Jan 05, 2020
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future
To a known God”
Corrie ten Bloom
My wife of 58 years (June 10) and best friend Eileen had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus, in February 2019. This blog gives my thoughts, fears, prayers, and hopes during this challenging and difficult time.
Merry Christmas to all!
And Happy New Year.
This is truly a roller-coaster ride. Eileen had the endoscope this past Friday, and the results were better than we had expected. The upper two-thirds of the esophagus was apparently clear, even though the PET scan show some activity there, but low level. The bottom third showed some increase in activity, giving her the heartburn at times. But the mass in the stomach was gone!! The surgeon took biopsies at various points, but it will be a week or more before the results are in.
So this leaves the bone cancer (Eileen had a complete bone scan the day after Christmas) and the small spots on the lungs. The bone cancer in her left arm-shoulder is causing much pain. We have found a combination of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and a CBD ointment named Chill Full Spectrum CBD & Kava Balm helps some of the time, but I had to give her one of the strong opioids to ease the pain on Saturday.
The arm pain increased on Saturday and Sunday to the point where I added an opioid that helped reduce the pain for a while. We missed church on Sunday because of the pain and the resulting weakness of all the meds and cancer. We will talk with the oncology office to see what we should do during the week.
But we had a wonderful time at Mohonk Mountain House in the three nights we were there. Much laughter, tears, and love exchanged. It was especially important to the girls from far away (Columbus Ohio) as it is difficult for them to come. One of the Smiley family (who own that property – the 5thgeneration is now running it, and the 6thgeneration have leading roles) has known Eileen, and we saw her and told her where things were at with the cancer. She (Sandy Smiley) sent Eileen a nice basket of goodies. Our two friends of 20 years in the wait-staff (we watched them grow from very friendly waiters to captain and head of all captains) were very attentive, and cried with us as we said our farewells. We even got a private tour of the brand-new kitchen arrangements, just completed this year. The new kitchens are in a new three-story building attached to the older kitchen. It contains three complete kitchens. One for the main dining room, one for the lower dining room, and one for the employees. They do things well.
The most important times were the times spent talking with all the family. Eileen’s brother Kevin, wife Mary Jo, and three of their four boys and families were there. Much laughter and joy, story exchange, and other talks before the fireplaces. The evenings were spent with many of our family in our room, talking, and sharing love, in front of the fireplace. Oh yes, we had naps in the afternoons. Since this was Eileen’s break from the chemo pills, she could drink, so had wine during dinner and manhattans in the evening.
We came home on the 30th, had our usual pizza, being 10 of us in the house. Long evening of talk, as well as during New Year’s evening, watching the ball drop. Then on New Year’s Day, all departed, and the sudden silence was deafening!
The presence of God in the middle of the noise and laughter (and tears) was palpable, and my heart was filled to overflowing watching and being part of it. Love was the center of all, and gentle care and love filled the space. What will come, will come, and we will have this period of joy to look back on, and laugh at the stories told.
Breath of Life, I rest in You. all I have is part of Your Being, for nothing of me is not Yours. I can feel You gently guiding us along this path, supporting us and giving us the time of joy and laughter when we greatly need it. All is in Your Spirit, and Your life-giving stream supports us on this journey. We try to remain centered only on the needs of the moment, and trust in Your Love that will carry us forward, one day and one moment at a time.