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When Peyton was diagnosed, our greatest emotion was fear. Fear of the unknown, the uncertainty, the “what if” of it all. We were afraid of the cancer, the treatment, the outcome, the dangers, and the possibilities.

Fear is something that we’ve learned to live with. Both great and small, the fears that we have dealt with have become a part of our day-to-day existence.

We feared her pain and suffering as we saw her first port access, as she laid in the hospital agonized from surgery and the effects of the cancer on her little body.

As soon as she was in remission it became fear of relapse.

When she was so down from the chemo it was fear of what the medications could do to her body.

Fear of the changes of her appearance.

Straight out terror during the steroid days….but that was more for our safety than for her.

Laying in bed with her at night, just staring at her perfect little face, touching her soft cheeks, fearing what would happen to my soul if she was taken from me.

Watching them radiate her head, it was fear of long-term effects.

Seeing her grow that hair back, embracing life, it’s the fear that her future will always have a little cloud hanging over it that we can’t do anything about.

Fear that our lives will never be “normal” again.

Some of these fears have become reality for our dear friends the Gliddons. When I say that he relapsed, it seems such an inconsequential way to describe what’s happening. When we were diagnosed the fear was so great because we didn’t understand what was happening. I can only imagine that knowing what lies ahead, it’s even more overwhelming for Mat and Karen.

Their child has fought for so long, the end of treatment was in sight…now they start all over again. Instead of the doctors walking in and confidently say “we know what to do”, they are standing there with no answers, no assurances. They have been through years of toxic medications, painful procedures, harmful radiation, the tears, anger and bitterness of a sweet boy who should be carefree and happy.

The fear that it will never be over, that when it is, the end result will not be what has been prayed and hoped for.

My heart hurts for Mat and Karen in a way that is indescribable. I guess because I understand what those fears feel like, because I live with them too. My fear for Peyton becomes more real in thinking about Mathew, because if their child can relapse during treatment, what’s to say that mine can’t as well.

When I got off the phone with Karen, I started talking and hearing from our friends. The troops were rallying. All afternoon we sat with Mat and Karen, we talked and laughed and discussed what can’t be known yet. We shared what we could of their pain, we tried to help carry the weight of that burden for a short time, we wanted to surround them with love and support, because knowing that you’re not alone is priceless. I just wanted them to know that each step of this battle, we are part of the army behind them.

Can I just tell you how phenomenal these women are, they dropped everything to run to the side of their friends, to comfort and console. I love each one, I respect every one, I am in awe of them.

So, tonight my prayers are for the Gliddons, for their comfort and faith…for each child struggling to defeat their disease…for each parent who lies awake in fear for that child…for God to reach out during these times and show us the vastness of His power and the strength of His love.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9-10

f.r.o.G…fully relying on God

**Please take a second and leave a word of support and prayer for Mathew on their Caring Bridge site.

That’s Mathew on the left with Karen and his little brother Andrew

4 Comments on “Wednesday”

  1. #1 Tammy Nettina
    on Nov 28th, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    I am sorry about your Matthew relapsing. Although I do not KNOW what they are going through, it is still very painful for me, as a mom, to think about this little boy and all that he must go through; all that his parents must go through. It isn't right and it makes me feel so sad. I will add them to my prayers.

  2. #2 Lisa Deal
    on Nov 28th, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    I was so struck to hear about Matthew today that I just stopped and said a prayer. Not just for Matthew's recovery, but for his family that I come to adore to have strength during this hard time. I hope the family knows that we are there for them, even some of us that have lost, we still pray for the miracles of cures and know that they can happen every day. Karen and family know that you are in my heart tonight and in prayers. Thank you Anissa for saying it so wonderful in your words on this page. You are a good friend and have been very helpful to me in my time of need and I think you for that.

    Love Always…
    Lisa Deal
    Mommy of Angel Hannah Deal

  3. #3 Anon
    on Nov 29th, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Just wanted to share something I always hold close to me.
    "Fear and faith cannot co-exist" Let go, and let God. xoxo

  4. #4 Alayna
    on Nov 29th, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Hey Anissa,

    Just wanted you to know I visited Mathew's site and signed his book. My heart hurts for this family, and for the fear that we all experience. You put it into words eloquently. And as for fear and faith not co-existing, the verse that has meant mountains to me is the one in Mark where the father is asking Jesus to heal his daughter and he says, "I believe. Help my unbelief." That's honesty – just as you were honest. We all say we believe and we do, but we desperately want that fear to go away, and just believing doesn't make that fear go away. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will take care of me & my family and never leave me or forsake me, but that doesn't stop me from being afraid that Joey will die. I know if he did die (or any of my kids or my husband either for that matter) that God would walk me through it, but I certainly don't want to walk that path. Okay, enough with the self-analysis. Just know I am praying for Mathew and your family and all of us. I hate that I have added one more cancer kid to my list – there's too many, and it sucks!

    Hang in there,