Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday, September 26




The eye of the storm.....
...that is what it felt like for the most part on Thursday evening and most of Friday. If you are from S. Florida or any coastal state that experiences hurricanes you know what I mean. The eye of the storm is a state of calm that comes after experiencing the intensity of the front part of the storm. When you enter the eye it is easy to convince yourself the worst is over. Things seem calm and almost normal. But it is only a temporary reprieve from the second half of the storm still yet to come. I had this eerie sense all day. CJ was home, we were all together, he looked almost normal, and it almost seemed like it was just a bad two weeks and all would be fine now. I wanted to believe the worst was behind us. But there was this underlying awareness that it was only temporary. We were only in the calm of the eye.

The calm quickly faded on Friday afternoon when we had a mold specialist come look at some mold we found in a second a/c unit we have in our house. He said we would have to tape off half the house for a minimum of 4 days and treat the rooms and the air that was affected. We had to rip out the a/c unit and dispose of it. And now we have to make a decision about how to replace it in the best possible way for CJ's health. Do we just replace the old unit with a new unit and risk the same thing happening again or do we put in a whole new system that would require building a closet and soffit and adding vents? It seems ridiculous, but this is turning out to be an extremely hard decision to make in light of CJ's situation. Everything is examined through a different lens than before. Where we would have considered cost, now we consider air quality. Where we would have considered quality of work, now we consider how to have it done the fastest and have the least traffic in the house as possible. Where we would have considered how it will look, we now consider how it will effect CJ's overall health.

The doctors told us the first month is going to be the worst for CJ as his counts are going to drop. He needs minimal exposure to people and airborne dust, germs, and mold. I just can't comprehend why this is all happening now. I keep looking at the rooms taped off and smelling the detergents they are using to clean and thinking about the construction that would need to be done to replace this with a new unit and wondering...Why now? How? What if? I know those are questions I should not be asking and the answer is for me is to submit to whatever decision Chris makes and trust God with the results. But my spirit is unsettled and even confused that it is even happening at all right now. I want to be able to just take care of my son and spend time with my family and feel 'safe' in our home. I don't want my thoughts, let alone my time, divided between CJ's care and appliance or home repair and cleaning. Why is it that I can trust God with my son's cancer but not with the air conditioning? God is just as concerned with the air conditioning and CJ having clean air to breathe as I am, right? I am sorry for venting my frustration but I know I can not adequately share my feelings without sharing the circumstances we find ourselves in today. I know I must not focus on my circumstances but on the God who is in control of all.....from cancer to broken air conditioners and mold.

Now for what you are actually reading this blog for.....CJ had his first appointment today through the pediatric ambulatory outpatient center. He had a spinal tap and chemotherapy. During the waiting period, which was a couple hours, he spent all his time writing letters to his friends thanking them for their support, gifts and prayers. He stayed focused on others and it seemed to help him remain calm instead of be anxious. (Sounds like a lesson for all of us.) They allowed us to stay in the room for the spinal tap which he was put to sleep for. I had my head down and the nurse asked if I was okay and needed to leave the room. I told her I was praying. This caused her to open up to me later about the fact that her own daughter had cancer and went through the same treatments. She really helped us understand a lot and told us that although the first few months would be the hardest it would get better. She understood a lot of what we are going through not only from a nurses perspective but also from a mother's perspective. I thank God for allowing her to be our nurse today and her obvious fondness for CJ blessed us.

I also wanted to share a story that happened at the hospital on the day we were discharged. There is a clown named Lotsy Dotsy who works full time at the hospital. She is an incredible lady and I am in awe of her for what she does on a full time basis working with kids and families in their most distressing moments. Anyway, she had spent over an hour with CJ the day before while Chris and I were in with the educator. My mom told me they had an amazing visit and CJ was very open with her and they even read her CJ's poems off the blog. My mom said the clown had to hide as she began to cry. Well the next day, while we were waiting to be discharged Lotsy came back. She came to tell CJ that he had such an impact on her that she knew she would never be the same. She told him that after she left his room she knew she would be a better clown and a better person because of him. She said her whole day was brighter and she told others how he blessed her. She told her mom that night she had a great day because she met a special boy named CJ. She also told us that she is in the process of writing a book and CJ's story would be in her book. Chris and I just sat there kind of dumbfounded at all she was saying. We were not there for the original visit and although we heard it went well this was quite a surprise to have a clown come back just to tell him this. She works with hundreds of kids a week and CJ stood out to her and God used it to make her a better clown for the next sick kid she may encounter. What a blessing.

