One year ago, things were quite different around here. Ellie was undergoing her bone marrow test, and I was stuck in the hospital dealing with my own health issues of tachycardia, hypotension, and so much pain it was difficult to walk, lift my arm, or type on the computer. One year ago, we lived an entire week thinking that our daughter likely had leukemia and the doctors had even tossed that word around me as a possibility for my own health problems (quickly ruled out for me, though, thankfully). It was certainly the most difficult week(s) of our life so far. There were many, many tears shed and many, many prayers sent up. Many times we wondered whether the Lord was going to take Ellie home far sooner than we had ever imagined. We are grateful that it was not her time and we have been blessed with another year with our daughter, with no hospitalizations since last December!! We are SO thankful!!!
It is actually very strange thinking back to what life was like for us a year ago. My husband and I were talking the other day how some days we almost (but never totally) forget about our daughter's condition, and then the next day our thoughts are so focused on it that we become very protective and paranoid, wondering if we should be more careful. I know people don't understand what it's like unless you've gone through something similar, but believe me, it is extremely difficult to know just how careful (or not careful) we should be. Someone is getting over a cold, and isn't too sick but just a little? Can she be around them? Often we don't know what to do, but our personalities tend to lean us toward the side of caution. And yes, I still hear every little cough, sniffle, and sneeze from miles away! So if we switch seats during church or quickly switch grocery aisles or skip a big family gathering during cold and flu season, please don't be offended. We probably just observed someone with signs of illness, and we steer clear whenever possible. Like I said, the answer is not always cut and dry, and we struggle with knowing what to do in many situations.
The temptation to worry is now more to do with worrying what will happen if she gets sick with a bacterial infection or viral illness with fever (although nothing is impossible with the LORD!). And perhaps the biggest temptation is worrying about her condition developing into leukemia since our understanding is her having a bone marrow dysfunction probably increases her risks. These are things I need to lay down at the foot of the cross, though, admittedly it is difficult some days.
I would be lying if I said that going through this all hasn't changed the way I think/feel about our daughter (and any other future children.) I have a much greater awareness of just how fragile life is. We forget that our days are numbered, and only God knows when our time is up. We need to make each moment count for His glory and cherish the precious gifts He's entrusted to us for our short time on earth.
Psalm 34 was our theme psalm for the difficult time last year. The Lord gave this psalm to my husband when he was praying one night.
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalm 34:1-8