Sunday, November 25, 2012

Update on Nick 11/25/12

I hope this finds you all well fed and full of thankfulness this weekend. The kids and I have had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I’ve waited a few days to post this most recent update, because I wanted to just focus on being thankful.

Wednesday, 11/21, Kacie and I were in Birmingham with Nick for another chemo treatment.

Nick’s port did not want to work again. There was another blood clot blocking the end of the line. I wasn't able to gain access to the port two weeks ago to flush the line. I wasn't really surprised that there was a problem. After having some of the clot buster medication put in the line, it worked just fine.

The only real concern the oncologist has right now is Nick’s iron level. The levels seem to be trending down again. That usually means two things could be happening. 1) Nick’s body isn't absorbing iron properly again. OR 2) Nick is becoming anemic again. There is a difference between being iron deficient and anemic. For Nick, the iron deficiency means that something in his body is preventing him from absorbing and using iron properly. The anemia that Nick has a history of developing is called autoimmune hemolytic anemia. It’s a form of anemia that is caused by the /lymphoma spreading to the spleen.

The oncologist does not think that Nick is to the point of having the anemia flare up again. He actually thinks that Nick is having trouble absorbing iron properly. What is causing this problem? We aren't sure yet. It could be the cancer going active again.

We are really hoping and praying that this is just a fluke and the cancer is not growing again. For now, the oncologist wants to increase Nick’s daily doses of iron to three times a day. Yes, that is a lot of iron. Nick has had to do this before, so we know the routine.

Now, we wait and see what happens.

The other thing going on with Nick is the surgeon, Dr. Beierle, wants to see more in depth scans before she makes a decision about trying to remove the cancer from Nick’s abdomen. There are some insurance issues concerning getting new scans. The insurance doesn’t want to pay for them. The oncologist and surgeon are going to try to take a more in-depth look at the scans that were done in August to see if they can gather the information needed to make the necessary decisions.

We are waiting to see what happens on this side of things as well.

Nick is scheduled to go back the week before Christmas for his next doses of chemo and IVIG.

Lots of prayer will be very much appreciated.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

In HIS Grip,


Thursday, November 22, 2012

And she's....


I have a picture of a baseball ref waving his arms as the player slides into the base just ahead of the ball.

I'm safe! I made it through Thanksgiving #4 since Keith's death.

Yeah...I know. I'm still counting things. Not all the time and not everything though.

I am very thankful that today was a good day. I did have some moments when the sadness and grief showed up. Kind of like that family member that always brings the worst food to a meal. You hope that this time it will be different, but it's not. Well...not much anyway.

I had my cry. I let myself miss Keith and grieve for him. Not for very long. It's never for very long any more. I always have some Scripture that God brings to my mind or a realization that settles my grief back down. Today it was both. The Scripture was about mourning for a season. The realization was of how thankful I truly am that Keith is healed. It was exactly what I needed today.

The kids and I slept in this morning and spent the afternoon with extended family. I think for the first time in an extremely long time, I didn't cook any part of the meal today. Kacie baked some cupcakes to take. It was so nice to literally just show up, especially since I'm half way sick and utterly exhausted.

Between working as much as possible, traveling with Kacie for dance, and traveling with Nick for chemo, November has been quite busy!

No wonder I'm exhausted! When I get really tired, I get emotional. That's another reason I am glad today has come to a close. I don't need any help from holidays to stir up my emotions.

I hope everyone has had a blessed Thanksgiving.

In HIS Grip,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

State of Transition

For a long, long time, I have felt that myself and my family have been living in a constant state of transition. In a recent conversation with a close friend, I realized that we haven't been living as much in a state of transition. We have actually been living in a state of survival.


The YEARS of constantly fighting cancer with Keith and Nick have all been spent surviving from one day to the next. Sometimes, it's been one minute to the foot in front of the other.

I don't spend much time trying to dissect the events over the past 17 years. There is simply too much heartache and pain. Too many bad memories that threaten the good memories.  What happened, happened and there isn't anything I can do to go back and change it. Keith and I made the best decisions we felt we could make at the time. No looking back. No regrets. That's been our motto for years. That is my motto still, although it is difficult to stick to it at times.

With my recent acceptance of God's call to become a teacher (Have I mentioned that to y'all? I'll have to check.), I have realized that what my friend has been saying is indeed true. We have been living in survival mode for a very long time. It may be more accurate to say that we have lived in both a state of transition and survival all these years. It's more like a balance scale.        
balances,government,justice,law,legal systems,scales,symbols

Survival outweighing transition more often than not.

Now, we are living in a time when transition is outweighing survival. 

Why do I say that? I say it simply from the realization that I am finally able to plan ahead. I am able to actually imagine and think about the future. I know that may seem like an alien concept to some. How can I have gone for so long without thinking about the future and making plans? It was because thinking about the future was too scary, too uncertain, too painful, and just too much. We were under so much stress with all of the health crises. I never felt comfortable making any plans or setting any long term goals. So much so, that I NEVER planned a trip without having trip insurance. I NEVER made a plan without there being not just the plan, but a PLAN B, C, D...and Z. My plans had plans. 

Some of y'all are snickering or laughing. You know me and my plans.

I am still a little bit scared that my plans aren't actually God's plans. It's okay though. I am praying earnestly that God will continue to only open doors and windows that He wants opened. 

I haven't set any unrealistic goals. My main personal goal is to finish my degree in Elementary Education. Even though I only need 2 1/2 years to finish my degree according to the program plan that I am in, I want to be finished in 5 years. I know all too well that life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans. The 2 1/2 year plan is with me being able to go to school full time. I'm not sure that is possible, especially since I have to work full time and be Mom. 

My hope is that some day, the time of living in a constant state of survival will be just a distant memory...instead of a way of life. 

Transition is actually the reality of life. I don't mind that so much.

I'm excited, nervous, and a little bit scared. It's nice to have a sense of a hope and a future. It's extremely comforting to KNOW that I am seeing Jeremiah 29:11 in living color!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

In HIS Grip!