This week (July 11th - 16th) we have had an amazing time in Gulf Place Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. A ministry called "Lighthouse Family Retreat" housed us, fed us, loved on us, and reminded us how to have a great time in the midst of tough situations. Volunteers came from all over to put the retreat together. We met so many wonderful individuals and families who gave a week of their life to minister to us and ten other families with children with cancer. College students made up a group of summer staff who help make everything work smoothly.
This was Noah's first time to ever see the ocean. It was a great place to have this experience.
Wednesday July 20th, Noah has his second MRI since his last radiation treatment. For three months he has led a "normal" life of a toddler. His oncologist wanted him detoxed of all chemo and medicine so we have had no doctor visits, no port access, no treatment since April. It has been really great. To be honest, we haven't thought much about the MRI Wednesday because we haven't wanted to. We have taken advantage of the time we have had without the stress of cancer. This retreat was the perfect time for us to once again refocus on what we may face in the next few weeks. We met amazing parents, all with kids with cancer - some who have come through it and are in remission and others who have been told there is nothing more that can be done for their children. We all sat together three hours a day and talked about our struggles, stories, and fears. We all had a lot of common ground and pain...and hope.
This MRI will show us if the radiation treatment this spring worked to stop the growth of Noah's tumor. The threat of bad news is very real. The chances of remission are slim. The fear of a bad scan is at times overwhelming. We needed the time with other parents (and their kids) to get unique encouragement that only comes from those who have walked through this kind of pain. We were reminded about the sovereignty of God from parents who lost their daughter to cancer 11 months ago, who encouraged us so much that you can still say God is good when you don't get your prayers answered. We met Truman, an awesome kid who is full of life. He happens to be an amputee because of cancer, but can still do a great cannonball into the pool with only one leg. His mom & dad reminded us that it sucks to be forced to be grateful for things most take for granted, but be grateful anyway, and to rejoice (and not be angry) every morning your kid wakes you up (even if it is 5:30 AM) because it means they are still here. We met a mom who has been given the worst news you can get about your child's prognosis - and she is still able to say "God is good." They are all my new inspiration.
Only God knows what lies ahead for Noah. If we treat everyday as a gift, celebrate the moments we have as best we can, and use our situation to show that when things are so painful - God is still good, I think we can live without regret.
So, thank you lighthouse family retreat for a wonderful trip! Thank you to our new friends Julie & Jessica for loving & taking care of Noah during our small group time.
Wednesday July 20th is a big day. Please pray with us for Good news.
Spread the word ~ Pray of Noah.
These posts are written by Noah's parents Jessica & John David Crowe. The default author is Jess, and those written by John David will be noted.