Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cancer Survivors....

First a brief update....
CJ is the only child I know that could come up with his first two wishes for Make a Wish and they be something that they can't fulfill for him. That is why I did not share his wish with everyone when on his birthday when I posted about our meeting with MAW.

His first wish was going to be a hunting trip with a special guest and we found out that wishes including guns and weapons are not usually granted. Liability, permits, and all that....understandable.

His second wish was narrowed down to wanting his own room. I knew that it was not likely to be possible considering our "full house" situation. We have four kids of our own and still have my niece living with us that we are fostering through the state. Without the reality of knocking down walls and adding wasn't likely. Liability, permits, and all that....understandable.

So now we are working on wish number three. We will let you know how that pans out as we continue working with Make a Wish. Hopefully CJ won't strike out three for three.

I would love to hear in the comments what your make a wish would be if you had one. It is not as easy as you think once someone is willing to grant you one, provided it qualifies. I know mine....ISRAEL!! I tried to drop hints to CJ about how awesome it would be to see Israel but he didn't take the bait. Oh well, I guess it is supposed to be his wish after all.

In addition...we are waiting on a date for port removal. Will post as soon as we know!


On another is National Cancer Survivors Day....I want to share something with you that in no way is intended to belittle or take away the amazing blessing that it is to be a physical survivor of cancer.

Friday night Chris and I attended an event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that supports blood cancer research. It was an incredible event and I had the privilege to share our family's story with those in attendance. I also had the privilege to spend some time talking to many of the young adult survivors who were there as well as parents of childhood survivors.

What is evident in all of them is the continued struggle the deal with both physically and emotionally. Their battle rages on however differently than it first began. For some it was a continued physical battle. For others it was expressed in an emotional turmoil coming to acceptance of all that they had gone through and the reality of their survival in light of the others they came to love that are no longer here. Still for others it was a spiritual struggle to make sense of it and not waste their survival. And all seem to uniquely deal with the fear of relapse in one way or another. I listened carefully to them all and hoped and prayed that I somehow offered some sense of comfort.

I spent some time this morning pondering CJ's physical survival of cancer in light of today being National Cancer Survivors Day. But my attention continued to be drawn to the many children who I know survive today in heaven. Children like Andrew, Sam, Tyler, Mackenzie, Sammie, Amanda Blake, Princess Amanda, Carina, Luke, Liam, Susanna, Marianna, Aiden, Anna, Ellie.....

Sadly, I could just keep typing and typing these names as their faces come from the depths of my heart, their stories flash in my mind, and their names roll off my fingertips as I type.

I thought about them today and where they stand in the broad picture of National Cancer Survivors Day and I wanted to share this perspective.....however humbly I can.
I dedicate this to all the cancer survivors in heaven celebrating their survival today!

National Cancer Survivors Day!

Definition of survive: according to Miriam Webster:
: to remain alive or in existence
: to live on
: to continue to exist or live after some trauma

A comparison....

Children that survive cancer this side of heaven:
-continue to "exist" or "live on" in the presence of their loved ones
-continue to battle the emotional effects of cancer
-continue to battle the long term physical effects from treatment
-live in fear the cancer will return
-mourn the loss of friends they lost along the way
-struggle to understanding why this happened to them
-struggle to be faithful with this gift of life God has granted them

Children that survive cancer the other side of heaven:
-continue to "exist" and "live on" in the presence of the Lord (2 Cor 5:8)
-are in perfect peace and joy (Rev 21:4)
-have glorified bodies that feel no pain (2Cor 5:1)
-live where no sickness or pain or death can ever touch them again (Rev:21:4)
-live where every tear has been wiped away and there is no mourning (Rev7:17)
-understand in full God's plan for their lives (1Cor13:12)
-are faithfully living out the gift of eternal life God has granted them (Matt 25:46) (John 10:27-29)

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1Thes 4:12-20)