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Thursday, May 24, 2007

How is Andrea?

Death Row
I understand that this may be a strange title and maybe a little frank but I can think of nothing that better describes how it feels to live everyday then this.

"How is Andrea?", is probably the most common question I get asked. And it is hard because I'm torn between answering based on her physical aspect or the spiritual aspect of what is going on. Today at breakfast with some friends I was asked this question and I responded as I usually do, "She is doing great." In fact Andrea is feeling better today then she did two years ago when we arrived in North Carolina. But there are many "small" issues that Andrea deals with even on her best day. Things like a weak voice for almost 10 months straight, her left arm and hand are numb every day, her vision changes, thankfully it is getting better since she stopped chemo. But these are constant reminders of cancer, and every new pain Andrea feels makes us think, "What if it is cancer." I wish I had perfect faith to never ask that question, but the reality is when Andrea says her back is hurting it is a real test of faith.
As I left breakfast I thought about what it is like to deal with metastatic cancer and what I would compare to this journey.

We have had a stay of execution, but we are still waiting for the pardon.

That really sums it up. It feels like when Andrea was diagnosed she was given a death sentence and placed on death row, we just didn't know the date of execution.

Twice so far, in Nov 06 and Jan 07 I thought Andrea might not make it and twice I played out in my mind what life would be like. It is physically and spiritually exhausting.

But Andrea was given a stay of execution both times as the cancer has retreated to a point that it is not an immediate threat to her life. But it was still there. Still lingering in the background, never offering relief from its presence in our life. Weekly doctor visits, blood tests, chemo, and CT scans and the days we wait for the results all remind us we are still in the fight.

We of course believe that God will give Andrea a "Full pardon." We are just waiting for that day. Until then we live life with the reality of where we are. But we also live with hope and faith of what God can and will do.

So to answer the question, Andrea is doing great, yes life on "death row" is stressful and trying at times, but we are truly blessed by God each and every day. I'm thankful every time I get to kiss Andrea goodnight and everyday I awake to see her beautiful smile, I'm thankful every time I hear her laugh, or say, "I love you." It makes my day to walk into the house and see her beautiful blue eyes and that wonderful smile that speaks volumes of her love to me.

I am truly a blessed man.

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