Andrew is still here. We got a hospital-grade humidifier with a mask with an oxygen machine earlier this week, and he discovered that some of what was exacerbating his breathing problems was dried mucous. A cold has been going through our household and it's likely that Andrew got it too, but it wasn't obvious because his pain medications covered a lot of the symptoms. Before this discovery, it seemed like Andrew's breathing was getting exponentially worse each day and I wasn't even sure if he would make it to the end of the week. For that reason, Andrew's parents are now with us again. He says he still feels tumors causing swelling in his throat, but it's not increasing in size as rapidly every day as I had feared. Every day I wake up, look over, and see that he's still alive. I consider him living each day on a miracle now. Each breath breathed into him by God. But I suppose that's the reality that each of us live on every day of our lives, we just take it for granted.
So far, he has not gotten a trache put into his throat yet. We had figured that since his oxygen levels were still at a %100 and that his breathing had improved since getting the humidifier, he didn't feel ready yet to get the trache. There is the risk that he won't even make it through the surgery or that even if he does, will it even give him more time with all the trauma it will cause in exchange for the breaths, and will the pain be so unmanageable that he will be sedated to the point of it being like he's already left? Please continue to pray for wisdom for us, as he may still get the trache put in this Wednesday.
Please also continue to pray that Andrew (and the rest of us) will get good rest at night. He wakes often due to coughing, discomfort, etc. I spend most of the day in the room with him as he rests, feeding him his juices and the countless things that need to be done for him, trying to comfort him, and just be with my love. Grace Lindeman continues to make his 9 fresh juices, food, and various things. We continue to do the therapy.
My sister and Sam Jay took the kids a lot during the day each week. And now that Andrew's parents are here, they watch the kids. I miss the kids a lot, but at least I get to see them when I leave the room. By the way, my eczema has been clearing up, but please continue to pray that it will heal.
I can't explain the peace that God has given me through this time. I feel very literally as if His peace is guarding my heart. There are, of course, periods of crying when I think of my love being gone. The disappointment. How our recent 5 year anniversary seems to mean that we are practically newlyweds. Our hopes had been that we would spend the rest of our lives together. I had thought that knowing who you would spend the rest of your life with would seem scary and final, but found that the idea of spending my life with Andrew made me smile and feel relieved and excited. We had thought that our lives would be beautiful no matter what adventure life brought us, because we were together. Eventually, I pictured years down the road, a full, loud house teeming with kids, overflowing out onto the yard, the kids screaming as they played tag. I cry when I pause past our wedding pictures in the living room because they remind me of those hopes. We looked so happy and hopeful that day. It almost seems like we were fools from this vantage. Yet, those feelings of sadness, as pure as they feel, the pure feeling of sadness unmixed with other feelings, do not feel like despair. I cry and then when I'm done, I feel fine again. I know there is no other explanation except that the Lord is sustaining me with incredible peace that only comes at desperate times like these, where all else falls away, and all there can be is Jesus.
Don't think that I have spent the last almost year of this trial in peace like this. Trust me, there are times where I spent long periods walking in my flesh and not trusting the Lord, so deep in my flesh, I didn't even know it. I believe my peace now is due to all of you praying like crazy for me and and also that in unique times, times of emergencies, I believe God gives special grace to wives. It is His grace, definitely not something I have labored for.
I remember when Erik Greene from our church in Washington unexpectedly was rushed to the ER and was not expected to make it through the night. They did not know what had happened to him, except that he was not going to live. I could hardly think about Andrew who was about to go into his first cancer surgery January of '07, his surgery paling in comparison to Erik's situation. I was horrified at the idea of Erik leaving his wife and four children. I wept for three days pleading with the Lord for his healing. Erik survived the first night and spent the next few weeks in a coma. Despite the doctor telling his wife to unplug him after a few weeks, she continued to have unmovable hope. When I saw her, I couldn't believe the peace she had. Not only did Erik wake up from his coma, he's doing great today.
And so, I believe God has a special place for wives that are His, while those observing help carry the burden by taking the role of weeping and praying and maybe even having to suffer more grief than that of the wife for that time. So please keep praying for me, because the Lord is answering. I can feel you are praying for me, because this is definitely not of me.
Though Andrew's suffering is more than most anyone will suffer in their lifetime, and it may not feel or look like it, we all must continue to believe that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, and that it is all for His glory (Romans 8). We must ask God to give us the faith to believe that. We can pour out our frustrations and griefs and questions honestly to Him, because they are no secret to Him, and only He can change our hearts.
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:7-9
Please continue to pray
- for REST at night especially for Andrew, but for all of us too
- that Andrew will be able to breathe easily and not need the trache. For wisdom whether to get it or not
- that the peace of Christ would guard our hearts, as well as his parents' hearts
- for a miraculous escape from death
- that our suffering would result in us knowing Christ more intimately (Phil. 3).