he was with us all along

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several weeks ago when dan was in the hospital, i mentioned to the girls that our family would celebrate a champagne toast as soon as we got the all clear from dan’s oncologist. well. as logistics & life would have it, weeks would pass before we could get in and actually meet his oncologist.  his onoclogist.  just writing those words is surreal. these last two plus months have been surreal.

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we walked into the office last week & i watched my tall, handsome, protective, loyal, strong husband sign in. i couldn’t help but think to myself how it never crossed my mind that one day i’d sit beside another husband awaiting a new-patient-find-out-the-cancer-staging-appointment. i couldn’t help but glance around the room and wonder what everyone else was in there for and what their lives were like. were they beating it? were the just keeping up day to day? did they have hope?

we walked back to the lab section & the staff members all so sweet to him. calling him sweetie & making conversation as if he were an old friend. that warmed my heart. good peoople work in oncology. good real warm loving genuine compassionate people take care of cancer patients. and for that i am so thankful.

we loved dan’s surgeon. from the minute he walked in the door 7 weeks ago, i had a hero crush on this guy. he’s probably a little younger than my dad. i’m betting he loves the stones. like the 70’s stones. he had a dry sense of humor and genuinely warm bedside manner. we felt fully confident in him. ( dr. robert fritz fyi). after surgery we knew dan would need an oncologist referral. we basically told dr. fritz, send us to the oncologist version of you.

as we sat across from this new doctor ( the oncologist version of my surgeon hero aka, dr fritz) he gave us the news we had hoped for. dan had stage one colon cancer. he would require no chemo & no radiation. we smiled at each other & certainly took a deep breath of relief. this path began 10 weeks prior and threatened to take us out. with a smile, i told the doctor i supposed this was as good as it gets right? he said yes. yes indeed. that he had been looking forward to our meeting. the patient, much younger than dan, just prior to us had the exact opposite story as she left that day.   i told him what i had lost my first husband ( & dan’s best friend) to 18 years ago. he shook his head-that ones a mean cancer for sure.

earlier that day, i heard back from my own doctor. the “problem” that began the week of dan’s colonoscopy, followed by tests & subsequent surgery-well, both biopsies came back clear.

so thursday evening, we finally popped open a bottle of champagne and toasted our good news!

i have so much to share with you from these last several weeks. so much. and so much, that i’m still processing & working through. and while i pray all these posts & instagrams haven’t been a downer for you, i openly have invited you to walk with us. there have been some of the darkest days i’ve ever experienced. there have been moments of weeping. there have been days where my family has grown closer. there have been days where i have been disappointed, lonely, vulnerable and so fearful of where all this would lead. there have been days of snuggling with one of my girls and watching movies, days where madison brought me a new starbucks drink and a friend brought soup. warm cookies and an fed-ex package delivery from a friend. seeing staff members rally around my man. i’ve seen compassion and encouragement. and once again, how very fragile each day really is. and as true as that is, i want you to know HE was with us all along. HE never left. HE saw every tear & HE heard every prayer. not matter the outcome, no matter what this post was going to filled with, no matter what tomorrow holds or ten years from now holds, HE holds me. HE holds my dan. HE holds you and your babies. HE holds the future. HE is holy and HE is my hope and my salvation.

there is a post-it note sitting right here beside me. it has the names of several friends of mine who i’m praying for today. a mentor to me & hundreds of women beginning chemo again for recurrent metastasized breast cancer. a neighbor & teacher who just had the same surgery dan had and is currently in the hospital. a friend who will take her hubby for an MRI tomorrow for his brain tumor. a tender brokenhearted teenager. a friend who celebrates the release of a new book & potentially a big speaking event. brave friends who are taking each day one at a time.  just like every one of us. don’t miss the moment to reach out to someone today. don’t assume they “know you’re praying for them”  or they know you’re “there”. sometimes that’s not enough. your there might need to be with them. you’re prayers for them might need to be actually heard by them or seen in a text. love well today my friends. love well.

You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.

psalm 139.5-10

the lyrics from this oldie song truly express my heart

 

October 28, 2014 - 8:15 am

Peggy - Oh sweet Paige isn’t God good! Praising Him! this is one of my favorite songs… encouraging and convicting at the same time. Do I always praise Him when it rains in my life? Do I cry out to Him with my pain? I’m so thankful He holds me when the dark skies gather round and my heart feels like it might burst like storm clouds above. Praising HIM when it rains!! Thank dear one for sharing!!

