Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement that you have been giving us on a daily basis. We are deeply grateful for your Facebook posts, your texts, phone calls and emails. Since we have been so many loving messages and questions from all of you, I wanted to use this site to keep our family and friends updated in one place! Thank you for visiting it!
It's been an unexpected, knock you off your feet kind of few weeks around here. My mom, who had breast cancer 7 years ago, and also lives daily with a debilitating disease of spinal muscular atrophy, was hospitalized the day before Thanksgiving due to the filling up of her left lung with fluid. They drained it and then administered a series of tests on her to conclude that the breast cancer had indeed metastasized. This was something they told us years ago would be likely to happen. That was our first blow. She has a mass of cancer cells on the chest wall that are pushing against her lungs, causing fluid to collect until it can be drained again, which is now every 5 days or so. At the same time this life altering event was going on, my dad had not been feeling well. This was a first! He's been healthy all his life, but in the past month has lost his appetite, experienced a lot of indigestion, nausea and started to lose weight. The doctor ordered an ultra sound but it would be a waiting game. We nagged my dad about just going to the ER, and he finally conceded. But, he didn't need to get himself there, because God worked it all out for him. On a busy day in the ER, while my mom and I were waiting in her room for my dad to get there, my phone rang. It was the retirement community where he had been leading a Bible study. They were calling to say that they called 911 and my dad was headed for the ER. I heard the words, "looking gray, chest pains and something about collapsing." It was a blur; a moment in time that seemed surreal and horrifying at the same time. The rest of the day was spent bouncing between the ER and my mom's room. After a week in the hospital for my mom, and a few hours in the ER for my dad, they both got discharged that day with directions to follow up with doctors. For my dad, based on a CT scan at the hospital, he had to make a trip to the GI doctor to look at the stomach. He then ordered an endoscopy where we heard the dreaded, unwelcome words: "stomach cancer." We left with more directions to go to an oncologist and wait for the biopsy report which they "knew" would further support the diagnosis already given to us. The conference room closed in on us at that moment as our world felt like it was spinning out of control. Two parents, each with diagnosed with a hideous disease of cancer, diagnosed within a period of days of each other. Talk about journeying together in life. We were whirling from the news, devastated and shocked. But I would be remiss to add that although the world felt like it was spinning out of control, it was perfectly in control, in the hands of a loving God. This was a surprise to us, but not to Him. Further visits have concluded the following: Mom has stage 3 breast cancer that has moved to be "on the bone" both on the chest wall and on the scapula. She will be undergoing 2 shots of super strong (not the medical term!) hormones on her backside every 2 weeks before moving to once a month. The goal is to shrink the mass that is pushing on her lung so it alleviates the fluid collection and to block the cancer cells from splitting apart and being able to reproduce. Dad has stomach cancer. We know that there is an ulcerated mass in his stomach that is about 1 1/2 inches, and then right outside of the stomach near the esophagus sits a cancerous node. You can check out today's journal entry to hear about today's updates after a visit with dad's oncologist.
So, where does this all leave us? First of all, clinging to the promises of God that He will "never leave us or forsake us." That is such a comfort to us. We know that we are being held in the palm of His hand and that God's love becomes all the more real when we go through trials in life. He is our Rock. We are constantly reminded that "He will keep Him in perfect peace, who eyes are stayed on Him." And so that's what we do: We fix our eyes on Jesus and continue to trust Him in all of this, even as we fight our fears, sometimes moment by moment. What a test of faith we are experiencing!
What can you do? You can pray for us. There is nothing better than that. You can go to the throne room of God on our behalf. How can you pray? ~Well, as their daughter, I desire God's miraculous healing in both of their bodies. I am praying that this cancer will not spread any more than what we know to be there. My hope is that the cancer goes away!!! ~My dad keeps reminding me of that which I know to be true. We need to pray for God's strength to accept and endure whatever path He has us on. Remember when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane before His death and He said, "Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." ? That is where we are. We want healing, but we must yield to Him, knowing HIS ways are best. We are on a journey towards eternity with a God whose ways are perfect, even when we don't understand them.
We covet the prayers of so many and are deeply grateful for the hundreds of friends and family that are heaping love on us. Your love is both a support and a great encouragement. You uplift us and strengthen us.
Thank you! You each mean so much to the three of us!