Well we FINALLY have our appointment date for MD Anderson. Our appointment is this Friday, August 6th at Noon. We leave for Houston this Thursday afternoon. We are not exactly sure how long we will be there but it is possible that we will be there all the way through the following week. We will be meeting with lots of experts that will determine our next plan of action as far as Joel's treatment plan. We know that he will for sure do chemo but just what kind is still up in the air. One of the most important tests they will be doing is a P.E.T. scan which will be checking for cancer spreading throughout Joel's cells. We need a lot of prayer that this test will come back clear. We are believing & praying that Joel was cured upon his surgery day. They are basically wanting to do chemo as a preventative measure for Joel due to the rareness of the cancer. I have tried to make it a habit to be extremely honest in this blog about all of the parts of our journey-the good times & in the bad. In that spirit-I will be very honest about where I am at now. I have been having an extremely tough time the past week or two. I have always been a pretty cheerful even keel person-but lately I have been in a huge funk. I feel like I have been battling almost a depression. I have been mourning the loss of our life as we knew it & really not having much of a life in general. Few people will ever understand how crazy it is to have your life turned on its head in a matter of minutes. Few people will ever understand what a lonely space you are in sometimes. We have had a really tough time with where we have been & we are both really overwhelmed about how far we have left to go. You feel like everyone has been able to go back to their life as normal when you are still reeling & just trying to get your bearings. Today I looked up the 7 stages of grief because I felt like that is what I have been going through-almost a grieving process. The 7 stages are:
1. Shock or Denial
2. Pain or Guilt
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5. The upward turn
6. Reconstruction, working through
7. Acceptance & Hope
I feel like the stage that we are in now is stage 4 of depression, reflection & loneliness. There have been many moments of feeling alone & feeling a lot of sadness. Also, days & moments of reflecting on where we have been & where we are going. The encouraging part to me is seeing that an upward turn is right around the corner. When you are in the middle of it though it isn't so easy to see. So for now-we move forward in hope of better, brighter days ahead.
Today in the mail we got a special package. Someone anonymously mailed us a book-Stronger than Cancer. It is filled with stories of hope from people who have gone through the process of having cancer. Joel & I have decided that each night we will read a couple of pages from the book. Our first entry that we read today said "Never put a period where God has put a comma." I loved that. This book of encouragement came just at the right time. I remember one time a guy at my work just went through the loss of a baby. I felt like I was supposed to anonymously put a worship song on a CD & leave it in his chair. I did just that. During our next staff meeting he stood up & said how much the song had meant to him & his family in their time of need. I know now how he felt about receiving something when you need it most. God used whoever sent us this book to be His literal messenger of something that we needed to hear. A book that re-enforces a message of hope is just what we needed. I will probably never know who sent this to us-but if you are reading this we both thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Guys be blessed. Be thankful for what you have. Let those that you love know that you love them. We love you!
Sarah & Joel