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joe reed

Alice: Life Beyond Radiation

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:5-8

Three weeks since the last trip to Children’s Hospital for radiation, two and a half months since diagnosis. Time is marching on, and sometimes it seems to be flying by at a cruelly rapid pace. Continue reading “Alice: Life Beyond Radiation”

Alice: Radiation Complete, Giving Thanks

…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good… Romans 8:26-28

On the eve of this Thanksgiving, reflecting once again on that mental list of good things to be thankful for, perhaps it is best to say that this year we give thanks in faith, trusting the Lord we love that all things, especially the bad things, will indeed work together for good.

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We arrived at the last day of radiation to find the entire sedation unit staff wearing panda masks in honor of Alice. They even had a couple extra for us. Alice’s room, the hallways to the radiation room, and the radiation room itself were littered with SpongeBob signs for her. We can’t say enough about how amazing the medical staff all were. To the last day, Alice never once complained about having to go “to the Doctor’s house.”

I’m tempted to give thanks for the things we like and hold them up against the things we don’t like as little spots of peace in the middle of the storm. Continue reading “Alice: Radiation Complete, Giving Thanks”

Alice: Radiation, Week 5

If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32

We’re still figuring out what “God is for us” and “graciously give us all things” means and doesn’t mean. Pretty clearly it doesn’t mean God does what we want when we want it. But we’re learning that it does mean that in the midst of the turmoil of soul, He gradually helps us know He inflicts no pain vindictively, that His love really does never fail, and that we can trust Him for the future, even if the future becomes that which we fear rather than what we hope.

Twenty five trips complete. The last full week of radiation is behind us. Two more trips next week, and we’re done. I’m unsure how I feel about it just yet. Continue reading “Alice: Radiation, Week 5”

Alice: Radiation, Week 4

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Twenty down. To date, we’ve covered about 2,700 miles going back and forth, held Alice twenty times as she takes that big deep breath that means she just fell asleep, picked her up and handed her over to the radiation therapy guys, kissed her face as she wakes up, peeled off the three EKG stickers she hates so much, and eaten who knows how many bowls of Cheerios and a couple bottles of honey. We’ve made it through SpongeBob season 3, and are well into season 4.

Seven trips to go. Almost there. Continue reading “Alice: Radiation, Week 4”

Alice: Radiation, Week 3

Three weeks of radiation down. Two and change to go.

Every day felt like Friday. It’s funny how every day has a certain “feel” to it. All the days felt like Friday. Not the good kind of Friday feeling – where your work is about done and you get to start having fun. This was more like what Bilbo Baggins was talking about: “I feel all thin, sort of stretched…like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.” Continue reading “Alice: Radiation, Week 3”

Alice: Radiation, Week 2

Ten down. Something like 17 to go. Early mornings, lots of miles, SpongeBob, Cheerio’s (with honey!), sedation, and radiation. That’s our routine. It’s amazing how fast it becomes “normal.”

It’s working. Alice’s smiles, giggles, and sparkly eyes are once again rather common sights and sounds in our old house. And that’s been wonderful.

But the joy is somehow tinged with sadness, too. This is how it goes with her kind of cancer. You knock it down, it comes back. You feel like you get your girl back, but in the back of your mind you can’t help but think you have to lose her again, and that stinks.

I try not to live there. I’m trying so hard to live in today, and if I must look to the future, I want my gaze to skip from tomorrow until 10,000 years from now, when faith is sight, tears are gone, and death is fully and finally swallowed up by completed redemption. But sometimes I fail at that. Continue reading “Alice: Radiation, Week 2”

Alice: Radiation, Week 1

Well, it’s Friday night, and we made it through the first week of radiation.

And there was much rejoicing. *yay* Continue reading “Alice: Radiation, Week 1”

“Lord, give the doctors wisdom,” we instinctively plead in our desperation.

The wise doctors don’t give us the answers we wanted.

We immediately cry out, “Lord, make the doctors fools!”

Weird.

-jr

Alice: Prognosis

I left our saga in “Limbo Land,” the land of unknown between initial diagnosis and confirmation/prognosis. I’ll pick it up there and catch you up…

Last Monday or Tuesday morning, Alice woke up particularly irritable and ornery. I wrapped her up in a blanket, then in my arms, and as we laid on the couch, I figured I’d try to make up a story to tell her. Lewis did that with Narnia, so how hard can it really be?

I didn’t get far, but managed to come up with a frog she named “Ribbit” who went fishing. “Dad, I wanna go fishing.” Continue reading “Alice: Prognosis”

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