I received the “Stay Strong” cross from a wonderful friend and prayer warrior who felt this was a perfect fit for the journey our family is now on.
In January 2014, our beautiful 13-year-old daughter was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In just a few weeks’ time, she went from a mild cough to pneumonia-like symptoms. Prescribed medications were not helping, and she was getting worse. A trip to the ER resulted in the discovery of a large mass on her chest, and subsequent tests revealed leukemia blasts in her bone marrow. Upon hearing the news, my husband and I headed to the hospital chapel. We cried and prayed–and cried and prayed some more. Knowing the whole situation was completely out of our control, we came to the realization that handing it over to God was the right–and only thing to do. From that moment, we were ‘all in,’ placing total trust and faith in the hands of Our Lord and Savior. He would be the one to see Paige–and the rest of our family–through this journey. A wave of indescribable peace washed over me, and I knew without a doubt that God would be in control and provide everything we would need along the way.
Fast forward to September 2015. Paige, now 15, was 20 months into treatment. She was feeling great and was even able to begin her sophomore year of high school with the rest of her friends. The finish line for treatment was in sight–just about 9 months away–when she woke up Labor Day with swelling at the base of her neck. A trip to the ER led to the discovery of a new mass and more leukemia blasts in her blood and bone marrow. The cancer had returned with a vengeance, completely blindsiding everyone–including her doctors.
Paige has now completed 2 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy in an attempt to hit remission once again. We are praying the next test (in a few weeks) will give the results that we (and so many of our prayer warriors) are seeking. A bone marrow transplant comes next–it is necessary since she relapsed while still on treatment. Sooooo…my girl is now in the midst of her second battle with the monster known as childhood cancer. Our family continues to stay strong and stand firm on our faith in The Great Physician. God had her in the palm of His hand the first time around, and I have no doubt He has her again.