Friday, October 24, 2008

The Obstacle Course

"Mom, I decided I am never going to expect things to go as planned anymore." CJ said as we hit our first obstacle of the day which soon developed into a full fledged obstacle course fit with mazes, dead ends and u-turns.

We arrived at the hospital main entrance at 9am as previously instructed to 'check in' for our over night stay. CJ and I valeted the car, hauled our heavy bags over my shoulders, followed the construction detour at the main entrance until we reached the make shift admitting desk not realizing then that we had just entered the unforeseen obstacle course. Ten minutes into the question and answer phase of check in, the clerk told us she could not find the orders and we would have to go to the doctors office first and have his blood counts checked and then the doctor would write the orders. So we lugged our load and walked the block to the doctors office building and up to the 5th floor. This clerk looked less perplexed than the other but also informed us we were in the wrong place. We would have to go downstairs, take the hall to the very end and 'check in' before coming to the office to 'check in'. So we hauled our load again and continued to follow the obstacle course. CJ was most concerned with me of course, and kept asking if I was okay. That is so like him. He's the one on chemo who is probably exhausted doing all this walking and he is worried about me. We decided to make the best of this and joked about the fact that instead of chemo for him we would be checking in for back surgery for me. He thought that was funny.

After ten minutes of deja-vu with this clerk, answering the same questions from earlier, we headed back up to 'check in' at the office again. CJ got his blood drawn, they offered him candy and off we went to wait for the results. At this time, I began to think it may be wise to start asking questions in advance and not wait for instructions. So I wander out to the desk and ask about today's procedure and what to expect since we still had not even checked in to the hospital. That is when they realize he was supposed to have another spinal tap today and this requires you to be put to sleep which requires you to not have eaten any candy. They scramble to figure out what to do and I begin to wonder how this got overlooked. During this process I am relaying everything by phone to Chris who is reminding me to ask more and more questions which lead to more and more discoveries of things overlooked. Like the fact that no one set up his home health care for him to receive the final two doses of chemo at home this Sunday and Monday. I immediately realize this will mean an extended stay in the hospital if they can not set it up in time. Now I am really wondering how this all got overlooked.

Re-enter the obstacle course.....after arranging for the social worker to try to set up the home health we are sent to 'check in' at the hospital again. We load up our bags and make the long haul back to the hospital and down the long halls again. When the clerk looked at me confused, I almost laughed out loud. Not at her mind you, but at the situation. She stares at the paper for a minute and then sends me to 'check in' down the hall. After answering the same questions for the 5th (or was it the 6th) time (I lost count and I actually started to wonder if I was absolutely sure my son was Christopher Thomas George Jr. date of birth 4-5-99)...anyway we were then sent upstairs and settled into our room. I have never thought a hospital room would be a welcome sight before and I said it out loud. CJ thought this was funny because we were excited at the sight of blood last week and now we were excited to get a hospital room. Life really is changing fast!

Fast forward a few hours, a few phone calls and a few tears and here we are: in the hospital room, with a rescheduled spinal tap set for tomorrow morning at 8:30a.m. Followed by a discharge in the late afternoon to switch over to home health. Chemo will be delivered and a nurse will come and administer it in the home multiple times this month. That will be a nice change from the constant driving to and from the hospital. It will also be a nice relief on the gas bill! Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord to show us favor in the nurses He sends to our home. May they be his very hands and feet as they deliver and administer the chemo. And may we be wise to discern which ones he is sending to our home to encounter His love, not just give it.
I wanted to share the lesson I learned from CJ today.
At one point, CJ had left the hospital room to get a snack from the nourishment room across the hall and when he came back he said, "Mommy, there was a lady and her little boy being taken to a room and she had the exact same look on her face that you did when we came in here for the first time. She looked like she was in shock." He felt so bad for her. I kept thinking, how does a 9 year old boy who has had a really long day and is going through his own struggles see and read the face of a grown woman he does not even know and realize how deeply she is struggling.

Later, when I was leaving the hospital this woman happened to be going downstairs at the same time so I practiced what I am learning from my 9 year old and I looked at her. He was right. She had that look in her eyes. I introduced myself and told her that my son saw her and was concerned because he recognized the look on her face. I told her we had that same look on our face a little over a month ago. I wanted her to know that we understood her pain and that it would get better. It would get easier. I told her the ground would come back up. I couldn't believe I was standing there encouraging another mother so soon and I thanked God for the opportunity. Seeing her flooded me with reminders of the emotions that attempted to suffocate me in those early days. I prayed silently that God would be with her and surround her with His love. I remember hoping she had the support and love of friends like we have had through all of you. Then I got in my car and was stunned that CJ was right. And once again I said to myself, "I really need to be more like CJ."


Anonymous said...

Lots of prayer and wishes for God's perfect peace and healing. Sometimes (most of the time usually) we are the ones who are learning to deal. Thank God for the instilled feelings He gives us to cope and then to pass it on.

With love and prayers,
Mary Boggs & Family

Anonymous said...

