Monday, July 6, 2009

Perfect Patient

Ephesians 2:8-9
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."

Tammy had her regular visit to the clinic today and got some very good news. The doctor came in and said, "How's the perfect transplant patient?" Tammy was a bit startled, but gave her usual response, "I'm doing fine."

Tammy has had a positive attitude pretty much the whole time, but this one caught her off guard.

The doctor went on to say that she was "ready for launch." She's down to one visit per week, starting this week. She'll have some more extensive tests a week from Wednesday, and if those show what the doctors think they'll show, the restrictions will start to be lifted. At the end of July, they'll determine the next steps in her recovery over the next 80 days.

After slow progress from about Day 50 to Day 80, she's really picked up steam. Her visit to her parents' house Saturday night lasted longer than we thought it would, because she felt well enough to stay for more than five hours. She's napping less, and has more energy and appetite than she has had in a while.

We're four days from Day 100, and we'll certainly post something that day. But we're celebrating a special Day 96.

Tammy has taught me a lot during this journey. She celebrates every day as a gift from God. When I get down about how long it's taking for her to gain her strength, she reminds me of the miracles that have happened already, and those still to come. Ten years ago, the survival rate from this condition was significantly lower than it is today.

She has taken good care of herself--and positive attitude is a big part of that--but she is the first to say she doesn't "deserve" to recover. Although she has been diligent to follow all the doctors' orders, there have been other factors beyond her input or control. The disease was caught early, before she really had any symptoms. We found a match less than a month after starting the nationwide search. The match seems to be perfect. She's getting more than she deserves.

Many times we wonder why God allows things to happen to "good people." "He didn't deserve that to happen to him," is a common statement when something tragic happens to someone we love. But when you think about it, we don't deserve much of what happens to us. I am blessed by a wonderful wife, though I don't deserve her. I have two awesome kids, though I don't deserve them. I have great in-laws, though I have done nothing to deserve them. I have a lot of great friends, though I certainly don't deserve them. Shall I go on?

It is by the grace of God that I am blessed. The greatest gift I've ever received--and the one I deserve the least--is forgiveness. I sin so much, yet every single one of them is forgiven. Jesus knew I couldn't pay for my own sins and have any chance of spending eternity with Him. So He willingly said, "I'll do it," and took my punishment.

That's something to celebrate.

1 comment:

Dave VanderKlay said...

David and Julie we Praise the Lord for how things are going. It's a long slow road but God is leading the way. Thank you for these blogs.

1 Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits--

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalms 103:1-5 (NIV)
Dave and Jeanne VanderKlay