Dear Prayer Warriors,
Wow…..sometimes I feel so unsure of what I am about to say and yet so certain that I an suppose to write to you all and share an update on Nick and our life. I have so many things on my mind, so I will just begin spilling them out.
First, we were thrilled to hear that Evan (a little boy battling the same type of cancer as Nick) had a clear MRI on Friday! Praise the Lord!
Second, we were excited to hear that Jenna (a little girl battling leukemia) is doing well and has completed her treatments!
Third, we received a very special gift and a very mysterious gift last week in the mail. The mysterious gift was a card with a monetary gift but no return address or signature. We want to send a very special “thank you” to whoever it was that blessed us last week. It was such a God-moment, because I had taken Nick to the health store earlier that day and had spent a large amount of money on herbs that Nick needed. I couldn’t believe it when I got the mail and there was this unexpected and beautiful card that I knew God had orchestrated to arrive on that very day when I was feeling unsure about finances. God is so good. The special gift was an American flag that was sent to Nick by Mike and Tammy Frye. Mike has been serving in Iraq, and he had a flag that was flown in Iraq in honor of Nick last fall on November 5 (November 4th in America, because Iraq is a day ahead of us!!!!! God again worked the four in there for me!!!) mailed to us! The certificate that accompanied the flag said that Nick was being honored for “leading by example.” It was very touching! I couldn’t help but think that just as America is in a battle, Nick is in a battle. Nick was so proud of the flag and certificate. He said, “I want to frame them both.” I will add photos to Nick’s site soon. Thanks, Mike and Tammy!
Fourth, Nick and I were able to travel to Columbus today with Trish and Macy Brammell and Donnette Bondurant for a visit to Dr. Kosnik that wasn’t for Nick. Macy is a precious little girl from Grayson who is only 1 ½ years old but has already been through more than most people go through in a lifetime. She has had open heart surgery as well as stomach surgery on top of many other things. Right before Christmas, Macy had an MRI of her brain that seemed to show a cyst growing in her brain. Through a chain of events, Macy was referred to Nick’s brain surgeon….our very special Dr. Kosnik. It was so special for Nick to be a part of this trip. He sat by Macy in the back seat and would periodically rub her little leg or pat her fingers or just talk to her. It was precious. You could just feel Nick’s empathy for Macy. When we arrived, Nick led the way to the elevator and to the hall leading to Kosnik’s office. While in the waiting room, Dr. Kosnik walked by to cross over to their other office. As he went back by, Nick waved. Dr. Kosnik smiled, and I said “We’re not here for Nick. We brought a friend.” As we waited back in the room, I know Trish was full of anxiety but she handled the day with grace and beauty. Dr. Kosnik opened the door and simply said, “Why are you here?” Trish gave a little background on Macy, and then Dr. Kosnik, in his simple, professional voice said, “There’s no cyst.” Trish began to cry as he explained, and I took Macy as we went out in the hall to look at the MRI results. I held Macy in one arm and rubbed Dr. Kosnik’s back with the other as he pointed to various places in Macy’s brain and made everything make sense! Trish was overwhelmed with emotion, and we all cried tears of joy! Nick was grinning ear to ear! As we were leaving the office, Dr. Kosnik told Nick, “You look good.” As Nick walked out, he said, “See you next Tuesday.” It was so surreal and yet so wonderful at the same time to see Nick so accepting of his lot in life! It was so great to hear wonderful news for little Macy too!!!!! Tonight, Nick said, “I’m glad I went.” I think it was very good for him to see the hospital as a support person and not a patient for once. I can definitely see in Nick a very special gift of compassion. It was a very special day for all of us. It was so special to me that as we left the office and I was so happy for Trish, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, Lord, please let us celebrate just like this next week!” In just a few minutes, Donnette’s daughter called from Illinois to say that she had just had an ultrasound and the baby had her thumbs up!!!! They took a picture and they are emailing it to us! I will add it to Nick’s site as soon as I get it! Then right after that, we walked into Cracker Barrel and the first thing I read was a plaque that said, “I Believe in Miracles.” On the way home, we stopped at McDonalds. I got a coffee, Donnette wanted a diet coke, and Nick wanted a hot chocolate. At first he ordered a medium and then decided to change it to a large. We were going to get food but decided not to. With all of our changes in orders, I couldn’t believe it when the girl said I owed her $4.44!!!!!!!!! I love God so much! He spoke today through Dr. Kosnik, an ultrasound, a plaque, and a receipt at McDonalds! It was so amazing and yet so God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally, our two big “next steps” with Nick are coming up. Tomorrow at 3:30 we have the conference call with Dr. Wallace in Utah. I don’t really know what to expect and I need to spend time tomorrow going through our huge notebook from her in order to line out our questions. Next Tuesday at 8:30 in the morning is Nick’s follow-up MRI where they will look at the pocket of blood to see what is going on in Nick’s brain. We are praying that the spot is GONE!
I guess I need to get to bed. It is midnight and I have to take Olivia to school early to get her math book! She forgot it Monday and has homework that is due tomorrow! (They had a snow day today!) Thank you, Roxie, for keeping Olivia while we were out of town.
I love you all so much. I am reading a book right now that was recommended by Robin Stanley, a friend from college. It is called In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day. It is so good! It is about Benaiah, a man in II Samuel 23 who chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. Robin said that she thought Nick was a lion chaser just like Benaiah and that cancer was his lion. She said that just like Benaiah, Nick would become famous because of his courage and would be noticed by even the likes of someone like King David and that he would become the protector of those who protect. Read this passage in II Samuel 23 sometime. I had never heard of Benaiah. It was so neat, because the day Robin shared this story with me was the day of Nick’s last MRI, and Nick had just walked out the back door into a snowy yard with snow falling down. He was literally chasing his lion on a snowy day! I was so inspired by the story! It gave me strength for that particular day! Let me know of any good books you are reading! I love new books!
Erich and Evan have moved back into their dorms. We are back to just 3 kids, and it is weird. Todd’s band is competing in something this spring where he has a solo on the baritone. Olivia stays busy with basketball. Nick is really into reading Hardy Boys books. He read an entire one today! He reads at least 3 a week! Tim is so busy with the college, the church, and now tax season. I am spending some time writing and digging into the Bible, and I need to be spending more time experimenting in the kitchen with new meals. The kids are getting very tired of chicken.
Have a wonderful day and remember that no matter what you are going through, God is there with you every step of the way!
Clinging to Him and oh, so thankful!Tammy