‘Very Joyful Today’


This is a picture of Izzy a teacher sent to me today. I started a new job just last week and was sitting quietly in my office when I got it. The caption said ‘Very Joyful Today.’ It warmed my heart to think of us both in our new environments.

The next time my phone would make any noise, just one hour later, it would be Cincinnati. The first few moments of the conversation were commonplace and then there was a shift. ‘So,’ he said with a pause. I knew something was wrong.

My head began to spin and I walked outside to the fresh air. I don’t remember the five minute call. Blah, blah, blah. Urine marker. Blah, blah, blah. Elevated. Blah, blah, blah. Neuroblastoma can cause. Blah, blah, blah.

His words were drown out by the cars that drove drown the street and the heavy covering that clothed my soul. I could not breathe. I could not feel my hands or feet. I could not tell if my heart was beating or had already stopped. Maybe it would just stop because the pain and the fear and the memories and the possibilities were all too much.

I hung up the phone and walked back into the building. Back to my office and closed the door. Jesus, please don’t let this be one of those moments I will always remember. Please don’t let this be the beginning of a ‘Certain Kind of Pain’ again.

Neuroblastoma cannot be detected in the blood but there is a protein in the urine that is sometimes elevated when Neuroblastoma is present. Monthly they check Izzys urine for that protein. The urine they tested last week at our appointment came back SLIGHTLY elevated.

Other things can cause an elevation of that protein – of particular importance to me is vanilla flavoring. Her formula is vanilla and since her bowel surgery she has eaten virtually nothing and has been receiving additional formula. That could be all it is. That could be all it is.

I should note that the doctor said I should not be concerned. He said we will recheck the urine once she is not on the formula and hope it’s just the vanilla. Hope it’s just the vanilla.

This is life we have been given and it is precious and beautiful and ugly all at the same time. And while my first tendency is to walk in fear of what may be, it is not my last. And while I do not know what the future holds for us on earth I know The One who does. I will CHOOSE not to spend the next two weeks anticipating the future. I will CHOOSE to spend them fully engaged in the present and thankful.

What I have today is a daughter that has overcome and a Savior that has promised to walk through everyday along my side. As Izzy used to say, a God that we know “will take care of us NO MATTER WHAT.”

Please pray for my sweet Izzy like you have never prayed before. And pray for vanilla.

Blessings on you today and LIFE, abundant, joyful life for Izzy.

8 Replies to “‘Very Joyful Today’”

  1. Even though I’ve never met Izzy, I love her so much! (everyone does!) And her mama’s writings are gut wrenching, yet beautiful! Prayers always for this precious family.

  2. Praying harder than I ever have for this sweet little girl I have never met but yet feel so close to. Praying for you and your family as well. And, of course, praying for vanilla.

  3. Praying for dear, sweet Izzy. Praying that God will work out His complete healing in her Praying too, for you, Kendrick, and Carter. May His sweet peace sweep over your spirit with billows of love.

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