"The choices we make change
the story of our life." ©

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

 

And Then What Happened

Welcome back! (Didn’t I just say that yesterday?) I’m glad I haven’t chased you away and hope you are ready for my Paul Harvey imitation—you know, “The rest of the story.”

Yesterday I shared how, in spite of my prayers to the contrary, our son Ian was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. For those of you who do not know, CF is a genetic disease that attacks the lungs and pancreas. In short, the gene that is supposed to cause fluids to pass through cell walls is mutated making mucus in the lungs thick and sticky. Bacteria and viruses are trapped in the lungs. Also, the pancreas is unable to release enzymes for digestion so people with CF can technically eat 24/7 and die of starvation. It sure explained how Ian had managed to have bronchitis and pneumonia each twice before his first birthday. It also explained why he was so small and having difficulty putting on weight in spite of an appetite so large that I wrote to Kellogg’s to tell them how much cereal the boy inhaled daily. They were kind enough to send me some coupons for free cereal—and trust me, it came in mighty handy (thank you very much!).

It took a while to get Ian on the right track but he responded well to treatment. However, we were so busy getting used to our new lifestyle of twice daily chest percussion therapy and medication regime, we were a little surprised to find we were about to add to the family. Let me restate that—we were shocked and terrified to learn another Cary was on the way.

Remember back in biology class when you had to make the eye color chart? Well, the cystic fibrosis gene works the same way. Because it is a recessive gene, both parents have to be carriers. Carriers have no symptoms and, until fairly recent, there was no way to tell if you were a carrier unless you had a child with the disease. Once scientists isolated the gene in the mid-90’s, things changed but, at the time, Phil and I had no clue we were carriers until Ian was diagnosed. Then we learned that every child we had had a one in four chance of being born with the disease, a fifty-fifty chance of only being carriers, and a one in four chance of no CF/no carrier. We faced nine months of not knowing. More than once we were offered the opportunity to end the pregnancy, but we put our faith in God and said, “No!”

June 25th, five days late, we welcomed our beautiful Margaret Kathleen. One week after that we received the phone call. “How does it feel to be the proud parents of a perfectly normal baby girl?” My hand shook so hard I dropped the phone. When I found air enough to speak, I felt as if I’d been holding my breath for the entire pregnancy. And I cried—of course, I cried, my husband cried, my mother and mother-in-law cried. Another blessing. God is so good! All three of our girls have been tested now—even to see if they are carriers. In spite of the odds against it, all three girls do not have the disease nor are they carriers. Praise God!

I’ve learned over the years to count my blessings. I find myself looking for that blessing in disguise. Please, don’t mistake me for Pollyanna. Trust me, I can whine with the best. But I’ve experienced the living Word of God. His promises are not just words in a book. They are active and true. I know. I know.
I’m including a picture here of my kidletts when they were younger—taken the summer Charles Barkley took the Suns to the finals (hence the purple and orange) Our youngest, Meg, is now twenty so that should give you an idea how old the picture is. Even so, it is still my favorite. You probably couldn’t tell that Ian was making 2-5 hospital stays per year back then or that they had been putting up with Mom going to college and getting her degree or dad working long hours to meet the bills. We look happy and in spite of all the hard things going on, we were. And that’s another blessing.

Can you see a theme here? It’s a way of thinking that Ian caught and lived. Tomorrow I’ll share some examples. Until then. . .


Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary
Allison
Comments:
Jenny, you've always been a terrific encourager and looking for the silver lining. I'm definitely trying to do that.

Thanks for the reminder!
 
I'm sorry, but there has never been anything "perfectly normal" about Meg! =) tee hee

Thanks for sharing your heart, but you should have sent a tissue warning! All those memories....

Love ya!
LB
 
Thanks, Malia but so far you haven't caught me on a bad day--HA!

Hey LB, if anyone would know that about Meg (outside ths house) that would be you;-) We do ahave a lot of memories together, don't we?
Love you both!
Abundant blessings,
Jenny Cary
 
You are so absolutely inspiring. Thank you.
 
You are abundantly blessed! All of your children are the most wonderful, perfect, and delightful persons God ever created! (Of course, I am prejudiced!) Love each of you! Mom/Gramma
 
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