We got some answers in several areas yesterday afternoon. Good answers. The answers we were praying for.
So why did I sense such a shadow over this wonderful, hoped-for news?
Why did I delay sharing this with everyone? Shouldn’t I have been shouting these blessings from the rooftops?
In the midst of the kids’ clothes-switchout frenzy and a neurosurgery appointment for one of our six-year-olds, I tried to examine this throughout the afternoon yesterday. This shadow — was it the lack of sleep? the many other areas of stress pressing on our life right now as we prepare for the move? maybe I didn’t really believe the report?
Gradually, I realized that it was due to my feelings of something that resembled guilt.
Scott’s MRI report came back showing no signs of malignancy in his liver. We are still a little confused about what those spots are and why they are there and what they mean for his future. And we’ll be seeing a doctor at the Ohio Gastroenterology and Liver Institute on March 17 to discuss some of these things. But we are being assured that the MRI has ruled out any possibility of cancer in that part of Scott’s body. This is marvelous news, and we celebrated with our very relieved children until very late last night.
But why us?
We have one friend who is in her final stages of a three-plus year battle with this hated power called CANCER; she will be gone from this world soon.
Other friends have fought and beaten it, but hold their breath for each re-check to make sure it’s really and truly conquered.
Some have fought, beaten it, and are now mustering the energy to enter battle again. Because they didn’t get the good news we got yesterday afternoon.
The tears fall one more time for these friends as I type this update. I want them to get happy news, too.
And that’s not all. The good news just kept coming all day.
The author of the book that launched our research into Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) — a man who has been holding our hand the whole time we’ve been trying to navigate these unfamiliar waters — called us yesterday to check in on us and to tell us that he has a friend who has asked to financially help out specifically with food needs during our family’s time in Knoxville. And he also wanted to share the news that the $2600 gel spacer (not covered by any insurance companies, but used to protect surrounding, healthy tissues from radiation during Scott’s treatment) is being donated to Scott by the manufacturer!
And there’s more. We got word from Provision Center for Proton Therapy yesterday that they have managed to convince our insurance company to not only cover Scott’s treatment, but to cover it as in-network because PBT is not available here in Ohio yet. This reduces our out-of-pocket costs for Scott’s treatment from a whopping $90,000 to about $5,000! (She did warn us that insurance companies frequently renege on these things when it comes right down to paying, but we are choosing not to worry about that for now.)
And still more. Donations have continued coming in. As I mentioned in our last post, our son-in-law has created a GoFundMe page, but we haven’t officially launched that yet because we were waiting for final numbers to get a better idea about how much we would need for all of this — the moving expenses, the treatment, medical bills accumulating here on this end, etc.
As of yesterday, we believe we are 100% totally funded for this entire journey. Can you believe that?! We won’t even need to launch that GoFundMe page now!
Unless the insurance company doesn’t come through, we have all that we will need to cover all of the expenses involved in moving the family to Knoxville, caring for all of us there (including the steps we had to take to provide Internet while are there), pay for Scott’s medical bills here in Ohio, and cover our costs for his treatment in Knoxville!
We still almost can’t believe this could be true! It all was just handed to us from God’s loving hands through those of so many people who have showered us with love.
“Far more than we understand, does God strengthen and bless us through human love. He hides himself in the lives of those who touch us with their affection. He looks into our eyes through human eyes, and speaks into our ears through human lips. He gives power to us in our faintness, and hope in our discouragement. The highest and greatest of all the comings of God to men was in a human life, when the Son of God tabernacled in the flesh. And ever since, God is coming to us in other human lives.” ~ J. R. Miller (1840-1912)
I don’t have answers. I do believe in the sovereignty of an all-loving, all-powerful God.
I believe the words of the wise Mr. Winslow: “The moment tried and sifted faith disentangles itself of ‘second causes’, and rests in God, that moment the bitter and unlovely bulb bursts into the sweet and beauteous flower, laden with the dew and bathed in the sunshine of heaven!”
But it hurts. A lot.
“When we are assured that nothing which is appointed by our Father can come to us wrongly, our cup of suffering becomes a cup of love!” ~ John MacDuff (1818-1895)
“. . . nothing which is appointed by our Father can come to us wrongly. . .”
I know that we have to choose to believe that this is just as true concerning the happy pieces of news we get as it is with the dark, sad, and confusing things.
And we truly are so thankful to God, to friends, to strangers, for the love and sunshine being showered down on us.
But I will remain on my knees for so many others out there still waiting for answers to prayer and trying, just like us, to learn how to trust God when the answers He sends aren’t the answers hoped for.
My tears will continue to fall on their behalf. And I will ask God to show us more ways to come alongside and stand with them in the rain that’s falling into their lives.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15