Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ebb and Flow

Ebb and Flow.  That really describes all of life, I suppose; but it is more noticeable during times like this.  The ups and downs, highs and lows, blessings and trials, the calm and the stress are all more prominent right now.

This has been quite a week.  We met with the Palliative doctor.  She was very kind and compassionate.  She spent a long time with us.  We came up with a new plan for attacking the pain; but with the new plan, there has been a transition time.  The transition hasn't been easy.  She told us it would take 3 - 7 days for blood levels to increase to where they need to be and then even out.  We were hoping for 3 days -- it seems that we're looking at 7 days.  About half of last night was spent in the ER trying to get relief.

It is hard to know what to do when it comes to helping Trent sometimes.  I want to do all I can to help him feel better, but I don't want to hover.  There are times when he will tell me what he wants me to do (or not do).  Other times, he is hurting too much or the meds have fogged his mind too much to be able to communicate effectively with me, and I just have to try to make the best decision I can.

We started school this week, too.  That has had its ebbs and flows, too.  One child plows ahead, one seems to be going along fairly willingly, and one is resistant.  I'm praying for some things to level off in this area, too.

Work had definite ups and downs this weekend, too.  I was unable to work last night due to being with Trent at the ER.  During my Friday over-night shift, we had a guest pass away.  Working at a hotel, I've always known it was a possibility to face that at work, but this was the first actual encounter.  I wonder if he had a relationship with God.

This coming week is filled with extra appointments again (plus school).  Trent has a new CT scan on Tuesday, and we will get the results on Thursday.  It is a strange balance to try to strike when thinking about the scans.  On the one hand, we try to be prepared for the results -- no matter what they may be.  We don't want to have the wind knocked out of us, so to speak, if the results are 'unfavorable'.  On the other hand, we don't want to speculate (or worry) about what they may be.  We know the results are in God's control.  We desire to rest in that knowledge.  It is an exercise in faith and trust to keep the mind from wandering too far . . . .

A new week.  Both old and new challenges.  One day at a time.  Ebb and flow.  Faith and Trust.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Plodding Along

More times than I can count, I have said that we are taking life, "One day at a time."    We really are doing our best to do just that -- to live today as God has given it to us.

In a sense, though, so much of life now feels like we are living in a holding pattern.  It seems we are always waiting -- waiting for the next appointment; waiting for the next scan; etc.  Right now, we are waiting for an appointment with the Palliative Care doctor.  I would like to see what options we can have for non-narcotic pain control.  Our oncologist said that she is well versed in narcotics, but beyond that is outside of her expertise; however, she agreed to give us the referral to the Palliative Care group so we could explore other options.  And so, we wait -- the earliest we could get in to see her is the 21st -- one more week.

Then, we wait for a new scan.  That is scheduled for the last week of this month.  After the scan, we wait a couple of days for the results.  Wait.

In this stage of life, there is a completely different perspective that goes along with the second half of Proverbs 27:1 where it says, "for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."  We have to take each day as it comes, and not a moment before.  We never know whether we will be waking up to a good day physically for Trent or a rough one.  We don't know until the moments arrive whether his pain meds will be able to squelch the pain or if the pain will trump the meds. 

We are making plans for our days as best as we can -- always allowing for the unknown.  One of the plans we have laid is the starting of school.  We are scheduled to start next Tuesday.  The plan is to start light -- just three days the first week, and easy days at that; but then the plan is for a full schedule.  That may have to change.  To be totally candid, it isn't easy to follow through with this particular plan.  The thought of adding one more thing (and a big thing at that) to our daily life right now is a bit overwhelming.  I have to remind myself to just focus on the next step.

Right now, it is all we can do to plan for Trent's appointments, for work, for church, and for school.  Everything else has to be considered 'optional' -- a luxury.  It's just the way life is right now.

One of my children let me know this week that life isn't what they want right now.  Part of me wants to say, "Get used to it -- That's life!", but I know this season of life hasn't been easy on them, either.  However, the reality is just that -- This is life right now, and we can't change it.  We can only work on doing the best we can and to keep our focus on God and on what is good.  Said child and I discussed focusing on the blessings.  He came up with many negatives -- I tried to counter them with positives.  Even though some of our days may be rough, there really are so many blessings.  God has been providing for our needs.  We have good friends who give of their time to help us.  We have employers who have been more than understanding.  It is easy to look at the negatives, but it is so much more pleasant to focus on the blessings!