Today is day +100! A day to celebrate, a day of much excitement, a day much anticipated! Today I took Anna to her last appointment at SCCA until next spring for her one year check. We were given our final packet of information and I scheduled her first appointment with Dr. Irwin in Tacoma. We said our goodbyes and were off.
We had anticipated a great family celebration today, however, that was not to be. Sadly, Craig, Michael, and Lydia have all come down with nasty coughs. Zeke and Selah both have stuffy noses. Thankfully, we had "Aunt April" and "Uncle John" on call for a germ free place for Anna in the case that our house was not fully ready this week for Anna to safely return to. I made the call and then brought Anna over to their home to be cared for while Daddy and siblings work on getting better. It would be awful if Anna got sick now.......after being "released" from the care of SCCA!!!
The work must go on however so the sick and all will get up in the morning and get busy with packing, loading, and heading over to the Bremerton house to at least get a couple of rooms set back up. There will be one more coat to put on the floors upstairs and then we will be able to set up those rooms in a few days.
We are almost there! The minutes are ticking and there is still much work to be done. It should go pretty fast, though. Once everything is moved out of the Seattle house, we will scrub this place until it shines! It almost feels like yesterday that we were being handed the keys to move in and now we will be handing them back. Ever grateful for the blessing of being able to rent this place for so short a time. We know we have much to be thankful for.....our daughter has made it through with flying colors! Though while bringing her over to the peninsula my heart felt the same tug of fear that was there when we brought her home from the hospital......the feeling of being "on our own", will we take the best care of her? Will we be protective enough to get her through the next year without her getting sick? What if we miss something? I know we are not to fear for perfect love casteth out fear, but I am a human and I am a mom. I do know that she is entirely in God's hands, this has been proven time and again!
We are thankful for all of the care Anna has received. We are thankful for all of the prayers that have gone up and are still going up on our behalf. We are both thankful and extremely blessed to have gone through this incredible journey! Would I have ever asked for such a trial? NO WAY!!! But I can see that it has been for our good and for His glory!! We give Him all the praise and honor for every aspect of this path that He has guided through.....He is still guiding us.
We have crossed paths with many amazing people, both believers and non-believers and we hope we have been a light and testimony to all. We have met many going through the same journey and have felt the joys and heartbreaks those families have experienced and are still experiencing. We have had our eyes opened to the sufferings of others in a way we never would have understood before. I am thankful that I can now feel what they feel so that I may minister unto them in a way no others can. I can pray for them like no other could. This has been a gift to me personally. I need to love and care for my brothers and sisters and I feel that, through the last several years, I had started to lose that. God has used this time in my life to heal wounds in my heart. He has shown me grace and mercy and my eyes have beheld that grace and mercy like no other time in my life. The bitterness of this cup has brought me to taste of the true sweetness of the love of my Savior once again.
I can't say how I would have responded had this story ended differently. I see others whose story hasn't gone as they would have wanted and they seem to be strong in the Lord. Sure they are shaken, they have their moments of sorrow and weakness, but they still stand and give God the praise. Would I be like that? I can not answer that. You just don't know until you are there. I would like to think that I would be like Job when he said, "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." But I just don't know.
That day when we were given the "bad news" that two bags of cells may have not been effective due to human error, I felt a peace wash over me. When the doctors left, I turned to Craig and Anna and said, "God has a great and mighty plan in this." And He truly had! Anna's been a bit of an anomaly in all of this! God has shown how mighty He is! Everything from her numbers coming in so quickly, to those numbers being at such good levels that she NEVER needed a red cell transfusion! When so many patients are released from the hospital to daily appointments at SCCA due to being transfusion dependent, Anna was released to a two days a week care. Very quickly it turned to one day a week with the doctors and two days for labs. Anna's GVHD was just the right amount to allow her new cells to fight the remaining cancer but not to the point to make her really sick.
Anna's spirit through it all has been one of positive Christ honoring glory! She truly has shown the light of Christ to all she has come in contact with.....even when she felt miserable! Her focus was on pleasing the Lord no matter what. God has used her in ways we may never know.
This season has almost come to an end, however we know that this journey is far from being over! This path will not end yet, and we will continue on it with the light of God's Word lighting the way for us. May we never forget the lessons learned and may we continue to grow in grace through it all.
While I am sad to be apart for her day 100 celebration, I am thankful she is alive and well... in a safe place, being cared for by loved ones.
Here's to 100 days, Anna!!!!!! And to many many more!!!!!!!!!!! I love you with all of my heart! The meaning of your name(s) truly represents who you are:
Anna: Full of Grace
Renee: Born Again
Ruth: Faithful Friend
Continue to lean on Christ no matter what! Continue to love others and share the love of Christ with them! Thank you for being such an amazing testimony to me!!!! I have learned much by watching you, my precious daughter!