Life

Shannon reminded me of something today. Life is for the living.

I went on a walk around the park this evening. Everything is coming back to life…the trees are blooming, the grass is so green, it is so alive out there!

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I need to remember to live.

I need to line my emotions up with my faith, and my faith is in the ROCK. So my emotions need to be steady like a rock, not sloshing around like the milk at the bottom of the gallon jug.

I listen to people who aren’t in this life and death fight, and it seems they slosh around a bit too. Are we all just naturally complainers? Why can’t we be naturally….whatever the opposite of complaining is. Thankful? Appreciative of life, whatever it brings? Didn’t Paul say that we should thank God for our trials, for our suffering? Well I’m far from being thankful for this suffering, but I think maybe I can minimize the sloshing around a bit.

I’m going to look around and open my eyes to see life; going to open my eyes and look at it as a gift. Life is a gift, if I need to unwrap it once in awhile and really look at it…I will.

Non-compliance

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Connor and Blake hung out with us today. They love G-Bob.

Speaking of Bob….he was told by the doctors that he could not be around job sites yet, no remodeling for six months, not to be near sick people and not to drive alone yet.

Today Bob decided he wanted to drive to work…alone. I started to argue but gave up pretty quickly. He didn’t stay long because Paula was there and she’s sick.
He came home and still had some energy so he decided to climb onto the roof with the crew that’s putting on our new roof. Yep. Then he climbed into the attic to remove some ductwork that lead to a vent that they were tearing out. I did talk him into wearing a mask at least on that one.

Non-compliant….but how do you stop someone from living?

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Don’t shoot the messenger

You know I was thinking about Aimie…and how she communicated the result of moms doctor visit with me. She was our messenger. I would Praise the messenger in this case, not shoot her.
She could have said, biopsy not good….need second opinion….chemo not working….doctor out of options….

BUT NO! She delivered truth. Not test results.

I have a picture hanging in my house that says:
FAITH
TO HOPE FOR THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN, BUT ARE TRUE.

Bob had doctor visit today, counts still not completely recovered. But they are getting better….will keep the PIC line for another week. We stopped by work again….but he was a bit too tired to stay. Everyone is just plugging along there….we have a good team. It’s so hard to NOT be there….but then again….it’s not.

Bob is eating SO MUCH BETTER. Cereal for breakfast, a french toast, eggs and bacon meal from The Corner Bakery for lunch and 2 pieces of pizza for dinner. Not bad!

What about Bob

Oops….forgot to post about Bob’s day.

We had an appointment at our house to talk to a roofer yesterday morning. Hail damage. So Bob woke up and showered and got dressed in real clothes! (not that sweat pants and a t- shirt aren’t real clothes….because if that were true I would be considered not dressed a large portion of my life). But he put on a pair of jeans, a belt, shoes, tucked his SuperiornDemolition shirt in…this is a step up here folks.
He put on his ‘Hair cap’ (best invention ever) and greeted the roofing contractor at the door.
After we met with him, Bob said “Let’s go to work for a little while. And I’m driving my truck!”

We went to the office for almost two hours. Bob looked at the bid board, picked a job to bid, looked at blue prints, bid the job….then we left. Short and sweet. None-the-less, he actually worked.

I was the passenger, he was the driver. Boy does it feel good to say that. Even though his driving is as atrocious as it has always been…there is something nice about being the passenger once in awhile.

God doesn’t need chemo

While Aimie was texting me from moms doctors visit….that was a text that made me laugh. God does not need chemo. Nope. He doesn’t.

I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, sore throat. Today Paula woke with one too. So Aimie accompanied mom and dad to the doc to get her biopsy results.

I’ll just copy the texts that we sent:

Aimie: pray for peace, gma anxious about results
Me: peace that passes understanding. Do we trust God? Ask her
Aimie: I know. Judges 6:23
Me: yes!!! Just looked in bible, have that line hi-lited. Peace be unto Barbara….she shall not die. Her faith has healed her.
Aimie: amen. She’s reading bible on my iPad. Psalms. Pray for gpa too.
Me: sing His praises, we walk in victory. Walk in confidence.
Aimie: gpa speaking in fear. I rebuke that. We speak life
Me: lift your head up, our deliverer draws nigh.
Aimie: amen. Hosanna to our king
Me: we do not fear bad news
Aimie: I am excited, we are getting good news today
Me: gma is a child of God, a daughter of the king. I pray peace to all of you. Peace in that room. Pray when you go in…peace flooding that room. And you
Aimie: amen amen. Praying, having gpa speak the word too. We feed on the word daily and out of our mouths we speak truth.
Me: amen
Aimie: do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (Jn 14:27)

Aimie: temp 99
Aimie: b/p 118/64
Me: praise Him….He is worthy

Aimie: amen. PRAY
Me: haven’t stopped
Aimie: maybe worse….but we walk by faith
Me: marrow worse????
Aimie: worse or same.
Me: god still in control. Not the chemo, not the doc. She feels better, God is moving.
Aimie: yep. Amen. To God be the glory
Me: she ok?
Aimie: I think….doc speaking life.
Me: amen
Aimie: doc agrees with me, says she looks really good, tests not lining up with how she looks. I told him she’s healed. He agrees.
Aimie: gma told doc Bob was healed without any chemo. He got better and cancer left after chemo.
Me: yes, god doesn’t need chemo
Me: that’s funny…god doesn’t need chemo
Aimie: yeah, on way home now

