After being in the hospital for nearly three weeks, Grace and I busted out of there on Monday evening, just in time to make it to part of Abigail and Andrew's swim meet. We are amazed and grateful with how well Grace has recovered from this round of surgery. While it was difficult having our family separated, it was nothing in comparison to when we have been in a completely different states; therefore, we praise God for His guiding hand in the process and helping us to be completely comfortable and confident with the decision to stay in Texas for surgery. Now that we are home, it is pretty much life as usual, with the exception of having a four year old on sternal precautions for six weeks (yikes!).
Both kids did great at the swim meet and had loads of fun in the process! Even though Andrew is on chemo right now, he swam hard and got some great times. In regards to Andrew, his pain has been rather brutal, as usual. They have increased some of his medication dosages, but he still only has a few hours here and there throughout the day in which his pain isn't bad. The rest of the time he is double over in pain. The last two days the pain has been so bad that it has caused him to vomit. Then, Andrew tends to go on to apologize for it or apologize for waking us up so much at night time. We hate cancer! It absolutely sucks! I have more choice words for my feelings towards cancer, but they aren't the most God-honoring. In light of how much this all sucks, it is comforting to know that we can go before God and express to Him all of our anger, frustration, sadness, hopes, and complaints. We trust and know that God not only desires for us to come to Him, but hears our prayers and despises the situation just as much as us. The presence of cancer merely reflects the reality of the presence of sin in the world. One day, sin will be gone and we get to hope and rejoice for that day. In the meantime, we take comfort in knowing that God is over all this and somehow in control. While we do not understand His purpose, we trust our good and perfect God and know that He is at work through all of this and will use our circumstances in order to demonstrate His glory.
By the way, we received an email from Iowa late last night stating that surgery will tentatively be scheduled for July 18th or 21st. Then, they emailed back again this morning stating that it could potentially be as early as July 3rd or 10th. We won't know for sure until Monday. The difficulty in scheduling comes from the pediatric surgeon on the case being out of town right now and the adult surgeon heading out of town for two weeks this weekend; therefore, they have not fully had the opportunity to review the case together and come up with a surgery date. Therefore, we should have a definite answer by Monday when the pediatric surgeon will be in the office and has an opportunity to review Andrew's case.
Abigail has been a little rock as usual. It is amazing to see her resilience through everything. She had a great time at Camp Cho-Yeh last week, but definitely missed the family and was happy to get home. However, I am pretty sure we missed her more than she missed us. We sure were happy to have her home!!
As we wait for surgery, please pray Andrew can find some relief in the process. The team in Iowa told us today that the tumor slides we sent them does confirm the original tumor is in the pancreas and not the small bowel, so please pray the surgeons are somehow able to remove the original tumor without having to do a Whipple. Thank you for continuing to support us and ride with us on this rollercoaster, while the rollercoaster is certainly thrilling and has loads of ups and downs, we do wish it was a little less squeamish; however, it makes us all the more appreciative to all of you, Grace's Village and Andrew's Army, for still being willing to ride with us!
Oh, yeah, Kristi took Grace to get a haircut when she got home from the hospital and here is the little cutie!