(Note: This blog post contains Laura's thoughts about Christmas in the Granger home.
The biggest prayer in our family for the past few weeks was Luke being home for Christmas. We didn’t have any snow here in Michigan, and no mistletoe in the Granger home, but not even the many presents under the tree could compare with having our family all together in our home to celebrate Christ’s birth. Since this cancer journey has begun in August, Luke has had several unplanned stays in the hospital, for dehydration, fever, low blood counts...you get the idea. As a result, during the month of December, our family has been collectively holding its breath, hoping and praying that Luke would be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
On Monday evening, December 21, I drove Luke to the hospital because he had spiked a fever. He had been so fatigued the past few days before this, we knew his blood counts were probably quite low, so we have to be especially vigilant that his body doesn’t have an infection to fight. Luke was so disappointed, fearing that this hospital stay would overlap with Christmas day, but God answered our fervent prayers. Luke's blood counts bounced back amazingly quickly, and by Wednesday afternoon the doctors were telling us that he would likely be discharged the following morning ( which was Christmas Eve)! We still held our breath a bit, knowing that Luke’s health can change quickly, but by 1:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve Luke was home!
To be honest, I have been upset with God at times throughout this battle for my son’s health. It feels like a nightmare so often. But this week I see God’s hand holding our family. And I am grateful to my Lord. My brother sent a Christmas dinner. Several friends delivered Christmas trees...we had extras! Even Luke's hospital visit brought unexpected blessing. We have had an unusually warm winter so far, which makes our drive to Grand Rapids much easier. When we arrived Luke was given blood and fluids in the hospital, which increased his energy level immensely. Because his lungs sounded “crackly”, the doctors ordered a chest X ray and CT scan of his chest. The tests came up negative for pneumonia...no infection! Better still, both tests revealed significant decrease in the number and size of the tumors which had shown up on previous scans of Luke's lungs. What an amazing Christmas gift, to know that the chemotherapy treatments are having an impact!
Last night, while watching It’s a Wonderful Life, I cried during the last scene (I always do!) when the town came out to do whatever they could for George Bailey because they heard he was in trouble. I was overcome with the similarity to our own life, as I thought of the hundreds of people who have shown up, provided, and prayed for our family in the past 4 months. These are all evidence of God’s care and His presence with our family during this crisis.
We are so grateful, and we cant's stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
Lu & James
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)