Here’s the email I sent out Thursday, December 8th:
Well, it has been a hard day today. I brought Allistaire in this morning for labs at 7:40, met with the doctor at 8:30 and the scheduled bone marrow test at 9:30. Allistaire had her finger poked and blood taken and then we met with the doctor. The labs were not back yet at the beginning of our time with the doctor. She examined Allistaire, asked about how she’s been doing the last few days and I signed some consent forms for samples of Allistaires marrow and blood to be used in needed studies. Then the lab results came in and they were quite disappointing. Everything has gone down closer to the levels of last Saturday, with the exception of the Reticulocyte Production Index which remains at .3. I was so hoping today the numbers would be up. We had to wait nearly 40 minutes past the scheduled time of the procedure. Forty minutes in that little room – it was hard to keep the tears from overwhelming me. The doctor didn’t say much about the numbers other than clearly we need to do the bone marrow test to know what’s going on.
Allistaire sat in my lap on the bed in the procedure room and had a mask held to her face until she fell asleep. I then sat in the adjacent room and waited for them to complete the bone marrow draw. After they were done they simply opened the sliding frosted glass door and wheeled the bed into the room I was in so that I could be with her when she awoke. About 15 minutes later she awoke and was quite upset for the next half hour or so until she fell asleep in the car.
So now we wait until this coming Tuesday, 12/13, to meet with the doctor and get the results.
We wait. We wait and try to figure out how to live life in this realm of the utterly unknown. I think I said it before but it really feels like life is suspended – strangely eerily still. We sit at the crossroads, hoping and praying desperately that we are to turn down the path of health and healing. But it may be that the Lord will take us down the other direction.
When I was young I memorized 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” At that time in my life I applied this verse to the awful acne that was a horror for a teenage girl. Today, December 8th, 2011, my troubles don’t feel momentary, they don’t feel light. In my heart and mind I link this verse to another verse dear to me, Matthew 11:28 – 30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I never cease to be awed and mystified by this verse. Just at the moment when one feels overwhelmed and exhausted by the weight they’re lugging around, Christ offers you and I to put a yoke on our necks. A yoke is a tool of hard labor. What sort of offer is this? How can such an offer provide me with rest? Is not rest the opposite of labor and work? But twice Christ says that He is offering rest. Here is the resplendent beauty – I am being extended the offer, the invitation to be yoked to the God of the Universe! I think about how I offer to let Allistaire or Solveig help me do something challenging, their hand might be touching the box “we” are carrying but it is really my strength that is carrying the box. This is the only way I can say my troubles are “light” and “momentary.” Because I am bound to Christ, the source of my weariness, the heavy burden is in truth being carried by Him. Rest is something the Lord has been teaching me about bit by bit over the past 9 months beginning with our study of Isaiah in Bible Study Fellowship and then in a sermon series on the 10 Commandments in our church and now again in BSF as we study Hebrews. I feel the Lord giving me glimpses of His rest here and there. I don’t truly understand much of it yet, but He has shown me that somehow, the Rest He offers me is a rest that frees me up, unburdens me to be able to work, to act, to walk forward – it is not a static rest. It is a pressing forward against the reins sort of rest that can rest ultimately because Christ completed His “work” on the cross by resting in submission to the Father’s will in the Garden of Gethsemane that night. At the moment of Christ’s greatest work He rested, He constrained Himself to the Father’s will, trusting in His ultimate wisdom, goodness and power. This is the rest I am offered day after day, blood test after blood test.
I’ve attached two pictures of Allistaire while she was waiting to wake up from the bone marrow draw.
PS – Lowell, Sten’s dad looked at these numbers and felt that were just natural fluctuations rather than a downward trend that one might see from day to day. I pray he is right!
Normal 12/1 12/2 12/3 12/6 12/8
Hematocrit 30-40 9.6 17.8 25 24.4 23.5
Platelet Count 200 – 450 137 106 99 104 97
White Blood Cell 5 – 15 2.9 1.9 2.3 2.1 1.9
Neutrophil Over 1000 186 158 77 204 91
Reticulocyte Production Index .5 0 ? ? .3 .3