IT’S BEEN A LONG YEAR…since being diagnosed

August 8, 2013

 

It has definitely been a long rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, twists and turns but

praying we are now on the healing side of this ugly disease. From repeatedly going

to the doctor knowing that something is not right trying to find an answer– to being

told you have cancer and it is curable– to this is being very aggressive and this is not

the norm for this type of cancer– to being told that your cancer is not curable but it

is treatable can be a little taxing, mentally and physically. After going thru a year of

various surgeries and chemo that all the while the cancer continued to grow and spread,

we finally had gotten one that is beating it back. Thank you God!

 

It’s been a while since Alan has posted in his blog. I believe after battling this

disease for over a year now that it finally caught up with him, mentally, physically and

emotionally. Dealing with chemo, fatigue, pain from surgery, bone pain caused from

previous radiation, sinus infection and realizing that a major surgery that you just had

didn’t take care of ALL the problems is just too much for any one person to have to go

thru.

 

We are praying that we can get a handle on all the pain Alan is having so he can get

back to some kind of normalcy. We just met his new pain management doctor this

week and we are so excited to see what all he can do to help Alan combat it. It’s hard

to see him hurting so bad the way he does sometimes and all I can do is sit and cry with

him.

 

We have met some wonderful people on this journey. Some of the amazing people are

part of our staff/family at CTCA and the others are the ones who are walking the path

like Alan. While going through treatments you meet people from all walks of life and

from all parts of the country that are dealing with some of the same things you are going

thru. As strange as it sounds, it’s kind of like a “club” whether you want to think of it as

that or not. Although this is one club that you won’t see people standing at the door

trying to knock it down to get in, BUT once you are a member, you will not meet anyone,

more understanding, more supportive, more compassionate than those that are walking

the path with you.

 

Life can be tough and it can get you down but just when you think you have it bad

there’s always someone else out there that has it a lot worse than you and are in a

more difficult situation than you are. We have a praise report. One of our friends

at CTCA and someone I knew from years back got a clear report, Asa and Laurie,

thanking God for what he is doing in your lives. Asa is a wonderful Christian man that

helped my family many years back and I will always be grateful to him for that.

On a sadder note we lost a friend at CTCA but our praise is that John had a wonderful

“home going” to be with his Heavenly Father. John was a medic and his mom Jeanne

told me that there were over 30 fire trucks and ambulances leading the procession and

along the interstate, en route to the graveside, the overpasses had trucks with medics

and fireman saluting (chills…tears). At the service when the preacher gave a salvation

message he asked for every head to be bowed and eyes closed, about 12 people

raised their hand in making a decision. Praise God!!! Please be in prayer for Jeanne

and Cran, his parents and his twin brother. This is a very difficult time in their lives. His

mom Jeanne is a wonderful Christian lady who I think the world of!

 

Doug I., you and Connie are a constant fixture in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. We

love you so very much. Please be in prayer for Doug, for God’s will to be done and for

Connie peace and strength.

 

Deborah F., you are beautiful inside and out. Praying for total healing and God’s

blessings abundantly! Love you!

 

Carole N., we love you, lady. You are so very dear to our hearts! Praying for you and

the kids that as time goes on the pain of losing Jimmy lessens.

 

Please be in prayer for Alan and all the people that are battling this ugly disease and

also be in pray for the loved ones that are left behind. A friend of ours wrote; “It’s

strange to think cancer can be a blessing, but when one goes through the trials this

disease creates, yet one finds people like you and places like CTCA, you know God is

real and true.” (thank you Deborah F.) This is our sentiments, exactly. Thank you for

reading Alan’s blog. Praying in some way it can help you too.

 

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. PHILIPPIANS 4:13 NKJV

A lot has transpired since Alan last wrote in his blog. He recently had a major surgery where they took a muscle from his chest and flipped it up over his collar bone to fill in the fistula (hole, tunnels) in his neck from a previous surgery that didn’t heal right. The surgery ended up being a little bigger than what he had expected and spent longer in the hospital than originally told he would be in for. His CTCA family (doctors, physical therapist and nurses from other departments) kept him company by coming by on their breaks or after they got off work just to check on him and I can’t thank them enough for stopping by because it sure did help him get through each day. Just another testament about this wonderful place called CTCA.

