Down shift

Life has been oddly low key at the Rodriguez household. For such a long time we have been operating at such a frenzied pace that I must admit this dramatic down shift has been a little hard to get use to. Not that it is bad or anything it just feels different. Normally by this time we would have done 2 more cycles of chemo and by next week heading back to Houston. While it's certainly nice to not have to do those things it's just been an adjustment on our part. Joel has been doing really well. I think he has been a little frustrated at how long it has taken him to "get back to normal" so to speak-and he is still not there. His muscles were so used to inactivity that now the smallest bit of activity renders him pretty sore and tired. Our doctor told him to expect it to take Joel an entire year for him to feel like he did pre-cancer. At first we thought "a year...there's no way!" but it's already been a month and a half since his last treatment and we both thought he would have made more progress than he has. That's ok though. He still has about 1 more month until he goes back to work and he plans to spend most of it resting up and getting ready to enter the work-force again. He will need every bit of that time.

This coming Sunday we celebrate Joel's 34th birthday! A year ago I had no idea if he would see 34. When Joel was diagnosed I didn't even want to know what stage Joel's cancer was-I could tell by the scans it was bad-I didn't need to know exactly how bad. I now know that it was stage III. The only thing keeping it from stage IV for is that by the grace of God it hadn't spread out of his kidney. But based on the sheer size alone it should've been a stage IV. Stage IV is as bad as it gets-there is no stage V. When I look back a year ago and to see where we are now, celebrating Joel and another year of his life, well God's faithfulness and grace is all just all pretty amazing.  We sang a song at church yesterday by Brian Johnson from Bethel that really encapsulates how I feel.

"I want to scream it out From every mountain top Your goodness knows no bounds Your goodness never stops Your mercy follows me Your kindness fills my life Your love amazes me

I sing because you are good And I dance because you are good And I shout because you are good You are good to me, good to me

Nothing and no one comes Anywhere close to you The earth and oceans deep Only reflect this truth And in my darkest night You shine as bright as day Your love amazes me

With a cry of praise my heart will proclaim You are good, you are good In the sun or rain my life celebrates You are good, you are good."

And in my darkest night-You shine as bright as day-Your love amazes me. Love it.

Have a wonderful week.

Love,

Sarah