Monday, mid morning, it dawned on me that Becks 4th birthday was quickly approaching. His actually birthday was going to be a day he wakes at his fathers house and while I will see him that afternoon, our plans don’t include the excitement of a birthday. So I quickly called a few friends and made plans to swim and celebrate my Beck Wednesday morning…all he requested was a piñata and Spider-Man cupcakes which I was able to pull through for him. 

So Beck was celebrated and that is not a hard thing to do.

Prior to Becks party he was asked to get lab/blood work done locally to check that his counts are as they need to be for chemo on Friday. This is routine and given Becks cancer there is typically little nervousness on my end as I await results. But I feel the weight of raising a child who may or may not survive in waves…some days I forget that within him was something that can and has taken lives. With the exception of his nearly bald head and his lack of growth since beginning treatment, there are few external signs that he is receiving chemotherapy. This mostly is a blessing. Until it’s a sucker punch. 

After Beck completed his bloodwork we ran to Publix for balloons and then to the pool to decorate and the excitement he was feeling was contagious and all was well. Then friends began arriving and the party began and it was well. I left my phone inside and was too busy to worry about lab results…but I couldn’t shake the reminder that Becks labwork was once off and the potential of this happening again made my entire body hurt. It’s not that there are any new concerns or reasons to worrry today as opposed to last time but the waves, they come as they please. 

I got the call from the clinic on the way home….Beck asleep behind me surrounded by his balloons and gifts. The nurse who has Becks results has loved our family well in the 7 years we have been involved in the clinic. She is calm. But the tone of her voice as she began to talk to me had me park the car and listen in fear.

All is well. Becks counts look great for chemo and lack anything of concern. All is well. 

I thanked her and put the car into drive to continue home but didn’t make it far before huge, raw tears and sobs came out of me. The fingers on my left hand went numb as I have found they do with high emotions and my shoulders heaved while i wept with both terror and relief. Becks diagnosis and my personality have left little space for self reflection. But when the wave of remembering come at me I can do little to stand. Yesterday felt both joyful in celebrating Beck and fearful in preparing my heart for something that may or may not happen. The waves moved me all over the place and I felt at their mercy; high and low. Happy and sad. Expectant and overwhelmed. 

Most days I spend time in Gods word with a combination of the Bible and my favorite devotional, New Morning Mercies. As I went to bed last night, I was thinking of a page from the week before that began with “today the true love of your heart will be revealed by what you beleive and what your celebrate” and I was convicted. Not convicted of weeping but of not rounding back to noting the Lords faithfulness to me; even in darker days. Of praying only for Becks cure and not pleading for the Lord to be near me. Of my happiness in seeing Becks friends celebrate him and not trusting that this day is made exactly as the Lord knows will bring me closer to Him. Of experiencing both super highs and super lows of emotions in the same day and not recognizing my need for the steadfastness that God is marked by.  

My heart is clearly pointed by my own whims and desires and today was a beautiful example of this. And even more beautiful is that the Lord is tender in his reminding me and faithful when he forgives. Yes, let me smile when I see my children and yes, let me weep when the need is there but let me also rooted in Christ as Paul exhorts us in Ephesians 3. 


4 thoughts on “Rooted 

  1. Susanna,
    I love your posts. Maybe they will be a book some day. You are such an amazing example for all of us of what a follower of Christ looks like.
    Always praying for you and your family.
    Debbie Stemen


  2. I marvel at your ability to write about your experience with childhood leukemia. What you have to say is important to other families dealing with this and other pediatric cancers. I hope you will continue to write, and I look forward to your June or July entry. Keep up the details, these are important to families. I like your photos of your son; “you don’t have to have a full head of hair in order to smile and hang from the low branch of a tree” – he’s a good-looking kid.
    Thank you also for your Amazon reader’s review of my book: Breaking Little Bones, Triumph and Trauma, The first Cures of Childhood Leukemia. I have quoted you on my website:
    I hope all is still going well.
    G. Bennett Humphrey, MD, PhD, retired professor of pediatric oncology


  3. I miss your blog updates. I hope Beck had a wonderful birthday and is continuing to handle treatment like a rock star. Prayers for your boy and your whole family.


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