I have not shared all of our journey this month publicly. Now it’s time.
Before I start though, please know, this story has a happy ending.
February 22nd, Mattie was admitted for RSV and viral pneumonia. We survived a 12 day hospital stay.
March 6th, we went home.
March 7th, Mattie woke up with a rash from head to toe. Looked like Fifths disease to me. We watched and wait and he got worse.
March 11th, we took a trip to the ER and were sent home. They said it was a virus.
March 12th, we took Mattie to his primary care doctor, who promptly admitted Mattie with full blown sepsis, an infection running through his entire blood stream. He was very sick.
He looked like this….
A few days later like this…
It was terrifying.
We prayed. You prayed.
I sat on a stone, and uttered, “God help,” over and over.
He started to slowly improve.
But things weren’t right. There was no clear answer to why Mattie was so sick. No cultures or blood tests showed any concrete sign of virus or bacteria.
As he recovered, his white blood cells pummeled to nothing. His overall WBC count was .38 (should be 7-10). He had zero neutrophils. And his platelet count was dropping rapidly.
The word “cancer” was thrown around loosely on daily rounds. After pinning the doctor down for a more thorough explanation, we were told it was at the bottom of their list.
Days passed and this past Thursday, they decided to do a ctscan to see if they could see any cause for infection that they hadn’t been able to detect through other means.
The doctor rolled up later in the day. I was alone at the time. He proceeded with serious tone to share with me, and show me, that lymph nodes throughout Mattie’s entire body were enlarged. At the time, because virus and bacteria had no shown up, he told me that they had to consider the possibility of lymphoma or leukemia.
My legs turned to jello and I wanted to throw up. A thousand things rushed through my brain as the blood rushed to my head. I held on to the counter. I texted John, who told me he was on his way down, so I told him nothing. Waiting until he arrived.
John saw my face. I said the words.
The doctor returned and told us that they highly suspected cancer and that it had now moved from the bottom of their list to the top.
Shock. My body responded the same way my heart had.
We shared with our three oldest kids, our immediate family and closest friends. We were surrounded. My dad and my sister flew out to support and help and love.
This past Friday, Mattie had a lymph node biopsy from his neck and a bone marrow sample taken from his hip.
They prepared us that we might have some preliminary results on Saturday, but more than likely, it would be Monday.
In my heart, I clung to what was true. Jesus loves me.
In my mind, I battled fear and doubt.
Good Friday. My Jesus bore it all. Pain, sin, sickness, and disease.
“Let it be on earth as it is in heaven,” a dear friend reminded me to pray.
Saturday, no word… The sample didn’t have enough cells for the preliminary results. We had to wait til Monday for the bone marrow results. Wait til MONDAY?
Sunday, he conquered sin and death.
I wrote “fear of death” on a tiny piece of white paper and nailed it to the cross.
Easter Sunday, how could we not celebrate the resurrection power of our One and Only hope.
For the first time, they lifted the sibling ban due to flu and RSV season and allowed the younger kids to come see their brother. He was overjoyed to see them!
Our boy was weak and sick. He had been running high fevers for a week with no relief. We prayed for mercy. I asked God not to include “cancer” in Mattie’s story. My weak heart vacillated between faith and fear.
Monday came. Nothing, no results.
Mattie was starting to look better and act more like himself.
His WBC went up a tiny bit.
We got a smile and heard the words, “Mattie does NOT have leukemia.”
And then we waited some more.
The lymph node biopsy was not finished.
The kids came with Papa last night. He anointed Mattie with oil that was made and prayed over my my mother.
Today we heard the words,”It is not lymphoma. Mattie does NOT HAVE CANCER!”
On earth as it is in heaven.
Mattie’s WBC count has nearly tripled, and his lymph node biopsy shows that he is indeed fighting and infection. What? We still don’t know.
But our son does NOT have cancer, and he is acting like his handsome, charming, funny self.
So REJOICE with us.
And thank you beyond words for praying, giving, and loving us through, even if you didn’t know the whole story.
It has a happy ending!