Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The "I's" Have It

Over the last 2 1/2 weeks, the words induction and infusion have been part of many conversations with doctors and nurses, as well as friends and family.  We have learned in great detail how they apply to Paige's treatment, but I have come to realize they also apply to this whole journey.  Further contemplation led me to add one more "i-word" to my list, as you will read below.

Induction: The beginning of something.
   * Medical Application:  The first 29 - 36 days of treatment.  Basically, it's a time of initiation, introducing the body to various medications & procedures it will endure throughout the treatment process.  In Paige's case, it involves 56 doses of a steroid to shrink the mass in her chest (16 cm upon discovery), daily anti-nausea & stomach-calming meds, 36 doses of an antibiotic to ward off pneumonia (baaaad word in our house) and flu-like symptoms, weekly chemotherapy, 3 bone marrow aspirations, and 3 spinal taps--WHEW!  I'm sure I'm forgetting something even with that long list!!
   * Personal Application:  The battle is just beginning.  We are 2 1/2 weeks in on a process that is projected to take 2 1/2 years to complete.  They say the first few months are the toughest, so we consider them our induction--caring for Paige as she recovers from various procedures and adapts to her 'new normal,' adjusting schedules, reworking budgets…the list goes on.  We continue to stand firm in the faith we are not fighting this battle on our own.  God has already begun to surround us with soldiers who will stand with us, lifting Paige and our family in prayer and some helping in ways we never could have imagined.  He is telling an amazing story through our daughter!
   * For you equipped me with strength for the battle...  Psalm 18:39 *

Infusion:  The addition of something that is needed or helpful.
   * Medical Application:  Scheduled clinic days begin with blood draws to determine whether counts are high enough to administer chemotherapy or if infusions of red blood cells or platelets are needed first.  These infusions boost counts to help the body better accept the treatment.  So far, Paige's counts have been great and have not called for infusions.  We have been told this will change as chemo drugs attack not only the cancer cells but healthy blood cells as well.  If and when counts deem infusions necessary, we will gladly accept the help they'll provide our daughter.
   * Personal Application:  Prayer, prayer, and MORE PRAYER!  This is very much needed, appreciated, and so very helpful!   I can honestly say we see and feel the power of prayer in action every day--it brings peace in place of fear and patience during times of conflict.  We are helping a 13-year-old girl dealing with all of this--so yes, patience is very important! We will gladly accept daily infusions of prayer!
* And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.  
Matthew 21:22

Intentional:  A definite decision to do something.
   * Medical Application:  Paige's doctors had a plan in mind from the moment they saw her first chest X-ray.  They knew what they were dealing with--the biopsy and subsequent bone marrow tests confirmed it.  It was a "classic" diagnosis, something they viewed as a very good thing.  They knew what needed to be done, and Paige's 'road map' of treatment began less than 12 hours after her initial diagnosis.
   * Personal Application:  Almost immediately after being told we were dealing with cancer, Boyce and I made the decision to give it all to God.  We made the decision to place complete faith in the healing power of Our Heavenly Father.  He continues to provide a peace that surpasses frustrations, doubts, and fear.  While we join hands to stand together in this fight, He has Paige--and our whole family--in His hands.
* For I will restore health to you…  Jeremiah 30:17 *
* I have said these things…that in me you may have peace…  John 16:33 *

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