Sunday, January 26, 2014


I knew. 

There may be some reading this with doubts, but I knew Jace had #leukemia before the doctors and the blood test confirmed it. The weeks and months leading up to January 26, 2013 were a time for God to prepare my heart, mind, and faith. I had A LOT of "talks" with God and somehow I just knew cancer would change our lives. I did the bargain prayer. I did the questioning: We've been through this, and this, and this, but do we really have to do this now, too?

My conversations with God would read something like a Francine River's novel. 

I knew something in our lives would change. I just didn't know exactly what. 

10:20 pm the night of Jan 26th: I knew we had to get him to the dr immediately. I knew I would have to wake him from his sound sleep. In my core, I knew we didn't have a lot of time. As we drove the tollway to Children's Hospital in Plano, I reviewed the last few hours. 

"Jason, I know you will think I'm crazy, but I'm certain Jace has leukemia." 

"Take him to Children's immediately. Do not wait." Every medically qualified person we talked to or texted from 8 pm - 10 pm told us this after we explained his symptoms. 

As I texted 5 people, praying someone was awake to come stay with our girls (Thank you, Shelsea), I was also packing and instructing Jason to pack for all of us for at least a week. 

I wish now I'd been more sympathetic to his confused look when I told him that. There wasn't time, though, and even my head was spinning out of control at what our life would look like now. 

"He has these bruises here and the spots on his face and in his mouth that have worsened since we left our house."

It took about 1 second for us to get ushered back for the nurse to weigh Jace and check his temperature and than only about 1 more second to get us to a room and then maybe 2 seconds for the ER doctor to come. 

If you've ever visited the emergency room, you know that's not how things usually roll. 

As the doctor checked him and we held him down screaming and crying to take his blood, I knew. 

When the doctor came back in and said.......

Well,  you know what he said. Even the nurse was crying FOR us through her apology. I felt so bad for her. 

Jason dropped to his knees. 

[from Jason: "It was the scariest moment of my life. Through everything I've experienced nothing has even come close to what I felt that night. Your whole world comes crashing down. Everything you prayed for, you realize it could be taken away in an instant. Fear set in, but faith overcame. I'm so thankful for everyone who was there for us in the instant our lives changed."]

Through my tears, I nodded my head and said, "Now what?" 

The wee hours of the morning after that are not a blur. I can tell you pretty much every detail. 

I remember Jace crying as they strapped him down again, this time to the bed in order to be transported by the ambulance to Dallas Children's. 

I remember the faces of the ambulance drivers. I remember just as we loaded up, the oncology doctor ran to me and with tears and smiles said, "I'm 99% sure it's A.L.L."

Jason needed gas in the car, yet also needed desperately to follow the ambulance. I hated that we were all separated from each other. The first of many, many times. 

In the ambulance ride, from my phone I worked ravenously to set up his Caring Bridge. I knew when the sun came up, we would be overwhelmed with love, prayers and messages. 

I remember every person who dropped their Sunday plans to be by our side. I remember having to sit with the girls and tell them "Jace has leukemia." I remember planning every detail of that moment for them so they knew they were supported and loved and would be taken care of no matter what our days brought. 

In the ICU room we were assigned, we were overwhelmed by a zillion doctors asking us to repeat how we got there. 

It was also in that room after a group of men came early that morning that I saw with my own eyes the power of prayer. Hours after their visit, Jace's counts started leveling off so that he was able to leave the ICU AND the Dallas hospital and have his port surgery and treatment in Plano. This was the first of MANY answered prayers. 

We were in Dallas only 7 hours. They expected him to be there much longer. 

God is good. Every time in my life that felt like He wasn't, He proved to me that if I only trust in Him, all will be ok. ALL of that stuff I'd experienced before was only proof of why I should trust Him in all things. He never failed me, never left me. 

I knew this was no different. I knew that Jace was just as precious to Him as he was to me. 

The only control we have over anything in this life is over our attitude, our faith, and our love. 

Many days and many nights our only survival was our faith. 

Today, we know we will never be as we were before January 2013. We won't respond to people or situations the way we did before. We won't waste time worrying or fretting over what could happen. We won't take any day for granted. 

We will love abundantly. 
We are thankful in all things. 
We are thankful for 2013 and all it brought into our lives: good and bad. 
We will savor these precious moments in time with our family. 
We choose to focus on helping others who are where we've been.
We choose faith over fear. 

We know that is the only way to live. 


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