Monday, July 27, 2009

The Next Day

Wow - what a difference 36 hours makes. One, Lori is much better. Two, I'm overwhelmed at the kind words of encouragement that have been sent my direction.

First, Lori is having much less pain. They drained over 10 lbs. of fluid off her abdomen yesterday afternoon. She came back to the room in noticeably less pain. Her eyes said it all. It was such a huge relief for mom and I to see her move comfortably from the transport bed into her own hospital bed.

When this journey started in mid-March, a dear friend in Abernathy told me that this would be a roller coaster. Well, I'm not a HUGE fan of them to begin with, but I don't mind riding them. But this emotional roller coaster is worse than any amusment park ride. At least with a ride, you know it will end. And you know roughly when it will end. Not with this emotional ride. You think you've gone as low as you can go, then you have a sudden incline. Unfortunately, the incline aren't very high right now. And they haven't seemed to last very long.

Though I don't enjoy this ride right now, I'm not ready for it to end yet. This is a roller coaster ride that I want to last for years and years to come. I'm just hoping that the ride becomes more of a Mini Mine Train (Six Flags) and less of The Rattler (Fiesta Texas).

Once again, I know that our family is not the only one to endure the horror of cancer. A) there are many positive outcomes with this disease. God is still in control and still in the business of performing miracles. But B) cancer sometimes wins and how do you deal with it if your family ends up on side B? We are still praying for and believing in option A. However, even with that option, there are still many ups and downs along the path.

Throughout this, I don't want to have blinders on. I don't want to focus only on our pain and the misery or joy that we are experiencing. There are many more around me daily who are experiencing their own joys or heartaches. Just because our experience is one way, doesn't mean someone else's is the same.

I know you can't experience something like this and not let it change you. I just want it to change me for the better. I want to be more aware of what those around me are going through and feeling. I don't want to become a negative person just because things around me aren't positive right now.

As a family, even though this has been a horrible thing, we try to find the blessings in each day. Some days, it's very hard to see. But on others, they come shining through brightly. When I wrote yesterday morning, the last 24 hours had been very hard to find any blessings in. Then yesterday afternoon things started looking up. Besides the blessing of Lori feeling better came the blessing of a chance to really re-connect with friends that I hadn't talked to in years.

Praying for continued good days and blessings!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just my thoughts

I don't know if anyone reads this anymore - facebook has taken over. And really, I just haven't had time since mid-March to do anything.

Like I said, I don't know if anyone will see this or not, but it's a place for me to put down my thoughts where my mom and sister probably won't see them.

This nightmare began March 18th. There were good times in there, though, where life wasn't consumed by the face that Lori has cancer. We all thought that there would be a quick resolution to the cancer by way of a transplant. Two weeks ago, that dream was shot down. The cancer had spread to a lymph node next to the liver. The doctors are all very quick to say that it was a very small spot and that it's treatable, BUT there is no cure. Once cancer cells are in the lymph system, the outlook isn't good. They are planning to fight this as best they can, though. The plan is to control and contain the cancer and attempt to keep it from spreading.

So all that sounds doable. But once again, Lori doesn't do things the easy way. Not that she chooses to do things the hard way, that's just the way things work for Lori. We are now 13 days from surgery and back in the hospital. She's experiencing some complications from surgery. Their is a small blockage in the small intestine. My sister just can't catch a break. And she's in so much pain. I know it's hard to experience the pain, but it's awfully hard to watch her go through the pain. I just don't want her life to be spent in pain. Hopefully this will take care of the unbearable pain.

Then there's my parents. I have tried to put myself in their shoes. What if this were one of my daughters. I can't imagine. I would want to die in their place - or die with them. I couldn't do it. So I know they are hurting. There are times when they are ok - but the look in their eyes will never be the same again. I'll never forget as long as I live the look - or rather lack of one - in my mom's eyes as they wheeled her back from the pre-op area July 13th. My mother will never be "my mother" again. She is forever changed. She was going to have the awesome opportunity to save her daughter's life and that opportunity was taken from her. I don't know how you endure something like this without it changing you, but at the same time, I'm selfish when I say that I want my children to experience the fun-loving nana that they've known since they were born. I don't want to have to explain why things have changed so much.

But overall, I know that we are not the only family to have ever gone through this. My biggest question is, "How?". How do you go on? How do you keep living life so positively? How do you explain things to your young children? How do you care for your sister who's in pain? How do you comfort your parents? How? Those and many more are the questions that I don't have answers to right now - and may never has the answers for.

I also know God says He will never give us more than we can handle. But I have to admit, that I'm wondering how much more any of us can take.