Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Hits Keep a' Coming!

Patty's visit didn't go well. She received news she didn't want to hear. Basically, they bandaged her arm up to where she can hardly move it. She has to wear it like this for 4 weeks. After that she has to wear a compression glove and sleeve for the rest of her life. Additionally, she has to wrap her arm with bandages every night for the rest of her life and basically have limited use of this arm for the rest of her life. Looking at the situation you think 'ok, I can handle this if I just have to worry about myself but, when you have 4 kids under the age of 9 to care for it becomes quickly overwhelming.

I always thought due to Patty's mom having breast cancer in her 40's that she might have a chance of having it. But, I never ever imagined the scenario we're in. I thought since she was proactive in monitoring herself and getting mammograms and biopsies of anything suspicious if she did get it she would be in her 40's, the kids would more self sufficient, and it would be the earliest stage you could find and the treatments would be relatively benign. This scenario we find ourselves in is unbelievable. In her 30's, 4 small kids, lymph nodes, masectomies, chemo, herceptin, radiation, thyroid issues, tamoxifen, lymphedema, who knows what's next. This is in addition to the normal things that make daily life difficult like other family sickness, finances, obligations, appointments, 4 kid's activities, I could go on and on but basically you get the picture.

I think the devastating blow is that you hope to be done with the year and a half of cancer and its treatments only to discover the effects of it and its treatments are going to be a constant reminder, hindrance, and minute to minute frustration to the end of your days. The Proverb "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" is definitely true, ...definitely true. I think Patty and I feel like we're in a vice that keeps getting squeezed tighter. Sometimes I think if we "could" give up we would.

I've always been intrigued by patients in my experiences that didn't exhibit any "hope" despite good chances for cures. Now, I have a better idea why they may not have it. I've learned a lot from the patient side that will allow me to serve our patients better. The funny thing is I'm starting to wonder if I want to stay in it. I'm tired of cancer and its devastation. My life is Cancer. My family, my job, my thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Never give up, because then the cancer wins and I know I am personally over cancer winning, it is time for someone to beat cancer's butt (sorry) and Patty is the one to do it, so no body gives up !!!! Love you guys.


Anonymous said...

Hang in there Scott! I know the going gets tough and then even tougher, but don't give up! You, Patty, and all the kids are in our prayers!!
Kim Rhode

Earl said...

Ok Scott, I know you have probably done this time and time before, but read Job 38-42 again. There are too many lessons in this book.
Everyone always thinks I am a cold weather guy since I am from the great state of Md, but much to the contrary. When I think of winter these are the words that come to mind: Ice, hypothermia, windchill, snow, shoveling snow, buying a snow blower, salt trucks, black ice, gangrene, thermal underwear that make me itchy, and diminished mental capacity. I don't like winter. I know there are people out there who claim to love winter, but it always makes me wonder how many people spend their career in Florida and retire to Minot, North Dakota? One more side note, there is no mention of winter in the bible before the fall. Wherever the Garden of Eden was, it was not in Milwaukee in January.
What is my point? You may be able to reloate to another part of the country to avoid the cold, but there is no place to escape "spiritual" winter. Winter may come when someone loses their job, feels like a failure as a parent, or gets the lab test back and they are positive. Any of these events may chill the soul, and freeze any dreams you may have taken for granted. Any may announce the onset of winter, but the hardest part is that God seems gone and distant.
The central question in Job is, can a man hold on to God, love, and faith in the dead of winter? Well, one can, and one did.
Job could not see the upper stage. Job did not know that his faithfullness had meaning beyond his wildest dreams. He did not know that something eternal was at stake in his own life.
Feeling broken and sick, mocked and confused, not to mention hopeless - Job discovered what people in pain sometimes learn better than anyone else. He was not alone after all. God was there, but like Job, was so torn by suffering that no one recognized him. The cross is the ultimate example: God experiencing the absence of God so that he can draw close to us in our grief.

I have never known a man more faithful than you, keep fighting the good fight, warmer weather is in the forecast!

Leave you with this quote:
"Discernmment is like driving an automobile at night; the headlights cast only enough light to see the next small bit of road immediately in front of us. But that light is enough to get us home." Listening Hearts.

Marcey and I are always thinking about you guys. Earl

Anonymous said...

Scott, We are thinking and praying for you guys everyday. Please let us know what we can do for you all. We love you and your precious family. The Carden Crew

Patty & Scott W said...

Thanks guys for all of the encouraging comments. It definitely helps to know others are thinking and praying for us.