Monday, January 28, 2013

Lesson 9 - Learning to Turn it Over to Jesus

I'm writing a series of posts about lessons I learned that built up my faith.  These posts are about our daughter's cancer story.  If you want to catch up, the lessons are in order.

Lesson 9:  To REST on Jesus

We returned home from round 1 of chemo.  The protocol was broken up in weeks of 3.  The rounds of chemo required a visit to the doctor each Friday with the third Friday a hospital stay to receive the "bad one" as Anna called it.  

We returned to the Mayo Clinic the next Friday.  The oncologist came in and said her "levels" looked good and that we were right on track.  She asked us again where we lived.  I said "Ringle, Wisconsin"  she shook her head - "No."   This didn't surprise me - no one knows where Ringle is.  "What other cities are around you?"  she asked.  I said "Wausau."  "No" she shook her head again.  I didn't know why she was asking or what she was doing.  She asks me "what else?"  I said "Marshfield" - I don't even know why I said Marshfield.  I never go over there, I'm not familiar with the city.  I've done a few craft shows there, but that is it.  She looks at me, points her finger and up in the air and says "I know just where to send you?"  

"Where to send you"...what did that mean.  I felt we were right where God wanted us.  He sent us here, I was confident in that.  "Since you live so far away, the tumor is removed, I feel comfortable enough to send you for chemotherapy closer to your home"  she said.  That sounded good to us, Rochester was over 4 hours away.  We were scared to leave her - the world's leading specialist, pediatric oncologist in Rhabdomyosaracomas.  "I have just the right person to send you to" she says.  "He studied his fellowship here, he is in Marshfield."  I couldn't believe it.  She made all the arrangements and we had an appointment to go to Marshfield the next Friday.  I was still unsure about leaving Mayo, but had faith to know God would lead us where we needed to be.

The following Friday, we checked in at the pediatric department and were ushered into a small room.  The nurse came in to draw Anna's blood for testing.  She was pleasant, smiling and happy.  She giggled as she talked.  She looked at me rather "funny" as she asked the necessary questions.  Honestly, it was a bit weird. 

NOTE:  I need to explain something here.  My family, I guess, is a little different.  My dad, Native American, my mom not.  We attend a church that has modest dress - I guess, at times  we do look different.  So, people sometimes stare.  Growing up people would say "you Ritchie kids all look alike" - personally I don't see it, but on with the story....
Then she says "do you have a brother named Henry."  Oh boy, here we go again.  "Yes, I do" I told her.  "Well, I went to Bible college with him."  "He was such a good looking....(ya, ya,...I've heard it before)....fellow."  I actually couldn't believe it.  She goes on telling me her story, testimony, of salvation.  To me, it was a sign that we were at the right place.  When we met Dr. McManus - we knew it!  

We actually continued all of Anna's treatments with Dr. McManus over in Marshfield.  We never returned to the Mayo Clinic.  However, Anna is still in a "study" with them.  

So, we learned to REST on Jesus.  Trusting He had us where we needed to be.

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love,..."  Zephaniah 3:17

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.
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