Saturday, October 29, 2011

Message from Julia

 

So Julia has a blog, I keep forgetting she has one since I think she has started several : ) She left it open just now so I read the last entry. Thought I'd share with you what is on her heart.

Life
Hi everyone,
Well as you know my dad has cancer and he is having surgery on December 1st.  At times life will be hard but I know God will keep care of our whole family.  Please pray for this process and my family.  Remember always have faith in God!!!
- Julia
I love this girl!  God is at work in her and through her and it thrills my heart.  She definitely has been more clingy to Dave these last couple of months and as the surgery date approaches I know her concerns will grow.  She cried the other day when I told her she couldn't come to the hospital with us on the day of surgery.  Ugh.  We still haven't figured out what would be best for them that day.  We have all kinds of options thanks to some great friends.  Maybe I'll try to get something out of Daniel for the next post : )

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Excerpt from my Devotional

There are not words to communicate the depth of the meaning of these words to me:

"I, the Creator of the universe, am the most creative Being imaginable.  I will not leave you circling in deeply rutted paths.  Instead, I will lead you along fresh trails of adventure, revealing to you things you did not know.  Stay in communication with Me.  Follow My guiding Presence."

(from Jesus Calling, October 27)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

The above quote encompasses all God has been teaching me these last few weeks.  (It's like the cliff notes version!) He is so good and patient with me. Oh how He loves us, how He loves me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Patch !

In an attempt to keep things "cheery" around here, we decided to take advantage of a 1/2 day at school and go on an adventure.  We went to Hunters Pumpkin Patch.  All the way there, the kids kept saying, "We want to go to the one we went to last year..."  (add a little whine with that statement).  I don't know what it is about us (humans) we tend to settle into the familiar and comfortable.  I'm often looking for ways to change things up or try new things, just to shake us up a bit (granted nothing has been dangerous or wild...my ideas have been things like trying fruits we can't pronounce or visiting a neighborhood park we've never been to or trying a new pumpkin patch...maybe I'll try something more adventurous after all this cancer stuff is in our past!)

Anyway, it ended up being a great afternoon, lots of laughs, smiles, goats and "normal".  Here are a few pictures of the day.


And we can't have a day with a camera and nature and not a "path" picture, so here it is:
As I just reread the above post, I had to giggle a little.  Maybe this is what God is doing in my life.  I do like "comfortable" and just maybe God wants to give me an adventure, shake things up a little.  Do a new thing.  Let me just say cancer is way crazier than a weird sounding fruit, but He is definitely more wild than I am.  So I will quit my whining and stop asking "when will we get there" and trust His leading.  He knows where we are going and the adventure that is before us.

Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things..... Isaiah 42:9

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

December 1

There it is.  The surgery date.  Dave got his way.  I guess it is only fair since he is the one with cancer.  44 days from today.  That seems almost an eternity.  So we continue to wait.  Maybe I should look at this as a gift.  We have 44 days! : )  There, that is better.  Daniel is learning punctuation in school, maybe I should try to end more of my sentences with an "!". 

Let's make the best of these next 44 days!  Almost sounds exciting now doesn't it : )  Let's see how it goes...  !

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. Klatt

O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.  Psalm 51:15

We met Dr. Klatt today...he is 68 years old.  He was doing his internship the year I was born.  I'm okay with this.  At least I was born after he was.  The last surgeon just got married and was quoting his medical books to give us his opinion.  Dr. Klatt spoke from years of experience.  It's just odd sitting face to face with a man that will be cutting your husband open and hoping to not make a mistake.  Okay, that last thought was mine completely, he did not say that!

This place of anticipation is undoing me though!  Wait, that is our job right now, wait.  Okay, I'm starting to come up with some thoughts of substance.  They have a date for surgery, but I'm not telling you (you have to wait now!).  Okay, they told us November 17.  I really wasn't going to tell you, but I know what it's like to wait.  They have to check if the hospital has that time open and if the team is all available that day. 

And Dave wants to wait until after Thanksgiving for a host of good reasons. I want it done tomorrow.  You know let's get this show on the road, get this party started, get this cancer out!  It's funny, I just realized the whole meaning behind the name of this blog, it is the road...I keep daydreaming about "tomorrow", the future, the cancer free future.  And all along, I'm missing today.  The worries and stress of the "now" are not fun, it's not where I want to be, but it is the road set before us.

Tomorrow Dave is calling Dr. Klatt's office to see if after Thanksgiving works for them.  So basically we still don't know anything.  I have to say, Dr. Klatt was encouraging.  He says it looks like they should be able to remove all the cancer, Dave will need a temporary ostomy (a loopostomy - never heard that word before - and I just looked up how to spell it and can't find it anywhere...Kirstin, did he just make that up?)

So we just wait.  We should know the date of surgery for sure tomorrow or the next day.  It will be in God's perfect time though, I'm sure of that.  Your will Lord, not mine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another last day!

Almost forgot to tell you all...Dave took his last Chemo Pills last night!  So now we wait (some more).  Tomorrow (Monday) we meet with Dr. Klatt, our new surgeon.  We are hoping he will schedule the surgery.  I'll let you know what he says.

Happy Fall Y'all : )

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Last Day!

Well, he did it ~ 28 treatments of radiation.  And he did it well.  Good job honey.  The kids and I surprised him at the hospital with balloons and signs, I have no idea why, but the kids really wanted their hand made signs taped to their backs.

The weird thing around his neck is actually bells.  One of the nurses said that on your last day of radiation you are supposed to wear bells (no idea why...).  Dave thought it'd be funny to wear a Belle Dress, but then he came to his senses.  We decided to bring the bells and wear them as necklaces : )  Thanks Linda for being there and snapping this shot!

