Friday, March 7, 2014


Here we are...eight weeks in on this journey.  It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that my daughter has been battling cancer for almost two months.  Paige continues to show inspiring levels of strength, determination, and an absolute trust in God's healing power.  At the same time, our family strives to support her and lift her up through struggles and challenges along the way.

  • But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Matthew 10:30
     Eight weeks of chemotherapy, the last four being rather intense in dosage and frequency, have taken a toll on Paige's hair.  Keep in mind--she's 13.  To her, this is almost as traumatic as the diagnosis itself.  First, it was simply the texture changing and losing a few strands here and there.  Now, her thick, lustrous locks have been replaced by thinning hair that seems to jump off her hypersensitive scalp all day long.  From the start, Paige was adamant that she would not cut her hair when she began to lose it--and she remains firm in that decision today.  I have asked--probably a few times more than necessary--about cutting it or trying out other looks so she would be "ready" when the time came.  Seriously--what was I thinking?  What 13-year-old girl is "ready" to lose her hair?  My desire to help conflicted with her need to hold on to something important as long as she could.
     Today was rough--anger and sadness reared their heads.  As she complained about the amount of scalp now visible, I reminded her that I'd rather have a balding Paige than no Paige at all.  As she showed frustration at the clumps of hair all over her clothes, I reminded her that her hair would grow back.  God knows exactly how many hairs Paige had on her head at the beginning of this journey,  and we're on His timeline of when those hairs will come back--but they will come back.

Some days Paige needs encouragement, and other days she is the encourager.
  • A joyful heart is good medicine...  Proverbs 17:22
     This verse brings to mind the importance of a sense of humor, particularly in difficult times.  Paige was blessed with her daddy's quick wit.  I, on the other hand, tend to have great comebacks long after the moments have passed.  Even facing cancer, she hasn't missed a beat:
  1. Static electricity caused me to shock her forehead a couple of times.  I joked that she could be Harriet Potter if I'd left any lightning bolt marks.  Paige's reply: More like Hair-LESS Potter at the rate I'm going--ha!
  2. Somehow one of our conversations mentioned Little Bo Peep.  Paige's take: Hey, mom--I could be Little Bald Paige!  
  3. Referring to one of her doctors who didn't quite 'get' our jubilation over the "no transfusion" news, Paige had this to say: "He needs to take the party pooper train out of the station!"
  • Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you...  James 4:8
     More than anything, the last eight weeks have given me an up close and personal look at my daughter's heart.  Her prayers have become more thoughtful and specific.  The connection she feels with cancer patients, specifically younger children, is evidenced each week at clinic.  "Mom, do you see that baby getting chemo?  He's so young to be going through this."  A commercial from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society made note of the improvement in successful treatments for leukemia--from 3% in 1964 to over 90% today.  "Wow...that really makes you thankful we live in this time. More people can be helped."

The compassion I see in her is not limited to her current situation.  Paige's amazing heart is visible every day and is a source of great beauty, joy, and inspiration--but that's a post for another time. :)

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