October 28, 2014 - 8:20 am

Sue VanParys - Paige, thank you for sharing your story. I actually saw you ar The country living fair on Friday. I was with my friend, Bethanie Henry and she told me your story when we got back to the car. I lost my husband of 25 years on June 1, 2014. Even as I type that it still doesn’t seem real.
I don’t know how I would get out of bed without Jesus. Some people are even saying, really? How can she STILL have her faith? I just say, how can I not?

You will be in my prayers, maybe you could add me to yours?

October 28, 2014 - 9:28 am

giosmama2626 - OK, Paige. I didn’t want to cry today but you just made me cry. There is just so much to this entire post. The power of GOD, the power of LOVE, the power of PRAYER and the power of STRENGTH. Geez, it’s SO SO good, isn’t it? I’m not even going to lie, I question Gods work all the time. Something’s I just don’t begin to understand. I even get angry with him. I don’t get why bad things happen to good people, but I’m slowly starting to shift my thinking (through the posts, comments, etc.) of blogging and IG of my favs after reading the passion most of you guys share for the Lord. After witnessing so many miracles both big and small. It’s all so real. It’s all so deep and intense. It all shares the one common thread and that’s the man above. I need to remember this more. He is never against us no matter what life gives us. It’s just LIFE, but what we do with it and how we handle it is all up to us. What doesn’t break us only makes us stronger, right? That’s what they say anyway.
Your prayer list- WOW! And I think life is rough because my nights after work go by so dang fast and there just isn’t enough time to fold the clothes or clean up the house. Geez, so selfish of me when I read of your friends who truly have real life issues going on. I pray for them, too. I pray so much for them. Please keep us posted on their outcomes. A follow-up is always so good. I know it will be positive just as your own story about Dan and yourself has been.
Stay blessed, sweet one. Keep the faith strong. You’re helping much, much more than you can even know.

XOXOXO

October 28, 2014 - 9:43 am

Suzie Fount - You don’t know me and I don’t know you as I live in Manchester England…but the internet can make ‘friends’ of us all around the world. I read your blog and have been following your story and can’t tell you how ridiculously pleased I am that you got such wonderful news….with best wishes to you and all your family Suz

October 28, 2014 - 9:45 am

courtney defeo - i have so so much to say to you – but today’s message is that you are BRAVE. i know you didn’t feel brave at times because you were scared. i tell my girls all the time – did you know that you can be scared and brave at the same time? that’s courage. that’s perseverance. you kept sharing. you kept believing. you are strong my friend. HE NEVER LEFT YOU and HE never will. in the good and bad news of life. i love you.

October 28, 2014 - 9:52 am

Sheri - So glad the outcome. Have been praying for you. Life is a wild ride sometimes. Went to a funeral Saturday where some dear friends buried their 6 month old baby. But God is good and we must keep our faith… Right? Xoxo

October 28, 2014 - 11:55 am

Curtis & Sherrie - Paige, thank you for taking us on your journey. The internet has a lot of down falls, and a really dark side to it. But it also has opened up the world to those of us who choose to find “friend” on it. These “friendships”, through blogs, Facebook, and email have been a God send to a lot of us. I have loved your blog from the first time I read it. I fell in love with your family, how you sweetly have opened your home and life to all of us who read it. In doing this we are blessed to be able to share the wonderful good times with you and your family, we also NEED to share the burden of those times that are not so good. For friendship encompasses the good, the bad, the ugly. And through it all we are able to bless each other with kind words, prayer, and share the LOVE of Christ to each other. So today I rejoice with you and your family for answered prayer, for healing, for life abundant. I am so happy for you, Dan, and your family. Our GOD reigns…. HE answers prayer, HE is the ALMIGHTY, HE is our REDEEMER, HE is the great HEALER! Blessings to you my friend…. Curtis & Sherrie, your “friends” from Northern California.

October 28, 2014 - 12:52 pm

chrissi - happy tears for your family♥ God bless.

October 28, 2014 - 6:14 pm

bethanie - tears and prayers of thankfulness for you, my friend. thank you for sharing, im sure there were times when you didnt even feel like updating…but we know that “where two or three are gathered…”and you have had the prayers of so many, you are loved by many.

October 28, 2014 - 11:54 pm

Sue - God is good and faithful ALL the time! Thanks for sharing. Your words and photos are an inspiration.

October 29, 2014 - 2:56 am

SANDY JACOBSON - GOD IS GOOD!!!! :O)

October 29, 2014 - 8:12 am

patty - so perfectly said, paige. and we are so happy for you and dan and your girls. i can’t imagine the stress, and now the relief. i’m glad you’ve been diligent with your health, both of you. and i lOVe that sun flare! :)
xo