I have the best job on Sundays – I get to teach a Sunday School class filled with 15-17 year olds. If I’m being honest, they are usually the ones that teach me. Every week I begin the class by asking them how they have seen God’s hand in their life that week. It is a practice I adopted in my own life when Lexi was very sick. Oftentimes I felt bombarded with reasons to not believe in a Higher Being, but I found that as I actively searched for God in my everyday life, He was never far from me. I no longer find myself or my family facing the same type of challenges we have in the past, yet I still need the reassurance and comfort that God is aware and present in my everyday life. That knowledge came in an undeniable way just a few weeks ago as we saw yet another miraculous blessing.
Many times Lexi is asked if she is glad that she is “done with cancer”. With her permission I share her personal response to me. “Cancer is not something that you are ever done with. It is not something you can get over or something that goes away. It took things from me I will never get back, and it is still taking things. Once the bald head goes away is usually the time when you find out the actual price you had to pay just to live. Everyday I have to fight to do things that people take for granted, and I feel blessed to do them. I wish people knew how lucky they really were for their lives.”
Just one of the many unseen side effects that Lexi will forever carry is known as EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency). She is very fortunate for advancements in medicine that allow this to be offset by medication. In addition to other daily medications she takes 5 enzyme pills with every meal and 3-4 with every snack – a process that will need to be continued for the rest of her life. Without these pills Lexi’s body cannot process any nutrition and she begins not only to lose any weight that she has worked very hard to put on, but also ceases to process what has previously been put in her body. In short, it is very dangerous for her to miss even a dose of this medication.
Because of the cost of this medication and the fact that it is not common, we have to pre-order it through our pharmacy. We knew that it was ridiculously expensive, but because Lexi’s medical bills have been even more ridiculously expensive than the medication, we have never had to pay the demanding price tag that accompanies it, until this last refill. Lexi called me from the pharmacy with the news that her enzymes would cost $1300. We were at a loss. We simply did not have the money to pay for the medicine that her body needed. The pharmacy called the insurance, I called the insurance; but to no avail. Although we still had many medical claims outstanding from Lexi’s ongoing specialists and scans, those bills had not yet been fully processed and thus could not be counted towards our deductable. My heart sank. Lexi had enough pills to make it two days while we formulated a plan. The days passed and I still had nothing. I went to the pharmacy and asked if I could possibly do a partial fill of the prescription – enough for about a week’s worth. I was hopeful that by then more claims would be processed thus lowering the co-pay amount or at least giving me more time to come up with a better plan.
Not 5 minutes after I left the counter my name was paged and I was asked to return to the pharmacy. My favorite pharmacy tech motioned to me and said that she had found a website that may help with a co-pay and asked if she could enter my information into the site. Elated at the thought of saving even a little money in hopes of getting more of her prescription filled, I wholeheartedly agreed. I left the counter and ten minutes later my cell phone rang. “Hey Em, your prescription for Lex is ready” said the pharmacy tech. I walked back to the counter to see multiple bottles of the valuable medication. “Your co-pay is $5” She said with a bright grin. “This is her full prescription – all 90 days worth.” I looked at her with tearfilled eyes and shook my head in disbelief. This was too much of a coincidence to be just a coincidence. My prayers had been answered and our burden once again lightened. “I entered your information into the system. Lexi qualifies for their program and she shouldn’t have to pay more than that to get this medicine anymore.” She smiled at me gently and told me to tell Lex hi for her. I left the store with a full heart, a grocery bag full of medication, and an experience of the evidence of God in my everyday life that I couldn’t wait to share with my kids.
I’m a big believer that we will find what we are looking for in life. Some may say that this blessing came as a result of a diligent pharmacy tech, some may say Lexi’s life was saved at the hands of talented doctors and surgeons. While I do not discount the merits of others, I also recognize that I have seen far too many things to just believe in coincidence, chance, or the possibility of a Higher Power that is vaguely interested in our existence. I know God lives and is in the very fabric of our lives.
Here’s a picture of the amount of enzymes Lex takes daily to keep her body working and her out of the hospital ❤️
XoXo – Em