I am regularly asked how Nicholas is doing. I am generally slow to answer. Not because Nick's doing poorly, but because in my mind I struggle with the horrible inequities of life. Nick's finished his latest round of chemo and is amazing. He's not having too much trouble with being sick, or tired, or anything. His counts are too low to be able to go out and do much, but he's in fine form around their apartment. And for that I am grateful. The prognosis is not yet known because there's not been a new bone marrow test to determine whether he will be able to do the transplant soon, but that's coming. And if for some reason he's not yet ready, there will be another round of chemo and more waiting. But Nick still has hope.
Over the last months I have followed the blogs of several little girls, all of them with cancer. Abby is a blessing to her family from Guatemala; Lydia from China. Tuesday's a home-grown blessing. All 3 girls have cancer. And all three are in desperate need of miracles. Abby has ALL just like Nick. You can read about her here. Her family is amazing, and their faith shines through. But Abby's battle is nothing like Nick's. She's been violently ill for quite some time and has had something like 17 hospitalizations since her diagnosis. Every time I see Nick or think of him, I pray for Abby and her family as well. I understand only a tiny portion of what they're going through, but I have seen the hurt and the heartache. So I pray.
Lydia has AML. Her family is praying for a miracle, as her AML is not responding to chemo and there are no other options for them. Her mother is an amazing writer, and you can follow their journey here. The outpouring of love to Lydia's family is overwhelming, and the family displays such tender spirits. Lydia's little brother Max makes me think of my little guys, and it hurts to know he has to learn such hard lessons at an early age. And I pray for Lydia and her family when I pray for Abby.
And then there's Tuesday. Sweet, 2 year old Tuesday. Just a few days ago her family was told that her tumors were aggressive and non-responsive, that there was nothing left to do but make her comfortable. Her mama's post today broke my heart. She talks of nursing Tuesday and her twin Piper when they were babies, and now nursing Tuesday in the same bed in a "gut-wrenchingly different sense of the word." I cannot imagine the pain of watching your child die, of knowing that she may not live out the week. And yet this family is walking that very path. Tuesday and her family have joined my prayer list as well.
So if you ask me about Nicholas and I don't respond right away, it's not because things aren't going well. More likely, it's because I am taking a moment to pray for those 3 little girls. To ask for their miracles. To offer praise for Nick's health, relative as it may be. Those 3 little girls are making sure I keep things in perspective.
These pictures were taken during volleyball season, so probably October 2008, when Nick was here for the first time. They were taken with my cell phone, so the quality's not what it could be. Sorry!
Nick looks so tiny in this picture! He was 6 1/2, Logan (white shirt) had just turned 4, and Ryan was 3. He's little, but not as little as his cousins!