Recently, we shared some details about Danielle, who is undergoing immunotherapy in response to a gene mutation that she inherited from me. This mutation has impacted my health in several ways; kidney and ear deformities, hearing loss, and a rare skin cancer. The mutation makes us susceptible to different cancers (mostly skin) along with a few viral related illnesses. Danielle does not have cancer and she is generally healthy. However, she needs treatments to build her immune system. We are choosing not to share every little detail of her medical journey, simply because Danielle is a 16 year old girl who deserves to have privacy. Also, we are still learning so much about this mutation that we don't want to put out worrisome information until we have a clearer sense of it's impact. At the same time, we want you to celebrate with us when we have a good appointment or understand that we are experiencing pain when we have a scarier appointment.
I don't know how a parent is expected to be joyful when their kid is suffering. I have been reflecting on this a lot lately. However, I do know that in the middle of a storm God gives us sunshine and my friends and family have been shining a lot of light on me lately.
Today we left one of Danielle's appointments with some hopeful news. As soon as we got in the car we saw the most glorious rainbow either of us had ever witnessed. We both stared in awe. I actually had to pull the car over so we could take pictures; it was that beautiful. There are rainbows all around me and I don't want to miss them.
Danielle reminded ME that God was with us and that we had nothing to fear. To hear my 16 year old remind me of this truth was magical. This will now become one of my best memories of motherhood. The only reason I was with her to experience this was because she had another doctor's appointment today.
Tonight, I am feeling lighter. Physically, I am not prepared for Christmas. Even though we bought our tree weeks ago, we still haven't put up the ornaments. I have a few gifts left to purchase and wrap, and I haven't sent out one Christmas card. The pre-lit trees out-front keep falling over and even though my lights are on a timer they don't seem to be working correctly. This has been causing me a lot of stress in the background. But, I finally feel ready to be gentle with myself and acknowledge that my priorities have been straight; I have been putting my family first. I accept that I won't get a gold star for the preparing the perfect Christmas, but I am giving myself a little credit for doing something right.
Spiritually, I have been hanging on. I have been relying on my friends and family a lot. I have been willing to open up to a few people that I trust and I have been praying a lot. But, it wasn't until the moment that my own daughter told me that we were going to be okay, that I was able to let go. It's not her job to comfort me, but the fact that she is in a place to witness God's love brought me so much comfort and joy today.
There are rainbows all around us; especially in dark times, or mundane times, or times when we simply feel like we aren't good enough. Even though the road ahead will require more treatments and we what we have isn't curable, we are not going to miss any of the rainbows along the way.
God bless you,
This will be our last post for the year. We are so excited to resume our blog and Weekly Women's Webcast in 2019. More details to come!