Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities" is a favorite read of mine. The opening paragraph is just one sentence.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was
the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us,
we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going
direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period,
that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good
or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
As I reflect upon this past year, Dickens words come forefront to my mind. Among those I love, we have experienced major surgeries, epic wind storms, loss, illness and death. But we have also seen success, service, gain, healing and birth. I don't have to try very hard to realize that with each of the "bad" came "good". I seem to recall somewhere we have been taught that there must needs be opposition in all things! :). I do appreciate all the good in my life. I acknowledge and give thanks to my Lord for all things.
Of all that has happened, however, there are two things which remain deep aches in my heart. I hate that Cindy's cancer has returned. I hate that she does not feel well. I hate that she must go through radiation and chemo and weight loss and hair loss. I hate that Reed and the kids are suffering and hurt. I hate Cancer! I realize that "hate" is a strong word, but it is honestly how I feel. I am angry and sad and at times want to scream and shout and cry until I have nothing left inside me.
Yet when I express these sentiments to Cindy, instead of her joining in my anger, she expresses love. There is sorrow, but her love and faith overrule. So, I think about her faith and know that I too have faith. And while I hate what is happening to her I do have faith in healing. I pray each night for the miracle of healing. Heck, I pray day and night for the miracle of healing. I want the miracle. I have faith the Lord will provide. With that said - I am ignoring any nay sayers - myself included and moving forward with the belief and faith that all will be well and Cindy will be here, healthy and well, for a good long time.
Now for the update:
Radiation has been completed on both the brain and the lung. The latest scan of Cindy's brain shows a remarkable response. Most of the lesions have melted away and of the few that still show they are very small and with time will also finish dying. (Dying is a good word here!) Another brain scan will be performed the first of December to see if any tumors remain.
Cindy and Reed also decided to go forward and have the tumor in her lung radiated. It was a large lesion and although it was not hurting her to breath it was still there and getting rid of it seemed to be the best option. Yay! A scan on that portion of her body will be done if a few more weeks to measure the size. I am expecting that tumor will be melted away as well.
Additional lesions have been discovered in her spleen, liver and kidneys. These organs can not be radiated at this time so chemotherapy will be given. Cindy actually started chemotherapy in August. Was on it for three weeks and then off until the first of October. She has now been back on chemo. It is a two weeks on, one week off cycle. It is nasty stuff and makes her tired and nauseated, and red faced, and burning feet and hands with blisters. Towards the end of the cycle walking is extremely painful, but she walks anyway. She is amazing. She is strong. And though the cancer she has is aggressive and mean, her system also responds very well to treatment! It is now a matter of finding the right medication that will keep the cancer at bay and yet keep Cindy functioning better. There are many wonderful drugs and treatments out there. I know we will find the right one.
We are now entering the flu season. Because of the chemo treatment, the ability for cancer patients to fight bugs is really low. We ask that everyone keep this in mind. If you or a family member is sick, please keep your distance. Chemo makes people tired, so instead of long visits drop a note, email or phone message. A white basket sits on the Gardner's porch. This is a spot to drop by love notes, gifts or pick me ups. Cindy's generous, kind heart will turn no one away from her door so let's not tempt her. If you are prompted to stop by and she doesn't answer her door just leave a note. She will get it and feel of your love.
A family reunion on the "Adams" side of the family, Cindy's maiden name is Adams, is taking place over Thanksgiving in Arizona. All are looking forward to the trip. This past September, Cindy and Reed joined most of Reed's siblings for a cruise of the Northern US and Canadian coast. It was a lovely get away. After Thanksgiving, Ali and Chloe will be coming home for the holidays and the birth of grandchld number 4. All the kids and grandkids will be here for Christmas. We continue with the mantra "Keep Calm and Carry On"!
How wonderful it is to have good friends, family and neighbors. How fortunate we are to live in a time of advanced modern medicine. How good it is to have faith and love and the belief in miracles!
How thankful we are to have a loving Savior. And though we are going through the "worst of times", we are grateful to have "everything before us". We shall not accept a "winter of depair" but instead will focus on the "spring of hope".