A lot to catch you all up on. I have a lot to say, so this could take a while.
My life has been extremely busy for the last 2 weeks. We went and watched Z and her Weber State team win the Big Sky tournament. Qualifying them for the NCAA Regionals!
The selection show announces they are headed to Louisiana to play! How incredible it was to know your girl that has dreamed of this since she was little was going to get to experience it.
We were so excited for her. I told her to take in every moment, enjoy it, have fun and take lots of photos!
Doug finished his regular season undefeated. Wow what a huge accomplishment. His softball team was on the Sunday Sports Extra. It was really fun to see them, but I loved watching the smile on Doug's face as "his" girls were all up there being shown off, if you might say. KTVB Sports Director Jay Tust did an amazing piece on Doug and his assistant coach from last year. They are both battling cancer. It was a beautiful piece, that reached many. We were very pleased with how well he told our story, and the story of this softball team and what adversity they have been through.
They went into districts and lost in the semi finals, yep they LOST! There was devastation seen, but I believe it put a fight in the girls. I told a few of them, it is now when you want to lose, you don't get rings for district champs, you get rings for state champs!
They came back and won and entered the state tournament in 3rd place. Putting them in the first round of the state tournament playing the #1 seed from the north, yep, we get Coeur d' Alene. Both teams only having 1 loss each. It was a great game with a huge crowd for CDA since we were playing in Post Falls. Game one. . . .Eagle wins! Game two vs. Highland. . . Eagle wins! Semi final game vs. Meridian. . . Eagle wins!
State Championship game vs. CDA. . . EAGLE WINS!
Doug gets his first State Championship! Last out of the game, pop fly on the run, caught by Autumn. Bent's mitt went about 50 feet in the air, and she runs and jumps into our pitchers arms, Bradie. All the while I am snapping all the photos I can get. Smiles all around, tears flowing everywhere. I sat back with my camera trying to capture every single moment. Here is a bunch of 14-18 year old girls that with out a doubt in my mind have been through more adversity than any team in the state. These girls have reminded this 41 year old how to fight, how to not settle, how to love, support, and be a TEAM. They with out even knowing it have been etched into my heart FOREVER! This bunch of young ladies will forever be remembered for overcoming and fighting through adversity, for being the best support to their coach even when they had no idea they were supporting him.
This bunch of young ladies have learned about the game of softball since they were little and in one year they have learned a lot more about the game of life. I could not be more proud of each and every one of these girls. Bentli, Bradie, Autumn, Hailey, Kelly, Martha, Maddie, Ashley, Kiah, Alyssa, Rachel, from the wife of your coach that is fighting for his life, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for putting a smile on his face every single day, for making him giggle, for giving him what he needed, you girls on the field working hard. For understanding when he couldn't be there, for supporting him in the shadows, for being more than just an athlete on a team. I love your guts and I am beyond proud of what you girls have done! Oh and BRING ON THE RINGS!
Doug was named Coach of the Year for 5A SIC, once again making me so proud. Him back on the field this year has been a huge blessing in our house. Seeing him doing what he is so passionate about and loving every minute of it. It's the simple things people don't see or hear from him that I get to enjoy. It is the simple things he comes home from practice and tells me the littlest things one girl did today and another the next day. With a smile on his face as if he is talking about his own daughter. Those are the things I wish I could video and show to parents and the girls. The guy truly loves these girls and has only wanted the best for them And this season they got exactly what he wanted them to get a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!
As I walked up to him on the field and said good job honey, you did it! He quickly said, no Jack, no, THE GIRLS DID IT, the girls did it all! I wanted to sit and cry, the man is so absolutely amazing.
We left from Post Falls to head to Seattle for an MRI on Monday. Excited to attend a church in Tacoma on Sunday, Champions Centre (name is fitting for the day before!) was amazing. I felt like the message that was given was written for Doug and I. When we walked out, Doug says, well we were suppose to be here this morning weren't we. I responded yep, it was what we both needed to hear.
MRI on Monday! This is where life can get REAL real fast. Dr. Benkers walks in, nope she isn't saying the MRI was good, she goes right into "how are you feeling, how are things going, are you having headaches" She does some neurological testing on Doug, then says the MRI does not look good. You have 3 spots of growth, this is where the air in the room gets heavy. She doesn't slow her talk and continues on with the chemo you are doing isn't working, so we need to stop the CCNU, the Nativis study doesn't seem to be helping either. She says we need to look at other options, novacure device, and some radiation. She still doesn't slow, there are many studies we can look into, some are closed, some you don't qualify for, and you need to focus on quality of life. Your quality of life seems really good right now. You are strong and doing well, but with these aggressive tumors that can diminish quickly and when that happens we would look into hospice!
