The Month of Chickenpox Continues...
Sorry I haven't written in several days. I went away on Saturday - it was nice to "get away from it all..." A friend took me out for a pedicure and manicure and lunch - it was WONDERFUL! Then out with another friend for a little shopping...a little eating...o.k., fine - a lot of eating... Other than a reprieve now and then, the days have been busy and full, and the nights long.
For the last several nights, Ellie's chickenpox has reached unbearable levels of itching. During the daytime it's manageable, but at night she's miserable. One night she only got 3 hours of sleep. Yesterday we took Ellie back to the doctor and he postponed the bone marrow biopsies until Friday (which I was hoping for!). He was very surprised to see this second outbreak of chickenpox. (I really think that it's the end of the first outbreak...just delayed.) The bulk of the pox this time are on her extremeties which is often how chickenpox ends. Unfortunately the worst of Ellie's are on the soles of her feet, so she is getting very uncomfortable.
Ellie does seem to be catching a cold, and yesterday we were all feeling a little discouraged. The cancer itself is such a big looming thing to deal with, then you add onto that the chickenpox, then throw in a cold for good measure and the pressure just keeps mounting. I got a wakeup call yesterday when Ellie came to me and asked if she would die if she got chemo while she has a cold or the chickenpox. I felt like I was watching a giant snowball (of worry and anxiety) rolling and bouncing down a hill gathering more snow on it's way, threatening to engulf us all on it's descent. So I did what any self-respecting mother would do to protect those she loves - I threw a brick wall in it's path. First I explained to Ellie that our main concern was that we didn't want sickness to keep postponing chemo - not that we were worried that she would die because of it. Then I told her that today we aren't concerned about the cancer at all. Today is not about fighting cancer and taking chemo - today is about the chickenpox. There are many many kids out there with the chickenpox - and it feels rotten - it's itchy and miserable and today we just have to get through that. Today she is just an 8 year old with itchy bumps and a runny nose. I literally felt the anxiety drain away from Ellie's body as we talked, and a funny thing happened...I felt mine do the same. Snippets of verses from Matthew chapter 6 seem to be re-playing in my head: verse 27 "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (I don't think that God would mind if I mentally add "your child's life" to the verse) and verse 34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today." And so even though I'm tired and emotionally spent, God's grace really is enough for today. And I don't have to worry about tomorrow because God's grace will be there when I get there. The other thing that I am sure of is that I will forget this and start to worry again. I only hope that next time I will hear God's voice in my ear sooner and throw a brick at the snowball while it's still tiny and at the top of the hill! (Yes, I do know that I live in Florida, but Christmas is coming and I've gotta get in the mood somehow...thinking cold sometimes does the trick.)
I hope you all are doing well tonight - I'm sure each one of you has your own struggles and heartaches. I wish that I could pray for each of yours the way that you have for mine, but please know that I am praying that God will wrap His loving arms around each of you and bless you greatly as He has with us. Thanks for all of your prayers and concern for us. Ellie definitely knows that she is well loved!