24 Hours to Go

Joseph and his bothers digging
Joseph and his brothers enjoying Spring in the garden

Last Wednesday Joseph went in for a blood test before his infusion of Doxorubicin (or “red devil”). Joseph’s results were amazing – all his numbers were strong and I think his neutrophils were one of his best readings since he was diagnosed. So we were all encouraged going into this week of projected infection and hospitalization.

Joseph was given an anti-nausea medicine before his infusion was started and he spent a good bit of his time during the infusion snacking on pasta. I felt a bit apprehensive to have him snacking while receiving a medicine that has a reputation of making people sick. However, Joseph did well and we did not have any problems Wednesday night. Thursday morning we gave Joseph another dose of anti-nausea medicine and he had a steroid enhanced appetite. Unfortunately after a hearty breakfast Joseph was sick. It did not bother him and he was off playing within a few minutes. The rest of the day went well and he ate well at lunch and dinner.

Starting on Thursday we began to check Joseph’s temperature every 4 hours. We were a bit on edge as he was more emotional than normal (due to steroids) and was telling us about feeling “odd”. Over the next few days Joseph would be sick after a meal every couple of days but he was not having any other serious problems.

Tonight Joseph has just gone to bed in a special bed we built next to ours so that he will sleep better and so we can keep a close eye on him through the night. In the morning we will be 24 hours away from his next infusion and the end of the time during which Joseph was expected to get an infection and be hospitalized. We are amazed to see Joseph managing the side effects of the various drugs in his body so well and at the Lord’s grace being so evident this week.

During the week Joseph walked up to his grandmother with a Bible and said “Nanna, read”. So Marie would read a significant portion of Scripture while Joseph listened attentively. This seemed to give him comfort and it was a behavior he would repeat several times. Watching him do this reminded me of the two things that will last forever, The Word of God and the Souls of Men (and Women). Everything else is temporary.  As much as we would like Joseph to enjoy a full life that is leukemia free, our greatest desire is for Joseph to know Jesus and have everlasting life.  There is a day coming when all the graves will be opened and those who belong to Jesus will experience life the way it was designed to be, endless. Then nothing else will matter, except the Word of God and the Souls of Men (and Women) made perfect in Christ.

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5: 24 -29