The Back Story

January 10, 2014.  That date will go down in our family history as one of the most challenging, gut-wrenching days of our lives.  Our 13-year-old daughter, Paige, had been battling respiratory issues so serious that simply breathing was a huge feat.  Doctor visits, days of no sleep, even a pneumonia diagnosis--nothing was helping our girl get well.  Frightened because she was sicker than she had ever been, we rushed her to the ER.  After spending six hours waiting to be seen, we were frustrated, exhausted, and on the verge of walking out the door when we were finally called back for her examination.  Due to the severity of her respiratory distress, a chest x-ray was ordered immediately.  And then...the hammer dropped.

Within an hour, doctors from just about every department in the hospital descended upon us--anesthesiology, surgery, cardio, name it, they were in that small ER exam room.  We listened to everything they said, unable to truly take it all in.  Paige was taken for a CT scan and then straight to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where doctors spoke of the need for a biopsy on her lymph nodes.  I prayed with her, kissed her on the forehead, and told the surgeons to take care of my baby girl.  And then...the words came.

"We are 99% sure this is cancer."  My knees buckled, and the tears came rolling down.  How could this happen?  The chest x-ray had revealed a mediastinal mass that was basically the size of my daughter's rib cage.  THIS was the cause for her breathing distress.  THIS was the thing that was zapping her energy.  THIS was CANCER?

The official diagnosis was T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  After a long time of crying and praying--and then crying and praying some more--we came to the realization that handing this over to God was the right--and only thing to do.  We were 'all in,' placing total trust and faith in the hands of Our Lord and Savior.  He would be the one to see Paige--and the rest of our family--through this journey.  A wave of indescribable peace washed over me, and I knew without a doubt that God would be in control and provide everything we would need along the way.

August 2014.  We are now almost eight months in on this journey that is far from over.  Paige is in remission--her body shows no sign of cancer cells in her bone marrow, and the mass on her chest is no more.  Praise the Lord!  She is still receiving intense IV chemotherapy treatments and is looking forward to a few months down the road, when she will enter the maintenance phase and return to school as she continues about two years of less intense treatment.

My daughter is an inspiration to everyone she encounters along the way.  Blood transfusions, sickness from chemo, losing her hair, unplanned hospital stays, and even a fractured leg haven't kept her down.  She exhibits strength and maturity well beyond her now 14 years and shares what God has done in her life with anyone who will listen.

God is bigger than any disease, any fear, and any struggles we may face.  He continues to work in our lives and is giving Paige an amazing testimony in the process.  Everything will come together for good, and He will receive all the glory!

September 2015.  I thought 1-10-14 was a bad day with Paige's initial cancer diagnosis--and then we landed here.  Just 9 months away from completing treatment, an ER visit for a swollen patch around the base of the neck led to the discovery of a new mass.  The cancer has returned.  Tests and procedures are in the works now to determine a new plan of attack.  My girl is gearing up for a second battle with this monster known as childhood cancer.  God had her in the palm of His hand the first time around, and I have no doubt He has her again.

July 2016.   Less than seven months after Paige's December bone marrow transplant, cancer has reared its ugly head yet again.  Out of nowhere.  We are now gearing up for the biggest fight thus far and praying for an even bigger miracle.

October 2016.   A little over three months after her second relapse, Paige went home to be with Jesus.  She finally received the healing and peace she'd wanted and needed for so very long.  We saw that beautiful peace over her as her soul left this earth.  Though our hearts are breaking, we know we will see her again.  We were blessed to have spent 16 years with one pretty amazing young lady.  Now we must get to work and see that her legacy lives on.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad Paige is no longer suffering...May we all learn from her short life that no matter what goes on in our lives we must Trust God for the outcome