Friday, August 8, 2008

It's been a little while.

I realized today that it has been awhile since I've updated here. Things have been incredibly busy around our house. Keith has had another treatment and a visit with his oncologist. The good news there is that his counts have remained high enough for him to tolerate chemo. I have been worried that his counts wouldn't be able to tolerate the treatments much longer. With the help of the platelet shots, Keith has not had to miss a treatment yet. Praise God!

Keith will have another treatment in two weeks. Then the following week he will undergo CT scans that will measure the tumors and check for any other new sites of cancer. The results of these scans will tell the oncologist how well the chemo has been working. If the tumors are smaller (indicative that the chemo is working), then the chemo regimen will most likely be left alone for as long as Keith's body can tolerate it. If things have worsened (chemo is not working), then some adjustments will need to be made. The oncologist said that he would most likely leave Keith on the most of the same medicines. The frequency Keith gets the medicine would change. No major decisions will be made until after the scans are done.

Nick and Kacie have started back to school. Nick is in 8th grade and Kacie is in 3rd grade. Wow! Where did the time go? I don't feel like we had much of a summer break. I am not ready to tackle homework. I imagine the kids aren't either. Nick struggles so much with school and learning that the school year wears on all of us. I am hoping this year will be better. Kacie enjoys school. So far, she says that third grade is her most favorite year ever.

Nick will be having PET and CT scans next week. The PET scans will be here in town on Monday morning. We will take the discs with us to Birmingham for Nick's oncologist to review on Thursday. Nick will also have "neck to knees" CT scans done on Thursday morning. All of these scans will tell us if Nick's cancer has grown or progressed any. If it hasn't, then we might be able to take a break from having these frequent scans for a few months. If it has grown or any new spots have shown up, then the oncologist will have to make a plan for a biopsy and chemotherapy. We are praying that this won't happen. We would love to hear the news that Nick is cancer-free again.

Thank you for praying for us. We are trying to continue to rely on God for His will in our lives. It gets hard though. I find myself worrying and fretting over things that I can't change or control. That is when I have to make myself give things over to God and leave them be.

I wish we could return to a more "normal" lifestyle, but I am realizing with every passing day that this may be how our "normal" will be. I went through some of these same feelings when our life changed so dramatically after Nick's initial cancer diagnosis and liver transplant. After a few really hard years, we were able to settle into a new " normal" that meant we had to go to Birmingham routinely. However, our life was mostly calm with flareups that were bad when they happened, but ultimately didn't last very long. I never thought I would long for those days back, but I do.

I am tired of cancer living in our house. I would like for it to become a distant relative again. We seek to find joy daily, and not in material or earthly type things. A quick side note: One way we have found joy lately is by watching hummingbirds. We noticed that we had one feeding from a basket of petunias I hung on the front porch. We bought a feeder and the nectar began disappearing very quickly. We started watching the feeder and so far have counted three hummingbirds that are feeding from it. Today we're going to hang another feeder to see if it will attract a few more.

Take a few minutes today and find some joy, whether it be in watching hummingbirds or canning tomatoes or jam. (I've learned how to do that in the last two weeks. I have really enjoyed that too!)

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