Oh my goodness I have so much to talk about.
My life has been crazy busy this last 15 months, but oh my how busy we have been this last 3 weeks. With more prayers going to be asked, I will get to that a bit later.
I am going to do my best at giving you the short version of my last 3 weeks.
We returned from Seattle on Friday, enjoyed a bit of rest and spent some much needed time at my sisters house in Halfway, Oregon. The beauty out her back door was exactly what my soul needed to soak up. Doug had chemo in Boise on Tuesday (May 26th) and then we left for Seattle for his next 3 treatments. Z joined us on this trip, I needed an extra driver to get us home Friday night. Bentli was graduating on Saturday (May 30th) and her party was on Sunday (May 31st). These 3 treatments seemed to go really well. Doug handled the radiation and seems to only have some fatigue as of right now. We made it home Friday night. My house had been cleaned and the party was organized and ready to go for Bentli for Sunday. Saturday was mixed emotions, so excited to be home again, but that lump in my throat was building. How could this be, how could my Boo be graduating.
No time for tears, just enough time to change the clothes out of our luggage to leave again for Seattle. The graduation party was perfect. Good food, really good food, and great company to visit with. It was so nice to see everyone come and celebrate my girl. Doug was extremely fatigued, but like a champ he made it through both days. With a house full of guests, Doug and I had to catch a flight back to Seattle for 5 days. Blessed again with flights, Thanks Rog and Linda. As we were getting ready to leave the house I hugged Rog and thanked him for the flight. We both began to cry, I began to cry really hard. My emotions had built up over the past week. My girl graduating, my husbands treatments, my complete exhaustion, my worries of a mom leaving her girls, everything, and it exploded. Off to the airport we went. We both were overly exhausted, ready to be in Seattle and get this next set of treatments done so we could be back home for a bit.
Monday (June 1) Doug has another CT scan to make the treatment plan for this last round of radiation. We came back to the hotel and took a 4 hour nap! Obviously our bodies needed some rest. You can read the 5 day stay below in my earlier posts.
We were to decide about the Novacure (Optune) device that Doug would wear. He felt it was not something he wanted to do right now. It can always be an option down the road. We were also informed our insurance was not going to cover it, $20,000.00 a month. I am glad Doug decided before we found out insurance was not going to cover it. If he decides to do it in the future, I will be appealing and fighting our insurance. I am so grateful for the insurance we have. The financial aspect of this journey is not even in my sight. I am just fighting this battle with Doug and we will do our best to keep things in order. It is a bit shocking the cost of chemo, $9,000.00 every other week. I thank God everyday for our insurance.
Doug and I flew home Friday (June 5), finally home for 5 weeks before he has to go back for another MRI. We both were beyond happy to walk into our house and sit on our deck. Saturday was filled with a busy day of clients. My mom had called and said she had not been feeling well, but thought it would pass or she might go to the doctor on Monday. Then we had an amazing evening with friends.
Sunday as we were headed to church mom sends me text, "what time do you get out of church?" I responded 11:45 why? She replies just curious. I didn't think twice about it. Off to church we go. As we are walking out of church, I look at my phone. I have a text from mom, "just so you know I am at the Urgent Care in Eagle" I immediately call her and she said the pain in her stomach region was extremely bad. We headed straight there. As we were walking in she was coming out, barely able to walk. The nurse says, she needs to go to the ER and have a CT scan. Off to St. Luke's ER we go. The doctor comes in and says we are going to do labs, and a CT scan to check for appendicitis, gallbladder, or kidney stones. Z and I sit with mom, Judy was kind enough to come sit with dad in the waiting area.
After the CT scan the doctor comes in and says, well you have an appendicitis, you will have surgery in about 3-6 hours. Then his phone rings, he says that it is the surgeon and walks out of the room. Phew, appendicitis, take it out recover and mom is good to go. I start sending out text messages to everyone. Dad and Judy walk in. Z and I go outside, I tell Judy to just take notes. That is where the Lord was working for me. Z went to get sandwiches, and I made phone calls to Jodi and Cindi. As I was walking back in the nurse came out and got me. She says the doctor is back in there and wants you to join them. My first clue right there. I pull the curtain back to walk in and my mom is crying. In my head I am saying what is going on. The doctor says "I have some bad news" I look down at Judy, she gives me the stern eyes, as if it will be ok. He continues on, mom does have an appendicitis and will have surgery today, but in the CT scan it shows a cancerous mass on one of her kidneys. That's where my stone cold face, the warrior came out. I looked him in the face, saying ok, so can you remove the kidney when you remove the appendix? He says no, different doctors, different team. I look over at mom, with tears streaming down her face. He tells us the urologist will be here tomorrow to visit with you about the plan for the kidney. But it is suspicious of Renal Cell Carcinoma. Well I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound good. Cancer? cancer? CANCER! I am so sick of that word! He says to me, I am so sorry. I reach over and grab moms leg and as I walk out of the room I state, "Well this is where we KEEP FIGHTING THE FIGHT!"
