Monday, October 28, 2013

MRI Around the Corner

We are on the homestretch for the next MRI.  In two weeks, Nov. 11, Dennis will have an MRI and then we will most likely hear from the doctor the next day with results.  We will actually see the doctor on the 13th.  The weeks leading up to an MRI are full of mixed feelings.  We want to know what is going on but also dread finding out.  We have had the experience of relief when the news is positive and the blow of word that the tumor was back and growing.  As always we appreciate your prayers during this time. 

I know most of you read this blog to find out how Dennis is doing.  If you have not seen Dennis for awhile, you would notice that he moves a bit slower than he used to.  This is largely due to his feeling off balance most of the time so he is very careful in how he moves.  We are unsure of what is causing this balance issue.  It could be medication side effects.  There is also the possibility that the tumor is causing the problem.  We might have a better idea on which one of these scenarios is the cause after the next MRI.  The other issue that challenges him a lot since starting this medication is fatigue.  He is really tired most of the time.  This is expected as his body is being attacked, not only by the cancer but also by the medications to fight the cancer.  He tries to get a lot of rest so he can do the things that he wants to.  He has learned that getting overtired on one day will snowball into several days of being extremely fatigued. 

As far as how he is emotionally handling all of this, it varies.  Sometimes it is very discouraging.  Yesterday we were discussing how we both have been going through the “stages of grief” (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) in regards to his cancer.  I think we have to some degree or another been in every stage and revisited them several times.  There are times we just want this all to stop.  We want Dennis to just feel good and to be able to look forward and go on.  There are times we look ahead and face the reality that unless there is a miracle in his healing, that our time together is growing short.  Overall, we try to focus on today and enjoy it.  To look at the blessings in our life and not on the losses and be thankful each precious day we have together.  In light of this you might be thinking we have given up hope – I can honestly say that is not the case.  Our hope lies in the hands of our Savior who loves us and has this all under control.  He will continue to walk this journey with us and meet our needs along the way.  We know the outcome we would like, but we trust our Heavenly Father to do what is best for us and to provide for all of our needs along the way.

Thank you all for your love, prayers and support.  We need them. 

Please pray for:

  • MRI on Nov. 11 that it will show no new growth.
  • Wisdom in how to handle the side effects of the medication.
  • Dennis as he continues to deal with his limitations and the changes that he is living with.
  • Brooklyn as we help her to understand what is happening to Dennis and how this fits into God’s love and plan for her life.
  • Ellen as she handles many of the details of Dennis’ care on top of the normal ongoing responsibilities at work, as a mom and a wife.  (Frankly, there are times I feel like I am at the breaking point on what I can handle.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Some days...

It’s hard.  Gut wrenchingly hard! 

There are days and sometimes weeks that I sludge through the mud pit of life and wonder exactly how much longer it can go on like this.  How can I make it one more day with more things to do than time, less patience than I want to have, and tears that are kept barely below the surface…and not always kept there.

Managing life around medication side effects
Getting to and from work
Surviving and being productive at work
Listening to a second grader read (reminds me of why I only taught second grade one year!)
Playing with Brooklyn when I am exhausted
Arranging rides for Dennis
Taking care of normal things around the house
Making meals – ok, I’ve never been great at this
Swimming lessons
Piano practice
Old dog – wondering when I watch her get around if we will have to make “the decision” soon

You get the idea – very ordinary things but when coupled with watching the person you love more than anything else in this world deal with a horrible cancer, it just floods over me sometimes.  I’m living there right now and it is just plain hard.  I want it over.  I want to wake up tomorrow to life pre-cancer.  To giggles from Dennis and Brooklyn playing together and my most annoying problem is figuring out a way to teach the young dog how to be quiet. 


That is not God’s plan for me right now.  For some reason He is allowing us to walk through this time.  To learn to lean so hard on Him and only Him.  To listen amidst the pain to His voice and learn that He is all I need and that He is walking with me through this. 


I adjust my focus.  Remind myself to concentrate on the blessings that surround me.

A box of goodies that just arrived on my desk that I was not expecting
Giggles at the arcade last night with Brooklyn
Today – we have today and we are together
A job that allows me some flexibility
Friends near and far that help meet our needs – rides, tree trimming, meals, a shoulder to lean on
A new church family that has embraced us

This new normal is not easy but it is part of God’s overall plan for our lives.  We may never understand the WHY but I trust and cling to the One who is in charge of each detail of our lives.


Dennis had the second dose of his new medications today.  Please continue to pray that it is killing every cancer cell.  Also, pray that he handles this round better than the first one.   He really has struggled with the side effects of these new medications.