I recently received a phone call from a friend who lives out of state (out of country, to be exact) and he encouraged me to post regularly because he is not here able to see what's happening in our lives, so he is dependent on this blog to inform him. I assured him I would make a greater effort and I know there are many people in agreement with him.
Facing each day is a challenge for me. I really don't know what to expect. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I ask the Lord for grace and strength and mercy to endure the day set before me. I ask that He will guide me to be a helpmeet to my husband and a joyful mother to our children. I used to have a planned out daily schedule, but it seemed every time I would get it up and running the Lord would encourage me life was according to His plan and schedule, and not mine.
As a veteran homeschooler, I have purchased many books on organizing my time, attended conference sessions on managing my home and even considered an online program to help with lesson plans. Each time I get organized, something happens--not always a bad something--just something, like the need to paint the house, remodel the bathroom or go to the hospital for cancer or to have a baby. So, I quit trying to plan and have determined God will show me the direction I need to travel each day. This works pretty good. For example, I kept thinking I should clean out the frig/freezer in the kitchen, but there was always something more important which prevented this until the day after we came home from camping. When I walked into the kitchen that first morning, I found a brown, sticky fluid pooling on the floor in front of the fridge. The night before, someone decided to "cool" down a Pepsi quickly, forgot, the can exploded and they turned off the freezer to clean it out, decided it was late, went to bed, didn't turn the freezer back on and thus my gift first thing in the morning. A very successful method in getting the freezer cleaned out! I didn't get upset, because I did the same thing when I was about the same age, only it was an 8 pk of glass 7-up bottles evenly distributed among a recently purchased half a beef in my parents' freezer. My mother was reminded of this for an entire year as each package of meat removed for a meal was covered in shards of glass and sticky substance. All this to say that yesterday, while staying home from church because Bryan was not feeling well, I chose to write up a school/chore/meal plan for the new school year. (Kind of silly since we school year round, but anything for new motivation, right?)
I got up first thing this morning, woke the children and we were off to a great start. Sarah was making breakfast while chores were getting done and I went to check on Bryan. Part of my morning routine is giving him his meds and emptying his drain bags. What a surprise when I found a bile bag full of blood. My first thoughts went to that blasted schedule and what was I thinking that I could get organized when I needed to take care of my husband and his unpredictable needs! Then, I prayed. I don't know why I can never get that in the right order. One of these days, I pray, I will pray first then consider my options. Jonathan came on the scene, helped me recall all that happened at the hospital the last time we found this and so we applied hospital technique in our own home. It worked great and a phone call to the doctor assured me that things should be fine in a day or two. So, tomorrow we head off to chemo in the morning. We continued on with our schedule almost as planned and had a successful day.
Bryan looks and is tired and weak. He has lost most of his hair; a side effect of the CPT-11. He rarely speaks, only to request a glass of water or assistance in and out of bed, his chair or the bathroom. He doesn't get out of bed until after 11:00am, generally, and then attempts to read his Bible, but usually falls asleep with book opened on his lap. He often faints when standing and must have assistance at all times. His hiccups seem to only bother him at night, now, so it must be related to the position he sleeps. He can only sleep one way due to his drains and dressings. So far, his skin integrity is holding. He is so thin but is steadily gaining a pound or two each week. Last week, he weighed 104, that's good news and I hope for 106 tomorrow.
My prayer concerns for this week are the blood in the bag, the fainting, and the rising bilirubin. We got as low as 3.2, but last week it was back up to 7.0 and I think he looks jaundiced but once again everyone disagrees with me.
Telling it like it is--it ain't pretty, but through it all we still have hope. Not a hope due to denial, because the truth is pretty plain. But, "(t)his hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast..." Hebrews 6:19
Thank you for enduring with us in prayer and hope (and the long blog post)!