Successful Surgery!

8cd62ff8-21be-461f-97cf-34e12521ed80All is well and I am home resting. Thank you for the thoughtful, encouraging texts and emails. We welcome continued prayer and so appreciate your support.

Grace be with you, my friends.

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

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Day 1085 (3 years today)

So my tests all came back fine except the gall bladder. That part has to go.

I am scheduled for surgery Thursday and I am actually looking forward to it. Eating without pain and vomiting sounds really good to me. In all honesty, I’ve been sick since the summer. The first time I lost my dinner was in July and it’s been a vicious cycle since.

I ignored, downplayed, denied. All that stuff. Because that’s what we moms do when it comes to taking care of ourselves.

Maybe the timing is just plain serendipitous that my employer is having me read a book about self-care. I missed the workshop. Coincidence? I don’t believe in them.

In my defense, I am a care-taker for another person whom is more ill than I. So there is that.

Justin continues to do well. I drove him to the hospital at midnight three years ago today. Within a few hours, our lives were like a tractor-trailer flipped over on the highway.

It looked really bad.

Yet. Here we are. A little dented and scarred but scraped up off the highway and out of imminent danger.

Sometimes, we are just surviving. But, some days we thrive. I just registered Justin for swimming lessons at an indoor pool so he can continue physical therapy his favorite way. Justin hopes to join a swim team in the future.

Justin’s next round of chemo will begin February 1st. After that, he has 2 rounds to go, God-willing.

We very much appreciate continued support and prayers. Grace be with you, my friends.

A big shout out to my Nicky and the first ever GCCS robotics team for winning first place for their project and qualifying for the regional competition at Rowan University this Spring. I’m so proud of you, Nick!!

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In Loving Memory

A while back I posted about a cancer mom I had connected with on social media. Ruth is a beautiful, funny, dynamic person and a tiger cancer mom.

Her beautiful little girl has become an angel and will be forever four years old.

I had to pause to remember her.

Today, grief is like a heavy boulder that I must carry even though it cuts into the skin and tries to pin me underneath of it.

And that is nothing compared to what I can only imagine her parents feel. Please take a moment with me to plead for the presence, wherever they are in this moment, of the only One Who can truly comfort.

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Minimosa Eloise Mcrea 

 

 

Day 1078

I planned on writing a tribute to Debbie Huesser, our beloved late teacher, before I posted again. But I haven’t been able to find the right words or any words about it, really. Not quite yet.

25ceb913-dbd7-4e31-b4f6-86234cc0fa27Justin is doing well since New Year’s Eve, when his most recent round of chemo began. Normal ups and downs. He is pictured here playing monopoly with Nicky and our friend, Emily.

Justin is starting to talk about how he would like to celebrate the end of his chemotherapy (scheduled for the end of March/beginning of April).

We’ve had some ideas, but would like to hear from you. Suggestions?

Wow. I can’t belive we may actually NOT have chemotherapy in our lives very soon.

Okay. Now here’s some cancer mom confession truth. My recent tummy trouble has grown exponentially.

Stress has wreaked havoc on my body. My junk food hasn’t helped either. I am currently a little bit of a mess.  I can’t eat much without vomiting and stomach pain.

I must give you an example. It would be rude not to, really. Christmas night. Driving home from our friends’ house with an empty ice bucket on my lap, having lent it for the festivities. Suddenly, turkey, with its many glorious trimmings, is rising fast in my throat. I open the window. I look around frantically for a bag or something.

Yes, Christmas Day ended with me carrying home an iceless ice bucket of my own puke instead of a fruit cake.

I am now seeing a GI specialist so it’s 500 tests and no more fun eating.

In the end, it will all be fine, though. I will be a few pounds lighter and maybe missing a gall bladder or something like that.

We are so very grateful for your continued support and prayers. God has faithfully provided and brought us to the other side of many moments I’d rather not remember.

Life can really, really, really stink. But God is good.

Here’s to hopefully experiencing less of those bright, eye-searing, face-numbing hospital ugly lights in 2019!

Grace be with you, my friends.

 

Day 1071

We were temporarily knocked down by an unexpected loss, Justin’s stubborn veins and my stressed out stomach.

B09F985C-E050-47BA-9052-A7081C279B59But. We. Get. Back. Up.

In the strength of the Lord, we push on.

Justin’s IV has been successfully placed and clinic is going smoothly.

I am very literally eating baby food to give my stomach a rest. More on this later…

For now, happy new year! We will be hanging with the boys trying to stay awake long enough to drink sparkling cider and make some noise with them at midnight.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Grace be with you, my friends.

 

 

 

Day 1068

I have not been able to post due to grieving over the unexpected passing of Justin’s teacher, Mrs. Debbie Huesser. She was Michael’s teacher last year and Nicky was blessed to have her as well.

Also I was briefly hospitalized for a bad flare-up of some ongoing, stress-related GI difficulties. I will be having more tests done over the next couple weeks to hopefully resolve the annoying situation.

Justin is doing okay after a tough clinic visit, which had to be rescheduled for Monday due to not being able to place his IV. We will be in clinic again New Year’s Eve. Hoping and praying it will go better.

I plan to write a tribute to Debbie when I am able. For now, all I can say is that she was a very special lady. She and I had a very nice relationship and she always made me laugh. I will miss her. I know my boys will, too.

Your prayers are very much appreciated. Grace be with you, my friends.

 

 

Random Thoughts by Justin

Justin: Mom, why do kids like Santa Claus so much? He is weird!

Me: I don’t know. Because they think he brings them presents?

Justin: I mean he’s really a stalker. “He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake…” That’s stalking, mom!

Me: Why does my eight-year-old know what “stalking” is? I should look into that.

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Cancer Mom Confession and A Family Photo

I see tiny flurries floating by my window and this is what I think. Maybe if put make up and ice skates on and stand really, really still, I could be a fixture inside a snow globe today instead of mom and wife and cancer mom and childhood cancer advocate and staff recruiter for social services.

Maybe not.

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Nicky plays handbells in the GCCS Christmas concert, and Justin receives a signed soccer ball from the GCCS varsity soccer captain. We love you guys. 

Parent Hack

How to have a quick and easy not-really-Chick-Fil-A-at-all-but-kind-of dinner on a budget:

1 bag frozen waffle fries.

1 bag frozen chicken patties.

Hamburger buns. Must be buttered and toasted.

Packets of Chick-Fil-A sauce in the bottom of your purse.

Okay, it won’t blow your mind or anything, but maybe allow a few more bucks for Christmas shopping.

Oh and I DID slice up cucumber for a veg.

And while I’m thinking about being a parent, let me just say without reservation that it’s the hardest job ever. If you happen to disagree, then I need to be the one to inform you that your kids are not normal.

Lots of love to all my parent friends out there in the struggle. Grace be with you.