As I wrote about remembering this week, I wanted to make a list of things I was grateful for, looking back on the last 2 years of our transplant journey. So here it is, in no particular order:
1. Good nursing care: I always felt heard and treated with respect. Being a nurse myself, it was so reassuring to have nurses who were so good at what they do!
2. Gifts of food: ladies from church brought food home to feed my family, with a side package to send along for me. One dad in the hospital remarked how good my food always looked, while he was eating his mom’s spaghetti everyday. (I don’t think it was his favorite)
3. Financial gifts to help us pay for parking and gas: Brent would come in every week to visit, and it was such a blessing not to have to worry about paying for gas and parking.
4. Visits of encouragement: a beloved couple from the city who took me out for lunch every week, friends who brought fun food for us to share.
5. A courageous doctor: his desire for the best outcome possible, would lead us into an experimental transplant without chemotherapy; high risk, but worth the potential side effects from the chemo.
6. A network of believers (across 5 continents) who bear callouses on their knees as they interceded for us!
7. The stories of what God did in His church through our struggles. God stirred the hearts of His people and drew them nearer to Him.
8. A husband who was solid as a rock! You can't imagine what it will be like when you are put under a crushing amount of stress, but I was so grateful we were a team to get through it together.
9. New friendships: I would get connected with other moms going through treatments for the same immune condition (SCIDS). We keep in touch and share our journeys!
10. Medical technology that enabled her diagnosis and treatment. Did you know, they can actually test her blood and see the percentage of our oldest daughter's blood cells inside her??
11. She wasn’t a toddler yet - during our isolation phase (the first year) we needed to keep her out of sand and dirt (which carry parasites and fungus). We were discharged home and she wasn’t walking yet, which made it easier to keep her out of trouble. I saw the parents of toddlers who were in hospital, trying to walk with IV poles, keeping them from pulling out central lines or other tubes. They demonstrated a strength and patience that was truly amazing! Keep these parents in your prayers.
12. God’s healing hand...so. many. times!
13. No further hospital admissions: we have been so blessed these 2 years, to have remained healthy and for her immune system that is fighting off the bugs she catches.
14. A beautiful play area at the Cancercare centre that helped keep the kids entertained as we spent many mornings in treatments.
15. The random meetings with people who prayed. I was in the city at the university for a practical exam to get my nursing license reinstated. A woman walked by as I sat in the waiting room, stopping because I looked familiar. As we began to talk, she asked if I had a daughter who had been sick, to my amazement she knew of us and said she had been praying for our little girl!
16. In my weakness, He is strong. I could have tried desperately, and probably did at some points, try to rely on my own strength, yet it would fail me. I was powerless to change the circumstances, but powerful in light of His presence with us through it all.
17. Times of worship - there were blessed people who brought worship to us, and there were times of worship alone in her hospital room. I later realized our room was next to the staff room, and that my singing had likely been overheard. Grateful that I didn't know it at the time!
“Blessed be the Lord for he has shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a beseiged city” Psalm 31:21
What’s on your list of gratitudes today?