We have been so blessed to be held in the loving arms of our Father and you, our friends who have walked this journey with us. We have been overwhelmed by your kindness, your tears, your offers. We are stronger because we have all of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Our Lord has provided you all in our lives and has shown us His heart and spirit is working amongst his children.
Last week I left off that Theresa has a new breast cancer cell type, triple negative, that only has one possible treatment, if she is BRACA mutation positive. Treatment for this is very expensive and the possible benefit minimal and short lived. We still do not have an answer if she has this mutation or not. But at this point it really doesn’t matter for Theresa’s case as she is declining. It is more beneficial for the boys in the future if they would carry it.
This week has been very difficult with its up and down emotions, that ebb and flow depending if Theresa is having a good day or difficult day. One day it looks like she is close to going home and then the next, she has perked up and able to eat some, more animated and my spirits are lifted. I have come to realize we truly have become one. My emotions, ability to eat and sleep are inexplicably intwined with hers. We are experiencing “a cord of three is not easily broken”. Christ, Theresa, and I are intertwined. It is Christ who has been there molding us with Him the past 25 years and it is this merging of the souls that carries us in this difficult time.
The days had time have become a blur, but Theresa had a difficult weekend last weekend and it seemed time to call Hospice. The Hospice nurse came Monday and we all talked, but since Theresa was doing reasonably well that day, we decided to hold off going on Hospice. During the week, Theresa had days where she barely had any fluids and didn’t eat, as she was very nauseated and even water made her nauseated. As her nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, and cough progressed, we decided Thursday evening to call Hospice on Friday. We had made some medication adjustments Thursday, so Friday morning she was less nauseated and pain level lower, but still decided to engage Hospice as she didn’t want to get worse over the weekend and not have oxygen and medications available should she need them.
As has been Theresa’s history, the medications meant to treat her pericarditis were actually speeding along her decline. For both those medications, the top side effects are nausea/vomiting and since stopping both, her nausea is improved, but her pericarditis untreated. We now have the tools and help we need here to care for her properly.
Theresa has lost close to 20 pounds, is pretty weak, spends the day in her recliner chair, is slowly able to get up to the restroom, but is finding it harder and harder to get up the stairs to bed at night. Some days she spends most of it asleep or with her eyes closed. Her physical strength is declining and we have talked about moving our bed downstairs to the family room when the time comes. Her chest pain and shortness of breath comes from the cancer in her chest and around her heart. She is taking some medications for that to make it more comfortable. This has been progressing. How much time we have together, we do not know. We truly have to take it one day at a time.
Despite this, what has been great is God’s blessing us with this time. He got our attention, He will be taking her home soon to soar, to be overwhelmed by Him, to be blown away by what He has prepared for her, and to be up there praying with Christ for not just her Children and husband, but for all of you, that we would finish the race well, like she has, and have a eternal homecoming with her.
We had picked out our gravesite about a month or so before this, and Monday mom helped her plan her tomb stone. We hope soon to work on what we will say together at her celebration of life, and also hope to write letters to the kids. We have cried, held each other, soothed each other but also faced head-on the reality before us and how to use this time wisely. We still hold out hope that God does a miracle for her and heals her physical body. We will keep bombarding God with that request, but should the answer be no, we are ok with that. I am reminded of King David, prostate before God praying that his newborn son wouldn’t die. He was all in during that time, not eating or taking care of himself, but when the baby did die, he got up, washed himself and ate, and worshiped God. Those around him were confused. In 2 Samuel 12:22 David explains “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again?..”
So Thursday our Pastor came over, prayed with us, anointed Theresa with oil, prayed for healing. Then Mandy came over and took family pictures with us, and with the kids individually with Theresa (including one with Matthew, Theresa, and his finished English 102 paper for which Theresa and he Labored tirelessly during the past two months during her failing health and was able to compete it). We have a family birthday celebration Sunday and one of our son’s birthday on Monday. We will then see what next week brings.
We have read (and others have shared) so many encouraging verses this past week, reminders of God’s faithfulness, the ONLY ROCK on which we can build our lives on – the only wise investment in life. If you are interested in reading them: Zephaniah 3:17, Psalms 23, Psalms 139:1-18, 2 Corinthians 5:1-9, Lamentations 3:22-26, Proverbs 31:10-12, Job 23:10, Psalms 18:30-33, John 3:16.
God is good. We celebrate His goodness. He shows up, not a minute too soon, nor too late, but at the exact time of our need and He provides Himself. Oh that peace, that joy, those comforting arms holding us tight. We will celebrate Christ taking her home and will be looking forward to the day when Christ comes for me. 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, were is your sting?”. Thank you Father for You and your promises – the only sure thing in this world for which your children can hold tightly to.
Thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers and being part of this journey.