Unpredictable days …

The uncertainty (& underlying fear) of the cancer journey is one thing. It can be scary at times, for sure. The future has a lot of unknowns to it.

But the unpredictability of the every day of living with cancer is something else all together. It also is completely unknown. How many of us truly live like we don’t know what tomorrow holds? Most of us make plans. We have things we plan & want to do. We have jobs that we go to, knowing (or at least we think we know!) that we, barring any unforeseen circumstances, will be able to do.

Darin’s life has taken a very different turn from that. His days are pretty unpredictable right now. The beginning of this past week was good. He went back to the men’s choir, the gym & to a World Cup Hockey game with a friend. So great! But then he spent 2 days on the couch recovering …  so not great. The pain in his back & leg was terrible again. Thankfully it didn’t keep him from a great day of live football with his siblings today. Really great 🙂

So we continue to make plans. Not for the very distant future. But for each day. Knowing that God is with us every step. That HE knows what each day holds, even when we don’t.

As we look towards Darin’s 3rd treatment this Wednesday, we hope & pray that the effects of the immunotherapy will be greater than the side effects. That the drug (Pembrolizumab) will begin to shrink the tumours as it’s supposed to do, so that the upcoming scans & tests will give us the results that we so desperately want.

Thank you for journeying with us. God bless you all.

2016-09-06-16-13-01

Tough days = long weeks

Migraine sufferers & anybody with chronic back pain knows what it’s like … pain in your body is hard to take. It affects every moment, every movement of every day. I’ve had some of those issues at different times in my life. But watching our son suffer with pain that causes him to hobble/limp around the house is a whole different thing. It makes me feel sick 😦  It hurts, a lot.

So after 3-4 days of pretty severe pain in his left hip & leg, Dave & Darin went to the St. Catharines hospital to have it looked at & eventually were sent back to Princess Margaret for a more thorough exam, including yet another CT scan. Now we are waiting once again for another doctor to determine whether a second round of radiation treatment on the tumours on Darin’s spine (L3, L4 & L5)  might help to alleviate some of that pain. In the mean time, at least we’ve found a regimen of pain killers that seem to be helping to make the tough days a little bit easier.

But they haven’t all been tough. Yesterday was a good day … & for that we’re so thankful. Thankful for many things. For friends who stop by to visit us. For Darin’s friends who come by or invite him out. For the prayers, kind words & messages sent. For the friends and family who are rallying around us in the Terry Fox Run (Walk!) tomorrow. THANK YOU. Every single one of you is making a difference. Please know that it doesn’t go unnoticed. A very special group of ‘old’ friends today reminded me that “there’s always a silver lining” … & that’s so very true 🙂    An attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings. Every day.

Here’s the link, for anyone who wants to support cancer research through our team “Holding Fast” … http://www.terryfox.ca/niagara-on-the-lake

God bless  you, every one.

The tough days

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, you know there are going to be tough days ahead. But when those days hit, you’re never really ready. Kinda like having a baby … you think you’re ready, but you never really are  🙂

While we’re still at the beginning stages of Darin’s cancer treatment, round 2 has already been quite a bit worse than round 1. Now Darin’s not a complainer AT ALL, & has, unfortunately, suffered through a lot of pain in his body his whole life. So he’s used to it. Sadly, he’s used to not feeling well. But this pain is different. It hurts … & knowing that it’s part of a much bigger picture is unnerving to say the least. So when he described the pain in his left leg & back this week as “constant” & “almost unbearable”, needless to say we were all pretty upset & discouraged. Makes us afraid for how tough the days are really going to get, as we move through 1 year of treatments.

But, if there’s one thing we’re learning along this journey, it’s not to look too far ahead. That’s just NOT allowed. But that’s easier said than done. We are natural-born planners. There’s comfort in having plans in place. A friend recently told me “plans are important” & I agree. So we continue to try to help Darin sort out how to plan for the future. What to fill his days with & how to find activities that are suitable for him in this time. He’s still working a little bit, but has a lot of free time as well. Thankfully he has friends that come by & drag him off the couch from time to time  🙂

So we soldier on. One day at a time. One week at a time.

We trust God will show us the way. His way is the right way.

To plan or not to plan … or what to plan?

How does one plan for a future riddled with uncertainty? How does a 21 year old guy figure that out? How do his parents advise him on what or what not to do?

These are the questions we’ve been pondering & discussing during our recent weeks “off” (from appointments or treatment). It’s a strange, confusing, sometimes difficult place to be. A lot of questions with very few answers.

While many parents, students & teachers are gearing up for another school year right now, Darin too wants to be making plans for his future. He’s always wanted to go back to school … either university or back to bible college. But now what? How much effort should he put into making that happen? Is it really worth it? The “what ifs” are many …

So as we face Treatment #2 on Tuesday, this week, we wonder … are the treatments going to work? What if they don’t? What’s the prognosis? What if … ??

Only God knows. That’s the only answer that we know right now. As I’ve said from the beginning … we don’t know what the future holds, but we do know HIM who holds the future. And to HIM we hold fast. Today & always.