Happy Sunday evening friends and family.
I write to you from a hotel room in Nashville. I believe I was remiss in not updating more recently about my status on the clinical trial. The great news is that 2 weeks ago I had my first in-clinic treatment. The treatment went well with little side effects. I followed up with pills to be taken at home for 21 days. This went mostly fine as well, though I did break out with a facial rash, but this can be tolerated.
This past week was to be my 2nd round, and Kim and I drove to Nashville on Tuesday for an 8am appt Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, as we approached the city, I began to have serious abdominal cramping, and within a few hours I found myself in the ER. It’s crazy to write this, but I had an obstruction in my small bowel! Fortunately, we chose the hospital affiliated with my treatment center, so I was admitted to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center. I spent 4 nights there waiting for things to clear and my system to settle down and begin working again. The good news is that I don’t have a full obstruction. The bad news is that the problem still exists, and we really don’t know exactly what the issue is. It could be scar tissue from the surgery back in April or it could be a previously unnoticed tumor. At this point, the best we can do is to manage diet very carefully and hope/pray that it resolves with time.
Though I’m still recovering (I have hardly eaten since Tuesday now), the plan is for me to proceed with treatment tomorrow (Monday). If all goes well, we can then come home to our sweet babies that we miss so much.
I have to say, though, that it is times of difficulty like this that the character of family and friends is truly displayed. My mother jumped on a plane to be with Kim and me. Kim’s mother stayed the week with our kids. Kim’s brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Missy, came up on Friday, followed by her sister, Tracy, on Saturday. Besides all the tasks that came with the job, what touched me most, in many ways, is that they took our kids to our church this morning. I find it funny, though, that none of the kids sat with them, making them appear like Sunday visitors :).
I cannot even begin to detail all of the help from our local friends who pitched in with rides, meals, and just great friendship. And, of course, all of the texts, emails and calls of support from distant ones.
Admittedly, I’m struggling a bit right now. I fall so easily into the trap of seeing good health as a sign that God loves me. I say this fully knowing that our bodies are meant to hurt, we’re all dying, and it is this brokenness that should point us to the eternal Hope. But I so need reminding of this daily, from different voices and in different ways.
Because we were not planning on being here a week, I required some supplies from home. A $60 Saturday care-package delivered the necessary items, but it was the unexpected notes from my children that was provision my soul desperately needed to hear:
Caroline: “I miss you. I can’t wait to see you. Daddy please get better”
Owen: “Remember that God is always there. He is with you at the hospital”
Joy: “God has a plan and is watching over you”
Sam: “Never ever feel let down because of stupid cancer…Cancer is like that really dumb bully that bullies you, so don’t let it get to you! FIGHT ON!”
Thank you again, all of you, for your thoughts and prayers. If you feel the urge, please pray that we’re able to continue treatment tomorrow and that my system continues to return to normal. I don’t know how much Ensure I can drink!