Sunday, September 13, 2015

Update September 13th 2015

The last week in August and the first ten days in September were so good.  Jeff got stronger, felt better, and even gained back some weight.  After a stable scan and going off the heavy hitting chemotherapy his energy slowly recovered and the Jeff we know emerged with it.  The boys started school and leaders came back to the University.  It almost felt normal, and it felt so good.  The summer just about crushed us and we managed to crawl out into the sinking sun and thank God for good days.  Jeff even made a move and booked tickets for us all to run away to a warm island for nine days.  We told the boys and the countdown (only seven days of it) began.  The next three windy and wet days would be met with, "Well in ... days we will be sweating and swimming!"  We were four days away from leaving, the schools were notified and so supportive.

Thursday night, during dinner Jeff turned his head to the side a little quicker than normal, and grimaced in pain.  He slowly moved to the couch and the pain increased.  Remembering his back issues years ago he said that it was probably a pinched nerve or muscle spasm.  I said something very unsympathetic like " Not right before holiday, no!" and maybe even something about how he holds his phone or checking face book too much, ouch.  I got the boys to bed and came back down to see the pain had gotten even worse.  Jeff is no stranger to pain these days and this was far past what he had experienced so far.  After a long night of friends checking in on him, a doctor, a shot and pills, he was still unable to move because of the pain.

I fell asleep in between pills doses and Alex who was staying the night with us took over.  By 5 am Alex drove Jeff to the ER (here it is called the A&E).  I got the boys off to school and met them at the hospital.  We were all hoping a shot of cortisone would help and we would be home packing towels and swimsuits by the evening.  Instead, x-rays and than a CT scan was ordered.  A kind doctor named Ian and Jeff's age came back to tell us that he didn't have a pinched nerve or a muscle spasm.  The cancer had spread into his spine and had damaged the bone in his neck that hurt so suddenly.

And just like the first time we heard of cancer in Jeff's body, our hearts and minds reeled.  Things go cloudy, and slow down.  Everything  suddenly seems too bright, too loud, too much.  Questions and confusion slink into every sentence.  We waited for more doctors, more answers.  I watched the clock and wondered where each boy was.  What letter Ian was writing, what friend Levi was laughing with, if Luke was buying a bacon roll for morning break.  I wondered how I would tell these boys doing simple normal things, that things were about to get hard and complex and confusing again.  We cried and prayed and Jeff asked me to read
Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."  Doctors came and spoke of options.  They decided the best thing to do was to admit Jeff, get a handle on the pain, and start the first of five sessions of radio therapy.  He was in his new room and the morphine was coursing through his veins as I left to meet the boys from school.

The boys broke in different ways.  We have gotten good at crying together.  Not hiding or shutting down.  We have gotten familiar with grace.  To give it to each other when words fail, or the hurt seems too much.  We wanted a week away, we wanted more time of normal, of good.  We wanted Jeff home right then, smiling, and joking with us.

I reminded them and myself that we don't get to write this story.  The pen isn't in our hand but God's.  We have to trust that the one who knit Jeff into being also knows how to sustain him.  It is funny how little Ian gets it more than I can most days.  He knows so little of what is going on in some ways and yet speaks so clearly about it all.  He is amazed that Jeff gets to be zapped by lasers and that his bed goes up and down.  He knows Jeff is hurting and prays simple prayers asking God to just heal him, to help him not hurt so much.  He looks up at me and says, "We all get to die mom.  Isn't that cool?  We all get to be born and we all get to die."  I didn't meet his gaze.  "It is okay mom, not yet, not yet, we will get old first."  Amen and amen.  We are not naive, we know that hard battle has become harder.  We have become weaker.  But this story will not be written by Jeff, or I, or doctors.  It will not even be written by cancer.  It will be written by God alone.

Please pray for peace.  For Jeff to sleep sweetly and deeply the nights away from us.  That we will know what to do next and when to do it.  That the radio therapy will beat back the cancer and offer relief.  And that we will find joy in the brokenness and  hope in the disappointments.  Jeff will be in the hospital until this Thursday.  As of today the pain seems to be under control and he is sleeping better.  If he is stable and the pain is still managable he will get to come home.  My mom comes tomorrow afternoon to help again.  Jeff's mom comes at the end of the week, and his dad in the next few weeks.  The doctors are optimistic about the radio therapy working.  We are hopeful also.  We also are hoping and believing that all ten of our toes will be in sand and sea together before the year is over.  Thank you for sticking with us.  The faithfulness of friends and family far away is so humbling.  This little village of Wormit is helping and holding us up in so many ways.  I will update next week when we know a bit more.

  Much love, Becca, Jeff, and the boys


21 comments:

  1. Praying for each of you. Glad your mom is heading to you. She needs to be with you and I know you need to be with her. Praying for peace. For you to see clearly the plan that is before you all. We love you.

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  2. Praying for you each. May God reveal His mercy to you and heal and restore.

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  3. Praying for you and the whole family. You are always in my prayers. Love, dolo

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  4. Becca we are praying for you and the family constantly.

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  5. Becca, Your blog is written so beautifully and honestly. We are praying for you, Jeff, Luke, Levi & Ian. Just know there are so many lifting you all to the Lord and that He will give peace and sustain you. We love you all so very much, Aunt Pat & Uncle Phil

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  6. As the therapy does its thing I'm praying daily for Gods word to minister to y'all. I'm praying that just as the water erodes away at the shores and cliffs of Scotland that the Healing power of the spirit through the water of the word will erode away the jagged edge of cancer from Jeff's body.

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  7. Praying! Think of you often and praying for your family!

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  8. Lord Jesus, grant them all your powerful peace

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  9. Love you guys!! Hugs!! I'm praying and trusting for a mighty miracle from the hand of God!! He is stronger than cancer and He is OUR hope. He is the hope of glory- who heals ALL our diseases. Forgives ALL of our sins. HE MAKES a way where there IS NO WAY.

    I pray protection over Jeff's body from cancer, in Yeshua's name and that total healing would come. Father, let him be restored FULLY to his family, ministry, and friends. Amen!

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  10. Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

    Love You All....Marsha

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  11. Your ability to be transparent is so beautiful. My heart breaks but my spirit is washed anew with each update. Praying for all of you and for a time of togetherness with toes in the sand.

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  12. Your ability to be transparent is so beautiful. My heart breaks but my spirit is washed anew with each update. Praying for all of you and for a time of togetherness with toes in the sand.

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  13. Praying, praying, praying...... and loving you all.

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  14. Carlos and I are praying fervently. Our God is a Strong God and can withstand our leaning on Him. Love you guys.

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  15. We are praying for you and family as times goes by .God has his arms around you and Jeff and family.think goodness for family that can be there with you and your Church and your friends.

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  16. We are praying for you and family as times goes by .God has his arms around you and Jeff and family.think goodness for family that can be there with you and your Church and your friends.

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  17. Many prayers for healing, good health, and normalcy for you all. You show remarkable strength and tenderness Becca. Sending you all much love!

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  18. Praying for you and your family every day. Expect a wave of peace to gently wash over you all as God's grace and love hold you close to him

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  19. Becca,
    You are a inspiration.Thankyou for sharing with us as I am at awe of what God does in our life's and thankful that God Is There to Carry US When We Need. You and your family are in my prayers.

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