Friday, January 27, 2012

A Great Life!

Laura completed round four of her chemotherapy this past Monday.  We looked at this as a true milestone in her recovery knowing that these first four rounds can deliver a bit of a punch.  As the treatments progressed so did the physical and at times emotional impact of the drugs.  She continues to be tired, at times her moods can be a bit blue, and there have been some shivers in the night.  When I look into her face the weight loss is so apparent, and yet her drive continues to outperform her challenges.

The kids continue to make their way into her bed throughout the day.  I have caught glimpses of Dawson walking in, rubbing her head and giving her a kiss.  Sophia and Lydia love camping out with their books in tow, and either doing school work beside her or on the floor near her.  Bella is her own woman controlling every other space she wanders into. 

I can sense that the kids know we are in for a long road over the weeks and months.   They are learning to take on new responsibilities and I'm proud of the attitudes they tend to display on a fairly consistent manner.  We are truly blessed.

Tonight before Laura and I went to bed I stood over the sleeping bodies of my oldest girls and thanked the Lord for the character He is shaping in them.  I peeked in on Dawson and found myself deeply grateful for his kind and gentle spirit.  I then crawled into bed hoping I would crash quickly only to find myself listening to Laura sleep, or should I say "snor" - extremely honored to be her husband.  On my way down to write this post I opened Bella's bedroom door, and smiled that sleep had finally conquered her driving spirit.

I had a challenging and deeply painful day at work today.  Sometimes walking with people in the midst of their messes leaves one a bit weary.  It was good to go home and be immediately reminded of all the ways the Lord has poured out His goodness on my life even in the midst of our cancer journey. 

"I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." - Ps. 146:1

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Random Thoughts

Over the past several weeks we have adjusted considerably to this new journey God has us on.  Laura and I recognized early on that her diagnosis created a great deal of inner tension and chaos.  Emotions were raw, and all our questions seemed to lead into more questions rather than solid answers.  As the initial days unfolded and our medical course was set there was some settling that took place. We no longer questioned the extent of the cancer or the treatment plan.

Laura has done a fantastic job walking through her chemotherapy as well as sticking to a radically changed diet.  Her attitude is inspirational to me.  She does remain positive, but she has also been extremely open about her frustrations and inner turmoil.  There have been days when the best thing to do is stay in bed.  I have also witnessed those moments when the frustrations and reality that the cancer is not going away today or tomorrow evoke a great deal of emotion.  For both of us, the questions our kids continue to ask remind us that even though we may be settled in what we believe God is doing, they are not.

This week was our third treatment.  She was visibly and physically impacted in a much different way then the previous two.  She's a little more nauseous, a little shaky, and certainly tired and restless.  She has one more round of the strong treatments and then moves to the twelve weekly rounds.  We are having conversations about surgery.  The extent to which she desires to go and where to have it done.

I've been so grateful for the board of elders, and staff of PCC who have walked beside us with tremendous understanding and grace.  Being allowed flexibility to be home when I need to, as well as having a relief pitcher who steps into the teaching helm on the weeks during these initial four big treatments has been a tremendous blessing.  It's allowed me time to serve my wife and kids, and I have witnessed PCC being served as well as growing in ways it never would have without such an interruption in our plans.  We have been impacted by those who have taken time to cook a great meal, send a card of encouragement, sit with our kids so I can work, as well as clean the house at times when chaos rules.  Thank You! 

The cancer has caused us to adjust to a different schedule.  We cannot predict how Laura will react to the full scheme of the treatment plan.  At times the questions our kids ask still leave us a little rattled.  I still feel a little scattered, but then again that is pretty normal for me. 

Every so often someone will ask how school @ home is progressing.  To be honest it has been interrupted a bit, yet the kids are learning a great deal.   We are finally back on a daily routine of assigned work and additional responsibilities.  They are working hard on assignments and will jump into an ancient history project starting next week.  Lydia is going to focus on the process Egyptians used to mummified their dead.  Sophia is going to research and build a project around the sphinx of Egypt.  Dawson is still deciding.  We are all for our kids gaining academic knowledge, yet there are much deeper lessons to be learned through this journey.

The greater lessons our kids are learning focus more on how we as a family are walking through this season trusting in God's leading and plan.  This truly is the lesson for all of us.  My prayer is that each of our children will be able one day to pull from this experience a rich treasure of stronger character, as well as a depth of understanding the joys of serving those you deeply love.

It has been my pleasure to serve my wife.  To walk beside her in both the tender and tough times.  I am grateful for the depth of our love for each other and  the manner in which we have sensed God's gracious guidance along the way.  We are growing in unexpected ways due to the road God has us on.  The suffering, frustration, big questions from little minds is all for a purpose.  God is revealing treasures to us the can only be found in the darkness.

"In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.   Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,   for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls."  1 Peter 1:6-9