Tyler - 17 year old fighting cancer!

Tyler - 17 year old fighting cancer!
Ready for Battle!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good News and Devasting News

I've opened up this page multiple times today and can't find the words to put down. Usually it's not so difficult for me, but today I'm actually nervous as I type. It's hard to share the tough news. I tried to be cautious about the good news along the way because my heart continued to tell me that this cancer was going to rear its ugly head again. And it has.

I'm going to start with some news from the weekend that I'm rejoicing in. I'm sure you can tell from my posts that I believe Jesus is the only way, the truth and the life. So, one of my prayers throughout this crazy time was that Tyler would come to know his Savior, Jesus Christ through this. I've been praying fervently that God would allow him enough time to come to know Him. That God would reveal Himself to Tyler in the midst of the sedation. I had felt a real urgency during the first few weeks, along with some of the other Christians in my family, to share the gospel with him, even in the state he's in. We, as well as many chaplains and visiting pastors, spent hours in his room praying, proclaiming the Word over him, talking to him about Jesus and sharing the gospel with others that were at his bedside. Tyler was completely sedated and there was no way of knowing what was breaking through. For the last couple of weeks, though, we had all felt a peace. We weren't able to figure out why that urgency went away, but that peace was something we knew was coming from God.

While in his room this weekend I was able to have a real conversation with him for the first time in about 50 days. I asked if he believed in God. He nodded yes. I asked if he believed in heaven and hell and he nodded yes. I asked if he knew where he would go if he died and he mouthed heaven. I'll pause here and say that this is a question that I've asked a lot of people. Most will tell you they are going to heaven, and most will tell you because they are a good person or they are kind to others or that God is loving. So, then I asked him why he said heaven and to my astonishment he mouthed "His forgiveness". I followed up by asking what He forgives us from and he mouthed "my sin". So I continued down the path of asking if he had ever lied, stolen anything, disobeyed his parents. He answered yes to many of the questions and I explained that even these small things are sin and we cannot stand before a Holy God as a sinner.  I started to talk through what Jesus had done...before I even said it he mouthed "He paid my fine for me"! When I asked if he has asked for this forgiveness and believed that Jesus was the only way, he nodded yes! Praise God! That is exactly it! There is nothing we can do to earn this salvation. It can only be a gift from God that Jesus paid this fine for us! I love how God works! I love that he broke through that sedation. I love hearing Tyler make a profession of faith in what Jesus did for him.

While I can rejoice in this fact, I am still devastated and heartbroken when I hear news like we had this morning. Today we were told that they will no longer do chemo. It is not shrinking the tumor the way they had hoped it would. The tumor has wrapped itself around very delicate and important areas of his body. At this point chemo is risky. After this holiday weekend, they want to have him moved or bring a specialist in that will consider other options and possibly surgically remove the tumor.  It takes time to process patients and get them to a new hospital, so they are starting that process now because it can't wait. Other hospitals now have the choice of taking him as a patient because he is already being cared for at another hospital. We need a hospital that is willing to perform a very risky surgery on a very rare cancer (on a boy we love very much!). The doctors won't even comment on what his chances are. Any time we ask, they respond with things like "this is a rare cancer" or "this is a very risky surgery". Heartbroken is such an understatement!

I have been seeing God's grace and kindness and mercy over Tyler. I believe it is a miracle that he is still with us and has been healing from the infection in his stomach. I believe in the power of prayer! I believe this kid is a fighter! I believe that these doctors and surgeons are amazing and knowledgeable. As I said the other day, we will continue to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and praying without ceasing for Tyler. Please continue to join us in that prayer! 

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