I go outside to call Jodi and CIndi. Shock, maybe that is what I was feeling. Disbelief, how could this be happening again, maybe. Anger, yeah maybe anger. I sat on a bench, made a few more phone calls, asked a few of my prayer warriors to start praying. Rog and Linda showed up, then Z got back from getting sandwiches. I told Z, she looked at me and said, "Mom what is going on? Why us again?" No answer, I had no answer. I called Bentli and told her what was going on, I got complete silence on the other end. I told her to bring dad up to the hospital. Grammy was about to go into surgery and I decided I would tell Doug in person. He has latched onto my mom and I was afraid what this news might do to him. He was barely back to finding his own fight.
They got to the hospital and he walked up to me and asks how I am doing. I said I am good, but I need to tell you something. Fast and quick, blurt it out Jack and don't give him any time to interrupt. He looks at me and I say in the CT scan they found a cancerous mass on her kidney, the doctor will be here tomorrow to discuss it with us. He leans down and kisses me and whispers, it's not, and it's going to be ok!" I said yep, it is going to be ok. We all sat and waited for the surgeon to come out. Jodi got here before mom went in and Cindi was on her way. Surgery was about 35 minutes, he said she did good and would be up to her room in an hour. We all traveled up to the 5th floor. She was a bit drowsy when she got to her room, but we all piled in like crazy people.
Doug sat down next to her bed, and says Hi Grammy, you did good. She smiled. He follows it with, I brought you my blanket, so you can use it. I began to cry, in fact I ran out of the room and straight to the elevator. The damn thing would not open fast enough, I needed air and I needed it NOW! Linda and Judy caught me and we headed down. I just was done, I cried and screamed, "I can't do anymore, I can't do anymore! My legs are weak, and I am done!"
Pulled it together pretty quickly, because I am good at that. The fresh air felt good, even though it was ridiculously hot. I had to plan, who would stay with mom, who would stay with Dad. Doug had chemo in the morning, so I was needing to be with him. We got it all worked out, mom of course once the anesthetic wore off, thought she would be fine with no help. Guess again mother, all you have done is help others, so it was your turn to get the help.
The urologist actually came in that night and showed us the CT scan of the tumor, and he brought us so much comfort. Said it will be surgically removed and then no chemo or radiation. His exact words, " we remove it, you are down for 2 weeks and then back to living the rest of your life." We have a consult with him next week. She needs to recover from the first surgery before they will do the next.
Doug had chemo on Monday and mom was released from the hospital. Jodi stayed with her and dad until Wednesday. Doug and I stayed Wednesday night. And Cindi came Thursday night. She is doing pretty good. They have had a few meals brought to them, which was so nice. They are very grateful for all the prayers, support and food.
On Wednesday morning as Doug and I were sitting on our deck having coffee, my phone rings. It is Mary from the Nativis study Doug was in. She tells me they have decided to allow Doug to re enroll into the study. YAHOOOO! Doug was really excited. I said great will you mail us the headbands, she says no that is the not so good news. This is like he has never been enrolled, so we have to start from the beginning. So we have him scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday June 16th and his 8 day visit on Monday June 22nd. WAIT. . . do we have to stay 7 days again? She says no you can go home, but he has to be back on the 8th day. Pure excitement turned into full on whirlwind again. Just when I thought I would be home for 5 weeks, I am headed back in 3 days. Oh and then again the next week. We are anxious to be back on the study, Doug truly feels he felt better when he had his headband.
Frazzled, that is my new word. I feel a bit frazzled. My life seems to be going a hundred miles an hour and I can not seem to catch up.
Pastor Dan gave a great message last Sunday, and what really stuck with me was what he said. . .
"If you want your life message clearly heard, then you need to clearly listen!"
This means listening in silence, listening for the guidance, listening for the sound of what you can not hear.
In the last 3 weeks I have been going and going and going. I truly want someone to hear my life message, so tonight I sat and listened. Silence. . . .silence. . . be still. . .
hmmmmm be still? That's what I hear, BE STILL??? Then I am brought to,
Psalms 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Made me re check myself. I have had some really crappy days lately, don't get me wrong I have looked myself in the mirror and told myself, yep this sucks right now, but girlfriend you better decide what you want to do. There are moments I want to sit in the corner and bawl my eyes out, there are moments I want to scream out of anger so the whole world can hear me, there are moments I am not sure I can keep going, there are moments, moments of silence that say be still. The Lord works when we don't even know it. It was a blessing my mom had an appendicitis so we could find the tumor before it was to late.
My life message is continuing on, I will reach that one soul, that one soul that needs to hear my message. Today, today, BE STILL!
Continue prayers for my mom and husband are greatly appreciated.
Love and Blessings to all