Dr. Joe Dispenza suggests we go through life more out of reflex than intentionally deciding each moment. We make a decision that sets up what we will continue to do day in and day out for years, without ever thinking twice.
Then something happens to wake us from that slumber, to make us realize what is actually happening around us. It feels like that has happened for our family several times in the last several years, and I want to share that experience with you and how to deal with it.
The Day the News was Delivered
For us, there are two days that stand out in my mind. First, was the day in the car we received the call with the results of the genetic screening for our third child. My wife wanted to get that test not because she wanted to know if we were having another boy, or if she would finally get to dress up a little girl.
The call surprised us, finding out that our little boy would have Down Syndrome. That was scary while she was pregnant, being told he likely would not survive the pregnancy and would have many problems if he did.
The second stands out even more, in part because it just happened this month. We took our son to the Children’s Hospital emergency department for what we thought was a headache. While the doc was nearly positive it was just a migraine, he decided to do a CT scan just in case. What he found were a hemorrhage and a tumor.
What we thought would be a late-night trip to the ER turned out to be a 10-day stay which included brain surgery. This was just the start of a journey, and one with lots of lessons.
The Immediate Response
Whenever you get news like this, the first thing that happens is you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut. You have fear that is more real than anything else you have ever experienced. The fear is so intense you cannot help but break down.
The fear is replaced with adrenaline as you switch into functional mode trying to make decisions quickly as new information is presented. Eventually, this adrenaline wears off, and you are left with fear, and an incredible sense of loss.
For us, we had spent the last several years working on making better decisions for our health. We worked on cleaning up our diet, on getting rid of toxic chemicals from our home, and feeding our bodies nutrition to keep it healthy.
So when we got the news our son had cancer, defeated is an understatement of what I felt. Why go through all of that just to have these medical problems still come to haunt us? Does it really matter then what we do?
Yes, it still matters, and yes, it was still worth it. The reality is we live in a world that we cannot completely control. Even when we do things as “healthy” as possible, we may not be able to avoid getting sick or possible severe diseases. However, there is so much more risk when we just ignore health altogether.
The Hope In The Storm
That is why there is still hope because I have learned how to better support my children. Yes, my son has a rare genetic mutation that makes him susceptible to cancer both now and for the rest of his life.
However, what I have been able to learn, and the research I have looked at gives me hope for him. With the right support, we can help him reduce the risk of future disease. Can I remove all risk? Not even close; but I can give him a fighting chance.
Why do I have hope through this, given the statistical probability of his genetic condition? Simply put, my hope comes from faith. I have faith in our Creator, that He truly loves us and desires the best for us. I also have hope because He has given us all that we need through His creation. He has also blessed us with an abundant amount of information and wisdom, both our own, but also those who are much more educated than we are.
The real question is what am I going to choose to put my faith in? It takes just as much faith to believe the statistics as it does to trust God and listen to His prompts.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I believe what scripture tells us in Romans 8:28: “And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Unpacking that single verse is a whole discussion on its own.
What it means in this context is that I believe that He has given our family these experiences for a reason. He has grown a desire within my bones to speak and help others learn how to advocate for their families in a system that does not lend itself to accepting advocacy.
I would love for you to continue following this blog to get the advice and support for your own journey. In the end, remember that you are not alone on your journey. There are many who have traveled this road before you, and are traveling it even now, whether you can see them or not. God would not have given you a special child if He had not uniquely equipped you for the job. Take a deep breath, reach out when you get overwhelmed, and know that you are up to this journey!