Has it really been eight months already since we learned of Dennis’ brain cancer? There are times when it seems like our world turned upside down yesterday and others when it seems like it has been forever since life was “normal”. I desperately want time to drag by right now. The further out we are from the initial treatment, the more likely it is that this awful cancer is coming back and frankly, unless Dennis would have a major change in symptoms, there is no way to know if anything is happening except for an MRI which he has every eight weeks. So, every time he is tired and has trouble finding a word or just finds it hard to think, it makes us stop and wonder if something is going on again. I want to hold onto right now; to cherish every day. And yet, the days, weeks and months speed by. In a few days we will flip another page on our calendars and I can’t help but think, “Where did that precious month go? “
We have learned to live in the new normal for the most part. It does present its challenges. Simple things like dropping a car off for a repair is not so simple when there is only one driver in the house. Or, for Dennis, passing days when he is house bound, and this looms even larger as he finishes up treatments in a month. Granted, two days a week heading to a hospital is not fun but at least he sees other people along the way. For those of you who have been his drivers for these appointments, you are much more than a source of transportation. You are encouragers and friends who have lightened our load in more ways than being a ride to an appointment. We can’t begin to express our appreciation to you.
And so, we are heading into another change in the weeks ahead. Next week Dennis will have his last round of chemo and on February 28th will complete the last cycle of the other medication he is on. An MRI will done on March 4th and we meet with the doctor on March 5th for results and information on what happens after treatment. We do know he will have MRIs every eight weeks to monitor him. We are hoping and praying that once he is off of the medications that his MRI remains clear and that the side effects he has been living with go away. From what we have learned the fatigue he is experiencing may or may not go away. Only time will tell if this is permanent or not. A lot of what happens in the months after treatment will be determined by this.
To be honest, we have very mixed feelings about the end of treatment. On the one hand, it will be so nice not to be having all of these drugs and the fatigue it causes be part of our lives. But on the other hand, there is a sense of security that every week there are chemical warriors attacking any cancer cells that may be remaining. In addition, there is the unknown of what will remain of the struggles Dennis faces from the surgery and treatment. We really will not know that until he has been off of the medication for a while.
Please keep us in your prayers as we move forward into yet another new normal.
- That the five remaining weeks of treatment will totally eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
- That the MRI on March 4th will be clear.
- That all side effects will disappear after Dennis is off of the drugs.
- That we will have peace when faced with the various unknowns on a day-to-day basis as well as the long-term.
- That the doctor will clear Dennis to drive again.
- That we will continue to see God’s hand in all of this and that he will use us in the lives of those we come in contact with.