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Archive for the ‘Cancer Journey’ Category

After 44 nights…

17
Apr

So I won’t bore you with all of the details of our life over the last 4 months, but I will give you a quick overview.

In late January, my husband, Dustin, was diagnosed with cancer.  They initially told him that it was rectal cancer, however, on February 13th they changed the diagnosis to Burkitt’s Lymphoma.  Since February 13th he has spent 44 nights in the hospital over 6 hospital stays.  He has had three cycles of chemo, one surgery, several different scans, and lots of nasty hospital food (well at least brought to his room).  He has had some good days, and a lot of bad days.

BUT NOW…THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.

He came home from the hospital today.  The doctor is hopeful that he is finished with treatments.  He will have a PET scan in a couple of weeks to make sure that there are no cancers cells left.  I am extremely grateful to have him home, but I am still nervous, and pray that the next two weeks go by quickly.  I want the results of the PET scan so that we have a definite answer.

This experience has not been one that anyone would ever ask for, but God has used it to teach us many things.

We have learned to fully rely on Him.  He is our source of strength and comfort. “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.” Psalm 30:2

He has taught us how to better serve those in need in the future.  We have been so blessed by the people that have watched our kids, brought us food, helped us financially, sent cards and letters, and come to visit.  Thank you all.

He has also taught us to cherish each other as a couple, and as a family even more.  You never realize how much need each other until something like this happens.  My eyes have been opened to the reality of how much I depend on my husband, and this experience has made me even more thankful for him than I already was.  Our family has become even closer through all of this.  My kids could not wait for their Daddy to come home and were so excited when we went to pick him up.  After we got home this evening the youngest (2 1/2 months) was crying in the swing, the middle bits (16 and 17 months) were whining because they were ready for dinner, and the big girls (5 and 6) were chattering away as usual.  Dustin was resting on the couch.  I was trying to keep everyone quiet, but not having much success.  But after all the kids were in bed, Dustin pulls me over to him and says that was the best sound he has heard in the last 4 months.  It was the sound of family at home.

We know that the war is not quite over, but we are getting closer.  We continue to be reminded that God is good.  We are now in a period of wait and see (until the scan), and regaining strength.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.  We are blessed.

Not What We Expected

03
Feb

We have made a practice of praying together in the truck before we go into the doctor’s office each time.  Yesterday we prayed for good news.  We have heard so much bad news in the past week, that we needed some hope.  We needed a ray of light, and that is exactly what we got!!!

“Well, you still have cancer, but it’s not rectal cancer like we thought. You have lymphoma.”

Let the hallelujah dancing, as a friend calls it, begin!!!  Yes, D still has cancer.  Yes, it’s still going to be a long, hard road. Yes, we are still going to need help, and yes, we definitely still need your prayers.  BUT….this means no surgery, no colostomy, and no genetic risk for the girls.  This also means survival rate is much higher!!!

So, D will be going in tomorrow to have a bone marrow biopsy just to make sure it has not spread to the bone marrow.  If that comes back clear then the tumor has not metastasized anywhere else in his body.  He will also be getting a medi port put in which requires a minor outpatient surgery.  Then we will go back to the doctor next Wednesday, and he will start chemo next Friday.

God is so good!!!  The power of prayer has been shown.  Thank you all for your prayers and help.  We still need it, but there is hope at the end of the road.

 

 

 

“Praise You in this Storm”

31
Jan

We are in the midst of a storm, but there is so much to be thankful for as well.  There is a song by Casting Crowns that has been replaying in my head all morning. The chorus says,

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

PRAISE REPORT:

  • Our God never leaves our side.  And thankfully He already knows what the future holds.  Above all else, God is good – all the the time.
  • We have so many wonderful friends and family.  Thank you all for your prayers, hugs, and physical help.  We need your help and will continue to need help for many, many months to come, but we are not very good at asking for it sometimes.  Maybe this is God way of growing us in this area.  Please don’t be offended if you ask how you can help, and we say, “I don’t know.”  Especially right now, we don’t know.  We don’t know what we are going to need, but know above all else that we are so very appreciative.
  • D went to the doctor this morning, and they let us know that the insurance approved the PET Scan.  He will have a “planning CT Scan” and the PET Scan both done tomorrow morning.  After this his radiology oncologist will start planning and mapping out his radiation treatment plan.  We will meet again with his doctors later this week to finalize everything.  We are hoping that they will be able to place his chemo port on Friday.  This will be an outpatient minor surgery.  And then Monday, Feb. 6th, he will start his chemo and radiation treatments.  We are grateful that everything seems to be falling into place with very few hiccups.  So far, his doctors have been good and are treating this very aggressively.

This may be a storm we are in the middle of, but we will continue to praise God for His mercies are new everyday.

“Help me to be joyful even when life’s not fair.”

28
Jan

At 35 years old, you never think you are going to hear the words, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer.”  That’s exactly what my husband was told this week.  WOW!!!  Shock, fear, confusion, and disbelief all came to mind.

D found out Wednesday night/Thursday morning that he has rectal cancer.  We spent the last part of the week in a whirlwind of doctor’s appointment, culminating in an attempted biopsy on Friday afternoon.  The surgeon was hopeful that he got a good sample, but we won’t know until Monday or Tuesday.  Next week we will meet with some more doctors and have some more scans done.  Then, the plan as of now is to start chemo and radiation on the 6th.  He will go 5 days a week for 6 weeks.  After that he will have surgery, followed by another 4-6 months of stronger chemo.

All this leaves me wondering, “Why?” Why my husband?  Don’t they know that he has a family? Don’t they know how young he is?  And the answer I keep coming up with is “God does!”  God is not surprised by any of this!!!  God is good all the time, even when we don’t see it.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jerimiah 29:11

We don’t know what the future holds.  What we do know is that God’s in control.  If you see me in person, there may be times I need you to remind me of this.  My desire is that God get the glory through all of this.

We have told our 6 year old, “Squirrel.”  We have simply told her that Daddy is very sick.  We have not used the “C Word” because the only people she has known with cancer have all died.  So if you see her, please be cautious of your choice of words.  She doesn’t understand everything that is going on.  She told D last night that he didn’t look or act sick.  But she does know that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

She says it’s not fair, but when she prayed last night her prayer was “Dear God, Please help me to be joyful even when life is not fair.”  Life is not fair, but we are blessed.  I pray we will continue to find joy even when times get hard.

What we need right now is your prayers. Please pray that the cancer has not spread. Please pray that we have wisdom in choosing doctors. Please pray that he will respond well to treatment. Please pray for peace and comfort. Please pray for healing. Pray for God’s will to be done. And most of all pray that we respond to this whole situation, no matter its outcome, in a godly God glorifying manner that clearly testifies to the hope that is within us.

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