Celebrate Ten Years in Remission!

Ten Years Since the last Day of Chemo

Celebrate!

Ten years since the last day of chemotherapy. Celebrate!

Today is big!  Huge!  Today we celebrate one of those milestones you never expect to even think about with your children.  Once thought of, however, the prayer that you’ll ‘make it’ is a never-ending process-type prayer!  That prayer for remission and the end of chemotherapy!

Ten years ago, my seven-year-old had his last day of chemotherapy.  It was not the last day of dealing with cancer, by any stretch, but it was the end of three and a half years of at least one chemo appointment every week, the setting aside of lengthy hospital stays and the termination of inserting horrific drugs into a little body.  Hair grew back, skin returned to healthy pink, stomach aches receded and this mom began the process of adjusting to a new normal.  My son began the process of learning to deal with the things the physicians call the “price of survival” from a catastrophic illness.

I will never forget that day.  Our whole family went to the last day of chemo.  We sat through the last drip and flushed the port for the last time  (port removal was later in the month, but we never had to access it again).

I wanted to celebrate.

We needed a huge, knock-out party.  Our family should do something fabulous.  A plane toting a giant banner.  A fireworks display.  A party with huge balloons and lots of happy shouts and singing.  A prayer-of-thanks-meeting in our church. But that takes energy – and mine had all been sucked up in the fight for life.

Instead, our battered family sat quietly together in the hospital, while Andrew cried because he wouldn’t be coming back the next week for his time with those wonderful nurses.  We watched Dora the Explorer with him, as usual, and we all ate the breakfast burrito that usually followed his early morning chemotherapy sessions.  Andrew made his round of the nurses with a very small token of our appreciation and we waved our way out the locked door of the hospital.

The longest, most painful process of our lives was over.

There was no parking lot party.  The world went about their day much as they had the day that Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia.  I wanted to shout at the passing cars, “Hey!  Don’t you see this is a big day here?”

Big.  Huge. Gigantic.

Our God got us through chemotherapy.  Cancer lost.  Sure, the doctors reminded us that the remission might or might not hold.  Of course, my boy faces a lifetime of cancer checks.   It’s a given that physical therapy for abused muscles and coordination followed.

But, for that day, the battle was won!  God carried us through.

Praise God for the end of #chemotherapy! Praise Him in the Storm! #cancercaregiving #childhoodcancer Click To Tweet

Celebrate.

We walked to our car, each quietly contemplating, in our own ways, the grandiose and loud thing that was so quietly happening.

Randy unlocked the car door and the girls climbed into the back.  Andrew stood there, looking at the playground outside the hospital.  “I wanna play on the slide,” he announced.

We all began to laugh and the girls popped back out of the car with relief.

Celebrate!

No germ phobias any more!  If Andrew wanted to be outside, he could be!  We didn’t have to wear masks!  Ever single one of us climbed up the playground equipment and went down the slide.  We played hot-lava-monster and raced around, kicking up frozen bark chips with our joyous steps.  The cold air pinkened our cheeks and the foggy air bounced our laughter back at us.  I ran to the car and took out my camera.  My gang piled up on the slide for a picture.

Andrew was done with leukemia.  Andrew was done with cancer.

Praise God!

So today I repeat: Praise God.  It has been ten years since that day our family celebrated all alone in that cold playground.  Ten years since God handed us a miracle and waited to see what we would do with that gift.

My boy is a senior in high school.

Ten years of remission.

120 months to recover from three tough years.

520 weeks without chemotherapy.

3,650 days without cancer.

From then to now – 10 years to celebrate!

Praise God and Celebrate!  His love endures forever!

Celebrating 10 years since chemotherapy! #leukemia #cancer #chemotherapy Click To Tweet

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  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Love this! I wanna play on the slide, too!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/12/your-dying-spouse-413-meaning-of.html

    • I hear you, Andrew! And thank you. I know GOd’s grace is sufficient – whether there is healing or not. It is fun to celebrate the “yes”. Still praying for you!

  • Celebrating with you!!! May Andrew continue to enjoy good health & the slide 🙂 Wonderful to rejoice with you!

    • Ha. He’s not much for slides any more, but he does have good health. Thank you so much!

  • What a wonderful moment, and a wonderful memory! May Andrew continue to be cancer-free.

    • Amen, Barbara – thank you for that prayer!

  • Rachel

    What a beautiful story of God’s presence with you through this all. My eyes puddled up and overran my tear ducts when I got to the place in the story where he wanted to slide! uuhhh… I can’t even imagine your journey what a tough time and now what a time for rejoicing. Thank you for sharing this with us. What a beautiful testimony!

    • Thank you Rachel. I’m glad you stopped in so I could share. I’m so grateful for God’s amazing grace.

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  • Definitely celebrating with you. May God continue to bless you and your family and may the healing blood of Jesus Christ continue to run through every fiber of Andrew’s body. To God be the glory for the great healing he has done in Andrew’s life.

  • Congratulations on 10 years with no cancer!!!! So happy for you all, Carol. That is definitely a beautiful milestone worth celebrating!

  • Tara Ulrich

    Celebrate indeed!

  • Bethany Boring

    LOVE THIS and so excited for you!

  • Yay for ten years post-cancer for your son, Carol! Here’s to eight or more decades cancer-free as well! At least that’s my prayer for your son today. And thank you for your inspirational thoughts that remind us to count every day as a gift!

  • Susan

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Andrew, here’s to a full and complete lifetime ahead of you!