We just got back from a two week road trip to Washington DC.  We went back and forth for several weeks about whether we could afford to go, and if we could afford to go whether it was wise to go, knowing that money would be even tighter when we got home.  (We have been living on our savings while Ryan works on a video game that shares Joel’s life.  There are so many amazing stories of the way God has supported us, and I will save most of them for a post in August, but I will say that 5 months of savings has lasted us over 9 months, the game now has a development team of four amazing men, and we are not going to have to live on our savings anymore, which is super good since there isn’t anymore left.)

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We are so glad we chose to go on the trip.  Our family always feels closer after two weeks of sharing air in a van and sleeping all in the same hotel rooms.  Ryan always tells me that taking great family trips while Joel is healthy is a huge priority for him, and I love him for that!  Just before we left on the trip we were feeling a little uneasy. We had been gradually noticing that Joel wasn’t walking much, and when he was he fell over within a few steps.  Something was definitely off enough that I asked Ryan if he had noticed and he said he had.  We wondered aloud if perhaps Joel was just really tired from chemo, or if it was something worse, something neurological.  We agreed to keep watching it, which is what we always do, the serious things always get worse, and cancer parent have a way of assigning every fleeting oddity to cancer.  At church on Sunday, the youth group was giving testimonies about the conference they had returned from.  I have helped with the youth group but was not able to attend the conference.  I was not surprised when they told about praying for a girl with back pain and watching her leg grow before their eyes so that it matched the length of her other leg and the pain stopped, and praying for a man with a limp from a snowboarding accident two years before, and his tears as he told them the pain was gone for the first time since then, and so many other testimonies.  I was not surprised because I have watched them grow in faith and love, but I was so very proud of them.  During ministry time, the youth stood in the front of the church and people went up to them for prayer.  I felt very strongly in my spirit that I should go get Joel and let them pray for him.  (I don’t bring Joel up for many alter calls for healing anymore, mostly because I believe God is doing something in His timing, but I really felt lead to go and get Joel.)  So, I pulled Joel out of the nursery at church and brought him up for prayer.  I told them about his walking, and then said that of course, they could always pray for his turned in eye or his deafness or even his tumors.  When we walked away from prayer it felt important, Joel kept looking back and signing “more,” but he can’t tell me if anything felt better or different.  Still, I noticed, he was quick to climb up on the couches, and “jump” off, and climb up again.  I couldn’t say for sure yet, but something seemed different.  Later that day, at home, Joel took off walking, around the neighborhood.  He walked farther than I’ve ever seen him walk and he didn’t slow down or fall.  Eventually I was the one who turned him back to home.  Later that evening he did the same thing, and we took this video of it.  The boy who the day before was falling every few steps, and crying a little when we would set him down to walk on his own.

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So, we began our trip with Joel feeling great.   A little miracle is a great way to begin a vacation.  A few days into our vacation, Joel started to look pretty sick. Ryan kept asking me if he was ok, and I said he was probably just sleepy. He refused all food and drink and basically looked miserable. We got to a restaurant and got him out of the van. He had a giant seizure and his head was getting warmer. When we sat in the booth at the restaurant he even refused to cuddle up against Ryan’s chest, he just laid down on the booth bench and moaned, still refusing all food and drink. It was hard for me to insist he was just tired now. I told Ryan maybe if he wasn’t better by tomorrow we needed to call our doctors, perhaps he was experiencing radiation necrosis and needed steroids. Ryan just looked at miserable Joel and said, we have to at least get to Chicago if he’s not ok. (We were just outside of Des Moines on our second day of driving.) Then we stopped and prayed for him. We thanked God that he healed Joel from whatever made him not want to walk on Sunday and acknowledged that He is the same God today as He was on Sunday. Within two minutes Joel got up and began eating ribs and cornbread and sausage. He started giggling and drinking water, it was really amazing!  We had tried everything we could think of to get Joel to eat or even drink anything, because we knew that if Joel really was sick, that was the one thing that could cancel the whole vacation. Here are the photos of Joel before and after we prayed for him.

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From there on our we pretty much just had a great vacation.  Lots of fun and new memories!  Here are some of the best photos from our trip, but you can see all of them on his facebook page that a friend of ours runs for Joel  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Im-Praying-Believing-for-baby-Joels-Miracle/289971121072

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We are so glad to be home, and really glad we went, even if it’s mac and cheese and beans and rice for dinner a few times in the next couple weeks while we let our income catch up!

Comments

There are 2 comments for this post.

  1. Jessica on July 29, 2013 9:14 am

    I have been checking daily for about 2 weeks for a catch-up. When there was none, each time I just prayed for Joel, and all of you. Thank you for sharing these HUGE ways in which you have seen God’s hand at work, and thanks for sharing the pictures. Glad you had a great trip and so thankful and praising God for the work He is doing in Joel!

  2. Connie Spencer on August 16, 2013 8:31 am

    I read the article in the WSJ today featuring your husband Ryan’s empathy video games. I feel guided to let you know about the Burzynski Clinic, Houston, Texas. Dr. Burzynski has had success in treating and having complete remissions of many end stage cancers, including Glioblastomas Stage IV with Antineoplastons. I have a family member who has been cancer free from a brain tumor for many, many years after being treated by Dr. Burzynski and has no sign of cancer to this date. God bless you and my prayers are with you.

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