It has been ten days since I last wrote. I just haven’t had anything to say, but this morning I do. The following is from my personal journal which I wrote earlier this morning.
Luke 9:18-27 Who is Jesus? “The Messiah of God!”
Ok, what does that mean? He is the King, the Ultimate King, Ruler, Lord, the Above-All One. He is the Answer, the Yes of God. He is the Victor over all enemies.
But then the next verse: “The Son of Man must suffer, be rejected, be killed and be raised.” This is so inconceivable. How will Jesus rule or conquer: by suffering and death and then resurrection. His Lordship is through suffering. This morning the inconceivableness of that is so very real to me.
So what does that mean for me? My life is to be a life of suffering, little sufferings and then both little and Big resurrections. At no time in my life is this more real to me than now. It isn’t the Big “D” but the little “d’s”. It is the dying to myself. It is all the adjustments that have to be made daily because of the Big “C.” Adjustments of heat (Diane is always cold), of food (taste buds have drastically changed and eating is hard), of serving, of giving up dreams (yes of creating new, more realistic dreams), of adjusting time schedules, of limiting myself so that precious time can be spent together.
But all the little “d’s” also carry with them a difference, an inner sense of Life, of Love and even of Hope. My hope is not cure. My hope is a new sense of a changed, renewed and resurrected life-experienced in part today and fully in the Day Yet to Come.
I cannot say I am experiencing Joy in the adjustments and the serving, but I am experiencing a deeper Love-a deeper love for DianeMarie and a deeper love and appreciation for our Servant-King who showed me (us) the way of Living and dying daily.
Today is Sunday. It is time to worship with the Family of God and today is the first time for quite a while that DianeMarie was able to worship with Grace Lutheran. Praise God that the steroids are all out of her system and that she was able to be in worship.
On Saturday I borrowed a wheelchair from Grace and Andrew, Kristi, Diane and I went to Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. DianeMarie got a free ride in the wheelchair and we all enjoyed the day.
Earlier this week Andrew, Peter, his wife Paulie, myself and DianeMarie crowded into those tiny doctor’s offices to find out what happens next. We had one meeting with DianeMarie’s oncologist and another her radiation doctor. During Diane’s (yes I slip and use the old name once in awhile) manic state, she had convinced herself that the first round of radiation had taken care of the cancer.
These visits brought us all back to reality. For nearly a month we had been dealing with her reactions to the steroids, and now we all have to once again face the fact that she has Stage IV non small cell lung cancer. In a couple of weeks she will have a MRI (not sure if it is a MRI or a CAT scan, for I’m still not sure of the difference) of her chest area and of the abdomen. We will then be able to have a better idea of how the Tarceva (chemo pill) has been working.
In about a month she will begin another round of radiation, this time on her left hip. Thankfully steroids are not a part of that journey. In about two months they will do a MRI of the brain to see what has been happening in that arena.
DianeMarie is feeling well: tired but doing well. She is beginning to eat a little more (still very small portions but she is eating all that is in front of her) and for that we are also thankful.
How can I and how can we begin to express our heartfelt thanks. There have been surprise dinners, a chocolate pie made and delivered with prayers and love, phone calls from all over the nation, hugs and more hugs, prayers and more prayers, words of encouragement and looks of understanding, concern, compassion. Yes, how can we ever begin to express our heartfelt thanks?!!
DianeMarie has had a number of good days, very good days at home now. Each day her mind and emotions become much more DianeMarie (even though it might take us all a little longer to get use to her newly claimed name!). Each day we have ventured out of the calmness (sometimes calm) of our home into the stimulation of the active world. Today was a visit to the home of Bianca, the little two year old whom DianeMarie babysat for most of those two years. She did very well, and when she became tired, she said so. Perfect!
Tomorrow we have two doctor visits, one to her oncologist and one to the doctor who was in charge of her radiation. She has been done with the radiation for a number of weeks now and has been on her chemo pill for over five weeks. We’ll see what the docs have to say.
This past Wednesday DianeMarie came home from the hospital. During that first day there were bouts of tears and bouts of anger, but she is home and beginning another turn in our journey and her journey. Each day has been better as she has gotten rest in the quietness of our home.
We had a hard time finding a psychiatrist to manage her meds, but as of last night she has a woman psychiatric nurse practitioner who will manage drugs and do counseling. For that we are thankful. Now we also begin a new series of doctor’s appointments, but I’m glad that we are able to do them and not have to cancel because DianeMarie was in the hospital.
Tomorrow is the day. Excited, pleased, anticipatory (this is Diane and my word for many things), but also a little scared. Diane is definitely wanting to leave the hospital and she has improved so much and for that we are all praising God. We no longer see the manic action or the rapid-fire monologue. PTL.
I am a little scared that she will get home and only want to do what she thinks is best for her and not follow the discharge orders, especially in terms of the medication that she is on. So please be in pray that this adjustment time will go smoothly and that she is willing to follow those orders. Also, please pray that we can finalize someone to follow up on counseling with her and also someone to moderate her meds. Thank you all for your prayers.
This past Sunday night I called Diane and we had the first true conversation in over a month. You might ask: What do you mean? Well, everything for the past month has been one very long monologue and not a true conversation, but change is coming. Today Peter and I saw Diane, and again we were able to have a conversation. All of that is very hopeful.
I’ve been home waiting for Diane’s psychiatrist to call. He was supposed to be in tonight to see Diane and I was hoping to begin talking about what all is involved in discharge, but it is now 8:30 p.m. and he hasn’t been in to see her today at all so I guess we will have to wait for tomorrow.
Thank you all for your prayers, for your love and support and for all those who have written something. Like you who are reading the blog, so am I reading all of your comments. Thank you all so much.
Yesterday Peter, Andrew and I were able to visit with Diane, and then today I visited with her again. Diane (who now wants to be called DianeMarie) has come a long way. She no longer is as manic as she had been, but we still have big concerns about her thinking processes. DianeMarie wants to come home, but we are relying upon the decisions of the professionals.
Finally some good news: The charge nurse called me a little while ago and said that Diane had slept all night and was having a very good morning. She will be moved out of the “Memory Wellness Unit” to the “Emotional Wellness Unit,” which is a very positive move. This unit is quieter and calmer and hopefully will be much better for her.
So even as we wait and pray and pray and wait, there are things that are happening and I am thankful to God and for those who are faithfully working with Diane.
I know there are so many people praying and also reading this blog and are anxious to get new information. Unfortunately there is not a lot to report. Yesterday I talked with the oncologist, the social worker, and the charge nurse and Andrew talked at length with the psychiatrist. We are in a waiting time as she is now off the steroids and some of her other drugs have increased slightly.
This has been a difficult part of the journey for all, especially Diane, but she is in a safe place and Andrew, Peter and Paulie and I feel she is in the right place for now. We pray and wait, wait and pray, and hope that Diane will return.