So, we are not afraid. Mom not afraid. Ever since that morning when she woke up and said “something’s different”. We believe that something changed. God is moving. We don’t need a test to tell us she’s better. She is better.
The doc wants her to “keep doing whatever it is you’re doing….keep up this attitude…you really do look great. I was worried about you, but you look so much better.”
He told her he’d call for some consults from the doctors downtown…Bob’s doctors. But she thinks that the tests will eventually line up with what we know. She is healed.
We will not fear.

Rambling

Okay so I think maybe no one is really following this, except Rusty, Shannon, and coach Chuck. So maybe I can be really transparent here.

I’m feeling really lonely. Just … Really….alone….
I’ll get over it, but I miss Bob. Even though he’s here with me every day…he’s not.

Aimie, Nick (with the boys), Katie & Jordan came over last night to visit. We had a great dinner…sword fish, halibut and crab legs on the grill. Such a good time. Played pool and foosball…listened to music and just hung out. It was so nice to have company. Makes me realize how lonely I feel. Bob is still so tired, and still sick. And I’m so tired of him being sick and tired. Blah blah blah

When I saw Dr Lee regarding my fever, he asked me how I was doing. I told him I was fine. He said, “Kim, you’re a very strong, very special woman”. Really????…what does he mean by that? I don’t know what else I can be. What else is expected of me? I’m not doing anything extraordinary…am I? I’m just doing what anyone would do? I’m doing what my mom would do, and what she taught me to do. I’m just doing what the bible tells me to do.

I’m doing for my husband what a wife should. Putting my needs behind his. Thinking of him before me. Loving him unconditionally. No matter what he is going through…no matter how hard this is…I’m supporting him. Does this suck? YES! Do I hate this? YES! But really, what choice do I have? I married him for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part. PERIOD.

And while I’m rambling: there’s another thing I’d like to ramble on about, faith. I keep coming back to this one.

I have been told by more than one person that it just may be Gods will for people to die of cancer.
And there is no biblical reason for me to agree with this. I read that it’s Gods will to heal.
Please find me a place in the bible where Jesus Christ said, “your faith has healed you….but YOU on the other hand–oh you have cancer, and that one is too much for me”.
Find me something in His word that tells me that ‘I can heal for a little while, but then my power runs out’….
Find the verse that says ‘I will bless my children with cancer’….

Some call it being realistic….I call it a lack of faith.
Some call it being pragmatic…..I call it not understanding what Jesus was saying.
Some call it Gods will….I call it a misunderstanding of His word.
If God said all things are possible….then I believe ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Period.
Not, “all things are possible except…..”
No
The good fight of faith…is just that. A good fight………..of…………faith…………
Not a burst of a fight, and then……oh I give up. This sucks. I’m tired. I can’t do this anymore, this fight is hard…..
Maybe this is when some give in? Maybe they listen to the voice that says, “You’ve done all you can, it’s over, give up, you’ve had a long life, you can end the suffering now, you can go….”

I don’t know for sure what others think or feel or hear…but something in me says, “finish the race…..don’t stop…don’t give in….”

I know that both mom and Bob say that they’re not finished fighting. And if they’re not….neither am I. I will stand with them until they are cancer free.

They will not die but live to declare the works of the Lord. Psalms.

Another patient or two

Okay Shannon…thank you for being interested.

Where was I? Tuesday evening we were at hospital getting blood, long night. Didn’t get home until about 1:00 AM.

Wednesday Blake had his tonsils out, so I woke early and picked up Connor. Blake did very well. He’s such a tough little guy. Went to visit him in the hospital Wednesday. Had to have someone stay with Bob, so mom said she would. (momentarily weighed the decision in my head — let my mother who is battling leukemia come and babysit Bob who is recovering from stem cell transplant?). Sounded like a good idea. Maybe that tells you how desperate I am to get out! And my getting out was to a hospital. Ha

All went well, I stayed about 45 minutes, took him a batman balloon, he looked great, Aimie and Nick didn’t look so bad either.

Thursday morning mom had another bone marrow biopsy. This one took a long time, they seem to be having a hard time drawing her blood lately….her veins are shot. Just another reason to be finished with this.

While dad and Paula were with mom, Connor and I picked up Aimie and Blake from hospital. Bob stayed home alone. Thought I wouldn’t be gone long….wound up being gone about two hours. I called Bob to check on him…though I felt like I was remiss on my caretaker duties, I was confident that he was fine.
Unfortunately, I was NOT fine. Something hit me like a ton of bricks Thursday about noon. Started chilling, felt like my muscles were in post workout recovery, head throbbing. I quarantined myself to my bedroom and spiked a fever of 101.5. Katie came and fed Bob, made sure his drugs were laid out for his evening dose and flushed his PIC line. She also made me a grilled cheese and smoothie.