Chris and I wanted to specifically thank all the local people who have blessed our family by providing meals these last two weeks. We are so very grateful. I can not imagine having to think about cooking right now during all this and I am so thankful my family has not had to live off junk food these past two weeks. Not only have you fed us but you have fed us well. We will never forget your kindness to us in our time of need.

We would like to ask for prayer for continued healing for CJ. Please pray for the chemotherapy to attack and destroy the cancer cells but for the healthy cells to be protected throughout this time. We will continue to post on CJ's progress and thank you for staying steadfast with us in prayer. As CJ sleeps restfully, I'll say goodbye for now.

Captivated by Christ,
The George Family





24 comments:

aunt char said...

hi everyone, as i said before i am
so grateful for this blog, as as you stated before it was meant to
be. i hope all went well with the
spinal tap and chemo treatment,
although you did not say whether
cj went home or not. i hope so.
what an amazing story about the
clown. we will continue to pray
for all of you always, and you
have our love. as for the a/c
i know you will make the right
decision. don't worry. we love
you guys.
aunt char and uncle john

CeCe said...

I hope you guys make the right choice for the a/c! Wait, I know you are going to make the right choice, because guess what, GOD is helping you! YEAH! That clown story is SO cool! I miss you CJ, and Alibrandi, and Brett, and Corey, and Mr. George, and Mrs. George! I love ALL of you!

CeCe

Anonymous said...

Hey Mrs. George,

I don't have any fancy words or great wisdom to share with you to help you through this time. However, I do have the Word of God. And it says in Psalms 27:

"The LORD is my light and my Salvation whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to Devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, They stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear
Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident."

Even if the a/c has mold, And even if you can't go into your living room for weeks and weeks, and even if C.j has cancer and you feel like your going crazy trying to do everything...... The LORD will be your light and defense, whom, or what shall you fear? May you take comfort in knowing that God will be with you no matter what is going on, or no matter what you feel like. God can handle it. I will continue to pray for you, and C.j feverishly.

Joseph

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to take a minute to let you know we are praying for you. I was drawn by your sign off, "Captivated by Christ" and just wanted to tell you how much that jumped out to me. Your whole blog has been an inspiration. We are so sorry you all have to go through this and my brother says heavy emphasis on the "through" because you will get through it. We pray God's blessings and His peace upon you and His strength. Sharing your experience and what C.J. is doing helps more than you know - not just for you but for us too. It helps put things in perspective and I think people need to stop and think about that, often. Keep on keeping on. Know that lots of love and prayers are coming your way from lots of people, everywhere.
Thank you,

Mary I. Boggs
Love and Prayers

Anonymous said...

C.J.
What a wonderful testimony of how God is using you once more. Please know that we continue to pray for you every day. Can you see God's hand behind the scene?!! We certainly can. Praise God for being faithful to Himself and using C.J. to change peoples lives forever!!!!!

We love you, The Fab's.

Anonymous said...

1st Cor. 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

2nd Cor. 9:8
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
God is able to do more than we ask or imagine.

Eph. 3:20
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love

A dear friend shared these verses with me in response to the post to encourage me at this time. I wanted to share them with all as I beleive God is speaking to all of us individually through this..
Dawn

Take My Life... said...

Saw your blog on the Boston Globe comment aera . Thought I would come and "meet" CJ .
My lil man is #14 in the pictures .
With unshakable faith and hope ...
Mimi

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

I wanted to write earlier but my keyboard is not working on my home computer. So, I am writing from Harold's lap top. Where there is a will, there is a way, right? I hope those nerf balls work for you CJ. The house looks wierd taped off like that. This all has to be happening for a bigger reason then we can comprehend with our tiny minds. Dawn, God is preparing you for something HUGE as well! Just keep seeking Him. These trials may seem like punishment, but they are NOT! Don't give up. Be thankful for the trials and KEEP GOING, SEEKING HIM!

I love all of you!
Aunt Jackie

Ily Figueroa (HEARTS) said...

I am so happy that CJ is home. Dawn don't let this obstacle get in your way. This is just one of satans tactics to keep you worried and not focusing on what the Lord wants you to focus on. (YOUR FAMILY) Please let me know if I can be of any help to you and your family. I love to clean so let me know when I can come over with my mask. Anything for CJ.
Blessings,
ILY

Anonymous said...

