Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beautifully Broken

Well, we finally have a date set for CJ's port removal. CJ will have a pre-op work up on Monday, July 11th and the Port Surgery will be the very next day Tuesday, July 12th. It will finally be official...no more port!

I can honestly tell you we are all excited yet quite nervous about this step. We thought CJ would be nothing but eager to get the port out but he confessed to us that he is nervous because the port has been a part of him for so long. It represents so much to him.

At first he hated it. He was terrified of it. He fought with it. He suffered pain because of it. He felt restricted by it. He resented it. He tried to ignore it. He hid it! Then, overtime he realized it was there to stay. He worked at accepting it. He tried to understand that it was a blessing. He got to know it. He began to appreciate it. And to our amazement, he began to share it with others and use it to share his story.

I vividly remember standing in the Miami Bankers Club and the Hyatt Pier 66 only a few months ago as CJ spoke at corporate breakfast committee meeting for LLS and he slowly lifted his shirt and showed his port as he told his story. That was a huge moment for me as CJ's mother and friend. I knew that no one in that room could appreciate the full circle of what they had just witnessed. But I knew how huge that moment was. I knew what it really represented. It represented CJ surrendering to God's plan for his life regardless of whether he liked it or not and realizing it wasn't only about him. It was about what he could do to help others.

I hope that explains the bitter sweet taste we have as this port is removed. He has grown accustomed to it being there. It represents a great deal of this battle for us. And quite frankly, CJ is simply not looking forward to surgery. I don't blame him one bit! I am not exactly looking forward to the feeling of watching him be wheeled away to the operating room while I sit in a waiting room to hear the all clear from the doctors.

On that note, I am asking for prayers for CJ to be prepared for this big step in continuing to move forward in his healing process. Prayers for a safe and successful surgery with complete port removal. I have learned recently that some kids bodies begin to calcify the port as a foreign object and therefore removal can be difficult. They will often leave parts of the port in because it is more risky to force them out if the body has calcified it in any way. We would prefer complete removal so we are counting on this port to continue to be good to us. Hopefully it is not as attached to us as we are to it!

The bitter sweet taste we have towards the port removal is only heightened by the circumstances we are facing as a family. As we prepare to move forward with CJ's port removal and take another huge step further away from his cancer diagnosis, his poppa Enzo just received the extremely difficult news that the chemos are no longer working for him. This weekend he made the transition from treatment to Vitas Hospice Care. They are currently working with my mom and Enzo to regulate his pain and keep him comfortable.

Therefore, as we rejoice and celebrate CJ's recovery we are trying to prepare our hearts for the inevitable. Please pray for my mom, Paula, and for Enzo. I spent the last couple days with them as they made the transition and my heart aches for them. The only words that come to mind as I sit here and stare at the screen trying to think of words that would adequately portray what it felt like being with them are.........beautifully broken.

Sometimes I feel like I live in that dichotomy. I constantly feel like I am rejoicing and mourning, broken and healing. Sometimes I begin to wonder how much one heart can take of two extremes.

This weekend was a perfect example of that. We had an amazing trip given to our family as a gift and we had the opportunity to spend it with a very special family from Georgia. This is the family of Nickodemus Patrick who was recently featured as a CBC child.

Nick has an extremely rare form of brain cancer. He is literally fighting for his life. Actually, Nick would probably disagree with me on that statement. Knowing Nick, he would probably say, No, I have placed my life in God's hands and He is fighting for it. I am just along for the ride.

Nick has already been to the very brink of death and back. Regardless, the doctors are quick to remind his mother that Nick is still considered "terminal". I am quick to remind her that God says he is "eternal".

As we spent this very special time together the thought was never far from me that we would be coming home to prepare for CJ's port removal and they would be going home preparing for Nick's continued battle. But what was not lost on me was that we would both be going home to celebrate life and rejoice in God's blessings no matter how he chooses to grant them.

So I end this blog like I feel.....beautifully broken. Preparing and rejoicing with CJ for port removal; praying and mourning with my mom and Enzo for Gods peace; and hoping while still trusting in God for Nick and his family for complete healing.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
Psalm 147:3

That is what it means to be "beautifully broken". If you have never experienced this, then I humbly pray you some brokenness. It is quite beautiful when you place the broken pieces in the hands of the master potter.

And to my other beautifully broken friend! You are just beautiful! Keep fighting! YOU GOT THIS!!
Always thinking and praying for you!