Today in Little Rock

by - September 15, 2011

Yesterday wasn't a very enjoyable day. We were anxious, tired and a little overwhelmed. But, today in Little Rock things just seem to be better. Grace. I'm sitting cross legged and sideways in a booth next to my mom. She has her little reading glasses on and every once a while mouths the words she is reading from a book called A Bend In The Road by David Jeremiah detailing his battle with cancer. She is pretty amazing. She has not been telling me how to drive at all. Her mind is elsewhere and I think she is just trusting me with the wheel. I find it strangely unsettling that she's not directing my driving, like the time she told me to take my keys out of the ignition before I got out of the car (she thinks out loud). Be careful what you wish for friends. I'm pausing from writing right now because she wants to read me something from that book that is making her cry good tears...she can read me whatever she wants, whenever she wants.

We are sitting in a lovely section of the cancer institute called The Gathering Place. The Starbucks and gift shop located here closed about an hour ago and the majority of lights have been dimmed. A little old man whom I passed several times walking around yesterday in a Dr.'s coat is now dressed in plain clothes and playing the Steinway Grand piano across the aisle from where we sit. He may have escaped from the psych ward, but he's cute and I like the song he's playing... It's just me, mom and him in here right now. My Dad is behind some big doors where some young person in scrubs walked him away from us to have a series of MRIs done. Do they even realize who they were getting to walk beside? He's got on a new shirt and new slacks a couple of sizes smaller than normal. He's wearing dress shoes. Daddy has always been a sharp dresser. I took a picture of him and sent it to Chris so he could see how our Dad dressed his best even when he feels his worst. Chris texted back "Chemo can't take your cool." Daddy is cool. He has his hot buttons like everyone else, but he doesn't get too ruffled about things, at least not that anyone but mom would ever get to see. He's totally relying on the Lord, that is where he draws his strength. Every morning he reads a devotion to us and we pray together. He is a quiet testimony to a life anchored in faith, head up, taking care of business.

Tomorrow morning we will find out the results from the tests he has been through this week. They do gene mapping here at UAMS, and can determine if dad is a high risk or low risk multiple myeloma patient. I will not pretend to understand how that works. However, those results will aid in developing his treatment plan and will help the doctors determine if they should start chemo immediately, or allow mom and dad to return home and come back soon to begin treatment. Dad has gone two weeks now without chemotherapy to combat the cancer in his body. We want him to start receiving the healing medicine sooner rather than later. We spent part of yesterday and today finding a long term stay option for them, and this morning found a great place that both of them are happy with. Mom said she is not just pleased, she is thrilled. Me too then.

So tomorrow we will check out of our hotel, meet with Dr. Waheed and then either head toward Ponca City, or out to Town Place Suites where breakfast is included everyday, the beds are very comfortable, we like how it is decorated and there is no funny smell. For those of you who know my momma, you know that smells are important considerations. If you have to be away from home, and you have to be recovering from intense chemotherapy, or you have to help your spouse through that...its a great place. If chemo is to begin right away, and mom and dad do stay here in Little Rock, that will mean I will book a flight to Dallas for Sunday. I need that flight to still be open by the time I'm able to book it tomorrow. I've got a Lady Bird lined up to pick me up at DFW and take me to my car that is hopefully still sitting at the train station in downtown Fort Worth. Somehow I will get on the plane and leave my parents here to fight cancer. Thankfully, they are fighters. Thankfully they have a God who loves them more than me and makes a way for them. It is my faith in God's Presence and work in their lives that helps me to fly away from them...but that doesn't mean I won't ugly cry again. Pretty sure I will.

Please keep Dad and Mom in your prayers. God knows their names, but in case you don't...his name is Tim and her name is Glenda.

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  1. Love you! Praying peace over you. This Lady Bird will be there with a hug and to take you to dinner. Jesus loves you and so do I.