Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Thanksgiving Story

Last week Susan (Mrs. TheOldMan) had an MRI, a PET scan, a CAT scan,and blood work done to fully assess her current health status. After the results had been thoroughly scrutinized and she had been examined by her oncologist on Monday of this week, he looked at us and smiled and said,“Susan, you’re in complete remission! All of your tests are totally clear and you look great to me. Keep taking your receptor-blocker pill and come back to see me in three months.”

It’s hard to know what to say. In some profound ways we are both feeling about as overwhelmed as we were when she was first diagnosed with moderately-advanced environmental lung cancer seven months ago. After months of praying like crazy and carrying around the question “why is this happening?”now we suddenly find ourselves asking “why is this no longer happening?” Cancer can dominate your life like that.

What a staggering faith journey this has been and continues to be. “One day at a time” is surely more than a cliché. Upon the completion of 25 rounds of daily radiation therapy throughout October, we decided to celebrate by going to Maui for a week. Neither of us had ever been to Hawaii before. We went with a couple of very dear friends and had a wonderful time. Some sightseeing, a lot of relaxing poolside, a day of snorkeling around tropical fish and giant sea turtles, a luau, a live play, lots of nice meals, and a huge Halloween parade in Lahaina. Upon our return from Maui, Susan went back to work full-time at North Idaho Dermatology. (Another key step in her trip back to a mostly “normal” daily life of helping and serving and concrete demonstrations of her love of others.)

One of the easiest agendas of this entire year will be tomorrow when we pause for a day of giving thanks. It’s truly overwhelming. Let us jump the gun and thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for all your prayers and encouragement throughout this journey. You’ll never know how much it has meant and what a difference it has made to feel so supported and loved. Thanks be to God and each one of you! Your faithful reporter,