this evening jeremy and i had dinner with my parents. but this was not just any dinner for any occasion. to begin with jeremy made dinner – an amazing chicken and rice meal that i’ve grown up with and he has mastered the art of creating. nothing says comfort food to the women in my family like this chicken. i added the muffins we have come to expect alongside this dish and a chocolate pie (b/c who wouldn’t want chocolate pie?).
but it’s just for anyone or any occasion that jeremy puts 3 hours into making a meal. we got together to celebrate better news than anyone was expecting from the doctors. most of you know that last year my mom was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. in an effort to be honest with their patients and not set unrealistic expectations – doctors can be brutally honest and rarely optimistic. the picture they painted was not impossible to see past but it was a challenge to see the hope through their perspective. however – since our hope is not in what we can see or not see but rather is found in the faith that God is in control and is the ultimate Healer.
my parents started down an a path they had not planned for retirement – one littered with doctor’s appointments, tests, waiting rooms and a new level of dependence on God. i say my parents started down this path – not just my mom, because my dad did not leave her to figure this out for herself, this was not just a personal journey for her where he stood by to see how it went.
just last week, after months of treatments, my parents went up for daily bloodwork and a shot. following the chemo when your necessary blood cells die off and new ones are naturally made fast enough they need to carefully monitor those cells and give medicine to spur your body on to make what you need. for many people they can give you a shot and your bones start kicking into high gear to push those cells into your bloodstream. but for some people that one shot does not work and they need to get a series of shots – one a day for several days. my mom is one of those people that needs the multiple shots, so they were going for part of their routine to keep her healthy. they always check the blood first to make certain the shot is necessary and this time the doctor came back and said – we don’t need to do it. in fact your numbers are so good and you have remained so strong throughout the treatments that we feel confident we have beaten back what was possibly there and we don’t need to see you for 2 months.
can you even imagine – you go in expecting a shot and you hear that you are are free!?!? they had expected a 6 week reprieve from the last appointment until they needed to return, that’s two more weeks than had been promised. two weeks to extend a vacation or make plans to have brunch with people or just sleep in.
so what does all of this mean? for the next two months, my mom will work on remaining healthy by continuing to eat right and resuming her exercise routine (that she can now do outside without concern regarding sunlight). then they will see the doctor, who will order a PET scan to confirm the cancer is gone. it would be nice to have the scan now, but it would show the remaining radiation in her body from the chemo and that would make the results impossible to interpret.
so, we are thanking God for His faithfulness and healing. i say these two separately because healing is not indicative of His faithfulness. this healing is a blessing and God should receive the glory and we are so thankful. but, He did not need to heal in order for us to know He is faithful, His faithfulness is an attribute of His character. we know He is faithfull when we reflect on His very real presence throughout this last year, when we see Him in places where only grace would be sufficient.