Sunday, August 30, 2009

Family Fun Day Fundraiser

Well, everyone, sorry about the hiatus!  Is this the longest time between blogs?  Anyway, these last few weeks have been filled with swimming, anniversaries, scans, back to school, and an super fun Family Fun Day!

August 14 found Scott and myself at the hospital so he could get a scan before starting radiation.  It also happened to be our anniversary.  It was somewhat bittersweet.  It was bitter in the fact that we had been hoping to be getting prepared for an anniversary vacation within this next year, as this was our 15th anniversary.  I had a few moments where I cried over the fact that this would not be the case, and that it would have to wait a few more years.  It was sweet that we were at least together and had weathered some of the toughest, sickest times of this storm.  It was bitter in that we had to spend a portion of the day at the hospital getting a scan.  It was sweet because we were done with the chemo and moving on to the radiation... and also because they were actually running on time that day, so we didn't have to wait very long!

We received the results of the scan that next week.  It was not a clean scan, so we were concerned as to what this would mean for his treatment plan.  In saying "not clean" I mean that there are still areas that are suspicious for cancer.  He may still have cancer that the chemo did not eradicate.  I guess we both felt that the chemo would remove the cancer and then the radiation was more of a perfunctory measure.  After talking with his radiation oncologist, however, we were told that he would not need to go through more chemo and that the radiation should take care of anything that is left.

So, last Monday after all that news, we started school.  When Scott asked me how it went, I told him that it's days like these that make people say they would never home school.  Thankfully we have 179 other days to make up for it :).  By the way, the rest of the week was much better!

That week also found Scott and I at odds with each other.  We both gave in to the built up stress due to his cancer, and neither of us responded to the other appropriately.  That week I struggled with coming to terms with my attitude towards my husband.  I have always battled my attitude, but this week something seemed different.  Scott called me out on a few things, and my spirit was determined to remain hardened.  After a few days of holding onto the sinful desires of my heart, I had to let go.  Even though we reconciled with each other, I think the full effect wasn't realized until Sunday.

Saturday was the Family Fun Day Fundraiser that our church sponsored.  It was a wonderful, family day!  Through our church we have truly seen the body of Christ at work.  They have given us food, finances, prayers, encouragement, and hope!  Our church and our friends have been our family here in Colorado.  There were many people who came to participate in the fun activities.  There was a live band, Schofield, who are friends of ours, as well as a raffle with all sorts of neat prizes.  There were donations from Starbucks, Supper Solutions, Massage Envy, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A, Super Cuts, and many, many more!  We had a chili, pie, and salsa cook-off in which we were the judges.  (By the way, I will need some recipes from those of you who made all the yummy food.)  Our dear friend Christina became Bubbles the Clown and practically ripped her cuticle making and tying balloon animals.  Her face painting creations were great!  There were so many people from church who set up and tore down and basically ran the show.  I can't tell you all how many people were impressed that our church of about 120-150 people pulled this entire event off.  A special thanks to Stephanie, Erica, Laura, and Lindsey... probably the four most exhausted women in Denver on Saturday night!  You are all amazing!

Well, after all that, I went home ashamed of my attitude towards Scott.  No amount of stress really gave me the right to conduct myself as I did.  I hadn't thought of Scott better than myself, as Christ would have wanted me to do.  I realized that all I thought about my rights and how difficult this has been on me was what I should have laid at the cross in order to consider Scott and his struggle.  Interestingly enough, about a month ago I was asking the Lord to show me a specific sin that I battle with... one that I consistently fail to leave at the cross... one that hinders my relationship with the Lord.  I realize that there are many sins that fall into that category, but I was looking for the specifics.  Well, I believe after this past week, I can definitely place my finger on it!

More of this came into focus on Sunday morning.  During worship the Holy Spirit gripped my conscience and a flooding realization of my depravity and sinfulness before the Creator of the Universe rose up before my eyes.  We were singing the phrase:

I see the Lord seated on the Throne
He is high and lifted up and full of glory

I just felt overwhelmed, and knew that I deeply needed forgiveness from the Lord.  It was a moment that I cannot adequately put into words, but one that changed my spirit.  I hope that with the Lord's strength, I will be able to live this out with Scott and the kids.

