Thursday, January 17, 2013

Borrowed Time

He shouldn't be here, the disease that is taking over his blood should have killed him by now, but it hasn't.  A year ago, he and his dad traveled out of the Jimi Valley to Kudjip because he was sick.  He had a cough, his ear was draining pus, and he was feeling weak.  He had pneumonia, an ear infection and anemia.  Overtime, we found out he had leukemia, AML, which is the worst kind of leukemia for someone to have here.  We have some chemotherapy options, but none of them work, the longest I have seen someone survive is 6 months.  We talked to them about treatment, about how this cancer can kill him, but they agreed to try chemotherapy.  So for about 2 months they were in the hospital last year, as we gave him chemo, and he fought for his life.  The chemo has to come close to killing the patient in order for it to work, and in this case it almost did kill him.  He got really sick, got worsening infections, his blood counts dropped, we gave him unit after unit of blood and then finally, he started getting better.  His counts went up, his fever went away, he started recovering and he went home.

For 2 months he didn't come back to the hospital, I had assumed that he got sick back in the Jimi Valley and that they decided not to do chemo again and he died.  Instead, they showed up in my room just before I left for furlough - doing well, looking well, no complaints.  Praise God.  They didn't want chemo at that time, so they went home.  It has been 6 months since I saw them and I figured surely by this time, the cancer has overtaken him.

I was wrong, this week he was outside my door with his dad, looking better than I would have expected.  Unfortunately, looks are deceiving and inside the cancer was taking it's hold again.  His blood is full of cancer cells, and he is once again fighting for his life.  I explained to him and his dad the situation, and that we could only try to make the cancer go to sleep again, but we have no guarantee it will work.  They agreed to try, so we gave him blood first and now he is getting chemotherapy.  Pray for him.  His is such a sweet kid, who knows the Lord, and is trying to be brave, despite not fully knowing what is going to happen.  Pray that the medicines might give him more time with his family and that his relationship with the Lord would grow stronger despite the fight he is in.