Marshall's music, t-cells, t-shirts and more

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Three years!

"When we doubt your miracle-making power, Lord, show us the ordinary miracles of seasons, of hope regained, of love from family and friends, and of surprises that turn out to be miraculous simply by remaking our lives"

On this very day 3 years ago Marshall was diagnosed with ALL and this cancer crusade began. He's now fought leukemia 3 times in those 3 years and I still find myself staring at him wondering how he is alive after all he has been through. I have learned so much from him and all his supporters. More than I could ever write on a paper, but in honor of those three years, I will write three things I have learned. 

Firstly, to be EVER so grateful for the 'Normal' days. Normal days are actually glorious days in the book of my life now. A day when I can read, clean, do laundry, and actually raise my own child is a glorious day. It's not one spent in a hospital room worrying about numbers, germs, medications, and how many breathes my husband may or may not have left or if my son would know his daddy.

Secondly, God is in charge! I wish I was as powerful as my Eternal Father. I still desire and believe in doing all that I can and learning all that I can and trying to be more like Him and His son. But I am not him. He will direct our paths if we put our trust in Him. He will bless us according to our desires. And He knows what is best for us eternally and not just in our short time on Earth. I have much more faith in Him to take the wheel and steer my life toward the direction it should go and to the people we are supposed to know. He's a way better driver than I am even and especially if we hit some really rocky and dangerous terrain along our way. Sometimes that is when we see the most beauty in the world and in others. Believe in his miracles because they still happen, but mostly he allows them to happen through other people. He allows us to be the actual body of Christ, to be His reaching arms, His healing hands, and His love. Through these means we come to know Him better than we ever would had he reached His physical hand out to heal with one touch in one moment.

Thirdly, our own bodies can be restored. Even from the dust, despair, even death. Restorative powers aren't limited to what has been there before either. Our bodies can be added upon and enhanced in ways never before imagined. Marshall went from having one set of genes to another, and yet another from overseas, to now a completely reengineered (with HIV nonetheless!) cell that lives in his body. Incredible. When the chemo gave Marshall neuropathy in his hands and feet and took away Marshall's ability to play the guitar, I looked to the heavens and thought, "Why would THIS happen!?"  I couldn't fathom how He could take away something that had literally gotten us through some of the toughest days and a most developed talent. Music. Nothing could ever stop Marshall from singing. Until something did. When the cancer made it to Marshall's brain and he was completely paralyzed on both sides of His face. I admit to succumbing to a bit more fear than faith at that point. Probably because the look on most doctors face after seeing his paralyzed one was that of, "this guy is not going to make it". Marshall kept his faith- what a faithful man I married! Sometimes the amount of faith we have does make a difference. I don't believe in can'ts anymore. I'm still baffled that months later, the neuropathy went away in his hands (he still has it in his feet). The right side of his face recovered and slowly every day I am blessed to see tiny improvements in the left side. Restoration! We can all be recovered, renewed, resurrected from the dust. 

In chemistry, there is a law that states for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. I have sometimes been compelled to move. Actually, a lot in the last few years. First to Houston, then Philadelphia, and finally home. We have met some INCREDIBLE people along the way. You know who you are (Bennett's, Durfees, Edwards, Calleluoris, Fitzgeralds, Gibsons, Goldsteins, Miles2Give peeps, our very own neighborhood and family, Brother Landis, many doctors and nurses, and all the names I didn't add) and I might add have done some INCREDIBLE and incredibly hard things along the way too. Here's to the last three years and to the hope that this t-cell treatment will continue to work without too many side effects for Marshall and that we will get to be able to stay with our son and out of the hospital this year!