Just want you to know that we subscribed to your feed and have been reading your posts each time you or CJ send them. You have no idea the impact you are making right now in the lives of people you have never met. And you have friends you don't even know of praying for you and your family. Your glimpses into your struggles, your fears, your faith, your victories, are a light and encouragement to us and others. CJ's precious insights remind us of Jesus' words that we have to be like a child (trusting, open to being taught) to see and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. His words make all of us want to be more child like so we can see more clearly. With much love, Bill and Mardy Freeman and Family....

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dawn.
We all need to be more aware of other people's needs. This is one of the reasons God allows trials in our lives. We live in an imperfect fallen world. It is a privilege to be used by God to be his hands and feet and to speak His words into the lives of people. That dear lady is now starting on the path that you've been walking on. How caring our loving Father is to have placed you there at that very moment for this dear lady. It may be for this very reason that God had you go through that maze. Otherwise, you may have missed each other. The things of this world, our everyday life keeps us so busy that we often miss opportunities to minister to others, to be use by God. CJ is an example to all of us that we need to be more like him. Always watchful, ready to be used by God.
"Let your light so shine before men."

Anonymous said...

Hi George Family,
God willing by the time you read this you will all be in the comfort of your home. I pray that the Lord has been preparing that home health nurse for your home. She is in for a BIG surprise, as she walks in and fells the LORDS presence. I pray for favor and healing for CJ and your family. We love you all and will continue to walk with you guys. Where ever the Lords leads us all. In his loving name,

Anonymous said...

Dear precious George family,
Thank you for allowing God's love and light to shine so brightly through you as you trust in Him each step of the way...I truly believe that your blog should be committed to book-form, to be shared with many, many others as a monument to His grace. You are daily in my prayers (your faces are the first ones that come to mind when I get out of bed).I've been struggling with a common cold for a few days, and after I read your blog I realized that I have nothing to complain about! Thanks for your example. We love you all!

In His love, Jeanne Joiner

Anonymous said...

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. Hello Georges, Again the Lord has used you to help another family. Not only are you reaching people through your blog for Christ, but He is using you to touch people in person. I am sure the woman you spoke to was comforted by your words. I am sure God ordained the very time CJ saw her in the nourishment room. So if you had had a smooth sailing yesterday you may have never seen her to comfort her the same way the Lord has been comforting you this last month. Our Lord continues to do a great work in the George family. Your family, your blog, the way you love and trust in our Lord, its all amazing and an inspiration to us all. Especially you CJ, God has blessed you with a sincere and pure heart. Full of compassion and love at such a young age. I know these qualities in you give your mom and dad strength.... The Mahfoods look forward to spending some time with the Georges soon. We miss you. Love Janet

Pastor Fred said...

CJ and Family,
You are a great example of how God uses the unexpected in our lives to bless those around us. I am a pastor in California and enjoy reading of His great work in your life. I will continue to pray for you and watch for God's progress in your healing. In the meantime, I watch Him at work in your lives.
Fred Kerr, Greenville, California

Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know that we continue to pray for you all the time. By the way, loved the mohawk!!! You are a wonderful young man and always will be inside and out. We love you and miss seeing you. We know God will continue blessing you, because no matter how much everyone loves you, we can't even come close to God's love for you. Keep smiling. (Love the smile) We will keep praying.
Luis, Elena, Luisito, Joshua, and Lourdes

Tammi said...

Dear Dawn & CJ,
I wish I was sitting in that hammock with you guys! I even wish I could carry your load for you to and from the hospital room and wherever else you need it to be carried. I love and miss you both (and your sister and brothers and your Daddy, too.) I am wearing my bracelet everyday and Jerri-lyn is wearing hers. I never stop praying for GOD's Grace upon you all. My heart is with you every moment.
I Love You
Aunt Tammi

Anonymous said...

Hi CJ and family,
was sent to your blog by Ileana...and just wanted to tell you that you're doing a GREAT job buddy. We know how tough things can get, but you seem TOUGHER than anything they can throw your way. What an ispiration you are!
Praying for you and your family...
Team Larson
Scott, Peggy, Caden and Coleman colemanscott

CeCe said...

You have been a real blessing in my life. I know that you are, and will be a blessing in so many other peoples lifes too. You are so amazing. I mean, you are able to look at other people that our suffering, and think about them, and care about them. To tell you the truth, if I were in your pasition I would not be so friendly, or caring. I would be self sentered, and complaining all the time. Thank you for setting me an example. I miss you so much. Get fully better soon!


Anonymous said...

Hey George's
Thinking of you all and you are in our prayers!!!
Love you guys!
Uncle Terry

Anonymous said...

Hey Cj!
Just a quick note to let you know we're still praying for you. I thank God for the strength He's giving you and your family.

Missing U!
Roemello & Mechelle

bushums said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hey CJ,

Great to see you at youth this weekend! It seems you've been getting out more often now. It was just the other night that I saw you hanging out with that long-necked guy when I was driving through the everglades.

