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.
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.
the lyrics from this oldie song truly express my heart