“… I mean, it is what it is,” the flippant remark accompanied the doctor’s flick of the light switch, “there’s nothing we can do – you won’t regain the sight in that eye. Good thing it’s your weak eye.”
His quick exit did nothing to relieve my rigid shoulders.
My stoic 19-year-old son and I sat in the silence of shattering dreams.
I’d asked for an explanation to the doctor’s bustling orders of immediate laser rescue treatment in one eye and a five week wait for major surgery in the other, with the addition of pre-surgery eye drops and mind-numbing instructions for post-op. The medical staff had blown in and out, shuffled us from room to room and thrown medical terminology around. There was no attempt to break the news gently or explain.
Until I fought for it, and then the explanation slapped hard:
“It is what it is.”
We’ve been fighting for Andrew’s sight for years. He’s had a ‘weak eye’ since birth and we worked on that!
Contacts plus glasses.
But 15 years ago (in just a couple of weeks), we had to make the choice to fight for Andrew’s life instead of his eye-sight. He couldn’t wear contacts while undergoing the regimen of chemotherapy and eye-exercises paled in comparison to life-saving medications and weeks at a time in hospitals battling with leukemia.
It was what it was.
Leukemia was beaten, praise the Lord. And this mom returned to efforts of preserving eyes that now had the added burden of long-term chemo. If Andrew wore the strongest contact, he could see, not a lot, but something! He’s not been blind in that “weak” eye.
A couple of weeks ago, while working at camp, people began noticing that Andrew’s eyes were turning different colors. Weird. Andrew shrugged – it is what it is. He’s dealt with worse so it’s no big deal if his eyes are different colors.
But mom googles and it is a big deal.
So we began the whirlwind of doctors and found ourselves hearing the oh-so-comforting-and-kind words, “It is what it is.”
Monday, Andrew has an eye operation. It’s not to restore sight, says the retina specialist. It’s to maintain the health and viability of the eye, so he doesn’t lose it. He might keep the slice of vision he has left. It is what it is.
But my faith is audacious. I’m writing this post to ask for your prayers.
See, 15 years ago, doctors did not think Andrew would make it through the night (we had several nights like that). After surviving that horrific night, the medical teams weren’t sure Andrew would make it through the next three days. When Andrew made it through those three days, nurses weren’t positive about the end of the week.
At the end of the week, doctors began to speak of the first month and earning that coveted phrase of chemo-induced remission.
When Andrew made it to that first month’s milestone, everyone finally began to talk of the next three and a half years. Every step of the way we dealt with, “If we make it that far.”
Cancer. It is what it is.
But friends. Life might be what it is, but my God IS.
If you would be so kind, please pray that Andrew’s surgery goes well and that the health and viability of the eye is maintained.
If you’d like join me and just be a bit audacious, please pray that some sight is restored to Andrew’s weak eye. I’m not asking for more than he’s had and I’m not trying to be greedy, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. God has my full permission to do what’s best for my children, but I can ask for eyesight too!
It can’t hurt.