Sunday, October 2, 2011


On July 20, we were given Josh's official diagnoses of AML. We had already suspected the diagnosis was not good. Dr. Sharp confirmed our worst fears. He did, however, assure us that Josh's prognosis was good as long as we sought treatment right away. One of the things he repeated, several times, was that his treatment would not be quick and easy. He said treating this disease is a "marathon, not a sprint". Our minds spun. We could never have gotten a grasp, back then, of what that meant. The funny thing is, that was just two and a half months ago, though it seems like a life-time.

So many things have changed; what we never even considered three months ago, has become routine to us. We pack up our family and basically live somewhere else for several weeks out of each month. We have learned all new routines and a whole new set of people. We have negotiated with doctors, cried with other parents, depended on dear family and friends and clung to our God with a fervor we never thought possible.

Sometimes we see a weariness in Josh's eyes that scares us. While this is hard on all of us, it is, of course, hardest on him. We worry about how much more of this his body can take. He has many bad days, but then, he has great days that make the bad days a little less painful. We have seen him grow tremendously through this journey. He has matured before our eyes. He is seeing the Lord in a new and powerful way. He is looking at life... and death, in a whole new way. 

We cling to the words sweet Miss Betty McCallister says often, "We know not what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!" As we run this marathon, we know we still have a long way to go. We struggle some days to keep our eyes on the Author and Finisher; other days we can almost feel His physical presence. We know He is refining us all. We know, now more than ever, of His goodness and power.

Lord, please help us to finish this marathon well by keeping our eyes on you. Help us to get back up when we stumble. Thank you for those who run along side us, they make our load lighter. We could not survive without them. Thank you for giving us a hope for the future.

After a grueling drive to Houston, the Lord provided us with great tickets an Astro's game.  Some amazing people donated them to the Ronald Mc Donald House.

Sarah, enjoying the view from our awesome seating area at the Astro game.

Josh is VERY entertaining to the surgical staff just before he gets another bone marrow biopsy. The man with the bow tie is Dr. Reiting who will do the procedure.

This is Ian, he is a resident artist at MDA. He works with the kids on different art projects. He and Josh are standing in front of his latest creation. He had kids from the Pediatrics floor make leaves and other decorations and then he put it all together. He is a great guy. He is helping Josh hone his drawing skills.

Notice the nice shoes Josh and I are wearing. We clearly have given up style for comfort:)


amy wright said...

Ilene, thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement, all the while your family is battling some big stuff.
We've been praying for your family since the day in July Dr. Turner told us about Josh.
You may have read on my blog, but the verse that has helped in the ups and downs of our adoption process is Exodus 14:14 -"The Lord will fight for you; you need to only be still." That is my prayer for you. That you and your family can rest in God's peace as he battles those things which are out of your control.
Now that I see you are blogging again, I'm going to be able to keep up and pray specifically! Love you.

Becky Dietz said...

Isn't it amazing who God puts in your path? God bless the people who donate tickets, teach art, etc. to those who are dealing with such tough stuff. I'm praying Josh is healed for God's glory--and praising Him for all He's teaching Josh through the process. And I'm praying all of you stay encouraged and that God renews your strength. Blessings!

Sheree Castonguay said...

I ran across your comment on Randy Gwaltney's blog and wasn't sure if this was the Waltons we knew...sure enough it was and I know it wasn't an "accident" that I saw your blog. I will be praying for your family and I am so sorry to hear about Josh. Our family will be uplifting you all in prayer.
Take care,
Sheree Castonguay

Becky Dietz said...

Ilene, God brought you to mind tonight and just wanted you to know that I'm asking God to fill your heart with hope.

Dani Patag said...

Ilene, Susan Porter contacted me to let me know what is happening with Josh. You are in our prayers, and I will be asking for prayer at the staff meeting at AVC in the morning. Blessings and love to all of you.
Dani Patag