Dear Friends and Family,
You are probably just as amazed as we are that the summer is quickly coming to a close and autumn is upon us. Kelli and I are dumbfounded how quickly time has flown since the last CA trip with Amos back in July. It has been a great summer here in England, and our only regret is not posting on the blog a bit more than we have!
Finally, an update.
First things first: Amos and I (Will) have another MRI trip coming up next Saturday. This is one of our “typical” trips: arriving Saturday night in CA, resting Sunday, then doing the MRI on Monday morning with a phone consultation with our neurosurgeon for results. Back Tuesday.
This time we’re also fitting in an eye appointment as usual, as well as an appointment with an endocrinologist. This is essentially a hormone doctor. Amos is on the very low side of the growth spectrum, still a little short and heavy set for his age bracket, so we are going to begin hormone therapy to help kick-start his growth. This kind of treatment is pretty normal for post-chemo kids, especially those who have had radiation in the brain stem like Amos. The trick is to get into a course of therapy that won’t have negative side effects, so it’s something we plan to manage as closely as we can with regular check-ups. Please pray for a safe trip next week and a clear and stable scan!
Remembering the Worst
We have had a lot of fun here this summer, which has been our first in England even though we moved here just over three years ago now. Kelli and I were out at dinner last night (a rare date night!) reflecting that two years ago yesterday Amos was discharged from CHOC after around 11 weeks and many procedures, therapies, etc. etc. You can read about that day here.
Despite all the history recorded on this blog, and etched into our hearts, it is surprisingly easy to forget. Possibly because it is (unsurprisingly) difficult to deliberately remember painful things. So many emotions and frightening experiences linger in our minds and hearts, like spiderwebs in the back of a dark closet: inactive and unoffensive as long as the door stays shut.
We’ve had the privilege of “opening the door” on our memories and trauma over this summer, however, with some dear friends of ours (who are also, as it happens, trained counsellors). Kelli and I recognised about six months ago that the determined, forward-looking attitude we generally maintain (by God’s grace) and which tends to help us carry on can also become a barrier to healthy reflection on all the hard things we have yet to process. So we sought help, and it’s been wonderful simply to have someone to sit with and purposefully remember out loud, cry, laugh, pray, and cry more.
We have barely scratched the surface of it all. A lot of our “California memories” remain much like the photobook we put together from that time and ordered online: still wrapped in the plastic it arrived in, no one particularly interested in looking at it just yet. But with help we’ve begun what I hope is a pattern of processing. Please pray that Kelli and I would have the spiritual fortitude to be able to deliberately remember the worst things that God has faithfully brought us through.
Thankfully, part of the reason it is easy to not look back in reflection is because things feel so normal now. We have had a lot of fun this summer, and here are some highlights, told by picture (click to enlarge):
- That Amos’s vision therapy would help his eye control and movement to improve, as we’ve seen him lose ground in this area over the last few weeks.
- Ability to remember God’s faithfulness in the worst of what we’ve been through.
- Clear and stable MRI next week.
We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 75:1)
Love in Christ,
Will, Kelli, Amos, Lucas, and Samuel