If you have been reading this blog for the last couple of weeks, you know that my husband has a new cancer diagnosis. So I can call January a monster of a month. We actually received his diagnosis by phone call on December 29 – while driving back from a visit with our grandkids in Illinois. Most of the days since tonsil cancer has consumed us.
Chuck visited a speech language pathologist for a swallow study. His surgeon wanted a baseline for comparison should surgery and treatment damage his swallow function or vocal cords. He will do exercises to keep them in the best shape possible. He squeezed in a dental cleaning (he will have to be much more diligent with hygiene due to the harsh nature of his radiation). Two wisdom teeth came out on January 7th for this very reason.
On Monday the 10th, Chuck had his tonsils removed. Boy does he wish he had them out as a kid. The recovery kicks adults in the teeth (or throat to be exact). During recovery, he ended up in the ER with elimination issues and kidney stones. Bless.
He met with his radiology oncologist to lay out plan of treatment, followed by a planning/ imaging appointment to prepare for radiation. We met with his medical oncologist and got the 411 on his chemo plan. The basics anyway. We still have an education session to come. Several other appointments, the details of which I won’t bore you with, comprise the preparation phase of his treatment. And while I finish this, he is having his third surgery – this one to place a feeding tube to ensure he can get the proper nutrition once this regimen starts to take its toll.
Radiation starts on Monday the 31st and chemo the next day.
Now that you are all caught up, let’s talk about the non-cancer stuff. Whew. We drove down to see my in-laws the last few days of December. They babysat for Chuck and I to go out with his brother and sister-in-law for New Year’s Eve. They are much younger and cooler than us, but we hung in there the best we could. Yummy dinner, putt-putt at Putt Pub and dessert at a wine bar. Then “Happy New Year”! At 11pm.
On New Year’s Day we watched my Baylor Bears beat Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl! And we got to do it with friends. Sic ‘Em! We saw American Underdog at a theater. Fantastic movie. I only wish I had enjoyed the Dallas Cowboys for a football trifecta. But alas, they disappointed again. I did attended a lovely couple’s wedding shower a week later for the daughter of a dear friend. Chuck stayed home recovering.
We celebrated our 23rd anniversary with two different dates. One before Chuck’s oral surgery. Some sweet friends gave us a gift card to a steak house so nice that we had never been. Honestly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Then 5 days after his tonsillectomy, we bit off more than we could chew. Chuck chose pasta (soft and slippery), but he still couldn’t choke it down. We boxed it up and went to a drive thru for a milkshake. Then we hit up West Side Story. He slept through most of it. But I enjoyed the music and dancing. My other half just needed to rest and recover a little more.
The girls’ school got canceled for two days due to covid, so I took Shelby to see Sing 2 to get us out of the house. If you love music, it is darling.
Our church held Prayer and Praise nights every Friday this month and the youth led one week. Which means our Allie helped with worship. One of my favorite things ever. And dear friends came with us to share the experience.
At home we watched the Netflix original movie Yes Day. Was a cute and silly distraction. Jim Gaffigan’s new comedy special, as well as one from Nate Bargatze, made us laugh and we started the series Imposters (also on Netflix) and The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+.
As this goes to press, I anxiously await my daughter’s first school theatre production, Thoroughly Modern Millie. She has worked hard, long hours but loved every minute of it. And we have many family members coming to cheer her on as well.
I can’t conclude without sharing what has gotten me through this monster of a month. The company and thoughtfulness of others. Chuck’s parents pulled their RV up the highway and moved into a campground close by to help us with the kids or appointments and anything else we’ve needed. A visit from my parents and my twin sister and Chuck’s brother and sis-in-law boosted our spirits, and so many sweet friends provided meals for us. And prayers. The prayers of many encourage us more than I can express.
What else is sustaining us? Our powerful and loving Heavenly Father. No matter what we go through, He walks alongside us. More accurately, He carries us. With Him, we can do hard things. If you feel led to petition Him on my husband’s behalf, I would be so grateful. And as always, I love you, I thank you, and I pray February treats you well.
And now for this month’s featured post from the link up!
Lois Flowers wrote about my Wednesday focus for the last 9 months – praying God’s Word – in When We’ve Run Out of Words to Pray. My pastor is preaching on it right now as well. When God speaks to me multiple times on the same thing, I listen. Maybe if I listened the first time He wouldn’t have to. But that’s neither here nor there!
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