One of my sisters and I were able to go to the doctor’s office with my parents for the latest MRI results.
They’re not good.
The cancer has spread to the meninges (the membranes that cover the brain & spinal cord).
Okay – backing up just a bit.
For the last several weeks, my Dad has been struggling with pain from an extruding disc in his back, which has nothing to do with his cancer. He can’t sit or stand for very long, and spends most of his time lying down. He has also been dealing with nausea, headaches, and lack of appetite that he thought might be related to pain meds. It’s not.
So the MRI this week. The cancer in the meninges. Those symptoms are directly caused by his cancer. It’s all throughout a good part of his brain & spinal cord, and that is very concerning. The Zelboraf Dad just started taking is a new treatment specifically for metastatic patients, that is supposed to help increase their life span up to 12 months or so. If it starts working, we’ll know in about 3-4 weeks, as we’ll see Dad’s nausea get better. It is not a cure – just a time-buyer.
If the meds do not work at all, then Dad’s condition will deteriorate in weeks. And we won’t have long. And no, there is nothing else that can be done. It’s the last thing on the list to try.
I’m so glad I was there to have the doctor look me in the eye to tell me this news.
It hurt like hell.
Levi and I have had to discuss what our plans are, and we’ve figured out the immediate decision, which I’ll share when I’m ready. The long-term stuff? I have no idea. I can’t get past today. Today is enough. And God is still good.
Through this whole journey, he and Mom have kept busy just enjoying life. Mom makes friends with everyone in the doctor’s office (of course), and has been the anchor and source of joy for all of us as we’ve been walking this road. Dad, has been encouraging everyone he meets, and loving, loving, loving everyone. Up until the back thing, he was playing disc golf and teaching adult Sunday School classes.
Mom and Dad love it when anyone asks them, “How can you stay so positive? How can you laugh so much?” It gives them a wide open door to smile and share the great love of Jesus with those who ask.
I cannot help but wonder how many will end up in Heaven because of their testimony.
God’s love is real. I’ve seen it shining out of my Dad’s eyes everyday this trip. It’s in my Mom’s smile. It’s in their ready laughter – even at themselves. It’s in their peace when the doctor gives bad news. It’s in the patience they have with their grandkids.
On my left wrist, in my mother’s handwriting, is the beginning of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. On the right, in my Dad’s handwriting, is the last line. I am so glad I got them while I was here. They are going to be my open door to carry on the legacy of sharing Christ’s love with anyone who might ask, “Hey, what’s your tattoo mean?” I smile when I think of all the chances I will have that I might not have recognized before.
At the very least, until I get to see my Dad again (whenever he might be going Home), I will have a constant reminder that this world is just a blink of an eye. It’s light and momentary. I have a hope that can never die, because Death was conquered officially 2000-ish years ago by Jesus Christ.
We may have only weeks.
Pray for us all, and pray that God’s mighty will is done.
Grace & Peace,