Test of Faith

A Ride With a Christian - pg. 2    1    2    3    Next   

Walquist family photoIn January mom noticed a small bump in the roof of my mouth. The dentist had mentioned that I might react to the dental work and so I went in for a check-up. After he examined my mouth he told mom that I needed to get a biopsy. In our family that was a very bad word. Mom and dad shared the news with our families and prayed. They hoped that the Lord would not ask us to go through cancer again and then knew that whatever the results were, the Lord would bring us through. February 1st, the day of the biopsy came and only the Lord could have prepared my parents for the news.

Mom, dad and grandma Lona were in the recovery room after my surgery. Dr. Hinkley told them that the cancer had returned and that it had many forms. They were expecting to hear that and asked what the treatment plan would be. He told them there wouldn't be one. They asked what he meant and he told them that there was nothing that could be done and that they should take me home and enjoy our time together. That felt like being hit in the stomach with a brick. It was more than then could process. Mom and dad both broke down and sobbed. Grandma Lona hugged them both and just let them cry until they couldn't anymore. Shortly after I woke up and they hugged and kissed me.

You wouldn't think that the side effects of radiation would be a good thing, but in this case it was. The radiation had damaged the nerve endings in the left side of my face so I didn't feel much. Because of this the cancer in the form of an ugly tumor had started at the base of my skull again and made its way through my sinuses and had eaten a hole in the roof of my mouth. How can a tumor eat? The bump on the roof of my mouth was part of the actual tumor and was growing rapidly. It looked like an upside down mushroom hanging from the roof of my mouth.

So many thoughts were going through my parent's heads, what happened to the 98% cure rate? Was I really in the 2% that would not survive? What they found out was that 98% of the patients survive the initial treatments. This type of cancer always returned and at the time there was not a documented case of anyone surviving past the age of six. I was five years old and had five months until I would be six years old. Later on they were glad that they didn't know the rest of the story, it would have prevented them from living in the time we had.

When I was taken to my room at the hospital I was met by several other family members as well as Bryan and Ellen. Mom and dad told them all the news and they all cried. Mom told me that I was sick again and I asked if I had to go back to the hospital. She told me no and that made me very happy.

The next day I was able to leave the hospital and I felt fine. Mom and dad had brought nice clothes to pick me up and as a family we went to get our pictures taken. The photographer took pictures of the whole family and some of just Mitch and I. They also took individual pictures and I saw a carousel horse and wanted to have my picture taken on that horse. Mom had brought my cowboy hat and boots so I suited up and saddled up. In the background were clouds and I felt like a celebrity at a photo shoot. The photographer commented that I looked like handsome little cowboy that was riding off to heaven. Mom started to cry at the reality of her comment.

The hospital in Salt Lake reviewed the results and confirmed the diagnosis. One of the newer doctors asked mom if she would allow them to plant radiation seeds in the tumor. She asked if it would help and he said no, but it would be good for research. She asked if he would do it if it was his son and he said it wasn't his son that was dying. I thought mom was going to smack him. She told him no and we left.

Audra took Mitch and me shopping for mom's birthday which was a few days after we received the bad news. Birthdays were always a big thing in our family. It was your special day and there was always a birthday cake, gifts and parties. I picked out a locket that was in the shape of a heart and had "mom" engraved on the top. When I gave it to mom I told her she would be able to always have a picture of me and Mitch with her. I think she really liked it.

Mom took a leave of absence from work and dad worked as hard as he could to provide. I was given about three months which would be April. Easter would be April 8th and mom prayed that I would make it to see Easter. That is her favorite holiday because of the hope provided by Christ's resurrection.

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1 Peter 1:6-9  NIV

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. "

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