Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Daughter, My Hero

What's your definition of a hero?  To me, it's someone who displays great courage and determination in the face of a challenge.  Immediately coming to mind are those who patrol our streets, rescue us from danger, tend to our medical needs, and fight to protect our freedom.  Some might think of their favorite superhero, battling the villain and saving the day.  Whether we realize it or not, we encounter different kinds of heroes every day.  As for me, I need only look across our hospital room to see a hero.

For almost two years now, I have watched my daughter go through more than many people encounter in a lifetime.  Nine months of intense chemotherapy--harsh chemicals running through her body on a mission to search and destroy leukemia cells.  Bone damage and joint pain.  Headaches and fatigue.  Losing her hair not once or twice, but now four times.  The girl who was just about independent from birth suddenly needed help doing just about everything.  Clinic and hospital rooms took the place of classrooms.  Friendships formed with fellow patients as other friends moved on.  Each part of the journey presented different hills to climb.  Each time fought with everything she had.  In no time, I saw the hero emerge in her.

After Paige relapsed in September, I discovered my daughter was more than a hero--she might just be a superhero in the making.  The road back to recovery was much rockier than any she had faced thus far.  This time around there would be no set map to plan out our journey.  There would be frequent stops along the way to check progress.  There would be new combinations of drugs to attack the leukemia cells that had returned with a vengeance.  There would be remission.

Nerves?  Yes.  Anxiety?  Of course.  She is still human, after all.  Nevertheless, Paige took this latest challenge on with the same incredible courage and determination she has shown from the very beginning.  She knows God is doing a mighty work.  Around here it's one day at time--sometimes one hour at a time.  From chemo to radiation to antibody infusions, she takes the good with the bad.  She may spend a morning fighting through harsh side effects and find herself spending an evening joking around, munching on her favorite snacks, and even tackling chemistry homework.

We are now in the home stretch of pre-transplant conditioning.  Bone marrow transplant--the next leg of this journey--is just two days away.  Paige has already made the transformation from hero to superhero.  She is strong.  She is brave.  She is unstoppable.  Is there such thing as a super superhero?  Stay tuned!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.   Romans 12:12