Thursday, June 29, 2006

Getting Your Bearings

Well, I suppose the burning question is..."What the heck has been going on the last year?" And that's a fair question, some of you know the answer, and for the rest of you I guess it's only fair I help you get your bearings since I've invited you on this path with me.

It was a little over a year ago that my wife was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The prescribed treatment was chemo therapy for 48 weeks due to her particular strain. Let me just say it's been a long year. When you're in the middle of something like this, and I was just a bystander although it took it's toll on the whole family; it's gut-check time. I faced it at about 40 weeks in.

"IT" is that place where you wake up and realize that you're unsure if you can "do what you have to do" another day. I surprised myself with that thought, I felt like a failure. Imagine, I wasn't even taking medicine, yet I seemingly had no hope to offer, and was unsure I could be helpful at all. I wanted to quit, and "I" there wasn't anything for me to quit. I was just tired of the circumstances I found myself in and wanted them to change.

I guess that's a classic definition of losing hope. See, I happen to know that I'm a hope junkie, I live on the stuff, and I believe in my heart of hearts that there is always hope for a better tomorrow (my checkered past is proof positive). But in this particular situation, I had lost mine. I liken it to how prisoners and hostages must feel. Perhaps early on, there is hope that things will soon change, but over the course of time, the day in and day out of being in something that you have no control over begins to wear on you. Your hope slowly fades, and desperation begins to replace it. That's the road I've been walking this past year.

Now I've got to tell you that things have changed. My wife finishes her treatment tomorrow, all the tests along the way have shown that her body is responding positively (though we won't know for sure until December), and the fog of desperation has gone from my view. Hope has returned!

As stated in the title of this blog, it's a shared journey. I'm no one special, not looking for sympathy or help, just telling my story and asking you to share yours. Life can be tough. Are you going through something right now? Do you feel that hope has left the building? Let me tell you that it can return, and most likely will. The key, I've found, is that you have to look for it. God, friends, family, even professional counseling can help you gain a different perspective and I highly recommend all of them.

I hope to hear from some of you. Leave a comment and if you'd liked to subscribe to this blog, just click the link over on the right. Oh yeah, another interesting thing to watch may be the ad link at the bottom of the page. The set up allowed me to choose "relate ad to blog content". Should be funny to see what "they" think goes along with our journey.

Safe travels.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Melissia said...

Apparently the journey has something to do with slick t-shirts.

But I digress.

I've been having some hope problems lately. Not for myself so much as for everyone else around me. The other day I wanted to scream - if one more person walks in my office and gives me bad news I AM going to scream!

I don't know what's going on, but it seems like there are diagnoses and deaths and failings left and right... and not very much good news to be had. So it is hard to keep hoping that things will get better. Especially when we hear over and over again that it's the trials that grow us. Well, I'm tired of the people around me having to grow. My friends are in pain and there's nothing I can do about it.

Every once in a while, there's a glimmer of hope - like "the cancer's not quite as bad as it could be" or "at least she's not suffering anymore." But it's still relative. It's not as bad as it could be... but it's no heaven either.

On the journey...

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Jennifer Coomer said...

Tears burned my eyes when I read that Marcy will have her last treatment soon.
I like "hope junkie". Can I borrow it? I think I'm a hope junkie, too. But sometimes I put my hope down and then I can't find it for a time.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Vince said...

Bless your hearts, I can only imagine how hard this has been on all of you. You have been in our prayers all along, it's the least we could do after all you have done for us.
Love you guys
Vince & Brooke

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Roberta said...

I can really identify---as the last year of my life has been totally out of control. Last Feb.-July I was blessed to be chief caregiver for my Dad as he was under hospice care for congestive heart failure. Though I could do nothing to change the enevitable, God poured out blessings each day in being able to talk to Dad About a life "welll-lived" and looking forward to eternal blessings of Heaven. This Feb. I began another journey of being out of control of my physical health. The Lord provided many "angels" to care for me, encourage me, and most of all to pray for me. There were many days that I questioned (and still do what possible good could come out of being confined to a wheel chair for 3 months and now having the recovery take far longer than I ever anticipated. When I get in those "blue funks", God's Word brings me back to the reality of who He is and how much He loves me.I want more than any other thing to bring Glory to Him and know that I probably will not ever know if that has happened. What is more--it is not necessary to know orunderstand the ways of the great Creator of the Universe. I rejoice with your family and have been thanking God all along for the work He is doing in your lives. We have all been blessed by your courage--especailly Marcy's--knowing God has given her (you and the girls) the strength to endure. Blessings and love,

At 7:14 PM, Anonymous cp said...

Yes, it is extremely hard to come to the realization that "hope has left the building". You wonder how you got to that point, especially when you feel that it is against your nature. I find that I end up feeling bitter about my circumstances "making" me feel that way. Then, like you said, I have to focus and think about my perspective. It's everything. I'm glad that hope is knocking on the door and about to come back. I feel the same way at this time in life. I'm looking forward to better expectations! Keep the music playing.

At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand your feelings of not wanting to do this anymore. Several years ago I lost my brother to an accident. Then the next year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was ready to quit...I didn't want any more.
But my mom survived and my hope in God sustaines me through all troubled times!


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