We get Alan home from surgery and we have to put our son in the hospital for a pneumothorax. Part of his lung had collapsed and he spent a few nights in the PIU. He pulled thru like a trooper. He amazed everyone there including me, knowing that it was a very painful procedure. They told him that what he had done (without pain medicines) made grown men cry and he didn’t even shed a tear. Can’t tell you how tough that was on both Alan & I and of course our son. It was really hard on Alan because he couldn’t be there with him and tough on me because I didn’t have my husband by my side and knowing I wanted and needed to be two places at the same time was very difficult. I asked Alan if he wanted a twin of me so I could be at both places and he said NO, that one of me was enough. LOL

God just continues to show us how awesome He is. No matter what circumstances or health issues arise in our family, God continues to show us that He is in charge and I have never been more aware of His presences in our lives as I do these days. Thank you God for once again showing up and showing off!

Prayers go out to Asa.M., praying you got good results today from you scan so you can be finished with treatments; John.W., praying that radiation & chemo kicks the cancer’s butt and you can head back home to N.C in time to celebrate that wedding anniversary; Doug I., praying for healing so you can get back to your old self using your talents to photograph God’s beautiful creations. And to all you wonderful caregivers; Laurie, Monika and Connie, praying for God to give you the strength, energy, patience, wisdom and laughter to help you and your loved one get through each day because you are God’s gift to these wonderful men battling this terrible disease.

Words from My Wife, My Friend, My Rock

Ok, Alan asked me to write about something for his blog so I thought I would give some insight into who he is. I have to apologize ahead of time for I’ve never been good at putting my thoughts & feelings into words but I will give it a try.

HOW WOULD I DESCRIBE ALAN: When I met Alan, I was so impressed at what a gentlemen he was. He has such a love for Christ and is strong in his faith. He has a very loving and caring heart that extends not just to his family but to others that he meets. He is a wonderful father and husband. He has inner strength that can come only from God. He is smart, articulate and has a great sense of humor. Always grateful for everything, never complains. He has an amazing ability to draw but doesn’t enjoy it, loves hockey, hunting with his buddies, and spending time with his family.

People ask me how can he remain so strong since he has been diagnosed with cancer, and the truth is, he depends on Christ to help him through each day to give him the strength to keep facing the challenges that lie before him. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I believe that this has been the most difficult time in my (our) life and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Watching someone you love sick and hurting and there is nothing that you can do to make it go away is the most helpless feeling. All the ups and downs and in-betweens can sometimes make you a little crazy. Having test and waiting on the results is so stressful wondering if this will be the chemo that works. He is in constant pain though those that cross his path would not know that. He always smiles when asked how he is doing and the usual fine, great, or good just rolls off the tip of his tongue. People think because of his cheery outlook that this cancer must not be that bad on him but I beg to differ. He has tumors in both sides of his neck that cause constant pain and that along with previous radiation has limited the mobility of his neck. Most nights he sleeps sitting up. Tumors pressing on his airway and esophagus that makes his voice hoarse and difficult to swallow but has learned not to panic with things don’t go down as they should. Intermittent bone pain in his jaw that can be excruciating that so far the doctors haven’t found medicine that completely takes away the pain and that’s just to name a few. My heart hurts for my husband having to go through this and yet he apologizes to me for putting me through it…bless him!

Going through something like this brings you even closer to God, depending on Him like never before. I know He is present in our lives, I feel Him with us and I put all my faith and trust in Him that no matter what He will always be right there beside us holding our hand telling us to lean on Him. I’ve never thought of myself as being very strong, able to handle situations like this very well. Some days I do well and then there are those days I just have to get on my knees and beg for strength because I don’t know how I will get through the day. It is great knowing that we have such an Awesome God that He is always there for us. Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to all creation. Alan told me in the beginning of being diagnosed that he wanted his walk with Christ to reflect through this trial and for God to get the glory. Alan, I feel with all my heart that you are a good and faithful servant. I have watched and listened to you tell others about what God is doing in your life and sharing His word wanting to win lost souls to Christ. You have been there to encourage others that are struggling, some with this dreaded disease, others with trials and adversities of their own. You have definitely let Christ shine through you to reach others by being an example of what a Christian should be.

I am so blessed to have you in my life, my husband and best friend. There is no where I would rather be than to be right here with you.

I love you…bunches…mean it!