Tuesday, October 21, 2008

quick note about Brian

First and foremost, I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to all the well-wishers for us. We seriously appreciate the kind thoughts, the extra prayers and the sweet words of encouragement. Seriously. Most of the readers of this blog are our family and friends and not other bloggers, so the comment to readership ratio is skewed. You see, my family and friend non-bloggers do not understand that blogging can be an addiction and comments are our crack. So, to see that over 80 people commented to tell us they were thinking and praying for us, is beyond humbling. Thank you. Thank you also to Kristen and PG who directed their readers here for extra luv. Thank you also for understanding that at this point in our lives, I cannot possibly respond to all of you nor check back to your blogs right now. No. My priorities are spending time with Brian and as a family. I know you all understand. Honestly, your thoughts and prayers are working though, as I have felt a renewed vigor to KEEP BELIEVING. Last week, I was honestly ready to give up. It pains me to admit that.


Secondly, Brian is having a PetScan today. This PetScan should be to try to better determine if the 24% growth is tumor or radiation effect. In the end, it will not change the fact that we will discontinue this chemo and go on with a different course. We will speak with the doctor later today and talk about a plan for the next step. We should have called last night, but we had soccer games and it isn't really a great place to have a conversation with the doctor. Plus, what's one more day at this point in time?


The steroids seem to have helped Brian some as his speech improved and his headaches were less over the weekend. We had a great weekend and Brian, as I said yesterday, did just fantastic. I think most people would have had no idea that his test results showed a worsening condition.


The proverbial "one day at a time" saying rings so true for us these days. Usually I want to kick someone in the teeth when they use that line on me followed by a "no shit, sherlock," but these days, that is the best we can do. We take each moment as it comes. Brian is on leave from work now. He is concentrating on himself and staying on this earth for as long as God will allow. He keeps saying, "I'm not done yet." Regardless, each day we analyze how Brian is feeling and what he can handle. For the most part, he has felt pretty good and can handle most of what he was handling recently. His speech issues come and go. He is suddenly tired and needs rest. His headaches are sporadic, but controllable.


I endured the agonizing chore of revealing to our boys their Daddy is getting sicker. Naturally, they met my news with questions regarding Daddy’s death. I explained that we will all die some day, but that Daddy’s sickness is very serious and he might die from it. “Will Jesus heal Daddy?” “What will happen if Daddy dies?” “Can’t Daddy take different medicine?” Those were some of the interrogations I had to field. I answered as truthfully as I could. “Jesus COULD heal Daddy, but I don’t know if he will.” “If Daddy dies, we will be fine. You will be fine. It will be the 3 of us and we will be OKAY. It will be different, but we have lots of people that love us and want to help us.” “Daddy is going to try different medicine, but it might not help. Daddy’s cancer is growing.” “The most important thing you need to know is that Daddy doesn’t WANT to be sick. It isn’t Daddy’s fault, it isn’t YOUR fault – it is NO ONE’s fault.” I don't know if I am handling this appropriately or not. I don't want the children blindsided. I don't want them to be afraid if they see people (me) crying. I want them to feel secure, loved and cared for, and I am doing my best to reassure them of that.

Gavin had a revelation. “I KNOW WHY DADDY IS SICKER! He picked his nose and that makes you sick! No, Mom. Stop laughing. It’s real. When you pick your nose, it gets germs in there and makes you sick. Daddy picked his nose.” So one good thing that could come from this would be that my boys may have better hygiene as someone somewhere along the way has told them this urban myth and I swear it wasn’t me. I reserve my lies for things like – If you don’t eat your vegetables, you will get fat and have no muscles and be the slowest one on the team. Don’t judge me. Shut up.


A few minutes later, Gavin was asking me the whereabouts of our tray we use to take breakfast in bed when people are sick. So, we got down the serving tray and they started loading it with things to take to Daddy. Straws, because according to 7 and 5 year old boys, when you are sick, you have to drink through a straw. Books – but only kid books. I thought the gesture was incredibly sweet and compassionate, and I thought it was important to let them be as much a part of this or as little a part of this as they want.


KEEP BELIEVING

27 comments:

  1. Angie, you have the amazing gift of making me cry and making me laugh all at the same time. I continue to pray for your whole family and expect a miracle.

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  2. Holy cutest kids ever!! I just want to hug them!! You will be in my thoughts today and my prayers as usual! Thanks Angie

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  3. Your story, on the one hand, is full of heartache, but I love your honest, faith-filled approach with yourself and your boys and your wonderful husband. I am sorry I have not been here for a little while- I feel late in offering my prayers for you and your family.
    But I do and I will tell my students about Brian and we offer a special intention for him during our morning prayers.

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  4. Angie - We are keeping your whole family close to our hearts these days. I want to reassure you that you are absolutely doing the right thing - you are choosing to do what YOU think is right - and that will win 100% of the time. Keeping the kids informed and letting them know that you are real person with real emotions is a great life lesson for them to learn, and it will also help them process what is going on. As I said, we will keep you in our thoughts.

