Thursday, December 20, 2012

We're Here To Stay, For A While

After our main Drs had a final discussion, they have agreed that it is best to keep us here, but move to Oncology. Phil is not in good shape and they want to monitor him closely. They will continue to give him help with Neupogen to produce more white blood cells. As soon as he reaches the number that's healthy enough for Chemo, they will start it. She sat down with us and basically said, I'm sorry but RCHOP is not cutting it. The cancer is not going away and we have to do something drastic. So they will edit the Chemo mix for a more intense approach. I'm not sure of the exact name for the mixture, but I will be getting the paperwork sometime today so I can tell you a bit more about it.

The stronger the Chemo, the faster we can move on with our lives. The Drs are pretty sure that the fluid around the heart is cancer related, as he has not shown symptoms of a virus at all. The fluid has decreased a bit and he is able to breathe a bit better- but far from breathing great. Yesterday when he took a shower, by the time he was done he was shivering uncontrollably. I thought he was just cold, but he was actually having a hard time breathing. I got him into bed and dried his hair and bundled him up with blankets and pillows surrounding him. What else can I do.

I love this man more then I can handle, and I can't take the pain and suffering away. I can be there to hold the bucket as he vomits, to open his pudding, to wake him up when he is having a bad dream. If I could do one thing on earth it would be to switch places. Every day I watch the nurses puncture his pale, fragile skin with needles- but his eyes glaze over and he barely twitches because this has become our normal. All I can think about is us dancing together- when he can stand up tall like he used to, with his eyes sparkling and youthful again. That is my happy place. It will be dark out with twinkle lights on around us- and we would be with friends. Good food and wine being enjoyed by all. How could we ever have prepared for all of this? It is only with Jehovah's strength and comfort that we can keep our sanity.

We don't want you to feel overly sad for us, but we do want you to hear how hard things are. It is too hard to carry on our own in a secret bubble. That is why I keep updating this blog, so you can be let in and understand what Cancer means. There is one thing I keep saying to everyone around me: Please enjoy every day that is good. Recognize how amazing "good" is. Life is hard for sure, but it is mostly good. Realize how huge health is, how unbelievably special true love is- and cherish these things with all of your might. You can't control what happens tomorrow, but you can pray for appreciation of today.

Let go of pride, high expectations and baggage that will poison your relationships, your growth as a couple, as friends, as a family, as a human being. Focus on how many amazing things we have each day. Talk about them, and make plans to do more innocent and simple things like going to the beach, going on a picnic at the park, or even playing a board game together. Laugh as much as you can, and give to your loved ones in the ways you do best. Life is amazing. Love is a blessing. Friendship is priceless- give all of your heart into everything beautiful around you.

Although we do not celebrate Christmas we will enjoy the time off everyone else can enjoy. Dad is flying in tomorrow and he is always the perfect person to make us laugh for hours. We will be here for a while, it could be weeks but we will see. We do miss home, but we understand how important it is to keep still and reserve energy. It is very hard for me to get my head around going home at night to sleep, but I really should once in a while. I just feel that there are things that happen in the night that Phil needs help with, that Nurses just couldn't provide for him. It is so different to always have your loved one nearby to help you.

We would enjoy visits from you, especially later in the day. Unfortunately we cannot really plan too far ahead because he can feel fine one minute and horrible the next. The best thing you can do if you would like to visit is text me and we will try to make it happen. We love and miss the congregation so much, being able to see all the friends weekly. But we listen in through the phone to the meetings and so enjoy hearing your voices and receiving encouragement through that channel. We appreciate your care and interest in our struggles and I thank you for reading my words, even when a little emotional.

We hope to see you very soon,


Sturge said...

Love that picture :-) You guys will be dancing in the moonlight before you know it. So amazing how much we take for granted though when we have our health - but you guys always see the beauty in the simple things - such a good example in so many ways.

Can't wait to see you both and mom tomorrow night - should be there around 11:30.

Keep smiling, we're going to beat this :-)

Love, dad xoxo

Constance said...

Another poetic update from my beloved Hollie May :) You obviously didn't get your writing talent from me.

Be assured that we will get through this. Not only is Phil young and strong (pffft he hasn't even lost any hair),he is under the watchful care of many great physicians, plus he is continuing to trust that Jehovah will sustain him through this most trying time. AAANNNDDD he has you by his side at every moment- a treasure of a wife.

Words can't properly express my love for you, and the respect you've richly earned for your courage and fortitude. You're obviously made of the right stuff and are a bright, shining example to all of us.

