Friday May 15, 2015
Spinal taps never get easier. There are some things that have gotten easier: holding Theo down while they access his port, sitting in a room at CHOP for 6 hours with little to do, saying goodbye to the other 7 kids as we drive to CHOP (AGAIN), texting Scott as many details as I can because he can’t be there because he needs to go to work, remembering to give Theo the right amount of the right medicine on the right day of the week. However, spinal taps do not get easier.
It’s hard to watch them inject sleepy medicine into Theo’s IV, it’s hard to watch his eyes flutter backwards and struggle to focus, it’s hard to watch the nurse restrain him in case the sleepy medicine doesn’t work, it’s hard to sit in silence as the doctor focuses. I cry every time.
Unlike the other days, today I had the courage to stand up and walk around the table to watch the doctor. It was amazing, her skill in action on my son: her steady hand and perfect aim as she inserted the shunt into his lower back, the clear liquid gold dripping down the shunt into the test tube, the neon colored chemo being injected back into the shunt, the flimsy band aid that held it all together once she was done.
This week has me thinking about how we treat each other as women. At CHOP I am surrounded by superhero women all doing what they do best. Sometimes people will call me a superwoman when they see me in public with 8 kids, all wearing clean clothes, with brushed hair, shoes tied, standing patiently for me to finish talking. They express how inadequate they feel compared to me, normally in the form of a joke. I also meet people who look at me with a darker look in their eye. I can tell they are really thinking that I’m just a walking uterus with no brain, no life goals and no social life.
I wanted to write this week a reminder, maybe for me, maybe for you. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people, to prompt people, to lead them into their sweet spot in life, to inspire them to take one more step toward Godliness. It is not our job as “friends” to tell someone her skirt is too short, that she is 20 pounds overweight, that she should stay home more, that she should get out more, that she should have more children, or that she shouldn’t have had the children she has.
Instead it is our job to love, to laugh, to admonish, to encourage and to be ready to share how the Holy Spirit is working in our own lives.
I promise that if I spend any brain power on you, I will use my brain power to pray that you will walk closer with the Lord and listen carefully to His Holy Spirit. And I would ask you, that if you choose to spend any brain power on me, you would pray that I would walk closer with Him and listen carefully to His Spirit too.
And so begins Phase 5. Fifty-six days long, incrementally increasing doses of Methotrexate and Vincristine every 10 days, with another spinal tap on Day 30.
1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.