(I had to add this photo…..the clouds outside our van window on the way to Cincinnati for Nick’s petscan looked so much like “eyes” looking down on us….when I downloaded the pictures, every single one of them had Nick and only Nick’s reflection in them We were playing a game, and I guess Nick was looking down at the cards-it looks like he is praying. I thought it was a beautiful photograph of God watching over Nick.) Can you see the curves of the tops of the eyes in the clouds with the pupils under the curves? It was more breathtaking in real life.
Dearest Prayer Warriors,
Yesterday as I sat in the waiting room during Nick’s petscan I read through the Scriptures I have written in a little notebook in my purse. I came to one that spoke so strongly to me that I decided to try and hide deep in my heart. I woud read a verse over and over, then close my eyes until I could say it, and then go on to the next verse adding the one from before.
I waited patiently for the Lord
He turned to me and heard my cry
He lifted me out of the slimy pit
Out of the mud and mire
He set my feet on a rock
He gave me a firm place to stand
He put a new song in my mouth
A hymn of praise to our God
Many will see and fear
And put their trust in the Lord.
Deep in my heart, I was longing for this to be Nick’s story yesterday…………….and trusting that it would be. But as I typed this verse out and then compared it to my Bible to be sure that I had done it all correctly, I realized that I had memorized one word incorrectly. I have been saying, “see and hear” instead of “see and fear” in the last verse. See, I wanted a miracle yesterday so that “many would see and hear and put their trust in the Lord,”
But God wanted me to “see and fear” and put my trust in Him. And as I share our news, I am praying that you will also “see and fear” and then put your trust in the Lord.
After Nick’s petscan he led the way to the cafeteria where he ate a good lunch. We then headed back up to the Day Hospital in oncology where our morning had started early with an IV and lab work. We waited here and juggled times and dates with our sweet nurse coordinators for the upcoming appointments, and then finally Dr. Fouladi came and motioned for me and Tim to come out. She took us in another room with her nurse practitioner and as we walked in I said, “I’m scared.” She said, “Oh, no, don’t be.” She is very kind and very positive.
Anyway, the petscan showed hotspots in multiple places in Nick’s bones. She is very puzzled as this does not follow a normal pattern for ependymoma and she is also puzzled as to how Nick looks and feels so good (he actually became so improved on Wednesday that he was running in place and jumping up onto his bed!) In the hotel, he was jumping from bed to bed! She said none of this makes sense to her. Nick is already a miracle in so many ways.
So, her plan is to do this new treatment on Nick which is a Phase II Clinical Trial which has actually shown the ability to stabilize tumor growth. It would not shrink the tumors, but it could stop them from progressing. If we could have this happen, it would give more time for more research and for more options down the road.
Needless to say, I still found myself in the bathroom in a stall unable to stand up and crying deeply. My mom and my friend Donnette, who was able to go with us, sat with me in chairs down by the elevator while I came to grips with what Nick is facing. I did not want Nick to see me crying. He is so positive. I want to be positive for him. So, they got my purse, I regrouped, put powder on my red nose, tried to cover my puffy bags under my eyes, and we went to get coffee to take back to the room for Tim. (It is a long walk to the cafeteria, so it made my absence make a little more sense).
Nick received his first treatment and everything went beautifully. We miss our nurses and doctors in Columbus so much, but God has done a beautiful thing in providing just what we needed here…..more wonderful nurses and doctors. Thank you, Lord, for compassionate medical professionals! Thank you.
We played Outburst the whole way home in the van. Nick was the reader. He is so funny. He had a good time. When we got home, we had company! Friends (Pam and Kyleigh) from Lexington were here to stay all night (they are in town for a wedding). Pam was unloading my dishwasher. I gave Kyleigh some fabric I had bought to make a blanket for a little girl at church, and she made the blanket for me! It was so nice. Then Tim rented a movie, and we all sat around in the living room and laughed and laughed. Nick laughed so much. It was a perfect way to pass the evening.
I am getting ready to mow (one of my greatest therapies)………
I want to leave you today with this:
I do wait patiently for the Lord. And I do believe that he turns to me and hears my cries. He has lifted me out of the slimy pit for today. I am able to stand on a rock that is Higher than I am and I have a song in my heart of praise for a God who holds everything that I cannot hold and bears everything that I cannot bear. I do fear, because I am human and I do not know about tomorrow. But because of my fear, I choose to trust. That is what I am praying for all of you. As you fear with us, please TRUST IN THE LORD.
