Thursday, August 6, 2009

End of Week 4

Some of you have been with us since that first week of April. For others, if you want to gain some context, you could go back to early blogs.

Mike has surgery on April 6. The surgeon reported that the cancer has spread beyond the primary site. He gently encouraged us to return to Kokomo and enjoy what life we had left. “You’re not going to die this month. You’re not going to die next month.” So we looked toward June with a dark dread of THE END.

We cuddled and walked on egg shells, not wanting to argue about anything, not wanting to waste a moment on the trivial. We tossed and turned and our sleep was spotty. Mike had to heal from surgery and during those dark days, we thought we were seeing the bottom of the pit. We grieved for what we thought would have been our future.

We planned a funeral. We picked out the suit, the music, and the burial site. We fielded callers who droned on and on about how sorry they were. We cried.
Now within all of that, there were positives for both of us. God gently led us into scripture; friends ministered to needs physical and spiritual; voices and hearts from years past drew around us; we passed milestones – our anniversary, Mike’s retirement dinner, 4th of July at the lake – that we had not dreamed we would meet. And now, Mike’s birthday, at the end of August, will come and we will celebrate.

Week 4 of treatment was, again, not so bad. Mike is feeling a bit tired, to be expected. And he’s ready to lose the port, the tubes, the fanny pack. As for results, the doctor reports that they will reassess when treatment is over.

On the home front, we’ve settled into a routine that approaches normalcy. We’ve even begun to nip at each other occasionally when we get on each other’s nerves. And that has relaxed a lot of tension.

But emotionally, what a ride! It’s like a bad movie screenplay: the hero and his girl are trapped in an underground cave that is filling up with water. They realize and tell each other that the end is near. The water will rise and drown them. In the waning moments, it’s time to come clean, to speak honestly. In this case, they declare their love for each other. They confess that they are sorry, each, that they wasted so much time. They promise that if they had more time, they’d do it differently.

Then, there’s a brief quaking of the ground and the water recedes. Not all the way, just back to shallow. They look at each other, fresh from confession, and laugh. Then the water begins to rise again, faster.

Those quakes keep coming. So does the rising water.
And what we need to do is face each day, love each day, use each day, and stop dwelling on what’s ahead. We know, really we do, that we are in God’s hands and this time is part of His plan for us.

The week has been busy. We drove to friends’ farm for dinner. I thought I knew where we were going but I was wrong. In summer corn country, most intersections look alike. And, did I bring the note with the address and phone number? Well, no. (“So us,” my daughter would say.) Luckily for us, we were close and we were in a small community so when we stopped to ask, much of the town knew we were lost and were looking for us.

Two of my best buddies met me for breakfast and hugs.

There have been a few more Bakes consumed.

I have talked Mike into letting his hair grow. He looks like a golden lion. And, walking behind him, I notice that those great hair genes from his side of the family have brought out waves and curls.

Jeremy and the boys will begin their trip back to San Antonio early Tuesday morning. Then, we’ll be nearing the end of this treatment.

So that’s the news at the end of this week. I will spend this weekend in Kansas City with my sisters and the homestead will be all boy.

Again, we are so grateful for your prayer support. We’ll keep you posted.

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