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October 28, 2019-Gratitude
I believe that fall is in full swing, the temperatures are colder and my love for pumpkin flavored coffee, cake, candy, cookies, pie etc. is on overdrive! The end of October also means chilly Friday night football games, crockpot meals, a running furnace, twelve blankets on our bed and the anticipation of Hallmark Holiday Movies! The end of October also means football playoffs, conference swim meets, basketball evaluations and this year Senior Recognition Night for Jake. This past Friday, Matt and I lined up with Jake before his last regular season game, so he could be recognized as a senior. The amount of pride Matt and I felt as we walked arm and arm with Jake, could never be captured in words, but rather a feeling in our hearts. His grit, kindness, hardwork and perseverance the past 15 months since Matt’s diagnosis make our hearts swell with love. Often, being the oldest isn’t easy, just ask Matt and my older sister Kisten. You are the “trial and error” for your parents, you often have “all the rules”, you are a product of overprotective first time parents (yes, rookies), you have to be a “good role model” (run perfect plays) for your siblings, you need to lead by example (team captain status), you have responsibilities because you are older and so many other things that fall on your shoulders. Then add in having a parent with a life threatening disease, that is a lot for a high school senior. Jake continues to take it all in stride, we are so proud of Jake and look forward to watching him as he continues to grow and take on his hopes and dreams.
I would be lying if I said the past three weeks have been easy. The last time I updated, Matt was finishing a short stay in the hospital for a mystery reaction and fluid in his abdomen resulting in his first Paracentesis. Since that short time out he has had two additional Paracentesis procedures and another scheduled for this week. After the fluid is drained from his abdomen he does feel some relief. We are hoping that his new treatment is effective in decreasing the production of fluid and keeping the cancer from spreading anymore. The side effects continue to keep Matt feeling like he isn’t playing his “A Game” but he seems to fool many of the bystanders. This past week, Matt made a difficult choice, but the best choice for our family. Matt has always put our family first, and once again this is his priority. Matt decided to take an extended medical leave for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. At the start of the year, Matt had no intention of giving cancer an opportunity to score by giving up something he dearly loved, teaching. However, sometimes you have to let something go knowing that the gains will be greater than what you see as a loss at the time. Sometimes coaches need their star players to sit a game when they have been battered and bruised to get ready for the next game. This is how I see Matt right now, he is getting healthy enough to continue to take on our opponent. Matt is now able to attend appointments, receive treatment, rest and focus his time on our family. I have prayed for “time” and God is giving us that, precious family time. One of his concerns was consistency for his students, he decided it was selfish to not be able to give them his undivided attention and attendance.
Throughout this journey we have used the mantra “Faith Over Fear!” This continues to be how we look at each day, knowing God is leading us. We have been blessed beyond belief and the blessings continue to pour in day after day. Some days I truly tell myself “For we walk by faith, not by sight” -(2 Corinthians 5:7) because there is no way we would keep walking if we could see what may or may not be ahead. Had we relied on sight, we would have given up on this journey. There is something joyous about not knowing what lies ahead, but focusing on what is with us at this moment. We have a beautiful support system within our family, church family, friends, school district, students, parents, coaches, athletes, community members and people we have never met. We have felt the prayers and words of hope and encouragement. We have smiled at the kindness we encounter daily, we embrace and appreciate each prepared meal, bag of snacks, giftcard, treasure and service you have spoiled us with. I truly have no way to explain the gratitude we feel, we have no way to say thank you to each of you individually (I still have 98 of the 100 note cards I ordered a year ago:)) My hope is that if I see you, I can say thank you with a hug or a smile. My hope is that you all know you have been an important part of this game, our offense, defense and special teams!
So Team Fouch, keep cheering, keep fighting with us, keep living each day to the fullest, keep sending good thoughts and keep praying.
Lots of Love,
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