Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 20, 2016

I know everyone is saying this . . . but how can today be December 20th??  I mean, seriously.  Where has 2016 gone?? 

My year started out pretty great.  I got to see my beautiful daughter in February and April, and then in May she came back to stay with us for 5 months while our son-in-law was deployed overseas.  We were thrilled to get to have her back home for awhile.

Our son and daughter-in-law bought a "fixer upper" house in the spring, and then another one!!  They flipped one, sold the house they had been living in, and then moved to the third house. We are so excited for them.

We had our great big amazing family reunion in June.  We had over 100 relatives at our house for a hog roast.  It was wonderful.  I love family, and this reunion was just spectacular.

In July I celebrated my birthday, and just as summer was in full swing my beautiful mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.  Our world stopped, and it hasn't been the same since.  And I'm just being brutally honest.

Sadly, the news just kept getting worse.  Following a successful surgery to remove the part of her colon where the tumor was we discovered that the cancer had spread to my mom's liver and that the 7 tumors there were inoperable.  

Mom is currently taking chemotherapy in an attempt to shrink the tumors to the point they can operate.  We head back to MD Anderson the end of January for another CT scan that will tell us whether or not surgery is an option.

Chemotherapy is just no fun.  While my mom, thankfully, hasn't been as sick as some people who take chemo, she is in a constant state of just not feeling good.  She is tired most of the time.  She has no energy.  While she doesn't throw up, she is nauseous most of the time.  My mom weighs 97 pounds and she has no weight to lose, so trying to get her to eat is our focus.

A couple of weeks ago we spent the night in the emergency room because her blood pressure was 209/98.  Last week we found out she had a blood clot in each leg, so she's been on blood thinners to try to dissolve the clots.  Thankfully her blood "thickness" is back to normal so I don't have to continue giving her daily shots in the stomach.  Praise the Lord!

Sometimes between chemo treatments she has to get shots to boost her white count so they can continue the chemo.  Those shots cause a lot of pain in her bones.  She goes back to the doctor tomorrow for blood work to determine if the shots will be necessary this time.  She takes her 6th chemo one week from today.  She has 6 more to go.

We took our beautiful daughter back to California in October just before her husband got back from deployment. Sadly they won't be home for Christmas.  They are saving money for a down payment on a house when they move back here for good next fall, and airline tickets are crazy expensive at Christmas time.  So we Facetime, and we text, and we tell ourselves that this is the last Christmas that they won't be here.

It has been a tough year for me.  My mom's diagnosis has been overwhelming.  It is the first thing I think of in the morning, and the last thing I think of before I go to bed.  My mom is in pretty good spirits some days, and then other days it is very hard to stay positive just being honest.  It seems as if it is one thing after another.  We just can't seem to get much good news.

I said all that to say that while this year has been the hardest of my life, I am still trusting Jesus.  Yes, there are times (many times) I have asked "why."  I pray for my mom constantly.   I pray for God to heal her.  I pray for the side effects of the chemo to be minimal.  I pray for God to encourage her.  And sometimes it seems that my prayers are not answered and I don't understand.  And that is hard.

But I will not lose faith.  No matter what, I will trust in the Lord.  

I pray for you and your families at this time of year.  I know there are many people who are in much worse situations.  And some people are on the mountaintop and all is right in their worlds.  No matter where this December 20th finds you, I ask for God to meet your every need.  And to send you His peace when His plans are different from your prayers. 

Please remember that Christmas is about one thing, and that is the birth of Jesus, our Savior.  He sits at the right hand of God at this very moment, interceding for us.  I know I say this a lot, and even though there are many things I do not understand I can still say with confidence that He never fails.

I would sure appreciate your prayers for my mom, Donna.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!