Saturday, September 17, 2016


I would do anything; I will do everything possible.

I hate cancer and what it is doing to my husband. I hate that he is in pain, that he is so tired, that even though he is tired he can't sleep well. It is a horrible affliction.

I also hate insurance companies. They don't care about their policy holders. They know that there are great possibilities for remission or cure, but it costs money and these companies are all about making lots and lots of money. Some day they will have to answer for their greed.

I love my husband. I love his patient and steady way of dealing with suffering. I love how he can still make everyone around him smile, even laugh. I love that he tries to hide his pain from me because he wants to protect me. I want him to know that I would share this life we have all over again if given the opportunity. I want to tell him that he has made me wealthier than I ever imagined because I am so well loved. I want to thank him for being such an amazing father, for shaping the lives of two young men who are now great fathers. I want him to stay with me for a very long time - 20 years; I want 20 more years. I want to spare our grandchildren the heartache of saying goodbye too soon. I want him to continue to be the sounding board that our sons appreciate now. I want to serve with him, play with him, just be - be with him - for a very long time.

I don't know what's going to happen. I pray, I beg, I plead, I yield, I submit, I cry and cry when he isn't around. I have to believe, to hope, to trust. I live in the moment to avoid the anxiety of the future. I am hoping that God's plans give us hope and a future - together. I want that.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A Long and Winding Road

The school year was busy - incredibly busy - and toward the end my husband began to deal with extensive back pain. It got so bad that he finally went to urgent care one Saturday, a day I was out to lunch with house guests. Seriously, it hurt so bad he couldn't go to lunch! What started as suspected arthritis in the lower back turned into metastatic cancer in the middle back. We knew on May 27th that we were in for trouble. There was a mass devouring his vertebrae. Our local health care system ran tests... and more tests... right up to the time we were to go to MD Anderson in Houston for T's last appointment with his cancer surgeon from 2004 and 2011. (How ironic is that!) Because we have incredible confidence in Dr. Esmaeli, we sent her the reports that we had received from our local provider, and she asked us to bring the scans, which we did. She passed them on to experts in the field and after viewing, T was sent to the ER and had surgery the next day. CRAZY! However, we learned that it was the same cancer and therefore, cut and burn was the process. To date there is no chemo treatment for this "exotic" strain. Our hope is to work with the University of Washington medical people and get some answers to target this recurring enemy. Texas has been wonderful but the expense of travel and stay has become too much to continue. Our beloved Dr. E assures us that UW is great and we will find experts who will do the right thing for us. 

Now it's August. June and July seemed to never happen. They were hospital and recovery related, not vacation or relaxation. Our children from France are here with our four grandchildren, bringing us such joy and needed diversion. They are growing too fast!

Luca and his dad, Brian

Our older three: Grace (8), Eliott (5.5), Nora (4)

 I am grateful that we won't start school until after Labor Day this year. That extra week is terribly needed! T will complete radiation on August 12th, and we are told that the fatigue will hit about that time. He is still working as principal of our private high school and putting in nearly full-time hours. We expect he'll need to cut back for a bit as he recovers from radiation but we are hopeful that he can still complete the essentials. Time will tell; we are grateful for each day we have together. Our 43-year marriage has had unexpected bumps in the road, but I wouldn't trade this man of love, grace, and integrity for anyone in the world. We are blessed.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Another year; another class

The Class of 2016 - these are my last students who were once my junior high students. In 2006 my husband and I left the Caribbean for a new assignment in Western Washington. The first year in the Pacific Northwest I subbed in a variety of public schools. The following year a friend asked me to apply to teach junior high English at a local Christian school. I did, got the job, and stayed with it for almost six years. In the middle of that year, my husband (the high school principal) let me know that one of his English teachers was leaving mid-year. I jumped at the chance to get back into high school English. It meant, however, leaving a group of students I had for all of 7th grade and half of 8th. It was a bit sad to leave mid-year, but I helped promote and hire my replacement and she was (and still is) amazing at the job. I walked into classes of students who had previously been in my junior high English classes, so my investment has been intense. This year's seniors is the last class with whom I really feel connected. When I started teaching at the high school and this class became 9th graders, they asked if I would stay until they graduated. I promised I would. I have; I will. They graduate in four months. After that, I may still be here and I may not. I will have kept my promise. I feel the itch to move on, a dangerous thing that itch. I've tried to figure it out. It seems that I'm ready for change every five to seven years. It's hard work to change, adapt to new surroundings, new expectations, and yet - it's quite exciting too. If I stay, I will have great students to challenge. If I go - I have no idea. Guess we'll see what happens.