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