Thursday, October 25, 2012

Joy and Sorrow

This picture was taken about 2 weeks before Reid's eye started swelling.
Reid was born to us after 6 years of trying to have a second child.  No doctor could ever find anything wrong with me or Lance.  So, it was "unexplained infertility".  We did a couple of things to try to help the process along, but finally I decided that if God wanted us to have another baby, then it would happen.  5 months later I was pregnant with Reid.  I also had 2 miscarriages while waiting for our miracle.

I was so joyful when Reid was born.  I knew that he was the promise of God to us fulfilled--in the flesh--to hold onto and love.  I NEVER thought that ANYTHING would ever happen to Reid.  If God answered so many people's prayers, then surely he was the PROMISED CHILD.  There hasn't been a day since he was born on March 23, 2009 that I have NOT been filled with PURE joy at the sight of his face.  He is the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen...other than Wyatt of course.  (Doesn't every parent say that about their kids?) He is also so sweet.  Even when March rolled around, and I started dreading the "trying 3's", he really never changed.  He is still the sweetest kid around.  And he is thoughtful and has impeccable manners for a 3 year old.  He was definitely God's gift to us in our "old age".

Reid also had some kind of little "swagger" about him that Wyatt never has had.  I guess because he has been around Wyatt who is 8 years old and all of Wyatt's friends, he just thought he was big and bad like them.  There has never been anything he didn't want to do with Wyatt and his buddies.  He loved going to all of Wyatt's soccer, flag football and baseball games, and he thought he could PLAY too.

Reid has a love for life and all things in it.  I sent him to Mother's Day Out when he was 18 months old.  I cried when I dropped him off because he still seemed like such a baby.  They called me a couple of hours later and said, "Reid acts like he has been here FOREVER!  He is having the best time." So for the last 2 years he has gone to "school" 2 days a week at Crosspoint, and he has loved every second.  In August, when Wyatt started back to school, he asked me when he was going to school.  LITERALLY BROKE MY HEART.

As I said earlier, I NEVER thought anything would happen to Reid.  I constantly worried about Wyatt.  Wyatt had ear infections galore as a baby up until about 2 1/2.  He had his tonsils out at 4 due to strep throat that enlarged his tonsils until they were touching.  Then at 5 or 6 he started having MIGRAINES!  What child has migraines?  So, of course, I thought he had a brain tumor.  Thankfully, the migraines have subsided. Reid was my healthy baby.  He has had 2 ear infections in 3 1/2 years.  He has had strep throat once.  NEVER SICK!  So, when we found out that he had what every parent dreads the most to hear, I SIMPLY COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!  Not Reid. No way, no how.  He is a baby.  He is only 3.

Our original diagnosis would have involved chemo and radiation only.  The "new" diagnosis of spindle cell sarcoma involves surgery, chemo and radiation.  I have told so many people that knowing what I know now, if we only had to do chemo and radiation, I would be shouting Hallelujah!

Tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m., my precious boy will have a surgery which will remove his eye and everything in its orbit.  They will be removing all muscles, all tissue, and his beautiful eye.  Everything that could possibly harbor one of these HORRIBLE cells has to be removed.  Believe me when I say that we have STORMED Heaven for a different answer.  We even got a second opinion from Sloan Kettering in New York City.

I have never felt such SORROW in my whole life as I have felt over these last 3 months.  It's something that cannot be described.  I know that God knit him together in my womb, and that he is "fearfully and wonderfully" made.  I can't tell you how many times I prayed for health for Reid even before he was conceived.  Because of my "advanced maternal age", I knew that the risks of Down's and other things increased after 35.  I begged God to give us a healthy baby.  Because I was 36, my OB/GYN sent me to Maternal/Fetal Medicine at Woman's to have a very detailed ultrasound.  When the doctor told us that he was PERFECT, I was filled with JOY like no other.  I was so thankful to God for answering our prayers for another baby and a perfectly healthy one at that.  I have often talked with people about how thankful I am to have healthy kids.  I never took the gift of my kids or their health for granted.  So, God's plan was to bless us with a healthy baby.  I know that God does not give kids cancer.  The Bible says that Satan is the prince of this world. (John 12:31)  John 10:10 says that "the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy."  When we are at St. Jude, and I see all of these kids with cancer, it seems like Satan is winning.  But God has a plan that we can't see.  I won't lie and say that I haven't been FURIOUS at God!  I AM FURIOUS!!!  I can't believe that my beautiful, innocent baby will lose part of himself tomorrow that can never be replaced.  I know that he will always be beautiful to Lance and me.  But my heart breaks for him for the world that we live in and how critical people are of "differences".  I pray that somehow, someway God will get the glory in all of this. We can't see it now.  All we can see is our beautiful boy who will forever be changed tomorrow because of this dreaded disease. And we have asked a thousand Why's.

We have been blessed beyond measure with our friends.  When we came home from St. Jude 2 months ago, there were gift cards totalling in the $1,000's that had been collected from our church Sunday School class as well as others.  We have had countless meals prepared and brought to us.  And finally this week 2 of my precious friends organized a prayer calendar that was filled up in less than 24 hours.  People are praying for us around the clock.  Even in the middle of the night.  I am in awe of this!  It has held us up this week.

Today has been a good day.  Reid has been so happy.  It breaks my heart to know what tomorrow holds.  A mom that I have met here told me that she always thinks of the hymn Because He Lives when she is feeling down.  So, "because He lives, I can face tomorrow....because He lives, all fear is gone....because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives."

Somehow I truly believe we will get through tomorrow and many other hard days to come.  My prayer is that this will not change my precious boy's self-confidence or sweet spirit.  Please pray that along with me.  My sister sent me a verse that her friend sent to her today.  I told my sister that she wouldn't believe how many people have sent me the same verse.  "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you in terror, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you.  I will hold you up with My victorious right hand."  Isaiah 41:10  May God get the glory through Reid and his story!  We thank you for your prayers for us tomorrow and in the many long days to come!