my schedule for the next couple of months is going to be intense. the last 2 weekends were spent up with my family. this weekend my in-laws arrive (paul's parents, 2 sisters and their families, and his brother). another crowded house-full. :) next week, i go back up to my parents house on tuesday night (no school for the boys wednesday and thursday) and stay until saturday. i need to be back in town on sunday because we have friends from high school coming down to visit us on their way to someplace else. the next weekend is the first week of may and we have a wedding in south dakota. then the next weekend, hopefully my parents are coming down to celebrate my dad's 57th birthday. he would like to go on a brewery tour. i don't know if he will be feeling well enough to travel, but i am keeping my fingers crossed. the third weekend in may is blank for right now and i hope we can keep it that way, but we will see. we had planned an entire family (me, meri, mom, dad, jason, spouses and kids) vacation for may 24-may 31, but right now that has been postponed as the doctor said that dad is not well enough to travel. if we don't go to disney, we will probably all go up to spend time with dad anyway. i am very certain that the 6 hour trip up to see them is going to get very old, very fast. but i am not complaining. i am glad i get to spend this time with my family and cherish the time we have together.
yesterday was a horrible day for me. my dad has had a rough three years with several unrelated illnesses, surgeries, and prolonged hospital stays. truthfully, if i described the ordeal to you, you wouldn't believe that that much bad luck could happen to just one guy in this amount of time. he was recently diagnosed with prostrate cancer and underwent radiation therapy for it. two months ago, his psa numbers were 3.9 and they jumped to 13.1, so he had a bone scan and c.t. the bone scan revealed that the cancer has metastasized into his bone and become metastatic prostate cancer, which is incurable and fatal. a bone scan in june last year was completely clean.
i had a chance to talk on the phone with their oncology doctor. he was very straight-forward with the information he gave me, and talked to me and answered my questions for over 20 minutes. normally, he is not a fan of the hormone therapy treatment, but in this case, he really thinks it would be beneficial, not to prolong dad's life, but to make the quality of life better. the hormone therapy is a shot given every 3 months and slows the growth down because of the lack of testosterone, but loses its effectiveness after 18 months to 2 years. after that, the cancer will make up for the lost time and grow like crazy. the side effects can include pain, impotence and bone loss. chemotherapy is not really effective in this type of cancer and is likely to just make dad feel crappy. the radiation is pretty much only for pain management at this point and will not really slow the growth of the cancer; they will start that next week for 4 weeks. the cancer is very pervasive and aggressive, but it is not likely to spread to any soft tissue (brain, lungs, stomach, etc); however, it is in the ribs, spine, both shoulders, both hips, and left femur.
the timeline is one year. anything more is gravy. three years is an optimistic timeline of what we should shoot for. the average is 5-6 years and the longest a guy lived under his care with metastatic bone cancer is 14 years, but he thought that is was not likely that dad would make it that long, especially if dad does not do the hormone therapy. he is checking to see what clinical trials dad qualifies for today and is going to call them with that information, but is not confident that anything is out there at the moment. dad needs to stop his diet and trying to lose weight - it is important for him to maintain where he is at. the progression of the disease is that food will stop tasting good and dad will stop eating and start losing weight. that is the beginning of the end. also fatigue and pain. we talked for a little bit more and i have more info, but that is it in a concise nutshell.
so, virtually, my dad was given a death sentence yesterday and all of us are reeling. my dad has worked hard his whole life and is not going to be able to enjoy that in the end. i am sad that my grandparents will lose their son and mom will lose her husband and i will lose my dad, but what devastates me is that my children will lose their 'papa'. i was in third grade when my grandmother (my mom's mom) passed away and i only have very hazy memories of her (and she even lived with us). if my dad passes away in 3 years, my oldest son will also be in third grade and my youngest will be in first. i am in tears as i think about all that they won't get to experience with him - hunting, skiing, camping and boating, learning about tools and wood-working from a master craftsman, he won't see them to throw a baseball or be at their football games. it breaks my heart.
and yet, i know that God is faithful and he will mend my pain. it is going to be a difficult year, trying to keep my faith strong and lend my strength to my family. i am not sure i am up to it. i think the song 'i will praise you in this storm' by casting crowns is going to be my theme song this year.
A blog for me to thank and praise our Lord and Creator. I'm working at serving the Lord with gratitude, strength, joy, purpose, grace and wisdom.
Favorite Bible Verses
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer." ~Psalm 19:14
"But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of your righteousness and Your salvation all the day for I know not their limits." ~Psalm 71:14-15
"If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom." ~James 3:13
"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." ~Ephesians 5:15-17
"…to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another." ~Titus 3:2-3
I started writing this blog because of a New Year's Resolution to keep up with technology and spend more time in reflection. I pray it blesses you as you read it, and gives you one more thing to be grateful for. I pray that I am always grateful, even when facing life's trials, because having a relationship with my God is enough to be grateful for.
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend. I love my amazing husband and my often-frustrating children. God is so gracious to me!
I am a list-maker. I am not and never have been a morning person; if I ruled the world, nothing would start before 10 a.m. I like sun tea and all things dealing with food, especially the eating. :)
I can be totally obsessive about some things (like how the inside of my kitchen cupboards look) and completely unorganized with others (like being on time). My favorite color is brown and my favorite room in our house is my closet. I have a sunny window, hanging chandelier, comfy ottoman and framed art in there. Blissful!
You now know all the important things about me. The rest is just details.
that you will be blessed from reading my ramblings. that what i say will encourage and uplift you. that you will be an encouragement and uplifter of others. that you will be a light that shines in the darkness.