What happens when the caregiver and the chronically ill switch places? What do you do when life throws you a curveball and plays fruit basket upset with family dynamics? Binging Jesus is always a good idea! Seriously, Jesus is the answer. He’s always the answer.
If you’ve been following my adventures this summer, you know life has been crazy. My family of four is on the weirdest health journey – even for us! Since the end of May three of us have been hospitalized for 3 or more days each. Three of us have gone through the gambit of heart tests and procedures (thankfully on that one all three of us came back okay for now). And one of us has been diagnosed with cancer.
A couple of weeks ago my dad was diagnosed with a type of lung cancer called Small Cell Carcinoma. It’s rare in people without a history of smoking. We prayed like crazy and after a few more tests God revealed the first miracle. Dad’s lungs are completely clear. Not a speck of lung cancer anywhere but the 3 bumps on his neck. Yes, my dad has lung cancer on his neck. I told you our family is weird! They call it Extrapulmonary Small Cell Carcinoma, which means it has developed outside the lungs. It’s so rare they don’t even have a protocol for it. After much discussion, they’ve decided to treat him with a combination of chemo and radiation. Today is the end of the second cycle of chemo and the third day of radiation. 27 more radiation days and two more chemo cycles to go and they believe he will be completely cured of this cancer.
Another praise is that in all the testing, they saw a spot on his kidney they had been calling a cyst. After the PET scan and talking with the oncologist, it’s clear it’s another type of cancer. The praise is that without the lumps on his neck and this first cancer, the kidney cancer could have grown and grown and been untreatable by the time they found it. It’s a very small spot and is in a good location on the kidney. The oncologist said it should grow slowly and we have to deal with the Extrapulmonary Small Cell Carcinoma first because that grows so fast. They’ll keep an eye on the spot the next couple of months and after Dad heals up a bit from the chemo and radiation they’ll go in and surgically remove that spot and that should take care of it.
I find it incredible and miraculous that God would allow one type of cancer to save Dad from another type of cancer. You can’t make this stuff up, people!
I find myself in a new role these days – which is why I keep forgetting to write a blog post. We joke that Dad’s chemo brain is catching and now we all have it too. Pray for us, we’re all going a little nutty!
All my life my dad has been my rock. He’s been with me every step of the way through years of chronic illness. He’s been my driver, my coffee and snack bringer, my advocate, and one of my biggest supporters. He holds my hand when they can’t find my veins and putting in a simple IV brings me to tears. He keeps me laughing and always points me to Jesus. Now it’s my turn to be his driver, to keep him company during doctor appointments and chemo treatments, and make him laugh.
How do I find the energy and strength to take on this new role when I still have my own chronic illness issues and am tired all the time? Jesus. He gives me strength when I need it and joy for the journey. With him all things are possible! We’ve all found our role in this new adventure. My brother has been awesome about things like mowing the lawn and taking dad to super early appointments so I can sleep a little later and pick him up when he’s done. Mom keeps the house going, takes care of The Scruffy Princess, and feeds us delicious food. Life is a team effort and during this season teamwork and grace abound.
Our family loves The Chosen TV series. It’s the only show Dad will binge-watch with us! In preparation for his chemo treatments, we ordered some Chosen gear to wear. I got to wear my new Binge Jesus sweatshirt to his appointments at the cancer center last week (maybe? Who knows, I’ve lost all track of time). It was so soft and comfy. We can’t wait for season 2 to arrive in our mailbox. It will be the perfect show to binge between appointments and chemo/radiation treatments. We even ordered extra “Get Used to Different” shirts for a couple of our favorite doctors because it was way too appropriate and hilarious! Who else loves this show? Who is your favorite character? I’m excited to meet new characters in season 2.
I don’t typically share so much about what my family members are going through because it’s their story to tell. But Dad told me to “write whatever I want” so here it is! I write to share the goodness of God and I write because we could use your prayers. Will you pray for Dad and our weirdly different little family? Pray for full and complete healing for Dad (his name is Randy), minimal side effects, good sleep for all of us, strength when we need it, and that we would be able to share Jesus with those we encounter on this new adventure.
Thank you for praying and caring. I will try to write a blog post at least once a month, but honestly, I might forget. Thank you for your grace! I’m also trying to prep things for my debut picture book that releases 2.22.22 (isn’t that the best date ever?!) with End Game Press. I have a new page for Howie’s Broken Hee-Haw on my website. Check it out and let me know what you think! While you’re there, make sure you get your free donkey facts sheet. It’s a great resource for teachers, homeschool parents, and donkey lovers of all ages!
Until next time,