So now their are four more days of chemo and treatment before surgery will be complete.  We meet with Dr. Klatt next Monday and hopefully schedule the surgery.  It should be sometime in November. 

Oh and I forgot to mention, these last few days of treatment have not been awful as indicated!  Thanks to all you prayer warriors, God has given Dave a break.  Keep praying things continue to go well, thank you for all your support and encouragement.  You mean so much to us!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shampoo

Please tell me this is normal.  So I was standing in the shower this morning and I was trying to figure out which bottle to grab.  "shampoo, Nancy, pick up the shampoo" and what do I do?  I pick up the conditioner, pour it in my hand as I'm thinking, "this is not the shampoo".  Since I can't waste the conditioner, I take the shampoo bottle and with my elbow pour the shampoo into my other hand and wash my hair with one hand while I hold the conditioner in my other...this is why Pert was invented.   Isn't this supposed to be the easy part of my day? : )  So lest any of you think too highly of me, I can't even figure out how to take a shower.

Oh and just now, I call my doctor for my annual exam, they ask if I can come in tomorrow.  Um, no.  I ask if I can come in next week and she says that Dr. Gore is retiring this Friday.  Well, okay then.  That was not part of my plan.  Any of you have a great doctor you can recommend?  (That is taking new patients - don't tell them I don't know how to shower). 

I'm not sure what God has in store for me the rest of the day, I'm feeling like I'd better make some more coffee though!

I do know what is in store for Dave, 2nd to last day of radiation!  While this is a definite reason to celebrate, it also merits a day of necessary prayer.  The radiation is being pinpointed into a very small area and should cause a great deal of discomfort and pain.  Please pray for him this week (they say the effects continue even after radiation is complete).  Please pray for effectiveness, strength, healing, and comfort.

It's a week full of doctors appointments (including two dentist appts).  I hope I remember to do the things that are necessary, like shampooing my hair.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Family Day

The kids had a half day today, so we decided to spend a little time all together!  Yeah for Family Day!  We started out by getting premium parking at Tacoma General.
We got to go with daddy to radiation today.  We met some of his new friends, that by the way are fantastic, beautiful people.  The first couple probably in their 70's came right up to Dave and said they have a new morning appointment time slot, so this is probably the last time they'd see him.  The wife has colon cancer and the husband has accused Dave of stealing puzzle pieces from the almost impossible puzzle in the waiting room.  The next couple, we got to do the impossible puzzle with, is also probably in their 70's and the wife had colon cancer and now it is in her back and it is terminal.  The staff is equally amazing, they actually let us go in and take pictures.

 That machine above is the one that zaps Dave. It rotates all the way around his body (which is easier than him rotating...) The picture on the right is the ceiling that is above Dave. That is NOT real! Those are some kind of special ceiling tiles that are lit up and look beautiful. I think we need that in our house. 
Our next family event was Pumpkin Carving! 
 The kids love to do this every year for the Idlewild Pumpkin Carving Contest. 
 Daniel is especially excited : )  And Julia is apparently Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...

And here is the final product.

This is a good representation of how I feel most days, kinda crazed.  I just hope this little light of mine shines in such a way that people see Jesus in spite of myself!  It was a great family day, radiation and all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We have chemo

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned we were working through the "red tape" of insurance to get Dave's chemo pills.  After yet another phone call yesterday it finally got worked out, they agreed to ship the pills to the local Walgreens, it should arrive today.  (Keep in mind, Dave has been out of pills for 7 days and the pharmacy has had this in stock the whole time...my patience was being tried!)

I went to pick up the pills today.  After looking at the computer screen for too long, this nice young man asked a co-worker what was happening with our order.  She said, "Oh, they tried to deliver it earlier today, but no one answered the door so they left with your pills." 

What!?  UPS just tried to deliver thousands of dollars worth of life saving drugs to your door and you didn't answer it!?  At least, that is what went through my head.  What I think I said was "We really need this today, when can I expect it?"  Nonchalant Answer: "Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow."   

Really? Many thoughts rumbled through my head again, but what I think I said was, "So do I need to call every hour until it gets delivered!?" (in not such a kind voice...woefully so)

"Maybe you should call the 1-800 # and ask them to track it."

The first guy that helped me quickly stepped in and said, "I'm here till 11pm, I will watch for it and call you as soon as it arrives."  (This was a good response at this moment!)

I left with zero expectations that this would be resolved today.  But guess what!  They called.  UPS had come back with the delivery (and they answered the door).  I drove back.  As they saw me walking up to the counter they quickly grabbed the package and handed it to me.  I said, "I am so sorry that I was short earlier...it's just that my husband has cancer and I was in a panic."  Almost in unison 6 pharmacy employees all apologized too and said not to worry about it, they understood.

Good grief, I am humbled daily.  God had it covered, there is a divine reason Dave has been without these pills this last week, we may never even know why.  What it taught me though was that I am responsible for my behavior, I can choose to bless or to curse those around me.  While I did hold my tongue somewhat, I could have done a better job. 

We are doing a study at church, The Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore.  A quote from last week's lesson is: "We are spiritual when we are out of control and the Holy Spirit is in control."  Sadly, I was trying to take some control back.   And just to make it clear to me (that God is really in control anyway), there was a check in the mailbox when I got home from a dear friend.  Humbled once again.  (Thank you dear one, I hope the tears on the phone made it absolutely clear that you blessed us.)

So tomorrow is a new day, praise God.  I hope you will be a blessing to those around you (especially since I'll see some of you! hee hee).