It is with a broken heart, puffy eyes, and reluctant hands that I sit down to write this morning. My main motive is to alleviate a nearly impossible task from my mother, that of contacting those wonderful people in our life who have been praying for daddy in order to update them on daddy's condition. Nearly impossible, because as I mentioned previously it involves that horrible "C" word... cancer, and because this time the news hit even harder.
Forgive me for writing so mechanically, but at this moment I feel a bit as if air has been sucked out of life as I know it.
My daddy has been re-diagnosed with Myeloma cancer, the most serious and aggressive strain of Lymphoma.
Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white cell found in many tissues of the body, but primarily in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are part of the body's immune system.
Normal plasma cells make antibodies, which help fight infection. Myeloma cells cannot help the body fight infection. As the myeloma cells grow in the marrow they crowd out the normal plasma cells. They also crowd out normal white cells, red cells and platelets. (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
It has come as such a shock after hearing and coming to accept the first diagnosis. This cancer will have to be treated in a more aggressive manner and will involve more unwelcome things, such as increased nausea and my daddy losing his baby soft, salt n pepper hair.
We were told "facts" or "statistics" about this cancer, but we have decided that we are not going to focus on them, rather that we have HOPE and EXPECT MIRACLES. Hope as my father chooses to define it is, an "earnest expectation". I love that! My parents will be seeking a second and possibly a third opinion soon, to consult on the diagnosis and treatment that St. Joseph's Hospital has recommended.
The doctor came into the room last night and sat while giving us the news. I heard myself saying aloud in a desperate, weak voice, "You have to be wrong". It still does not feel real to me. What does feel 100% real to me, and more tangible than ever, is the love that we share as a family. The eternal bonds that exist between my parents, between my parents and their children, between my siblings, and between my siblings who are married and their spouses and their children, can be felt so strongly, more than ever. The phrase you begin singing as a Primary child, "Families can be Together Forever", continues to reveal itself more and more as one of the greatest gifts of a loving Father in Heaven.
I have always known that my father is one of the most exemplary men, but the way in which he handled such news last night was another testimony of it. The first thing he said after the doctor left was his concern for the doctor in having to deliver such news. Nurses who were unaware of what just happened cheerfully came in to handle routine things such as dad's IV. He was polite and helpful as he held the tubes for them as they changed it. When such news needed to be told to my siblings, He wanted to call them himself. When it proved very difficult, we offered to make the calls for him. He said that that this is how he is used to leading his life, he does hard things all the time. He can do hard things.
Yes he can. He has dealt with many things others may think impossible, but because of his perspective, because of his work ethic, because of his dedication to doing things right, his faith, his love, he has brought success and hope to the tasks.
I watched my mother and father gaze at each other, no words expressed. To witness how much they are still in love... I speak about it with the greatest reverence.
I thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts in behalf of myself, my daddy, and our family. I ask for your continued faith as we expect miracles and fight to beat the odds. Miracles happen everyday, and I know we can have great faith on behalf of my father, my great father. A man I can not imagine my life without. As I look at this photo, Daddy reading an Italian toddler book to little Owen at one of our family beach vacations while Liz and I look on so intently, I pray for many many more of these moments.
I know my Savior has carried our burdens and has suffered the heartache, pain, anger, and hopelessness that we have felt. For what purpose? That we may come unto Him. Whatever form these miracles may come in, I pray that I may rely more heavily upon my Savior and seek his comfort and a greater understanding. I must step from believing in Him to believing Him.