Joshua's Treatment Day

I wanted to devote today’s post to the thing that happens every four weeks in our family—Joshua, our brave 4-year-old, goes to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for a strong dose of chemotherapy. If you haven’t followed that part of our story, Joshua was diagnosed with leukemia 21 months ago. (You can read all about it here).

Childhood cancer is a long road, as you can tell by the 21 months thing. If everything goes well, a little boy like Joshua can expect to undergo these 4 week cycles for approximately 3 years from his diagnosis. So every 4 weeks, Joshua goes to the hospital. He gets his blood drawn and tested, and then he gets shot full of his medicine. Then he usually feels pretty crummy for about 5 days afterward. This is the cycle of our lives.

And since today I’m talking about it, here are a few reflections I have pretty much every 4 weeks:

1) I still can’t believe this is our life. It’s difficult to consider how many procedures, terms, and processes we now know by heart.

2) Joshua is freaking brave.

3) Andi has never known life without cancer affecting hers in a dramatic way.

4) The Lord’s mercies are new every morning. Or every 4 weeks for that matter. I remember staring down the end of that 3-year-gun and thinking about how long a period that is. And when you consider something like that, the temptation is one of anger and despair. And I’ve certainly had, and have, my share of that.

However, it’s really been pretty amazing to see the Lord’s grace in the simple reality of the fact that we’re still here. We got up all those mornings after Joshua was first diagnoses. And we got up when he was spending weeks in the hospital. And we’re still getting up now. The fact that we got up today is proof that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning.

And it’s also cool, and sad, to realize that when Jeremiah first penned those words, he was bearing witness to the destruction of his homeland. Everything he knew was going up in flames. But Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, was convinced in his Lamentations that the Lord’s faithfulness is great. So are we.

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