Sunday, September 16, 2012

Facing a Giant

I apologize for the lack of posting the last two months. I think mentally I needed a hiatus. There have been massive changes in our lives that began gradually. The schedule got busier and I kept putting it off waiting for something spectacular to write about. How many times can I write about Cruz being naked or pooping on the floor? Although life was fast and furious it was good and we were just sort of  coasting from one activity to the next. The calendar filled up quickly and I was waiting for something noteworthy to actually make me pause at the computer long enough, without screaming distractions all around me, causing me to shift my focus inward.  There has been a lot of noise, a lot of activity and a lot of rushing around in an attempt to do everyday life. Our "Super Stars" program this summer was a huge success and deserves an entire blog of its own. Cruz is doing exceptionally well at school this year. He switched to afternoon preschool and it seems to be a great fit for him. His medications are helping tremendously to control his aggression and anxiety. My dance studio is growing like crazy and I feel like I am just keeping my head above water balancing everything in a perfect harmony. Then last week the monumental giant landed in our lives that literally stopped us in our tracks. The perfect chaos screeched to a hault as we learned that my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Let me first paint a picture of who he is for those of you that may not know him. Often mistaken for Robert Redford and frequently asked for an autograph, his charm and charisma know no limit. Witty, quick and sarcastic his humor is one of the things people notice first. He reitred from Oral and Maxilofacial surgery this past year and between his career and his personal life he has impacted so many people. The picture of perfect health he has been active, doesn't drink or smoke, golfs rain or shine, loves people, loves the Lord, and our family. He is brilliantly smart, and has the most giving heart of anyone that I know. He has always been willing to talk to anyone, give to anyone, spend time with anyone in need, and has a heart of gold. He is the foundation of family. Full of wisdom and advice, whether its wanted or not ;), and is a giver, a teacher, and a focused goal oriented leader. Countless people are now shaken with this unbelievable news that is literally shocking.

A couple of months ago he noticed that the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen. After visiting his primary care physician they decided to give it a couple of weeks to see if they naturally would go down. Surrounded by a small group of friends from church last Sunday evening they prayed for healing and for wisdom that he would know what to do. Over night the gum ball size nodes grew and grew and grew. By 7 am it looked like a baseball sticking out of his neck. They went to the ER and from start to finish saw God's handprint upon the entire process. The nurses, doctors, and staff were amazing. He was able to see his ENT, who is also battling lymphoma, that same day. Super long story short, they decided to schedule a biopsy for Wednesday. My sister drove down that day and we all waited in anticipation to hear from the doctor in the waiting room. Mind you this was the first surgery he had had since 1985 as he is the picture of perfect health. Mom and Emily and I sat around a table in the consulation room when the doctor came in. "Definitely looks like lymphoma, we'll know more when the pathology comes back. Probably B Cell lymphoma. It looks very aggressive but that can be a good thing because the cancer will immediately suck up all that poison from the chemo and probably respond faster."

We all felt assured with his response. We met him in his recovery room and shared the news. It was an emotional time. His humor didn't skip a beat. Although he knew he was facing a battle and we all knew he was facing a battle, we collectively prayed and asked God for a miracle truly believing He was going to heal him. Fast forward two days to a rainy dark and gloomy Friday. Not one to mope or stew dad hit the golf course with a friend. As the call came in on the 8th hole, he stepped aside to speak with his doctor. The bad news got worse, much worse. It's not lymphoma. Its called Poorly Differentated Squamus Cell Carcinoma. This was the worst case scenario. 'The worst of the worst'. The doctor continued to tell dad that 'Its going to be BRUTAL and that he would wish it were Lymphoma'. Hanging up the phone he shared the news with his friend who suggested taking him home. Nope, not my dad. By God he was going to finish that golf game even if it was cold and raining. "What good is it going to do to go home? It will scare Janna... I don't want to just sit around and cry."

He is strong. He is brave and courageous. He would give everything he has for his family. But he was delivered a serious blow. We are all completely shocked, it just doesn't make sense. We need a miracle. The doctor said that 'it didn't look good'. Tuesday he will get his PET scan and we will have a better idea of what the face of this giant looks like. At this point there is a lot of unknown. There is only one thing that I know. God is in control and God is a good God. I can stand on those two truths that I have relearned over and over and over again. Our family has been through a lot of things and there is a lot that our fragile human minds can't comprehend. But we know that He is able to do beyond what we can ask or imagine. He spoke the world into existence. He is bigger than any disease or any cancer. As a family we truly believe that God's going to miraculously heal him. He may have to walk this battle out with chemo and radiation but we are believing God for a healing. Please join us in claiming this over my dad. He's the most amazing dad and grandpa in the world. God's not done with him. There are too many people that need him. I need him, Jason needs him, my kids need him. My sister and her family needs him. My mom needs him. His friends need him. Our community needs him.  We will walk this journey openly with anyone that wants to be a part of it. Please pray for strength, for peace, rest, and above all healing. To God be the glory.