We both sat there on the couch, letting the feeling of home seep into our minds. We could literally feel the comfort returning to our minds, our bodies and our schedule. They always say, “Home is where the heart is” and it was very evident at that point in our lives that our home held everything that made our hearts filled with joy contained inside it and it was humbling to sit inside on our couch and look around and all that we had been blessed with in our lives. We had two loving pups, a house that is beautiful and feels like nowhere else on earth, we have all the material items that we could ever need, we both had great careers, we had food in the fridge, clothes in our closets, a place to rest at night and running (hot) water but most importantly, we had each other. For all the bad we’ve experienced in the past month or so, we are still incredibly blessed and that’s a beautiful thing and testament to our parents and how we were raised, our hard work and a lot of luck along the way.
I found it weird to be counting my blessings at that very moment but I couldn’t help to feel overcome with humility in seeing everything around us. Sometimes it is way too easy for all of us that are extremely fortunate to count our blessings and appreciate everything we DO have. We are blessed to know an inspiring couple that recently returned from Africa doing missionary work in Uganda. They moved their entire family to Uganda for just short of a year and they experienced more powerful moments and met more unbelievable people in their short time over there than most of us will have the “fortune” of seeing in a lifetime. I say fortune, in quotes, because what they witnessed was by no means all sunshine and rainbows. They saw death, despair, hunger, poverty and disease. They experienced heartbreak, despair, being put on “high-alert” due to disease and threats of violence from the outside. They got to see and experience some of the most ugly and difficult situations that life has to offer. However, scattered in those moments, hidden in the tiniest, darkest of corners was God’s light. Through their mission work, they were able to stave off some disease and death; they were able to cure the hunger of those less fortunate than them; they were able to provide what seems like simple amenities in the US to those who were in need, preventing death by dehydration or starvation; they were able to meet some of the most beautiful people on God’s earth and despite the up and down emotional roller coaster of a ride, they came back with life lessons that are invaluable and their views on the little things, material things, will inevitably be different for the rest of their lives. That was my whole point in telling this story, the material things and little things in life were brought to the foreground when we came home. Chemo, cancer and the battle we are fighting right now puts a lot of life into perspective; the little things are truly to not be sweated, you can’t change the past and you can’t constantly be living for the future because you will miss the breathtakingly beautiful existence on Earth that was given to you by Him.
Anyway, back to Lindsay, right? 🙂 My wife and I went to bed pretty early that night, exhausted from the insane previous 6 days that we went through and we were both incredibly happy to be laying down in our own bed and anxious to get to enjoy some sleep. The first battle of our war had been fought and Lindsay was walking out with her head held high and feeling pretty darn good overall. That night I think we both slept like babies and it was much-needed. It seems insane to me as I write this that what I’m writing about was only 5 days ago. The next day I returned to work as normal and so did she, the daycare kiddos showed up with great big hugs, kisses and presents for ‘Mrs. Lindsay’ and the normal routine that was returning to our lives was much appreciated. It sounds silly but we have found that any chance we have to do or feel ‘normal’ things, we have to do them as it makes you forget about our extraordinary situation, even if for only a few minutes.