I pray for my other children that they will not see God as someone who “does not hear our prayers.” I worry about that. I ask you to pray specifically for Erich, Evan, Todd, and Olivia. I want them to come out of this stronger Christians. Closer to God than ever before. Determined to live a life that ends with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I told Evan the other day that when I die I don’t care how much money I’ve made or how many things I have accumulated, I will not feel successful unless all of my kids are in Heaven. That is all that matters to me, and I mean that. I see doubt in him, and I pray that God can pull him through this. I pray that Nick will be healed on this earth. I will not stop praying for a miracle, and I beg you to not stop praying either. With God all things are possible. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
I hope that Tim won’t mind, but I am attaching his letter to me this morning just so you can know where he is at too, and because I believe his words say a lot about where we are at with Nick’s illness and God’s promises.
We love Nick so much, but we believe and know that God loves Nick so much more than we do.
I will close with Tim’s email to me. I did want to take a minute to thank Jarrod Back for coming to be with us at the hospital last week. It meant so much to us! Also, when you read Tim’s email about the cloud-he is referring to a huge cloud we saw on the way to Cincinnati Tuesday night. I tried to take pictures, but don’t know how they turned out yet. Mom saw this huge eye with a pupil and everything, and then we realized there were two huge eyes. It was unreal. As if God were watching us drive on the double AA and wanted us to know!
Love and thanks for every prayer,Tammy
TIM’S EMAIL TO ME:
I am continuallly overwhelmed, amazed and in awe at how the Lord pours forth words from your heart to describe Nick’s journey that I so often believe is beyond words.
Perhaps it is my turn to write.. If this will help you in getting the message out, great. if not just hit the delete button and know that God promises to give us all everything we need. I was reading in Jeremiah a couple days ago and noticed that the promise that “I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” actually follows a declaration of God that He is not going to rescue them as they desire immediately – it is going to take 70 years. In fact they are warned not to listen to the prophets who would deceive them by telling them that their dreams (short-term-get-me-out-of-here dreams) would come true. JEREMIAH 29:4-11
I know that God is giving and will continue to give all of us courage, that we do not need to fear, and that God is surely most certainly with us absolutely everywhere and through everything we go. Nick’s verse is so perfect and true.
I also know that we are not without hope! I was so encouraged by Nick’s amazing decrease in pain Wednesday that I had this very real feeling that perhaps the PETSCAN would indeed confirm a miracle. The fact that yesterday’s results did not show that miracle does not take away from the very real miracle that Nick is so strong in a way that science and physical fact cannot explain. I also know that God has the power to intervene and heal Nick’s body in the blink of an eye and I will not stop asking Him to do so. I also know that our hope is not dependant on a physical body. There was one thing Dr. Fouladi said yesterday that I see a little differently. She said “You worry about Nick’s outside – that is the Nick you know. Let me worry about his insides”. I know what she meant and I am grateful. But we both know that Nick’s core being – the one we love and God loves more (though I don’t know how that could be) – canNOT be altered or even scathed by cancer or anything else thrown at it in this temporary world! 2 Corinthians 5:1, 5
I believe that God is watching over us (those “eyes” in the clouds were pretty amazing!). I believe that He has and IS intervening in NIck’s situation. I believe that God’s Spirit is continually serving as a direct link between God and Nick and is giving Him everything He needs at every moment. I am desperately praying that He will do the same thing for Erich, Evan, Todd and Olivia.
I fear that my one-track mind is starting to lose focus and run-on. Todd and Evan are in the living room having a good time and I want to join them. i am so glad that God NEVER loses focus or leaves us to face any situation alone.
One last random thought that came to me as I was praying yesterday for God to intervene: God heard His very own son pray asking Him to intervene and spare him from pain, yet He knew the long term amazing results of choosing not to do so in that particular time. Even in that choice He DID send His own Son an angel to give him strength and reassurance. Luke 22:41-44
I will certainly keep praying and certainly keep trusting in His choice of answers.
I love you so unbelievably much! And God loves you even more.