Do you ever have weeks that feel more like a television show than real life? So much has happened, and so quickly, that it's hard to absorb. So, until now, I've chosen to let the blog be my "happy place," and leave the worries behind.
First, good news. My sister's surgery was a complete success. They removed the entire right kidney, and the cancer along with it. She had a mostly good hospital stay: wonderful staff and care, but a scary time when the epidural wore off and the pain hit hard and unexpectedly. Oral pain meds and oxygen did the trick to right the problem. Still, I know that must have scared her.Overall, it went excellently.
Now some bad news. Julie and I went up there on Tuesday night to visit and bring Amy and Vu some PF Chang's food. Julie and I ordered Mongolian beef to share. Mongolian beef. Mongolian beef. I had to repeat that all night. We started eating... and Julie choked. I kid you not. She choked on beef while visiting someone in the hospital. What are the chances? She could breathe, but couldn't swallow. Anything. Even spit, She vomited repeatedly, but that did no good. The doctors sent us down to the 2nd floor ER. Two little sisters in the hospital at the same time: one for cancer surgery and the other choking. Yeah, it was quite the night. Poor Amy had no idea what was going on down in the ER. After almost two hours, IVs, anti-nausea meds, X-rays, and a call to the gastrointestinologist, Julie finally dislodged the food and we went on our merry way. Yeah. No more beef for you, Julie. (Should have been in a Friends episode, right??)
Okay, more good news. Tell me when you start feeling sick on this roller coaster.
Yesterday Amy was released from the hospital. Yay! Most importantly, her pathology reports are all back: no more cancer!! All of her symptoms should be gone now, and life will resume as normal when she has fully recovered. It should take about two months to heal and regain strength. Another praise: her husband will be home, with paid leave, for the entire two months to take care of their adorable fat baby.
Some very bad news: my aunt just found out that her breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and bones. Christine and her family need prayer please.
More big bad news. A few days ago, we got word that my Mimi's CT scans were not at all good. Her pancreatic cancer has now spread to her liver, lungs, pelvic region, and has significantly intensified around the bowel area. She must be in pain. I pray every night that she won't suffer. I just can't imagine fighting such a horrible disease. I wish I could hug her and stay with her, and shield her from any kind of pain.Yet, through it all, her voice is soft and kind. A nurse of hers wrote yesterday and told me, "she looked so beatuiful. The peace that radiates around her comes from the Lord I know."
Some other not-nearly-as-bad-in-relation-news: car troubles for everyone in my family. My sister's car went out and she had to pay quite the hefty fee to get it back. And now the transmission on her other car is going out. Yeah. Then my Dad's truck died. And then my van. We'll be paying several hundred dollars to pick it up today. Sigh. In the grand scheme of things, this so-does-not-matter. Not in the light of cancer.
Good news: I feel shielded. Yes, I've cried. I did get lost driving the other day, just cruising along, deep in thought and then I "woke up" and had no clue where I was. Life has been consuming. Sometimes I can sail along, happily and smoothly, just enjoying the scenery. But the last few weeks have been different, rocky, fraught with danger. But yet we are shielded. Somehow. I can't even explain that but to say I know I'm being prayed for. I know my own grandparents, struggling with cancer and the pain of impending separation, are still praying for me. And their prayers are being answered with the gift of peace. I've never before cried like this, and yet still felt such peace.
(and my italics are stuck, so just go with it...)
There have been days lately when I catch myself having "too much fun," enjoying life too much, smiling and laughing... and I think, "wait, people are suffering. People are hurting. I shouldn't be so happy right now. I should be crying. How am I even supposed to feel??"
I don't know.
I could ask if it's okay to have peace right now. Okay to be happy in my day-to-day craftiness and schooling, using my blog as a haven. But I already know the answer is yes, even if it feels unnatural. I cry, but I'm protected. Even the financial aspects feel "okay." I wondered today if we were being kept off the road with the kids for some reason. And then I prayed and thanked God, if that was the case. His ways are higher than mine. I'll do my best, but I'm trying not to question the things completely out of my control.
This is a haven at times, and will continue to be such, but it's also a great way to reach out. I ask you to please keep my sisters in prayer. Both of them, as Julie seems to be very prone to freak accidents. ;-) By golly, she never should have gone sky-diving. Could have ended very badly.
Please pray for my aunt Christine, her daughter Rachelle, and the rest of the family. Please pray for my Mimi. That whatever time she has left will be as pain free as possible, and that she will feel so loved, and at peace. And please pray for my Papaw as he takes care of her very day. This is the greatest trial of their lives.
In more good news, today is my 12th anniversary to a fabulous, funny, laid-back and handsome man. He is my best friend. He has stuck with me through it all. And I love him so much.