Quick (and the Inspire Me Mondays Link Up)

#inspirememondays

Welcome to Inspire Me Mondays!

Here’s my contribution–I’m on Day 13 of the #write31days challenge issued by The Nester.

“But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27 NIV)

Tubes sprouted from Pedro like a crazy hamster maze. A team of nurses moved quietly around the room, taking vitals and preparing him for the doctor’s visit.

Pedro had ended up in ICU the day before I’d returned to San Francisco. He had been responding to the chemo, but the doctors decided he would need radiation as well. Before they could complete the process, Pedro lost his ability to swallow.

The doctors worried that he would aspirate or get pneumonia and so they intubated him and whisked him off to ICU where they induced a coma-like state. Once a day they would bring him out of the coma to check his ability to swallow.

“How long will he be in ICU?” I asked the attending physician on Pedro’s second day in ICU

“A week, maybe two.” he answered. “You have children, don’t you?”

“Yes. Why?”

“You might want to have them come down for a visit,” the doctor looked at Pedro’s chart and avoided eye contact.

“Ok.” I mumbled—the word pushing out around the lump in my throat. My mind flew into overdrive as the doctor left. Ignoring the reason they should visit and too afraid to ask more questions, I hurried to the hallway and made a few phone calls home.

Travel plans for my parents and the girls worked out within hours, and I found a nearby hotel of sorts with empty rooms for four days. I pulled out my computer and found entertaining things for my parents and the girls to do while they visited San Francisco (a City Pass would keep them entertained during their visit—I didn’t even know if they let minors visit ICU patients, but I followed the doctor’s instructions and figured he would make it happen).

The next day, they brought Pedro out of his coma and I explained to him that the girls were coming to visit. Because of the tube down his throat and his frozen face, I had no idea what he thought about the idea. I chatted about the plans I’d made and how excited they’d be to see him.

He started looking agitated, and gestured for paper and something to write with. IVs and tubes (not to mention the drugs) made it difficult for him to write, but he scrawled out, “Don’t let me be a vegetable.”

Shocked, I shook my head vigorously. “Of course not! You’re getting better!”

He wrote again. “Don’t let girls see me.”

“You’re worried the tubes will freak them out?”

He nodded.

“Don’t worry,” I assured him, “everything will work out.” I breathed a silent prayer and then the nurses entered and told me I had to leave so they could do their jobs.

I left the hospital the next afternoon and took public transportation down to the airport to meet my parents and the girls. They loved their first ride on a train, and exclaimed excitedly about the boarding house/hotel where we would all stay.

“When do we get to see Daddy?” they kept asking.

“As soon as we eat supper,” I would reply—hoping it would happen, worried about Pedro’s desire to not freak them out. “We’ll go to the hospital after we eat and see when visiting hours for kids start.”

I left everyone in the main lobby and made my way to the ICU unit. When I arrived, I walked down the hallway and peeked into Pedro’s room. An empty bed with clean sheets sat in the middle of the room.

Panic filled me and I looked wildly at the room number to see if I had mistakenly looked in the wrong room. I hadn’t.

I turned to find a nurse bustling down the hallway towards me. “Mrs. Ojeda!” She exclaimed. “No one told you?”

“What?” I squeaked.

“Your husband can swallow on his own again and he’s back in the hematology/oncology unit!”

Waves of relief washed over me, robbing me of coherent speech. “So soon?” I asked.

“He surprised everyone,” she assured me, “the doctors didn’t think he’d be released from ICU for at least another week!”

I thanked her and fumbled my way to the elevator—too overwhelmed with gratitude to function properly. I needed to get downstairs and find the girls and take them to see their daddy! Their tubeless daddy who would no longer look like a hamster maze!

As the elevator whooshed down to the lobby, I breathed a prayer of thanks, and realized that my Heavenly Father had been so quick to comfort me, that I hadn’t even had time to be as afraid as I probably should have been.

Quick

What’s your inspirational story?  Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I found inspiration for my Monday at #inspirememondays. Join us! (tweet this)

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • This is just sooo inspiring, Anita! It’s amazing how God reaches out His hand just when we need it. And goodness, what a blessing that time must have been for your girls too!
    Jen @ Growing in Faith recently posted…#write31days {Learning to Rest…Plus a Giveaway!}My Profile

  • Praise God. What a blessing!

    • Amen :). Thank you for stopping by!
      Anita Ojeda recently posted…DanceMy Profile

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  • I never knew the story behind this visit, but I remember the visit itself clearly, right down to my excitement at eating in some cafeteria before we visited Dad. And I remember being overjoyed to see him. 😀
    Laura Melchor recently posted…Why I Don’t Like Stuck in LoveMy Profile

    • :). Ah, the cafeteria at UCSF. Not good food. He was pretty ecstatic to see you guys, too!