Now time for my quick, funny story about the Lovenox shots. If you remember the story of the nurse showing me how to administer the shot and me explaining that the shot was spring-loaded you can probably infer what happened. I gave Lindsay the shot for the first time and when I did I depressed the syringe and needed into her arm as instructed and slowly pressed all the medicine into her arm. While pushing it down I guess I “hulked it” and pushed a little to hard and the needle decided to spring release out of her arm and into the syringe and I think I came very close to pooping my pants. The very clear “click” noise and tangible collapse back into the syringe made my heart skip a beat. I looked up at Lindsay with what I can only imagine was a look of shock and she turned and looked at me and said “You dumbass” with her eyes and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. I guess I’ll leave the nursing to the nurses. 🙂
Remember how I mentioned that Dr. Ladanyi said we were only the 4th documented case of someone with Small Cell Ovarian Cancer (SCCO)? Well while in the hospital Lindsay had received an email from a Facebook group that she joined for Ovarian Cancer support that stated they had heard of another couple going through the EXACT SAME SITUATION as us. We obviously didn’t believe it at first because what were the odds that not only was there a 5th case, but we were able to come across them by complete chance? The answer is exponentially smaller than winning the lotto. We of course jumped onto the group and searched for this couple and found them! It WAS true, there really was another case out there and we were reading their story on that group. I won’t say their name out of respect for them and their situation but I will say they live in Idaho and seem like very friendly and good people. Their story is similar but different from ours, they are about two weeks further behind than us in pregnancy but they found out about her cancer when she was having pain and went to the ER. They actually started their treatment about two weeks before us but only started by doing 3 days a week then two weeks off. We do 5 days and two weeks off. Despite the differences in cancer stage, pregnancy term length thus far and their treatment regimen, we had found another couple to talk to during our experience with this fight! We have shared texts back and forth with this couple throughout the week and the more we text, the more parallels in our stories and lives we find, which is a weird feeling! It felt, and still feels, so good to have someone to reach out to and talk to that can relate to your exact feelings and situation and we will continue to be in contact with this courageous and kind couple going forward in our venture for sure! I also ask that you pray for this family and their little one, their names are David and Sara and they could use your prayer and love as well! Their child is measuring at 17 weeks despite Sara being 20 weeks along, which they just found out recently so they are in a tough spot right now and need us, so say a prayer, please! You WILL get through this with us, David and Sara!!
Our week pushed forward, both of us having our good and bad moments in dealing with the current status of our fight. We both had moments where everything felt and seemed so normal that we were able to forget what we were going through, if only for a few seconds, which was great. However the feelings would then come back in full force and we both shed some tears this week but overall, we couldn’t be doing much better than we are right now so the prayers and love are working! Keep it coming!
We both decided while in the hospital that when we got home and things settled down a bit that we’d go on a vacation before the baby and before the chemo got more intensive. So, with the help of my parents, we are taking a week trip to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina!!! While the timing isn’t the best with my work and recent promotion/training on a new team and the timing never being good with her daycare, we both made a promise to each other and made the decision that vacation, a time to celebrate and share some time with ourselves where we can turn our brains off from all this and just relax and enjoy life is THE MOST important thing we could do right now. So we said screw it, we wanted to take a vacation and it was time to take one so we’re leaving tomorrow morning and we’ll be on a beautiful North Carolina beach for the next week. Lindsay’s favorite place in the world is Wilmington and we’ll be right next to Wilmington but overlooking the Atlantic from our beachfront, King suite! We are both so ready to get down there and just relax, step away from reality (which unfortunately includes the blog for you all following along) and just get some time to work on our relationship, work on celebrating our small victories and more importantly, put our toes in the water, ass in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold virgin daiquiri in Lindsay’s and a cold beach drink in my hand–thanks Zac Brown Band. 🙂
This is Lindsay and I signing off for the next week. We CANNOT express just how much each and every one of you, each and every prayer, each and every message or gesture of love and support and each and every donation or purchase means to us. You are all giving us the strength we need to get through this so don’t forget about us while we’re away, keep us in your prayers and pray that we find serenity, peace, relaxation and growth while we are away on vacation. We dearly love you all and we look forward to sharing many pictures and stories of our vacation with you very soon! Anyway, the Hawks game is on, I have a beer open and my bag is packed and house is cleaned and ready for tomorrow. I think I might just have to start my vacation right now. Until next week, blog family–you all take care and enjoy your holiday weekends with your friends, family and loved ones! 🙂
Remember to reflect this weekend about why we are all able to have Monday off. Memorial Day is a day to take the time to remember our veterans and servicemen and women. Freedom is NOT free, there have been many people who have gone, currently are or will go and fight for it and we cannot forget that. Being a Veteran of the Navy myself, I was blessed to spend my time defending our freedoms and do so with some of the most awesome people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Go out of your way Monday to take the time to reflect and certainly take the time to thank any Veteran’s in your life or that you see out and about. Buy their Starbucks, their groceries, their meal or their gas, they deserve to have it paid forward to them every once in a while but you can be damn sure not a one of them will ask for it and not a one will accept it without a fight. THANK YOU to all the Veterans, servicemen and servicemen out there and may God look over you and bless you with the opportunity to enjoy your day of remembrance. Freedom is not free and you deserve to be remembered EVERY day but especially on this day. Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!