“In Your everlasting arms, all the pieces of my life, from beginning to the end – I can trust You. In Your never failing love, You work everything for good. God, whatever comes my way, I will trust you.” Chris Tomlin, “Sovereign”
I am starting this update on Bryan with a really positive thought — Bryan is 25% done with his treatments! WOOHOO! We will take any reason to celebrate through these chemo treatments, and being even a portion done, is super exciting. Yes, my accountant side is revealing itself as I keep track of treatments done and treatments left to go. 🙂
Bryan is still doing pretty well — I mean, really, check out the handsome guy up there! He has moments where he is just feeling “off” and not himself, moments of fatigue, and moments of nausea, but it is a huge praise that the moments of nausea (the biggest fear Bryan had with side effects), have been minimal and manageable. He is having nights where he is not sleeping well, so that has been a struggle at times. Bryan had his third treatment early this week, and did not feel well during it, but he is feeling better and back to work now. I have been able to go with him to all of his treatments so far, and they are getting more efficient and going more quickly as we progress, which is really nice. The less amount of time we have to spend at the hospital, the better, especially given Bryan’s low neutrophil count. (Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells.) It is expected that this count will continue to be low for him throughout the remainder of his treatment, so keeping him as isolated as possible from germs and infections are high on our priority list! Again, super hard to do with our two little ones running around the house, but so far, so good.
I am actually so thankful that I do not have any super bad news to report about how things are going so far — such a huge answer to our prayers. Bryan will have another PET scan mid-August, and we will then know how well the chemotherapy is working and are expecting to see great progress! I have sometimes been feeling that time is going SO slowly. Our life has been so different this summer than others. We are home more, and not making all those fun summer plans that we used to be able to participate in without a second thought. If you have ever talked to Bryan, even if just for a minute, you will know that “social” is his middle name. He thrives on human interaction and is such a social guy. While being home more often has its appeals to a quieter person like myself, it has been difficult for Bryan.
It is difficult to try to plan our lives out with so much unknown. We are definitely counting down the days to the PET scan as this will be a great indicator about how well things are going, but it is very hard to not be able to see what is going on inside of Bryan’s body and just trusting in the “unseen.” And of course, praying that God has got it all under control. I was talking with my mom the other day about how it is hard to make plans for things going forward — even just the everyday normal things. I am a planner extraordinaire, so it is not in my nature to not have a plan! But, as I was talking these things through with her, this verse came to the top of my mind:
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
We are not going to be here forever. We are, as God says, literally a “mist” in the grand scheme of His overarching plan. Now, while I don’t think this means that we shouldn’t plan and just make crazy decisions, I do think it is a good reminder. While the hope is that Bryan will overcome all of this and lead a healthy life going forward, who is to say that I will remain healthy? God has promised us that “in this world, you will have trouble” — but HE will overcome. This entire situation just continues to scream at me that today is today. We are here today, and we might not be here tomorrow. Life. Is. Short. I don’t mean this to be morbid, as I truly believe God has the power to heal Bryan and that he will be just fine, but I say this because, we are not guaranteed anything. I certainly didn’t plan to find out that my husband had cancer in June of 2015. So I am saying this: Live your life. Don’t worry about the petty things that don’t matter in the perspective of eternity. Don’t hold back doing the things that you love. Live today – for today.
Something else that has really helped me through all of this, is keeping a gratitude journal. How often I catch myself whining about something (something that really doesn’t even matter), that I could be spending that time being thankful. While, I don’t love that Bryan and I are dealing with this health issue right now, God has SO blessed us in so many other ways. It is so, so, SO easy to get caught up in the moment, and feel bad for yourself — wondering why you were dealt this unfair hand. But, you know what? There is so much worse in the world. And in the midst of it all, we are seriously drowning in blessing upon blessing. My entire outlook changes, when I remind myself how much I have to thank God for — the list never ends!
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7
So, how can you continue to pray for us? Please pray that Bryan would remain healthy, and that his treatments would go smoothly and as scheduled. Please pray that he would feel well, and that he would be able to have more restful nights of sleep. Please pray that Bryan would remain positive (the mental mindset is so important through all of this), and that he would continue to feel loved and cared for by the Maker of all. Please pray that I would have the additional energy I need to help both him, and keep up with everyday life with the kids, and our home. And, please continue to pray that these treatments are doing their job and that we would see great results at his next scan.
We are so thankful for everyone that has spoken kind words and prayers over us. We have had neighbors show up at our door unannounced with food. Bryan received a care package from a friend who went through this same journey years ago, filled with necessities. My mom’s group at church dropped off a basket of “sunshine” filled with so many wonderful things. We have a neighbor that texts me at least weekly asking specifically what our needs are for the week, and how they can help (and really meaning it – i.e. showing up to mow the lawn moments later!). My family put together a care “bag” for Bryan and included with it were notes and cards from many of you — these notes are truly moving Bryan to tears at times as he can’t help but feel so loved. I am taking notes about all of these things so I can use them to bless others, because these intentional ways of giving and caring for us have meant so much. The cards, emails, texts, and phone calls are also so motivating and really helping us get through this. God is truly using you in our lives, and for His glory. If you are mentioned here, I pray you know who you are, partially because I have not been good at sending out thank-you cards, but also because I want you to know that you have made this journey more bearable, and we are so appreciative.
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