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.