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  5. Angie,

    No one should ever have to tell their children that their daddy is getting sicker. No child should ever have to ask those questions that the boys asked. My heart aches for you and for the boys.

    One one had is reality and on the other is the hope of a different reality. I know that Jesus is more than capable of that different reality. A reality of healing and a promise of comfort.

    I love you.

    Janell

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  6. You just cover all the bases, don't you? You dig deep into my heart and soul, and then make me think never to dig deep in my nose. I cry with you. I laugh with you. God bless you, Angie. And God bless your family.

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  7. I am left speechless by your never ending strength. I find myself wanting to leave long comments ..trying to find the words is so hard.. just know you are in my thoughts..and prayers..

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  8. What emotions from this post. You are amazing, and I think doing everything you should. I agree with being honest with the kids. They should know what is going on and why their mom is sad.

    I love that he thinks its the picking of the nose. That totally made me smile. I also love the breakfast in bed. What memories you all are making because you know each moment counts. I love reading that!

    I am hoping that the doctor has something to tell you both today that will be good news.

    And I do believe GOD can heal. May HE choose this opportunity to do it!

    Keep Believing!!!

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  9. I don't know whether to sit here and cry or laugh out loud about boogers. What I will do, is continue to lift your family in prayer, for continued strength, for your boys, for you, for Brian.

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  10. Oh Angie, God gives you amazing strength to deal with your boys like you do. You asked if you are handling things appropriately...only you can know what needs to be said or how it might be received, but it sure sounds to me like you are doing an incredible job. You are letting your boys lead the way and giving information as they ask and I think that might be the very best way to handle it and along the way, God can even use them as a distraction for you (the nose picking thing was beyond cute and insightful!)

    Angie, you should know by now that nobody would ever judge you - you do what you need to do as you see fit as their mother and that is what matters - to you and your family. We continue to pray for you and for a miracle for Brian.

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  11. You guys are awesome!! I agree with Brian that he is not done yet. Not even close. We enjoyed seeing your smiles this weekend and we look forward to seeing your boys soon.

    Angie, how is the child scream therapy coming? I recommend 2x daily x2 boys.

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  12. It sounds like you are handling this with grace and strength and humor!

    I will continue to pray for your whole family.

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  13. Yep, just when I want to bawl, boogers enter the scene.
    You are amazing.
    God is present. It's obvious.

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  14. You have amazing instincts. Trust them.

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  15. Angie, you and your family are in my prayers. I don't know how you do it, you are truly one of the strongest women I know.

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  16. John & Peg HafnerOctober 21, 2008

    Angie--Just want you to know we're going for another miracle--we pray for all of you daily and have put you all on our church prayer chain--I just visualize a big, huge circle of family, friends, etc. all around you--God is truly with you. The boys are so special in these photos--little ones have the gift of knowing what to do!!!! We love you and will continue our fervent prayers--John & Peg Hafner

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  17. Handling it appropriately? Girl, you are handling it with such grace and wisdom, you move me to tears. How blessed are those boys to have you! Sending prayers always...

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  18. It had to be extremely difficult to have that conversation with your sons, but you handled their questions like a champ. You are an amazingly strong woman.

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  19. The pictures in the last post looked like so much FUN! Amazing. The one in bed with the boys in this post is just too sweet for words. Hugs and prayers. I'm thinking about you and hoping for the best from the scan. Oh, and the way you handled it with the boys? Sounds perfect to me.

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  20. Those sweet smiles must have some kind of healing power. I'm sure of it.

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  21. Angie,

    I wanted to let know how much we love you guys and pray for you each and every day!
    It was great to here you had a nice weekend at your Mom and Dad's I wish I was there.

    Love, Mike & Family

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  22. Have I told you lately how much you amaze and inspire me? Your boys are very lucky that God blessed them with you. We are praying for Brian and your family daily.

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  23. Angie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Brian! I'm sorry Brian is going through this trying time and I know it must be very difficult, but you handled your boys beautifully and they are so lucky to have such a good mom. I will be praying very hard that God heals Brian and that he gives you strength to help him every step of the way! God Bless you and your family - Kellan

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  24. Angie,
    This is perfect! I think you're handling it EXACTLY right. Answer questions, give some info so nothing surprises them, but still love & reassure them and let them be a part of helping to take care of daddy. You're doing this perfectly!

    HUGS from east Texas!

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  25. My Mom and your Brian seem to be on the same journey. Each day truly is precious. The steroids have helped somewhat. Blessings and strength to you and the boys.

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  26. You and your family truly amaze me, Angie. For what it's worth, I think you are handling the questions from the boys the best way possible. You are such a strong woman and you will all be in my thoughts and prayers for whatever lay ahead for you.

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  27. We're praying for you now as well. And DON'T feel like you have to swing by, I am just happy that Pinky sent me this way so that we can add our family's prayers to the others!

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