Sunday, September 28, 2008

The life that is normal

Things have been so blessedly calm. We have really enjoyed the lessened chemo schedule for Keith. Other than a case of bronchitis for Kacie and an ear infection for Nick, everyone has been mostly well.

Nick and I were in Birmingham week before last. That was an uneventful trip as well. Praise be to God! Nick isn't scheduled to go back for another checkup in Birmingham until November 6. That will be a hard day. Nick is scheduled for some special CT scans that will allow the doctors to look at the lining of Nick's small intestine. About 18 months ago, a large mass was found in Nick's small intestine that indicated that the cancer causing genetic condition he shares with his dad was actually a worse case than we realized. God healed Nick of that mass. The doctor went in to remove this mass. We had a big team of surgeons on standby because the surgery was pretty risky. When the doctor got the scope to the spot where the mass was located, the mass was gone. There was evidence that the mass had been there, but THE MASS WAS GONE! The doctors all wanted to come up with their own solution, but WE KNEW! GOD HEALED THIS CHILD!

The doctors insist that we continually check Nick for more polyps/masses. It can be a dangerous condition. I just feel like we are casting doubt upon the miracle that God has done. So, I struggle with worry about what they'll find. I struggle with the thought that I may be having doubt about God's ability to heal. Yet, I KNOW without a shadow of a DOUBT that God HEALED Nick that day. Anyway, November 6 will be a difficult day for me. It won't be fun for Nick either. He hates drinking that chalky stuff he has to drink for this particular scan.

I have begun doing something that I haven't done in nearly 14 years. I began working last week as a substitute teacher. I have not worked for money since Nick was 6 months old.

We needed for me to go to work. Our finances are getting tighter the longer Keith is sick. I have realized that this life that we have been living for the last 57 months could likely continue on for months or years longer. We can't keep going without one of us working. Keith doesn't need to work. His body can't tolerate it. It really doesn't take much for him to get tired. He is finally beginning to realize what his limitations are.

I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was in college, my major was education. Subbing should give me an idea of whether I will like teaching or not. This job choice also gives me some freedom over when I work. That will allow me to continue doing the things for my family that I have always done. So far, it has been a positive experience. I'm hoping that it will continue to be that way. I hope to someday finish what I started so many years ago.

My time in college seems like a lifetime ago. I guess in a way it has been a lifetime ago. I'm certainly not the naive young woman I was when Keith and I married, or a few years later when Nick was born. I've certainly had experiences that I wish no one here on earth had to endure.

I have learned several valuable lessons along the way. The big one is that through it all God is right there, right by my side. Every tear I shed, every time my heart aches, every time I've had to let go of my child or my husband as he is wheeled away from me into the OR, every sleepless night, every never ending hospital stay, every early morning drive to Birmingham, every time I've waited for the doctor to give me news that no mother or spouse wants to hear, ...every minute, every time, in every way, He is there. He IS there. God IS here. For some reason I have been compelled to share this tonight. I hope that this post finds it's way to whoever needs it. There are days I have to remind myself of these very things.

Thanks for bearing with me through this long post. I hope and pray that things will remain quiet for a little while longer. I like the way this version of normal feels.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I am sorry it has been so long since I have updated. There have been so many things going on. Nick turned 14. Keith had his scans and we met with his oncologist. Kacie accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and was baptized yesterday. Whew!

Keith is doing well. His scans showed the cancer is stable and there was a small amount of improvement. We were/are thrilled beyond measure. We were surprised that we received good news. We were expecting bad news. We have been watching Keith fight so hard for so long. Every time he had scans, it seemed like he was fighting a losing battle. To finally have confirmation that this isn't a losing battle meant the world to both of us. The doctor reduced Keith's chemo in order to give his bone marrow a break. He had his first reduced treatment last week. When it was finished, Keith commented that he didn't feel like he'd had chemo. I wanted to shout I was so happy. He felt well all week long. The fact the he felt well meant that we were able to do more "normal" things last week. It was one of the best "chemo" weeks I can remember having in a long time.

Nick had a wonderful birthday. It is hard to imagine that sweet boy of mine being that old! It is a testimony to God that Nick is here with us today. We can already see that this year of being 14 will be a year of firsts with Nick. I've got the feeling we better hang on. It's libel to be a bumpy ride!

Kacie prayed to accept Christ on August 25. She has always been very inquisitive, so we weren't surprised when she began to ask questions about salvation. We've gone through this many times before, and once her curiosity was satisfied, she moved onto something else. This time was different though. It was an amazingly beautiful moment that I am so glad Keith and I were able to share with her. We were there with Nick when he prayed two years ago. One of my fears was that Keith wouldn't be around to share that special moment with Kacie. Her baptism took place at our church yesterday morning. Grandparents from both sides were able to be there. It was a wonderful time of celebration for our family.

I'll try to update again sooner. It has been nice to be busy doing "normal" things.