Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Necessity

So I got to go worship for the first time in about a month last week.   During worship I started thinking about necessity.  Specifically my thought was this:  "is Jacob's illness a necessity?"  the more I thought about it I remembered what I believe and that is this:  My Jesus loves Jacob - more than I could ever love him. He has plans for Jacob - to do him good - not harm.  So if I believe that (and I do with all of my heart) then Jacob's illness must be a necessity -a holy necessity.  As I thought more about this I wondered ...but for what?  Here is what I concluded:  Jacob's illness serves the purpose to demonstrate hope. It demonstrates an assurance that Jacob and his family has - Jesus will never leave us or forsake us and Jesus has plans for our good - for the good of others.

After worship I got to speak with a dear friends who are going through some serious hardship with their child.  You know what they told me?  "I get the feeling this struggle is a necessity" - exactly what I was wondering as I worshiped.  That my friend is confirmation that I am onto something important here.

Hope and assurance like fear and despair is contagious.  You know what I can tell you - Jacob's hope is exactly that - contagious.  I have seen it brighten the day of the staff here at Children's.  I'll bet that some just don't understand how this young man has "such a great attitude".  I would wager they wonder why he's always "all good". I believe that the effect Jacob is having  on the wonderful people we have the privilege of being with here on the 7th floor is part of the "necessity" of his Leukemia - and I believe there is more that we may or may not understand until later.

It is so tempting to get in a fetal position and despair when unthinkable things happen to those you love.  But that is not a necessity - especially when you trust that someone bigger than you, who loves more than you and "knows the plans he has for you" is holding your hand.

Jacob Update:  So we are waiting for a certain type of white blood cell to reappear in Jacob's labs.  They
The Obi Wan Knobi of Legos
are called monocytes.  Now when I first heard that term it reminded me of some old testament biblical people - as in "the Israelites subdued the king of the Monocytes and there was great rejoicing in the land". Nope - its a type of white blood cell.  He's at 0.  That means the chemo nuked everything and we're waiting for it to come back.  The Monocytes are an indicator that that is happening.  Today - no Monocytes.  We want Monocytes bad.  Four days we've been at 0.  Jacob feels fine other than being quarantined to his room.  He keeps busy.  He's still building stuff:  legos (thanks to folks that are sending him kits ;), model airplanes and other things.  He's still happy.  He says "I just want to get better".  It's as if he just knows this is where he needs to be.  Its a necessity.

Continue to pray for the families on the 7th floor.  There are many here - many worse off than us.  Try commuting from Montana or the 4 corners area for example.  Pray for the staff here from the housekeeping folks, the nurses, docs, techs - they all have a demanding job.  - Pray for Monocytes ( we wonder if there is a lego kit for those).  Love your kids, Love each other, Give Glory to the High King today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bumpy Road - Great View

So.  We're still here.  Jacob is still there.  I have to say if you have to have Leukemia you need to do it like our son.  He's through his first round of chemo and waiting in his room patiently for his numbers to come up - which will enable him to come home for a brief visit.  I said earlier that this is going to be a marathon and not a sprint - boy did I make an understatement.

You'll notice we've not written too much lately.  I guess we just needed to get our heads around this. when this happened to Jacob it was an instant left turn for everyone in our family.  Kind of like a car getting lassoed and turned in an instant onto an unknown road. But here we are on the road.  We're now getting familiar with this road.  Its bumpy to be sure but it also has some pretty incredible scenery.  Let me explain.

Jacob as the Avatar
First let's start with Jacob.  How do you thrive with Leukemia?  Yet this young man is doing it.  Sure - he's lost his hair.  He's stuck on the 7th floor of Denver Children's Hospital.  He is smiling - always. His attitude is incredible.  All this guy needs is something to do.  Bottom line up front:  If he has legos, paracord to weave, binoculars to look out of the window, a kindle with a good book on it (thanks friends) he's good - no seriously he's really good.  He's better - he's happy!  Crazy right?

It get's better. We get affirmation that adopting Jacob was God's plan.  As I spent the night with him we had a dude's night.
 We talked, we played, we watched the hobbit.  I tell Jacob:  "You know I'm not always going to be able to be here Jake".  He answered: "I'm not worried about that Dad - I know you'll come back".  Now that might appear insignificant to you - its not.  Remember that Jacob was abandoned three times in his life:  first as a newborn, hours old outside of the orphanage he grew up in, second a failed adoption -that was a very bad situation for him, and then third, another failed adoption one spouse wanted him, the other did not.  Having undergone all of this, he told me:  I KNOW YOU WILL COME BACK.  - Now that is a nice view out the window on this bumpy road.

Nothing Beats A Grandmother
Another beautiful view we have had is that of the people who care.  We have had our friends show up and stay the night with Jacob - playing battleship to keep his mind off the chemo.  We have had food - really good food delivered to our family as mom and dad have been taking turns staying with Jacob - people have come out of the wood work to help. Prayers - we believe God is Sovereign - period.  And we praise Him that we have many, many others out there praying for us, praying for Jacob and who knows what else.   All kinds of people - folks we know and others we don't have been showing up.  We've had people offering to buy gas for us as we travel the 160 mile round trip almost daily.  Finally we have a Grandmother - Peggy Manthiey who rolled into town for two weeks and did what grandmothers do - take care of  grand kids. The boy gained over a pound under her watch! (A very good thing) When she got here Peggy had only met Jacob a few times - now they are fast friends - he even beats her at canasta.

Thank You for your prayers.  Thank you for your time. Thank you for your love.  Thank you for sharing meals with us.  Thank you for putting gas in the car, Thank you for sitting with our kids, Thank you for spending the night at the hospital, Thank you Nurses (you guys rock!), Thank  you Doctors (ditto!) Thank you all for being the people God created you to be.

Thanks and Praise be to the Lord our God who sustains us and heals us!  - Make much of him today!