Last Week of Delayed Intensification

chemo at home
Joseph receiving cytarabine at home
Archeological dig with brothers
Archeological dig w/ brothers
After the BIG DIG
After the BIG DIG

Highlight: This morning Joseph received his last IV chemo treatment of this intense block. He has been active and fever-free.

Prayer request: Praise God for his mercy and kindness to Joseph during the past eight weeks of Delayed Intensification.

After all the chemical warfare on Joseph last week, we were looking forward to a quiet Easter. However, all the other boys came down with really bad colds – sore throats, sneezing and coughing. On Friday we took the older boys to the doctor to make sure that they did not have bacterial infections (which would be very dangerous for Joseph). That night the older boys had a fever and we were just waiting to see what would happen to Joseph.

Try as we might to keep them separated, it seemed that every time we turned around someone had sneezed or coughed on Joseph. By Tuesday the other boys were on the mend and Joseph had a bit of a cough, but nothing like his brothers had the week before. When I took Joseph in for his blood test on Wednesday his neutrophils were high enough to continue treatment.

Today is Saturday and Joseph had another blood test on Friday just to make sure that he is in good condition. His results were as good or better than Wednesday! He still has a rough sounding cough but no fever and has just received his last IV Chemo treatment of this treatment block.

While treatment has continued Joseph has been very active with his brothers in many learning activities. One of those was an “archeological dig” in the garden for “artifacts”. These artifacts included a golf ball, a broken wireless router, a power cable, Duplo blocks,  an old scarf, old ear phones and a toy frying pan. After the “big dig” the boys tried to reconstruct the civilization that would have produced these things and explain why they were found together. It was great fun, especially the theories of what each thing was used for and why people would have them!

The boys facing the mystery of their “archeological dig” and our facing the mystery of Joseph’s leukemia reminds me of the confusion and mystery that surrounded the death and then resurrection of Jesus. The followers of Jesus were stunned that Jesus could be arrested, beaten and then brutally murdered. After all, he was GOD. How could this happen? How confusing it must have been for the demons who were rejoicing to see Jesus rejected and suffer at the hands of His creation, but then to also be rejected and stricken by God the Father. Why would God the Father pour wrath on Jesus that far exceeded all that man and demons could do?

Then, when Jesus rose from the dead it caused as much confusion as his death. How could someone really come back from the dead? Why was he making his followers into teachers and servants rather than generals with armies? The angels had to be surprised that Jesus had eternally bound himself to a human resurrection body. And, even more mysteriously, that God was going to fully forgive sinful human beings and make it impossible for them to ever fall into sin for all eternity. This was not being done for angels.

Yes, Jesus was everything that had been prophesied about the Savior and yet he was nothing like what people, angels or demons had ever expected. The same is true today. Jesus is not a character in an ancient religious narrative.  He is Creator and Lord. Jesus is also living, real and personal. So we don