Nicks appointments went well today. He had bloodwork, we met with someone from the liver team and also saw a cardiologist. He checked out well in the liver department. No big concerns…no fluid retention…his incision is healing nicely..they even took his staples out..and I can tell you that was not fun to watch; he’s literally the most brave human I know. The appointment with the cardiologist went well, too. We were assured that while Nicks aortic dissection will need to be followed from here on out with check-ups, it is not of urgent concern right now. And hopefully keeping his blood pressure below normal will help keep any complications at bay. He will have repeat scans in June either at the U of M or here, depending on where we are when that time comes. But for now, we just need to continue monitoring his blood pressure at home three times a day. Great news.
I had a flight booked for tomorrow to go home to be with the kids; Nicks incredibly kind friend was planning to come stay with him while I went back-I just don’t have the words for this mans selflessness and willingness. But we decided after talking with his health care team that it probably isn’t in the cards for me anymore with all of the viral stuff that is going on…for many reasons. Truthfully, my heart has never ached so much in my life. I allowed myself to go down a really dark hole. I buried my head in a pillow and sobbed for what felt like most of the afternoon. Why do the roadblocks keep piling on? My kids don’t deserve an ounce of this; they need their mommy. How can I possibly lean on others to get them through all of this e-learning and change with school being out? But mostly, how am I going to have the heart to tell them that now I can’t come home tomorrow? Will I lose their trust? Will they give up on all of this? My mind went in a million different directions. But then, a silver lining presented itself late this afternoon:
Nick got his bloodwork results back. His levels are incredibly stable; they can even knock down his anti rejection medications a bit. His bilirubin is 0.6. Yes, 0.6. His AFP? Are you ready for this? 2.5. His AFP is 2.5. January 1st it was 1600. Today it is 2.5. And then I stopped crying. Perspective came back. We went over his numbers and Nick and I looked at each other and didn’t say a word; we didn’t have to. Our chests both puffed up a bit. THIS is why we are here. This is why we are sitting in this apartment away from our sweet, beautiful, resilient kids. This is why we will keep at this and stay strong. Because we will get to tell them that their Daddy’s cancer is gone. We will get to tell them that all of their hard work and every ounce of their heartache and patience and understanding was worth it….because Daddy is better. No child should have to sacrifice what those three have. But I will tell you, when this is all over, this victory will taste sweeter than anything they’ve ever experienced. They will have a mom and dad home who have fought together and have found so much perspective. Our hearts will be prepared to serve them in a way we never knew was possible. We know that time will come. And we pray that it’s sooner than later; but until then, we will try to stay focused on our purpose out here.
Nick is feeling pretty well. He has tightness in his abdomen which can get pretty uncomfortable and is part of the healing process, but beyond that he has gotten back some energy and is eating well. We are seeing improvement every day which is all we can ask for. Being quarantined has been a challenge…but he tries to get out for a short walk a few times a day to break it up.
It just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t give my sisters some proper recognition here. They have all three been incredible… over the last three weeks each one has come to help take care of the kids; taking time away from their jobs and their amazing kids spring breaks. My kids have had more Auntie/Cousin time than they could have hoped for and that has truly brought so much joy to them; I am just so thankful. But I would not physically be breathing or standing without my sister Suzi. She has taken complete ownership with my kids in a way I could only dream of. And let me tell you, those kids of hers are right there with her bringing so much love and joy to G, J and R. From organizing all of the childcare to arranging help when needed to taking on this whole e-learning initiative and everything in between. All while juggling her full time job and four kids of her own. She is my reasoning when my head needs it and my heart when mine can’t bear the weight alone. But most of all, she is safety and comfort for my kids and Im just not sure how I could make it through a single day without her. Nick and I are both eternally grateful for her, for so many reasons.
My prayers are with each one of you as we face this incredibly trying time together. My prayers for you are for continued health and peace in your hearts. Soak up the time with your families and try to let the worry go. I know its so easy to get consumed and wrapped up in the fear, but try to keep the faith. Because, truly, just as I was reminded today, there’s always a silver lining to come. xo