Friday, April 4, 2014

2 years ago...

Today we reach another day we won't forget. Two years ago we walked into UCSF for the longest wait of my life. 

Joel was prepped, lines started, and every part of me had to breathe deeply; trusting our God. I don't say it lightly, but this day and the seventy-two hours following changed our life.

I stayed close as possible to Joel as the minutes ticked closer, we waited and waited. Finally anesthesia came, I kissed Joel a few more times, and watched him wheel into the neuro OR.

It was hard, but to the waiting room I went. My dad insisted I eat lunch, which was brilliant, and I then made my little nest in the waiting room. Phone calls and OR updates would come in, hours would come and go... The initial time frame of five hours for his surgery rolled into a grueling Eleven. Longest day of my life indeed.

The surgeon look exhausted, but was optimistic. I have no words but gratitude and praise for him. His passion and desire for perfection are gifts. He took the time and finished right, no staples, only hundreds of well done small stitches. Joel's hair re growth thanks him.

The next days that went forward were by far hard. Joel and I, in a city with very little but each other. His obvious healing was rapid, the surgeon was pleased, recovery as a whole was harder and more exhausting than imagined.

Joel's last scan in January was stable. A celebration we don't take lightly. His next scan is in a few weeks, we are praying for another stable scan.

Us? We are growing! We are 24 weeks pregnant with boy-girl twins. We laugh at how little has happened as we "planned" but are so thankful that God's plans are better than our own.  I'm working hard at growing these babies, which is no easy task.

Our daughter is thrilled to be a big sissy. She continues to grow into a caring, funny, brilliant young lady. I couldn't be more proud.

Continue to pray, at his next scan we need stability. We need strength and energy as the months ahead are so busy yet exciting. 

Thank you, for following our life. Praying and sending good thoughts have surrounded us countless times as we have trekked this journey, and continue forward.

Our life is changed, but not destroyed. The new normal is always changing, and is changing more everyday. Cancer will always be in our life, but it won't control us. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two years...

Two years... Where has time gone? Two years ago today, on a chilly Monday morning our life changed. Joel had his first seizure right in front of me. For a few moments in my life, I was unsure as to whether or not he would survive the emergency room. In those long first 5+ minutes of his first seizure, very little crossed my mind except, that this is very bad. He was purple and ridged. I was terrified. I cant say enough how thankful I was that once the seizure ended he was breathing. 

Then the fateful moment in CT. A large mass. I pretended I didn't see it, as I was suddenly an outsider in my own environment. The moment we returned to our ER room, I was greeted by the dr. This is not happening, I tried to pretend but it was far from true. The er dr said "you can tell him or I can." I insisted on telling my hubby. I told him 5 times. He kept forgetting. I've joked about the frustration about having to tell my husband so many times as post seizure he was forgetful... But in all honesty it was how many times I needed to hear it.

Immediately my family surrounded us. My physical and work family. The staff surrounded me with support as the reality hit home.

The next 8 days are a blur. A blur of motion and emotion, blurs of neuro checks, medications, anxiety and little rest. Tears were shed. (To the point of vomiting) Final wishes and dreams shared between Joel and I.  Many of those closest rallied to surround us, while the storm continued to rise.

We hoped to God, it would be simple. And when it turned to be more than a benign tumor, I was so unsure of what our future would have. Two years seemed so scary. Our future, our jobs, our daughter, future children all felt so uneasy.(And far from obtainable)

Cancer may continue. As we will by medical standards never hear "cancer free" but we are living life. Work continues, Joel is independent, drives, and is fully capable. (I couldn't be more proud) I continue working, so thankful my coworkers and management support me. Our daughter, is so kind, patient and bright. Cancer has not destroyed her as I initially feared, but rather built her up and strengthened her with compassion. Do I fear that cancer with ruin our twins? No. With enough love, support and faith we will persevere. I do feel sad they will never know life outside of cancer. 

I do still miss carefree days, of dreams without reality. I also, miss parts of Joel and myself that will never be the same. I do still hate the weeks leading up to MRIs where every headache and every little twitch brings a slight bit of nervousness that the gray-mater is being changed or invaded... Fears that I will have to fly south with Joel for I'm certainly not getting smaller. Ha! These babies are growing! (and so am I)

Two years. A lot of life has happened and continues to happen. The shock is gone. Though tears are still shed over the injustice of this imperfect life, (of course I'm pregnant.) Peace walks along side, with a still confidence that life will continue, and that we are not alone.

Faith has been strengthened, tried and renewed. Love has been put under intense pressure as lessons and patience bear fruit. God provides. 

Two years. Seems like so little time yet so far away. The sights and the smells, are all still so real. The stings of those whom we thought would be closest but only brought hurt remain. And the warmth of love from those we least expected continues to this day. 

Cancer knows no age, person, or situation. It changes our life, our bodies, and our futures... But it doesn't take our love and hope. 

Please pray for peace, as we head into scan week (next week) Monday MRI, with results on Friday. Pray for stability and wisdom for our drs.

Thank you for following this journey. It's been crazy and will get crazier at times. Your love, support, faith and prayers have sustained us on even the most scariest of days.