The past two weeks since my last post have seen little medical development, but lots of emotional turmoil. After all, the Bears are out of the playoffs.
Deb went for the scheduled appointment with the radiation oncologist and had her body marked and measured. The marks will make sure the radiation hits the same spots every time.
She will start radiation next week, and while it is scheduled for all of January, it may go into the beginning of February too. We know that there may be some issues with her skin from the repeated radiation, but we have prepared for that as well as we can do so, with advice from several sources and a skin cream to help healing.
There will be testing to check the status after the end of radiation and the ideal report would be no evidence of cancer.
The other, more difficult part of this, is continuing depression and physical battles with weight gain and image. Deb's hair is coming in gray and is still short. It is too short to do much of anything with and after all the stories we heard about this before, who would have thought her blond hair would come back gray? The side effects of the chemo linger on, with the discoloration under her finger nails and the nails deformed, but growing out. Then there is the weight gain that makes it impossible to feel a positive self image. Image is mostly how we feel about ourselves, and right now Deb isn't happy with herself.
I'd like to say we have given all this to God and because of our strong faith, we are peaceful and accepting. But the reality is there is a gap between where we would like to be and who we are, and the gap is a fluid thing, some days very narrow and other days like the Grand Canyon. Yes, we believe that there is a plan and that whatever happens, God is in control, and further that Deb doesn't have to worry about where she will spend eternity, but we struggle day by day with uncertainty, and selfishness. Where will this all end. We want to be whole again.
We know many people have fought this battle before us and survived, and we know we lack perspective, so Deb is going to make a strong effort to find a breast cancer or just a cancer support group to join. If she can find one for couples, so much the better, because being the support giver isn't a day at the park most days either.
Deb and I love Christmas. The good cheer and music, being with friends and family, and the great memories from all the past years. We have received some wonderful Christmas cards, some with photos (we keep them all) and others with letters that bridge the gap between friends so far away.
We embrace the meaning of this season, a Child born to die for us on a cross, so that we may be reconciled with God and spend eternity with Him.
Please pray for Danny, who is still fighting cancer. My daughter Kathi will be helping her husband Jim Moran, bury his father tomorrow and they and the entire Moran family could use your prayers. My buddy Bobby G. Cagle was buried last week, so please remember his family in your prayers too. Then there is the twins, Amanda and Andy Kattner, who were born three months premature, but have survived six weeks and are growing stronger every day. Please pray for Heidi and Ron so they may have continued strength and hope and that the twins will come home well and soon. Our friends the Mariks were at Mayo Clinic last week. It appears that Chuck's back pain and leg pain isn't a candidate for surgical repair, so pray for peace for them. And my mom continues to live on the edge of life with my sister Diane and her wonderful husband Ken providing 24/7 care, as they have for two years. Pray for their continued strength and faith.
We all get so caught up in our lives that we forget to live. Someone you know would love to hear your voice. Call now. Someone you know could use a kind word or a hug. Don't wait. Someone you love needs to hear "I love you". Say it now.
Thank you for allowing me to share our feelings with you and for your love and prayers, which on most days are the difference between being sane or not!