Hi Precious Brethren in Christ,
I am finally visiting home for the first time in what seems like an eternity. I burst into tears walking into the familiar sights and smells of my home, taking a shower in my own bathroom! I've had friends that have had children hospitalized and my heart hurt for them and I prayed but really you have NO IDEA how it is until you are really there how hard it is! It is truly like another WORLD. There are many sick children (bald wearing masks, hooked up to machines), nurses coming in and out every hour to monitor, you wait for delayed tests, doctors, nurses, and results. It's dark as not much light comes through the windows, hours and days sort of blend into one another, you hear children crying when they get blood drawn, are getting treatment, at all hours of day and night. There is no routine. And not much to do, getting food, showering, and even going to the bathroom can be such a hassle. I can't describe it all, but it is so different. As bad as this is, I think of Haiti, Liberia India, Vietnam, and many other poor countries and how much WORSE it would be having a sick child there. I count my blessings and thank God that as awful as this is, he has us here in such a great hospital. How many mothers don’t have access to this type of care and watch their children perish.
When they first mentioned cancer I immediately recalled a friend Trish from Above Rubies (her son Josiah drowned and was revived, and perfectly restored to health) telling me when we named Josiah a comment about, well, just so you know one of the meanings of Josiah is "God has healed" and how MANY people named Josiah that have had trials, illness or accidents . Just don't be surprised....she said. My mind flashed back to that and I started thinking of the many people I've prayed for with cancer this year that were healed to glory and not here on earth. I cried and the Spirit reminded me to take every thought captive. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 Also felt God was telling me not to “worry about tomorrow” (the what if’s), Matthew 6:27 take it moment by moment, and Matt 6:34. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? I had to remember that as much as I adore and love my son, God loves my son more than I do and that he isn't really MINE in the first place, that there is a plan and purpose for all of this. I was reminded that those that Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I remembered that I had dedicated each of my children to the Lord to use for His purposes and that He knew the full scope of my son’s life and how each detail or situation is woven together for His glory. I had to lay my sweet little son on the alter and trust in God’s mercy and goodness. And His word, no matter the outcome.
God has been so good. The love and support that many have shown just astounds me. I wept tears of joy at all that has happened. We feel so taken care of by our Lord and by all of you! He is such a faithful father. He has provided in ways we didn't even think of. From the Meals have been coming for Huatzin and the kids. (Thanks so much) (I know this is so stressful for Huatzin trying to balance visits to the hospital, taking care of the kiddos, running the household, to still trying to find a job, the kids have gone with him to the hall to look for work) This has really been helpful. ALHomeschoolers brought over a huge basket of snacks for the kids and I, as food isn't always readily available at the hospital. Friends have provided childcare for my kiddos when we needed it, visits at the hospital, toys for Josiah to keep him busy, a fan as the AC doesn't work well in our room, prayers and verses both mailed and texted. Offers for doula help if I need to give birth to baby while Huatzin stays with Josiah. It is incredible! Truth be told, I have always felt a bit cheated by not having family but all of you have been brothers and sisters in Christ to us. I couldn't thank all of you if I tried! Praise report- apparently many of you are praying and have passed our situation on to many other prayer boards. People all over the country and the world are interceding for our little family! A nurse came up to me and asked if we attended CCEA church. I said no, why? She said “oh, we've been praying for your son!” She works on the same floor that we are on! You have no idea how encouraging that is. Several of you mentioned the Lord waking you up at 3am to pray for my boy, all at the same time! Other times in the middle of the night I feel overwhelmed with all that is going on and right then I’ll get a text from someone praying for us in the wee hours! My contractions have stopped for now, a real blessing.
I wanted to let everyone know. Your prayers are working. When we went in they seemed pretty certain that Josiah had Leukemia. They had us fill out paperwork about treatment for it and everything. Now, from what they can tell, it doesn't appear to be cancer. Though they want to make perfectly sure that is isn't Leukemia caught in its very early stages (which is still a possibility). We’ll know more tomorrow. They have mentioned various viruses that it could be... they also mentioned Aplastic anemia which the doctor mentioned is actually WORSE then Leukemia. Leukemia has a 90% recovery rate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aplastic_anemia so we are praying it isn’t that either although the symptoms are exactly what Josiah has. We may be able to leave as soon as tomorrow if all the lab work comes back clear and Josiah might just need occasional monitoring which is what we are praying for. A nurse told me that when we went in JoJo had 8000 ( I THINK it was platelets? ) I asked how many he had after the transfusion, they mentioned 80,000Yikes! So we are so glad we brought him in when we did.
Josiah has done wonderfully. He has charmed every nurse and doctor there. He lets them check him and loves talking to everyone and meeting all the new people. He is so special and sweet. I am amazed at what a great job he is doing! They say he makes their job so easy.
Yesterday they let me unhook Josiah and I took him outside on a small fenced off patch of grass in front of CHOC to get fresh air and sun. He hasn't been out in 4 days. He kicked around his beach ball and laughed and played. I read through the Psalms and felt God’s peace and presence. He stopped playing, got sad and cried. He sometimes doesn't know why or how to express himself and I guess all of the scariness caught up with him. We prayed to Jesus. He told me “mama I scared” and “mama please hold me.” I nursed him, held him and he fell asleep in my arms. I carried him back upstairs. Later on we stayed up really late reading bible stories, listening to worship music with my headphones, him on one ear, I on another and raising our hands and praising Jesus while eating ice chips ( a perk, hospitals have the BEST ice chips) It was a sweet time of fellowship.
Please pray that I can step out of all that is going on and encourage the mothers that I have met and spoken to here. Only God knows how long we'll be here so I pray we are light while here. One mother here has 3 children; TWO of those children are being treated for cancer at the same time! This morning our roommate was informed that her little girl Jasmine has cancer. I heard her crying. It is heartbreaking. A single mother has been here 9 months in the last year! Another mother with a 6 year old was admitted last week diagnosed with cancer. I am going to bring Above Rubies Magazines, Power of a praying parent and from Prison to praise to give to some. Please pray for boldness in sharing the gospel and the love of Christ. If anyone has extra copies of either book or something encouraging, please let me know. We are on a serious budget with Huatzin out of work, and I can’t afford to buy more copies to give out. But I feel there must be a purpose for us being here. Please also pray for wisdom in whether we should pursue banking the cord blood. It is VERY expensive, the doctor doesn't think it's necessary, but the timing seems perfect. Huatzin is hesitant. I'll go with what he decides, so I pray the Lord leads him. We ask for wisdom if it's needed, and time to order the kit for my midwife if we should. The Lord knows our needs and whether it'll be necessary or not. Thanks again, Alida, In Christ, our GLORIOUS REDEEMING SAVIOR!