9:31 am Just got off the phone with Susan. They are on their way home from UNC. Sophie's spinal tap went well, and her spinal fluid looks "clear," meaning she has not had a relapse. We are all very, very relieved, although still quite uneasy and shaken from the possibility of a relapse. Sophie has been doing so well that we haven't considered that possibility much of a possibility. The fact of the matter is that we simply cannot live in fear and dread of a relapse--after all, we know exactly what treatment is like, and a relapse simply would mean a repeat of the protocol (more or less) with an only slightly lower prognosis. But, the fact of the matter is that you can say that until the cows come home, but do you feel it? Do you live it?
God seems to have an ironic sense of timing, too. All week long, with the uncertainty about Sophie's health, I have been struggling to make other aspects of my life certain (mundane things, like laundry), and finding that unsatisfying. I'm in a covenant group with other new pastors in the North Carolina Conference (a Residency in Ordained Ministry group for those of you who know the lingo), and today is a day that our group has scheduled a fast. Part of the discipline of fasting is to remember how dependent we are on God, who gives us our daily bread, who provides for our every need. This morning, as Sophie and Susan left long before sunrise, I (reluctantly) acknkowledged that I do not have control over this situation. Nothing I can do will give me control over this situation. And I finally came around to remembering what I've learned through all of Sophie's treatment, that no matter what, no matter how difficult, how hopeless, how heartbreaking things may be, we are being carried by God's hands. As I continue my fast today, this will be my focus, my prayer, that God will help me see, help me feel, help me live in God's hands.
Everything went very well at the hospital. Sophie went in with just nitrous oxide, so she didn't need an IV after all. They were worried about her lungs (with the pneumonia), so a breathing tube was a possibility but didn't happen. Dr. Gold recommended that we run the zithromax for a full ten days instead of five on, five off, five on, since Sophie seems to feel pretty crummy still. She has practically no appetite, which is worrisome, especially since she's on steroids--usually she eats us out of house and home.
All in all, good news, but we are still on edge a bit. We're looking forward to tomorrow's pizza party with Make-a-Wish and our trip on Monday. Thanks to everyone for checking in this week and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We have certainly needed them and relied on them, and we will continue to need them and rely on them. Thanks again!