The Morning Miracle on Eleven Long

morningI started awake and rolled to a sitting position on the narrow Naugahyde chair-turned-cot. Each time Pedro stirred, I jerked awake again to check on him. He seemed more feverish than before, more confused as he mumbled in his delirium. I pushed the call button, and went to the bathroom to wet another washcloth to cool his forehead.

Before I had a chance to write it out, the door opened and a nurse came in to see why I’d pressed the button. “He seems more restless,” I told her, “I’m not sure what’s wrong.” She did her thing whilst I did mine—pressing a cool cloth to Pedro’s forehead and praying incoherent prayers.

The nurse changed something on the IV bag, and then softly left the room. The scene repeated over and over all night long. A fungal infection had entered Pedro’s bloodstream, and his last round of chemotherapy had killed off all his white blood cells.

Before darkness had fallen, the doctors had mentioned giving him a white blood cell transplant and asked questions about possible donors. I’d called his only brother, only to find out that he was across the world at the moment, and wouldn’t make it back for at least 36 hours.

“It’s a race,” the doctor had said as he left the night before. He never finished the sentence or the thought. By the time the first light peeped in the giant windows of the hospital room, my brain had ground to a halt. The nurses came in to draw blood yet again, and I wandered down the hall, to the elevator and down to the waking-up city to grab some coffee and a scone for breakfast. I knew the doctors wouldn’t meet for another hour, so I had time to regroup before I spoke to one of them.

As I shuffled down the hall of Eleven Long towards Pedro’s hospital room, hands warmed and mind numbed from worry and lack of sleep, I saw a doctor heading down the hall with a big smile. “Pedro’s brother won’t be here for another 24 hours,” I said in a rush, “but he’s probably the best candidate for a white blood cell transplant.”

“Oh, we won’t need him,” the doctor said. “Haven’t you heard?”

“What?” I almost spilled my coffee. “Heard what?”

“Pedro has white blood cells again! It’s a miracle!”

Morning. When God answers prayers and cancer tucks its tail and retreats to its corner, licked again.

Morning. When scientists proclaim a #miracle even though they don't believe. #cancersurvivor Click To Tweet

Morning. When scientists proclaim a miracle—even though they don’t believe in the One who does miraculous things.

Morning. When an exhausted caregiver feels God’s mercies anew. Every. Single. Time.

What about you? Is there a time you’ve experienced God’s mercies that really stands out in your life?

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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