At first, when Jeff's treatment had just begun, he had to take over twenty capsules a day.
Now here was a little boy, who only two months earlier had just learned how to swallow a baby
aspirin. He had to take six tablets at a time, four times a day. Many times he would, with the help
of crackers and milk, get five tablets down, only to have all of them come back up. Then I'd have to
try and invent a new game and start all over because the doctors insisted all the pills get down and
I was the type of mother who, until the time of Jeff's illness, had never even given my boys
aspirin unless it was absolutely necessary. No one will ever know the sickening feelings that came
over me, as I stood with a bottle of pills in my hand marked 'experimental drug' and had to coax my
precious little one to swallow them, when everything within me screamed "throw them in the
garbage". I didn't want my son to be the one people were 'experimenting on'. This particular drug
also caused mood changes in Jeff. One minute he'd be laughing and playing, then suddenly he would
become extremely angry over some little thing and lash out at whoever was in his way at that time.
It was so difficult to discipline him, as we had always been fairly strict. However, we were told he
really could not help these feelings that swept over him.
Jeff was readmitted to hospital on March 26th for more chemotherapy. I remember one
evening in particular. I had taken him down to bathe him. We had been told the drugs would soon
cause him to lose his hair. As I brushed his soft blonde hair over and over, my heart was breaking
and I hurt inside as I had never hurt before. Of course, for Jeff's sake, I had to keep smiling and
joking. I felt a tremendous urge to simply pick my precious boy up in my arms and take him to some
far off place where we could simply put our complete trust in God and wouldn't have to submit his
little body to any more of their harsh treatments. As I continued brushing his hair, once again I asked
God to heal Jeff completely. I prayed for an end to the terrible ordeal my family was going through,
It was like waking up every morning from a bad dream, only to discover that the nightmare was still
very real. Each new day I had to adapt myself once again to accepting the situation and going on
with the routine of living, trying to make life as pleasant as I could for my family. I had to leave it
in God's hands; it was simply more than I could handle.
I cannot yet understand God's wisdom in allowing bad situations to develop, especially to
Christians, but I have only limited human insight. God's word tells us in Psalm 34:19 - "Many are the
afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all". I do know and have learned
that Christ is always there when we need Him, and will give an extra portion of His great strength and
His love to sustain us.
Many times when Jeff was in the Children's Hospital, I would climb right into bed with him
in the evenings. The nurses would come in to check on him, grin at us as if to say, "It's O.K., we'll
just look the other way", and would leave us to ourselves. I really appreciated that -- we needed our
sharing time. Jeff would cuddle up to me as closely as he could, and we'd share lots of laughs and
loving. Often, when I'd awaken very early in the mornings, I'd feel my cuddly little son laying next
to me in my cot, I.V. and all. He had so much love to give and we both had a great need to express
it to each other.
The next drug Jeff was given the end of March was very hard on him and an extremely bad
experience for all of us. It took the doctor a very long time to administer it through the I.V., and it
burned Jeff severely. As he writhed on the bed screaming to "please, please, Mommy, make them
stop", I must admit his mommy cried as hard as he did. I seldom let my emotions get the best of me
in front of Jeff, but this was too much!! In the middle of this nightmare, a minister from an Ottawa
church entered the room. Oh how good it felt to hear a man of God offer prayer on our behalf at that
Jerry had become employed at a chemical plant two years prior to Jeff's illness. He worked
twelve hour shifts. We had been much in prayer when this job opportunity presented itself as it
involved working every other weekend. He had treasured our family worshiping together each
Sabbath and felt almost guilty about giving up every other Sunday. However, it seemed the Lord
opened the door to this position and so Jerry had accepted. We really believe now that God was in
this situation. Because of the twelve hour shifts, Jerry was able to arrange it so that we took turns
driving to Ottawa with Jeff. Because of all the extra expenses involved in our lives at this time, we
were truly thankful Jerry didn't have to miss work, I really don't feel I could have handled all the
driving by myself. The Lord says He won't give us any more than we can bear, and although some
days we felt we were at our limit, His promises are true.
There were also many times the Lord provided for us financially. It wasn't as if we didn't have
a bank account, but we never had to take money from our savings throughout the entire situation.
People would come up to us and say, "God spoke to me and I'm to give you this". Inside the
envelope or card would be exactly the amount we needed the following week for our expenses for
gasoline, meals, drugs, etc. One time in particular, we were needing two new tires for our car, and
the day before our appointment, there was a cheque in the mail for $100.00, which covered the cost
except for about $4.00. God is so faithful!