Monday, May 2, 2011

A Year Later

It was a year ago, nearly, that Mom and Dad drove to Sulphur Springs, to have tests done, to see what was wrong. It was a year ago, that Johanna and I sat with Dad, outside, and heard the words that struck fear against our souls. Mom had Stage 4 Cancer. The doctors could give us no hope.

I don't think I really believed it. Not then. It wasn't the sort of thing that happens, not really. We were shaken inside, trying not to think of what it would be like, how life would change, if our fears were realized. But we turned our thoughts from those fears, and pressed forward. We fought every inch of the way, getting Mom into M.D. Anderson, starting the chemo that stopped the cancer's progress, praying and worshipping every evening we could, seeking the Lord's face for wisdom.

I got caught up in the every day, in surviving each separate moment, in weeping with the blessings, with the precious gift of all the dear people who supported us. We all did, I think. We did what was before us, because it was given us to do.

Now, standing nearly on the other side, it feels like waking from a dream,
looking back, and realizing, suddenly, the immense miracle of 2010,
the year that changed our lives forever.

The Lord has blessed us, beyond belief. And we have something to share with you, a new measure of proof. The Lord made a way for us to pay for a sonogram, and Thursday, Mom and Dad went to Tyler. The results? The tumors are not gone, but they have shrunk to half the size.

"5 lesions are identified in the liver.  All of the lesions are significantly reduced in size, with only two small lesions showing color flow.  The spleen is normal in size and texture.  The low density lesion in the posterior aspect of the spleen described in earlier reports is no longer visible.  The kidneys are normal, and the mass in the pelvic area is reduced from 6.1 x 6.3 to 4.4 x 3.2.  Some color flow is noted."
-paraphrased from sonogram report 

Isn't is wonderful?  And Mom, free of medication for nearly 4 months, has no pain.  Her hair is coming in thickly, and she is blessing us daily with her beautiful self. Mom is nearly back.

We are still struggling financially. Business in the shop is slow, and Mom's supplements and weekly IV treatments run up quite a sum. Staying in the black is a daily challenge.  But the Lord is with us, every step.

How can we doubt him? How can we fear? How can we do anything but trust after such a miracle? There is no logic in fearing when we have such proof of His love.

No matter what happens, we are His.

Wishing you a peace without measure,

and the family at Rambellwood

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Feel A Need

I feel a need to share, not because so much time has passed, not because so many people want to know how Mom is doing, but a need, merely because my heart is full.  A need, because life can grow so heavy when one does not share the burden.

Life is different for us, different, because we have, at last, accepted that Mom is not herself, that even though we feel she is on the mend, she cannot do everything she has always done.  She cannot, though she wants to so badly, carry the responsibilities she has always held.

The doctors have not definitely said it, there is no medical proof of it,
but we feel that Mom is over the worst.  We are seeing this time as a time of recovery, and we are moving carefully toward that goal, day by day, moment by moment.

We are eating and living as organically as possible.  Mom is doing coffee enemas, juicing greens and wheat grass, having weekly IV doses of Vitamin C, and spending time in an infared sauna. 

At this point, Mom is completely off all her pain medication, which, in itself, is amazing.  Despite that, there are still lingering effects of the drugs.

Our goal now is for Mom to be free of withdrawal symptoms, and, if at all possible, herself again.  But, that requires patience, and courage.  It is a daily battle for Mom, fighting weariness and depression, fighting a strange weariness, where she feels too tired to rise and do something, but not tired enough to rest.  She is caught between the two, and it is a burden that makes her struggle to hold her head up.

And it is hard for all of us, hard for Dad, because some of the order of his life seems gone, hard for we children left at home, because we are not accustomed to bear our Mother's burdens, and hard for Mom, because she does not want us to.

We do not notice how heavy this new life is, how firm the weight of new responsibilities hangs on our shoulders.  We do not notice till we bottom out, and beg the Lord to please, end this thing.

We have been so, so blessed, honored by gifts beyond our belief... and we have grown, so, so much, felt our hearts touched by truths we never knew existed.  And our minds tell us we must be strong, we must keep on, we must hold our own against the storm.

But our hearts, our hearts tell us we can hold on no longer.  We must find rest.  We must release this "burden of care", and rest.  And this is where the difficulty lies.

We must lean on Him, every moment, every hour of the day.  We cannot survive if we do not.  We must learn to trust Him even more, to hear His voice when so many other voices crowd our souls.

It isn't easy.  In fact, it's terribly hard.  But is this not the struggle of all our lives?

Here in this place, in this journey, God has given us a window, a window to discover Him, to pull him close and never let go.  I do not know how long the window will stand open, or how long the storm will come rushing in, but we cannot see it as a torment, nor as a battle we are too weary to fight.  No, we must see it as a challenge, as a challenge to meet the Lord in our weariness, and find a strength that no army can conquer.

and the family at Rambellwood