I'm resigned to not being that great of a person. I've almost come to accept Nate Silver's probabilities that I'll go to Hell.
There is, right now, too much cancer in my life... and it's not even in my life, properly speaking.
It's in my friend Joyce's life, as she watches her husband Billy struggle to breathe and lose, perhaps thankfully, his grasp on reality. She's amazing. Trust me on that...
|Joyce and Billy on September 15, 2012|
Joyce wrote on her Facebook page, this past Monday:
Billy's nurse just left, he has gone downhill very fast. She said there were NO lung sounds at all on the right and very little on the left. He has been out of it, talking to himself and people thats not there. He is sooooo worried about leaving Brian, when we ask him what he said he will say he was talking to Brian, and Brian isn't here.Brian is Billy's oldest grandson, who knows him more as a father...
Cancer is still in Kate McRae's life every day, too -- but she's been doing wonderfully, and hopefully will continue to be cancer free. She and her mom Holly, and her dad Aaron, sister Olivia, brother Will are in the midst of that unimaginable angst of it being "MRI" time. Oh, and she has pneumonia. Holly wrote, a few days ago:
This will be 6 months out of treatment, and my heart continually reminds me that she relapsed at 9 months out of treatment last time. We pray for CLEAN scans. Not just to the Dr's eye, but that there would be distinctly no cancer cells left in her body. None. And no confusion upon reading the scan.
|Kate McRae, courtesy of her CaringBridge site|
HAPPY UPDATE for Ms. Kate: "No Evidence of Disease!!!!!! Some of my favorite words!" Yayyyy! That was Holly's tweet after Kate managed a 3-hour MRI without anesthesia, because of her pneumonia. The funniest tweet came next:
Kate: "Mom, I love you, by please don't shout it out about my MRI. They are strangers. You are embarrassing yourself. "Not even close, Ms. Thang!
Moving on... of the other children I follow (I try to keep it at four... no idea why, but four it is) -- my personal hero, another Ms. Thang (check out her bangled-braceleted arm!), Hannah, has finished her chemo and despite a struggle with its side effects, is home. Her nonchalance in the face of rotationplasty made me feel quite ashamed at my regret at losing a shoulder, and her courage before all that followed made me a teeny bit less self-absorbed, hard as that may be for my Dear Readers to believe.
|Hannah's photo courtesy of her CaringBridge site|
Brayden's MRI is completely stable. The Dr is very pleased. We are so relieved. Happy tears all around. Thank you is not enough, but it is all I have at the moment, plus lots of love from us.
Brayden's cancer, though, is not that simple. But "stable"? Hell, we'll take "stable." Here's Handsome Boy:
|Handsome Braden, courtesy of his CaringBridge site|
I simply cannot bring myself to bring you up-to-date, if you have chosen to get news of Joey here. I encourage you to go to his CaringBridge site as the situation is as complex spiritually as it is medically. Bless his parents and their faithful entourage, they cannot let him go... when perhaps, he needs to. My worst fear is that he may want to, but is so tender-hearted, loves them so much, that he cannot say so, cannot give himself permission, lacking theirs. This feels cruel to write, and a cold chill of guilt envelops me. I cannot know or come close to imagining Nick and Elizabeth's tortured pain... but I *do* have a vague idea of Joey's, and that drives my cruel words.
Nick last updated the CaringBridge journal in the very early morning of November 7:
We saw the MRI. Major growth on lumbar spine, brainstem, and in temple regions sort of growing towards the center of his brain. It WAS in CSF kind of "on" his brain, now it seems its growing into and through his actual brain cells and tissue. Wicked, evil disease. We discussed hospice and the reports from all relevant medical teams was, "anything else we could do will cause more harm and damage than any potential for help or therapeutic upside." They do believe his unusually high heart is do to the cancer spot/tumor/lesion on or in his brain stem. We flat out need a miracle. Otherwise, what he will have to endure, systematic loss of brain and organ function, system failure, ventilator again, it's unthinkable. They were especially concerned looking at this MRI vs. the one just a month ago (brain) bc Its really moving quickly. We have got to pray. All those scriptures I looked up and listed in previous CB postings on faith and healing, haven't changed. The promises regarding healing...haven't changed. We've exhausted every medical option that exists (due diligence.) Now, We look to God to do what only He can. All day long I kept thinking about the Israelites looking at the Red Sea, the Egyptians racing to basically cut their throats or put them back into slavery. They thought they were dead. Or at best, had no idea how God would get them out this, this time. Slaves for 400 years, finally free, and now this??? To die here, like this? All day long I've been getting texts from buddies and pastors from those very chapters. Don't believe it's a coincidence. The thought keeps going through my head, if its not impossible, it's not a miracle. Thx for praying for our Joey.
PS- I have been inundated with emails and texts and VM's. thank you all so much for your kind words and for reaching out. I just can't get to them all. In time, I will read and hopefully respond to every one. There are some aspects of my job I must do everyday and outside of that, my time/energy is focused on Joey. I hope you understand. Please, pray. Just pray. Thank you.
|Father and Son|