Though the comments are sparse, I know for a fact that many are following this blog closely - and are appreciative of the time you take to keep everyone up to speed on Phil's condition. And without a doubt, they are as encouraged as we are over your stalwart efforts to remain strong in this fight.

Love Mom xoxo

ps- I'll be over there shortly to watch Jeopardy with Phil :) So please have lots of sweets for me from JW House. (hehe)

Anonymous said...

In her the heart of her owner has put trust, and there is no gain lacking. She has rewarded him with good, and not bad, all the days of her life. She has girded her hips with strength, and she invigorates her arms. Her palm she has stretched out to the afflicted, her mouth she has opened in wisdom, give her of the fruitage of her hands and let her works praise her even in the gates. Hollie, may you feel Jehovahs blessing as you fulfill this scripture so well towards your One and only.
Your love is deep and true.

Haley said...

Love you both very, very much. As we all go through our various struggles, we grow strong in working to encourage each other. When we are weak, we are powerful.



Anonymous said...

Phil and Hollie,
We've been following your updates here and just wanted to express our ongoing love and support from afar. It was so great to see you back in October. Such strength you both show, an obvious result of Jehovah's blessing. We just want you to know we are thinking of you and praying for you daily, and so glad there are so many rooting for you from all over. :) And that Phil is getting the best of care. You'll get through this and be so much stronger and closer afterward. Thank you for taking the time to keep us all updated. We love you!
Mary Ellen and Andy

Anonymous said...

Dear Hollie and Phil
Be assured that we are following
Phil's progress with each update.
I wish we were closer to be able to give some help and
You are in our thoughts
everyday, and we hope for Phil's recovery. We can only
imagine how difficult this
journey is. It means a
lot to have the love and
support of family and the congregation.
Lots of Love Martin and Ilona

Anonymous said...

Have you tried or researched protocell? Amazing success with tumors, you feel great, and brings people on death bed back to a full beautiful life! May Jah bless your efforts...

Anonymous said...

You are one of the most amazing humans I have ever met. Phil is one of the most amazing humans I haven't met...yet.

Just wanna say - you are in every one of my prayers. Sincerely. Even the quick before-the-door-in-service ones.

When you and Phil are both perfect, this time will seem SO short, you won't even remember it.

Love you from the bottom of my heart,

Anonymous said...

We so look forward to your blog Hollie ...Every day you are in our thoughts and prayers . Philip is so privileged to have you by his side and with Jehovah's strength you both will get through this nice you have your mom with you Hollie and that your day will be with you shortly .....they are a tower of strength and encouragement for you guys as well . Wish we could be there .......sending much love and hugs your way .XOXO
Wayne & Linda

Cameron VSJ said...

Hi Hollie,

I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?



Anonymous said...

All your updates are so appreciated. We may be miles away but now we feel
as if we are with you. Are prayers and thoughts are with you daily. Take good care and much love from me and Michele.

Jordy said...

All of our thoughts and prayers are with the both of you and your families. Thank you for your updates and realise that the two of you are encouraging and upbuilding others through sharing your determination, faith, and love in this most unbelieveably difficult time.

kristy said...

Thanks for the update Hollie. I love your picture because it's a perfect description of your love for each other; the sun rises and sets on each other. Keep the faith and know that you and Phil are in everyone's prayers. Love U

Anonymous said...

Dearest Hollie, dearest child,
I don't think we've ever met yet I feel I know you. I'm Vanessa's mom. Thank you so much for these blogs. I appreciate your honesty, you are a talented writer in that you can help the rest of us who care follow this difficult journey and yet you continue to give a rays of sunshine in your expressions. You and Phil are in my prayer from the moment I wake and a million times during the day. When I see a blog from you I catch my breath not knowing what is happening. I cry tears of joy with good news and tears of pain of heart for the not so good news. It's obvious Jehovah is with you both. Vanessa just told me how I could comment on your blog or I would have written sooner. Please know our love is constantly with you both.


Anonymous said...

Hollie, I am thinking of you and Phil all the way down here in Florida. You were always such a light on our craft show scene, and you continue to be a beam of inspiration. Please know I am sending prayers to you and your family during this time - your attitude amazes me, and the words you share about living life to the fullest touch me and make me think. We lost my father this week, and my mother's faith in Jehovah has given her guidance and peace during this difficult time. I know the same will come your way. Peace and love to you and yours. Get well soon!!!
Tanya W. in SoFla