But as a friend I do feel obligated to tell you that the glasses don't really match your new uniform. If your going to save the universe, you really do have to start with your wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

Hey, CJ. Just came in here to "see" you today. You are always in our prayers. We miss you!! Hope to see you soon.
Sedano family

Iliana said...

Dawn, thank you so much for opening your heart to what God is doing. I pray that in the midst of the pain, that He will use you to comfort others how He has comforted you. Do not let the circumstances rob you of your joy and peace in our Saviour. Be encouraged that He is making you stronger in Him for His purposes. May all the Glory belong to our God! Amen!

CJ Keep your eyes on Him. Any pain, disappointment, fear etc... turn to Him again and again and again, even when you don't even feel like it. Just do it in obedience to Trust Him in ALL things. His ways are not your ways. Submit to the circumstances as God is Sovereign, He truly is. Over all, Everything. Nothing escapes Him. May you continue to search the joy of the Lord moment by moment, second by second. He is an ABSOLUTELY FAITHFUL GOD, He will not abandon you or foresake you. He is ALWAYS near, never far from you and He is your protector, your rock and your shield. Continue to search after the heart of God and DO NOT BE AFRAID to share, even to grownups (check with your parents first, of course). We love you and pray throughout the week for you. May His Name be proclaimed through your whole family. May all Glory belong to the Lamb that was Slain!
Roberto & Iliana Magunagoicoechea

Ily Figueroa (Heartsyearbook) said...

HI Guys,
Just checking in on you. You are in our prayers. God bless you. CJ are you working on anymore poems?

Anonymous said...

We were so glad to see you on Sunday.
Thanks for using your life to change the life of others.
I pray that as more "obstacles" appear on your way, they bring a new godly perspective to the situation (like the joy of finally seeing the hospital room)which is appreciation of God's provision during this time and divine opportunities to share your story and encourage somebody.
We love you,

Anonymous said...

Chris, Dawn, Allie, CJ, Brett, and Little Corey,


Thank you for sharing the details of your journey. I know you said that it is sometimes awkward to write such explicit and personal details down for all to read. Especially, frustrations and feelings that you are dealing with that most of us would leave out! But, your honesty and true humility is impacting so many of us in ways you can not even imagine. It is hard to describe in words the impact and blessing your blog is having. Thank you for being obedient! I love you and see Jesus in you! I see you allowing the Lord to work in your life and break you down, mold you, and build you back up. His outcome will be amazing! It already is. But, your obedience and faith allows Him to continue His true purpose in all of this. Thank you for not shutting Him out. I am amazed at how you do all that you do with a husband, four children, one with cancer, and this new calling the Lord has placed upon you. It is only through His Grace you are managing all of this and doing it triumphantly! You once said that your goal in life was for people just to remember what a Godly woman you were even if they don't remember your name. When I think of you I think of God before your earthly name! There is no you without God. I can not say that about too many people I know. But, you have truly given yourself to Him and I can not name a time I have seen you or talked to you that you did not share the word with me and I am your sister! I pray that I will be that person to someone one day!

I love you,


Break the Mold said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. We have been so moved by what poeple are sharing with us about how this blog has affected them or their families. Most people will tell us how "the" blog has inspired them or challenged them or just makes them feel connected to the body of Chirst in a larger way than they were experiencing before. And we feel the same way so we will stand there and nod our heads because we are experiencign it too right along side of all of you! But when one lady I ran into said that "my" blog was affecting her- it was the first time I heard someone refer to it as my blog and not "the blog". I couldn't nod along with her because I do not see this as "my" blog but as a blog of His people for His use. Believe me I would not be sharing some of the things I confess on here if it were "mine". I would much rather paint myself in a better light that He allows me to.

As my sister you know me intimately and I am honored for you to share those words with me especailly after all we have been through this past year. Do you see how God even used that trial to allow us to be more authentic with eachother!
There is that word authentic again! It keeps coming up. As I shared with you the other night at Bible Study, I really believe God is calling me to be authentic. Sounds good doesn't it? Sounds simple? We all want to be authentic, right? Well let me tell you that lessons in authenticity are extremely humiliating and painful at times. Everything has to be stripped down so you see the core before you build back up with authenticity. I liked how you put it in your comment (break you down, mold you, and build you back up). Just add 'in front of all the world' and you pretty much got it down!
I shared with you the other night that I not only want to deal with my hidden hyprocicies but my ignorant hyprocicies. The only way to deal with the ones I am ignorant of or that are hidden is for Him to bring them out in the open!
Anyway, I hope all my failures do not reflect Him in anyway shape or form other than his 'amazing grace to save a wretch like me'. I am not only amazed at His grace to save a wretch like me but his uncomprehensible grace to use a wretch like me. In the words of Beth Moore "it is scandaleous".

Thank you for encouraging me! I love you,

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Just checking in to say hello and let you know we are still thinking and praying for you all. I love the shaved head.. now you look just like Alberto!

Lots of love

Nicole Alberto and Ana