Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Update... and some blubber

I know many of you are wanting an update on Chris. Sorry to not have emailed you all personally, and while I know Chris doesn't want our blog here to become a Cancer Blog, I'll just put a little update on here anyway and try to remember to post about others things too. This is our life and cancer is now a part of it, but we also have the rest of life to live and document. I hope I can maintain a good balance for everyone and myself.

He had a doctors appointment yesterday and finally met with an Oncologist here! Based on Chris' concerns and symptoms, the Dr. is guessing that Chris is at a stage 3, potentially stage 4 depending on if its spread to his bone marrow. Yikes! Not exactly what I was hoping for but I knew it was in the realm of possibilities. We'll know for sure what stage after the full body CT scan (scheduled for tomorrow) and the results of the bone marrow biopsy they did yesterday after meeting the doctor.

His treatment plan so far consists of meeting with doctors to discuss and do lab work on Fridays, then a round of Chemotherapy the following Monday and repeat that every 2 weeks for about 6- 8 months. The side effects of the 4 drugs they're planning on using are disconcerting and I think we're just barely getting an idea of how awful this is going to be. I guess we're slowly being eased into it as this past week Chris has had cold that has just knocked him out. He's constantly tired and coughing so bad he can't sleep. Today was a little better than yesterday so hopefully he's getting over it and can be fully healthy before his first round of Chemotherapy tentatively scheduled for next, next Monday.

So.... how are we all holding up? Chris is in remarkably good spirits. He's really responsible about keeping track of all of his appointments and other random tasks to do since we moved to another country like insurance, bank stuff, registration stuff etc. The boys have taken it all in stride and pray for him but other than that seem completely normal and unfazed. Gwen is totally oblivious (obviously) but really LOVES her new house and walks around like she owns the place. I... I have tough periods mixed with I'm-doing-fine periods. I miss my normal Chris who wants to cuddle and kiss me. I'm having to change my perspective of what kind of normal help I can expect from him and also try to stay positive and feel/show sympathy for him. And the actual treatment hasn't even started. I'm a bit overwhelmed, but at least am blessed with a numbness about it all. I still haven't felt any real sense of dread or despair. Although, it just feels like I can't get a break. I start to feel a bit settled and good about life and then something else comes up.

Yesterday, I did a really dumb thing and left my purse on the LRT (the public transit monorail system here). I was distracted with the getting the kids all off and safe since I was by myself.
So I had all the kids and the stroller and was locked out of our house, without any money or a phone for 5 hours, over lunch and nap time. They still haven't found my purse with my wallet, keys, map, planner, etc.

The day before we realized as we were trying to get a new cell phone plan straightened out, BOTH our drivers licenses were expired! We can't renew them because we don't live in CA anymore and we didn't think we qualified for an Alberta license since we're classified as temporary residents. Luckily it turns out we can, and it took us all day just to figure that out and get temporary licenses (although mine, of course, is now lost or stolen). That in turn, means we can no longer keep our car registered in the U.S. and now need to pass tests here to register it, which also means we need to first get insurance here....and on and on and on it goes.

My dad feels really strongly that this is all happening for a reason, specifically the whole finding out about cancer + moving to Canada thing. I'm grateful for his perception and have relied heavily on it since I still just mainly feel numb. Thanks for all your prayers and emails and love. I know I sound pretty pathetic but I also know that somehow we'll make it. God will protect my family and that feeling is a blessing I should try harder to remember.

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Man, when I started writing this post I had no idea I was going to be so blubbery again. Sorry for the length and ..uh..blubbery-ness (whatever that means).

19 comments:

Ryan + Jess said...

You are completely amazing. We love you guys so much and miss you lots and lots! I still feel a sort of shock and numbness about Chris' cancer. I imagine it is nice to be busy with other things so it can't fully consume you. Although having a break from all the crazyness I'm sure would be nice :) I'm so sorry about your wallet! I hate it when things like that happen.

jodi said...

Brittney, thank you so much for the update! We've been wondering how you're all doing and if you've been able to make your way through the medical system up here, but didn't want to pepper you guys with a bunch of questions. I so wish we were closer to you guys. Glad to hear you've been able to get into the right doctors & at least create a treatment plan though. If you're like me, it always feels better to have a plan. I have a friend back home who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer about 1 1/2 years ago. She's been amazing through it all. I was going to share her blog address with you if you're interested...larryandshanda.blogspot.com. Anyway, hope you are liking Edmonton so far. We're praying for you guys!!

Aaron, Cera, Jaylen & Gavin said...

Oh Britney. You just can't imagine how sad I am for you guys. I also feel so hopefully for you too- you guys are amazing and if anyone can make it through this it's you guys. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I went home and spent over a semester with him during his chemotherapy treatments. I definitely know what that's like. I can't imagine how you feel- I'm so shocked and numb about Chris- I can only imagine your thoughts! We love you a ton and are praying and thinking about you guys. Make it down to do a triathlon with us soon! :)

lrbodine said...

