Wednesday, December 4

Recognizing the Miracle

While I sit here this morning contemplating the day before us, I start to let myself be hopeful for a miracle. How wonderful would it be to go into the doctor's office here at Mayo and have them say that they looked at Steve's tests and found no signs of cancer.

I've heard it happen and I believe it has happened, I'm not counting on it happening to us today, but there's that hope down deep that it might.

Hearing that news would be a miracle. The miracle we've been waiting for, praying for, desperately needing. Or is it?

I tend to think in metaphors, stories, parables. I have that in common with Jesus, I suppose. (smile) Today, as I was thinking about the miracle of no cancer, the bible story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came to mind.

For those who need a refresher (no shame in that!) these three men refused to worship the idol that Nebuchadnezzar had built and were therefore sentenced to death inside a fiery furnace.

So the miracle in the story was that they were not thrown into the furnace, but rescued by God and walked away to live out the rest of their happy lives, right?

Nope.

They were thrown into the furnace...the thing that should have killed them almost instantly, but instead of perishing (I chose that word specifically), they stood there un-singed.

That, my friends, was the miracle.

So...in light of that story, I'm thinking that waiting for the miracle of hearing "no signs of cancer" may be distracting us from the miracle we're already living.

Steve has cancer. Stage four cancer. It should have killed him. It didn't. He's still standing. THAT's our miracle.

We're standing in the furnace (yes, I'm right along with him in this one) and while we do smell of smoke sometimes, we do feel a little singed sometimes, the truth is that we're facing death and still standing.

Today I am grateful for the miracle.

There really isn't much more to say than that.

Sunday, December 1

Heading to Mayo

Heading to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota tomorrow afternoon. We're going for a second opinion, to see if there is anything more we can be doing. We're anxious. Very. Need-to-remember-to-breath anxious.

It's not that we're going to receive any bad news. We're going to see if there is anything in addition to what we're doing. If there isn't, then we continue as we are. Still, tests are stressful, seeing new doctors and nurses are stressful. The unknown is stressful.

For Steve, filling out the paperwork and knowing he'll have to retell his story is stressful. They'll have his medical records, but they'll want to hear it from him too. Repeating the events of the last almost-10 years of treatments, procedures, surgeries, etc. is kind of traumatic. Not only do the memories flood back, but it's just a general feeling of being overwhelmed by all that has happened and is still happening. It can seem unbearable at times. Cruel sometimes too, but it's all part of the process.

For me, the thought of going to more appointments feels like I'm going to drown...I just can't catch my breath. Sometimes I wonder if I can really do this again. I'm by Steve's side as much as possible. Often it's just one step at a time, one moment at a time. Getting ready to travel (it's about 3.5 hours) adds stress...making arrangements for lodging, the house/dogs, etc and just being away from home.

Even though we're experiencing this overwhelming stress and anxiety, we're grateful we have so many praying for us, thinking of us and supporting us. We had a good few days with family and have Christmas to look forward to as well.

Those who know the power of prayer, will understand what I mean when I say we can feel others praying for us. We really can. It lifts us up, it calms us, it makes us feel less isolated and alone in this situation (which is more mental/emotional than physical reality). We ask that you pray for us over the next few days (we hopefully get back on Thursday). Thank you.

Saturday, October 26

Join Us on Facebook

When we started this blog, facebook wasn't really a thing many were using yet. Now that almost all our friends and family do use facebook, we seem to be posting more on our Team Zieser facebook page than here on the blog. In fact, our blog is often a repost of what is on our page. Facebook is also much more interactive, something we really appreciate as connecting with our team is life saving. That said, please join us over at our Team Zieser facebook page (using the link below). You will be able to read it even if you don't have a facebook account (we have it set up that way). If you have question, please let us know. As always, we thank you for being part of our team!


PS. The blog will also stay active, but most posts just won't originate here.

Friday, October 18

Disappointed Not Destroyed

Steve had a PET scan on Wednesday and we got the results today. I wanted to post an update even though it lacks a lot of detail at this point.

Unfortunately, we did not receive good news at the. There is more cancer and the cancer that was there is larger. This is very disappointing, almost devastating, but we aren't destroyed. I wish I could make sense of this, but for the next few days just need to get to a place of acceptance. Steve is doing well (as usual). He is strong and peaceful and hopeful. We've been here before...not a place I wanted to revisit. Not sure what the plan is yet...we'll go back next week and discuss. Today wasn't the day to make any decisions and I'm glad Steve was wise enough to say we needed time to let it sink in. Dr. Ghosh, of course, encourages empowerment and choice and gave us support without overwhelming us with timelines and options. We could use prayers for peace. Thank you.