Friday, May 27, 2011


Today my mom brought me out for a mani-pedi, a major indulgence that I was looking forward to all week.
My manicurist named Irish was such a joyful woman - she did her work super thoroughly and was really excited about the bright nail polish I brought in (a nifty OPI set I purchased in the middle of Vinnie's fight with cancer). We started talking about her kids, and her face lit up as she told me about them (including one set of twins) and how her 5 month old daughter now sleeps through the night. I said something to the effect of "wow, that's such a blessing."  She paused while filing my nails and her face clouded over.  That's when she told me.  Her six year old son has leukemia.

Leukemia? What kind? AML? ALL?

He has AML. Diagnosed at the age of six months, he's fought it this long with the help of the local pediatric state-run hospital. Unfortunately, the state hospitals in the Philippines tend to be woefully inadequate (they have decent private hospitals, but those are out of the financial reach of most people). You have to buy all the "extras" at state hospitals - food, medications, (chemo??) the cost of keeping you there... in the end it's quite expensive.

Plus she has five other children to look after.
To recover, her son needs a bone marrow transplant. It was unclear to me whether they can't find a donor, whether the hospital doesn't do transplants, or whether they just can't afford it. Either way, it looks bad. He's at home now to stay. She told me all this in bits and pieces and then I told her our story as well. We talked about feeding tubes, nausea, picky appetites, and low blood counts. We held back our tears, but just barely.
Her son sees angels now. I told her mine is with the angels. And when I gave her the tip, she literally fell to her knees in astonishment.  It was only around 50 bucks, small beans when you need tens of thousands.

I hope it helps. And I hope she knows that when we come to the end of our rope in the valley of the shadow of death, there's a hand reaching out to help us cross to the other side.


Anonymous said...

Coincidence? Nope. She seemed talk to someone who understands. When Esther comes we'll go back there again to see how she and her son are doing...and to get you another mani...

Anonymous said...

Coincidence...I don't think so. As I sat here this morning, almost in tears, I also remember that truth I have felt for you for so long...that in the midst of your great suffering and pain, God was going to use you to minister to others who hurt in that same is just an example of how you did just that. He brought you both together...amazing! He knew what she needed today...and what you needed...and He ordered your steps. I pray that He will continue to do just that.

Love the toes...and you're beautiful...with your blue nails...or is that green? Love ya!

Lois said...

God brought you there for a reason.
I'm glad you were there to listen and talk and share.
We miss you all.
Waiting for you to return.

Deanna said...

Love the nail color!

One of the places I volunteer is a home for abused and neglected boys. They have a saying there - "God doesn't waste your pain."

Praying for you!