88 Years Apart


Highlight: Joseph’s 90 year old Great Grand Mother (Marie’s mother) died this week.

Highlight: Joseph’s neutrophils were still low so he continues on half dose oral chemo.

Prayer Request: Monday  03 Feb 2014, Joseph will have another lumbar puncture to receive chemotherapy of his spine. This will require fasting during the day before the procedure. Please pray for grace for his time of fasting, effectiveness of the procedure, and safety.

Joseph went in last week to have his blood checked and to receive his IV chemo called vincristine. Vincristine is derived from the periwinkle, so one could be fooled into thinking it must be a rather mild drug. However, when the nurse administers it she must wear gauntlets (long rubber gloves that come well up the arm), apron, and eye protective splash guards. All of this is because even a tiny amount of this clear liquid will almost instantly destroy any living cells it comes in contact with.  Once injected into Joseph’s IV line it quickly passes through the heart and is dispersed throughout the body. It fights Leukemia by making it impossible for cells that are dividing to have the internal structure needed for them to survive. It is certainly not something that you would think about injecting into your child and of course can have a number of serious side effects. So each time he receives this I am reminded again of his need of God’s grace.

Joseph continues to do well at home and has been very active with his brothers. It was ironic that on the day that I wrote about Joseph sleeping better, he woke up three times that night needing comfort. However, he is still resting better that he was a few weeks ago.

This week results from Joseph’s blood test showed that his neutrophils are still low and that places him at risk of infection. So again his daily oral chemo has been cut back to a half dose to allow his bone marrow to recover.

This past week Joseph’s great grand mother, ‘Granny’, died at age 90. She had successfully raised a large family, enjoyed excellent health and had a keen mind. However, her health had taken a significant decline about the time that Joseph was diagnosed with Leukemia. It seemed that her health continued to go down as Joseph’s health improved. We feel blessed that Joseph and his brothers had the opportunity to know their great grandmother and experience her love.

One thing that struck me about Granny’s death was the pain and sadness that we experienced. The pain was due to the rending of the bonds of relationship and love. Granny was woven into our lives and now she has been torn away and we feel pain.

However, there is another reason that death and disease cause pain and sorrow. That is because it’s NOT supposed to be this way. While the naturalistic view of the world sees death as the driving force in the development and adaptation of life, our instincts tell us differently. While certainly normal, as death is universally common, it is not natural. We were made to live forever, and our inner most being knows this, which is why we loath and fear death so much. It is the great destructive fracture in creation, caused by the hammer blow of sin.

We often don’t think of our individual sins as being very significant but if we see each one as something able to break the universe or lead to the death of billions of people we see why sin is such a big deal to God. Sin is much more significant than nuclear weapons.

So why does God not just get rid of death? He could, but it would mean getting rid of all sin and that would require getting rid of all sinners – that would include you and me as well as every other person on the planet. It is because of God’s great love for us that He allows death and disease to continue, for it provides time for those who have not come