Today was Port Day.
We were afraid it wouldn’t happen. The fever I mentioned yesterday spiked again overnight. But M texted several friends, they prayed, the fever responded to ibuprofen, and all went as planned. Now Eliza has a fabulous new accessory. Need to give her some IV fluids? Put that needle away! To the port! What’s that? You need to draw some blood? Noooo problem! Port! Amazing.
Then we had the long conversation we’d been dreading: potential side effects, and how to care for a baby undergoing chemotherapy. For the next few months, E can’t go anywhere where people gather in large groups. So, church.
I think E’s missed one or two Sundays at church in her (thus far short) life. I’m super busy after worship, setting up meetings, saying hello to people, helping tear down, and one of my favorite things is to look up every few minutes and see Eliza with somebody new: Janka. Rachel. Christina. Laura. So many people who love her. That won’t be part of her life for a while.
That’s just one little thing, but it struck a nerve. Our family won’t be all together at church for several months. We’ll also have to watch her temperature carefully. If she gets a cold it’s a big deal. There are meds to help with vomiting and nausea, but hearing loss is a concern. And this is all for a drug that’s “usually very well tolerated.”
We knew all this was coming, but it definitely feels more real today. And Eliza was feeling pretty puny and clingy, which was hard to see. At the same time, we feel so confident that God is with us. It’s hard to explain, except that he is good and he gives us the grace we need for each day. I thought today of this verse:
His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
This flood is overwhelming, but Jesus is supporting us. By sending his Spirit to give us faith, by moving his people to pray and serve us, by giving Eliza kind and competent doctors and nurses.
The second half of the day was more life-giving. Melissa had a great dinner and visit with Betsy and Jessica. The boys and I watched a movie and ate jambalaya Junior brought yesterday. After they went to bed Andrej and Laura, a couple I married 2 weeks ago, came over for Laura to cut my hair. (She’s a professional.) And all the time we were getting texts and emails from people in Prague and in the States brainstorming ways to help. We are so loved it’s almost embarrassing.
So today was Port Day, and tomorrow is Round 1 of chemo. It’ll be a 7-hour drip through the day, followed by 24 hours of IV fluids and close watching. Then we hope she’ll be home Monday to recover until the next round, 2 weeks from now.
It’s time to start praying mostly for Eliza’s perseverance through chemo. Here are details.
- Pray for nausea and vomiting to be minimal, and for E to respond well to the drugs they give for that.
- Pray for her kidneys to hold up and function properly.
- Pray for her white blood cell count to stay high, and her immune system to be strong.
- Pray for no hearing loss.
- Pray that all 5 of us will be healthy and that E won’t pick up any infections from outside.
- Pray for protection from falls or bumps (ahem, brothers) or anything that could injure her abdomen.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.