Update On My Dad (and My Tattoo)

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.

In the meantime, I got my tattoo.

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,


22 thoughts on “Update On My Dad (and My Tattoo)

  1. Oh, Tiffany, this is so hard! That tatoo is a special reminder. Praying for your family. May God give you peace and comfort.

  2. Tiffany, my prayers are with all of you. There is no easy way to go through what you are going through. You all are handling it with much grace. I will continue to pray that the truth of that scripture gives you comfort, peace and strength in days and weeks to come. Love you so much!

  3. The tatt is amazing! We will be thinking and praying for you till we see you again. Praise God you get to spend this time with your family!

  4. I was reading and thinking you ought to take dictation when your folks are explaining the reason for their joy and hope. Many, here, would like to read that.
    Then I got to the tattoo, and realized: You did.
    I stand amazed.

  5. Crying and smiling at the same time. I hurt for you as I remember being faced with my dad’s diagnosis and passing. Smiles at his blessed attitude and heritage of Jesus that he is leaving behind! xoxoxox

  6. Oh my dear, forty-one years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They opened her up, closed her up and said, “Go home and enjoy the few weeks you have left.”

    We had sixteen months. She spent the better part of those sixteen months doing things with my mother, her only daughter, and learning new crafts and skills. She was seventy-nine when she went home. She enjoyed that extra year-plus. The doctors were amazed – they don’t know everything.

    God is still in charge. I love your spirit and your dad’s and mom’s spirit. Many people will be coming home to be with them because of this witness. They are giving you a beautiful and powerful legacy.

    I share you pride and your tears. Bless you, daughter.

    • I really don’t know what to say.

      It’s overwhelming to receive such kind encouragement from people I don’t know. Thank you, so much.

  7. I’m sad to hear your news about your dad. What beautiful tattoos, a constant reminder of your wonderful parents and the lessons they taught you. God is the real physician! He will heal when he can or take us back home when he wants. God Bless You as you travel this difficult journey and enjoy and cherish all your days together.

  8. I was tearing up when I read your post. Tiff, I love you and I know this is so hard for you and your family but I am glad you are able to have the time there. I also know you are happy for your tattoo, I’m glad you were able to get it. I hate that your family is experiencing this, but there is a reason and this is not forever. I can’t honestly say I understand, I could never imagine what this is like for you though I see how loving and strong your faith and family are and I am rooting for you all. Love you!

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