Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Love You A Bushel and A Peck and A Hug Around the Neck

It has been a long time since I posted anything. Things have been anything but boring, but I haven't been able to find the words so I took a break. 

My dad had just started treatments preparing him for his stem cell transplant the last time I posted.  He had been in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma, but we found out it had returned when they did his 3 month scan. These last few months have been hard.  The worst thing about cancer is watching those you love go through so much in an effort to get better.  I have always known my dad is strong, but he has shown so much faith and courage these last two years that are simply inspiring.  My mom has never been anything but a strong woman in my eyes.  She is the one who keeps things going.  She isn't one to sit around, she gets out there and just does what needs to be done.  My older son gets that from her and it is an amazing gift. My younger son has my dad's sense of humor, which he has kept throughout his treatments.  My daughter has my mom's nurturing and my dad's sensitive heart.

Dad had his stem cell transplant, using his own cells, July 3rd.  I am not going to lie, it was very hard.  He was a complete trooper, but it is definitely a process that takes a lot of time to recover from. I don't say that to discourage anyone, nothing about cancer is easy. My mom kept him going.  He spent some time in the hospital, but they had to make about a 30 mile trip every morning for weeks for him to get checked. On weekends and holidays, no break. They were making sure he didn't have a fever, sometimes he needed blood and platelets, and just monitoring him for any side effects.  Mom made sure he did everything he was supposed to even when I know he had to feel terrible.

I wasn't going to say anything about his progress here or on Facebook.  Recently, I have had friends lose parents or find that loved ones are sick.  Out of respect and consideration, I didn't want to post anything but at the same time I feel like giving a BIG shout out of thanks to God.  Dad had his 3 month scan last Friday and we found out this Tuesday he is in remission.  We were so scared, this was the scan last time that we found out it was back.  We knew he had gotten back into remission before the transplant and that the transplant itself was a success, but we had no idea what it did to the cancer.  I feel very guilty announcing great news while so many people I know and care about have gotten bad news, but I do feel like I need to give God all the glory any way I can.  I have so many friends and family members on Facebook that have kept up with Dad, prayed for him, and because of the prayers God gave us good news.  As much as I appreciate his medical team, I owe all of my thankfulness to God. We don't know what the next 3 month scan will bring, we have learned a lot can happen in 3 months, but I am so thankful that for now he is well and has somewhat of a break. His immunity is still extremely low so we have to be careful while he is still building his body back up from the transplant.  All Dad could say after he got the news was that is was good news because of all the prayers and God's hand on his healing.  I feel like I have to acknowledge the power of prayer and faith. My kids and nieces and nephews have a very strong faith, but my Dad made sure they knew who was responsible for a clear scan.

There is a lot going on in the world today. We all have everyday things we pray about.  It is important Now, more than ever , we desperately need to stand up and demand our right to pray whenever and wherever we want to.

This was my Facebook post:

I live on the same street with my family and see them everyday.  Although I see him and talk to him I got to hug my dad this Tuesday for the first time in months.  It is easy to take for granted human contact and something as simple and powerful as a hug.  Especially when you need them most.

I wasn't going to say anything on Facebook or on my blog.  I have friends that have recently lost a parent or loved ones and others who have loved ones fighting for their lives or getting a very difficult diagnosis.  Out of respect and consideration I didn't want to post.  We don't know what the future holds and we have learned that a lot can happen in 3 months, but my dad just had his 3 month scan after the stem cell transplant and for now he is in remission. He goes back in 3 months and we are prepared for options if it comes back again but for right now we are just so thankful he is well and has a break.  Like I said, I feel guilty posting when I see others hurting, but I feel like I need to shout out and give God all the glory. The only thing my dad kept saying the day he got the good news was it was because of God and all the prayers everyone has said for him. He says it is unreal the feeling knowing he has so many people praying for him and that care about him.  So many of you have asked me about him and if you are one of the poor people I have broken down crying on, you have probably been afraid to ask.  I just want us to be able to openly thank God and everyone for the prayers (and shoulders!).  I also want those of you mourning and/or hurting for a loved one to know you are in my prayers. There is a lot going on in this world right now and we need to stand up and keep our rights to pray wherever and whenever we want to. We also need to be good to each other. There is enough meanness coming our way without us being ugly to each other especially for no reason.  In the end, it is all up to God and we need faith and prayer now more than ever.  I honestly don't know how people make it in this world without Him.