Well, here we go again. I haven't written until now for many reasons. I have been in shock at the cancer reoccurring so soon. I have been depressed. I have been in chemo. I haven't felt well. And I don't have anything terribly encouraging to say or report.
What I will try to do, however, is count some of my blessings out loud with you right now--naming them one by one, as the old hymn says. I hope that will encourage you and me both!
1) I have an amazing support team in Steve, Renee, Daniel, and too many family members, neighbors, and friends to name.
2) I have a great medical oncology team. They are so smart and good, and care about us deeply.
3) So far, my body has tolerated the first two chemos with only nausea, fatigue, a few aches, and sore throats. The chemo kills rapidly dividing cells, some of which are in your throat and esophagus, so it hurts to swallow and is very red in my throat. But I'm at home in my sweats with nowhere I have to be, a DVR full of good shows, dinner that someone brought in my fridge, and a steaming mug of throat comfort tea, so how bad can that be?
4) I have received so many kindnesses already, and it has only been two weeks! My heart is swelling with the fullness of knowing I am loved. Thanks to all of you who have sent cards. They mean so much to me. Once again, going to the mailbox is a highlight of my days. Thanks for flowers from Riley and Lynette and others. Thanks for desserts from Julianne, Helen, and the Korpis. Thanks for bread from Dee. Thanks for amazing meals from Maribeth, Ami, Sam & her girls, Nancy and John, Doris, Laura and Jerry, and Cherylin. Thanks for care packages from Paul and Heidi and Mark and Tania, and to Tania for handling our taxes for us!! Thanks for a trip all the way from Spokane to minister God's love in our brokenness from Jan and Felix. Thanks to Kristi for helping me clean when my strength is nearly gone. All of you, and anyone I've forgotten, have blessed our family more than you will ever know. Oh--and thanks to everyone who is praying every single day for us!!! It comforts me to know God hears our names so many times a day.
5) I had a fun trip to Blake Island on our boat yesterday, enjoying laying on a blanket in the warm sand, a picnic, and a walk, with Steve and Renee. Unfortunately, Daniel had huge exams today so he couldn't join us. See photos below!
6) Lastly for now, I am thankful that the God who made us and loves us is with us ALWAYS, in sickness and in health, and that I see Him in all of your kindnesses daily. "Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am He. I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Isaiah 46:4. I am weak today, getting winded going up stairs and with a burning sore throat. But He is with me, sustaining me, carrying me, and rescuing me through the terror that is recurrent ovarian cancer. Thanks be to God.
P.S. Prayer request? I leave on a six-night trip to Maui with my girlfriend, Kristi, and my sister, Marti on April 22. My counts are very low and I am very susceptible to infection. Please pray protection over my health on both plane rides and for the entire trip. Thank you! Oh--and that Steve will pass his Family Practice all-day Board Certification Exam while I'm away!
Gabrielle and Renee at the half-way point in their 3.5 mile walk. Just melt that little anti-nausea pill on your tongue and go for it. Then the next day (today), do nothing!
Gabrielle in her chair on the warm beach with a good book.
Captain Steve, wearing, appropriately, his Blake Island State Park hat.
Deckhand Renee, preparing to enter the lake-bound Locks on our way home.