Monday, May 13, 2013

The Whirlwind Continues

I looked on the camera to find a picture we could include here. I guess we've been too busy to take any--there were none, so I'll have to paint you a wordy one . . .

We have pressed on this past week in this new life of ours. There was something going on every day in every way . . . picking up more furniture for the house; cleaning the furniture and/or the house; changing out the leaky kitchen faucet; organizing tables, shelves and curriculum for the start of yet another year of homeschooling; frequenting farmers' markets and being creative with juices and then smoothies for Geoff; experiencing an interesting appointment with a non-traditional health care practitioner regarding Geoff, more on that in a little bit; getting to visit with dear New Hope friend Monique--affectionately called by our kids, "Uncle Nique"; seeing another long-time friend from Pepperdine days, Mark Mannasee, when he stopped by one afternoon; going to the annual Orange County Scout-O-Rama with my two boys--kayaking, rope climbing, archery and a plethora of other outdoorsy-activities; celebrating Mother's Day alone for lunch and then with extended family briefly in the afternoon and crashing every night about 5 p.m. because of all of the above!!!!!

Geoff is steadily improving both in his comfort level and in his strength. We have advanced his diet slowly and are now up to soft foods. Yesterday, without thinking, he picked up a sample of trail mix at Costco and ate it without any problems. He didn't even realize he'd done it until a few minutes later when he picked up a kettle corn sample and I commented, "Wow, you're really going for it today." Old habits die hard.

No worries, though. He doesn't seem to have suffered any setbacks due to those little treat sneaks.  We have an 8:30 a.m. appointment with the gastric surgeon tomorrow. We expect to be given a good bill of gastric health so that we may progress on into chemotherapy. The oncologist has requested an appointment for early next week to discuss the way forward. Of course we'll keep you up-to-date.

The three hours we spent last Wednesday exploring Geoff's health options and conditions via biofeedback was interesting, to say the least. Taking into consideration the fact that he had not eaten more than about 2000 calories total since the previous Thursday, coupled with the mostly horizontal nature of his existence since the previous Friday when he went into surgery, we have filtered through the information given us and disregarded some of the findings. Many of the "red flags" she found were due to his temporarily compromised state. In addition, there were other results that can be attributed to the pain meds he'd also been on since the surgery. We are, however, thankful to have received some helpful information on ways to combat the effects of the cancer and the chemotherapy, which we are already implementing.

Emotionally, it's been a mixed bag. Lots of faith and trust in the goodness of our God. Plenty of hope and security in our future that is in His hands. But, weariness amidst the daily demands. Today I pretty much tanked when the pressure of the whole process of homeschool seemed to converge in one heavy load. I have been trying to do all of the things listed above while also attempting to secure all the homeschool books we need at the cheapest prices. I spent half a day on Thursday and a full day on Friday searching websites and comparing prices. I filled a cart with a certain book dealer who consistently had the lowest prices, but I could never "check out" as their website kept encountering an internal error. I left it until today, but could not get the problem solved today either. After having taught the kids all morning and into the early part of the afternoon, I couldn't hold it together anymore when I realized that another day would go by without the needed books. I know it sounds small, but it was the proverbial straw. I cried for an hour. Can't remember the last time I've done that. Now, I'm just tired. Somehow, I managed to cook dinner which was almost ruined by a defective pepper grinder  dumping a bunch of peppercorns into our main dish! If I hadn't been so worn down already I probably would have laughed.

Geoff worked a lot today on the spiritual development material for New Hope Uganda, as well as organizing and making phone calls on all the medical bills. Keeping track of all the bills is a full time job in itself!

He is now taking a horizontal rest--the first he's taken today. (This past week he's been resting three or four times in a day.) So, he's seeing progress in comfort, stamina and strength.  Now, if I can just let the Lord put me back together emotionally we'll both be doing well!!

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