  • Such a sweet story!! God’s timing just blows my mind constantly. Thank you for sharing!
    Kristin recently posted…Day 13: Write a LetterMy Profile

    • It’s so important to ‘remember our journey’ (Micah 6:5)–doing so helps us remember God’s faithfulness so that we can share the evidence with others!

  • I am so moved by God’s faithfulness in your journey! I love how He always comes through with comfort and strength for us when we need it most. Thank you for sharing your story!
    Chandra Hadfield recently posted…31 Days Seeking GodMy Profile

  • I’m reading this with tears streaming down my face. I can’t imagine what you have been through!
    Melissa recently posted…The Things Of Earth Will Grow Strangely DimMy Profile

    • What sweet words, Melissa. Sometimes, all we can do is come alongside each other and share a little of the pain. I think it’s God’s way of letting us know that his heart breaks, too.

  • Wow – what a great story of God’s provision 🙂

    • Thanks, Caiobhe :). I’ve been reading your journey as well (I’m a little behind, but the explosion of wonderful posts out there is insane with this whole #write31days challenge!).

  • What a wonderful story of HOPE. Did this happen recently Anita? I love it when God does the miraculous even when we’re (sort of) not expecting it!
    Susan Shipe recently posted…day 13 of hopeMy Profile

    • Susan, this happened in 2002. The after-effects of caregiving in me and our daughters still linger, but with God’s help and direction, we’ll all recover, too!

  • What a powerful testimony! I love when you share glimpses of how God showed up during that difficult time! Love you, friend!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…DAY THIRTEEN – Are You Serious? You are SLEEPING!? Part OneMy Profile

    • Ah, thank you, Karilee! He showed up in big ways and small ways during the entire journey, and he’s still showing up today! (because he’s just like that)

  • Wow. My heart was pounding a bit, but I am so glad that this story is far enough along that I get to see the outcome! I am well acquainted with being a minor in an ICU. It’s sad, but I don’t feel like it scarred me or anything. Thank you for sharing this story.
    Messy Mom recently posted…Modeling Behavior and How to Respond to WhiningMy Profile

    • I’m glad you didn’t have any scars from visiting ICU! Thank you for stopping by :).

  • This is awesome. What a story you and your family have!

    • I love being able to share our journey so that others might have hope :). Thanks for stopping by!

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  • I saw this on the FB 31 Dayers page. I’ve been writing about 31 Days of Inspirational Biography, so this was right up my alley!

    I’ll have to look through your posts. We’ve been caregiving for my m-i-l at home for the past year. When she got down to 90 lbs. in the nursing home, my husband wanted to bring her home to die – but she perked up, gained weight, and has been with us ever since. I’ll be honest and admit it is not easy. But I can’t imagine going through this with a husband – what a blessing that he took a turn and has been cancer free for so long now!
    Barbara H. recently posted…31 Days of Inspirational Biography: William TyndaleMy Profile

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  • I’m drawn to the real hope in your story, Anita! Thank you for blessing us with it today, and for hosting the link up. You’re a gem!
    Julie Lefebure recently posted…Talking With GodMy Profile

    • And thank YOU for contributing! I love all the inspiring stories and encouragement :).

  • Love that God gives us what we need, exactly when we need it. Thanks for hosting the link up. 🙂

    • He’s like that, isn’t He? And thank you for contributing to the link up :).

  • Robyn

    Love this story! Thanks for sharing. I have a cancer/God story of our two year old daughter from some months ago on my blog, so I loved reading this.(I’m writing on something else for the 31 days though.) Also, I love the title of your blog! In fact my daughter wanted my blog title to be ‘Blessed and Stressed Out West’. LOL! Thanks for hosting the link up!

    • :). I’ll have to find your story and read it! And ‘Blessed and Stressed Out West’ certainly has a ring to it!

  • So grateful that God blessed your babies by allowing them to see their daddy without the tubes. What a wonderful and much needed topic to do your 31 days on. When my mom was ill, I was the caregiver, now 10 years later, I have MS and I’m the one that needs the caregiver, and my sister is a wonderful one. I thank God for her everyday! Thank You, and thank you for sharing.
    Maxine recently posted…Day 13 – You are Enough (+ giveaway!)My Profile

    • Oh, boy! I’m so glad you have a wonderful caregiver. Sisters are the best, aren’t they? May God be with both of your on your journeys!

  • I love the verse you chose. Quick to comfort. He is always right there, never leaves, never forsakes.

    • I love how he knows me so well that he can answer before I call :).

  • What a powerful story of God’s comfort and help. Thank you for sharing this.
    Ginger Harrington recently posted…Soul ReachMy Profile

    • You’re welcome :). And thank you for stopping by and linking up! It’s good to share stories of what the Lord has done for us.

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