Wednesday, August 14, 2013

God Is So Good

     I haven't posted in a few days.  I have had something particular on my mind but couldn't post about it, until today that is.  I have such a strong faith and I completely rely on it.  I don't know how people make it in this world without it.  While I have been leaning on my faith heavily, I just haven't been able to "talk about" something.

     Today is a very good day.  I am overwhelmed with feelings of being blessed.  I talk about my family all the time on here and I think, I hope, I make it obvious just how close we all are and how they are the most important things to me. 

     My kids had their names changed a few months ago.  That was such a good day and I walked out of the courthouse for the first time feeling like we had accomplished something that gave us closure and put an end to an ordeal I wouldn't wish on anybody.  I thought for the first time in years I was stress free.  Everything was great.  Until a few days later and I found myself not only stressed but scared to death.

     My dad found a lump on his collar bone a few weeks before then.  He had been sick so he was just watching it.  He is Type 2 diabetic and had a regular appointment that morning early March, and he showed it to my mom before his appointment.  She called me, I was at the grocery store, and she kept saying she didn't want to tell me there, but I knew was scared.  My dad has always slept in collared Polo shirts, and he stays cold and wears jackets so he had hid it.  Everything happened really fast.  They had him with an ENT that day, a surgical biopsy soon after and then in a few days he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  They began getting him ready for chemo and had "a plan" and it has just been so scary.  My dad has never worn a hat, but not to scare the little ones he has been wearing a baseball hat ever since his hair started shedding.  It never fully fell out, but he had cut it really short, then buzzed it to gradually introduce the kids to what would happen.  We never used the word cancer with the little ones.  We just said he was not feeling good and the medicine to make him better would make his hair fall out. We also didn't tell a whole lot of people since we are in a small town because we were trying to protect the little ones.

     We have all held onto our faith and prayed everything would be okay.  The doctors were nothing but optimistic, it was caught fairly early, and they have given nothing but hope.  Both of my dad's parents died painful, terrible deaths from cancer so we have those experiences in our minds. My dad has always said, "If I ever get that stuff, y'all don't be hurt with me, but just let me be."  After watching his parents he has always said he would just let it take his course.  He made this statement to me not long before he found the lump.  However, he changed his mind when he was going through all the testing and said, "I will do whatever they tell me to as long as they can fix me."

     I am not telling anyone who has gone through or watched a love one go through chemo how difficult it is.  It is just the strangest thing to me that the only thing that will heal you is also poisoning you at the same time.  It was hard watching him go through it and the days of treatment it was hard knowing where he was and what he was doing.

     He had his 9th treatment today.  Last week he had another PET scan and they met with the doctor today and I feel so overwhelmed with thankfulness to say he is in remission.  I honestly think I took the first deep breath in the months we have gone through this.  I say we, while he was the one physically dealing with everything, but everyone knows it is something the whole family goes through.  He still has three more treatments to hopefully prevent it from coming back, and he will have follow ups after that, and already somewhat of a plan if it were to come back.

     When we found out his diagnosis I kept telling him why I thought he was going through it.  He had been working a lot.  We are in real estate and he had been working more than he probably ever had.  He takes care of everybody.  He takes care of me since I don't have a husband and he has stepped up as a dad to my kids.  I told him he needed to take a break and take care of himself and God knew this was the only way to get him to do it!  I still believe that.  I had a conversation with a dear, dear old friend right after we found out what we were dealing with.  Our families have been friends for years and she has bravely fought her own battle. I will never forget that conversation.  It helped me face what was going on and it definitely put things in perspective.  I hope she knows how much I love her and what she did for me that day.  By the way, I think her experience has led her to help so many people deal with such a scary issue.  She is a lifelong educator and God isn't done with her yet.  He has just given her a new direction to reach people and it is amazing the way she does it. 

     I have another friend who dove right in and was there for me and my family.  She has also had her fight and, as a daughter, watched her dad survive his battle.  We couldn't have asked for better support.  I know we would have had more if we had been more vocal about it, but we just had protecting the little ones as one of our top priorities. 

     It is something that will hang over us and we will be scared every time he has a scan.  It is something every person worries about for themselves and everyone around them.  We worry about our kids and ourselves.  I don't like that I am a worrier by nature because I do have so much faith.  I just know that even though we have to trust God and know that if something unfortunate happens to us or a loved one, it isn't easy to deal with.  We know He has a plan and we have to believe one day we will understand, but it is still hard. 

     As thankful and blessed as I feel, I know there are many, many people who aren't feeling so blessed and my prayers are with them and their families.  It is definitely a war with this illness and as much as we should celebrate the win of each battle, it is still very much a war for everyone.  I am just glad to finally be able to talk about it and take a deep breath.

My mom and dad.  They have their 43rd Anniversary next month.  This was taken at our dinner for my mom and brother in law's birthday.  I don't know what I would do without either of them.  I will never forget the way my mom was with him the day they took him into his surgery. They are a great example for my kids, nieces, and nephews.


Blond Duck said...

I'm so sorry. I'll keep your dad in my prayers.

April said...

Thank you so much. I appreciate it very much. Prayers is the most important part of the fight!