Friday, June 29, 2012

Riverside - more encouragement through people

Madeleine’s Blog

June 29, 2012

So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Isaiah 41:10

Fellow cancer-battling family
Madeleine had a pretty restful night last night (for being in a hospital), and then started the heavy chemo drugs again this morning. The family who we visited with last night (the one with the dad who is fighting leukemia - see adjacent picture from their blog) came by with a wonderful boxed gift that they had put together for Madeleine -- filled with a beautiful journal and other items (including "swim" stickers and more). What a blessing they have been to us already -- they are always asking if they can do anything to help us, and yet here they are fighting their own cancer battle. 

Madeleine during chemo with therapy dog
We also had a visit from a volunteer who does “pet therapy” every week here at the hospital. She brought her specially-trained dog (among other things, these dogs are required to be bathed the morning of their hospital visit), and the dog snuggled right in and fell asleep after a while as Madeleine was petting her. As you many of you know, Madeleine misses her own pets, and is far from home, so this is especially appreciated.

Today, we were blessed to have more nurses who gave spiritual encouragement along with their excellent, caring nursing. Our nurse for the daytime hours encouraged her with many things, among them saying, "I want you to think about how you would never know God as your Healer unless you had the need to be healed. He wants you to know Him as your Healer." Then the evening nurse came and encouraged her similarly saying that this is a good time to get closer to God, and to use the quiet time and the freedom from responsibilities toward that purpose. 

This has definitely been a different visit so far with all the encouragement that we have gotten. The physical challenges of the chemo are definitely there -- tonight Madeleine had a 103+ fever, along with the shakes, and had to have ice packs in her armpits and elsewhere --- but there is more of a spiritual nurturing that is going on as well that is absolutely amazing to watch. There is a richness in the people who are here alongside her (and us), and that richness is spilling over and touching us. 

When she isn't petting dogs, talking with nurses and others, having her vitals checked and more medications added, texting, or walking around with her ever-present IV pole, Madeleine has been passing the time by playing "Words with Friends" with her mom (the joke is that her mom & aunt have to work together, and Madeleine has to be on heavy medication, in order for her mom to win!). Time for bed - thanks for your prayers and messages - we appreciate all of you.


Kristi Aguirre said...

I am so glad we met you. You have a wonderful daughter and she is very blessed to have such a wonderful family. Even though Sal is having to battle cancer himself, our whole family is encouraged by how strong Madeleine is. We hope that you keep in touch and hope for positive results.

Unknown said...

We are pulling for you back in the 'hood! It sounds as though you are in good hands. Stay strong!
Barry and Lucy

Anonymous said...

Hi Madeleine, I hope things are going as well as can be expected. What a wonderful gift (s) of the many people that are supporting you and your mom down there! I would bet that these same people probably feel that you are an inspiration/gift to them as well. Give your mother and the rest of your family my fondest regards.
Jim Haas.