Managing

Just a quick update on what we have been up to. Joel is now a week removed from his 8th chemo treatment. The first week after chemo is a really difficult week for us both for a lot of reasons. Chemo is the worst thing in the world. I really don't think there is anything harder that you can put your body through for such a long period of time. He always feels absolutely terrible that entire first week & most of the second week as well. Because he feels bad it creates a really difficult atmosphere in our home sometimes. He gets sad & down & overall just tired of what he is going through-which is completely understandable. It is hard for me to see him like that. In turn sometimes I feel upset & frustrated at my inability to do anything to solve the situation. Some days I have really frustrating days because there are so many things that I have to do alone now because he just isn't able to help me & be there with me now. I don't say that to gain sympathy I say that to paint a picture that sometimes you have two very frustrated people, for 2 very different reasons, under the same roof. It is really hard. You have to work hard to stay strong as a couple & not let things get to you. From the start we have made that a priority to not let things like that push us apart but rather all of these difficult situations bring us closer together. Joel has now completely lost all of his hair, eyelashes, & eyebrows as well. Still, it is funny because our friends that get to see him always say "wow you seem like you are doing great!" but that is because the only time we really let people see him is his 3rd week in the cycle-his only good week. The rest of the time we stay at home because he's not up to leaving. So the thought of him "doing really good" is kind of a fallacy. To be honest he struggles a lot-we both do-but we are starting to get our own rhythm down. It doesn't mean that things are easy or wonderful because they are neither of those things, but what they are is manageable. Some people may think that just being manageable sounds like a sad way to view things but for us it really is not. At first we weren't even managing. We were barely functioning. It is funny though what we can learn to live with & function with when we really have no other choice. I think that slowly, day by day, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. At first we couldn't at all-but we are getting closer every day.

Thanks to those of your who prayed for Joel. He still has had quite a bit of symptoms & nausea. Today he went to the doctor & his blood counts were very low. We are use to his counts being low the 2nd week so we have come to expect it. We are very careful on week 2 about who he is around & not going anywhere. We have developed sort of a routine when it comes to that. Coming up over the next few weeks he will be undergoing quite a bit of tests. Since we are at the halfway point the doctors have to make some decisions about some things that will be shifting as far as his chemo treatments. So our normal cycle & routine will be switched up a bit over the next few weeks. We will let you know how the tests go & the new chemo treatment plan that the doctor comes up with. We are not sure what ways it will change as well as what new drug they are introducing-but we will let you know as we find out more.

Just wanted to thank all of you faithful blog readers who check in on Joel. I feel like these health updates can get somewhat monotonous & a little repetitive but I always want to keep everyone informed as best I can. And the fact that so many of you take the time to check on us & offer words of encouragement means more to us than you will ever know.

We love you guys :) Sarah & Joel