’t woven together neatly at all. There will always be questions, always be things we cannot understand, always be suffering. Once upon a time I thought I knew what pain was, what worry was. This journey has taught me that I had no idea.
As I look back on this past year I cannot believe that I have survived. It’s hard to believe that I am still standing, let alone smiling. Now, on the other side of the mountain of this past year I can only smile, with tears of joy maybe, that we have made it through so much. IZZY has made it through so much, and as I stand here a year to the dreaded day of her re-diagnosis I am both proud and thankful – we have made it a long way.
You never think you can do some things until you look back and realize you did. The truth is, we couldn’t have done this without the grace of God constantly pouring over us. Everyday He has been faithful to give us new energy, new strength and above all hope. He has kept His mighty hand on Israelle throughout her intense suffering and various complications. We would not be standing without Him. We simply could not have made it. And we could not have made it without so many of you.
From the very beginning there have been so many people who came alongside of us to offer love and support. So many cards, messages, packages and fundraisers. We have been blessed from people we have known forever and some we have never met. People have gone completely out of their way to shower us with love. And from the bottom of our heart we say ‘thank you.’ Even to those we have never spoken to but who have been praying for Izzy, ‘thank you.’ You, too, have made a difference in our lives.
On this day where I thought cancer would sentence me to bouts of bitterness and self pity, God has given me the grace to feel, in their place, gratitude and hope. I am choosing to celebrate that we have one year of treatment behind us, that we have been No Evidence of Disease every step of the way and that this little girl has alot to be proud of. She has fought like a warrior and she is winning.
I don’t know what is in store for us in this next year to come. For today I am choosing not to look at statistics. Izzy is not a number, she is a God breathed creation with a destiny. She is an heiress to the throne of God and the sum of her life is more than a percentage. My prayer is that only the best will come. That we will complete this round of antibody and the next three with flying colors. I pray she will have no more treatment in the months and years to come because this disease has fled her body forever.
Thanks for walking this journey with us. Your love and support are priceless.