Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2016 with Princess Anna and a Clemson football player. 
Reynolds was supposed to be Spiderman all along. I grabbed this football outfit at my parents' house for a backup. But once he had on the football uniform, there was no turning back. And I can't say I'm mad about that. ;) 

Our neighborhood had a block party before all the kids stormed the neighbors houses together.  
a multi-sport athlete ;)
Evie and her family joined us for our 3rd year trick or treating together. 
...annnnd another sport. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

James 1:2-3

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3

We've had a roller coaster the last few weeks...months even. 

In June my dad was emitted to the ER after throwing up blood. That was a whirlwind of about 18 hours. I got a call from my sister that they were taking him to the hospital around 7:30. Only a few hours later as I was getting in bed, I got another call that a mass was seen on the CT scan in the duodenum. (An area that my sisters researched and found was very rare except for males in their sixth decade--my dad.) They would be doing an endoscopy in the morning, but we went to sleep that night feeling like we'd just been punched in the stomach. Early the next morning my family of 4 got on the road to drop the kids off at my in-laws so Patrick and I could go and hang out in the tiny {and shared} hospital room with my family. Just as we were leaving my in laws, I got another call that the mass seen on the scan was most likely a blood clot and they were able to repair the ulcer/bleed during the procedure. whew.

Fast forward to the end of August and my dad had a repeat endoscopy. We were waiting for the all clear text from my mom. Instead, we got a text that said the doctor took a biopsy of the tissue where the "clot/ulcer" had been-that the tissue did not look normal. Another gut punch.

But even so, there were several things that we were able to see God's faithfulness and provision in. The doctor shared with my dad that, without having his charts in front of him, he was confused when he saw a repeat scope on his schedule for the day.  According to him, they do not normally repeat these procedures if everything looked okay when they finished. So we are thankful that this scan was scheduled. {Because as we would not so soon find out, the "clot/ulcer" actually was a mass.}

After a few days of waiting we got another call that the biopsy came back inconclusive and another biopsy was needed, but the doctor was thinking it looked like lymphoma. And then more waiting...

After another week+ goes by, we received news that the second biopsy did indicate lymphoma. But we still got little specifics, because more scans were needed with an oncologist. So...more waiting.

On October 3rd, he met with the oncologist again to review the results of the bone marrow biopsy and PET scan. Bone marrow was clear, but the PET scan indicated active lymph nodes in his neck and clavicle, in addition to the one in his duodenum--indicating stage 3.

But it was still back to the waiting game because we had to wait for a surgeon to biopsy an active lymph node to determine what type of lymphoma so a specific treatment plan could be determined.

On Friday (10.21.16), my dad met with the oncologist again to review the pathology report. The report indicated Non Hodgkins, follicular B cell lymphoma, grade 3b. This grade is considered far more aggressive than the other follicular lymphomas, so it is treated as diffuse large B cell (what my mom had). A race began with my the oncologist, my family, and their friends in the medical field to get him prepped and ready for chemo to start on Tuesday---today.

And here we are. Waiting and hoping. Believing. Praying. 

When we went through this with my mom 9 years ago, we all called it the best and the worst time. It was tough, really tough at times. But we saw God provide and encourage us every step of the way. Our faith was strengthened and so were our relationships with one another. Our prayer is of course that God would heal my dad. But we also pray that God would be glorified in all of this. That our lives would only point back to our creator and the one who holds the world in His hands. 

Spirit lead us where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters where ever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

If you are reading this, we would appreciate you joining us in prayer for his healing, strength for his body, and encouragement for his soul. We are thankful for the support of those around us and that God doesn't have us go at this alone.  

This is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.