It has been over a week since we found out that Steven's "induction" phase of chemo didn't completely do it's job.
Since that time there have been percentages thrown around as well; Percentages of this round successfully getting the chemo, and there by providing the best outlook for a successful transplant, percentages of transplant success, and, of course, percentages of survival.
All are right around 50 percent.
The doctors are the first to say that the studies, and percentages, are flawed. Most studies were done 15-20 years ago and medicine, namely antibiotics, have changed. Also, Steven is younger than the average age of someone that has similar diagnosis, with his plan of treatment.
These exceptions, in my mind, make his odds greater than 50%, which would mean the odds are in his favor.
However, since the doctors themselves haven't told me that, I have been paralyzed by that number- 50%. Although the doctor assured me that 50% was actually good, I told her it wasn't good enough when you have your husband and two kids to think about.
Steven finished up his second round of chemo on Monday night. This chemo was a "much stronger" version.
You couldn't tell that by Steven.
Every morning, without the incentive to beat Dr. Holden, he has continued to rise, put on his regular clothes, complete with cowboy boots and hat, and start his day. He has had no nausea. He has had no fevers. He has had no pain.
He has been a little tired, only evidenced by the fact that for two days he has taken short naps each morning.
I worried that his lack of side effects could potentially mean that he was somehow "immune" to the chemo. The doctor assured me this was not the case, he just tolerates it really well. I wanted her to go ahead and reassure me that this was also a good sign for the overall outcome. But she didn't.
Every doctor has said there will be no way to know if the chemo has worked until this round, including count recovery, is over.
That's three more weeks.
I continue to pray that this round works and I beg you to do the same. Mentally, I need it to work. Although I am praying continually for my strength, I don't know how well I would do hearing bad news once again. The attending oncologist told me that if this round works, and his leukemia, (which was at 10%) drops below 5%, his percentages for a successful transplant, and cure, go up.
I need them to go up. I pray they go up.
Please pray this too.
I have been battling lately with negativity. I have prayed and prayed. When I finally feel the peace I have been praying for, I toss it to the side remembering that I did have peace, and felt secure in it, but lost it when arriving in St. Louis and receiving the second dose of unexpected news.
I feel like peace betrayed me.
I don't trust it anymore.
Some might say that in forgoing the peace that has been offered to me, I am not fully trusting in God. I don't think this is the case. I don't want it to be the case. In fact, I know, that if God gave me nothing more than His forgiveness and salvation, I would still be in His debt.
He owes me nothing and in forgiving me, and saving me, He has given me everything.
He doesn't have to heal Steven. It wasn't part of His agreement.
People pray every day for cures, miracles, interventions, etc. and they don't always receive them in the way they would like.
I have no doubts that most of these people are more deserving of God's grace than I am.
I also know that God will be with me no matter what the outcome is to this journey, and maybe feeling peace is a result of that promise. Instead, by refusing to accept it and clinging to worry and despair, I am placing contingencies on it, and rejecting it if it isn't given to me as a sign that I will get my way.
I want the peace I receive to be a sign of healing, a sign that Steven will be with me for years to come, and a sign that this will end in a stronger, more spiritually alive, family.
There is NO way to guarantee this.
Please pray that I begin to accept the peace God offers me without restrictions. Pray that regardless of what happens, that I can be strong and an example of God's love. Pray that my children will have faith stronger than mine. Pray that I focus on all the blessings surrounding me, as there have been so many.
Pray that through this situation, and what feels like a journey through Hell, that we might bring people closer to God.
Please pray for us.