Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peace through the storm

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.

Honey, SHMILY!!! (See how much I love you...)


mysteryhistorymom said...

I will be praying for your family, Sweetie. I am so glad to hear that you sister is well and cancer-free, Woo Hoo! Lori

Elizabeth H. said...

Wow, Wendy you do have a lot going on. Happy ANniversary! Such a special occasion. If I can do anything for you let me know. ALso, I am homeschooling Sarah this year. Have not joined CHESS or anything. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Elizabeth H. said...

Wow, Wendy you do have a lot going on. Happy ANniversary! Such a special occasion. If I can do anything for you let me know. ALso, I am homeschooling Sarah this year. Have not joined CHESS or anything. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Shan said...

I'm so glad you can tell you are surrounded with prayer. I love testimony of that peace that passes understanding. It IS all in his hands and I will keep your family in my prayers.
I AM starting to wonder about your sis' freak accident tendencies though (and choking is one of my top fears). I'd probably want to reign her in a little too. Keep a chicken eye on that girl! :)

Charlie said...

Still praying.

Ann-Marie Soderstrom said...

Wow, Wendy! I haven't been in the blogosphere much since Sam was born, but I do get your blog updates via e-mail. I will be praying for you and your family! Happy Anniversary. And I promise to stay away from the Mongolian Beef!

Robin said...

Oh my...praying for you and yours Sweet One. Hugs and lots of prayers.
All Things Heart and Home

Just what are those Woods up to? said...

You're always in my prayers, and thanks for prayer requests for me! I didn't use to have a fear of choking but I do now. You should have seen me chew and re-chew my food this weekend :-D You'd have been pleased.

Happy anniversary! I love seeing you and Fred interact and seeing/hearing about the sweet things you do for each other. It's been wonderful to see your marriage blossom over the years into something really beautiful.