Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One step at a time

      We have gotten through some really rough seasons taking one day or one step at a time.  Sometimes it feels foolish, not to plan more for the hundred ways this all could go.   But then something hits that makes me grateful that is the way we have walked.  One foot in front of the other, believing that God goes before us and stands behind us.
     After 48 hours in the hospital and one happy visit from the boys Jeff's body started tot fight an infection.  His fever went up to 104 f and his heart rate increased at times to 140.  His oxygen levels dropped, and the doctors tried desperately to find
 the origin of the infection and the right antibiotic to combat it.  My mom arrived and stayed with the boys and I stayed with Jeff as a steady stream of doctors and nurses checked his vitals and explained what they could.  24 hours in, the fever had not broken and they were on the last antibiotic they  could give.  I let his parents know to come as quickly as they could.  I sent out desperate pleas to close friends to pray.  And as his parents were in the air I didn't know what I would be telling them once they landed.  Night two, the antibiotics started to work.  It was a slow climb up.  Our oncologist explained gently that he would continue with the five radio therapy treatments but that it was time to stop all other treatment.  That the chemotherapy and Herceptin had stopped working long before.  That the cancer in the spine had been growing when the last scan had shown the cancer was stable.  Easy to miss when you are not expecting it, and when it is certainly not the norm.  Another hard decision, another hard step.  We explained we wanted to get Jeff home, to see friends and family and see those blue ridge mountains.  He promised he would do what he could to get us there.  When we had to cancel the Majorca tickets we had to exchange our tickets within 24 hours or risk losing all of the money.  I switched the tickets to October 3rd with return tickets October 23rd not knowing if we would even be able to keep them.  
The five day radio therapy stay turned into a ten day stay.  The grandmas tag teamed tearful boys and a lively puppy.  And after ten days I brought home a very frail and weak Jeff.  We were so ready to have him home but afraid of what being home would look like.  The doctors and nurses in Ward 32 had become a close knit support team.  Their compassion and teamwork helped get us through some dark nights.  We spent many a night praying for the patients that filled the rooms surrounding us.  And we saw for the first time how quickly things can change at this stage in the game.  
     Jeff has been home for one week now.  Far from the man that first walked slowly into the house last Monday.  We have walked each morning and evening.  He has been fed his mama's cooking to make up for the lost pounds in the hospital.  The boys took turns taking a day off from school to have a daddy day.  Our hope is to all catch a plane to the USA on the 3rd of October and we are still holding out hope we could come back to Scotland three weeks later.  We know that seems ridiculous and impossible right now but we have already lived out some ridiculous and impossible things this season.  We don't feel our time here is up or that Jeff's story is over.  So many things have happened that indicate that this is all so much bigger than us and our little family.  It is bigger than Ward 32 or all of Dundee and Fife.   We have experienced prayers of faith, friends with words of truth and hope, and lives being drawn to the one who made them.  We don't feel wise enough to fully understand these things, but feel it being stretched far from just our hearts changing.  Our good friend and former pastor came to Scotland for 48 hours just to pray for Jeff and share what he felt the Lord was doing. Humility and a willingness to follow when the path doesn't make sense.  What a gift it was to talk, cry, and pray with him.  We find ourselves in waters too deep to fully understand.  We find ourselves praying for healing in Jeff, for healing in Scotland- that somehow through this the Lord himself would sing to those far off.  And brokenness would be restored.
     Yesterday, following another viewing of Chronicles of Narnia, Jeff explained to Luke the difference between D Day and V Day.  The difference between Christ's victory on the cross, and his return and restoration.  Luke with open ears and an anxious heart, began to find peace in the fact that the decisive blow of victory has already been won.  For all things.  In the midst of waters too deep, we too are finding peace and trust here one step at a time.
     We will be arriving In Virginia October 4th.  We are staying on a beautiful farm near Charlottesville,VA and UVA Hospital.  So far all the many small details are coming together.  Much love, Team Stables