Day 1030 and a Bit About Thanksgiving

So I know that, right now, everyone is more focused on baking and brining than what we are thankful for. I get that. I’ve never cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal in my life and have zero desire to do so.

But I imagine it’s a crucible.

I have been blessed with a brother and sister-in-law, who actually enjoy the cooking process. So, while everyone else is stuck in cart-to-cart traffic at the Shoprite then stirring and mashing and chopping, I get to cut up cheese, throw it on a tray with crackers and call it a day.

Anyway, that leaves time to consider the thankful thing and discuss it with our boys.

I am sharing our “What I’m Thankful For” lists with you. There could be thousands of things but here’s just a few:

Jeff and Katie – our jobs, wonderful friends and community, endless support from my mom and Martin, God’s grace and provision, Justin’s continued healing, health of Nicky and Michael, healing of Jeff’s eyes, Advil, caffeine, fried chicken, Taco Bell, soda. Above all, for the salvation and love of Jesus Christ.

Nicky – Buddy, Gizmo, friends, food and TV.

Michael – Buddy, that he qualifies for the school spelling bee, food and football.

E3951DD4-0C5C-4051-85FD-73BD6844DCC8Justin – Buddy, the Xbox, Cheezits, McDonald’s, Mac and cheese, Friendly’s, milk, meatballs and football. Oh and mommy.

Yup, their answers are very kid-appropriate as they should be (okay some of mine were, too). But, then Justin went into this deep, insightful speech about how he sees that God is working in his life even though he “got cancer.”

Jeff said he’s either going to be a minister or middle linebacker. Maybe both.

Happy Thanksgiving and lots of love from our family to yours. God is truly good to His children. Grace be with you, my friends.

Don’t forget the cranberry sauce.

 

 

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Day 1023

Oh, Buddy. Dogs don’t do subtraction.

Doesn’t he look good?!

Justin, I mean. He’s been happy and relatively healthy.

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him, he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:8-9

Day 1019

There’s something about your child being in a holding pattern somewhere between now and eternity. There’s something about forcing your child to be sick for three years so he can live. There’s something about having no tears left which makes you feel cold but you’re not cold you’re just used to it. There’s something about being used to it that feels very wrong. There’s something about knowing down to your guts that you have zero control.

You realize just how bare and inept you really are.

But.

You are no longer gripped by all there is in this world that is unendurably pointless.

Day 1010 and Cancer Mom Confessions

18174F31-E99C-4D53-911E-EBA85AA283ACJustin is “man down” again. We started another round of chemo Tuesday, and it usually  reeks havoc on his body the first week or so. Just as he’s feeling better toward the end of the month, it’s time to start again.

6FB1B54C-AE7B-4316-B3A9-D8E31887A3F9Justin is not feeling well, but sometimes he is able to rally for something he really wants to do. We’ll see if that happens later today for the boys’ soccer games.

Justin cried last night and said he hates cancer because he had to go home while his brothers and friends went trick-or-treating. He made it a little while; but then he was too tired and his neuropathy-affected, chemo-mangled heel cords were in too much pain.

9D0AF6F2-C972-4011-8CDE-B2972CBC66F0I told him to try and focus on the fact that he got to go even for a little while. Very hard for kids. Hard for me as I held him, wiped his tears and offered a chocolate bar.

Aaaand another emotional eater is born.

Jeff is working. I am working. I am also taking care of Justin and managing the boys mostly myself again. I am tired. But it’s a good tired, I guess, because we are doing what needs to be done.

We push forward. Maybe, today, I am crawling.

They had to increase Justin’s chemo dosages for a white blood cell count that is too high and concerning. He is also slightly jaundiced again and will have further testing done this month to determine the cause and health of his liver.

It’s a lot. Yup.

But we are employed with health benefits. Jeff’s eyes are healthy again with a little help from a laser and medications.

And God will carry us through as we push toward a finish line that we hope, above all hope, WILL NOT BE MOVED.

Thank you for continued support and prayer.

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore. Psalm 121

 

 

 

Day 1007

Jeff received a job offer and is over in the city today signing paperwork and all that good stuff.

God provides. We love you, Jesus.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to everyone who answered the call and helped bridge the gap between employment during this difficult time. I pray for many blessings to you. Grace be with you, my friends.

 

 

Cancer Mom Confessions

I took a substitute teaching job Monday. I worked for Children’s Choice Monday night. I worked in the office Tuesday and today.

I’ve been cancer momming and regular momming in between.

Jeff has been taking care of Justin and making dinner.

Maybe I haven’t spent enough time with my kids. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time with my cancer patient.

But maybe doing everything I possibly can for them is enough.

I push forward.

Please continue to pray toward fitting  employment for Jeff. It will come.

Thank you for continued support.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
    for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
    save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord,
    for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
    for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:1-4

 

 

Day 995

I am running on about two hours of sleep, and Jeff is recovering from emergency eye surgery.

First day I go to work and he goes and gets himself temporarily blinded. I only asked him to cook some lousy chicken.

Okay, seriously. Jeff had something called acute angle closure glaucoma, which put us in the emergency room Monday night. Then a transfer to Will’s Eye Hospital until the wee small hours when IV meds and tons of eye drops alleviated pressure, and, thankfully, his eyesight was restored.

Today he had a laser procedure in one eye  to hopefully remedy the problem. He will have to go back Friday for the other eye.

C0118345-9E01-4661-B7DD-BB15228E19E9I couldn’t make this stuff up. We just like to stay on your prayer list.

A very special thank you to family and friends, who helped me juggle the boys and still make it to new employee training.

My first day, Justin said, “Mom, you look nice for work and if you get nervous or anything don’t poop your pants.”

Sage advice, kid.

It’s either laugh or cry over here, people. I choose laughter.

Justin has been feeling much better since finishing his last course of steroids, and has enjoyed his time playing the Wii, with our neighbor, instead of doing boring old school work with me.

Thank you for continued support. I don’t panic over every new trial because my Hope is not of this world. Grace be with you, my friends.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

 

 

Day 990

Well, I got a job. Unless my criminal background check turns up a felony I’ve forgotten about.

I’ll be working at The Children’s Choice social services, in the Human Resources department, as a recruiter, performing phone interviews for potential case workers.

I am going to work Monday, while Jeff is homeschooling Justin and making dinner.

On that note, Jeff would like me to distinctly STRESS to our readers to please contact us if you know of any positions available in I.T.

I am convinced more than ever of God having a sense of humor.

After training, I can typically work from home, which fits in really well with my hectic cancer momming schedule.

God provides! Thank you for continued support and prayer. A very special thank you to the lovely Sharon Cline, who has faithfully sent us an encouraging note every month since the beginning. Always a big cheer-up to open her cards!

Here’s a few pics from our adventures this week. Justin was able to play soccer and attend computer class at school, while also keeping up with his studies at home. God is good!

 

Day 982

Clinic went really well yesterday. Justin had a relatively easy IV placement, and received his chemo in the playroom with best pal, Luke.

87A1AD4C-4696-46C5-8B83-9DB33E8AEB35But Justin isn’t feeling so hot today. We are watching movies, and I’m making some of his classic chemo crave items – meatballs and banana bread.

I still haven’t come up with an appropriate way to describe our gratitude for the awesome ways God has been providing for us. But it’s kind of like that scene in “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” when the whole town is turned into ice cream and everyone runs around cheering and diving face first into mint chocolate chip snow drifts.

It’s kind of like that. But so much better.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21