Today Josh felt a bit worse than yesterday and still had the same cold. They started giving him shots in his tummy that helps produce white blood cells in his body. Once his body produces white blood cells, his body will first use them up to fight off his cold. Lord willing, in a few more days his white blood counts will eventually go up and he can be released from the hospital. As his white blood count goes up, so does his immunity. While this is a good thing, it also means that he will be at higher risk for GVHD since his body may likely want to fight off his new foreign bone marrow cells.
We had a nice long conversation with Josh’s nurse. He is a bright guy and very humorous. We enjoyed debating our faith in the One true God revealed in the Bible–among other things: the principle of right and wrong and the binary nature of our belief, and whether or not the heart of a man is inherently good. Josh and I went into some apologetic’s with him. By the time I walked into Josh’s room for the day he had already been talking for about 20 minutes and we all went back and forth for at least 20 minutes longer after that. It was a friendly and peaceful debate that was spontaneously started while Fred was on his way out of Josh’s room. That’s the most ironic thing to me because he stood by the door literally about to exit the room… for 40 minutes!
It goes to show how ready we must be anytime to give a defense for the hope that is in us. Please continue to pray not only for Josh and the other patients here but for the wonderful staff here as well. While it can be discouraging when people we care about don’t embrace the life-giving truth. I was reminded what a relief it is to know that regeneration is not up to us. Psalm 139 brings me comfort in knowing that even before a word is on my month, God knew it. During trials like this, I am so thankful for a solid foundation of knowing God is sovereign over even these small details in our life as well as the big events like how many days we live on this earth. Yet, it is still a challenge every day to put that knowledge into practice by living out my faith and love for my Lord without fear or reservations. I too say, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”
Since Josh has been isolated in his room now, he hasn’t really been able to see anyone else on the unit other than the staff that comes into his room plus me. However, a volunteer art teacher was able to bring some canvas cards and color pencils. Josh made a fun uplifting card for the boys. His nurse said that Josh is likely to have this cold for another week and by then it may be time to discharge him. This means: (1) He may be discharged soon! (2) He may be stuck in his room for the next week =/ Despite this, Josh is still thankful. He said he is so glad to have been moved to the room where he is. It’s much more spacious and has a beautiful view overlooking the Willamette River and the city of Portland, OR. Nonetheless, we can pray that Josh would recover from this cold quicker than the medical staff anticipates! Ultimately though, we want whatever it takes to have Josh live many more years with us.
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”
Psalm 139:1-18 (ESV)