WAIT A MINUTE, why are we even saying the "H" word right now, that is what I screamed in my head. I looked up at Doug, deflated, she just took all life he had right out of him in on word. He looked at me with the most fear I have ever seen in his eyes. I quickly said take some deep breaths, Douglas, take some deep breaths. With me babe, breathe. He looks at her and says are you saying I have years? She says No. He then says, days? She said, no no not just days. I wanted him to stop asking and I wanted her to stop talking. I sat there quiet, she says I can give you my clinical overview of a time if you want, Doug softly says I am scared to hear it. He began to cry. We moved on to treatment, thank you God I did not want to hear a number. She gave us both a hug said we would have another MRI in 8 weeks. Dr. Cobbs came in he seemed completely torn, the trial states if there is any growth you are void to be in the study. Mary the study coordinator comes in, Dr. Cobbs says out loud, I want to throw a fit and keep him in the study. Mary says it states he can't. As I grab the boxes of the device I said I want to keep one for memory sake. She giggled, like have it bronzed like baby shoes. She walked out the door, Doug looks at me and says what do you think. I broke, the tears began to flow and I said I wanted to tackle Mary as she walked out the door and grab those boxes that is what I think. Dr. Cobbs looked towards the ground. Doug began to cry, Dr. Cobbs walked over and hugged him. As we waited for them to get us an appointment with Dr. Loiselle for CyberKnife scheduling, Doug started listing off all he was going to miss, sobbing he started with Demi's graduation, grandkids, walking his girls down the isle. I kept telling him we need to stay strong. Then I decided, today, today we are going to let this just be ugly. We shed many tears, Doug was completely worked up. We got our treatment plan, and he had to have another MRI, we had them give him something to try to relax for the MRI. We then went to the cafeteria to get something to eat before we got on the road for home.
We got to Swedish at 6:30am and we were getting to eat at 2:00. We are sitting there eating and Doug softly says to me, I hope this goes fast. I said what did you say, he begins to cry and says I hope this goes fast for you. We both began to cry, I said please don't say that. He says, Jack I have never wanted to hurt you. I said sweets, I signed up for this. You are not hurting me. With the most sincere look in his eyes he says, I am so lucky to have you. I responded, I am pretty lucky to have you and I love you so much. I followed it with, "NOW WE FIGHT! WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT! On the road we went.
Doug will have 10 treatments of CyberKnife radiation. 45 minute sessions once a day. First treatment is Thursday! I am asking for big time prayers. There is a 5% chance of permanent side effects that are neurological. I am standing firm those won't happen. Doug is very scared and concerned. I am believing and standing firm in complete healing. I know we are on a journey, I know we don't know the outcome, but I do know if I allow the Lord to guide us, and give us strength and allow him to do his work all things are possible, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I said to Doug today, as he is still struggling, we can bend, but we do not break! We will not let the noise of the evil ring in our heads, we will focus on the every loving guidance from our God, our almighty God!
I remember as a young girl I would go to the Nazarene Church where my neighbor was the Pastor (Chuck Jackson). I would sit in the pew and I remember listening to him give his message, loving his word. It was the older lady that I was always confused about. Miss Fannie DeBoard, yep I knew her name. She was a kind woman who lived across from my aunt. But as a young girl I was confused by how she attended church. When everyone was sitting she would stand with her hands in the air. Sometimes she would be sitting with her hands in the air, saying out loud "amen", "amen Jesus". As a young girl, I thought this lady is off her rocker. Plus she is a bit rude to be yelling amen while Pastor was speaking. But I didn't question it and actually forgot about it when I didn't go to church much. About 7 years ago my best friend, Shelli, invites me to her church for friends and family. It was a new very small church and I decided to go. I will be honest, mostly to satisfy Shelli. As I sat there at the first service I was once again confused. First you have a band? Then again hands raised, amens said aloud. The more I attended, the more I was seeing what was happening. Soon I realized I was now Miss Fannie DeBoard, my hands thrown in the air.
I was asked, why do you raise your hand in worship. So here is what I have come up with. We will go to our favorite rock concert, Journey, or our favorite country concert, Blake Sheldon, and as we are listening to them play that one song, we begin to dance and put our hands in the air. When the song ends we throw our hands in the air towards them like give us more. We sit at sporting events, hence my girls games this past couple of weeks, and at a great play or score we jump up with our hands in the air. You know we all have done this at some point. So if we can throw our hands in the air for great music, great plays, great wins, why would I not throw my hands up to the GREAT ONE!
It is my way of saying God I am trusting you, and I am standing here with you by my side. For you are the biggest rock star, country star, game winning play, championship my life needs. My hand up towards the sky is not only inviting you into my soul, but it is me screaming you are the king of all kings. It is my way of surrendering to you in moments when I want to control them. Isn't funny when we get frustrated with something or someone we throw our arms up as if we are done, can't do it anymore. It is the same thing, you throw your hand up and he comes in, he fills you with something you need. Miss Fannie thank you for being the first Christian to show me what I need. I praise him every day, and I today know even with our new bump in our journey ,I know he is for us not against us!
As we prepare to head back to Seattle here is what I pray,
Lord God you are in control of our every move, for it is you oh Lord that will guide us and be by our side. It is you that I will call on in moments of weakness, knowing you will rise and pull me up. I ask you Lord give all the right treatment plans to the doctors. Bless Doug and give him some peace, and help him to find the fight the fight he has had for the last year. Show us what needs to be seen. Blessed oh lord are we knowing we have you in our hearts, knowing you will be with our every move. For it is you God we will give the glory to when the miracle of complete healing happens. We are not allowing the noise of evil to ring in our heads, we only hear the joy of knowing you have done great things. I ask you to keep me strong for Doug and my family, Let our travels back and forth to Seattle be safe and easy on us. Bless those that are standing with us, give them wisdom to follow your calling. Victories are to be won! More victories are to be won! We will scream from the mountain tops of your grace to our victories. Thank you Jesus for blessing us on this journey and the teachings we are getting. We are believing, we are trusting, we are speaking only healing in Doug. In Jesus name.
Love and Blessings to all