CJ,
Uncle Harold says Hi and he hopes you continue to feel better. He is glad your home.

CJ,

Kevin says: CJ I really missed you! CJ, when you feel better can you come over to my house?

Annmarie said...

Grace and peace to you CJ and family in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Thanks for sharing what you are going through; the good, the bad, the confusing and the awe inspiring circumstances that face you daily through this trial. I remember Jesus saying, "Take courage. I have overcome the world." May He give you the grace to understand the magnitude of what He is in control of and what he has, and is able to, overcome on your behalf.

We are continuing to remember you in prayer. Please remember that your anchor, Jesus Christ, is more than than able to hold you as the sea tosses and turns. We will pray that this truth would be so real to you and that by faith you will feel his calm even when it doesn't seem calm.

My dad had spinal surgery a few months ago and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. During this time we would go to visit him in the hospital and call him on the phone and sing the following song to him. May you hear Him singing this to you today:

"God will make a way, where there seems to be no way.
He works in ways we cannot see,
He will make a way for me.
He will be my guide, draw me closely to His side,
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way..
He will make a way."

God bless you,
Annmarie Kampf
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." Isaiah 26:3

Elena, Jessica and Emily Rodriguez said...

CJ,

We wish so much to visit you.. But we also know that your healthy environment is the first priority. Just know that we are watching the blog for updates every day. Every day, Jessica and Emily ask me if you or your mom have updated the website. We pray day and night for your health both physically, emotionally and spiritually. God will turn this trial into His Glory and victory. Know that you are impacting people all over the nation. Your parents are amazing and so are you. You inspire us to be stronger and more faithful in our every day lives.

We love the clown story and all your stories.. Keep them coming.

Thinking of you & praying for you in Miami Lakes, FL

Elena Rodriguez
Jessica and Emily too! --> :-)

P.S. When your up to it, maybe we can have the girls chat with you on SKYPE.. Online video & audio ... In fact, that is a way you can video chat with everyone minus the germs... Your dad will know how to set that up for you..

Goodnight and sleep well..

Anonymous said...

Dawnie and Chris....remember it's always darkest before the dawn. Keep in mind as you go through each day and God tosses you another curveball (like the A/C) that when you lay your heads down God will give you the peace to go forward and help carry CJ through these difficult times. Take each moment as it comes; revel in it's glory and focus all your energy on one goal; CJ's health and having the love of his family. Hang tight little ones; God will see you through. I have a fantastic card for CJ showing him all the families and churches from my office that are praying for him and you.
Love Aunt Penny
xoxoxo

Alibrandi said...

wow,
how amazing that the clown would be so blessed by those poems, how cool!
Cj,
did you ever think when you were writing them that someday they would help a clown!
a clown! some person that puts paint on there face and giant shoes so they can cheer someone ELse up!! that is great. God has it planned out, He knew exactly that when you were writing those they would get to a clown, and your going to be in a book!

I wanted to say a prayer on here. every time i pray out loud it feels better then in quiet. so why not on the blog.

Dear God,

i ask that you give strength to Cj, that you will build him up and keep him in your hand.
Lord,
your love for Cj is so astronomical that we can not even begin to comprehend.

I ask you would bless Cj, and allow him to have the right amount of strength for each point in this time,
psalm 139 says
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

help him to have Faith Lord in YOU! in You alone. help him to come every day to you with all fear and pain.
Lord i thank you for your son who died on the cross for our sin, help Cj, to continue looking to the cross for his strength,
in your wonderful name,
Amen.

@ndrea-

@ndrea- said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@ndrea- said...

oopps somehow i was logged in as ali, well that was from me andrea. :] bye

Cassandra said...

Mrs. George,

I followed the link from the Big Picture site. I am going to keep up with your family's story, and be praying with each new post.

Thank you for sharing your sorrows and faithfulness in the Lord.

Cassandra

Anonymous said...

Hey C.j,

I was just reading this scripture, and I felt like I should share it with you. It's Psalm 145:14-20:

"The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give then them food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him, he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy."

We will be praying for you at church today, that God will heal you, and that you would trust in Him through any and all kinds of trials.

Joseph

Anonymous said...

