An Unexpected Trip

“I’ve been thinking about you coming up here…and I think it would be better to come sooner, rather than later.”

I was sitting in a waiting room, about to get my blood drawn for a routine gestational diabetes test, when I heard these words over the phone from my mom.

My grandma was in the hospital, in ICU. She has leukemia and had recently undergone a procedure to discover the cause of swelling in her stomach. After the procedure she had developed pneumonia, which her body couldn’t fight due to her depleted white cell count.

I had been debating flying to Washington state from my home in Southern California, but wasn’t sure yet if that was the right choice. When someone is dealing with a critical illness everyone tries to stay optimistic to the last. This is fine when you’re living in the same state as them, it’s quite another thing when you’re far away.

I was worried. My grandma and I have always been close and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity of saying goodbye — but I also didn’t want to believe that it was time for that.

My mom’s words shocked and scared me.

Four hours later, my 18-month-old son and I were on a plane headed toward Seattle. We arrived after midnight, so a visit to the hospital would have to be postponed till morning.

::

Walking into the hospital I tried to prepare myself for what I would see. I had heard that she looked bad — weak, groggy, a mask on her face helping her to breathe. My heart raced with worry that I would distress her in my reaction.

Machines, alarms, and monitors crowded the halls of the ICU floor as I followed my aunt. I used one of the many hand sanitizer dispensers to prepare myself to enter her room.

Relief washed over me when I saw her. She didn’t look as bad as I was anticipating and she seemed alert. I didn’t know if I was allowed to hug her, so I just walked over and rubbed her arm. Strangely, it didn’t seem like a big deal that I was there. She seemed unfazed that I had flown overnight at the spur of the moment to see her.

::

So as not to tire her, my visit was short. Also, my mom was anxious to return home, having spent the previous 29 hours in the hospital.

As we left the room I felt encouraged that Grandma was sitting in a chair eating clear broth.

No longer was I afraid that this was a trip to say goodbye.

::

Yesterday I returned to the hospital to find even more signs of improvement. Grandma was sitting up in bed, mask free, awaiting the arrival of fish and chips and chocolate cake.

Although she was only able to eat a small portion of it, her desire for regular food cheered me. Even better was the report that for the first time in 6 months her body was producing some white cells.

::

Although she’s still not out of danger regarding her leukemia, God has performed a miracle in my Grandma’s life once again.

Four days ago, she heard a doctor telling my aunt that the family should be alerted. She was scared, we were scared, but we all knew her life was in the hands of someone more knowledgable and powerful than her doctor.

Thank you to all of you who prayed!

We are continuing to pray:

…that she would be able to leave the ICU floor.

…for the month-long intense chemotherapy treatment her doctor plans for her.

…for the bone marrow transplant ahead of her.

The fight is not over yet, but repeatedly we’ve seen God perform miracles and beat the odds in her favor. We are trusting Him above all else.

::

UPDATE:

My grandma was moved out of ICU on Monday before I headed back home. She is continuing to produce bone marrow and white cells.

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15 Comments

  1. Abi says:

    Bless your Grandma’s heart! I pray that God’s healing hands be all over her and that He’ll let His presence known in her hospital room to comfort her. I’m so glad that you are trusting our Lord with this difficult situation and I’m very encouraged.

    By the way, what a trooper you are to travel with your 18-month-old son and another baby in your belly! :-) I wouldn’t dream of it (due to high risk pregnancy) nor would my husband let me! :-) I recently lost a baby boy through miscarriage and maybe that’s why your blog and your pregnancy seem more precious to me. I hope God watches over both you and your little one inside of you.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thank you for the prayers and encouragement! God truly is watching over my Grandma and has already given her so many instances of the miraculous to share with others.

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I went through a pregnancy loss between my first and second, it can be devastating. Praying for you and your husband as you go through the grieving process.

  2. Dana says:

    So glad to hear that your Grandma is doing better! I will keep praying!

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks Dana! You’re the best!!

  3. Regina says:

    Thanks for the update. I will continue to pray. I’m so glad you were able to come up to lay hold of your precious grandma, for yourself. I’m sure seeing you lifted her spirit. Take care as you travel back home tonight with your little one.

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks for your prayers, Regina. It was definitely beneficial for me to be able to travel up there. I am praying for even more improvement in her physically when I return in July for my brother’s wedding.

  4. Angelina says:

    Ya… I was with mom when the doctor told us. I had a feeling grandma heard the doctor cause i was holding her hand and she had squeezed it… She probably was freaking out. Stupid doctor. :/ AND grandpa just called me to tell me that she IS being moved back to the oncology floor!!! YAY! I wish I could see you before you leave today. :/
    Love u :)
    Ween.

    1. Melissa says:

      Love you Ween!! You’re my favorite…haha! Don’t tell the others. :) (Just kidding)

  5. Danielle says:

    Wow, what a whirlwind trip! So glad you were able to spend time with your grandma and witness another miracle for her!

    1. Melissa says:

      It was a crazy weekend, Danielle. But I could see evidence of God’s hand in it all.

  6. Janelle says:

    I’m sorry for the circumstances that caused it, but I am so glad you got to visit even for a few days! I’m still full of Thai food! Maybe I’ll fly down next week for lunch.

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