The middle is often the hardest place to be.
It’s not like the start of something, when energy levels are high, hope is bright and we are geared up and ready to fight.
It’s also not like the end, when the finish line is in sight and we know rest is around the corner so we give it all we’ve got with a final surge of strength.
Round 2 of chemo started today. I can only begin to imagine what is going on in the mind of a 13 year-old girl about to face another month of chemo and recovery, but this time knowing what she will face and how hard it will be. The shock and newness has worn off, as reality sets in that this is the new normal.
We had a family dinner Sunday night with the Adams family, Gram and Papa Taillon, Granny Adams, and my family. This was the first time we had all gathered in Connie’s kitchen, our previous regular rendezvous, since LBL (Life Before Leukemia), as Connie calls it. You can read more from Connie’s personal blog here.
There was some familiarity to the get-together. We were the first ones to arrive, with our two little girls bursting in the door to find Gram and Papa for a hug. Connie had dinner cooking on the stove and a salad being chopped and dressed on the island. We pulled up a chair and snacked on veggies while we waited for the others to arrive. Jasmine came next, as per usual, carrying a tray of vegan mint chocolate chip cupcakes for dessert that she made from scratch! (This girl is seriously amazing.)
Granny and the rest of the Adams clan trickled in shortly thereafter. We hugged and chatted and laughed. Eli shared about his basketball team and their bronze medal game coming up. Brad made his usual Brad-jokes, and Lisa entertained us with stories from Louisiana.
Then we all gathered around the island to say grace before the meal. Gerry thanked God for this time together with family and he also asked God to heal Jasmine completely. Back to reality – Jasmine still has leukemia. I had forgotten for a moment.
There has been so much good since Jasmine’s diagnosis, so many answered prayers and millions of things to be thankful for. Jasmine is courageous and brave and hopeful. She has an amazing attitude towards all of this and every day there is a smile on her face. But let us not forget that this is still hard.
It is still hard to be away from home and be isolated from the world. It is still hard to willingly take medication that makes you very sick, among other horrific side effects. It is still hard to choose joy over misery and faith over fear.
I do not say these things to discourage, but to encourage us to continue praying. This is still the middle. There are still a minimum of three rounds of chemo, with no finish line in sight yet. She needs us.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
So we pray, and we forge ahead putting one foot in front of the other, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.
Bone Marrow results from the biopsy: Less than 0.1% cancer cells present. Round 2 will be the same as round 1. This is what we were praying for!!!
1. There to be no dread or fear about this process for Round 2
2. God’s presence will be tangible and they will know God is with them.
3. Joy in the midst of suffering
“The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8