Hi guys. We are Rob, Alisha, Dylan (6), and Ian (4 months) Hodgin. Pastor Bartels (Denis) told us of your story and we have been checking the blog ever since. Dylan, went/is going through similar issues as CJ. He was diagnosed at 9 months old with a brain tumor and we have been fighting ever since. He has a port and is now on his 3rd round of chemo. The good news is that this will get easier with time, love and faith. The bad news is that your lives will forever be changed. More good news is that you will meet so of the most amazing kids/people on earth. Keep your spirts high and your stress as low as possible. CJ and the rest of the kids will look to you for reactions. There will be times that all you want to do is cry and ask "why", but this too gets easier with time. As time goes by, just like with a shinny new toy, the newness wears off and it becomes more routine than anything else. There will be bumos in the road and tough times ahead (like the A/C issues) but with a little hope and a lot of prayer this too you can over come. When dylan was first diagnosed We asked "why us, why him?", but that has slowly changed to "why not us, why not him?" You will see a strength in CJ that amazes and dumbfounds you. Issues that would put the rest of us in tears he will just smile and keep moving. Above all keep strong and try to not give up hope. Our thoughts, hopes and prayers are with you all. If you would like to chat about CJ's illness or just trade funny stories feel free to call or email. (305-343-3683) or hodg56@comcast.net

Rob, Alisha, Dylan and Ian Hodgin

Anonymous said...

Hi George Family!
Hello CJ!!!

We have been following your blog from day one! You are in our thoughts each and every day and we pray for you every chance we get.
We all love you and are here for you.

Dawn - Please let me know how I can lend a hand once things "settle down" a bit. I would love to make you a couple meals so relieve you of that stress.

PS. Jackie just showed me how to comment on your blog! I guess I'm not as computer literate as I thought. LOL

Love to all!
Diego, Melissa, Victoria, Kylie and Allison.

Alibrandi said...

Cj,
WOW! You are such a strong young man! I am very proud of you and how well you are handling all this. Thank you for being an example to me. I love you very much.
Doesn't it make you feel happy that you had that kind of impact on a clown! Cj you are so special to me and to everyone, I love you very much!!!!!!!!
With love,
Sissy

Jena Perkins said...

Greetings, George family.

I found your blogspot from the Boston Globe Big Picture site. My grandson Lukas is the little baby on picture #8. I remember our first few weeks as we faced Lukas' diagnosis and beginning treatments. We were in a fog, not really wanting any of this to be true. I can't tell you much of what happened the first few days. That is why I started his Caring Bridge site. It helped me to journal the days' events, for our family/friends, AND for me to remember.

It's funny now, because treatments, counts, scans, transfusions are all a way of life. In fact, my daughter Heather has a new outlook on the "5 second rule" if Lukas drops something. Instead of the usual "5 seconds", she says "Oh well, his counts are up!" Talk about changing your perspective....

I totally understand your quandry over your air conditioning. You can't fix CJ, and you have no real control there. You have control over the a/c decision, so you desperately want/need to make the right decision!

CJ, you sound like a very wise young man. You know your Savior Jesus Christ and you know that He loves you more than anything. You keep calling on Him in your time of need and praising Him in your good times. You are a true super-hero! Even stronger than Ironman!

I will keep all of you in my prayers.

Regards,
Grandma Jena
www.caringbridge.org/visit/lukasmacdonnell
www.anewyearofhope.org

Tammi said...

Dear CJ:
Travis asked me to tell you that he wants to write you a letter, but that he doesn't know how to type, but he told me to tell you that he can write his name, he can write "I Love You" and he can write "cat". So I told Travis he should tell me what he wants to say to you and that I will type it for him, so here goes: Dear CJ, I love you and I miss you. You are my cousin. Jerri-lyn has a picture of you with her in her crib that she talks to. When are you going to come to my house? I am going to come to your house when my Mommy says so. I have a new Star Wars Leggo game on my puter that I am really good at getting bad guys and I use the Force. Just so you know that you can play it too! Bye, Bye, Love Travis.

Jerri says, "CJ, CJ, CJ, I Yuv Yewww, no sickeee, CJ" and then she kissed my knee - so maybe that's her way of saying "give that kiss to CJ"!

We Love You So Much,
Aunt Tammi, Travis & Jerri-lyn Dawn

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see you outside using your slingshot!!! It was probably fun to get outside and practice your aim!

When your ready CJ I'm going to send Kylie and Allison over so you can teach them how to use a slingshot! LOL

We are praying for you often!
We love you!

The Castro Family