Have you ever had something scare you that it makes you hit your knees? And by hit your knees, I mean pray? That moment came to me this past week.
As most of you know, I have a daughter with leukemia. Technically I not sure if it is right to say she still has leukemia since she is in remission and has no signs of cancer cells in her blood, but none the less, she is still being treated for this nasty disease. Over Christmas break she started to develop mouth sores, which we have dealt with before, that seemed to be getting progressively worse. She couldn’t eat her favorite mashed potatoes at Christmas dinner or enjoy the candy that filled her stocking.
Even though she was in pain, she was in good spirits and enjoyed the Christmas activities. By evening on Christmas day, I had taken her in to our local ER. (This is not the hospital we go to for chemo.) I figured it was simply a case of mucositis and we would get some magic mouthwash and things would be all good. I was right on the diagnoses.
Mucositis is the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
The next couple of days were still rough on her. She couldn’t eat and was only sipping water. She also started breaking out with tiny blisters all over her hands and feet. That made me start to think she could have hand, foot and mouth disease. Which seems weird since she is 13. After talking to her oncologist, we took her in to Wesley for some fluids and to have a pediatric doctor check her out. They did some cultures on the sores, gave her some good pain meds and sent her on way.
At this point, I wasn’t really worried about what was going on because her blood counts were good and she wasn’t running any temperature. After a couple days of the pain meds, she seemed to be doing better. She could eat certain foods and was in a great mood. As we were settling in to watch a movie, that is when we both noticed it. The one thing that scares me to the core. Petechiae.
Petechiae are small red or purple spots caused by bleeding into the skin.
When Mallorie was diagnosed back in December 2013, what sent us to the ER was petechiae (Which I thought was some type of rash.) on her legs, ankles and feet. And that is where this petechiae was located. I could see the fear in Mal’s eyes and my heart skipped a beat. But I told her that she had nothing to worry about because her counts were good. Inside I was on the verge of a total break down. I immediately thought the cancer was back.
Early the next morning I spoke with the nurse and she recommended that we go get lab work done to just make sure her counts hadn’t dropped since she was dealing with some type of virus. The cultures she had in the ER weren’t growing anything, so I was totally stumped on what was going on. We went and got labs done that morning and waited for the results. Waiting is the worst.
As I was at home trying to keep myself busy, I started thinking about how I haven’t been praying regularly. We all seem to reach out to God when things suck, but when life is going smooth praying can become an after thought. When Mallorie was first diagnosed, I prayed continually. As she got better, prayer ceased some. I didn’t thank God as much. And now that there was a slight possibility that Mal’s cancer could be back, the first place I run is God.
I am so thankful that God is all loving and full of grace. I felt bad at first for praying because I didn’t want him to think I only need him when life gets rough, but he knows my heart and my love for him is true. My shame was instantly removed. He is amazing. He always hears my prayers, knows my fears and dreams. He never leaves us, it is us who turn from him.
Waiting is the worst.
When we got the results I hit my knees again. There were no cancer cells present and everything still looked good. Heck yeah! I was told that petechiae can be present if there is a virus in the body, which she did. I was so filled with joy and relief.
We never found out what was causing Mal’s skin bumps, but all is well. Her mouth sores are gone and she is eating like a champ. This experience is a reminder to me to pray all the time. In the good and the bad. And to thank God every day for all the blessings he gives to me. I need to hit the ground more often.