In the world of leukemia, when a kid gets a fever, it disrupts life. And the fever threshold is 100.5. Beyond that, we have to go to the emergency room because something’s going on. And even a normal infection might potentially be concerning because of a depressed immune system due to chemotherapy.
Before our Make A Wish trip to Florida, it had been over 5 months since we went to the emergency room. And leading up to that trip, we enlisted everyone we knew to pray for us, that we would be able to stay healthy for the duration of our time down south.
We got to Florida on a Thursday. We went to the Magic Kingdom on Friday. Then we went to Animal Kingdom on Saturday. The plan was to go to Sea World on Sunday, and we were excited – especially Joshua. He’d been to Sea World before in San Antonio, and he loved it, so he was particularly jacked.
Late on Saturday night, a couple of hours after Joshua had gone to bed, we heard him coughing. Didn’t think too much about it, just went in to check on him. And what we found was gut-wrenching.
Joshua was sitting up in his bed, clutching his new Mickey Mouse to his chest, covering up his mouth so that his coughs would be quiet. His face was red from crying. And all he said was, “Can we still go to Sea World?”
He knew he was sick, and the thermometer proved it. 102.7. So we jumped in the car and headed to downtown Orlando to the children’s hospital. Even though by the time we got there Joshua was singing songs and feeling fine, his temperature was still up, his counts proved to be low. Lower than they had been in months, meaning that the docs at the ER checked us into a room upstairs.
No Sea World.
And I’m not going to lie – my emotional state went from sadness to anger pretty quickly. I said some things to the Lord I’m not proud of:
“Why now? What are you doing? Can’t we get a break?”
“Woud is really disrupt the eternal plan of the universe for this little boy to get to go to Sea World?”
“I’m sick of learning things. I’m tired of my life being an object lesson. I want a week off.”
And so we settled into our small room, wondering if that was the end of our vacation, with a disappointed little boy and a really, really angry dad. But the Lord? Well, He was busy, and as always seems to happen, had something else in store…