9.20.2018

Life With Cancer


After the kids head off to school and I am home once again I always grab a second cup of coffee, my favorite protein bar, and sit catching up on my favorite bloggers new posts.  It is a daily routine I covet as it gives me some down time before the crazy but also inspires me.  If you are looking for me M to F from 8 to 9 this is where you will find me.  I am usually in one of the chairs in our master bedroom or on the porch just having some down time and starting my day slowly, the best way.  💗

As I was reading my blogs this morning I clicked on my friend Ashley's post and starting reading and as I did the tears started flowing down my cheeks.  Ashley's husband Ryan is fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma and they are in the thick of it with chemotherapy treatments every few weeks.  I don't know why it hit me so hard, we talk a few times a week when time allows as we are walking this path of cancer together.  She is the most encouraging and sweet friend and I am blessed to have her.  Of all the things I wish we were collaborating on together, this wasn't so much it, but it is what it is and I am so thankful that God blessed me with her along the path we are on. Ashley was one of the first I told about the testing and our results as we had plans to see each other in Winter Park on a trip that was abruptly canceled with the news. She was so sweet and supportive and I was devastated for her when just weeks later she received similar news. I knew her feelings and her heart and mine completely broke for her.

I think what struck me most is how she writes the feelings I have.  What I read when she shares her updates are the same things I think and feel and she so gracefully puts them into words.  I have tried so hard to keep the updates and the daily battle off the blog so it was a place that I could "get away" but it isn't quite working as I planned.  The past few weeks have been harder than the months prior and it has taken a toll on me emotionally and physically and it is hard.  Some days I don't want to write, some days I do want to adult and most days I have to have some quiet time to get through, but each day I cross off the calendar no matter how I made it to the end gets us closer to the finish line.  The only finish line I am looking to ... complete miracle + cancer free Hubs. 


When I shared our story on Instagram you were all soooo very supportive.  The messages and the emails and the comments professing your commitment to pray for us was more than I could ask for.  I feel the love and our family being lifted up and I am beyond grateful for each one of you that prays for and over my family.  This has been a very hard year with both our sons issues and the cancer battle, one I would never have asked for nor wished on anyone.  However, at the same time it has been amazing and sweet and tender and the kind that changes lives. I know that may be a strange concept, but the changes it has made in our family and to each of us has been so precious.  We were a close family but now we are TIGHT.  Minears are fighters and we are strong but I have found strength I didn't know existed anywhere.  As a child I was afraid of my own shadow and now no matter what has been laid before me I have found a way (with God's guidance) to manage. I have always said our daughter is the bravest human I know, and she is, but I feel I might be able to play in her league now and I will never regret that or the year we have been given.  We will make it through, one day, one hour and sometimes one minute at a time.

To give you some of the details, my husband was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue sarcoma called a GIST tumor. It is a malignant cancer, and although it is treatable the details are where it gets fuzzy.  His tumor is attached to his stomach and is, at this time, inoperable.  The size + where it is located and all the areas involved make surgery dangerous and as the team states "undesirable".  He takes a oral chemotherapy which he started in mid May and we just began our fourth month.  The initial plan was a year of treatment with regular scans and then we would see what was left for surgery.  The oncologist said a lot of things in our first meeting and to be very honest I only remember about a third of them.  The chemo, designed for leukemia patients, worked to shrink and kill the chemo cells but the cells needed to be of a certain genetic makeup and we would have his tested.  Most were a match and all was good and we committed to our year of medicine.  I clung to the words treatable and most patients and other side like they were buoys to keep me from drowning.  These are the words I use over and over with my children to give them strength and for all of us to cling to.  I put my trust and faith in the journey and his team and off we went.  I didn't like the cards we were dealt, in fact I hated them, but I was committed to play the HELL out of them.

For the most part I have done just that.  My husband is strong and focused and faithful.  He focuses on work and providing for his family and the end game.  He has not wavered once, not when the medicine made him sick, sucked the life out of him or when he was given the news.  I on the other hand have been less than I would have hoped more than once and in those times he has tightly hugged me and reminded me all will be fine.  When the doctor told us his cancer cells were not an ideal match for the medicine and we would see how he reacted to it he still said thank you and kept on the path.  I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him quickly after we starting dating because he was strong and loyal, but I had no idea to the extent of the depth of them.  I am blown away and so proud to say the depth is truly endless.  Each day he amazes me and makes me more and more proud to walk this path with him. He takes comfort in the normal and I do all I can to make it feel as normal as possible.  At first it felt odd to me, like I was pretending something wasn't happening, but the more we do it the more I realize of what a gift it is. Normal might be my new favorite word.

Four months in we are still on the path, he has the third scan next week and when we get our results on Friday we will make a plan for the next three months.  The kids are strong and even though this has rocked their worlds they cling to their faith and to each other and us and have made me incredibly proud to be their mother.  The stress the last month has been hard on me and my health has shown it but I am making some changes and adjusting my sails and I will also keep walking the path.  We are arm in arm fighting all of these health issues together and I could not ask for a better team of five. 


Thank you for loving on us.  Thank you for the prayers and thank you for the commitment to our family, it means everything to me and to us.  Your prayers, messages, texts and emails help so much and help me to claim the miracle we are asking for is not only very possible ... but only mere months away!!

 

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