This morning I went to the doctor, Bob accompanied me. Fever broke. Doctor thinks viral. “just try not to be around any immunocompromised people.” I almost laughed out loud.

So we are all recovering. Mom, Bob, Blake and me. I’m telling you– sometimes when you step into that ring, you get pummeled from every side.

Aunt Julie was buried today. Mom was sad that she couldn’t be there. I hate that cancer steals so much from us.

Funny: my dad, with his lack of hearing, has a new word. The nurses tell him mom is neutropenic. He hears “nuper”. Mom said she heard him tell someone, “barb can’t be around crowds because she’s nuper”. She just laughs. She called me and said, “i guess since you’re sick I won’t be able to see you, I’m nuper you know!”

Update Day +36

Since mom has had her “something is different” moment…she has seemed to come alive. She’s eating again, she’s laughing, she’s going outside to sit on the porch…she’s back. We don’t need to see the results of the bone marrow biopsy to know it…she’s going to be okay. Thank you God.

Bob asked to drive to the grocery store last night; he was feeling pretty good so I let him. His driving was no worse than usual….he would argue that it was as good as it always is…but I stand by my description.

Today we saw Dr. M and had our ‘exit interview’ from the transplant. Weird that they call it exit…because we were directed straight from our exit interview to the hospital for 2 units of blood. Dr. M says that red cells are the last to recover so this may go on for a bit more. I was so optimistic today, thought that platelets would be over 50 and H&H would be up…just knew we’d be getting the PIC line pulled and told that he could start living normally again. NOPE, not quite yet. Dr. M also said, “Bob I was really aggressive with the chemo this time, I’m not surprised its taking awhile…but it will get better every week”. So we see him every week through April.

They told us that they are going to draw all cancer labs early May. They will then make the definitive diagnosis as to whether or not the transplant worked. We’re pretty sure it worked.

I think I’m going to start planning our vacation. August…mom and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary, that sounds like a good time to vacation/celebrate.

Something is different

When mom was in the hospital 5 years ago…there was a specific and noticeable turning point.  One morning, after fighting so hard and long, and fevers and doctors telling her to put her “things in order and say goodbye to her loved ones” and swelling and rashes and just a battle for life…she woke one morning and said these exact words, “something is different today”.  She told us that something had broken.

Mom called me at 5:45 this morning and sounded like her old self.  She said, “Something is different today.  I’m better, something is different.”  Thank you God.  Those words were heavenly!

She had asked Paula and I to go to the doctor with her.   We did.  She told the doctor that she felt better.  He was glad that her attitude and outlook were positive.  He scheduled a Bone Marrow biopsy for Thursday.  He says our best diagnostic tool is the biopsy; we need to see no blast cells in the marrow.  Then he discussed what he may want to do if the cancer was still there….mom said she’d think about her options but told him not to worry, “I think we’re going to get good news, I’m better.”

She has had a horribly bad week.  She lost 14 pounds since seeing him last Tuesday.  Holy crap!!!!!  Has not slept well, has had muscle cramps, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, shaking, weakness, shortness of breath and anxiety/fear.  She’s been in a battle.  But today is different.  Today is better.

We do not fear bad news.  We know that God is moving.

And thank God for Mike.  He’s going to be at Aunt Julie’s funeral on Friday.  Mom really needs for someone to be there.  He will get closure for her.

 

Ding-Ding…a call to praise

I’ve been thinking a lot about faith. I’ve been thinking about MY faith. I listen to other people talk about faith, and I think about other peoples faith too. Is it different? Is all faith the same? Hmmmmm…

2 Timothy says “I have fought the GOOD FIGHT of faith”.

I feel that we have fought the good fight too. We are still in the ring. I think that when some people see me in my fight of faith, maybe they are seeing the fight and not seeing the faith. They see it as fear. But I’m not afraid, I’m just still in it…in the fight. I’m still swinging. I can’t walk away from the fight. I can’t just say, “Oh I believe God, I believe in healing, fa la la la la”…and go about my merry way. If I don’t at least show up for the fight, set my feet toe-to-toe with my opponent, then I forfeit right? Even the best boxers in the world still have to show up and fight to win. I can’t just say “I believe we win” and never get into the ring, can I?

It’s not a lack of faith that I’m fighting, it’s an enemy. Cancer, death. My faith is what pulls my into that ring, what lifts me over those ropes, what allows me to pick myself up blow after blow. My faith stands me up when the bell rings again, my faith guides me to put one foot in front of the other and walk toward death and tell it to flee.

My faith tells me to praise God in this fight, to worship Him. To sing and dance and know that He is the victor. He fights for me, with me, beside me, in front of me, behind me…I really just need to praise Him. Sometimes my fight is just in forcing myself to lift up my eyes and see Him victorious in the middle of this pounding that we are taking day by day. Praise Him in the ring. Muhammad Ali used to talk about his fancy foot work in the ring….maybe we should just dance in this ring.

I WILL praise Him. Even when it’s the last thing I feel like doing, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.

Psalm 130
5 I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
6 I long for the Lord
more than sentries long for the dawn,
yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.