#8 & the small things

When Joel was first diagnosed with cancer I asked the doctor to give me a visual of how big he thought this cancer was. He put his hands about a foot apart & dramatically said "about the size of a football". A football, I asked? A football, he replied. So naturally the next question was-how long has this cancer been growing inside of my husbands body? "If I had to guess" the doctor said "about 5-7 years". Joel & I were due to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary 3 months from that day. We had been together 7 years total. Basically during our entire relationship this cancer was inside of him. After that I would obsessively look at old photos & the only thing I could think was-he had cancer then. Our wedding-he had cancer then. Our honeymoon-he had cancer then. When we moved back to Oklahoma-he had cancer then. Our ski trip 2 years ago-he had cancer then. Picture by picture moment by moment I looked back on & marveled-not at what I could see but what I couldn't. From the very first moment that I met Joel this disease was killing him slowly more & more every day. That sounds dramatic but it's true. How were there no signs? How could we not see it? It made me reflect on my own life. What are the things that are killing me slowly? What are the unseen things in my life? It might not be a physical disease but there are things, thoughts, feelings, behaviors that we all push away partly because we may not want to deal with them or partly because we want to pretend that they have gone away. The problem is many times they haven't. They are still there deep inside but many times growing stronger & threatening to turn into something that could ruin our life if we aren't careful. Those things are just like this disease. The things we live with, work with, & learn to function with-only we really aren't. What we try to bury away can start as a cell & can mutate into a full on disease that in an instant can take away everything from us-everything. Guys-it can start with an improper lustful thought that grows into much more. Girls-it can be a slight insecurity that turns you into a person you never thought you would become & will make you do things you never thought you could do. We all have weakness inside of us & it is important to keep those areas in check & not let them get away from us. From now on I am going to try to take a hard look at some of these attitudes, insecurities, & thoughts within myself & deal with them. I want growth & healing in my life not just from a physical standpoint but healing & growing as a person. Watching & taking care of the small things-so they don't become big things. Joel had chemo round #8 today. He did well but is very tired, more then normal. If you are praying for us please pray for his nausea side affects to not be bad. This has been the worst of all the side affects. Today was a big day in that this is the last day Joel will have the Adriamycin chemo drug!! This was the most potent of all of the chemo drugs that we called the "kool-aide" because of its bright red color. In fact, this drug was the reason that they initially gave Joel the chemo over a week long period of time. We are very happy that it is gone BUT they will be replacing it with another chemo drug. The MD Anderson doctor told us that this new drug could cause some pretty severe digestive problems. That would be another thing that we could use prayers for. We are praying that this new drug will not have the side affects that they are telling us they will have. The next chemo round will put us at the half way point! Can't believe it that we are finally almost there.

Thanks for checking in on us & for your prayers. We appreciate you & your friendship!