This is all like deja vu. I have been here before. Carlie and Luke have been here before. James has most definitely been here before. There are a lot of emotions as we enter this week before James’ next surgery.
There has been fear, sadness and anger as surgery draws near. Some more extreme than the others. I found it odd telling our 15 and 12 year old today that they were strong. That they handle their dads cancer with strength and dignity. It’s weird to tell them that. It is weird that they have been dealing with this for nearly 8 years. It is weird that people don’t think to ask them how they are because most don’t think of their dad being sick. This whole surgery thing sad. It’s maddening. But James, Carlie and especially Luke continue to inspire me daily.
There really is only one fear as we head into this surgery.. scar tissue. I have told James repeatedly that the second they tell me they are through the scar tissue, 99% of my fears will disappear and I will likely relax. The story is much different if they can not get through it. So, I anticipate within 4-6 hours they will tell me they successfully maneuvered through the scar tissue that has built up from 3 prior surgeries and I will breathe a sigh of relief. I believe this will be his next chapter. I can not think of the alternative as it will drive me crazy.
Although we have been through this before and we are quite blessed that they will even try a 3rd surgery (some PMP patients can’t even have a complete first or second), the unease of being away from our kids for 7-10 days and the recovery is daunting. Needed and necessary but daunting.
I am thankful for James’ work. They have gone above and beyond and truly are our family. They have provided much needed support, especially as we head into the holidays and the unknown. I am thankful to those of you who have supported us once again financially. None of this is easy but your gifts have given us tremendous peace of mind as time is taken off work and pay checks are reduced. I am thankful for those of you who simply pray and send us happy thoughts. I believe prayer has gotten us to this nearly 8th anniversary of his diagnosis and has been the reason James has been blessed with good health and minimal complications or symptoms. I believe prayer is the reason, he has lived a completely normal life while living with this cancer. I believe prayer is the reason that people who do not know us, have no idea he is sick. I believe prayer has given our kids a way to handle this.
I won’t lie. The thought of our lives changing scares me, but I am choosing to believe that James’ story is not done yet. I believe he has several chapters left and this surgery will hopefully make the ending that much further away.
So, please continue to remember my sweet husband and our children over the next few weeks. Life will be crazy for them with recovery and our norms disrupted and then a whole new set of disruptions beginning 12/27 with Carlie’s surgery. The Lord has gotten us this far and we are just letting his keep the wheel, as we are not able to maneuver this on our own.