Friday, November 10, 2017

Six Months And a Thank You

Today marks six months.

Six months since the worst day of my life.

A day that began with watching Ed heave over a bucket yet again.

A day when I drove Ed to the lab for bloodwork, hoping to find some kind of answers for his intense headaches.

A day that included a CAT scan and the radiologist saying, "I see a mass and need to do a MRI immediately."

A day when Ed buried his head in the pillow and appeared barely coherent when responding to my questions. (Ed remembers almost nothing about this day; I tell him I have enough memory for both of us.)

A day when I answered the telephone and heard our doctor explain the MRI results. "A brain tumor. Probably cancer. Very serious. Appointment with a neurosurgeon as soon as possible."

Telling Ed about the doctor's call. Not knowing if he even understood or was aware of what I was saying.

Gathering our children together and telling them that Dad has a tumor, maybe cancer.

Our eight-year-old asking, "Is cancer something that you just get sick from or something that you die from?"

Calling both our families.

The children gathering around the bed, placing their hands on Ed, and praying for their dad.

Lying beside Ed reading a Psalm aloud. Feeling intensely, overwhelmingly alone.

The last six months have been full of hard things. Ed's brain surgery. The confirmation of the glioblastoma diagnosis. Chemo. Radiation. Strict diet changes. But not as hard as that first day.

There may be even worse days in the future. A quick perusal of the news shows that there are many people who are grieving tremendous losses. Pain, grief, loss, death - all part of living in a world that has chosen to reject God and been cursed with sin. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:22)

In the last week, three friends with brain tumors - an eleven-year-old boy, a twenty-five-year-old beloved teacher, and a friend of my parents -  were told that there is nothing more that can medically be done to halt their cancer. We grieve with them. It hurts to know that, without a miracle, our family too may face that reality some day.

We are entering a season of thankfulness. It can be hard to be thankful when facing pain and grief. But I look back on the past six months with thankfulness for you.

We have been so supported by your prayers. You have prayed for us when I have felt too weak to pray. Because of you, we have felt God carry us through these months. Because of your prayers, we have had months full of joy. You've sent us Scriptures that were a drink of cold water on the days when I couldn't pour myself a glass. You've shared your stories of God's faithfulness on your worse days.

You've given us hope. A hope because of Jesus.

Thank you. And if your prayer list can hold more names, please pray for Ambrose, Jess, Mark, and their families.
"Fear thou not; for I AM with thee: be not dismayed; for I AM thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10 (A Scripture shared at Ed's anointing service.)

20 comments :

  1. Dear Gina,

    Just praying for you all as you walk through whatever God has planned in your lives. Praying for the blessing of many happy times to make memories, you all seem really good at making happy times with family. hugs
    shelley p
    from over the pond

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  2. It is a Privilege to pray for our "family in the Lord Jesus Christ"! Thank you for allowing us to share in your burden...that is how the body of Christ should work. May you always sense the Presence of Jesus Christ with you. Linn
    PS I think we all long for His appearing...so that we can be with Him forever, where there is Fullness of JOY and pleasures forevermore at His right hand!! Psalm 16 (Home!)

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  3. Thank you Gina for sharing your life with us so we can pray.

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  4. Beautiful reflective words. I think of what you say here often as I go through my own tribulations. Wishing you quiet and peace. Andrea

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  5. I have been praying for you, Ed and your family for these six months. I will surely add Ambrose, Jess, Mark and their families to my prayer list. I constantly remind myself of the words of the song, "This world is not my home, I'm just passing through." Oh, how I long to see Him face to face and know the trials of this earth are over and done.

    May the God of all peace comfort each of these families and most especially you, dear Gina. I'm amazed that you find the time to write to us and keep us, many of us complete strangers, current on what your family is going through.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  6. Thinking of you and praying for you daily. May God continue to bless you with His peace and strength. Glenda

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  7. Sending up prayers to God our Father for y'all from northeast Georgia! As that great and godly woman, Elisabeth Elliot, said - Let His Presence settle into your bones.
    God bless you all in great and sweet abundance!

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  8. We are continuing to pray for all of you, as we have been praying these past 6 months. Wow, 6 months of God's blessings during your roughest times! God is so great!

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  9. A year ago today I sat with my husband as he went thru his third round of very aggressive chemo....more chemo and radiation followed. But today - one year later - he is cancer free. My husband was stage 4 and God cured him. Today we set up our christmas tree early in celebration of his life....

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  10. Thank you Gina for sharing your life with us. Even with everything your family is going through, you still find the time to keep us updated. I am always inspired in some way by your words. Your ability to see hope in the midst of sorrow, light in the presence of darkness is truly God given. I will continue to keep you and your family in prayer and also add your requests to my prayer list. God Bless you. Numbers 6:24-26

    Angela

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  11. What a difficult 6 months it has been for you, Gina! It is timely that you wrote that you were entering a season of thankfulness. Our co-ordinator of our simple living group has just put together a website called Give Thanks Find Joy http://givethanksfindjoy.weebly.com. She has resources there which I am sure you will find inspiring and encouraging. I will include your friends in my prayers as well.

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  12. Holding you all in prayer, and now those mentioned here as well.

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  13. I thought of you on Monday evening when I was sitting in the ER with my daughter. She was having continuous severe headaches. Thankfully they seem to be resolving and there isn't any indication of something serious going on. I thought of you and the possibility that we could be facing the same thing... And then I noticed the other people waiting in the ER. It was a very busy evening. Most people didn't seem in great distress, but some did. There was a young girl who came in with a garbage bag of stuff and several small boxes. She was crying most of the time (hours. We were waiting 3 hours to be seen). Maybe she was homeless??? Then there was the woman who came in crying and holding an ice bag to her bruised face. A police woman also came in with her. It was obviously a case of domestic assault. I told my daughter the heartache that goes with what we were seeing is much worse than the physical pain. We have hope, and that makes all our trials easier to bear. We know that even if our pain ends in death there is an afterlife with the Lord. Those people were hopeless...

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    Replies
    1. So true. I think of it every time I hear of an unfaithful husband or a rebellious child. We can't choose, but I'd take cancer over many other types of sorrow.
      Gina

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  14. Beautiful Gina, thank you for continuing to share your thoughts. Thank you for allowing us to pray with you. We continue to hold Ed up in prayer along with your family.

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  15. I am following your blog for a while now. My niece, Regina Weaver, referred our family to it as we too have walked the brain tumor path. I really appreciate your candid faith inspired attitude to life, hardship and joy. May God be pleased to keep your husband here with you for many years to come.

    Mary Horst

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  16. God bless you and your family, especially at this time of Thanksgiving. Your strength is an inspiration.

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  17. Continuing to pray with you, and be grateful with you!

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  18. Just prayed for you and your family, as well as for Ambrose, Jess, Mark, and their families. My heart never ceases to simultaneously break and be encouraged when I visit your blog.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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