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this! I'll be praying for your family and that you find the right doctors and everything there.

Radene said...

Brittney, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts, feelings and Chris' condition along with your condition too. You are in our prayers and we know you're a survivor as well. We love you. Hugs to you!

Janelle said...

Don't apologize for blubbery-ness. I get that way about little things.... Ryan and I are praying for Chris and your family. I hope you are able to settle in up there, in spite of all the bumps in the road.

Michelle said...

Brittney--I am so sorry to hear about this. You are in our prayers, and we will continue to pray for your family and the doctors through these next few months. Hopefully you will meet friends soon to help support you through this time, especially being in a new country and so far from family. I cant imagine. Your dad must be right because I know God is watching over you. Good luck with the scan tomorrow. We'll be thinking of you....

Ashley said...

Um, first of all, you don't sound pathetic in the least bit!! Sounds like you're doing remarkably well considering the situation! We'll continue praying for Chris and your family. Thanks for the update, so glad he finally got to see some drs! And good luck with the car situation, moving is such a pain as it is!!

tericksen said...

My heart is broken that I can't be there close to you during this, shouldering the burden along side you. I love you guys and miss you already. Your honest and straightforward updates are like manna. Thanks. Prayers continue on your behalf, my brave Britty.

Adams Family Adventure said...

I almost don't know what to write. My heart feels deeply for you and Chris right now. So much and all at once for you guys. I can't imagine what Chris might be feeling right now. And you with all the little ones. Your writing is wonderful and I'm sure will be a good outlet for the daily stresses that become monumental when cancer is added into the mix. I maintain hope and faith for your sweet little family and strength to pass through this season. My heart goes out to you, thank you for sharing. And I know I am going to sound like a grandma, but keep taking prenatal vitamins or some vitamins to help your body to deal with the added stress (it can use up alot of your reserves)...now I sound like a grandma but it is because I have the learned the very, very hard way! Now here's to finding new friends, enjoying your new space (that feels like a mansion I am sure in light of living in EV!) and to a successful chemotherapy and treatment plan for Chris! Love to you and yours

Candace said...

Britt, I just wanted to let you know that my family will be praying for you and Chris. You are doing a good job being so tough and I can't imagine what this must be like for you and your family. Lots of love and hugs to you.

Barb: said...

Thanks for the update--I can't imagine having to deal with all you are dealing with right now. It sounds like you are all handling it so well. You are doing amazing, though, and of course there will be ups and downs. And never apologize about sounding too anything on a blog, because why not share your feelings? Especially when so many of us care about how you are doing and want to listen. On another note, So exciting that you have a house with more space! And the wallpaper and other oddities will give it character, for sure. Every prayer here includes you guys. We love you!

merilee said...

My heart goes out to you and I wish I were closer and could help ease some of the burden! I do agree with your dad that there is a reason for all this. I'm sure that helps some to know that there is a purpose to your experiences. Never worry about being honest and open with your feelings. I love you and prayers are with you.

Shirley Swartz said...

Brittany, I hope you don't mind me commenting on your thoughts. Our family is praying for Chris and you night and day and has put his name in the Dallas Temple. We check in with Thomas and Brittany regularly. Britt told me today to go to your blog and I would understand every thing better. I am so sorry that you guys are having to go through this kind of trail. I was driving from Houston to Dallas on Monday and saw this billboard that says, "Nothing is too hard for God." I thought of your family when I read that. We will continue to keep your family in our prayers and will also continue putting your names in the Dallas Temple. We love your family very much and wish you all the best.

Fortune Cookies said...

Britt...I love you and I hope you and Chris are both doing well. Know that you're in my prayers...and I'm sorry that you're going through this hard time right now. You have the right attitude and I know as long as you continue to stay grounded in the gospel, you'll get through it! Love you girl.

KDB said...

Wow, Brittney, I'm so sorry and so sad to learn all that you guys have been going through. I've been somewhat absent from the blogging world for quite a while and obviously out of touch with many friends, and this was not the update that I wanted to see. But I know that the Lord is watching over you and Chris. I will definitely remember Chris and your family in my prayers. I love you! You are awesome. Keep staying strong in your faith.

Hawks said...

Hey Girl! We are all praying for you!!

lanaface said...

Blubber away girlfriend! That's what blogs are for and friends are for listening even if it is through the internet. I love you so much Brittney, and I'm sure if I knew your kids and Chris that I would love them just as much.
Arrrrrrrgh, I hate crap. Cancer is crap. Losing your wallet during nap time and lunch and car insurance and its just all crap! I wish I was there to help Brittney, or at least laugh out loud with you when it all falls apart or cry, which ever comes naturally. Hang in there!

Andy said...

Oh Brittney! I had no idea you guys were going through all this. I wish that you were closer and I could help in some way. We will be praying for Chris and your sweet family.