I’m in Oregon with the grown-daughter-with-a-grown-up-house-and-job. I am in awe of her. When I was her age (say it with that ancient voice of someone who is going to exaggerate how many miles she walked to and from school in the snow) I was married and not making decisions for myself by myself. My daughter inspires me.
In between U-Haul pick-ups and moving boxes and trying out the new stove and finding the hangers underneath the pile of clothes, I have been forming words about my life with Brent.
Brent has a new diagnosis these days. He has been stable, no cancer movement or growth since early 2013. But this spring we see growth again. We’ve been quiet. Wondering. Examining options. Taking deep breaths, taking our days one at a time. It’s all different this time around. We know better than to jump to conclusions. We’re much less interested in having anyone estimate how much time we have together. Just tell us what we need to do today, tomorrow, maybe as far ahead as next month. We’ll deal with the month after that when we get there.
We just came off of 10 days of radiation. It’s the only amount that they will do for the time being because his body is maxed out on radiation therapy. (He had 33 sessions in 2013.) We have some lovely friends (many of our sentences begin with those words) who are lending us a lovely apartment a bit north of San Diego. Our commute to treatments is shorter and doesn’t include a jaunt across an international border.
Radiation doesn’t hurt Brent. In his whole life Brent’s only had two headaches and only one of them was associated with a brain tumor. He’s felt some numbness on his left side, presumably resulting from inflammation in the brain as a result of radiation. He will check that out with the doctor tomorrow. But no pain.
In a couple of weeks Brent will begin chemotherapy. This time around it appears that it will be harsh. Some of it he will take in pill form, at home. Some of it will be infusions at the hospital. But there will be a list two blocks long of forbidden foods (restrictive even for him) and the probability that he will still have a painful rash. He may have nausea this time. He may have numbness or pain in his hands and feet.
I sigh. He sighs. We’ve made the choice and we are ready and willing, but not eager, to begin. Poison in the body is never nice. But Brent is brave and full of hope. He is motivated by potential grandchildren.
EPIC Ministries. God gave us that ministry and we will find a way to keep it up in spite of our obvious obstacles. Brent wants to take a quick trip south before he begins chemotherapy. The sound of that makes me weary. But we will figure it out.
One thing I find as we walk this weird road: God is the same here as He always has been. Nothing changes Him. I love that He is sovereign and good. Brent loves that He is good all the time. We do not know what tomorrow will bring but we do know that God is there.