By early February 2013 Leah was having weekly blood tests. She had also had her first outpatients appointment at the Sperrin Unit – our local adult Oncology/Haematology Department.
The staff who looked after us there were absolutely lovely. Our consultant there phoned the paediatric haematologist in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children to discuss Leah’s case.
Then he rang me to say that she had told him that Leah’s blood results weren’t consistent with any nasty bone marrow diseases. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t tell him this of course.
I recorded my fears in my diary and voiced them in my prayers. When I was on my own I cried a lot.
I reminded God that I had always hated the scary rides at the FunFair. I didn’t like adventure or risk taking – I didn’t even particularly like going away on holidays.
I just wanted to live a quiet life with my family, going on picnics, having Sunday lunch together and playing board games.
I also pointed out to God that a lot of the things that were happening to me were far removed from the blueprint that I had designed for my life. I was feeling way out of my depth.
However once Leah was diagnosed on the 19th April 2013 I knew this wasn’t something that I could get through in my own strength, I had to rely on God to get me through this.
One of the things I remember muttering under my breath at various times after Leah was diagnosed was “This is too much but HE is enough.”
So many times along the way since then He has provided for our needs by sending people to minister to us.
We received Leah’s diagnosis via a phone call on a Friday and we all had to go to the City Hospital in Belfast on the following Tuesday.
On the Sunday Leah said that some of her leaders from L.O.S.T. (Limavady Outreach and Service Team) wanted to visit us and wanted to know what time would suit? I replied “Leah, tell them no time suits.”
A while later Leah told me that one of the leaders had messaged her with a specific time and wanted to know if that would suit. I replied again “Leah, tell them that no time suits.”
Leah just looked at me and said “Mummy they are coming to visit us.”
Sure enough, a short while later, three people, two of whom I had never met before, arrived at our house.
They spent some time with Leah and my husband and me, talking about the devastating news that we had just received and the hospital appointment that we were facing that week. Then they prayed with us.
Before leaving, one of them said “Thank you for inviting us.”
I laughed and said “I didn’t invite you.”
Do you know something? Since receiving that awful phone call on the Friday, delivering Leah’s diagnosis, they were the first people who had come to our house to minister to us and pray with us. We really needed them and we really appreciated their visit.
It taught me something too. If I know that somebody is in bother and I feel an urge in my heart to visit that person, then I would rather follow the leading of my heart and take the risk of getting it wrong, than ignore the prompting of my heart and miss an opportunity to minister to somebody in great need.