Psalm 62:5-6

5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

I awoke this morning at 5 a.m. and felt that very familiar feeling of dread and panic that has been waking me up quite often lately. The verses above are a couple I memorized during one of Nick’s MRIs a year or so ago, and I turn to it often when I am feeling “shaken” by life’s events.

As we finally drove to Cincinnati early this morning for Nick’s appointment, I found myself falling in and out of sleep and when I would wake up I would whisper prayers…..prayers for hope and for strength.

It was good to see mom smiling through the window of the unfamiliar hospital. There’s nothing like a familiar, smiling, loving face to make a lot of fears wash away. Where would I be today without my mom?

As we rode the elevator to a new hematology/oncology floor, it almost felt surreal. Nothing looked the same as Columbus. No recognizable nurses, doctors, security guards, receptionists…..we were strangers—visitors.

Sitting in the waiting room, I still felt out of place and sad. Was this really Nick’s lot in life? Why? Why? Why? But then I could hear the whisper, “Why not?” After all, the rain falls on the just and the unjust…who am I to feel the right to be spared what any other parent in the room was facing as their hearts looked just as sad as mine?

When they said, “Nicholas,” and we followed our nurse to the place where Nick would be weighed and measured, once again I had this feeling that we did not belong here. But as we ventured through the maze of hallways, she appeared very friendly, and by the time we arrived at Nick’s room, we were all smiling and even laughing a bit. She told us that Nick was already quite popular there and that he had already been spotted in the lobby by someone who was expecting them. She then said that they may have to move us to a bigger room, because so many people wanted to meet Nick. Sure enough, they moved us to a bigger room and brought in four more chairs! Nick didn’t know what to think.

We had to revisit Nick’s past by starting from the very beginning of Nick’s journey with cancer and telling in detail his life over the past 6 years. It was tough recollecting all of those memories and not breaking down at the reality of what Nick has lived, but we made it through. When Dr. Falaudi entered the room after our time with a nurse practitioner, she immediately hugged us all and was glad to meet us. She was precious. After two hours of consulting with us, the team from Cincinnati joined hands with me, mom, Tim, and Nick and we prayed together. Then we took a few pictures (of course), and we left to go eat. While having a late lunch, Mom, Tim, Nick, and I all took turns sharing what we thought about the decisions that had been placed before us.

We felt peace with one of the choices and decided to go back to the hospital and go ahead with the signing of the papers in order to speed up the process of beginning Nick’s treatments.

The tough part was knowing that we would now be traveling to Cincinnati instead of Columbus for Nick’s medical needs. We are all struggling with that. Nick even said on the way home, “I sold my soul to Cincinnati.” He was having a hard time thinking about not seeing all of the nurses and doctors that he has grown to love over the past 6 years……so was I.

I want to take Nick to Columbus soon to visit everyone. I think that will be good for all of us.

Basically, Nick will begin a treatment that consists of an IV every three weeks. I cannot remember the name of the medicine, but we felt this was best option for Nick in order to prevent him from needing a picc line and in order to keep his “quality of life” at a level that is not depressing. We will reevaluate in about 6 weeks after we see if this new treatment is stabilizig and/or shrinking the cancer.

Like a flower that grows in an unexpected place and yet blooms beautifully, we want to take this time in Cincinnati and “bloom” into whatever it is that God wants us to be while we are there. I told Nick we will soon know nurses and doctors names. We will become familiar with hallways.

We will bloom petal by petal.

As for our dear doctors and nurses in Columbus, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We will miss you with every inch of our heart, but we will stay in touch. Please keep praying for Nick! He has a long road ahead of him.

Tonight, my eyes are heavy. But I wanted to send this before I went to sleep.

I love you all so much!

Please keep praying for Nick…..he is nervous….we definitely felt the prayers today! Thank you so much! I’ll write more soon.

Psalm 33:21-22 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.