Ingram had an MRI scheduled for early this morning. Needless to say, the days leading up to the MRIs are very difficult emotionally. If the tumor returns, it is a really bad sign. We know that and so we tend to go into them thinking we are about to find out if our son will live or not. We also know that God’s power to heal isn’t limited by the historical evidence that shows that when the tumors return, the odds are much worse. And frankly, we don’t put much stock in odds. Doing so implicitly limits our faith. However, we don’t know what God’s plans are for Ingram’s life. We pray every night that His will would be to heal Ingram’s little body. But, we don’t know that this is His will. Unfortunately, perhaps, the Bible doesn’t say that if you pray to God, He will heal you. It doesn’t say that if you pray, He will make you happy, or successful, or anything like it. It says that if we pray, He hears us. And that He loves us. I suspect if He gave us everything we asked for in our selfish pursuit of happiness, we would be quite unhappy. But more importantly, our lives might not glorify Him and that is, at the end of the day, what our lives are for. So we are left in this uncertain place where we know God can heal Ingram, but we don’t know if He will choose to. There are so many children whose parents have prayed the same prayers that we have, and with equal faith. And God did not choose to heal their children. That is hard for us to understand. But we also know that God loves Ingram more than we do and anything that hurts us hurts God even more. That’s about the only comfort we have. And so we go into these MRIs thinking that we will get to find out what God’s will for our son’s life is. But I guess all of us are doing that every day, it’s just a little more acute of a reality for us.
I got to spend the morning with Ashley and Ingram at the hospital and doing so is a hoot. Ingram is such a stud. And a monkey. And a lot of other things. So we got there for his MRI at 6:45 and got situated. After an hour or so of getting ready for sedation, he was sedated and went back. The MRI lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. Afterwards, he was pretty groggy, but that didn’t stop him from putting on his red power-ranger outfit for Halloween St. Jude-style, which is out of control! Before we went to do Halloween stuff, he wanted to see Dr. Bikazi. He loves the people at St. Jude, and he knows many of them. His favorite anesthesiologist is Dr. Bikazi, or Dr. Bikai as Ingram calls him. In fact, when we were on stage at the Grizzlies event on Monday, Ingram asked me were Dr. Bikai was. Dr. Bikai is from Beirut and is a child at heart. He loves the kids and gets down and plays with them. Like so many of the people at St. Jude, he is great at his work but is just as good at connecting with the kids.
After that, we went to hang out at the cafeteria until we got the results. A little after 12:00, Dr. Gajjar was ready to talk. We went back into E Clinic (the part of St. Jude that works with brain tumors) and he came in and said somewhat nonchalantly, “So, the scans are clear.” To us, it comes across as, “No big deal, but you don’t need to worry about losing Ingram for at least another three months.” I wanted to jump up and say, “It’s a HUGE deal! Come on, Dr. Gajjar, get excited... put your hands in the air... pump up the jam baby!” Sorry, that dates me. But that’s what I was thinking. Maybe not in those specific words. Ingram also loves Dr. Gajjar and everyone in E clinic. It was really cute watching him give Dr. Gajjar a big hug after he showed us the MRI results. It was appropriate. God has gifted Dr. Gajjar to heal a lot of kids. And he deserves a lot of hugs.
After the E Clinic visit, it was Halloween time. Halloween at St. Jude is extreme. It is a blast. Many different departments in St. Jude decorate elaborately and the kids all walk through the main corridors trick-or-treating. The St. Jude people all dress up, the kids dress up. It is nutty. It is so busy, you can barely walk through the halls. Like all of the entertaining they do there, Ingram loved it.
I had to leave St. Jude early to fly to Chicago. So I didn’t get to go trick-or-treating with all of the kids tonight. But it sounds like they had fun. I’m sure Ashley will tell us how it went in tomorrow’s blog.
Thank you all for your prayers and notes today. It is overwhelming to get messages that people are praying before you even wake up. And then to keep getting them all day. Our next MRI will be in January. Please pray that it the tumor would not come back... ever.
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