Hope in the Midst of Trials

Tomorrow will mark four weeks since we found out that Steve’s cancer has spread.  At some point between the November and early February CT scans the immunotherapy drug stopped working and the cancer exploded in his body.

A couple of months ago, Steve choked on a hot dog.  From that day forward he had difficulty swallowing certain foods.  In an attempt to find out what was causing the trouble he underwent a procedure three weeks ago.  Following the procedure, the doctor told us that there was a significant narrowing of his esophagus.  The doctor stated that the tumor is pushing into the esophagus and that the cancer appears to be trying to infiltrate that area.

To say the least, it has been a crappy month.

Not sounding too joyful today, am I?

I apologize.

As I have said in the past, no one ever promised us a rose garden.  The game of life is not all peaches and cream.

Since the updated prognosis, we have shared moments of deep despair. We’ve cried. We’ve discussed tasks that must be done. We lost a ton of sleep.  We’ve sat in silence thinking about the future.  We’ve held hands and cried some more.

Yet, in spite of the news and intense disappointment, we also continue to wake, to laugh, to find humor during the less than positive hours, enjoy good meals, experience surprises and to love.

Life does go on.

Without question, our favorite time of the day is in early morning.  We sit on our back porch, kick back with a cup of coffee and just enjoy the quiet of the morning.  Birds sing, antelope nibble through the back yard, dogs play and we just…chat.  We’ve done morning like this ever since we moved out to the country.  Some days are more exciting than others and Monday was that kind of day.  We were sitting on the porch admiring the first sunny day in two weeks when Steve noticed a flash of blue in a nearby tree.  He quickly retrieved his binoculars and we took turns admiring the Eastern Bluebird that had graced us with his presence.  The bird was fabulous and we watched him for about fifteen minutes.  When the Eastern Bluebird flew off, Steve looked to the right side of the yard and saw not one but two pair of cardinals.  Those birds gave him great joy on that peace-filled morning. It was a blessing to see him flash his special, impish smile while he watched those birds. That morning was truly magical.

It’s true.  Life really is about the little things.  A smile, shared memories and meals, nature, prayer, God and…time.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know, without a doubt, who holds the future. We are not going to let this disease ruin what time we have left together.  Regardless of our circumstances, our God is here with us.  He holds us in the palms of his hands.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13. 



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