So, what a week last week was!  Scott has had a few radiation treatments and is feeling some tiredness, but he is still going strong.  It amazes me how he continues to go to work while feeling the way that he does.  He does look like he is getting stronger, and his bouts with the chemo nausea seem to be getting fewer.  Right now he is receiving treatment on a daily basis, with time off over the weekends.

We are getting ready to go camping this weekend with our church.  We are looking forward to it as we have not been able to really get away or do anything as a family this summer due to Scott's treatments.  So, we will be enjoying time in the mountains, albeit without running water and flush toilets :).  It will definitely be a time of fellowship and rejoicing in God's goodness.  May you all have a wonderful time with your families as well this weekend.  We continue to thank you for your prayers!  We have felt God's loving hand and have seen his goodness during this trial.  We have come to understand that God's goodness doesn't depend on our circumstances.  He is good no matter where we are at in life or how we are feeling at the moment.  What a comfort to know that our God is faithful and never changes!  And with that thought, have a wonderful holiday weekend!  God bless you all!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last Round of Chemo!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 was officially the last day of chemotherapy!  I was probably more excited than Scott... he knew the nausea was yet to come.  In fact, he began to get nauseous that morning.  The nurse explained that it was "anticipatory nausea" and she gave him half of an Ativan to calm his nerves.

The treatment went as smoothly as the others.  He is now in the throes of nausea, with bone pain to come in a few days.  This is due to the Neulasta shot that he must take 24-48 hours after the chemo.  He is a determined person.  He managed to go to work the past two days, even after chemo.  His dad flew in Wednesday night and went to work with him.  We are so thankful that he is here!  Leonard/Grandpa already has a whole weekend of work planned out!

So, nothing really different from the last treatment.  We're praising the Lord that he didn't need a hospital stay this time, and we're praying that the same thing will happen for this last treatment.  

On a different note, my heart is aching and burdened for my son, Hunter.  I've seen him change during this whole process.  I've seen him become more quiet and withdrawn.  Lately I've seen him pull away from Scott... it especially happened when Scott's brother was here.  Hunter didn't look at Scott, didn't hug or touch Scott, rarely talked to him, etc.  

These past few days I've noticed some issues that are stemming from whatever is growing in his heart.  My friend was telling me that it looks like fear that has given way to anger and bitterness... and I think her assessment was accurate.  I know that Scott is the one who needs to deal with Hunter.... dad to son... but I'm worried and at times I feel as though we are going to lose our son.

Hunter is at such a crucial age; an age when he needs his dad... but his dad is lying in bed, frail and sick.  Hunter has just seen what cancer has done to his grandma, and he might be thinking that it will take his dad as well.  Actually there's been some interesting comments from the kids during this past week.

Forrest says, "If Dad dies, are you going to get remarried?"
Hunter adamantly says, "Dad's NOT going to die!"
Canyon, rather flippantly, remarks, "Dad didn't die yet."

What do I do with statements like that?  I think it has given me some insight into what the kids are thinking.  I can understand the little guys and why they say some of those things... but it is Hunter that my heart hurts over.  I am mourning for his childhood that has been blemished by this fear-stain of cancer.  I don't know how to help him, yet I realize that the help needs to come from his Heavenly Father and his Earthly Father.

My prayer is that this trial will be what helps him become a godly man, not a cynical or bitter man.  I am afraid, and I'm finding it difficult to give him over to the Lord, and wait for his time.  If the Spirit stirs you, could you please pray for Hunter, and pray that the Lord will give Scott the physical strength to discuss these matters with Hunter?  We are both broken about this and we want to see Hunter grow into all that the Lord has for him.  

Thanks so much for all your prayers, notes, letters, etc.  We are so grateful for all of you!  Now, the plan for next week is for Scott to have a scan on Friday (our anniversary).  After that radiation will begin, we're just not sure what day.  I will write and let everyone know how he is doing and when we are starting treatment.  Thanks again for all your prayers!  We love you all!