So Betty’s white cell blood count was what they called “extremely” low. Her first chemo session knocked it down. She can very easily catch any little sickness bug that is flying around. Don’t go out in public and don’t be around large crowds they told us. If the next week on Friday her counts were not way up, she couldn’t take her chemo treatments. She couldn’t take the medicine that will save her life. Now the white cells fight off infection. They’re the good guys! Without them you’ll likely end up with the flu, a cold or whatever is in the air because you have nothing with which to fend them off. Those things can sometimes even cause death because your body cannot fight them. Chemo is so hard and nasty to your body, that not only does it kill cancer cells, but it also attacks the white blood cells. It’s like collateral damage. The good gets annihilated along with the bad. The average white cell count in a normal person is 5000 to 10,000. Last Friday, Betty’s count was 600. So we and many of you began to pray. I set my sights on 2500. “Lord just get her to 2500.”
Years ago, in high school, (I guess I could have left out the phrase, ‘years ago.’ I suppose at my age, that was implied!) Anyway, a long time ago in a faraway land, I had a date with this really great looking girl. I had a fair number of dates in school, but this one was different. This one said yes to the date the first time I asked her and I didn’t have to promise her money or jewelry like the others. The problem was, I had spent most of my cash on some important stuff like, Butch Wax, a mood ring and a pair of paisley print pants from K-Mart during a blue light special. (If you don’t understand anything that I just mentioned, stop reading now and continue playing X-Box) I was broke with a hot date. I went to my dad and said, “Hey dad, you are looking really good! Did you loose a few pounds? And that Vitalis really brings out the natural gloss to your hair!” He looked at me and said, “How much money are we talking here?” He was so intuitive! Ten bucks would be great I said, though I really wanted more. He reached for his billfold, pulled out a ten dollar bill and gave it to me. I couldn’t believe it was that easy. I felt like I had really worked him. I was so excited until as I was walking off, I heard him say, “I had a twenty if you had asked.” Sometimes we limit ourselves.
But apparently there were people this week, not near so pitiful as me, who didn’t want to limit God to a puny little number like 2500. They were apparently bold enough to ask for more. To ask for the much larger numbers. To ask for 20’s instead of 10’s. Now those are the people I want to start hanging out with. I was on the road to Alabama when Betty called from the hospital with her blood count. Instead of asking how high her counts were, I asked how low they were. (sometimes I’m a glass half empty kind of guy!) She shouted into the phone, “9400!.” At first I thought that was our chemo bill for the week! 9400 was the white cell count! That’s the high end of a normal person without chemotherapy drugs coursing through their body! Thank you sweet warriors, (Is that an oxymoron?) for your faithful prayers. We’re just getting started on this new road of life, but we have so many people who are walking with us, that sometimes it’s wonderfully crowded.
P.S. The hot date’s name was Betty. Best ten dollars I ever borrowed!